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E05747: John Malalas in his Chronographia mentions that, in the context of events in 551 and 562, people sought sanctuary at the shrines of *Mary (mother of Christ, S00033) at Blachernae (Constantinople) and *Euphemia (martyr of Chalcedon, S00017) at Chalcedon (north-west Asia Minor, near Constantinople). The authorities arrested them none the less. Written in Greek at Antioch (Syria) or Constantinople, in the 560s.

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posted on 2018-06-15, 00:00 authored by erizos
John Malalas, Chronographia, 18.132; 18.141

132. […] καὶ εἰσήρχοντο εἰς τὰς γειτονίας διαφαυούσης κυριακῆς καὶ ἥρπαζον τὰς ὑποστάσεις. καὶ ἐκέλευσεν ὁ βασιλεὺς συσχεθῆναι τοὺς Πρασίνους, καὶ πολλαῖς βασάνοις ἐκολάσθησαν. οἱ δὲ Βένετοι προσέφυγον τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ τῆς θεοτόκου τῶν Βλαχερνῶν. οἱ δὲ ἐξειλήσαντες Πράσινοι προσέφυγον εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν Εὐφημίαν ἐν Χαλκηδόνι· οὓς ἐκβαλὼν ὁ ἔπαρχος ἐτιμωρήσατο. ἤρξαντο δὲ αἱ γυναῖκες αὐτῶν καὶ αἱ μητέρες κράζειν εἰς τὰς ἐκκλησίας τῷ βασιλεῖ, ἵνα παράσχῃ τοῖς Πρασίνοις ἰνδουλγεντίας· καὶ ἐδιώχθησαν μετὰ βάκλων, καὶ οὐ διηλλάγη αὐτοῖς ὁ βασιλεὺς ἕως τῆς Χριστοῦ γεννήσεως.

‘[…] They invaded the neighbourhoods as Sunday was dawning and plundered the properties. The emperor ordered the Greens to be arrested, and they were punished with many torments. The Blues sought refuge in the church of the Mother of God at Blachernae. The Greens who escaped sought refuge in Saint Euphemla at Chalcedon. The prefect took them out and punished them. Their wives and mothers began to cry out in the churches to the emperor that he might grant indulgences to the Greens. They were driven off with sticks and the emperor was not reconciled to them until Christmas.’

141. (…) Σέργιος δὲ ὁ ἀνεψιὸς Αἰθερίου προσφυγίῳ ἐχρήσατο ἐν τῇ δεσποίνῃ ἡμῶν τῇ θεοτόκῳ ἐν Βλαχέρναις. καὶ ἐκβληθεὶς ἐκ τῶν ὅρων ὡς οἷα κατὰ βασιλέως σκεψάμενος (…)

'[…] Sergios, the nephew of Aitherios, sought sanctuary in Our Lady the Mother of God at Blachernae. Yet he was driven out of its boundaries, as having conspired against the emperor […]'

Text: Thurn 2000. Translation: E. Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033 Euphemia, martyr of Chalcedon : S00017

Saint Name in Source

Θεοτόκος Εὐφημία

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

Constantinople Antioch on the Orontes

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

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

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

Other lay individuals/ people


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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