ps.-Hesychius of Jerusalem, Homily 17, On the Holy Martyrs (CPG 6588 = BHG 1191i)
The text consists of edifying comments on prayer, charity, and humility.
Saint NameMartyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060
Type of EvidenceLiterary - Sermons/Homilies
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after600
Activity not before400
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionPalestine with Sinai
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcJerusalem
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Jerusalem
Major author/Major anonymous workHesychius of Jerusalem
Cult activities - Liturgical Activity
Cult activities - Festivals
SourceHesychius lived as a monk and priest in Palestine and Jerusalem in the first half of the 5th century. A member of the clergy of the Holy Sepulchre, he was a leading theologian and author, flourishing from the 410s to perhaps after 451. He was a close associate of Juvenal (bishop of Jerusalem 422-458), and participated in the theological debate against Nestorius, supporting Cyril of Alexandria. The date of his death is uncertain. Theophanes reports that he died in the same year as Melania the Younger (ed. de Boor 92, 20: AM 5926), but he is also reported to have been alive when the Council of Chalcedon took place in 451, and to have opposed it.
His surviving works include commentaries and homilies. He is known to have published an ecclesiastical history, which has not survived. The circulation of his works in the Middle Ages seems to have been geographically limited, since they tend to be found in manuscripts from Jerusalem and southern Italy, but hardly ever in Constantinopolitan ones. His homilies are important testimonies for the early stages of development of the liturgical traditions of the church of Jerusalem, and the appearance of a number of feasts with a strong Marian dimension like the 14 February feast of Hypapante (Candlemas) and 15 August.
The text survives in one manuscript, Vat. Gr. 1524 (10th/11th c.).
DiscussionThe extant text does not provide sufficient evidence to allow its safe inclusion in the corpus of Hesychius’ genuine works. Its date and provenance are unknown.
BibliographyText, French translation, and commentary:
Aubineau, M., Les homélies festales d’Hésychius de Jérusalem II: les homélies XVI-XXI (Subsidia Hagiographica 59; Brussels, 1980), 668-705.