The Golden Legend or Lives Of The Saints

Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275

Englished by William Caxton, First Edition 1483

From the Temple Classics Edited by F.S. Ellis

Also available in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format


Theodore is said of theos, that is as much to say as God, and of das, that is to say, give. And of rus, ruris, that is, a field. And thus Theodorus is as much to say as a field given of God. For he gave him to God and renounced the field of the chivalry of the emperor.

Theodore suffered death under Diocletian and Maximian in the city of Marine. And when the provost said to him that he should do sacrifice and return to his first chivalry, Theodore answered: I serve my God and his son Jesu Christ.

To whom the provost said: Then thy God hath a son?

And Theodore said: Yea, certainly.

To whom the provost said: Of whom may we know him?

And Theodore said: Forsooth [Truly], ye may well know him and go to him.

And then there was term given to St. Theodore for to do sacrifice unto the idols. And he entered into the temple of Mars by night and put fire in it under, and burnt all the temple. And then he was accused of a man that had seen him, and was enclosed in the prison for to die there for hunger, and then our Lord appeared to him and said, “Theodore my servant, have thou good hope, for I am with thee.” Then came to him a great company of men clad in white, the door being closed and began to sing with him.

And when the keepers saw that they were afeard and fled. Then he was taken out and warned [commanded] to do sacrifice. He said: If thou burn my flesh by fire and consumest it by divers torments, I shall never reny [deny] my God as long as my spirit is in me.

Then he was hanged on a tree by commandment of the emperor, and cruelly his body was rent and torn with hooks of iron, that his bare ribs appeared. Then the provost demanded of him: Theodore, wilt thou be with us or with thy God Christ?

And Theodore answered: I have been with my Jesu Christ, and am, and shall be. Then the provost commanded that he should be burnt in a fire. In which fire he gave up his spirit, but the body abode therein without hurt about the year of our Lord two hundred and seventy-seven. And all the people were replenished [filled] with right sweet odour, and a voice was heard which said: Come to me, my friend, and enter into the joy of thy Lord, and many of the people saw the heaven open.



The iconography of St. Theodore is available at the Christian iconography website.

For other saints, see the index to this Golden Legend website.

Scanned by Robert Blackmon.

This text was taken from the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

E-text © Paul Halsall, September 2000

Reformatted with paragraphs, rubrics, italics, and explanatory insertions by Richard Stracke,