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E05723: John Malalas in his Chronographia reports that the western emperor Anthemius was murdered in the shrine of *Peter (the Apostle, S00036) in Rome in 472, where he had taken refuge, ostensibly seeking a healing, but actually seeking sanctuary against the Gothic general Ricimer. Written in Greek at Antioch (Syria) or Constantinople, in the mid-6th c.

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posted on 2018-06-13, 00:00 authored by erizos
John Malalas, Chronographia, 14.45

Ἐπὶ δὲ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ αὐτοῦ Λέοντος ἐσφάγη Ἀνθίμιος ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐν Ῥώμῃ· ἐν ἔχθρᾳ γὰρ γενόμενος τοῦ ἰδίου αὐτοῦ {υἱοῦ} γαμβροῦ Ῥεκίμερ τοῦ στρατηλάτου, φοβηθεὶς αὐτὸν ὡς Γότθον, ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν ἅγιον Πέτρον προσφεύγων ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἀνθίμιος, φησίν, ὡς ἄρρωστος.

'During the reign of the same Leo, Anthemius, the emperor in Rome, was murdered. Having aroused the enmity of his son-in-law, Ricimer the magister militum, and fearing him as a Goth, the emperor Anthemius resorted to Saint Peter's as a supplicant, claiming that he was ill.'

The emperor Leo I sends to Rome the patrician Olybrius, in order to reconcile Anthemius with Ricimer. At the same time he sends a secret letter to Anthemius, instructing him to murder both Ricimer and Olybrius, in order to gain full control of his office. The conspiracy is revealed and Ricimer has Anthemius slain at the shrine of Peter. Olybrius is crowned western emperor.

Text: Thurn 2000. Translation: E. Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036

Saint Name in Source


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

Syria with Phoenicia Constantinople and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes

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

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

Major author/Major anonymous work

John Malalas

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Seeking asylum at church/shrine

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family Foreigners (including Barbarians)


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:


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.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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