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E01133: The Greek Life of Hypatios by Kallinikos reports that in c. 393 Rufinus, pretorian prefect of the East, acquired some relics of the Apostles *Peter (S00036) and *Paul (S00008) from Rome, and deposited them in the so-called apostoleion at his estate of Rufinianae near Chalkedon/Chalcedon (Bithynia, north-west Asia Minor). Rufinus was also buried there. Written in Constantinople shortly after 450.

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posted on 19.02.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Kallinikos of Rufinianae, Life of Hypatios (CPG 6042 = BHG 760), 8.4-6

(4.) Περάσας οὖν ἐν Χαλκηδόνι ὥδευεν ἐπὶ ἀνατολάς, ζητῶν ὄρος ἢ σπήλαιον. Καὶ ἐλθὼν τρία σημεῖα εὑρίσκει ἀποστολεῖον καὶ μοναστήριον πλησίον αὐτοῦ, ἅπερ ᾠκοδόμησεν ὁ μακάριος Ῥουφῖνος λείψανα λαβὼν ἀπὸ Ῥώμης τῶν ἁγίων ἀποστόλων Πέτρου καὶ Παύλου, ἅπερ οἰκοδομήσας τὸ μαρτύριον ἐνδόξως κατέθετο· ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἡ σορὸς τοῦ Ῥουφίνου πλησίον ἀπόκειται. (5.) Τὸ δὲ μοναστήριον κτίσας μονάζοντας Αἰγυπτίους κατῴκισεν. Τοῦ οὖν Ῥουφίνου τελευτήσαντος ἐάσαντες αὐτὸ οἱ Αἰγύπτιοι τὴν ἰδίαν πατρίδα κατέλαβον. (6.) Καὶ ἔμεινεν λοιπὸν τὸ μοναστήριον ἔρημον, ὡς μὴ φαίνεσθαι ὅτι μοναστήριον ἦν, ἀλλὰ γὰρ καὶ δαίμονα εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖν ἐν αὐτῷ.

'So he crossed the sea to Chalcedon and took the road to the east, looking for a mountain or cave. And having travelled three miles, he found a shrine of the Apostles (apostoleion), and a monastery next to it, which the late Rufinus had built, having received relics (leipsana) of the holy apostles Peter and Paul from Rome, which he solemnly deposited there, when he built the shrine (martyrion). There, the tomb of Rufinus himself lies nearby. And when he founded the monastery, he settled there Egyptian monks. But when Rufinus died, the Egyptians left it and returned to their homeland. And the monastery remained deserted ever since, so that it looked no more like a monastery, but even a demon entered and inhabited it.'

Text: Bartelnik 1971.
Translation: P. Nowakowski, E. Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Peter the Apostle : S00036

Saint Name in Source

Παῦλος Πέτρος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Lives of saint



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Chalcedon Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Ceremony of dedication

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Aristocrats Officials

Cult Activities - Relics

Unspecified relic Transfer, translation and deposition of relics Transfer/presence of relics from distant countries Construction of cult building to contain relics Division of relics Privately owned relics


The Life of Hypatios is the biography of one of the earliest monastic leaders of broader Constantinople, and foundation account of a major monastic centre, that of Rufinianae near Chalcedon (today’s Caddebostan, in Anatolian Istanbul). Our text places its hero in the third place among the founding fathers of Constantinopolitan monasticism, after Isaakios and Dalmatios. The text starts with a preface by an author who addresses a certain Eutychos, and states that he is the editor of a text originally written by a disciple of Hypatios, called Kallinikos. The text is thought to have been written shortly after the death of Hypatios (446), probably between 447 and 450: it mentions the Hunnic invasion of 447, but does not refer to the doctrinal disputes concerning the natures of Christ in 448-451. Kallinikos was reportedly a Syriac speaker, whose spelling mistakes in Greek the editor reports having corrected, without altering the style of his language. The text is preserved in four manuscripts, on which see Bartelink 1971, 41-55.


For the context of the passage, see E05567. Though in the quoted account the relics are named λείψανα/leipsana, the term usually used for corporeal relics, they are much more likely to have been contact relics (since the church of Rome fiercely protected the bodies of its saints - see: Wiśniewski 2009, 179). For another reference to this shrine, see E01132.


Edition: Karo, G., and others (eds.), Callinici de vita S. Hypatii Liber, (Lepizig: Teubner, 1895). Bartelink, G., Callinicos, Vie d'Hypatios (Sources Chretiennes 177; Paris: Cerf, 1971), with French translation and commentary. Further reading: Hellenkemper, H., "Anatolische Riviera. Byzantinische Kaiserpälaste in Bithynien", in: E. Winter and K. Zimmermann (eds.), Neue Funde und Forschungen in Bithynien (Asia Minor Studien 69; Cologne, 2013), 62-63. Janin, R., La Géographie Ecclésiastique de l'Empire Byzantin, vol. 2: Les églises et les monastères des grands centres byzantins (Bithynie, Hellespont, Latros, Galèsios, Trébizonde, Athènes, Thessalonique) (Paris, 1975), 37. Wiśniewski, R., "Początki dzielenia relikwii świętych w chrześcijaństwie antycznym. Czy Grecy są winni?", in: A. Wolicki (ed.), TIMAI Studia poświęcone profesorowi Włodzimierzowi Lengauerowi przez uczniów i młodszych kolegów z okazji Jego 60. urodzin (Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2009), 179.

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