The Confession and Martyrdom of Cyprian of Antioch – translated by Anthony Alcock

Anthony Alcock is continuing his series of translations of Coptic texts.  He has sent in a translation of a hagiographical text, the Confession and Martyrdom of Cyprian of Antioch, and provided a short introduction.  The text is translated from manuscript.

The story is known to 4th century authors but is purely fictional, and perhaps based on earlier pagan stories including Lucian.  The saint is also known as Cyprian the Magician, and he is described as a pagan magician who converts to Christ.  The Wikipedia article on Cyprian and Justina is here.  It has been suggested that the text may have inspired the modern legend of Faust, the man who sold his soul to the devil.  A blog article here gives some interesting information about the text and its transmission in Greek from L. Radermacher, Griechische Quellen Zur Faustsage. Der Zauberer Cyprianus. Die Erzählung Des Helladius. Theophilus. (Anthemius.), 1927.  Unfortunately I have no time to go into any of this now.

Here is the translation of the Coptic texts:

Thank you, Dr Alcock.


5 thoughts on “The Confession and Martyrdom of Cyprian of Antioch – translated by Anthony Alcock

  1. Thank you for this article. I look forward to reading it. I see that his feast is celebrated alongside that of St. Cornelius, pope of Rome. Both were, and still are, commemorated in the Canon of the Mass together with some other martyrs with exotic names like Chrysogonus, Perpetua and Anastasia.

  2. I believe the Cyprian in the Roman Canon of the Mass is the much more famoud–and historical–St. Cyprian of Carthage.

  3. The Byzantine Empress Eudocia wrote an epic on the martyrdom of this Cyprian of Antioch.
    A English translation and study of Eudocia as an author can be found at the Centre for Hellenic Studies at Harvard.

    This link has the translation

    At the bottom of the page is the link to the rest of the book.

    For me, I had no idea that there was a Greek ‘confession supposedly by Cyprian, let alone an English translation of it.

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