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E05896: Hesychius of Jerusalem composes his Homily 16, On the Conception of *John (the Baptist, S00020), 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 16, On the Conception of John the Baptist (CPG 6587 = BHG 860c)

1-2. The mission of the prophets

3. John is a prophet

4. Praise of Elisabeth

5. Praise of John

6-12. Annuciation to Zachariah and birth

13-14. John’s asceticism

15-17. The Baptism of Christ

18-27. Conflict with Herod and beheading.

28. Praise of the martyred John and his head.

29. Series of holy women (contrasted with series of evil ones in par. 21).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

John the Baptist : S00020

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Greek

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

Women 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. On the manuscript tradition of Homily 16 (3 manuscripts), see Aubineau 1980, 664-667, and:


This text, now accepted as a genuine work of Hesychius is the earliest surviving homily given in honour of John the Baptist. The feast of John the Baptist is recorded on 29 August in the Armenian Lectionary of Jerusalem (E05185), perhaps celebrated in the Anastasis. The other festivals of the Baptist seem to have been established later.


Text, French translation, and commentary: Aubineau, M., Les homélies festales d’Hésychius de Jérusalem II: les homélies XVI-XXI (Subsidia Hagiographica 59; Brussels, 1980), 668-705.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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