42 Martyrs of Amorion in Phrygia
These Martyrs, men of high rank in the Roman (Byzantine) army, were taken captive when the city of Amorion in Phrygia fell to the Moslem Arabs in 838, during the reign of Theophilus the Iconoclast. Among them were Aetius and Melissenus, the generals; Theodore, the chief of the imperial ceremonial bodyguard; Craterus, the eunuch; Callistus, Constantine, Bassoes, and Theophilius, who were military officials; and certain others who held important positions. Because of their experience in war and their virtue, the Moslems did not slay them, but tried by all means to convert them to Islam and have them to fight in their own campaigns. They kept the holy Martyrs shut up in a dark dungeon in the city of Samarra in Syria, threatening and abusing them, making promises of glorious rank and magnificent riches, keeping them in hunger, oppression, and darkness, not for a few weeks, or a few months, but for seven full years. Finally, unable to break the courage and faith of their captives, they beheaded them in the year 845.
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