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E00712: Victor of Tunnuna recounts how the body of *Antony ('the Great', monk of Egypt, ob. 356, S00098), was discovered, transferred to, and buried in Alexandria, in the basilica of *John the Baptist (S00020), in 561. Entry in his Latin Chronicle, written in Constantinople in 564/566.

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posted on 13.09.2015, 00:00 by Bryan
Victor of Tunnuna, Chronica

Post consulatum Basilli V[iri] C[larissimi] anno XXI (= AD 561)
Corpus sancti Antonii heremitae repertum cum maximo honore Alexandriam perducitur et in basilica sancti Iohannis Baptistae honorifice collocatur.

'The 21st year after the consulate of Basilius, vir clarissimus (senator) (= AD 561)
The body of St Antony the hermit was found and transferred most respectfully to Alexandria and deposited with respect in the basilica of St John the Baptist.'

Text: Mommsen 1894, 205. Translation: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Antony, 'the Great', monk of Egypt, ob. 356 : S00098 John the Baptist : S00020

Saint Name in Source

Iohannes Baptista Antonius

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)



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 - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Transfer, translation and deposition of relics Discovering, finding, invention and gathering of relics


Victor was bishop of the city of Tunnuna (or Tonnona) in Latin North Africa, the exact location of which is unknown. He was expelled from his see during the Three Chapters controversy. During his exile he stayed for several years in Egypt, but in 564 moved to Constantinople. There he wrote his Latin Chronicle. Only the part covering the years 444-566 is extant. Up to AD 518, it is based mostly on the Church History of Theodore Anagnostes. The written sources of the following part are not easy to identify, but Victor was deeply involved in ecclesiastical politics and had a firsthand knowledge of many events that he mentioned in the Chronicle.


According to his Life written by Athanasius, Antony died in his hermitage in the Eastern Desert, was buried in a secret place by his pupils and nobody knew the place of his tomb (see E00669). The discovery and transfer of Antony's body took place during Victor's stay in Egypt and he probably was an eyewitness of these events. The church of John the Baptist mentioned in this notice is probably the one built by bishop Theophilus at, or very close to, the Serapaeum.


Edition: Mommsen, Th., Victori Tonnonennsis episcopi chronica, in: Chronica minora saec. IV. V. VI. VII. (II) (Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Auctores Antiquissimi 11; Berlin, 1894), 184-206.

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