University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E05714: John Malalas in his Chronographia mentions the martyrdom of *Pantoleon/Panteleemon (martyr of Nicomedia, S00596), *Hermolaos, Hermippos, and Hermokrates (martyrs of Nicomedia, S01780), and *Hesychios (martyr of Nicomedia, S00971, or Antioch S01034) under Maximian Galerius (r. 305-311). Written in Greek at Antioch (Syria) or Constantinople, in the mid-6th c.

online resource
posted on 2018-06-13, 00:00 authored by Bryan
John Malalas, Chronographia, 12. 45

Μετὰ δὲ τὸ ἀποθέσθαι Διοκλητιανὸν τὴν βασιλείαν ἐβασίλευσεν Μαξιμιανὸς ὁ ἐπίκλην Ἑρκούλιος ἔτη ιθʹ. καὶ ἀνελθὼν ἐν Ῥώμῃ ἐθριάμβευσεν τὴν κατὰ Περσῶν καὶ Αἰγυπτίων νίκην. ἦν δὲ μακρός, εὐσθενής, μιξοπόλιος τὴν κάραν, ἁπλόθριξ, τελειοπώγων, μελάγχροος, εὔρινος, εὐόφθαλμος, ἐλλόγιμος. ἠγωνίσατο δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς κατὰ χριστιανῶν καὶ ἐτιμωρήσατο πολλοὺς ἁγίους· ἐν οἷς ἐμαρτύρησεν ὁ ἅγιος Παντολέων καὶ ὁ ἅγιος Ἡσύχιος καὶ ὁ ἅγιος Ἕρμιππος καὶ ὁ ἅγιος Ἑρμόλαος καὶ ὁ ἅγιος Ἑρμοκράτης.

‘After Diocletian had laid the empire aside, Maximian, also named Herculius, reigned for 19 years. On returning to Rome he celebrated a triumph for the victory over the Persians and Egyptians. He was tall and strong, with greying, straight hair on his head, a full beard, dark skin and a good nose and eyes; he was eloquent. He too carried out a persecution against the Christians and punished many holy men. Amongst those martyred were Saint Pantaleon, Saint Hesychios, Saint Hermippos, Saint Hermolaos and Saint Hermokrates.’

Text: Thurn 2000. Translation Jeffreys, Jeffreys, and Scott 1986.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Pantaleōn / Panteleēmōn, martyr of Nicomedia, during the Diocletian persecution of 305 : S00596 Hermolaos, Hermippos and Hermokrates, priests of the Church of Nicomedia and martyrs under Maximian : S01780 Kyriakos and Hēsychios, martyrs in Nicomedi

Saint Name in Source

Παντολέων Ἑρμόλαος, Ἕρμιππος, Ἑρμοκράτης Ἡσύχιος Ἡσύχιος

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

Constantinople and region Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes

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

Constantinople Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis Constantinopolis Constantinople Istanbul Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora

Major author/Major anonymous work

John Malalas

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts


The Chronographia of John Malalas (c. 490–c. 570) is a Christian chronicle of universal history, from Adam to the death of Justinian I (565). It appears to have been composed in two parts, the earlier of which focuses on the history of Antioch and the East, ending in c. 528 or 532. The second part focuses on the urban history of Constantinople up to the death of Justinian. Malalas is likely to have pursued a career in the imperial administration at both Antioch and Constantinople, writing the two parts of his chronicle while living in these two cities. Malalas was widely used as a source by Byzantine chroniclers and historians, including John of Ephesus, John of Antioch, Evagrius Scholasticus, the Paschal Chronicle, John of Nikiu, John of Damascus, Theophanes, George the Monk, pseudo-Symeon, Kedrenos, Zonaras, Theodore Skoutariotes, and Nikephoros Kallistou Xanthopoulos. The text of the chronicle is preserved in a very fragmentary form, based on quotations in other sources (notably the Paschal Chronicle and Theophanes), and on a Slavonic translation which follows a more extensive version of the original text. It is believed that we now have about 90% of the text. On the composition and manuscript tradition of the text, see Thurn 2000, and:


Malalas' record of martyrs in his Chronicle is evidently based on his hagiographical readings. This passage attests to the existence of these martyrs' hagiography in the early 6th century. The identity of Hesychios is uncertain. Since the other martyrs in the passage are from Nicomedia, Hesychios may belong to that city as well, and could be a martyr commemorated by the Syriac Martyrology on 1 March (E01444). However, it is also possible to identify him with Hesychios of Antioch, a soldier martyr commemorated by the Synaxarion of Constantinople on 4 March, whose story is dated to the reign of Maximian. Malalas confuses the two homonymous emperors Maximian Herculeus (286-305) and Maximian Galerius (305-311) and treats them as the same person. This confusion is repeated in many hagiographic texts.


Text: Dindorf, L., Ioannis Malalae Chronographia (Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae; Bonn, 1831). Thurn, J., Ioannis Malalae Chronographia (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 35; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000). Translation: Jeffreys, E., Jeffreys, M., and Scott, R., The Chronicle of John Malalas: A Translation (Sydney, 1986). On Malalas: Carrara, L., Meier, M., and Radtki-Jansen, C. (eds.), Die Weltchronik des Johannes Malalas. Quellenfragen (Malalas-Studien 2; Göttingen: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2017). Jeffreys, E., Croke, B., and Scott, R. (eds.), Studies in John Malalas (Sydney, 1990). Meier, M., Radtki-Jansen, C., and Schulz, F. (eds.), Die Weltchronik des Johannes Malalas: Autor, Werk, Überlieferung (Malalas-Studien 1; Göttingen: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016). Treadgold, W.T. The Early Byzantine Historians (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 235-256.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager