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E05274: Jerome, in his Commentary on Hosea, mentions the tomb of *John the Baptist (S00020) in Sebaste/Samaria (Palestine). Written in Latin in Bethlehem (Palestine), and sent to Rome, all in c. 400.

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posted on 2018-03-27, 00:00 authored by robert
Jerome of Stridon, Commentary on the Minor Prophets
On Hosea 1.1

When commenting on Amos 1:1, Jerome explains that Israel, or the Ten Tribes, is sometimes referred to in the Bible under other names:

Interdum propter Ioseph, qui fuit pater Ephraim, uocatur Ioseph; nonnumquam Samaria, quae et ipsa altera urbs fuit metropolis decem tribuum, quae postea ab Augusto caesare appellata est Augusta, id est Σεβαστὴ; in qua ossa Ioannis Baptistae condita sunt.

'Sometimes it is called Ephraim, because of Joseph, who was the father of Ephraim; often [it is referred to] as Samaria, the city which was the capital of the Ten Tribes, which, later on, was named Augusta, that is Sebaste, by the emperor Augustus, and in which the bones of John the Baptist have been deposited.'

Text: Adriaen 1976. Translation and summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

John the Baptist : S00020

Saint Name in Source

Iohannes Baptista

Type of Evidence

Literary - Theological works



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Bethlehem Rome

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

Bethlehem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Major author/Major anonymous work

Jerome of Stridon

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body


Jerome wrote the Commentary on Hosea in Bethlehem between 393 and 406. The work was dedicated to Pammachius, one of his powerful friends in Rome.


According to Rufinus, the tomb of John the Baptist in Sebaste was destroyed by pagans during the reign of Julian (361-363). The bones of the prophet were burnt and dispersed, but some monks collected the remains, and took them to Jerusalem, whence, during the episcopate of Athanasius (i.e. before 373), they arrived in Alexandria: Rufinus, Church History 11.28, see E04543. Rufinus' story suggests that the tomb in Sebaste was left empty, but Jerome, who mentions it also in his Commentary on Micah 1.1 (E05274) and in Letter 108.13 (E05362), evidently assumes that the body of the prophet is still there.


Edition: Adriaen, M., Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 76 (Turnhout, 1969), 1–158.

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