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Re: The Passion of St. Saba the Goth

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  • Francisc Czobor
    Thank you very much, Andrei, for this info & link. I knew about the Passion of St. Saba (in Romanian: Sf. Sava), but not with such detail. The event happened
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 8, 2006
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      Thank you very much, Andrei, for this info & link.
      I knew about the Passion of St. Saba (in Romanian: Sf. Sava), but not
      with such detail.
      The event happened when the Goths (more exactly, the Visigoths) where
      still in Dacia. The river Mousaios where St. Saba was drowned is the
      Buzau river in eastern Romania.
      What intrigues me is that the persecuting reiks is called here
      Atharid. I knew it was Athanaric.
      BTW: this is also a hint where Athanaric's Visigoths were confined on
      Dacian territory: the area eastern of the curvature of the
      Carpathians, approx. today's Buzau county. Here is the Mousaios
      (Buzau) river where St. Saba was drowned, here is Pietroasa where the
      treasury attributed to Athanaric was found, and here are the Montes
      Serorum (Siriu Mountains) where Athanaric attempted a last resistance
      against the invading Huns.

      Francisc

      --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "andrei_stirbu" <andrei_stirbu@...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > "Another text crucial to our understanding of the Gothic reception
      of
      > Christianity is the Passion of St. Saba the Goth. The text survives
      in
      > 10th century manuscripts, but the story itself dates the martyrdom
      of
      > St. Saba to April 12, 372 AD. The story tells us that Saba was a
      Goth
      > living in Gothic territory, and had been a Christian since
      childhood.
      > He had no possessions except for the bare necessities.
      >
      > As the story goes, Christians were compelled to eat flesh sacrificed
      > according to Gothic tribal customs, and therefore unclean to
      > Christians. At the level of the village, it seems that Christianity
      > could be tolerated, as long as it was not practiced overtly
      > (translated sections are quoted from Heather and Matthews, 1991):
      > [W]hen the chief men in Gothia began to be moved
      against the
      > Christians, compelling them to eat sacrificial meat, it occurred to
      > some of the pagans in the village in which Saba lived to make the
      > Christians who belonged to them eat publicly before the persecutors
      > meat that had not been sacrificed in place of that which had, hoping
      > thereby to preserve the innocence of their own people and at the
      same
      > time to deceive the persecutors. Learning this, the blessed Saba not
      > only himself refused to touch the forbidden meat but advanced into
      the
      > midst of the gathering and bore witness, saying to everyone, 'If
      > anyone eats of that meat, this man cannot be a Christian', and he
      > prevented them all from falling into the Devil's snare. For this,
      the
      > men who had devised the deception threw him out of the village, but
      > after some time allowed him to return.
      >
      > Saba was banished for his vehement espousal of Christianity, since
      > being so outspoken over such matters threatened to upset the
      > traditional social order of the village.
      >
      > Saba eventually returned. Later, when a reiks visited from
      elsewhere,
      > village nobles attempted to conceal the fact that any Christians
      lived
      > in the village, since such village members would be an affront to
      the
      > authority of the reiks. Saba would not conceal his beliefs and spoke
      > out, whereupon the village elders protected other Christians by
      saying
      > that Saba was the only one in the village. The reiks mocked Saba for
      > his poverty, and again Saba was cast out.
      >
      > Later Saba, along with a prebyter Sansalas, was taken captive by a
      > gang under the leadership of Atharid. They tortured Saba late into
      the
      > night and then left him. He was freed by a slave woman, but he
      refused
      > to flee. He was bound again and cursed Atharid, who subsequently
      > ordered him to be put to death. The story continues:
      > Those appointed to perform this lawless act left the
      presbyter
      > Sansalas in bonds, and took hold of Saba and led him away to drown
      him
      > in the river called the Mousaios.... When they came to the banks of
      > the river, his guards said to one another, 'Come now, let us set
      free
      > this fool. How will Atharidus ever find out?' But the blessed Saba
      > said to them, 'Why do you waste time talking nonsense and not do
      what
      > you were told to?...' Then they took him down to the water, still
      > thanking and glorifying God..., threw him in and, pressing a beam
      > against his neck, pushed him to the bottom and held him there.
      >
      > So died Saba, though subverting at every moment the attempts of
      others
      > to help him. It thus appears that none at the village level were
      > involved in the decision-making process for the kuni, under the
      > direction of the reiks. At this lower level, Christianity was
      > tolerated, and converted relatives and friends were concealed and
      > assisted by their fellow villagers and family members. It was
      > apparently at the level of the kuni and the reiks that Christianity
      > threatened the socio-political order, and it was from this level
      that
      > persecution was enacted."
      >
      > From http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/eieol/gotol-7-X.html
      >
      > (sorry if the information is not new)
      >
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