1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Synaxarium

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SYNAXARIUM (Gr. συναξάριον, from συνάγειν, to bring together), the name given in the Greek Church to a compilation corresponding very closely to the martyrology (q.v.) of the Roman Church. There are two kinds of synaxaria — simple synaxaria, which are merely lists of the saints arranged in the order of their anniversaries, e.g. the calendar of Morcelli; and historical synaxaria, which give biographical notices besides, e.g. the menology of Basil and the synaxarium of Sirmond. The notices given in the historical synaxaria are summaries of those in the great menologies, or collections of lives of saints, for the twelve months of the year. The oldest historical synaxaria apparently go back to the tenth century. The heterodox Eastern churches also have their synaxaria.

The publication of the Arabic text of the synaxarium of the Church of Alexandria was started simultaneously by J. Forget in the Corp. script. orient, and by R. Basset in the Patrologia orient., and that of the Ethiopian synaxarium was begun by I. Guidi in the Patrologia orient. The Armenian synaxarium, called the synaxarium of Ter Israël was published at Constantinople in 1834.

See S. A. Morcelli, Kalendarium ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae (Rome, 1788); H. Delehaye, “Le Synaxaire de Sirmond,” in Analecta bollandiana, xiv. 396-434, where the terminology is explained; idem, Synaxarium ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae e codice Sirmondiano (Brussels, 1902), forming the volume Propylaeum ad acta sanctorum novembris. (H. De.)