Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Theodorus of Amasea

Theodorus (83) of Amasea, a young soldier who suffered in the persecution under Maximian and Galerius c. 306; surnamed "Tiro," a recruit. Our authorities are the Encomium of Gregory Nyssen (t. iii. pp. 578–586) and the less trustworthy Acts. He was of humble origin (Gregory says "a poor recruit") and a conscript. In winter quarters at Amasea the capital of Pontus, his refusal to join his comrades in sacrifice declared him a Christian. His trial was deferred some days to offer him time to recant. This interval he employed in firing the temple of the Mother of the Gods on the banks of the Iris in the midst of the city. The building and the statue of the deity were reduced to ashes. At the judgment-seat Theodore boldly acknowledged and gloried in the act. From prison, where he was visited at night by angels who filled the cell with light and song, he passed to death in a furnace. No fewer than three churches were dedicated in his honour at Constantinople (Du Cange, Constantinop. Christ. vol. iv. c. 6, Nos. 100–102). He had also a martyry at Jerusalem (Cyr. Vit. S. Sab. ap. Coteler. Eccl. Gr. Mon. iii. No. 78) and Damascus (Johan. Damasc. de Sacr. Imag. Or. iii.). The little circular church of San Teodoro, popularly known as St. Toto, at the base of the Palatine Hill in Rome, is well known. Zonaras, Annal. lib. xvii. c. 3, p. 213 (ed. Par. 1687); Credenus, Hist. Compend. pars. ii. p. 681 (ed. Par. 1647); Greg. Nyssen. Oratio de Magno Martyre Theodoro, t. iii. pp. 578–586 (ed. Par. 1633); Surius, Nov. 9, p. 231, § 7; Tillem. Mém. eccl. t. v. pp. 369–377, notes 732–735; Ruinart, Acta Martyrum pp. 505–511.