Definition of martyrology in English:



mass noun
  • 1The branch of history that deals with the lives of martyrs.

    • ‘This is an indication of how nineteenth-century nationalist martyrology diffused throughout Ireland and was integrated into local tradition.’
    • ‘With the way cleared for a sympathetic reading of the phenomenon of martyrology, Gregory next explores the historical context and theological landscape that shaped the complex of martyrs.’
    • ‘That would have been sufficient to ensure for him at least a significant status in nationalist martyrology, but hardly the ‘godlike’ status of legend.’
    • ‘‘Ironically,’ notes Miller, ‘the sort of feminist reading which stressed Charlotte's victimhood unintentionally reproduced the martyrology of the Victorians.’’
    • ‘I would have expected more discussion on intellectuals as producers of ethnocentric symbols of exclusion, ethnic self-aggrandizement, self-pity, and exalted martyrology.’
    1. 1.1count noun A list of martyrs.
      • ‘At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February.’
      • ‘Exeter Cathedral Library still possesses a martyrology (a calendar of saints) in which are written out the names of the dead for whom the clergy prayed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.’
      • ‘Exemplary as this Irish martyr may be, the priest is unable to identify him because he does not feature in the standard martyrology of Irish nationalism.’
      • ‘This transformation demonstrates both the fluid nature of ‘memory’ and the ability of martyrologies to conform to the social needs of the moment.’
      • ‘A martyrology recently discovered in Turin was also composed in the second half of the 12th cent. and shows signs of having been composed in the midlands.’
      • ‘As we have already seen, the chronicle is quite explicit that his death occurred on the third feria, the feast of Saint John, December 27, a date supported by the entry in the martyrology.’
      • ‘The martyrology is compiled in the form of a calendar with names to be read out each day by such communities as monasteries, convents and seminaries.’
      • ‘On the Catholic side, in the mid-seventeenth century, groups of church scholars known as the Bollandists and Maurists compiled ecclesiastical histories and martyrologies, such as the monumental Acta Sanctorum (Lives of the Saints).’
      • ‘The feast of St Barbara is celebrated by the Greek and Roman calendars on 4 December; the 9th-century martyrologies cite 16 December which is the traditional English date for the festival.’


Late 16th century: via medieval Latin from ecclesiastical Greek marturologion, from martur ‘martyr’ + logos ‘account’.