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E05453: Proclus of Constantinople composes his Homily 17, On *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030), which he preaches during a festival in Constantinople. Written in Greek in the 420s or 430s.

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posted on 17.05.2018, 00:00 by erizos
Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 17, On Stephen (CPG 5816 = BHG 1657)

The sermon was clearly preached during the saint’s feast at Christmastide (26/27 December), since it contains references to the birth of Christ and Mary. It offers a lengthy exegetical analysis of the biblical narrative on Stephen.

History

Evidence ID

E05453

Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source

Στέφανος

Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

406

Evidence not after

446

Activity not before

406

Activity not after

446

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

Proclus of Constantinople

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Source

The life and career of Proclus of Constantinople (c. 380-446) are closely tied into the vibrant intellectual life and tumultuous ecclesiastical politics of Constantinople under the Theodosian dynasty. He was born around AD 380 in Constantinople, where he was trained in rhetoric. An associate of John Chrysostom, his clerical career started under bishop Atticus of Constantinople (406-425) whom he served as a secretary and author of his sermons, and by whom he was ordained to the priesthood. He was elected bishop of Cyzicus in 426, but never took up residence at his see, and continued to reside at Constantinople. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the episcopal throne of Constantinople in 426, 427, and 431, till he was appointed to it at the death of bishop Maximian (431-434). Proclus’ main claim to fame was his celebrated sermons on the Virgin Mary, which he delivered during the episcopate of Nestorius, and which became fundamental texts for the Christology and Mariology of the Council of Ephesus (431). Most of his surviving works are homiletic, on the major feast days of the Church of Constantinople, whose liturgical tradition and calendar were then taking their shape. The relatively small corpus of his genuine works has not been fully assembled yet, and there are a number of dubious or spurious works ascribed to him. This homily is also preserved in Slavonic, Armenian, and Arabic translations. On the manuscript tradition, see Leroy 1967, 126-131, and: http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/notices/oeuvre/6888/

Discussion

Leroy (1967, 158) believes that this homily was preached on the day, or one of the anniversaries, of the arrival of the relics of Stephen in Constantinople, brought under the influence of the empress Pulcheria in the 420s.

Bibliography

Text: Migne, J.-P., Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Graeca 65 (Paris, 1864), 809-817 (Riccardi). Further reading: Constas, N.P., Proclus of Constantinople and the Cult of the Virgin in Late Antiquity: Homilies 1-5, Texts and Translations (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 66; Leiden: Brill, 2003). Leroy, F.J., L'homilétique de Proclus de Constantinople (Studi e Testi 247; Città Vaticano, 1967).

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