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E06890: The Greek Martyrdom of *Martyrios and Markianos (martyrs of Constantinople, ob. c. 351, S01719), based on material in the ecclesiastical historians Socrates and Sozomen, is written in Greek, probably in Constantinople, between the mid 5th century and the 9th century.

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posted on 2018-10-15, 00:00 authored by erizos
Martyrdom of Martyrios and Markianos (BHG 1028y-1028z)

Most of the text reproduces the account of the ecclesiastical historians Socrates and Sozomen about the conflicts and riots between supporters of the rival bishops of Constantinople Macedonius and Paul the Confessor. The two martyrs, who had served as notaries of the orthodox bishop Paul, were arrested and executed.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Martyrios and Markianos, martyrs of Constantinople, ob. c. 351 : S01719

Saint Name in Source

Μαρτύριος, Μαρκιανός

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 name in other Language(s)

Constantinople Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis Constantinopolis Constantinople Istanbul

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Heretics Ecclesiastics - bishops Crowds Other lay individuals/ people


For the manuscript tradition, see: For the edition, see Bibliography.


This martyrdom account belongs to a group of hagiographic texts which were composed in Constantinople, possibly in the 6th century. The group also includes the Lives of the Constantinopolitan bishops *Metrophanes and Alexandros (E07162), and *Paul the Confessor (E07002), a now lost pre-metaphrastic Life of *Athanasius of Alexandria (E07163), and the Life of *Isaakios (E06980). All of these works are characterised by the poverty of their information about their heroes and their dependence on 5th century ecclesiastical histories, especially Socrates. Three of these texts (the Lives of Metrophanes and Alexandros, Paul the Confessor, and Athanasius) were read by Photius in the 9th century, and are summarised in his Bibliotheca. This suggests that these texts were produced after the mid 5th and well before the 9th centuries. A 6th century date seems quite likely. Their composition may have been politically motivated by an effort to celebrate the contribution of Constantinople to Orthodoxy (Fusco 1996). The Holy Notaries (Ἅγιοι Νοτάριοι) apparently died during the outbreak of violence which followed the deposition of Paul the Confessor and his replacement by Macedonius in c. 350. According to Sozomen, their cult gained popularity by the time of John Chrysostom (bishop 398-404), who started the building of their shrine. The church was consecrated by Sisinnius (426-427) (E04021). Their Life demonstrates that their legend did not develop beyond the information provided by Sozomen. The only new piece of information it adds to our knowledge is that the shrine lay outside the gate of Melanthias, a gate of the Constantinian walls of Constantinople near the Holy Apostles (Janin 1969, 377-378).


Text: Franchi de' Cavalieri, P., "Una pagina di storia bizantina del secolo IV. Il martirio dei santi notari," Analecta Bollandiana 64 (1946), 169-171 (BHG 1028y) and 171-175 (BHG 1028z). Further reading: Fusco, R. La vita premetafrastica di Paolo il Confessore (BHG 1472a). Un vescovo di Costantinopoli tra storia e leggenda (Rome, 1996). Janin, R. La géographie ecclésiastique de l'empire Byzantin. I 3: Les eglises et les monastères de la ville de Constantinople (Paris, 1969).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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