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E05462: The Council of Chalcedon of 451 is convoked at the shrine of *Euphemia (martyr of Chalcedon, S00017), which is named as the venue of the council in several documents of its Acts. The martyr is mentioned as the invisible protector and guide of the bishops’ decisions in a letter addressed by the council to Pope Leo I of Rome. Written in Greek in Chalcedon (north-west Asia Minor, near Constantinople).

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posted on 2018-05-17, 00:00 authored by erizos
Acts of the Council of Chalcedon

The shrine of Euphemia is named in several documents as the venue of the Council. We provide the following examples:

Session 1
1. Ὑπατείᾳ τοῦ δεσπότου ἡμῶν Μαρκιανοῦ τοῦ αἰωνίου αὐγούστου καὶ τοῦ δηλωθησομένου τῇ πρὸ Εἰδῶν Ὀκτωβρίων ἐν Χαλκηδόνι.

Κατὰ κέλευσιν τοῦ θειοτάτου καὶ εὐσεβεστάτου δεσπότου ἡμῶν Μαρκιανοῦ τοῦ αἰωνίου αὐγούστου συνελθόντων ἐν τῇ ἁγιωτάτῃ ἐκκλησίᾳ τῆς ἁγίας μάρτυρος Εὐφημίας τῶν ἐνδοξοτάτων ἀρχόντων, τουτέστιν (...)

‘1. In the consulship of our lord Marcian perpetual Augustus and the one to be designated, eight days before the Ides of October, at Chalcedon.

2. By order of our most divine and pious lord Marcian perpetual Augustus there assembled in the most holy church of the holy martyr Euphemia the most glorious officials, that is: (...)’

Text: Schwartz, ACO II.1.1, p. 55.
Translation: Price, Gaddis 2005, vol. 1, 122.

Session 3
2. κατὰ χάριν θεοῦ καὶ θεσπίσματος τῶν εὐσεβεστάτων βασιλέων συνόδου οίκουμενικῆς συγκροτηθείσης καὶ συνεδρευσάντων ἐν τῷ μαρτυρίῳ τῆς ἁγίας καὶ καλλινίκου μάρτυρος Εὐφημίας [....]

‘(...) 2. By the grace of God and by the decree of the most pious emperors an ecumenical council was convoked, and there assembled in the martyrium of the holy and victorious martyr Euphemia (...)’

Text: Schwartz, ACO II.1.2, p. 3 [199]
Translation: Price, Gaddis 2005, vol. 2, 38.

Session 8
21. Letter of the Council to Pope Leo I

[…] θεὸς γὰρ ἦν ὁ ἐνεργῶν καὶ ἡ τὸν σύλλογον τῷ νυμφῶνι στεφανοῦσα καλλίνικος Εὐφημία, ἣ ὥσπερ οἰκείαν ὁμολογίαν τῆς πίστεως παρ’ ἡμῶν δεξαμένη τὸν ὅρον τῷ ἑαυτῆς νυμφίῳ διὰ τοῦ εὐσεβεστάτου βασιλέως καὶ τῆς φιλοχρίστου βασιλίδος προσήγαγεν πᾶσαν μὲν τῶν ἀντικειμένων ταραχὴν κατευνάσασα, τὴν δὲ τῆς ἀληθείας ὡς φίλην ὁμολογίαν κρατύνασα καὶ χειρὶ καὶ γλώττῃ ταῖς πάντων ψήφοις ἐπισφραγίσασα πρὸς ἀπόδειξιν.

'For it was God who was at work, and the triumphant Euphemia who crowned our assembly with her bridal chamber [= the shrine]; she welcomed from us the definition as her own confession of the faith and presented it to her Bridegroom through the most pious emperor and Christ-loving empress; she thus quenched all the turmoil of the opposition, confirmed the confession of the truth as approved, and in proof she sealed it through everyone's vote by hand and tongue alike.'

Text: Schwartz, ACO II. 1. 3, p. [476] 117, lines 35-40. Translation: Efthymios Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Euphemia, martyr of Chalcedon : S00017

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters Canonical and legal texts


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Constantinople and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Chalcedon Constantinople Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis Constantinopolis Constantinople Istanbul

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Meetings and gatherings of the clergy

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miraculous intervention in issues of doctrine

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


The Council of Chalcedon was convoked in 451, in order to discuss the doctrinal controversy of the two natures of Christ, and the teachings of the Constantinopolitan priest and abbot Eutyches.


The venue of the council was the shrine of the martyr Euphemia in the outskirts of Chalcedon, the main city on the Asian shore of broader Constantinople. The shrine is extensively described by the ecclesiastical historian Evagrius (E00374). In their report to Pope Leo I, the fathers of Chalcedon present the martyr as having invisibly guided their counsels and ascribe the unanimity of the final vote to her influence. The text adopts a probably deliberately vague formulation which can be read as referring to a miraculous intervention by the martyr. The phrase ‘by hand and tongue’, probably refers to the participants of the council and their unanimous ratification of the decision both orally and in writing, but it may also be read as referring to the martyr (cf. the same phrase in the Latin acts of the council in E05484). This phrase probably anticipated later traditions which claimed that the martyr through her relics miraculously expressed her approval for the Dyophysite Christological definition.


Text: Schwartz, E. Acta Conciliorum Oecumenicorum (ACO) II. 1: Concilium Universale Chalcedonense (Berlin, 1933). Translation: Price, R., and Gaddis, M. The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon. (Translated Texts for Historians 45; Liverpool, 2005). Further reading: Schneider, A.M., “Sankt Euphemia und das Konzil von Chalkedon,” in: A. Grillmeier and H. Bacht (eds.), Das Konzil von Chalkedon: Geschichte und Gegenwart. 3 vols. (Würzburg, 1951), vol. 1, 291-302.

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