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E03600: Marcellinus Comes, in his Chronicle, written in Latin in Constantinople, 518/534, reports that Laurentius, bishop of Lychnidus, was miraculously healed in the church of *Kosmas and Damianos (brothers, physician martyrs of Syria, S00385) at Constantinople, in 516/518.

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

IX. Petri solius
[...]
Laurentium praeterea Lychnidensem, Domnionem Serdicensem, Alcissum Nicopolitanum, Gaianum Naisitanum et Euangelum Pautaliensem, catholicos Illyrici sacerdotes, suis Anastasius praesentari iussit obtutibus [...] solus Laurentius Anastasium imperatorem in palatio pro fide catholica saepe convincens apud comitatum ac si in exilio relegatus retentusque est, mobiliorque deinde corpore, quam Constantinopolim advenerat, effectus. nam septimo infirmitatis suae anno idem Laurentius fide sua et Christi gratia in atrio Cosmae et Damiani sanatus est pedibusque sistere propriis gressibusque meruit confirmari suaeque dein patriae incolumis reddi, ibique maior octogenario requiescit.

'9th indiction, consulship of Peter alone
[...]
Furthermore, Anastasius ordered some catholic bishops of Illyricum to be presented to his sight: Laurentius of Lychnidos, Domnio of Serdica, Alcissus of Nicopolis, Gaianus of Naissus, and Evangelus of Pautalia [...] only Laurentius was retained as if he had been exiled, while frequently arguing about the catholic faith with the emperor in the palace in the presence of the imperial court. He afterwards proved more agile in body than when he had come to Constantinople for, in the seventh year of his infirmity, this very Laurentius was healed by his faith and by the grace of Christ in the church of Cosmas and Damian, and he won the reward of standing firm on his feet and being strengthened in his gait. Afterwards he returned safely to his country where he died aged more than eighty.'

Text: Mommsen 1894. Translation: Croke 1995 (modified).

History

Evidence ID

E03600

Saint Name

Kosmas and Damianos, brothers, physician martyrs of Syria, ob. 285/287 : S00385

Saint Name in Source

Cosmas et Damianus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

515

Evidence not after

535

Activity not before

516

Activity not after

518

Place of Evidence - Region

Constantinople and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Constantinople

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 - Miracles

Miracle after death Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Source

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.

Discussion

In his entry for the year 516, Marcellinus states that the emperor Anastasius ordered five bishops from sees in the western Balkans (the Roman prefecture of Illyricum) to be 'presented to his sight' (praesentari iussit obtutibus) – that is, to attend him at Constantinople. Marcellinus tells us that two of them died there, and two others were allowed to return fairly quickly to their sees, but that Laurentius, bishop of Lychnidus (present-day Ohrid, North Macedonia), was kept in the capital 'as if in exile' (ac si in exilio). Much about this incident (which is not reported by anyone except Marcellinus) is obscure, but it seems reasonably clear that the bishops were opponents of Anastasius' religious policies, as is explicitly stated of Laurentius in the quoted passage. It is likely that their detention was related in some way to the aftermath of the conflict (513-515) between Anastasius and the rebellious commander of troops on the Danube frontier, Vitalian, in which opposition to the emperor's anti-Chalcedonian religious views had been a major element. Marcellinus tells us that while he was in Constantinople, the elderly Laurentius, who was suffering a condition that affected his feet and ability to walk, was healed in the church (atrium) of Kosmas and Damianos. Since it was in existence in 516/518, this must be the church mentioned by Procopius in his Buildings (E04389). The healing of Laurentius must have taken place between his detention in 516 and the death of Anastasius in July 518, when Laurentius was presumably allowed to return home, if he had not been already.

Bibliography

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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