Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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According to an ancient hagiographic tradition (BHL 133; BHG 36–37), Agatha suffered martyrdom in Catania, Sicily, during the persecution of Decius (250–251 CE). Less widespread is the ancient tradition (BHL 134) that places her martyrdom at the time of Diocletian's persecution (303–311 CE). She is celebrated in the liturgical sources on Feb 5, the day of her martyrdom. Her identification with the homonymous Agatha, protagonist of the Symposium by Methodius of Olympus (d. 311 CE), is uncertain.

The earliest testimonies of her cult seem to date back to the 4th century C…

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Milazzo, Vincenza, “Agatha”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 15 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2018

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