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E03601: Marcellinus Comes, in his Chronicle, written in Latin in Constantinople, 518/534, reports that relics of *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030) were brought to Constantinople from Jerusalem by the empress Eudocia and placed in the church of *Laurence (deacon and martyr of Rome, S00037) in 439.

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

VII. Theodosii XVII et Festi
Eudocia uxor Theodosii principis ab Hierosolymis urbem regiam remeavit, beatissimi Stephani primi martyris reliquias quae in basilica sancti Laurentii positae venerantur, secum deferens.

'7th indiction, consulship of Theodosius (17th) and Festus [= 439]
Eudocia, the wife of the emperor Theodosius, returned from Jerusalem to the imperial city, bringing with her the relics of the most blessed Stephen, the first martyr, which were placed in the basilica of St. Laurence, were they are venerated.'

Text: Mommsen 1894. Translation: Croke 1995.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030 Laurence, deacon and martyr of Rome : S00037

Saint Name in Source

Stephanus Laurentius

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 - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family Women

Cult Activities - Relics

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.


Eudocia, the wife of Theodosius II, went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 438-439, during which she founded a church dedicated to Stephen at Jerusalem (see E04493). According to Marcellinus, the relics that she brought back with her to Constantinople were deposited in the church of St Laurence, where they were still venerated in his own day. In a subsequent entry in the chronicle (E03598), he says that this church was completed in 453, so presumably the deposition took place at its foundation.


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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