After the fall of Byzantium, Orthodox Christians in Greece, Asia Minor, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East lived for nearly five centuries under Ottoman rule. Christians who publicly refused to convert to Islam, or who converted and later repented, faced death at the hands of Muslim authorities. These martyrs inspired fellow Christians to hold fast to their faith, and their relics became a source of strength to their suffering compatriots. Among those to compile hagiographies of these neomartyrs, whose stories no doubt circulated first in oral form, was St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain. The present collection of nearly 200 accounts of martyrdoms, compiled by an American Orthodox priest, is valuable to modern readers seeking to appreciate the courage, trials, and apologetics of these early modern witnesses for Christ. The author eliminates the flowery, exaggerated rhetoric found in earlier versions of these stories in favor of succinct modern prose, preserving intact the powerful dialogues that often took place between the martyrs and their Muslim judges. Along with numerous Greek martyrs, Serbs, Georgians, Egyptians, Bulgarians, and other nationalities are represented (St. Joseph of Damascus, martyred in 1860, appears near the book's end). Accounts of martyrdoms, while somewhat unreliable guides to the dynamics of Muslim-Christian relations, nevertheless shed light on a difficult period and retain the power to inspire renewed faith in Christian readers today. 377 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
Lives of almost two hundred faithful men and women, most of humble station, possessing little formal education, who gave their lives for Christ. Includes 16 color plates.