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E02586: Isidore of Seville in his Latin Chronicle written in two redactions in 615/616 and 626 mentions the translation of the head of *John the Baptist (S00020) to Constantinople during the reign of Valentinian II and Theodosius (383-392).

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posted on 2017-03-20, 00:00 authored by mszata
Isidore of Seville, Chronicle 360

Per idem tempus caput Iohannis baptistae Constantinopoli est perductum et in septimo miliario ciuitatis humatum.

'At the same time the head of John the Baptist is brought to Constantinople and buried at the seventh milestone of the city.'

Text: Martín 2003, 172-173. Translation: Koon and Wood 2008.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

John the Baptist : S00020

Saint Name in Source

Iohannes Baptista

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

Burial site of a saint - unspecified

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - head Transfer, translation and deposition of relics Transfer/presence of relics from distant countries


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).


Isidore in the Chronicle inserts the dates from the creation of the world which he correlates with the dates of the reign of kings and emperors. The note about the translation of the head of John the Baptist is dated by him to the reign of Valentinian II and Theodosius, which ended in 5590 or 5591 (depending on the redaction of the Chronicle) year of the creation. The phrase 'at the same time' refers to the previous note about the execution of Priscillian. This incident is described more fully in the Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen (E04052). The note looks identical in both redactions. Isidore derived this information from Cassiodorus, Historia tripartita 9.43.


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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