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E02282: Sozomen, in his Ecclesiastical History, reports that the remains of *Paulos (bishop of Constantinople, ob. 350s, S01500) were brought from Anatolia to Constantinople in 381, and buried in a church that then bore his name. At the same time, the body of *Meletios (bishop of Antioch, S01192) was ceremoniously taken from Constantinople to Antioch and buried next to the tomb of *Babylas (bishop and martyr of Antioch, S00061). Written in Greek at Constantinople, 439/450.

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posted on 2017-01-27, 00:00 authored by erizos
Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, 7.10.4-5

Ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς μαθὼν τὰ συμβάντα Παύλῳ τῷ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως ἐπισκόπῳ γενομένῳ μετεκόμισεν αὐτοῦ τὸ σῶμα καὶ ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ ἔθαψεν, ἣν ᾠκοδόμησε Μακεδόνιος ὁ ἐπιβουλεύσας αὐτῷ· εἰσέτι τε νῦν ἐπώνυμός ἐστιν αὐτῷ μέγιστος ὢν καὶ ἐπισημότατος ὁ ναὸς οὗτος. ὃ καὶ πολλοὺς ἀγνοοῦντας τὴν ἀλήθειαν ὑπονοεῖν ποιεῖ Παῦλον τὸν ἀπόστολον ἐνθάδε κεῖσθαι, μάλιστα δὲ τὰς γυναῖκας καὶ τοῦ δήμου τοὺς πλείους. περὶ δὲ τὸν αὐτὸν τοῦτον χρόνον καὶ τὸ Μελετίου λείψανον διεκομίσθη εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν καὶ παρὰ τὴν θήκην Βαβύλα τοῦ μάρτυρος ἐτάφη. λέγεται δὲ διὰ πάσης τῆς λεωφόρου κατὰ βασιλέως πρόσταγμα ἐντὸς τειχῶν εἰς τὰς πόλεις εἰσδεχθῆναι παρὰ τὸ νενομισμένον Ῥωμαίοις, ἀμοιβαδόν τε ὑπὸ ψαλμῳδίαις ταῖς κατὰ τόπον τιμώμενον ἕως Ἀντιοχείας διακομισθῆναι.

‘When the emperor [Theodosius] heard about what had happened to Paulos, formerly bishop of Constantinople, he had his body transferred and buried at the church erected by Makedonios who had overthrown him. This temple, which is most spacious and distinguished, still bears Paulos’ name. This causes many people ignorant of the true facts, particularly women and most of the commoners, to imagine that Paul the Apostle rests there. At the same time, the remains of Meletios were conveyed to Antioch, and buried by the tomb of Babylas the martyr. It is said that all along the highway, by order of the emperor, the body was admitted within the walls at the cities, contrary to Roman custom, and that, being honoured with alternate psalmody singing at each place, it was carried as far as Antioch.'

Text: Bidez and Hansen 1995. Translation: Efthymios Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Paulos, bishop of Constantinople and confessor, ob. c. 350. : S01500 Meletios, bishop of Antioch, ob. 381 : S01192 Babylas, bishop and martyr of Antioch, and companions : S00061

Saint Name in Source

Παῦλος Παῦλος Μελέτιος Βαβύλας

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Constantinople and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Constantinople Constantinople Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis Constantinopolis Constantinople Istanbul

Major author/Major anonymous work


Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Chant and religious singing

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting graves and shrines

Cult activities - Rejection, Condemnation, Scepticism

Condemnation/rejection of a specific cultic activity

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Monarchs and their family

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Transfer, translation and deposition of relics


Salamenios Hermeias Sozomenos (known in English as Sozomen) was born in the early 5th c. to a wealthy Christian family, perhaps of Arab origins, in the village of Bethelea near Gaza. He was educated at a local monastic school, studied law probably at Beirut, and settled in Constantinople where he pursued a career as a lawyer. Sozomen published his Ecclesiastical History between 439 and 450, perhaps around 445. It consists of nine books, the last of which is incomplete. In his dedication of the work, Sozomen states that he intended to cover the period from the conversion of Constantine to the seventeenth consulate of Theodosius II, that is, 312 to 439, but the narrative of the extant text breaks in about 425. The basis of Sozomen’s work is the Ecclesiastical History of Socrates, published a few years earlier, which our author revises and expands. Like Socrates, Sozomen was devoted to Nicene Orthodoxy and the Theodosian dynasty, but his work is marked by stronger hagiographical interests, a richer base of sources, and different sympathies/loyalties. Sozomen probably lacked the classical education of Socrates, but had a broader knowledge of hagiographical and monastic literature and traditions, which makes him a fuller source for the cult of saints. Besides Greek and Latin, Sozomen knew Aramaic, which allowed him to include information about ascetic communities, monastic founders, and martyrs from his native Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia, to which Socrates had had no access. Much like the other ecclesiastical historians of the fourth and fifth centuries, Sozomen focuses on the East Roman Empire, only seldom referring to the West and Persia.


For a discussion of these events, see E04006 and E00092.


Text: Bidez, J., and Hansen, G. C., Sozomenus. Kirchengeschichte. 2nd rev. ed. (Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte, Neue Folge 4; Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1995). Translations: Grillet, B., Sabbah, G., Festugière A.-J. Sozomène, Histoire ecclésiastique. 4 vols. (Sources chrétiennes 306, 418, 495, 516; Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1983-2008): text, French translation, and introduction. Hansen, G.C. Sozomen, Historia ecclesiastica, Kirchengeschichte, 4 vols. (Fontes Christiani 73; Turnhout: Brepols, 2004): text, German translation, and introduction. Hartranft, C.D. “The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen, Comprising a History of the Church from AD 323 to AD 425." In A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: Second Series, edited by P. Schaff and H. Wace (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1890), 179-427. Further reading: Chesnut, G. F. The First Christian Histories: Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Evagrius (Atlanta: Mercer University, 1986). Leppin, H. Von Constantin dem Grossen zu Theodosius II. Das christliche Kaisertum bei den Kirchenhistorikern Socrates, Sozomenus und Theodoret (Hypomnemata 110; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996). Van Nuffelen, P., Un héritage de paix et de piété : Étude sur les histoires ecclésiastiques de Socrate et de Sozomène (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 142; Leuven: Peeters, 2004).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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