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E01616: Theodoret's Religious History includes a mention of a shrine of *Dionysios, martyr of Cyrrhus/Kyrrhos (S00850), sited near the city of Kyrrhos. Written c. 440 in Greek in Kyrrhos (Syria).

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posted on 2016-06-08, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski

∆ιὰ δὲ τῆς Κύρρου τὴν πορείαν ποιούμενος - πόλις δὲ αὕτη δύο σταθμοὺς Ἀντιοχείας ἀπέχουσα -, κατήχθη μὲν εἰς τὸν τοῦ νικηφόρου μάρτυρος ∆ιονυσίου σηκόν.

'Making his journey through Cyrrhus - this city is two stages from Antioch -, he lodged at the shrine (sekos) of the victorious martyr Dionysios.'

Text: Canivet & Leroy-Molinghen 1977-1979, vol. 1, 240. Translation: Price 1985, 33.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Dionysios, martyr of Kyrrhos/Cyrrhus : S00850

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Monastic collections (apophthegmata, etc.)



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Kyrrhos/Cyrrhus/Hagioupolis Thabbora Thabbora

Major author/Major anonymous work

Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Religious History

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)


In this work Theodoret presents an account of the lives and accomplishments of Christian holy men and women, who lived during the fourth and fifth centuries. Most of the ascetics described by Theodoret were active in Syria, with the region of Cyrrhestica as the most prominent setting. For a full discussion, see E00418.


A boundary stone, probably related to this shrine, was found in 1907 by Franz Cumont, see: E01615. In 2018 Wojciech Nadobnik suggested that this passage and the church of Dionysios attested by the boundary stone refer to one and the same building which could be identified with the northwestern church of Cyrrhus, situated next to the city wall. His argument is based on the fact that, so-far, this is the only church in the city which has an enclosure, whereas one could expect such a structure in a church bestowed with the privilege of asylum. As a parallel, he cites the church of Saint Thalelaios (E02005), likewise within an enclosure, and with boundary stones granted by Anastasius.


Edition: Canivet, P., and Leroy-Molinghen, A. (eds.), Théodoret de Cyr. Histoire des moines de Syrie. 2 vols (Sources chrétiennes 234, 257; Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1977, 1979). English translation: Price, R.M. (trans.), A History of the Monks of Syria by Theodoret of Cyrrhus (Cistercian Studies Series 88; Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1985). Further reading: Nadobnik, W., "Kościół męczennika Dionizego w Cyrze (Nebi Houri, Syria) - próba identyfikacji [= The church of the martyr Dionysius in Cyrrhus (Nebi Houri, Syria), an attempt of identification]", Symbolae Philologorum Posnaniensium Graecae et Latinae 28 (2018), 57-64.

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