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E00296: Eusebius in his Martyrs of Palestine, written in 311 in Caesarea (Palestine), describes the martyrdom of *Prokopios from Scythopolis (martyr of Palestine, S00118). Written in Greek, but parts of the text survive only in Syriac.

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posted on 2015-02-16, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Eusebius of Caesarea, Martyrs of Palestine, 1.1-5

Originating from Jerusalem, Prokopios lived in Scythopolis, where he led an ascetic life and performed the triple ministry of reader, interpreter (from Greek to Aramaic), and exorcist in the local church. He was arrested and together with other Christians brought to the city of Caesarea. Prokopios was summoned to the Roman governor Flavianus, who urged him to offer sacrifice to the gods. After his refusal to do so, the martyr was ordered to offer sacrifice to the emperors. After he refused again and derided the Tetrarchy, Prokopios was charged with lèse-majesté and beheaded by the sword on 7 June 303. According to Eusebius, he was the first Christian to be martyred in Palestine during the Diocletianic persecution.

Summary: Sergey Minov


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Prokopios from Scythopolis, martyr in Palestine, ob. 303 : S00118

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Caesarea Maritima

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Caesarea Maritima Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Eusebius of Caesarea

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Officials


In this work Eusebius presents an account of the suffering and death of Christian martyrs executed during the eight years of the Diocletianic (or Great) persecution, i.e. 303-311. Most of the martyrdoms described by Eusebius took place in Palestine, with the provincial capital city of Caesarea as the most prominent setting. Martyrdom of Prokopios: ed. Cureton 1861, pp. 3*-5* (long recension); ed. Schwartz et al. 1999, vol. 2, 907-908 (short recension); English trans. Lawlor and Oulton 1927-1928, vol. 1, 331-333. For a full discussion of Martyrs of Palestine, see E00294.


This entry, typical of Eusebius' description of the martyrs of Palestine, consists of a brief account of torture and death, with no reference to miraculous events. Although there is no explicit reference to the martyr's commemoration, the record of his death by Eusebius might suggest that he was commemorated in Caesarea.


Editions and translations: Cureton, W. (ed.), History of the Martyrs in Palestine, by Eusebius, Bishop in Caesarea, Discovered in a Very Ancient Syriac Manuscript (London and Edinburgh: Williams and Norgate / Paris: C. Borrani, 1861). Lawlor, H.J., and Oulton, J.E.L. (trans.), The Ecclesiastical History and the Martyrs of Palestine. 2 vols (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1927-1928). Schwartz, E., Mommsen, T., and Winkelmann, F. (eds.), Eusebius Werke, Band 2, Teil 2 (Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte NF 6/2; 2nd ed.; Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1999).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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