The literary genre of martyrs’ Passions encompasses a wide range of texts, from the formal to the more exuberant. The variations in the treatment of themes and commonplaces are so significant that any formulation of precise rules is shown to be unwise. Exceptions spring instantly to mind. The Middle Byzantine period continued to produce Passions, or more commonly Lives and Passions of the new martyrs, alongside a multitude of texts in honour of the saints of the past. Historical circumstances had, however, changed. Byzantine Christians were faced with new adversaries, and the confrontation with Islam, to a much greater extent than that with Slav paganism, provided the occasion for the composition of new Passions. The iconoclast controversy, which at the beginning of the Middle Byzantine period prompted persecutions of iconophile bishops and monks in Constantinople and its hinterland, was another occasion for the re-appearance of hagiographic texts devoted to martyrs or confessors of Orthodoxy.