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E00703: Isidore of Seville in his Latin Chronicle written in two redactions in 615/616 and 626 states that the body of *Antony ('the Great', monk of Egypt, ob. 356, S00098), was discovered through revelation, transferred to and buried in Alexandria, in the church of *John the Baptist, during the reign of Justinian (527-565).

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posted on 2015-09-10, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Isidore of Seville, Chronicle 396 and 400

Iustinianus regnauit annos XXXVIII I... Per idem tempus corpus sancti Antonii monachi diuina reuelatione repertum Alexandria perducitur et in ecclesia sancti Iohannis Baptistae humatur.

'Justinian ruled for thirty-nine years ... At this time, the body of St Anthony the monk was discovered by divine revelation, transferred to Alexandria and buried in the church of St John the Baptist.'

The second edition follows the text of the first.

Text: Martín 2003, 194-195. Translation: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

John the Baptist : S00020 Antony, 'the Great', monk of Egypt, ob. 356 : S00098

Saint Name in Source

Iohannes Baptista Antonius

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Iberian Peninsula

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Seville Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Major author/Major anonymous work

Isidore of Seville

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Miracles

Revelation of hidden knowledge (past, present and future) Apparition, vision, dream, revelation

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Transfer, translation and deposition of relics Discovering, finding, invention and gathering of relics


Isidore, bishop of Seville (Iberian Peninsula) composed the Chronica maiora first in 615/616 during the reign of Sisebut. Then he revised and lengthened it in 626 during the reign of Swinthila (see Koon and Wood 2008, and Martín 2005).


This entry in Isidore's Chronicle repeats a very similar notice in Victor of Tunnuna's Chronicle (E00712). The only difference is the interesting addition that the discovery resulted from a revelation. According to his Life, written by Athanasius, Antony died in his hermitage in the Eastern Desert, and was buried in a secret place by his disciples, so that nobody knew the place of his tomb (see $00669). The church of John the Baptist mentioned in this notice is probably the one built by bishop Theophilus at, or very close to, the Serapaeum. The text of the note is identical in both redactions. Isidore derived the information on the discovery of Barnabas and the Gospel of Matthew from the Chronicle of Victor of Tunnuna (E00712).


Editions: J.C. Martín, Isidori Hispalensis Chronica (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 112; Turnhout 2003). T. Mommsen, Isidori Iunioris episcopi Hispalensis Chronica maiora ed. primum ad a. DCXV (615) (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores antiquissimi 11; Berlin 1894), 424-488. Translation: S. Koon, and J. Wood, "The Chronica Maiora of Isidore of Seville: An introduction and translation," e-Spania 6 (2008); ; DOI: 10.4000/e-spania.15552. Further reading: J.C. Martín, "Les remaniements de la second rédaction de la Chronique d’Isidore de Séville: typologie et motivations," Revue bénédictine 115 (2005), 5-26.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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