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E01196: The emperor Justin I (r. 518-527) and the Gothic general Vitalian make peace with each other soon after the former's accession by taking oaths in the church of *Euphemia (martyr of Chalcedon, S00017) in the city of Chalcedon (north-west Asia Minor, near Constantinople). Record in the Syriac Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor (6th c.).

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posted on 13.03.2016, 00:00 by sminov
Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor VIII.2

ܘܗܝܕܝܢ ܢܩܝܦܝܢ ܗܘܘ ܠܗ ܐܦ ܥܡ̈ܡܐ ܡܫܚܠܦ̈ܐ ܘܓܘ̈ܬܝܐ. ܘܬܟܝܠܐܝܬ ܐܬܐ. ܘܢܦܩ ܡܠܟܐ ܠܒܝܬ ܣܗ̈ܕܐ ܕܐܦܡܝܐ ܕܟܠܩܕܘܢܐ. ܘܐܝܡܘ ܠܚܕ̈ܕܐ ܘܥܠܘ ܠܡܕܝܢܬܐ. ܘܚܕ ܡܢ ܐܣܛܖ̈ܛܝܓܐ ܗܘܐ ܖ̈ܘܪܒܢܐ.

'Following Vitalian were diverse nations and Goths, and so he arrived with confidence, and the emperor went out to the martyrion of Euphemia at Chalcedon. They gave oaths to one another and then entered the city, and he became one of the leading generals.'

Ed. Brooks 1919-1924, v. 2, p. 63. Trans. Greatrex et al. 2011, pp. 282-283.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity




Evidence ID


Saint Name

Euphemia, martyr in Chalcedon, ob. 303 : S00017

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


Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Amida Edessa Edessa Ἔδεσσα Edessa

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family Foreigners (including Barbarians)


The Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor is a historiographical work that, for the most part, deals with the period from the middle of the 5th to the middle of the 6th century. It was composed, apparently, around the year 568/9 by a Syriac-speaking writer, most likely a citizen of the city of Amida. Produced as a whole in Syriac, the Chronicle is a complex and composite work, which includes a number of texts translated into Syriac from Greek, such as the History of Joseph and Aseneth, the Acts of St Silvester of Rome, and the Ecclesiastical History of Zachariah of Mytilene. Syriac text: Brooks 1919-1924, vv. 1-2; English translation: Hamilton and Brooks 1899; Greatrex et al. 2011; German translation: Ahrens and Krüger 1899; Latin translation: Brooks 1919-1924, v. 3. For general information, see Greatrex 2006; Greatrex et al. 2011, pp. 1-92.


The Chronicle reports that when the emperor Justin I (r. 518-527) and the Gothic general Vitalian met in order to reconcile with each other soon after the former's accession, they did that by taking oaths in the church of Euphemia in the city of Chalcedon, presumably invoking the power of the saint to uphold their oaths. It has been argued by Muriel Debié (2004, pp. 157, 162-163), that the author of the Chronicle derives this information from the work of John Malalas (see ed. Thurn 2000, pp. *1-3). The passage bears witness on the use of Euphemia's church as a place for important political meetings.


Main editions and translations: Ahrens, K., and Krüger, G., Die sogennante Kirchengeschichte des Zacharias Rhetor (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana, Scriptores Sacri et Profani 3; Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1899). Brooks, E.W., Historia ecclesiastica Zachariae Rhetori vulgo adscripta. 4 vols (CSCO Syr. III.5-6; Louvain: Typographeo Reipublicae, 1919, 1921, 1924). Greatrex, G., Phenix, R.R., Horn, C.B., Brock, S.P., and Witakowski, W., The Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor: Church and War in Late Antiquity (Translated Texts for Historians 55; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2011). Hamilton, F.J., and Brooks, E.W., The Syriac Chronicle Known as That of Zachariah of Mitylene (Byzantine Texts; London: Methuen & Co., 1899). Further reading (Pseudo-Zachariah): Greatrex, G., "Pseudo-Zachariah of Mytilene: The Context and Nature of His Work," Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies 6 (2006), 39-52. Further reading: Debié, M., “Jean Malalas et la tradition chronographique de langue syriaque,” in: J. Beaucamp, S. Agusta-Boularot, A.-M. Bernardi, B. Cabouret and E. Caire (eds.), Recherches sur la chronique de Jean Malalas, I (Travaux et mémoires du Centre de recherche d’histoire et civilisation de Byzance, Monographies 15; Paris: Centre de recherche d’histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2004), 147-164. Thurn, H. (ed.), Ioannis Malalae Chronographia (Corpus fontium historiae Byzantinae 35; Berlin / New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2000).



Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity