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E04184: Theodoret of Cyrrhus in his Ecclesiastical History mentions the story of *Barses (bishop of Edessa and confessor under Valens, 364-378, S01854). His bed is preserved on the Isle of Arados (Arwad, off Syria), where he was exiled, and is believed to bring about cures. Written in Greek at Cyrrhus (northern Syria), 444/450.

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posted on 2017-10-19, 00:00 authored by erizos
Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Ecclesiastical History, 4.16

Barses is famous at his see of Edessa, but also in Phoenicia and Egypt, where he was exiled.

ἐν δὲ τῇ Ἀράδῳ φασὶ τὴν ἐκείνου μέχρι καὶ τήμερον μεμενηκέναι κλίνην, πλείστης ἀξιουμένην τιμῆς. πολλοὶ γὰρ τῶν ἀρρωστούντων ἐπ’ ἐκείνης κατακλινόμενοι τὴν ὑγείαν διὰ τῆς πίστεως δρέπονται.

‘They say that his bed is preserved until now in Arados, receiving profuse veneration. For several sick people, when lying down on it, earn back their health through their faith.’

Text: Hansen 1997. Summary and Translation: E. Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Barses, bishop of Edessa and confessor under Valens, 364-378 : S01854

Saint Name in Source


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

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

Cult Activities - Miracles

Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Relics

Contact relic - saint’s possession and clothes


Theodoret was born in Antioch in c. 393, where he received a formidable education before joining the monastery of Nikerte near Apamea in 416. In 423, he was consecrated as bishop of Kyrrhos/Cyrrhus. During the theological debates of the time, he emerged as one of the chief exponents of Antiochene Christology. The Second Council of Ephesus (449) deposed him as a supporter of Nestorius, of whom he was indeed a friend. He was restored to his bishopric by the Council of Chalcedon in 451. He is thought to have died in c. 460. His Ecclesiastical History was probably written between 444 and 450. It is uncertain whether the author consulted the slightly earlier ecclesiastical histories of Philostorgius, Socrates and Sozomen. He covers roughly the same period as they do, namely the history of the church from 324 to 429.


Barses is presented by Theodoret as one of the bishops who suffered for the sake of orthodoxy under the Arianising emperor Valens.


Text: Hansen, G.C., Theodoret Kirchengeschichte (Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte NF 5; Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1997). Translations: Blomfield, J., "The Ecclesiastical History of Theodoret," in: A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church 3 (Oxford and New York, 1892), 33-159. Gallico, A., Teodoreto di Cirro, Storia ecclesiastica. Introduzione, traduzione e note (Roma: Città nuova, 2000). Martin, A., et al., Theodoret de Cyr. Histoire Ecclesiastique (Sources Chretiennes 501, 530; Pars: Editions du Cerf, 2006, 2009). Walford, E., "A History of the Church in Five Books, from A.D. 322 to the Death of Theodore of Mopsuestia A.D. 427, by Theodoretus, Bishop of Cyrus," in: The Greek Ecclesiastical Historians of the First Six Centuries of the Christian Era (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1843). 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). Treadgold, W.T., The Early Byzantine Historians (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 155-164.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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