University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E05572: The Life of Hypatios by Kallinikos mentions the destruction of the shrine of *Alexandros (martyr of Dryzipera, S00070) in Thrace (east Balkans) by the invading Huns in 447. Written in Greek at Rufinianae (near Constantinople), 447/450.

online resource
posted on 2018-05-28, 00:00 authored by erizos
Kallinikos of Rufinianae, Life of Hypatios (CPG 6042 = BHG 760), 52. 5-9

52. (5) Τοσοῦτοι δὲ φόνοι καὶ αἱματεκχυσίαι γεγόνασιν, ὡς μέτρῳ μὴ ὑποβάλλεσθαι τοὺς θανόντας· (6) καὶ γὰρ τὰς ἐκκλησίας καὶ μοναστήρια ᾐχμαλώτευσαν, καὶ μονάζοντας καὶ παρθένους πλείστους ἀπέκτειναν, ὡς καὶ τὸν ἅγιον Ἀλέξανδρον πορθηθῆναι καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτῷ χρήματα καὶ κειμήλια παραλαβεῖν, ὅπερ οὐδέποτε συνέβη· (7) ἐρχομένων γὰρ τῶν Οὕννων πλειστάκις πρὸ τοῦ τειχισθῆναι τὸν ἅγιον Ἀλέξανδρον, οὐδείς ποτε ἐξ αὐτῶν πλησιάσαι ἐτόλμησεν τῷ μαρτυρίῳ. (8) Τοσοῦτον δὲ ἠρήμωσαν τὴν Θρᾴκην, ὡς μηκέτι ἀνακεφαλίσαι καὶ γενέσθαι ὡς ἦν καθὼς ἦν τὸ πρώην. (9) Ἡμεῖς δὲ μνημονεύοντες θαυμάζομεν, ὅτι ταῦτα ἦν, ἃ προέλεγεν ὁ ἅγιος Ὑπάτιος ἐν τῷ αὐτὸν τελειοῦσθαι· πόθεν γὰρ ᾔδει, εἰ μὴ ὁ Κύριος αὐτῷ ἐδήλου;

‘So many murders and bloodshed took place that the victims cannot be counted. They indeed captured the churches and monasteries and killed several monks and virgins, and even Saint Alexandros was plundered and they took the valuables and offerings that were in it, which had never happened before. For although the Huns had come several times, before Saint Alexandros was fortified, none of them had ever dared come close to the shrine. They devastated Thrace so much that it has not recovered yet, nor has it been restored to its previous state. As we remember these things, we are amazed, because these were what the holy Hypatios was predicting as he was dying. For how else could he have known, had the Lord not revealed them to him?’

Text: Bartelink 1971. Translation: E. Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Alexandros, martyr of Dryzipera (Thrace) : S00070

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Other saint-related 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 - Miracles

Revelation of hidden knowledge (past, present and future)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Foreigners (including Barbarians)

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Precious material objects


The Life of Hypatios is the biography of one of the earliest monastic leaders of broader Constantinople, and foundation account of a major monastic centre, that of Rufinianae near Chalcedon (today’s Caddebostan, in Anatolian Istanbul). Our text places its hero in the third place among the founding fathers of Constantinopolitan monasticism, after Isaakios and Dalmatios. The text starts with a preface by an author who addresses a certain Eutychos, and states that he is the editor of a text originally written by a disciple of Hypatios, called Kallinikos. The text is thought to have been written shortly after the death of Hypatios (446), probably between 447 and 450: it mentions the Hunnic invasion of 447, but does not refer to the doctrinal disputes concerning the natures of Christ in 448-451. Kallinikos was reportedly a Syriac speaker, whose spelling mistakes in Greek the editor reports having corrected, without altering the style of his language. The text is preserved in four manuscripts, on which see Bartelink 1971, 41-55.


For the context of the passage, see E05567. This passage is the earliest dated reference to the shrine of the popular Thracian martyr Alexandros at the town of Drusipara/Dryzipera in Constantinople's Thracian hinterland. The looting of the shrine is also mentioned by Malalas (see E05744). The author's reference suggests that the shrine was already well developed and richly endowed with precious offerings.


Text: Bartelink, G., Callinicos, Vie d'Hypatios (Sources Chretiennes 177; Paris: Cerf, 1971), with French translation and commentary. Other translations: Festugière, A.-J., Les moines d'Orient, vol. 2, Les moines de la région de Constantinople (Paris, 1961), 11–86. Capizzi, C., Vita di Ipazio (Roma, 1982). Further reading: Déroche, V., and Lesieur, B., "Notes d’hagiographie byzantine. Daniel le Stylite – Marcel l’ Acémète – Hypatios de Rufinianes," Analecta Bollandiana 128 (2010), 283-295. Efthymiadis, S., and Déroche. V., "Greek Hagiography in Late Antiquity (Fourth-Seven Centuries)," in: S. Efthymiadis (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography. Vol. 1: Periods and Places (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), 60. Hatlie, P., The Monks and Monasteries of Constantinople, ca. 350-850 (Cambridge, 2007).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager