University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E00376: Eusebius' Martyrs of Palestine includes the story of the martyrdom of *Agapios (from Gaza, martyr in Palestine, S00188) and *Thekla (from Gaza, martyr in Palestine, S00189). Written in 311 in Caesarea (Palestine); written in Greek, but parts of the text survive only in Syriac.

online resource
posted on 2015-04-11, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Eusebius of Caesarea, Martyrs of Palestine, 6.1-7

In Martyrs of Palestine 3.1, at the conclusion of his account of *Timotheos from Gaza (S00122), Eusebius relates that on the same day when this martyr had been executed in Gaza, two other Christians from this city, Agapios and Thekla, were condemned to be thrown to the wild beasts. However, they were not executed along with Timotheos, but were retained in custody until suitable games were held.

Later on, in 6.1-7, it is related that when the emperor Maximinus Daia came to the city of Caesarea in November to celebrate his birthday, Agapios was exposed to the wild beasts as a part of the festive entertainment. After being mauled by a bear, the martyr was taken back to prison and was executed on the next day by being cast alive into the sea. The date and mode of execution of Thekla are not related.

Summary: Sergey Minov


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Agapios from Gaza, martyr in Palestine, ob. 306 : S00188 Thekla from Gaza, martyr in Palestine, ob. ca. 306 : S00189

Saint Name in Source

Ἀγάπιος Θέκλα

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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Monarchs and their family


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 Agapios and Thekla: ed. Cureton 1861, pp. 21*-23* (long recension); ed. Schwartz et al. 1999, vol. 2, pp. 920-921 (short recension); English trans. Lawlor and Oulton 1927-1928, vol. 1, pp. 354-358. 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 execution 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 / 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).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager