1.1.Connected memories: Peter the Iberian, Dionysius the Areopagite, Polycarp of Smyrna, and some Carpus
Now, knowing the origins of the two main memory dates of Peter the Iberian (November 27 and December 1), we are in position to revisit Honigmann’s (and van Esbroeck’s) thesis that there is a connection between some memorials of Peter and/or John the Eunuch, on the one hand, and some people mentioned in the Corpus Areopagiticum, on the other.
What means that the memory of Hierotheos of Athens, in the Chalcedonian tradition, coincides with the day of departure of John the Eunuch, October 4? Is it a mere coincidence or something more, as Honigmann and van Esbroeck thought? To answer, we need to recheck the available data on the memorial days of Peter the Iberian and the personages mentioned in the Corpus Areopagiticum.
There are some “anomalous” memory dates which escaped scholarly attention. The most important is the only day of memory of both Peter the Iberian and his teacher Abba Isaias in the Copto-Ethiopian rite, October 13 (Coptic Paopi = Arabic Babeh or, dialectal, Baba = Ethiopic Ṭəqəmt 16). This rite does not know such memory days as August 11, November 27, and December 1. As to November 27, it is rather natural: in the Coptic rite, this date was already occupied by the third day of the three-day Peter of Alexandria’s festival. As to December 1, it is a purely Syrian invention impossible outside the realm where the Julian calendar is at work.
Normally, October 13 is the memory day of bishop Carpus, deacon Papylas and those with them killed at Pergamum in Asia Minor under Decius. This is an ancient memorial common to the Byzantine, Copto-Ethiopian, and Western Syrian rites. In the Copto-Ethiopic rite only, to these memories, a memory of Peter, the disciple of Abba Isaias (and sometime of Abba Isaias himself) are added. Very often the original connection between Carpus and his companions is broken: in many Coptic and Ethiopic documents the names of his companions are lost, and even the name of Carpus is corrupted. This Carpus seems to be rather a companion of Abba Isaias and Peter his disciple or, at least, an independent person.
In the same time, there is an “anomalous” memory of Dionysius the Areopagite on December 3 connected with the memories of both Carpus and Polycarp on this same day. The calendar Nau III (Western Syrian going back to the eighth century) has on December 3 Dionysius the Areopagite, some unspecified Carpus, and Polycarp of Smyrna. Dionysius, while without Carpus and Polycarp, is repeated on December 3 by the late Western Syrian calendar Nau X. Finally, Qarpus (reconsidered as a Syrian martyr bishop of the fourth century whose cult was especially popular in the fifth and sixth centuries) with a “bishop Polycarp” are mentioned without Dionysius on December 3 in the late calendar Nau VI (ms A), while the same calendar (ms A) does mention Polycarp of Smyrna once more on his legitimate date February 23.
It is likely that the calendar Nau VI (ms A) represents the same tradition where the memory of Dionysius the Areopagite was on December 3 together with Carpus and Polycarp of Smyrna. Indeed, such a group of the three names corresponds to the realities of the Corpus Areopagiticum where Polycarp of Smyrna is the addressee of the Letter VII, and Carpus is a bishop or priest in Crete who reported to Dionysius his mystical vision of the torments of apostates (Letter VIII, 6). John of Scythopolis identifies him with a companion of Paul mentioned in 2 Tim 4:13 but without any explication of localization in Crete.
Thus, the memory of the group of Dionysius, Carpus, and Polycarp of Smyrna on December 3 is testified directly by two calendars (one of them, Nau III, being relatively ancient) and indirectly by one more calendar. Among these calendars, the two former contains the memory of Peter the Iberian on November 27 and the one latter on December 1. One has to conclude that it was on November 27 in their common archetype.
The date December 3 is close to both alternative dates of Peter’s memory: it is the seventh day after November 27 and the next day after the liturgical cycle November 30—December 2 within which the memory on December 1 was introduced. It is a priori likely that the memory of Dionysius, Carpus, and Polycarpus was introduced on December 3 in some connection with the memory of Peter the Iberian. So far, our main argument for this is the constellation of the same memories of Peter the Iberian and Carpus on October 13 in the Copto-Ethiopian rite. The mutual connection of the memories of Peter the Iberian and Carpus mentioned by Areopagite can be proved by examination of Cretan connections of the pseudonymised Corpus Areopagiticum.
 Basset, Le Synaxaire arabe jacobite…, 128 (Carpus is rendered as Qarbū قربوا, and Papylas as Abdalū ابدلوا. These names are often distorted in Arabic; thus, in the variant readings, Basset quotes other manuscripts where these names are rendered as Aylū (ايلوا) and Tarbus (for Carpus) and Apollo (for Papylas). A Coptic calendar in Arabic, fouteenth century (ms F; the calendar occupies several leaflets binded together with a five-language Psalter of the sixteenth cent.), gives, after Agathon of Alexandria, “...and saint Wrnw’ (ورنوا) and Abba Blw’ (بلوا) and Peter” [F. Nau, Les ménologes des évangéliaires coptes-arabes…, 59 (txt) / 27, n. 2 (tr.) among the variant readings; Nau recognizes in “saint Warnoua” Carpus and in “Anba Bloua et Pierre” Papylas and Peter the Iberian, cf. his index of names, ibid., 68 and 75]. The Ethiopian Synaxarium on Ṭəqəmt 16 (Colin, Le Synaxaire éthiopien. Mois de Ṭeqemt, 90/91) gives, among others, the memories of “...Holy Father Abba Ablo [ms D: Ablu] and Saint Peter, the disciple of Abba Isaias the Anchorite; and the memory of Saint Fārbu [ms E: Fāfbu; an obvious error due to the similarity of the corresponding letters in Ethiopic] <...> and Qarbul [ms E: Qarbu] and Anālyu...” Colin rightly translates “Ablo” as “Apollo” but, in fact, this is a distortion of the name Papylas through an Arabic intermediary (in Arabic, the form “Apollo” for “Papylas” is attested, see above). Fārbu (Fāfbu) and Qarbul (Qarbu) are both different renderings of “Carpus” due to the similarity between fa and qaf in Arabic (these letters differ only by the number of dots, and so, are very often confused). “Anālyu” is another avatar of “Papylas,” after confusing ba and nun in an Arabic intermediary (these letters also differ only by dots). Thus, the Ethiopian Synaxarium contains two sequences with the names of Carpus and Papylas on the same day, and the first of them contains also the names of Peter the Iberian and his teacher Isaias.
 Nau, Un martyrologe et douze ménologes…, 36, 108, 67, and 72, correspondingly. The genuine Julian date of the martyr death and the memory of Polycarp of Smyrna is February 23 (and, thus, his memory in different Christian traditions is February 23 or in a near vicinity of this day), while his historic Acta date this event according to some Jewish-Christian calendar as a “Great Sabbath”; cf., for all this, W. Rordorf, Zum Problem des “Grossen Sabbats” im Polykarp- und Pioniusmartyrium, in: E. Dassmann, K. S. Frank (hrsg.), Pietas. Festschrift für Bernhard Kötting (Münster, 1980) 245–249.
 SchEp 553.8; PG 4, 553 C.