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E03316: Palladius of Helenopolis in his Lausiac History recounts the story of *Ammonios (ascetic of Kellia, buried near Constantinople, ob. 403, S01263); a probably interpolated passage refers to miracles taking place at his tomb near Constantinople. Written in Greek at Aspuna or Ankyra (both Galatia, central Asia Minor), 419/420.

online resource
posted on 2017-07-18, 00:00 authored by erizos
Palladius of Helenopolis, Lausiac History (BHG 1435-1438v; CPG 6036), 11

11. Ammonios was a disciple of Pambo (ch. 10). A very learned theologian who refused episcopal ordination and followed a strict ascetic regimen throughout his life. The chapter ends with the following passage, possibly a later interpolation, present in a small number of manuscripts:

11. 5. Οὗτος ἐν Κωνσταντίνου πόλει ποτὲ παραγενόμενος διὰ χρείαν, ... μετ’ ὀλίγον χρόνον κοιμᾶται, καὶ θάπτεται ἐν τῷ μαρτυρίῳ τῷ λεγομένῳ Ῥουφινιαναῖς. Οὗ τὸ μνῆμα λέγεται θεραπεύειν πάντας τοὺς ῥιγιαζομένους.

‘When he once visited Constantinople for a practical matter, […] he fell asleep after a short while and was buried at the shrine (martyrion) known as Rufinianae. His tomb is said to heal all those who suffer from shivering fevers.’

Text: Bartelink et al. 1974. Summary: E. Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Ammonios of Kellia, ascetic, ob. 403 : S01263

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

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


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Aspuna Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Palladius of Helenopolis

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Specialised miracle-working Healing diseases and disabilities


Born in 364 in Galatia in central Asia Minor, Palladius became a monk in 386, spending some years in Palestine, before moving to Alexandria. In c. 390, he joined the monastic community of Nitria, where he spent nine years, under Makarios of Alexandria and Evagrios of Pontus. In c. 399, he returned briefly to Palestine and then left for Constantinople where he became closely associated with John Chrysostom. By 400, he was ordained bishop of Helenopolis in Bithynia (north-west Asia Minor), probably by Chrysostom. Palladius stood by his new protector throughout John’s conflict with Pope Theophilos of Alexandria over the affair of the Tall Brothers and the Council of the Oak. One year after John’s exile in 404, Palladius visited Rome in order to plead on John’s behalf with Pope Innocent I (401-411). Returning to Constantinople, he was arrested and one year later (406), he was exiled to Syene (Aswan) and Antinoe in Egypt. There he received the news of John’s death in Pontus (407) and wrote the Historical Dialogue on the Life of John Chrysostom (in 408 or shortly after, E02400). In the 410s, he was allowed to return to his native Galatia, and was restored as a bishop in the imperial church, being appointed to the see of Aspona. After his return from exile, in c. 419/420, Palladius published the Lausiakon (‘Book for Lausos’, widely known as the Lausiac History), a book commissioned by and dedicated to the patrician Lausos (imperial chamberlain in 420-422). Along with the History of the Monks of Egypt (E03558, composed in 395/397), Palladius’ work inaugurates the monastic genre of edifying stories and apophthegms. It immediately became a success: two decades after its publication, the ecclesiastical historian Socrates used the Lausiac History as a source (4.23.78), and it was translated into Latin and Syriac. There are also Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, and Arabic translations. Its copious manuscript tradition (242 manuscripts) and unstable transmission render a definitive critical edition of the text very difficult. On the manuscript tradition of the Greek text, see: Like all monastic collections, the Lausiac History was mainly written to provide exemplars of ascetic virtue and edifying stories for broader spiritual benefit, rather than to encourage the active cult of the men and women included within it – indeed some of them serve as negative examples to avoid. It was, therefore, difficult for us to decide how to treat this work in our database, focused as it is on the cult of saints. At one extreme, we could have entered every (positive) figure within it as a saint, while, at the other extreme, we might have ignored the text altogether. In the end we came to a compromise position, with one overview entry for the full text (E03176), where all the holy men and women are named, and individual entries for chapters that either reveal interesting incidental details of saintly cult or cover major figures who, in time, came to attract cult. The Lausiac History in its many manuscripts and its many translations was in fact one of the principal ways these figures came to be known, and often venerated, across the Christian world. Some of its chapters were, indeed, later detached from the collection, and circulated as independent pieces of hagiography.


One of the holy men mentioned in the Lausiac History is Ammonios of Kellia. His figure is better known from Palladius’ Historical Dialogue on the Life of John Chrysostom, where he recounts in detail Ammonios' stay in Constantinople. He was one of the leaders of the so-called Tall Brothers, a group of Egyptian monks who sought the help of John Chrysostom, causing a crisis in his relations with Pope Theophilos of Alexandria, which eventually led to Chrysostom’s deposition in 404. Ammonios died in 403 and was buried at the shrine of the Holy Apostles in the Rufinianae, a suburb of Chalcedon. His burial is described in detail by Sozomen (E02729). The phrase concerning Ammonios' miracles in Constantinople is not present in all the manuscripts of the work, and it could be a secondary interpolation by the hand of a person aware of his cult at Rufinianae. It is just possible that the reference to his miracles in Palladius’ Historical Dialogue on the Life of John Chrysostom is also a secondary interpolation (E02728).


Text: Butler, Cuthbert. The Lausiac History of Palladius: Greek Text Edited with Introduction and Notes. Texts and Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1904. Bartelink, G. J. M., Barchiesi, M. and Mohrmann, C. Palladio, La Storia Lausiaca. Scrittori Greci E Latini. Milano: Fondazione Lorenzo Valla, Arnoldo Mondadori, 1974. (with Italian translation) English Translations: Wortley, J. Palladius, the Lausiac History, Collegeville, MN: Cistercian Publications, 2015. Meyer, R. T. Palladius, the Lausiac History, Westminster MD: Newman Press: 1965. Lowtber Clarke, W. K. The Lausiac History of Palladius, London: Macmillan, 1918. Further reading: Katos, D. Palladius of Helenopolis: the Origenist Advocate. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Rapp, C. ‘Palladius, Lausus and the Historia Lausiaca.’ In C. Sode, S. Takács (eds.), Novum Millennium. Studies on Byzantine History and Culture Dedicated to Paul Speck, 19 December 1999, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001, 279-289.

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