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E04185: Theodoret of Cyrrhus in his Ecclesiastical History mentions various holy men living under Valens (r. 364-378), most of them covered in greater detail in his Religious History. Written in Greek at Cyrrhus (northern Syria), 444/450.

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posted on 2017-10-19, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Ecclesiastical History, 4.29 (28)

Holy men in Syria under Valens. (Most of these are covered in more detail in Theodoret's Religious History. The links below are to our database entries for the relevant sections of the Religious History.)

Markianos (S00345), Avitos and Abraham/Abraames, ascetics near Chalcis (all in $E00421).

Pouplios (S00353, $E00424) and Paulos, both in the region of Zeugma.

Agapetos ($E00421), Symeon the Elder (the Stylite, S00343; $E00424), and Paulos, all in the region of Apamea.

Akepsimas, in the region of Cyrrhus (S00364, $E00433).

Zeugmatios the blind, also in the region of Cyrrhus. He preaches against the Arians, and they burn his hut. The general Traianos has it rebuilt.

Eusebios (ascetic of Teleda, S00351), Marianos (his uncle) and Ammianos (his fellow ascetic) (all in $E00423); Palladios (S00354, $E00425), Symeon (ascetic near Cyrrhus, S00350; $E00422), Abraham/Abraames of Antioch (S00355; $E00608).

Petros the Galatian (S00357, $E00427), Romanos (S00360, $E00429), Zenon (S00361, $E00430), and four further ascetics of the region of Antioch: Petros the Egyptian, Severos, Moses and Malchos of Mount Silpius (all in $E00432).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Markianos, monk of Syria, ob. c. 380s : S00345 Eusebios of Teleda, monk of Syria, ob. late 4th c. : S00351 Pouplios/Publius, monk of Mesopotamia, mid-4th c. : S00353 Symeon the Elder, stylite of Qal‘at Sim‘ān, ob. 459 : S00343 Akepsimas, monk of

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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


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.


All these figures are mentioned in more detail by Theodoret in his Religious History, except Paulos of Zeugma, Paulos of Apamea, and Zeugmatios the blind ascetic of Cyrrhus. For none of these latter three does Theodoret mention miracles or any cult forming around them.


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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