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E05722: John Malalas in his Chronographia mentions the shrine of *Mamas (martyr of Caesarea in Cappadocia, S00436) on the Bosphorus (close to Constantinople), where the emperor Leo I (r. 457-474) resided for six months after a disastrous fire in Constantinople in 469. Written in Greek at Antioch (Syria) or Constantinople, in the mid-6th c.

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posted on 13.06.2018, 00:00 by erizos
John Malalas, Chronographia, 14.43

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ βασιλείᾳ ἐμπρησμὸς μέγας ἐν Κωνσταντινουπόλει οἷος οὐδέποτε· ἐκαύθη γὰρ ἀπὸ θαλάσσης ἕως θαλάσσης· καὶ φοβηθεὶς τὸ παλάτιον ἐξῆλθεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Λέων πέραν εἰς τὸν ἅγιον Μάμαντα καὶ ἐποίησεν ἐκεῖ μῆνας ἓξ ἐν προκέσσῳ· καὶ ἔκτισεν ἐκεῖ λιμενάριν καὶ ἔμβολον, ὅπερ ἐκάλεσε νέον ἔμβολον· ὅστις οὕτω καλεῖται ἕως τῆς νῦν.

‘There occurred in his reign [Leo I] a great conflagration in Constantinople, such as had never been experienced before. The flames spread from sea to sea, and the emperor Leo, fearing for the palace, left the city and crossed over to Saint Mamas. He spent six months there on a processus. He built a harbour there and a colonnade, which he called the New Colonnade, as it is called to the present day.’

Text: Thurn 2000. Translation: Jeffreys, Jeffreys, and Scott 1986.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity




Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mamas, martyr of Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia : S00436

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

Syria with Phoenicia Constantinople and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes Constantinople

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Constantinople Constantinople Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis Constantinopolis Constantinople Istanbul

Major author/Major anonymous work

John Malalas

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Other


The Chronographia of John Malalas (c. 490–c. 570) is a Christian chronicle of universal history, from Adam to the death of Justinian I (565). It appears to have been composed in two parts, the earlier of which focuses on the history of Antioch and the East, ending in c. 528 or 532. The second part focuses on the urban history of Constantinople up to the death of Justinian. Malalas is likely to have pursued a career in the imperial administration at both Antioch and Constantinople, writing the two parts of his chronicle while living in these two cities. Malalas was widely used as a source by Byzantine chroniclers and historians, including John of Ephesus, John of Antioch, Evagrius Scholasticus, the Paschal Chronicle, John of Nikiu, John of Damascus, Theophanes, George the Monk, pseudo-Symeon, Kedrenos, Zonaras, Theodore Skoutariotes, and Nikephoros Kallistou Xanthopoulos. The text of the chronicle is preserved in a very fragmentary form, based on quotations in other sources (notably the Paschal Chronicle and Theophanes), and on a Slavonic translation which follows a more extensive version of the original text. It is believed that we now have about 90% of the text. On the composition and manuscript tradition of the text, see Thurn 2000, and:


The association of the shrine and palace of Hagios Mamas, which lay very probably in the area of today's Beşiktaş, with the fire of 469 is the earliest documentation of this shrine's existence (Janin 1969, 314).


Text: Dindorf, L., Ioannis Malalae Chronographia (Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae; Bonn, 1831). Thurn, J., Ioannis Malalae Chronographia (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 35; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000). Translation: Jeffreys, E., Jeffreys, M., and Scott, R., The Chronicle of John Malalas: A Translation (Sydney, 1986). On Malalas: Carrara, L., Meier, M., and Radtki-Jansen, C. (eds.), Die Weltchronik des Johannes Malalas. Quellenfragen (Malalas-Studien 2; Göttingen: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2017). Jeffreys, E., Croke, B., and Scott, R. (eds.), Studies in John Malalas (Sydney, 1990). Meier, M., Radtki-Jansen, C., and Schulz, F. (eds.), Die Weltchronik des Johannes Malalas: Autor, Werk, Überlieferung (Malalas-Studien 1; Göttingen: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016). Treadgold, W.T. The Early Byzantine Historians (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 235-256. Further reading: Janin, R., La géographie ecclésiastique de l'empire Byzantin. I 3: Les eglises et les monastères de la ville de Constantinople. 2nd ed. (Paris, 1969).



Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity