- Martyrs of Syria
- Martyrs of Samarra
A group of 42 Christian senior officials in the Byzantine empire who were captured by forces of the Abbasid Caliphate when the Muslim forces overran the city of Amorium, Phrygia in 838 and massacred or enslaved its population. The men were imprisoned in Samarra, the seat of the Caliphate, for seven years. Initially thought to be held for ransom due to their high position in the empire, all attempts to buy their freedom were declined. The Caliph repeatedly ordered them to convert to Islam, and sent Islamic scholars to the prison to convince them; they refused until the Muslims finally gave up and killed them. Martyrs.
We know the names and a little about seven of them,
but details about the rest have disappeared over time. However, a lack of information did not stop several legendary and increasingly over-blown “Acts” to be written for years afterward. One of the first biographers, a monk name Euodios, presented the entire affair as a judgement by God on the empire for its official policy of Iconoclasm.
- beheaded on 6 March 845 in Samarra (in modern Iraq) on the banks of the Euphrates river by Ethiopian slaves
- the bodies were thrown into the river, but later recovered by local Christians and given proper burial
- large group of men (the head count varies) dressed as imperial Byzantine courtiers
- “Martyrs of Amorium“. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 March 2017. Web. 29 April 2017. <>