Saint NameLoukillianos, martyr of Byzantion : S01764
Saint Name in SourceΛουκιλλιανός, Κλαύδιος, Ὑπάτιος, Παῦλος, Διονύσιος
Type of EvidenceLiterary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after800
Activity not before270
Activity not after275
Place of Evidence - RegionConstantinople and region
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcConstantinople
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Constantinople
Cult activities - PlacesBurial site of a saint - unspecified
Cult activities - Rejection, Condemnation, ScepticismAcceptance/rejection of saints from other religious groupings
Cult Activities - MiraclesMiracle at martyrdom and death
Power over elements (fire, earthquakes, floods, weather)
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesPagans
Cult Activities - RelicsBodily relic - unspecified
SourceThe ‘epic’ Martyrdom of Loukillianos (BHG 998y) is currently known to be preserved in 7 manuscripts (9th-14th c.), of which two were used by Delehaye in his edition:
This text is an early Greek martyrdom account bearing some or all of the hallmarks of the 'epic' subgenre (Martyrdoms characterised by a relative detachment from historical reality and often including extravagant, even fantastical, elements; see H. Delehaye, Les Passions des martyres et les genres littéraires, Brussels, 1966 (2nd ed.), 171-226). Without any specific grounds for a more concrete dating, this and many other similar texts can only generally be attributed to somewhere around the 5th to 8th centuries.
It was supposed by Delehaye 1912, 234 that the martyrdom of Paula (surviving as BHG 2361) originally formed a part of the Martyrdom of Loukillianos and his companions and was later detached from it to form a separate Martyrdom. However, later F. Halkin (in Inédits Byzantins d'Ochrida, Candie et Moscou (Subsidia hagiographica 38; Brussels 1963), 57-59) argued convincingly for the reverse case being true: that Paula's martyrdom was instead later attached, as a supplement of sorts, to that of Loukillianos, to which it did not originally belong.
DiscussionDespite almost all of the action taking place in Nicomedia, the fact that the sentence is passed in Chalcedon and the execution is carried out in Byzantion (the city that later became Constantinople), shows that the text was most likely composed for the needs of a cult based in Constantinople, where the martyrs' bodies are said to have been buried.
The comes Silvanos (governor of Bithynia in 270/275? see PLRE I, 840 no.1), of uncertain historicity, appears as an antagonist also in the Martyrdom of *Thyrsos and his companions (martyrs of Bithynia, E06222). The philosopher Krispos (PLRE I, 232 no. 2) is likewise unknown from other sources. It is possible that the function of Nicomedia is simply to provide credibility or weight to the account, since that city, unlike Constantinople, was famous for its numerous martyrs under Diocletian and his successors. Alternatively, as suggested by Berger 2013, 171-172, it could be that this was a cult transferred to Constantinople from Nicomedia (possibly through Chalcedon), and the new shrine attempted to present the martyr as local.
Delehaye, H., “Saints de Thrace et de Mésie,” Analecta Bollandiana 31 (1912), 187-192.
Berger, A., "Mokios und Konstantin der Große. Zu den Anfängen des Märtyrerkults in Konstantinopel," in: V.A. Leontaritou, K.A. Bourdara, and E. Sp. Papagianni (eds.), Ἀντικήνσωρ. Τιμητικὸς τόμος Σ.Ν. Τρωιάνου γιὰ τὰ ὀγδοηκοστὰ γενέθλιά του (Athens, 2013), 171-172.