Abdias of Babylon, St.

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According to legend, Abdias was the first bishop of Babylon, appointed by the Apostles Simon and Jude. W. Lazius, in 1552, regarded Abdias as the author of a collection of legends about the Apostles, assuming that he had written them in Hebrew and that they had been translated into Greek by Eutropius, his disciple, and into Latin by Julius Africanus. Actually the collection was drawn up by two anonymous authors in Gaul in the sixth century from earlier sourcesone describing the martyrdoms of the Apostles and the other adding their virtues and miracles. It was used at the end of the sixth century in a revision at Auxerre of Jerome's martyrology and in a poem by Venantius Fortunatus. The Abdias of a mutilated epitaph of the fifth century found at Henchir Djezza in Tunisia was probably a martyr under the Vandals.

Bibliography: a. audollent, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 1:6263.

[m. j. costelloe]