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E04491: Evagrius Scholasticus in his Ecclesiastical History mentions *Isidoros (abbot of Pelusium in Lower Egypt, ob. c. 440, S02023) as one of the holy men living in the early 5th century. Written in Greek at Antioch (Syria), 593/594

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posted on 2017-12-19, 00:00 authored by erizos
Evagrius Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, 1.15.

15. Ἐπὶ τῆς αὐτῆς διέπρεπε βασιλείας καὶ Ἰσίδωρος, οὗ κλέος εὐρὺ κατὰ τὴν ποίησιν, ἔργῳ τε καὶ λόγῳ παρὰ πᾶσι διαβόητος· ὃς οὕτω μὲν τὴν σάρκα τοῖς πόνοις ἐξέτηξεν, οὕτω δὲ τὴν ψυχὴν τοῖς ἀναγωγικοῖς ἐπίανε λόγοις, ὡς ἀγγελικὸν ἐπὶ γῆς μετελθεῖν βίον, στήλην τε ζῶσαν διὰ παντὸς εἶναι βίου τε μοναδικοῦ καὶ τῆς εἰς θεὸν θεωρίας. Γέγραπται δ’ οὖν αὐτῷ πολλὰ μὲν καὶ ἕτερα πάσης ὠφελείας ἔμπλεα· γέγραπται δὲ καὶ πρὸς Κύριλλον τὸν ἀοίδιμον, ἐξ ὧν μάλιστα δείκνυται τοῦ θεσπεσίου συνακμάσαι τοῖς χρόνοις.

‘15 In the same reign [of Theodosius II, 408-450] Isidore was also prominent; his fame was widespread, as the poet said, and he was famous among all for deed and word; this man so wasted the flesh by toils and so enriched the soul with elevating words that on earth he pursued an angelic life and throughout was a living monument of solitary life and contemplation of God. Now he wrote many other things that are full of every benefit, but he also wrote to the celebrated Cyril [of Alexandria]: from this in particular it is revealed that he flourished at the same time as the venerable man.’

Text: Bidez and Parmentier 2011. Translation: Whitby 2010.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Isidoros, abbot of Pelusium, ob. c. 440 : S02023

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

Antioch on the Orontes

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

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora

Major author/Major anonymous work

Evagrius Scholasticus

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


Evagrius was born in about 535 in the Syrian city of Epiphania. Educated at Antioch and Constantinople, he pursued a career as a lawyer at Antioch, serving as a legal advisor to Patriarch Gregory (570-592). He wrote the Ecclesiastical History in 593/4, with the express purpose of covering the period following the coverage of the mid 5th century ecclesiastical histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret. His narrative starts with Nestorius and the Council of Ephesus (431) and stops with the death of Evagrius’ patron, Gregory of Antioch, in 592. The work offers a balanced mixture of ecclesiastical and secular events in the East Roman Empire, being best informed about Antioch and Syria. Evagrius also published a dossier of original documents from the archive of Patriarch Gregory of Antioch, which has not survived.


Isidoros was abbot of a monastery near the eastern end of the Nile Delta in c. 400-c. 440. About two thousand of his letters survive.


Text and French translation: Bidez, J., and Parmentier, L., Evagre le Scholastique, Histoire ecclésiastique (Sources Chrétiennes 542, 566; Paris, 2011, 2014), with commentary by L. Angliviel de la Beaumelle, and G. Sabbah, and French translation by A.-J.Festugière, B. Grillet, and G. Sabbah. Other translations: Whitby, M., The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius Scholasticus (Translated Texts for Historians 33; Liverpool, 2000). Hübner, A., Evagrius Scholasticus, Historia ecclesiastica = Kirchengeschichte (Fontes Christiani 57; Turnhout, 2007). Carcione, F., Evagrio di Epifania, Storia ecclesiastica (Roma, 1998). Further Reading: Allen, P., Evagrius Scholasticus, the Church Historian (Spicilegium Sacrum Lovaniense, Etudes et Documents 41; Leuven, 1981). Évieux, P., Isidore de Péluse (Sources chrétiennes, 422, 454, 586; Paris, 1997-2017). Treadgold, W., The Early Byzantine Historians (Basingstoke, 2006), 299-308.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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