Saint NameJohn of Lycopolis, 4th-century monk in Egypt : S00102
Saint Name in SourceIohannes monachus
Type of EvidenceLiterary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)
Evidence not before430
Evidence not after455
Activity not before394
Activity not after394
Place of Evidence - RegionGaul and Frankish kingdoms
Rome and region
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Tours
Cult Activities - MiraclesMiracle during lifetime
Revelation of hidden knowledge (past, present and future)
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits
Monarchs and their family
SourceProsper of Aquitaine (ob. after 455) was active from the 420s to the 450s, producing religious polemics, collections of documents, theological treatises, poetry, and chronography. Prosper was originally from southern Gaul, and is known to have been living in Marseille in the late 420s. The once generally accepted belief that he subsequently moved to Rome, and even became an adviser to Pope Leo the Great, has been increasingly disputed in recent scholarship (for differing perspectives, see Markus 1986; Hwang 2009, 187-198; Salzman 2015); it is clear from his works, however, that he visited Rome, had contacts with the papacy, and had access to papal documents.
Prosper first compiled his Chronicle in 433, and added continuations in 445 and 455. Like most late antique Latin chroniclers, Prosper began the original part of his Chronicle at the point where Jerome's Chronicle ended, in the late 370s (Prosper, Chron. 1166; p. 460 in Mommsen's ediition), but instead of simply appending his continuation to a text of Jerome's work, he produced his own version, which is shorter than the original but also contains additions by Prosper (we have not included separate entries for items in Prosper's Chronicle which simply reproduce entries in the Chronicle of Jerome). Prosper dates events in his Chronicle both by years since the Crucifixion and by consular years. For a detailed overview of Prosper's Chronicle, see Muhlberger 1990, 55-135.
DiscussionThe story of how John of Lycopolis prophesied that the East Roman emperor Theodosius would successfully defeat Eugenius, who had seized power in the Western Empire, is widespread in sources from the time in both Greek and Latin. It is likely that Prosper's immediate source was Rufinus' version of the Historia monachorum in Aegypto (E03558).
Mommsen, T., Prosperi Tironis epitoma de chronicon, in: Chronica Minora saec. IV. V. VI. VII., vol. 1 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Auctores Antiquissimi 9; Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1892), 385-485.
Hwang, A.Y., Intrepid Lover of Perfect Grace: The Life and Thought of Prosper of Aquitaine (Washington: CUA Press, 2009).
Markus, R.A., "Chronicle and Theology: Prosper of Aquitaine," in: C. Holdsworth and T.P. Wiseman (eds.), The Inheritance of Historiography: 350-950 (Exeter: Exeter University Publications, 1986), 31-43.
Muhlberger, S., The Fifth-Century Chroniclers: Prosper, Hydatius, and the Gallic Chronicler of 452 (Leeds: Francis Cairns, 1990).
Salzman, M.R., "Reconsidering a Relationship: Pope Leo of Rome and Prosper of Aquitaine," in. G. Dunn (ed.), The Bishop of Rome in Late Antiquity (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), 109-125.