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E00375: Eusebius' Martyrs of Palestine includes the story of the martyrdom of *eight martyrs in Caesarea (martyrs of Palestine, S00198). Written in 311 in Caesarea (Palestine); written in Greek, but parts of the text survive only in Syriac.

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posted on 2015-04-11, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Eusebius of Caesarea, Martyrs of Palestine, 3.1-4

At the conclusion of his account of *Timotheos from Gaza (S00122), Eusebius relates that on the same day that this martyr was executed in Gaza, two other Christians from this city, *Agapios (S00188) and *Thekla (S00189), were condemned to be thrown to the wild beasts. When a group of the Christians of Caesarea, comprised of six young men – Timolaos from Pontos, Dionysios from Tripolis, Romulos from Diospolis, Paesis and Alexandros from Egypt, and Alexandros from Gaza – heard about their sentence, they decided to challenge the city governor Urbanus. They accosted him as he entered the theatre and declared themselves to be Christians, while asking to be also thrown to the wild beasts. They were arrested and imprisoned for a long time. While in prison, they were joined by two more men, who ministered to them there, Agapios and Dionysios. This group of eight men was executed together by beheading on 24 March 305.

Summary: Sergey Minov


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Eight Martyrs in Caesarea, martyrs in Palestine, ob. 305 : S00198

Saint Name in Source

Τιμόλαος, Διονύσιος, Ῥωμύλος, Πάησις, Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀγάπιος, Διονύσιος

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



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 the eight martyrs: ed. Cureton 1861, pp. 11*-12* (long recension); ed. Schwartz et al. 1999, vol. 2, pp. 910-911 (short recension); English trans. Lawlor and Oulton 1927-1928, vol. 1, pp. 341-343. For a full discussion of Martyrs of Palestine, see $E00294.


This entry, typical of Eusebius' description of the martyrs of Palestine, consists of a concise account of arrest and execution, 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 / 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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