Aelia Eudocia Augusta: The Martyrdom of St Cyprian (Black Letter Press)


Hardcover bound in brown Buckram
Measures 100×160 mm
120-gram red Endpapers
Printed on 115 g wood-free, age-resistant Arena Ivory Rough paper
Sewn book block
Ribbon marker

2 in stock



Translated by Paul Summers Young


In the 5th century Aelia Eudocia, the Empress of Byzantium, composed an epic poem on the crimes and salvation of Cyprian, a professional magician who is presented as the embodiment of everything a magician can be, who ran up against a devout teen in Antioch.


At heart, it’s about how the sorcerer for rent is brought into Justina’s world on her terms, dryly comic and worldwise, but it also allows us a glimpse of a religious landscape populated with Mystery Cults, Christianity included. It’s a moment captured as one world gave way to another.


Our edition is a new translation by Paul Summers Young, based on the definitive modern Italian translation and conveyed in a modern style to capture the immediacy of the original, with its strong sense of life lived in the streets of the Late Roman Levant.


It is not difficult to glimpse in the ancient wizard who allies with the Devil the traits of the various incarnations of the modern Faust—from his first literary appearance, in 1587, to the plays of Marlowe and Goethe.


Eudocia, a learned and nonconformist Empress of the East of the fifth century, gave the story of Saint Cyprian a seductive poetic version.