« Cornelius (2), bp. of Rome Cosmas (1) and Damianus, silverless martyrs Cosmas (3), Indian navigator »

Cosmas (1) and Damianus, silverless martyrs

Cosmas (1) and Damianus, brothers, physicians, "silverless" martyrs. They became types of a class, the ἀνάργυροι, "silverless" martyrs, i.e. physicians who took no fees, but went about curing people gratis, and claiming as their reward that those whom they benefited should believe in Christ. They were certainly not earlier than the last quarter of the 3rd cent., and the legends of martyrs of that time, whose fame is known only by popular tradition, seem in many cases to succeed naturally to the place of those heathen myths that were slowest to die. For Hercules, Christopher; for Apollo, Sebastian; for Diana, Ursula; for Proserpine, Agnes. Cosmas and Damian take the place of Aesculapius, in whose story heathenism made the nearest approach to Christianity. The Greeks distinguished three pairs of these brothers. (1) July 1, in the time of Carinus; (2) Oct. 27, Arabs, with their brothers, Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius, martyred under Diocletian; (3) Nov. 1, sons of Theodote. (Menol.) For the legends connected with them see D. C. B. (4-vol. ed.). The names were early inserted in the Canon of the Mass.

[E.B.B.]

« Cornelius (2), bp. of Rome Cosmas (1) and Damianus, silverless martyrs Cosmas (3), Indian navigator »





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