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E00297: Eusebius' Martyrs of Palestine, written in 311 in Caesarea (Palestine), narrates the martyrdom of *Zakchaios from Gadara and *Alpheios from Caesarea (martyrs of Palestine, S00119). 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 dlambert
Eusebius of Caesarea, Martyrs of Palestine, 1.5

During the celebrations of the twentieth anniversary of the emperors' rule (= 303), the Roman governor of Caesarea, Flavian, orders several Christians who were imprisoned in the city's prison to be put on trial. Among them were Zakchaios, a deacon from Gadara, and Alpheios, a native of Eleutheropolis who served as reader, preacher and exorcist in the church of Caesarea. After several sessions of torture, the two martyrs are brought to the court on 17 November. Following their refusal to offer sacrifice to the emperors, both are sentenced to death and beheaded by the sword.

Summary: Sergey Minov


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Zakchaios from Gadara and Alpheios from Caesarea, martyrs in Palestine, ob. 303 : S00119 Zakchaios from Gadara and Alpheios from Caesarea, martyrs in Palestine, ob. 303 : S00119

Saint Name in Source

ܙܟܝ ܘܐܠܦܝܘܤ Ἄλφειος καὶ Ζακχαῖος

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 Zakchaios and Alpheios: ed. Cureton 1861, pp. 5*-7* (long recension); ed. Schwartz et al. 1999, vol. 2, 908-909 (short recension); English trans. Lawlor and Oulton 1927-1928, vol. 1, 334-336. 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 martyrs' commemoration, the record of their death by Eusebius might suggest that they were 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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