EUSTATHIUS, ACTS OF, Christian martyrological text, of which versions survive in many languages, including Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Armenian. Several fragments of the manuscript C2 (preserved in Berlin, in the Turfan collection of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Orientabteilung, and in the Museum für Indische Kunst) have been identified by Schwartz and Sims-Williams as belonging to a Sogdian version of the legend, translated from the Syriac. The story is set in the Roman empire during the reigns of Trajan (98-117 C.E.) and Hadrian (117-138 C.E.). Its central character is a general named Placidas, who becomes a Christian after seeing a vision of Christ between the antlers of a stag and is baptized under the name Eustathius (Eustace). By a series of mishaps, Eustathius, his wife, and his two sons, are all separated from one another, only to be miraculously reunited many years later and to suffer martyrdom together.
Syriac text ed. by P. Bedjan, Acta martyrum et sanctorum III, Paris-Leipzig, 1892, pp. 215-53.
M. Schwartz, Studies in the texts of the Sogdian Christians, Ph.D. diss., University of California-Berkeley, 1967, pp. 1-19.
N. Sims-Williams, The Christian Sogdian manuscript C2 (Berliner Turfantexte XII), Berlin, 1985, pp. 158-64.
Originally Published: December 15, 1998
Last Updated: January 20, 2012
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Vol. IX, Fasc. 1, p. 76