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E07112: The Greek Life of *Martinianos (hermit in Palestine, S01640) recounts the life of a young ascetic from Caesarea of Palestine, who lived for several years on an island of the Mediterranean and died in Athens. Written in Palestine, in the 6th century or later.

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posted on 2018-11-15, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Life of Martinianos (BHG 1177)


1. At the age of eighteen, Martinianos joins the community of monks living on the mountain called the Place of the Ark (Kibotou Topos) near Caesarea in the province of Palestine.

2. He overcomes an attempt by Satan to weaken his will.

3-10. A woman from Caesarea called Zoe approaches Martinianos intending to seduce him. Moved by his extreme piety, however, Zoe repents and decides to devote herself to God. Martinianos sends her to the convent of *Paula [the follower of Jerome, S01510] in Bethlehem, where Zoe lives for 12 years, eventually dying as a saint.

11-13. Seeking to be in complete isolation from women, Matinianos leaves the monastic community for an uninhabited island in the middle of the sea. Whilst on the island, he is helped by a ship's captain, who brings water and food for him three times a year.

14-16. To tempt him, Satan sends a shipwrecked woman named Photina to the island. Seeing that he can no longer live there, Martinianos jumps into the sea and swims to Athens with the help of two dolphins.

17-18. Martinianos dies in a church in Athens. His dying moments are witnessed by the city’s bishop.

19-20. In the meantime, Photina continues to live on the island as an ascetic, where she dies after six years. Her body is taken to the city [Caesarea?] by the ship's captain who had helped Martinianos.

21. Martinianos is praised for his chastity.

Text: Papadopoulos-Kerameus 1907.
Summary: Arsen Nişanyan.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Martinianos, hermit in Caesarea of Palestine, ob. c. 422 : S01640 Paula, the elder, follower of Jerome, ob. 404 : S01510

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Lives


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

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

Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Women


For the manuscript tradition, see:


Text: Papadopoulos-Kerameus, A., Συλλογὴ παλαιστινῆς καὶ συριακῆς ἁγιολογίας Ι (St. Petersburg, 1907), 85-103. Further reading: Flusin, B., "Palestinian Hagiography (Fourth-Eighth Centuries)," in: S. Efthymiadis (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography I: Periods and Places (Farnham, 2011), 199-226.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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