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E07734: John Diakrinomenos in his Ecclesiastical History mentions the miraculous survival during an earthquake of the church which housed the tomb of *Gregory the Miracle Worker (bishop and missionary in Pontus, S00687) in Neocaesarea (northern Asia Minor). Written in Greek in Constantinople, c. 513/515.

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posted on 2019-08-20, 00:00 authored by erizos
John Diakrinomenos, Ecclesiastical History, excerpts from Book 8

Ἐν Νεοκαισαρείᾳ σεισμοῦ τηνικαῦτα μέλλοντος γίνεσθαι στρατιώτης τις ἐπὶ τὴν πόλιν ὁδεύων δύο στρατιώτας ἀπιόντας ἐπ’ αὐτὴν ἐθεάσατο καὶ τούτων ὄπισθεν ἕτερον κράζοντα· «φυλάξατε τὸν οἶκον ἐν ᾧ ἡ θήκη Γρηγορίου ἐστίν.» καὶ ὁ μὲν σεισμὸς ἐγένετο καὶ τὸ πλεῖστον μέρος τῆς πόλεως ἔπεσεν, ὁ δὲ οἶκος τοῦ Θαυματουργοῦ διεσώθη.

'At that time, an earthquake was about to occur in Neocaesarea, and a soldier travelling towards the city saw two soldiers heading towards it and another behind them shouting: “Keep the house where the tomb of Gregory lies.” The earthquake took place, and the greatest part of the city collapsed, but the house of the Miracle-Worker survived.'

Text: Hansen 1995.
Translation: Efthymios Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Gregory the Miracle-Worker (Taumatourgos), bishop and missionary in Pontus, ob. c. 270 : S00687

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 - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Miracles

Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Miraculous protection - of church and church property

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives



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).


This being a brief extract that survives out of context, we cannot know for certain who the three soldiers who saved the church were. Presumably they are implied to have been three of the soldier-saints popular in Asia Minor and the Near East.


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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