CYRIACUS AND JULITTA, ACTS OF, Chris­tian martyrological text. The Greek original is lost, but versions survive in several languages, including Latin, Armenian, Syriac, and Arabic. Part of a Sogdian version, translated from the Syriac, is extant in a fragment with the signature T ii B 60 [No. 13] (unpub­lished; preserved in the Turfan collection of the Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin). The legend, which has been conveniently summarized by August Dillmann, recounts the martyrdom of Julitta, a noble­woman from Iconium, and of her son Cyriacus, a child of two years and nine months; it is set in Tarsus in Cilicia in the year 304 c.e., according to the Syriac version, but appears wholly unhistorical and fantastic. The most interesting part of the Syriac text is a long prayer uttered by the child Cyriacus, which is thought to be of Jewish origin (see Gressmann).



P. Bedjan, Acta Martyrum et Sanctorum III, Paris and Leipzig, 1892, pp. 254-83 (Syriac text; Figure 1).

A. Dillmann, “Über die apokryphen Märtyrergeschichten des Cyriacus mit Julitta und des Georgius,” SPAW 23, 1887, pp. 339-56.

H. Gressmann, “Das Gebet des Kyriakos,” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde des Urchristentums 20, 1921, pp. 23-35.

(Nicholas Sims-Williams)

Originally Published: December 15, 1993

Last Updated: November 10, 2011

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Vol. VI, Fasc. 5, p. 512