Ante-nicene fathers



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Restoration of the town of Medzpine; Name of Sanadroug; His death.

Of all Sanadroug’s doings and actions, we judge none worthy of remembrance except the building of the town of Medzpine; for, this town having been shaken by an earthquake, Sanadroug pulled it down, rebuilt it more magnificently, and surrounded it with double walls and ramparts. Sanadroug caused to be erected in the middle of the town his statue holding in his hand a single piece of money, which signifies: “All my treasures have been used in building the town, and no more than this single piece of money is left to me.”

But why was this prince called Sanadroug? We will tell you: Because Abgar’s sister, Otaea, while travelling in Armenia in the winter, was assailed by a whirlwind of snow in the Gortouk mountains; the tempest separated them all, so that none of them knew where his companion had been driven. The prince’s nurse, Sanod, sister of Piourad Pacradouni, wife of Khosran Ardzrouni, having taken the royal infant, for Sanadroug was still in the cradle, laid him upon her bosom, and remained with him under the snow three days and three nights. Legend has taken possession of this circumstance: it relates that an animal, a new species, wonderful, of great whiteness, sent by the gods, guarded the child. But so far as we have been informed, this is the fact: a white dog, which was amongst the men sent in search, found the child and his nurse; the prince was therefore called Sanadroug, a name taken from his nurse’s name (and from the Armenian name, dourk, a gift), as if to signify the gift of Sanod.

Sanadroug, having ascended the throne in the twelfth year of Ardaches, king of the Persians, and having lived thirty years, died as he was hunting, from an arrow which pierced his bowels, as if in punishment of the torments which he had made his holy daughter suffer. Gheroupna, son of the scribe Apchatar, collected all these facts, happening in the time of Abgar and Sanadroug, and placed them in the archives of Edessa.

Homily on Habib the Martyr

Composed by Mar Jacob.1

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Habib the martyr, clad in flame, hath called to me out of the fire,

That for him likewise I should fashion an image of beauty among the glorious.

Comrade of conquerors, lo! he beckoneth to me out of the burning,

That, as for the glory of his Lord, I should sing concerning him.

In the midst of live coals stands the heroic man, and lo! he calleth to me,

That I should fashion his image: but the blazing fire permits me not.


His love is fervid, glowing is his faith;

His fire also burneth, and who is adequate to recount his love?

Nay, by reason of that love which led the martyr into the fire,

No man is able to recount his beauties divine.

For who shall dare enter and see in the blazing fire

To whom he is like, and after what pattern he is to be fashioned among the glorious?


Shall I fashion his image by the side of the youths, the children of the furnace?

With Hananiah shall I reckon Habib? I know not.

Lo! these were not burned there: how, then, is he like?

He, I say, like them, when he was burned and the youths not?

Which, I ask, the more beautiful—Habib the martyr, or Azariah?

Difficult for me is the image: how I am to look upon it, I know not.

Lo! Michael was not burned by the flame;

But Habib was burned: which, then, the more beautiful to him that looketh upon him?

Who shall dare say that this is repulsive, or that;

Or not so comely this as that, to him that beholdeth him?


Three there are in the fire, and the flame cometh not near them;

But one was burned: and how shall I suffice to tell

That the Fourth form is that of Him who went down into the midst of the furnace,

That He might fashion an image for Habib there along with those of the three?

He giveth a place in the fire to him who was burned,

That he may be, instead of Him the Fourth, by the side of the conquerors.


And, if of the three the beauties be glorious, though they were not burned,

How shall not this one, who was burned, be mingled with the glorious?

If a man have the power either to be burned or not to be burned,

Of this man, who was burned, more exalted was the beauty than that of the three.

But, inasmuch as the Lord is the control of all things,



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