Saint NameLoukianos, martyr of Nicomedia : S00151
Saint Name in SourceΛουκιανὸς
Type of EvidenceLiterary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)
Evidence not before425
Evidence not after433
Activity not before325
Activity not after433
Place of Evidence - RegionConstantinople and region
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcConstantinople
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Constantinople
Major author/Major anonymous workPhilostorgius
Cult activities - PlacesBurial site of a saint - unspecified
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsVisiting graves and shrines
Cult Activities - MiraclesMiracle after death
Miracle with animals and plants
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesWomen
Monarchs and their family
Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy
SourcePhilostorgius was born in Borissus of Cappadocia in c. 368, and lived from the age of twenty in Constantinople, where he became a follower of the Anomaean theologian Eunomius. His twelve-volume Ecclesiastical History, now largely lost, appeared between 425 and 433. In 402/3 a continuation of the Church History of Eusebius of Caesarea had been produced in Latin by Rufinus of Aquileia, who recounted the period from the Council of Nicaea to the death of Theodosius I in 395. Rufinus presented Nicene Christianity as the Orthodox faith which was oppressed by the Arian emperors and restored by Theodosius I (379-395). Philostorgius offered a radically different, pro-Arian, reading of the 4th century theological disputes, portraying Nicene heroes like Athanasius of Alexandria and Basil of Caesarea in a negative manner. His work may have triggered the mid 5th century boom in Greek ecclesiastical historiography, represented by the Nicene ecclesiastical histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret of Cyrrhus.
Philostorgius’ original text is only known from a summary in the 9th century Bibliotheca of Photius, and from fragments in a later version of the Greek Martyrdom of Artemios (E06781). A partial reconstruction of Philostorgius’ Ecclesiastical History, based on Photius and the fragments, has been produced by Joseph Bidez and Friedhelm Winkelmann. Winkelmann’s text is available in English translation by Philip R. Amidon.
Philostorgius is also the author of the Martyrdom of *Loukianos of Antioch (E00).
DiscussionThis is the earliest attestation of the information that the Bithynian port-town of Helenopolis was founded under Constantine on the burial site of Loukianos/Lucian of Antioch (Amidon 2007, 30-31). Philostorgius’ reverence for Loukianos, otherwise also demonstrated by the fact that he is the author of the saint’s extant martyrdom account, is a major testimony to this martyr’s special importance for the broader Arian community. Philostorgius, belonging to the Eunomian Arian church, seeks to present several major theologians of the Arian party as disciples and followers of Loukianos. The martyr was indeed one of the most important Christian theologians of the third and early fourth centuries. His theology included the doctrine of subordinationism (the belief that the Son is inferior to the Father), which was understood as anticipating the doctrines of Arius. He was therefore revered by the Arians not only as a major martyr, but also as a Father of the church and teacher of orthodoxy. Regardless of his doctrinal position, Loukianos was also honoured by the Nicene party, since he had died a martyr while being in communion with the Church. However, judging from a sermon of John Chrysostom about him, it appears that the Nicene side strove to underplay his inconvenient theological views (E02260).
Bidez, J., and Winkelmann, F., Philostorgius, Kirchengeschichte; mit dem Leben des Lucian von Antiochien und den Fragmenten eines arianischen Historiographen. 3rd. ed. (Griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller 21; Berlin, 1981).
Translations and commentaries:
Amidon, P.R., Philostorgius, Church History (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007).
Bidez, J., et al., Philostorge, Histoire ecclésiastique (Sources chrétiennes 564; Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 2013).
Mango, C., "The Empress Helena, Helenopolis, Pylae," Travaux et Mémoires 12 (1994), 143–158.
Marasco, G., Filostorgio: cultura, fede e politica in uno storico ecclesiastico del V secolo (Studia ephemeridis "Augustinianum" 92; Rome: Institutum patristicum Augustinianum, 2005).
Treadgold, W.T., The Early Byzantine Historians (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 126-134.