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E05075: Evagrius Scholasticus in his Ecclesiastical History recounts miracles which occurred at the grave of *Thomas (monk, ob. c. 545, S01992) who died and was buried in Antioch (Syria) under Justinian. He is believed to have stopped the plague and his memory is celebrated by a yearly festival. Written in Greek at Antioch, 593/594.

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posted on 2018-02-13, 00:00 authored by erizos
Evagrius Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, 4.35

Ἦν δὲ τηνικάδε καὶ Θωμᾶς τόνδε διαθλεύων τὸν βίον ἀνὰ τὴν κοίλην Συρίαν, ὃς πρὸς τὴν Ἀντιόχου γέγονεν τὴν ἐπέτειον χορηγίαν κομιούμενος τῆς κατ’ αὐτὸν μονῆς· ἐντέτακτο δὲ ἐκ τῆς αὐτόσε ἐκκλησίας. Τοῦτον ὁ Ἀναστάσιος οἰκονομῶν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, ἐπειδὴ συχνῶς αὐτὸν ἠνώχλει, τῇ χειρὶ κατὰ κόρρης ῥαπίζει· καὶ δυσανασχετούντων τῶν σφίσι παρόντων, ἔφη οὔτε αὐτὸν ἔτι λήψεσθαι, οὔτε τὸν Ἀναστάσιον δώσειν· καὶ ἄμφω γενέσθαι, Ἀναστασίου μὲν μεθ’ ἡμέραν μίαν τὸν βίον καταστρέψαντος, Θωμᾶ δὲ ἐν τῷ τῶν νοσούντων καταγωγίῳ ἀνὰ τὸ προάστειον Δάφνην ἐν τῇ ἀποπορεύσει ἐπὶ τὸν ἀγήρω μεταστάντος βίον. Οὗ τὸν νεκρὸν ἔθεντο ἐν τοῖς τῶν ἐπηλύδων τάφοις. Ἐπειδὴ δέ, ἑνὸς καὶ δευτέρου τεθέντοιν, ὕπερθεν αὐτοῖν τὸ αὐτοῦ σῶμα γέγονε, μέγιστον θαῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ μετὰ θάνατον αὐτὸν ἀναδεικνύντος—ἀπεπέμποντο γὰρ μακρὰν ἀποκρουόμενοι—, θαυμάσαντες τὸν ἅγιον Ἐφραιμίῳ διαγγέλλουσι. Καὶ μετὰ δημοτελοῦς ἀγερωχίας καὶ πομπῆς μετακομίζεται ὁ πανάγιος αὐτοῦ νεκρὸς ἀνὰ τὴν Ἀντιόχου, ἔν τε τῷ κοιμητηρίῳ τιμᾶται, τὴν τηνικαῦτα φοιτήσασαν λοιμώδη νόσον τῇ μεταθέσει παύσας. Οὗ καὶ τὴν ἐτησίαν ἑορτὴν μέχρι ἡμῶν παῖδες Ἀντιοχέων μεγαλοπρεπῶς ἄγουσιν. Ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὸ προκείμενον τοῦ λόγου τὴν ῥύμην μεταγάγωμεν.

'At that time there was also Thomas, who pursued this life in Coele Syria. He came to the city of Antiochus to collect his monastery’s annual stipend, which was allocated from the church here. Anastasius, the steward of the church, struck him over the head with his hand since he was constantly pestering him; when those present showed anger, he said that neither would he receive nor Anastasius give again. And both things came to pass, since one day later Anastasius terminated his life, while Thomas on his return journey migrated to the ageless life in the hospice for the sick in the suburb of Daphne. They placed his corpse in the tombs of the foreigners. But after a first and then a second had both been deposited, his body was found on top of both of them, a very great miracle of God, Who proclaimed him even after death (for they had been thrust aside and dispatched far away); in amazement at the holy man they reported this to Ephrem. And his all-holy corpse was transported to the city of Antiochus with public celebration and procession, and received honours in the cemetery after terminating by its translation the current visitation of the disease of plague. Down to our time the sons of the Antiochenes magnificently celebrate the annual festival for him. But let us transfer the course of the account to the next subject.'

Text: Bidez and Parmentier 2014. Translation: Whitby 2010.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Thomas, monk honoured in Antioch, ob. c. 545 : S01992

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.


It seems that the veneration of Thomas remained popular in Antioch, and his story is recorded also by John Moschus in the Spiritual Meadow (see E05302). Evagrius reports that he died during the episcopate of Ephraim (527-545), while Moschus places his death under his successor Domnus III (546-561).


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). 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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