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E05729: John Malalas in his Chronographia mentions the shrine and monastery of *Konon (perhaps the martyr of Isauria, S00430) in Peran (suburb of Constantinople across the Golden Horn), near which lay a site of executions, associated with events of 488, 528, and 532. In the context of an incident in 531, a shrine of *Laurence (deacon and martyr of Rome, S00037), probably Pulcheria's foundation near Blachernae, is named as a place of sanctuary. Written in Greek at Antioch (Syria) or Constantinople, in the mid-6th c.

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posted on 2018-06-14, 00:00 authored by erizos
John Malalas, Chronographia, 15.14; 18.13; 18.71.

Suppression of the usurpation of Leontius in 488

15.14 Καὶ γνοὺς Ζήνων ὁ βασιλεὺς ἔπεμψεν βοήθειαν πολλὴν καὶ τὸν στρατηλάτην Ἰωάννην τὸν Σκύθην. καὶ ἀκούσας Λεόντιος καὶ Ἰλλοῦς καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνῆλθαν μετὰ Βηρίνης εἰς τὸ Παπύριν καστέλλιον· καὶ Βηρίνα μὲν ἰδίῳ θανάτῳ τελευτᾷ. Παμπρέπιος δέ τις ὡς προδότης μετ’ αὐτῶν ὢν ἐσφάγη ἄνω καὶ ἐρρίφη τὸ λείψανον αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὄρη. Ἰλλοῦς δὲ καὶ Λεόντιος φοσσευθέντες παρελήφθησαν· καὶ πρόοδον δεδωκότες παρὰ τῷ ἄρχοντι Σελευκείας τῆς Ἰσαυρίας ἀπὸ διαλαλιᾶς ἀπεκεφαλίσθησαν· καὶ αἱ κεφαλαὶ αὐτῶν εἰσηνέχθησαν Ζήνωνι ἐν Κωνσταντινουπόλει εἰς κοντοὺς πεπηγμέναι· καὶ πολὺς ὄχλος ἀπῄει θεωρῶν αὐτάς· ἦσαν γὰρ ἀπενεχθεῖσαι πέραν ἐν Συκαῖς ἐπὶ τὸν ἅγιον Κόνωνα.

‘At this news the emperor Zeno sent out a large force with the magister militum John the Scythian. When Leontius heard this and also Illus and his supporters, they went up with Verina to the fortress of Papyrion. Verina died there of natural causes. Pamprepius was killed on the battlements as a traitor in their midst, and his corpse was thrown out on the mountains. Illus and Leontius were besieged and captured. They were publicly interrogated before the governor of Seleucia in Isauria and were beheaded at his orders. Their heads were brought to Zeno in Constantinople, stuck on poles, and a great mob went out to gaze at them, for they had been taken across to Saint Konon's at Sykai.’

In 528, the Hunnic Queen Boa sends a barbarian king to be executed in Constatninople

18.13 (…) τὸν δὲ ἕνα ῥῆγα αὐτῶν ὀνόματι Τύραγξ συλλαβομένη δέσμιον ἔπεμψεν ἐν Κωνσταντινουπόλει τῷ βασιλεῖ Ἰουστινιανῷ καὶ ἐφούρκισεν αὐτὸν πέραν ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ Κόνωνι. ὁ γὰρ Γλὼμ ὁ ἄλλος ῥὴξ τῶν αὐτῶν Οὕννων ἐσφάγη ἐν τῇ συμβολῇ ὑπὸ τῶν πολεμίων τῆς ῥηγίσσης.

‘(…) She [Queen Boa] captured one of the kings, named Tyranx, and she sent him as a prisoner to the emperor Justinian in Constantinople, who had him impaled at Saint Konon's across the Golden Horn.’

After the Nika riot in 532, members of the Blues and the Greens are executed there

18.71 Ἐν αὐτῷ δὲ τῷ χρόνῳ τῆς δεκάτης ἰνδικτιῶνος συνέβη ὑπό τινων ἀλαστόρων δαιμόνων πρόφασιν γενέσθαι ταραχῆς ἐν Βυζαντίῳ, Εὐδαίμονος ἐπάρχου πόλεως ὄντος καὶ ἔχοντος ἀτάκτους ἐν φρουρᾷ ἐξ ἀμφοτέρων τῶν μερῶν, καὶ ἐξετάσαντος διάφορα πρόσωπα εὗρεν ἐξ αὐτῶν ὀνόματα ἑπτὰ αἰτίους φόνων· καὶ ψηφισάμενος τῶν μὲν τεσσάρων καρατόμησιν, τῶν δὲ τριῶν ἀνασκολοπισμόν, καὶ περιβωμισθέντων αὐτῶν ἀνὰ πᾶσαν τὴν πόλιν καὶ περασάντων αὐτῶν, καὶ τῶν μὲν κρεμασθέντων, ἐξέπεσαν δύο τῶν ξύλων ῥαγέντων, ἑνὸς μὲν Βενέτου, καὶ ἑτέρου Πρασίνου. καὶ ἑωρακὼς ὁ περιεστὼς λαὸς τὸ συμβὰν εὐφήμησαν τὸν βασιλέα. ἀκηκοότες δὲ οἱ πλησίον τοῦ ἁγίου Κόνωνος μοναχοὶ καὶ ἐξελθόντες εὗρον ἐκ τῶν κρεμασθέντων δύο ζῶντας κειμένους εἰς τὸ ἔδαφος. καὶ καταγαγόντες αὐτοὺς πλησίον θαλάσσης, καὶ ἐμβαλόντες ἐν πλοίῳ, ἔπεμψαν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ ἁγίῳ Λαυρεντίῳ ἐν ἀσύλοις τόποις.

‘In that year of the 10th indiction, a pretext for rioting occurred in Byzantium caused by some avenging demons when Eudaimon was urban prefect and was holding in custody trouble makers from both factions. When he had examined various persons, he found seven of them guilty of murder and sentenced four of them to be beheaded and three to be impaled. After they had been paraded through the whole city and had crossed to the other side, some of them were hanged. But two of them, one a Blue and the other a Green, fell as the scaffold broke. The people who were standing round saw what had happened and acclaimed the emperor. When the monks of Saint Konon's nearby heard about this and came out, they found two of those who had been hanged lying on the ground still alive. They took them down to the sea, put them in a boat, and sent them to a place of sanctuary at Saint Laurence's.’

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


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Konōn, martyr of Isauria (south-eastern Asia Minor) : S00430 Konōn, gardener and martyr of Magydos of Pamphylia : S00177 Konōn, martyr of Iconium in Lycaonia (central Asia Minor) : S00429 Laurence/Laurentius, deacon and martyr of Rome : S00037

Saint Name in Source

Κόνων Κόνων Κόνων Λαυρέντιος

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 Constantinople

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

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

Major author/Major anonymous work

John Malalas

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Seeking asylum at church/shrine

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Prisoners


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:


The shrine and monastery of Konon was clearly located in Peran, near Sykai. The location can be sought for in the Golden Horn slopes of today's Beyoğlu, perhaps in Kasımpaşa (Janin 1969, 284). The last passage mentions the incident of the rescuing of survivors of an execution, who were sent by the monks to the shrine of Laurence across the Golden Horn. This was very probably the shrine of the saint founded by the empress Pulcheria which stood in the area between the Blachernae and Plate (Unkapani), right opposite the location of the shrine of Konon (see discussion in E04389).


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. Further reading: Janin, R., La géographie ecclésiastique de l'empire Byzantin. I 3: Les eglises et les monastères de la ville de Constantinople. 2nd ed. (Paris, 1969).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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