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E04493: Evagrius Scholasticus in his Ecclesiastical History reports that the empress Eudocia built a magnificent church for *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030) outside the walls of Jerusalem, where she was buried in 460. 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, 1.22

22. Πολλοῖς τοίνυν τοιούτοις ἐντυχοῦσα ἡ Θεοδοσίου σύμβιος, καὶ πολλά, ὥς μοι λέλεκται, τοιαῦτα φροντιστήρια δειμαμένη, καὶ μὴν καὶ τὰ τείχη πρὸς τὸ κρεῖττον Ἱεροσολύμων ἀνανεωσαμένη, καὶ τέμενος μέγιστον ἀνίστη, ἐξοχῇ τε καὶ κάλλει προὖχον, τοῦ πρώτου διακόνων τε καὶ μαρτύρων Στεφάνου, οὔτι στάδιον Ἱεροσολύμων διεστώς· ἐν ᾧ καὶ τίθεται πρὸς τὸν ἀγήρω μεταχωρήσασα βίον.

‘22. Now, after the spouse of Theodosius had conversed with many such men and, as has been said by me, had founded many such monasteries and, furthermore, had also restored the walls of Jerusalem to a better state, she also raised up a very great sanctuary of Stephen the first deacon and martyr, outstanding in size and beauty, not one stade distant from Jerusalem; she too was placed in this after she departed to the life without age.’

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


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

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 - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Monarchs and their family


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.


Eudocia's church and monastery of Stephen were built during the empress’s first pilgrimage to the Holy Land (438-439). According to the Life of Peter the Iberian, it was consecrated on 15 May 439 (see E###). After her death on 20 October 460, Eudocia was buried there. Cyril of Scythopolis records a renovation or rededication of the church shortly before Eudocia’s death, on 15 June 460 (E###). The shrine is also attested through an inscription (E02708).


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). Klein, K.M., "Building the City of God: Imperial Patronage and Local Influence in Jerusalem from Theodosius I to Justinian (379-565 AD)," DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 2016. 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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