|King Shapur II, hunting deer|
The other Shapur was the Christian bishop (is that redundant?) of Bet-Nicator. More on him in a while.
Shah Shapur II broke a forty-year truce with the Roman Empire and waged two costly but inconclusive wars against it. The interbellum was occupied by wars against the Scythians and Xionites. The Roman Emperor Constantine had legalized (and was known to favor) Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, so Shapur II launched a hearty persecution of Christians in Persia.
Bishop Shapur was hauled in for question. With him in the dragnet was Isaac, the bishop of Bet-Seleucia. Three other Christians were also gaffled up: Mahanes, Abraham, and Simeon. Now it is one thing to proclaim the greatness of your own religion, even if it is outlawed. But it is another thing -- a less advisable thing -- to denounce the other fella's religion, especially when you're a prisoner and that other religion is sanctioned by the state. It's not just martyrdom; it's antagonistically, perhaps masochistically, suicidal.
Bishop Shapur was beaten to death in prison. Isaac was taken out and stoned to death. Abraham's eyes were burned out with a hot iron. Mahanes was skinned from the top of his head to his navel. Given that, Simeon seems to have gotten off lightly by just being buried up to his torso and shot full of arrows.
I imagine a lot of potential in the depiction of the five executions in one picture. I am somewhat surprised that is is not already available on the web. Someday when I am fabulously wealthy, I must commission images of all the saints whose pictures I can't find. Until then, we're stuck with our imaginations.