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E07731: In c. 513/515, John Diakrinomenos in his Ecclesiastical History mentions stories from the life *Symeon (the Stylite, S00343), including a visit to him by the emperor Marcian, disguised as commoner. Written in Greek in Constantinople.

online resource
posted on 2019-08-20, 00:00 authored by erizos
John Diakrinomenos, Ecclesiastical History, excerpts from Book 4

Οἱ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ μοναχοὶ περὶ τοῦ ἁγίου Συμεῶνος μαθόντες ὅτι ἐπὶ κίονος ἵσταται, μεμψάμενοι τῷ ξένῳ τοῦ πράγματος (πρῶτος γὰρ αὐτὸς τοῦτο ἐπενόησεν) ἀκοινωνησίαν αὐτῷ ἔπεμψαν. εἶτα ἐγνωκότες τὸν βίον τοῦ ἀνδρὸς καὶ τὸ ἄτυφον πάλιν αὐτῷ ἐκοινώνησαν.

Μαρκιανὸς ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐν σχήματι ἰδιώτου πρὸς τὸν ὅσιον Συμεῶνα ἀφανῶς παρεγένετο.

'When the monks of Egypt heard that saint Symeon was standing on a column, they accused him for this unfamiliar practice (he was the first to devise it) and notified him that they broke communion with him. Later, they were informed about the lifestyle of the man and his lack of arrogance, and returned into communion with him.

The emperor Marcian visited the holy Symeon disguised as a commoner.'

Text: Hansen 1995.
Translation: Efthymios Rizos


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Symeon the Elder, stylite of Qal‘at Sim‘ān, ob. 459 : S00343

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)


  • 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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts

Cult activities - Rejection, Condemnation, Scepticism

Uncertainty/scepticism/rejection of a saint

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Monarchs and their family


John Diacrinomenus (Ioannes Diakrinomenos) was the author of an ecclesiastical history, which covered the period between the First Council of Ephesus (431) and c. 512. He wrote under the emperor Anastasius (491-518), and is known to have been a moderate Monophysite (hence his epithet Diakrinomenos, ‘the Hesitant’). However, only brief excerpts of the ten books of his history survive. In the 9th century, Photius had access to Books 1 to 5 (Bibliotheca cod. 42).


Text: Hansen, G.C., Theodoros Anagnostes. Kirchengeschichte. 2nd ed. (Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte NF 3; Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1995). Further reading: Treadgold, W., The Early Byzantine Historians (Basingstoke, 2006), 168-169.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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