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E04013: Socrates in his Ecclesiastical History reports that, in 400, the emperor Arcadius and the Gothic leader Gainas took oaths of non-aggression at the shrine of *Euphemia (martyr of Chalcedon, S00017) at Chalcedon, near Cosntantinople. Later, Gainas was prevented by angels from torching the imperial palace in Constantinople, and settled at the shrine of *John (the Baptist S00020, or the Evangelist S00042) at Hebdomon, pretending to suffer from a demon. Written in Greek at Constantinople, 439/446.

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posted on 12.09.2017, 00:00 by erizos
Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, 6.6.9-23

9. Τοῦ δὲ ἐξαιτοῦντος δύο τῶν πρώτων τῆς συγκλήτου ἄνδρας ἀπὸ ὑπάτων, οὓς ὑπενόει ἐκκόψειν αὐτοῦ τὰς ὁρμάς, Σατορνίλον καὶ Αὐρηλιανόν, ἄκων αὐτοὺς τῇ ἀνάγκῃ τοῦ καιροῦ παρεῖχεν ὁ βασιλεύς. 10. Καὶ οἱ μὲν ὑπὲρ τοῦ κοινοῦ προαποθνῄσκειν αἱρούμενοι γενναίως τῇ τοῦ βασιλέως κελεύσει ὑπήκουον καὶ πόρρω τῆς Χαλκηδόνος ἐν χωρίῳ ἱπποδρόμῳ <καλουμένῳ> ὑπήντων, ἕτοιμοι πάσχειν πᾶν ὁτιοῦν ὁ βάρβαρος ἤθελεν. 11. Ἀλλ’ οὗτοι μὲν οὐδὲν φαῦλον ὑπέμειναν, ὁ δὲ ἀκκιζόμενος παρῆν ἐπὶ τὴν Χαλκηδόνα, ἀπήντα δὲ ἐκεῖσε καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἀρκάδιος. 12. Γενόμενοί τε ἐν τῷ μαρτυρίῳ, ἔνθα τὸ σῶμα τῆς μάρτυρος Εὐφημίας ἀπόκειται, ὅρκοις ἐπιστοῦντο ἀλλήλους ὅ τε βασιλεὺς καὶ ὁ βάρβαρος ἦ μὴν μὴ ἐπιβουλεύσειν ἀλλήλοις. 13. Ἀλλ’ ὁ μὲν βασιλεύς, εὔορκός τις ἀνὴρ καὶ διὰ τοῦτο θεοφιλής, τοῖς ὅρκοις ἐνέμεινεν, Γαϊνᾶς δὲ παρεσπόνδει τε καὶ τοῦ οἰκείου σκοποῦ οὐκ ἐξέβαινεν, ἀλλ’ ἐμπρησμούς τε καὶ λαφυραγωγίας ἐμελέτα ποιήσασθαι κατά τε τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως καὶ καθ’ ὅλης, εἰ δύναιτο, τῆς Ῥωμαίων ἀρχῆς. 14. Βεβαρβάρωτο γοῦν ἡ πόλις ὑπὸ τῶν πολλῶν μυριάδων <τῶν Γότθων>, καὶ οἱ αὐτῆς οἰκήτορες ἐν αἰχμαλώτων μοίρᾳ ἐγένοντο. 15. Τοσοῦτος δὲ ἦν ὁ ἐπικρεμασθεὶς τῇ πόλει κίνδυνος, ὡς καὶ κομήτην μέγιστον ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ μέχρι τῆς γῆς διήκοντα, καὶ οἷον οὐδεὶς ἐθεάσατο πρότερον, μηνύειν αὐτόν. 16. Ὁ μέντοι Γαϊνᾶς πρῶτον μὲν ἐπειράθη ἀνέδην διαρπαγὴν τοῦ δημοσίᾳ ἐν τοῖς ἐργαστηρίοις πωλουμένου ἀργύρου ποιήσασθαι. 17. Ὡς δὲ φήμης προμηνυσάσης τὴν ἔφοδον ἐφυλάξαντο προθεῖναι ἐν ταῖς τραπέζαις τὸν ἄργυρον, αὖθις ἐπὶ ἑτέραν ἐχώρει βουλήν, καὶ νυκτὸς μεσούσης ἐκπέμπει πλῆθος βαρβάρων ἐπὶ τὸ ἐμπρῆσαι τὰ βασίλεια. 18. Τότε δὴ καὶ ἐδείχθη περιφανῶς, ὅπως ὁ Θεὸς πρόνοιαν ἐποιεῖτο τῆς πόλεως· ἀγγέλων γὰρ πλῆθος ὤφθη τοῖς ἐπιβουλεύουσιν ἐν σχήματι ὁπλιτῶν μεγάλα ἐχόντων τὰ σώματα. 19. Οὓς ὑποτοπήσαντες οἱ βάρβαροι ἀληθῶς εἶναι στρατὸν πολὺν καὶ γενναῖον, καταπλαγέντες ὑπανεχώρησαν. 20. Ὡς δὲ ἀγγελθὲν τοῦτο τῷ Γαϊνᾷ πέρα πίστεως κατεφαίνετο (ἠπίστατο γὰρ μὴ παρεῖναι τὸ πολὺ τῶν Ῥωμαίων ὁπλιτικόν· κατὰ τὰς πόλεις γὰρ ἐνίδρυτο), πέμπει καὶ αὖθις ἑτέρους τῇ τε ἐχομένῃ νυκτὶ καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα πολλάκις. 21. Ὡς δὲ καὶ διαφόρως ἀποστείλαντι τὰ αὐτὰ ἀπηγγέλλετο, (ἀεὶ γὰρ οἱ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἄγγελοι τὴν αὐτὴν τοῖς ἐπιβουλεύουσιν παρεῖχον φαντασίαν), τέλος αὐτὸς σὺν πλήθει πολλῷ προσελθὼν πεῖραν λαμβάνει τοῦ θαύματος. 22. Ὑπονοήσας δὲ ἀληθῶς στρατιωτῶν εἶναι πλῆθος καὶ τοῦτο δι’ ἡμέρας μὲν λανθάνειν, νύκτωρ δὲ πρὸς τὴν αὐτοῦ ἐπιχείρησιν ἀντέχειν, τεχνάζεται βούλησιν, ὡς μὲν ἐνόμιζεν, Ῥωμαίους βλάπτουσαν, ἐπωφελῆ δέ, ὡς ἡ ἔκβασις ἔδειξεν. 23. Ὑποκρινόμενος γὰρ δαιμονᾶν ὡς εὐξόμενος τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦ ἀποστόλου Ἰωάννου (ἑπτὰ δὲ σημείοις ἀπέχει τοῦτο τῆς πόλεως) καταλαμβάνει.

‘Gainas asked for two of the most distinguished members of the senate, the former consuls Satornilos and Aurelianos, whom he suspected as likely to spoil his plans. The emperor delivered them against his own will, yielding to the pressure of the situation. The two men, preferring to die for the common good, bravely obeyed the emperor's orders and met the barbarian at a place near Chalcedon, which is called Hippodrome, being ready to endure whatever the barbarian would choose to do to them. Yet they suffered no harm, and Gainas, pretending that everything was well, came to Chalcedon where the emperor Arcadius also went to meet him. Both the emperor and the barbarian visited the shrine where the body of the martyr Euphemia rests, and they reassured one another on oath that neither would attempt to harm the other. The emperor, being a man who honoured his oaths and therefore dear to God, remained faithful to his commitment, but Gainas violated it and did not swerve from his original purpose. On the contrary, he was planning to burn down and plunder Constantinople and, if he could, the whole Roman Empire. The city was indeed taken over by myriads of barbarians, and its residents were reduced to a state of captivity. The danger threatening the city was so great that it was indicated by a huge comet, reaching from heaven to earth, such as no one had ever seen before. Gainas first shamelessly attempted to make seizure of the silver displayed for sale at the workshops. Yet a rumour made his raid known in advance, and they avoided putting the silverware out on display. He therefore proceeded with another plan, and, in the middle of the night, sent a vast group of barbarians to torch the palace. Then, however, it became plainly clear that God was protecting the city. A multitude of angels appeared to the attackers in the form of armed men of gigantic stature. The barbarians, believing that these were a large and valiant regiment of troops, were terrified and turned away. When this was reported to Gainas, he could not believe it—for he knew that the greatest part of the Roman army was not present in the capital, but was stationed in the cities—and he sent others on the following night and several other times afterwards. Since all the different groups he sent returned reporting the same thing—for the angels of God kept presenting the same vision to the attackers—he came with a great multitude and experienced the prodigy himself. Then believing that what he had seen was indeed a body of soldiers, which was kept secret by day, but was marshalled against his ventures by night, he conceived a plan which he thought to be detrimental to the Romans, but its outcome proved it to be greatly to their advantage. Pretending to suffer from a demon, he arrived at the shrine of John the Apostle, which is seven miles distant from the city, supposedly in order to pray (…).’

Text: Hansen 1995.
Translation: E. Rizos.

History

Evidence ID

E04013

Saint Name

Euphemia, martyr of Chalcedon : S00017 John, the Apostle and Evangelist : S00042 John the Baptist : S00020

Saint Name in Source

Εῦφημία Ἰωάννης Ἰωάννης

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

439

Evidence not after

446

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

400

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

Major author/Major anonymous work

Socrates

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miraculous protection - of communities, towns, armies Miraculous interventions in war

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family Soldiers Aristocrats Officials Foreigners (including Barbarians)

Source

Socrates ‘Scholasticus’ was born between 380 and 390 in Constantinople, where he probably spent his entire life. He was trained as a grammarian and rhetorician under the sophist Troilos of Side. From his work, Socrates emerges as a classically educated intellectual, and probably a member of the higher echelons of Constantinopolitan society. His only known work, the seven-volume Ecclesiastical History, was published between 439 and 446, very probably in 439/440. It covers the period from the accession of Constantine to 439, focusing on the Roman East and recounting the 4th century Christological disputes, the reign of Julian the Apostate, the conflicts that led to the deposition of John Chrysostom, and the beginnings of the Nestorian dispute. Socrates’ synthesis is defined by his loyalties to Nicene Orthodoxy, the Theodosian dynasty, and the Origenist tradition. He is markedly sympathetic to the Novatian community, of which he may have been a member, and is interested in recording information about several other sectarian Christian groups of his time. Although an Origenist, like John Chrysostom and his supporters, Socrates distances himself from the Johannite party. Socrates draws extensively on the Latin Ecclesiastical History of Rufinus of Aquileia for his account of the 4th century, which results in substantial overlaps between their works. In this database, we record only Socrates’ additions, and not the sections he reproduces from Rufinus. Alongside the recording of doctrinal disputes, successions of bishops, and victims of persecutions, Socrates was the first author to include a relatively systematic treatment of monasticism to the agenda of ecclesiastical historiography. It seems that he had access only to Greek and Latin sources, but not to the Syriac and other Aramaic hagiographies produced in this period in the East. The work of Socrates is the first of the three Orthodox ecclesiastical Histories published in Greek between 439 and 449. Within less than ten years of its publication, Socrates’ work was systematically reworked and expanded by Sozomen, and may have been known also to Theodoret of Cyrrhus. Socrates’ narrative overlaps extensively with both of these ecclesiastical histories. This boom in Greek ecclesiastical historiography may have been instigated by the publication in Constantinople of an Arian Ecclesiastical History by Philostorgius in 425/433, which survives in fragments.

Discussion

The story of the revolt of Gainas, as recounted by Socrates and after him Sozomen, contains one of the first dated references to two great shrines of the broader Constantinopitan region, namely that of Euphemia at Chalcedon and that of John at Hebdomon. The formal oaths taken by the two rivals, Arcadius and Gainas, at Chalcedon are the first attestation of such a major political act taking place at a martyr’s shrine. The main shrine of Hebdomon was a complex of two churches, a basilica dedicated to John the Evangelist, and a rotunda of John the Baptist (Patria of Constantinople, 3.144-145). The two churches are frequently confused in the sources. With regard to the story recounted here, Socrates reports that Gainas resorted to the shrine of John the Evangelist, whereas Sozomen talks of the shrine of John the Baptist. Cf. Sozomen 8.4.14-15: (14) (...) νομίσας τε αὐτοῦ χάριν συνεληλυθέναι τοὺς ἐκ τῶν ἄλλων πόλεων στρατιώτας καὶ νύκτωρ μὲν φρουρεῖν τὴν πόλιν καὶ τὰ βασίλεια, ἐν ἡμέρᾳ δὲ λανθάνειν, σκήπτεται δαιμονᾶν·ὡς εὐξόμενός τε καταλαμβάνει τὴν ἐκκλησίαν ἣν ἐπὶ τιμῇ Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ ὁ τοῦ βασιλέως πατὴρ ᾠκοδόμησε πρὸς τῷ Ἑβδόμῳ. 'Believing that the troops from the other cities had gathered together because of him, and were guarding the city and palace by night, while hiding during the day, he pretended to be suffering from a demon, and went for prayer to the church which the emperor's father had built at Hebdomon in honour of John the Baptist.' Sozomen’s testimony that the church was built by Theodosius I agrees with the Chronicon Paschale and the Patria of Constantinople which ascribe the church of the Baptist to him. Theodosius I is said to have deposited there the head of John in 391 (ed. Bonn, p. 564; see E04052). The origins of the church of John the Evangelist are uncertain, but it seems to have been regarded as more ancient that that of the Baptist. According to the Patria of Constantinople it was founded by Constantine I (Patria of Constantinople, 3. 144-145).

Bibliography

Text: Hansen, G.C., Sokrates, Kirchengeschichte (Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte NF 1; Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1995). Translations: Zenos, A.C., "The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus," in: The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 2 (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1890), 1-178. Périchon, P., and Maraval, P., Socrate de Constantinople, Histoire ecclésiastique (Sources Chrétiennes 477, 493, 505, 506; Paris: Cerf), 2004-2007. Further reading: Bäbler, B., and Nesselrath, H.-G. (eds.). Die Welt des Sokrates von Konstantinopel: Studien zu Politik, Religion und Kultur im späten 4. und frühen 5. Jh. n. Chr. Zu Ehren von Christoph Schäublin (Munich: K.G. Saur, 2001). Chesnut, G.F., The First Christian Histories: Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Evagrius (Atlanta: Mercer University, 1986). Janin, R., La géographie ecclésiastique de l'empire Byzantin. I 3: Les eglises et les monastères de la ville de Constantinople (Paris, 1969). Leppin, H., Von Constantin dem Grossen zu Theodosius II. Das christliche Kaisertum bei den Kirchenhistorikern Socrates, Sozomenus und Theodoret (Hypomnemata 110; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), 1996. Nuffelen, P. van, Un héritage de paix et de piété: Étude sur les histoires ecclésiastiques de Socrate et de Sozomène (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 142; Leuven: Peeters), 2004. Treadgold, W.T., The Early Byzantine Historians (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). Urbainczyk, T., Socrates of Constantinople: Historian of Church and State (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997). Wallraff, M., Der Kirchenhistoriker Sokrates: Untersuchungen zu Geschichtsdarstellung, Methode und Person (Forschungen zur Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte 68; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1997).

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