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E03593: Marcellinus Comes, in his Chronicle, written in Latin in Constantinople, 518/534, describes how the relics of *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030) were brought to the West by the presbyter and historian Orosius in 416.

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posted on 23.08.2017, 00:00 by dlambert
Marcellinus Comes, Chronicle

XIIII. Theodosii Aug. VII et Palladii
Orosius presbyter Hispani generis septem libros historiarum descripsit. missus ab Augustino episcopo idem Orosius pro discenda animae ratione ad Hieronymum presbyterum reliquias beati Stephani tunc nuper inventas rediens primus intulit Occidenti.

'14th indiction, consulship of Theodosius (7th) and Palladius [= 416]
Orosius, a priest of the Spanish nation, compiled a seven-book history. This same Orosius, sent by the bishop Augustine to the priest Jerome to find out about the essence of the soul, was on his return the first to obtain for the West the then recently found relics of the Blessed Stephen.'

Text: Mommsen 1894. Translation: Croke 1995.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source


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 - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - unspecified Transfer, translation and deposition of relics Transfer/presence of relics from distant countries


Marcellinus (PLRE II, 'Marcellinus 9') was an imperial official at Constantinople under the emperors Anastasius, Justin, and Justinian. The epithet Comes ('Count') is his official rank. He came originally from the province of Dardania in the western Balkans, and wrote in Latin. Marcellinus' Chronicle was a continuation of the chronicle of Jerome, covering events from the 370s to 518. It was subsequently updated to 534 by Marcellinus himself, and to 548 by an anonymous continuator. Marcellinus dates events by indictions (the fifteen-year tax cycle used in the later Roman empire) and by the consuls of each year.


Marcellinus' entry is based on Gennadius, De viris illustribus 40 on Orosius (E06063). Its account of Orosius' role in bringing Stephen's relics to the West follows Gennadius almost word for word (Croke 1995, 72).


Edition: Mommsen, T., Marcellini v.c. comitis Chronicon, in: Chronica minora saec. IV V VI VII (II) (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores antiquissimi 11; Berlin, 1894), 60-108 English translation and commentary: Croke, B., The Chronicle of Marcellinus: Text and Commentary (Byzantina Australiensia 7; Sydney, 1995). Further reading: Croke, B., Count Marcellinus and His Chronicle (Oxford, 2001).

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