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E06125: The Greek Martyrdom of *Loukillianos (martyr of Byzantion, S01764) and his companions, is written, probably in Constantinople, and probably in Late Antiquity.

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posted on 2018-08-17, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Martyrdom of Lucillianus (BHG 998y)

Very brief summary:

In Nicomedia under Aurelian, a comes Silvanos learns about a pagan priest, Loukillianos, who has repented and become a Christian. Egged on by the philosopher Krispos, he puts Loukillianos and his four children companions, Klaudios, Hypatios, Paulos and Dionysios through trials in Nicomedia and, after moving to Chalcedon, condemns them to death and executes them in the city of Byzantion on 3 June, where their relics are buried by pious men.

Text: Delehaye 1912, 187-192.
Summary: N. Kälviäinen.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Loukillianos, martyr of Byzantion : S01764

Saint Name in Source

Λουκιλλιανός, Κλαύδιος, Ὑπάτιος, Παῦλος, Διονύσιος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Constantinople and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Constantinople Constantinople Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis Constantinopolis Constantinople Istanbul

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - unspecified

Cult activities - Rejection, Condemnation, Scepticism

Acceptance/rejection of saints from other religious groupings

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle at martyrdom and death Power over elements (fire, earthquakes, floods, weather)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Pagans Children Officials Torturers/Executioners

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - unspecified


The ‘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.


Despite 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.


Text: Delehaye, H., “Saints de Thrace et de Mésie,” Analecta Bollandiana 31 (1912), 187-192. Further reading: 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.

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