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E07906: Jerome, in his On illustrious men, states that *Lucianus/Loukianos of Antioch (theologian and martyr of Nicomedia and Helenopolis, S00151) and *Phileas (bishop of Thmuis, martyr of Alexandria, S00125) were both victims of the persecution of Maximinus in 311/313, and that Lucianus died in Nicomedia but was buried in Helenopolis (both in north-west Asia Minor, near Constantinople). Written in Latin in Bethlehem (Palestine), 392/393.

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posted on 2020-05-27, 00:00 authored by robert
Jerome, On Illustrious Men (De viris inlustribus) 77 (Lucianus) and 78 (Phileas)

Lucianus, uir disertissimus, antiochenae ecclesiae presbyter tantum in scripturarum studio laborauit, ut usque nunc quaedam exemplaria scripturarum luciania nuncupentur. Feruntur eius de fide libelli et breues ad nonnullos epistulae.Passus Nicomediae ob confessionem Christi sub persecutione maximini sepultus que Helenopoli Bithyniae.

'Lucianus, a man of great talent, presbyter of the church at Antioch, was so diligent in the study of the Scriptures, that even now certain copies of the Scriptures bear the name of Lucian. Works of his, On faith, and short Epistles to various people are extant. He was put to death at Nicomedia for his confession of Christ in the persecution of Maximinus, and was buried at Helenopolis in Bithynia.'

Phileas de urbe Aegypti quae uocatur Thmuis, nobili genere et non paruis opibus, suscepto episcopatu, elegantissimum librum de martyrum laude conposuit et disputatione actorum habita aduersum iudicem, qui eum sacrificare cogebat, pro Christo capite truncatur eodem in Aegypto persecutionis auctore quo Lucianus Nicomediae.

'Phileas a resident of that Egyptian city which is called Thmuis, of noble family, and no small wealth, having become bishop, composed a finely written work in praise of martyrs and arguing against the judge who tried to compel him to offer sacrifices, was beheaded for Christ during the same persecution in which Lucianus was put to death at Nicomedia.'

Text: Richardson, 1896. Translation: Richardson, 1892.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Phileas, bishop of Thmuis, martyr of Alexandria : S00125 Loukianos/Lucian of Antioch, theologian and martyr of Nicomedia and Helenopolis : S00151

Saint Name in Source

Phileas Lucianus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Bethlehem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Jerome of Stridon

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - unspecified


Jerome wrote this collection of very short biographies of 135 Christian authors at the beginning of his stay in Bethlehem in 392/393. Amongst the authors commemorated were several who suffered martyrdom (which Jerome records at the end of their biographies) and others (such as Eusebius of Vercelli and Hilary of Poitiers) who would later attract cult, but Jerome's purpose in writing De viris inlustribus was to show how many learned men there had been, and still were within the Christian church (he closes with a rather longer biography of himself!), rather than to encourage saintly cult. We have therefore only created database entries from the De viris inlustribus in the very few cases (such as this one) where Jerome happens to provide information that sheds significant light on the cult of a saint.


Text: Richardson, E.C., De viris inlustribus (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Altchristlichen Literatur, vol. 14/1a, Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, 1896), 1-56. Translation: Richardson, E.C., On Illustrious Men (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 3, Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892). Revised and edited by K. Knight. .

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