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E05895: Hesychius of Jerusalem composes his Homily 14, On *Prokopios (martyr of Caesarea in Palestine), which he preaches during his feast in Jerusalem. Written in Greek at Jerusalem, in the early 5th c.

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posted on 2018-06-30, 00:00 authored by erizos
Hesychius of Jerusalem, Homily 14, On Prokopios (CPG 6578 = BHG 1584)

1-3. Prokopios is a sacrificial victim offered to Christ. His is compared and related to various biblical figures (Paul, John the Evangelist, Elijah, Samuel, Samson, David, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Enoch, and Job).

4-9. Prokopios’ exemplar and various biblical quotations related to it. Exhortations to the audience.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Prokopios from Scythopolis, martyr of Palestine : S00118

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies Literary - Hagiographical - Other saint-related texts



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Jerusalem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Hesychius of Jerusalem

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


Hesychius lived as a monk and priest in Palestine and Jerusalem in the first half of the 5th century. A member of the clergy of the Holy Sepulchre, he was a leading theologian and author, flourishing from the 410s to perhaps after 451. He was a close associate of Juvenal (bishop of Jerusalem 422-458), and participated in the theological debate against Nestorius, supporting Cyril of Alexandria. The date of his death is uncertain. Theophanes reports that he died in the same year as Melania the Younger (ed. de Boor 92, 20: AM 5926), but he is also reported to have been alive when the Council of Chalcedon took place in 451, and to have opposed it. His surviving works include commentaries and homilies. He is known to have published an ecclesiastical history, which has not survived. The circulation of his works in the Middle Ages seems to have been geographically limited, since they tend to be found in manuscripts from Jerusalem and southern Italy, but hardly ever in Constantinopolitan ones. His homilies are important testimonies for the early stages of development of the liturgical traditions of the church of Jerusalem, and the appearance of a number of feasts with a strong Marian dimension like the 14 February feast of Hypapante (Candlemas) and 15 August. Homily 14 is preserved in one manuscript (Vat. Gr. 679; 11th c.), on which see Aubineau 1978, 542.


This homily, now accepted as a genuine work of Hesychius, was preached on the feast of one of the martyrs of Palestine, Prokopios who, originating from Jerusalem, lived as an ascetic and reader in Scythopolis and became a martyr at Caesarea in 303, being one of the Eusebius’ Martyrs of Palestine (E00296). The text was very probably preached at the church of the Anastasis, a site to which the author alludes in his sermon. The date of the feast was probably 8 July. Prokopios’ life as a monastic prior to his martyrdom may explain why his memory was specifically honoured by the monastic brotherhood of the Anastasis. Aubineau suggests that the text belongs to the later part of Hesychius’ career, perhaps dating from the 430s.


Text, French translation, and commentary: Aubineau, M., Les homélies festales d’Hésychius de Jérusalem I: les homélies I-XV (Subsidia Hagiographica 59: Brussels, 1978). English translation: Leemans, J. (ed.), 'Let Us Die That We May Live' : Greek Homilies on Christian Martyrs from Asia Minor, Palestine and Syria (c. AD 350-AD 450) (London: Routledge, 2003), 204-214 (by P. Allen).

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