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E07162: The Greek Life of *Metrophanes and *Alexandros (bishops of Constantinople, S01599, S02286) recounts the broader context of ecclesiastical history during the episcopates of the first two bishops of Constantinople. Probably written in the 6th century at Constantinople.

online resource
posted on 2018-12-13, 00:00 authored by erizos
Life of Metrophanes and Alexandros (BHG 1279)

Very brief summary:

The text consists of a narrative of the broader context of ecclesiastical history during the episcopates of the first two bishops of Constantinople (the rise of Constantine, the end of persecutions, and the conflicts about Arianism).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Metrophanes, bishop of Byzantium (Constantinople), ob. 314. : S01599 Alexandros, bishop of Constantinople, ob. 326 : S02286

Saint Name in Source

Μητροφάνης Ἀλέξανδρος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Lives


  • 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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


For the manuscript tradition, see:


The Life of Metrophanes and Alexandros belongs to a group of hagiographic texts which were composed in Constantinople, possibly in the 6th century. These texts include the Lives of *Paul the Confessor (E07002), and *Athanasius of Alexandria (now lost, E07163), the Martyrdom of *Markianos and Martyrios the Notaries (E06890), 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 the 5th century ecclesiastical histories, especially Socrates. Consequently, they can be no earlier than the mid 5th century. Three of them (the Lives of Metrophanes and Alexandros, Paul the Confessor, and Athanasius) were read by Photius in the 9th century, and were summarised in his Bibliotheca in three consecutive chapters (246, 247, 248), which suggests that the author may have found them in the same volume. Their composition may have been politically motivated by an effort to celebrate the contribution of Constantinople to Orthodoxy (Fusco 1996). Metrophanes and Alexandros were both buried and venerated at the shrine of Akakios, and their cult was closely tied into the memory of the origins of the city in the age of Constantine.


Text: Gedeon, M., in Ἐκκλησιαστική Ἀλήθεια 4 (1884), 287-291, 296-300, 306-310, 321-326. Further reading: Fusco, R., La vita premetafrastica di Paolo il Confessore (BHG 1472a). Un vescovo di Costantinopoli tra storia e leggenda (Rome, 1996).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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