University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E05481: The empress Pulcheria, writing in Latin in Constantinople in 451, refers to the translation and burial of the remains of *Flavian (Bishop of Constantinople, ob. 449, S02069) in the church of the Holy *Apostles (S00084) at Constantinople.

online resource
posted on 2018-05-21, 00:00 authored by dlambert
[Leo the Great] Letter 77, from Pulcheria Augusta to Leo


Pulcheria refers to the burial of Flavian in the church of the Apostles and states that all other exiled bishops have been restored. She additionally asks for Leo’s aid in arranging a synod.

Summary: Frances Trzeciak.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Flavian, Bishop of Constantinople, ob. 449 : S02069

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters


  • Latin

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)

Constantinople Constantinople Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis Constantinopolis Constantinople Istanbul

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Monarchs and their family

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Transfer, translation and deposition of relics


A letter from the eastern empress, Pulcheria, addressed to Leo the Great and composed in 451. This letter was transmitted as part of Leo the Great's letter collection, as Letter 77.


For several years, Leo was a vociferous opponent of Eutyches – an advocate of the docetist theory that the body of Christ was not made of human flesh. He supported another of Eutyches’ opponents - Flavian, the bishop of Constantinople – who was deposed at the second council of Ephesus in 449. Flavian died shortly afterwards. In 451, the mood changed against Eutyches. Flavian's body was honoured in Constantinople and interred in the Church of the Holy Apostles. Throughout the previous two years, Leo had petitioned the imperial family to organise a synod to overturn the decisions of Ephesus. This synod was held at Chaledon in 451, and is the synod referred to in this letter Throughout several other letters, for example Letters 79, 82 and 88, Leo refers to Flavian as a bishop of holy memory and frames him as a persecuted and saintly hero. Leo was a strong opponent of Eutyches and supporter of Flavian (see e.g. E05480).


Text: Leo the Great, Epistolae, Patrologia Latina 54 (Paris, 1846). Translation: Lett Feltoe, Charles, Leo the Great. Gregory the Great, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 12 (New York, 1895). Further Reading: Demacopoulos, George E., The Invention of Peter: Apostolic Discourse and Papal Authority in Late Antiquity (Philadelphia, 2013). Price, Richard, and Whitby, Mary (eds.), Chalcedon in Context: Church Councils 400-700 (Liverpool, 2009). Salzman, Michele R., "Leo’s Liturgical Topography: Contestations for Space in Fifth-Century Rome," Journal for Roman Studies, 103 (2013), 208-232. Thacker, Alan, "Patrons of Rome: the cult of Sts Peter and Paul at court and in the city in the fourth and fifth centuries,", Early Medieval Europe, 20:4 (2012), 380-406. Wessel, Susan, Leo the Great and the Spiritual Rebuilding of Rome (Leiden, 2008).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager