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Medieval Sourcebook:
Mark the Deacon:
Life of Porphyry, Bishop of Gaza


[This is a now out-of-copyright translation of this fascinating Life. A new English translation by Claudia Rapp, based on Gregoire's edition, will be published in Medieval Hagiography: A Sourcebook, ed. Thomas Head, (New York: Garland, forthcoming 1998) , and should be consulted by students. Scholars should be sure to consult Marc le Diacre, Vie de Porphyre, ed. and French. trans. by Henri Gregoire and M.A. Kugener, (Paris: Belles lettres, 1930) for a discussion of the serious textual problems.]


The electronic version of this text follows Hill's printed version. In a few cases comments have been add in {these brackets}. Scripture references have been inserted into the text, and notes have been moved from back matter to follow each chapter's text. In the notes, Greek words have been rendered in Latin transcription.


THE present translation of the Life of Saint Porphyry is based on the Greek text published in the Teubner series by the members of the Bonn Philological Society in 1895. My thanks are due to Messrs. Teubner for their courtesy in allowing me to make use of this text, the pages of which are indicated by figures preceded by the letter T in the margin of this translation. {In this etext the T is simply inserted and highlighted within the text.} I have written a short introduction dealing with certain points arising out of the subject, and have added a few notes, which make no claim to originality. Some of these give the Greek text in cases where technical phrases are used, or where I have realized that the original might, perhaps, by scholars more conversant than myself with the Greek of the period, be more adequately rendered. In the notes are also given the chronological data, and the equivalents in weight of gold of the various sums of money mentioned in the text; to attempt to estimate their purchasing power would be futile. For the translation, at the risk of recalling the atmosphere of Wardour Street, a more or less Biblical English has been employed. Such a style seemed naturally to impose itself, in spite of certain inevitable incongruities. The references to the Bible under the text are given first to the English Authorized Version, and then, in brackets, to the Septuagint, where the latter requires a different citation. In the rendering of such quotations I have not followed any English version consistently, so that probably no reader is likely to be satisfied.

The bibliography records the books which I have specially consulted, together with the various editions of the Latin translation by Hervet. It does not, however, contain general books, such as those of Harnack and Duchesne, which must be at the side of every student of the period; nor can it express the amount of my indebtedness to the admirable little dissertation by A. Nuth. Finally, I should like to express my thanks to Mr. H. I. Bell, Mr. Walter Ashburner, and the Rev. C. F. Rogers for their kind assistance in various difficulties; to Mr. J. A. Herbert, who has made various valuable suggestions in reading the translation and Introduction; and above all to Mr. Norman H. Baynes, who has throughout freely placed his great knowledge of Byzantine literature at my disposal, and has read the Introduction and Notes. For the defects in these, as in the translation, I am, however, of course wholly responsible.

G. F. H.
Aug. 19I2



H = Jerusalem, Patriarchal Library, Cod. S. Sepulchri 1, x cent. B = Oxford, Baroccianus graec. 238, xi cent. V = Vienna, hist. graec. 3, x or xi cent. Vatican, Ottobonianus graec. 92, xvi cent. [a copy of V]. P = Paris, Bibl. Nat. 1452, x cent. (Epitome). M = Moscow, 184 (376), xi cent. (Epitome). On these see the Introduction to the Teubner edition, and Nuth's dissertation, pp. I f.


A. Greek

Editio Princeps, from V, by M. Haupt, in Abhandlungen Berl. Akad. d. VRiss., 1874, pp. 171 ff. Marci Diaconi Vita Porphyrii Episcopi Gazensis. ediderunt Societatis Philologae Bonnensis Sodales. Lipsiae (Teubner). 1895. Contains also the text of P and M. B. Latin Translation by Gentian Hervet (1499­l584) from V, in A. Lipomanus, de Vitis Sanctorum (1581), i, pp. 332­9. Laur. Surius, Vitae Sanctorum (1617), Feb., pp. 200-13. Bollandius et Henschenius, Scta Sanctorum (1736), Feb. t. iii, pp. 643­61, with Mazochi's annotations. Gallandius, Bibliotheca Veterum Patrum (1773), t. ix, pp. 259­77. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, t. lxv (1858), pp. 1211 sq. Bollandists' Acta Sanctorum, t. iii (1865), Feb. 26, pp. 649­66. C. Russian Translation by Pomyalovsky, from Haupt's text, in Part V of the Palestinsky Paterik (imperatorskoe Pravoslavnago Palestinskoe Obstcpestvo); 2d. edition, St. Petersburg, 1899. D. English Translation of cc. 37­49 by J. B. Bury in his Later Roman Empire, i, pp. 200­5 (1889).


Lenain de Tillemont, Mem. pour servir á I'hist. eccles. (1705), t. x, pp­ 703­16 Ceillier, Juteurs sacres (most conveniently in the edition of 1860), vi, pp. 329­30. A. Eberhard in Bursian's Jahresbericht, iii (1877), pp. 544­6 (review of Haupt's text). H. Usener in Legenden der heiligen Pelagia (1879). J. Draeseke in Hilgenfeld's Zeitschrift fur wissenschaftliche Theologie, xxxi (1888), pp 352­74.
The same in Zeitschrift fur kirchliche Wissenschaft und kirchliches Leben (1888), pp. 20­40. The same in his Gesammelte patristische Untersuchungen (1889), pp. 208 sq. (reprint of the previous article). The same in Wochenschrift für classische Philologie, 1896, p. 374 (review of the Teubner edition). A. Ehrhard in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 1897, pp. 170­2 (review of the Teubner edition). A. Nuth, de Marci Diaconi vita Porphyrii episcopi Gazensis ,quaestiones historicae et grammaticae. Bonn Dissertation, 1897. Review of the same by K. Dieterich in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 899, pp. 197, 198


K. B. Stark, Gaza und die philistaische Kuste, Jena, 1852 Drexler, art. Marnas in Roscher's Jusfuhrliches Lexikon der griech. u. röm. Mythologie, ii. 2377 ff. (1894­7) . M. A. Meyer, History of the City of Gaza, New York, 1907. Benzinger, art. Gaza in Pauly­Wissowa­Kroll, Real­Encyclopadie der class. AItertumswiss. vii. 880 ff. (1910) G. F. Hill, Some Palestinian Cults of the Graeco-Roman Sge, in Proc. Brit. Acad., v. 1912.


THE city of Gaza, in which most of the events related by Mark the Deacon took place, had in his day passed the meridian of its long history. It is first heard of some nineteen hundred years before that time, when we learn that it opened its gates to the Pharaoh Thothmes III on his way to the conquest of Syria. He made it his base of operations on this campaign. Whenever the city is mentioned during the next three centuries, it is as a possession of the Egyptians. And even to the present day, lying as it does on the borders of Palestine towards Egypt, it retains a strong Egyptian element in its character. After the Egyptians, however, about 1200 B.C., came another conquering race, the Philistines, making on the city an impression which it preserved even through later Egyptian or Syrian domination down to the period of the Roman Empire. To most of us, whose only authority for the history of Palestine is the Bible, Gaza is essentially the city of the Philistines; and not without reason, although we must remember that it was of earlier origin, and that the earliest stratum, Canaanitish or Syrian or Arabian, or whatever it may have been, always underlay the Egyptian and the Philistine. To understand the history of the place it is even more important to realize that the Jewish element did not enter into its making. In fact Gaza, much more than her sister Ascalon, showed herself consistently hostile to the Jews whenever she came into contact with them. We need not go back, for our present purposes, earlier than to Hellenistic times. When Jonathan Maccabaeus, at the time of the wars between Demetrius II and Antiochus VI, made an expedition through Philistia, the people of Ascalon 'met him honourably. From whence he went to Gaza, but they of Gaza shut him out; wherefore he laid siege unto it, and burned the suburbs thereof with fire, and spoiled them. Afterward, when they of Gaza made supplication unto Jonathan, he made peace with them, and took the sons of their chief men for hostages, and sent them to Jerusalem'. In 96 B.C., after a desperate siege of a year's duration, Alexander Jannaeus succeeded by treachery in getting possession of the place. He destroyed it utterly: venit calvitium super Gazam. Whether the new city which arose about a generation afterwards was founded on the same site, or, as is more probable, at some distance off, is a moot point. But, however that may be, it flourished not a little. It reckoned its years from the autumn of 61 B.C.; doubtless that was the time when it was decided to refound the place. Pompeius had granted the Gazaeans their ' freedom ', and the foundation of the new city is generally attributed to Aulus Gabinius, who went to Syria as proconsul in 57 B.C.; but the adoption of the era of 61 shows that plans for the foundation must have been laid earlier. Gaza had not only an era, but (like Ascalon) a calendar of its own, which continued in use at least down to the sixth century after Christ, and probably until the Arab conquest in 635.

The place remained proud of its independence. The all­absorbing Herod the Great, it is true, acquired it in 30 B.C.; but after his death it again became autonomous, in the limited sense in which autonomy was under stood of cities in a Roman province. Under the Roman government, Philistine and Jew perforce controlled their hatred of each other; but it is characteristic of their relations that when an opportunity occurred in the First Revolt against Rome, in 66, the Jews attacked and plundered and at least partly burned the hated city.

Hadrian, who took a great interest in this, as in all the cities of the provinces, visited it more than once; the most important occasion was in 130. For a short time the coins of the city bear a double date, one reckoned by the ordinary era, the other from the year of this visit. A public festival, the ' Hadrianic panegyris ', was long celebrated annually in his honour; and it is probable that the coins bear this special date because they were issued annually to supply the unusual demand created by the influx of visitors to the festival. It is true that the Paschal Chronicle attributes the foundation of the panegyris to an earlier visit of the Emperor in X I9, but the commencement of the new era in 130 is against it. To one of Hadrian's visits, also, we may conjecturally assign the foundation of the great temple of the god Marnas, which Mark describes with a mixture of pride and abhorrence. For the temple is first represented on the coins of Hadrian himself. The ' Olympian ' Emperor who founded the great temple of Zeus on the sacred mountain Gerizim of the Samaritans would not be slow to recognize the claims of the ' Cretan Zeus ' of the Gazaeans. It is said that after the suppression of a revolt of the Jews in A.D. 119, Hadrian selected Gaza as the place at which to sell his Jewish captives; the Gazaeans doubtless appreciated this privilege.

For centuries the city continued to prosper exceedingly. It was officially recognized by the imperial government as a sacred and autonomous city, enjoying the right of asylum. Eventually, we do not know exactly when, it attained the rank of a Roman ' colony '. Mark's praise of the city may be read in his fourth chapter. Antoninus Martyr, about a century and a half later, calls it civitas splendida deliciosa. In the fifth and sixth centuries it was the home of a school of rhetoric in which Procopius and Choricius are the most important names. It is, perhaps, not altogether unfortunate that Mark the Deacon lived too early to come under the influence of this school.

We can easily understand that in a place with a history of this kind Christianity had a harder struggle than was usual to gain a footing. The Philistines were even more stiff­necked than the Jews. It was only natural that in all towns where interests, not merely religious or sentimental, but also financial, were involved in the pagan worships, the conditions affecting the establishment of the new religion, even though recognized by the imperial government, should have been more arduous than in country places. But when the town had the peculiar individuality of Gaza, the fight must have been especially hard. So it came about that Gaza was one of the last strongholds of Paganism to fall before the advance of Christianity. The history of that fall is told by Mark.

Unable at first to make much impression on Gaza itself (for even if Philip entered there, his mission hardly had any permanent result), the Christians, so to speak, drew their lines around it. Little Christian communities sprang up in the surrounding villages. A gradually increasing number of believers was to be found in the city; though when a person is described as ' of Gaza ' it is not always possible to say whether he belonged to the city or to its district. It may be that, as Duchesne thinks, the persecution under Diocletian was not so severe in Palestine as elsewhere. But of what persecution there was, Gaza and its district had a respectable share. Of the seven Gazaean virgins (mentioned by the Bollandists, August 31) who were put to the sword, we know no details, not even whether they suffered in the great persecution or at another time. But we have the story of a Christian maiden from the neighbourhood of Gaza, who, threatened with the stews, protested against the tyrant who allowed such monsters to represent him in the government of his dominions. She was put to the torture and burned, together with another poor woman, Valentina, who had protested on her behalf. Other martyrs connected with Gaza who figure in the calendar are Major, apparently a soldier of the Mauretanian legion (martyred about 303, and commemorated on February 15), Agapius, Thecla, and Timotheus (all commemorated on August I9); and Thee and Maiour (December I9). Thecla was apparently a native of Bizya in Thrace, but probably suffered at Gaza under Diocletian, being thrown to wild beasts. Agapius's place of martyrdom is doubtful, but whether he suffered at Gaza or at Caesarea, he is mentioned by Eusebius along with Thecla in a way that seems to connect him with the former place. As to Timotheus, Eusebius definitely assigns his martyrdom to Gaza in the second year of the persecution, that is to say, 304. It is he whose shrine the Christians of Gaza visited on the occasion of their prayers for rain, as described by Mark in c. 20. Thee and Maiour (also mentioned in the same passage as sharing a shrine with Timotheus) belong to the later stage of the persecution, having suffered in 3c8, under Maximin II. It is probably a mere coincidence that another Timotheus, a deacon who was martyred far away in Mauretania, is also commemorated on the same day with them; the idea that it is this martyr whose shrine is mentioned by Mark in c. 20 is almost certainly mistaken. Mention is due also to Alexander, as one of the six misguided enthusiasts who, with hands tied, thrust themselves on the notice of Urbanus, the governor of the province, protesting that they were ready to fight with beasts. It is to be hoped that they were satisfied when he beheaded them at Caesarea. But the foremost figure among the Christians of Gaza in these days was Silvanus, an army­veteran, and a presbyter and confessor of the neighbourhood of the city. In the fifth year of the persecution he was sent to the mines at Phaeno, to the south of the Dead Sea; for such transportation had by this time begun to replace more violent measures of repression. At Phaeno he seems to have been ordained bishop. Duchesne suggests that this may have been one of the irregular ordinations due to Meletius. It must, however, be noted that Eusebius in one place calls him ' bishop of the churches round Gaza '. When the colony at Phaeno was broken up in 3IO, the military commandant got rid of Silvanus by beheading him. The Christians doubtless regarded him as a martyr, but Duchesne notes that his execution differs in kind from the ordinary martyrdom.

Throughout the Great Persecution the Christians in Gaza itself doubtless continued to meet secretly for worship, and we hear of a meeting being raided by the police, and the prisoners subjected to torture and mutilation.

Of all the places in the neighbourhood of Gaza, its port, Maiumas, was the most fruitful field for the work of the Christians. Gaza, it must be remembered, lay some two and a half miles inland. The population of ports, the ' nautical rabble ', is notoriously susceptible to innovating influences. The old­fashioned upper class of Gaza, people like that family which Saint Porphyry converted en bloc, as Mark tells us in one of his most graphic episodes, must have looked down with contempt on the people of Maiumas, most of whom were probably concerned in the Egyptian trade. Mark, indeed, lets fall a significant observation when he says (c. 58) that the Christians from the seaport were more numerous than those in the city because there were many Egyptian wine­merchants there. The Christianizing influence doubtless came rather from Alexandria than from Caesarea or any other place in Palestine, Maiumas was so far out of sympathy with Gaza in matters of religion, that-doubtless in response to an appeal on the part of the inhabitants, and at any rate on the ground that it was predominantly Christian-Constantine made it an independent city with its own bishop, and named it after his sister Constantia (according to Eusebius) or his son Constantius (according to Sozomen). But if he called it Constantia, Mark and other writers such as Sozomen (himself very familiar with the neighbourhood) continue to use the old name. That is not entirely due to the fact that, as we shall see, Julian the Philosopher revoked Constantine's grant. In such matters most Syrian cities were extraordinarily conservative, and with rare exceptions the original Semitic name has survived the Greek or Roman into modern times; and the name of the port is still preserved in the form Maimas.

Besides ordinary communities in the towns and villages, we hear also of settlements of hermits and monasteries all round Gaza, especially at Bethelia. These seem to have first sprung up in Palestine under the influence of Saint Hilarion, a native of Thabatha, a few miles south of Gaza, and the chief figure in the history of Christianity in this region during the middle of the fourth century. Born about 290 or 300, the son of heathen parents, he was educated in Egypt. There he became a Christian. But, finding the hermit life, as represented in Egypt by Saint Antony and his disciples, to be far from solitary, he returned at a comparatively early age to Palestine. He set up as a hermit in a less populous ' desert ', about seven miles from Maiumas. But even here solitude was not to be found. His hermitage was greatly frequented; his disciples, hermits like himself, are said to have been many thousands in number. Among the many miracles which are attributed to this fantastic ascetic was that of releasing the racing­chariot, drawn by horses trained by a Christian of Maiumas, from the influence of spells cast upon it by his heathen rivals with the aid of their god Marnas Hilarion long remained a centre of popular attraction; but before the disturbances in Julian's reign began he had left Palestine to wander about the world, and to die in Cyprus. His remains were translated to Maiumas Saint Jerome wrote his life, on the strength of information supplied by Epiphanius of Salamis, who had known him both in Palestine and in Cyprus.

Of the official history, so to speak, of the Church during this period, we can only glean a little information from a few incidental references. At the Council of Nicaea in 325, Gaza-or at any rate the district round it- was represented by Bishop Asclepas, who was on the side of Athanasius. He had been bishop in the time of the great persecution; whether he was actually able to live as such in Gaza itself is uncertain, although it seems clear that even then there must have been a small community of Christians in the city. But now, probably soon after 325, arose the first church, which Mark in c. 20 calls the ' old church '. As regards Asclepas, his orthodoxy exposed him to the attacks of the Arianizing Eastern bishops, who actually deposed him (on the ground of having overthrown an altar), perhaps as early as 326, appointing in his place one Quintianus. Nevertheless, he appeared at the Council of Tyre in 335; and, from the encyclical letters afterwards written by the Eastern bishops when they retired from the Council of Sardica, it would appear that he had returned to his see, and violent scenes had ensued. Like Athanasius and many other objects of Arian persecution, he betook himself to Pope Julius at Rome. The Roman Council of 340 quashed the judgement against him, and again in 342-if that is the date of the Council of Sardica-he was once more declared innocent, and returned to Gaza.

Julian the Philosopher (360­3) thought ConstantineXs action in regard to Maiumas of sufficient importance to require that he should reverse it; and the port was once more made subject to Gaza. Sozomen tells us that the Gazaeans brought a suit against the people of Maiumas, and that Julian decided against the latter, which was deprived of its former name (by which is doubtless meant Constantia, not Maiumas) and received the appellation of ' seaside quarter of Gaza '. That description is used by Mark, sometimes alone, once with the explanation that it is the same as Maiumas. Both places were under the same civil governors and officials. But ecclesiastically they remained distinct; for of course Julian simply ignored the Christian Church in any reconstitution of affairs. An attempt by a later Bishop of Gaza (some time in the last quarter of the fourth century) to absorb Maiumas into his diocese was met by the declaration of the provincial synod that Maiumas, as the elder of the two places in the Christian faith, should not be deprived of its independence. So Maiumas continued to be governed by its own bishops until the fifth century, and perhaps later. The only occupant of the see known to fame in the fourth century is Saint Zeno, who died about 400.

Julian's reactionary measures were accompanied by an anti­Christian outbreak. The basilica of Gaza, like those of Ascalon, Berytus, and other cities, was burned, and some blood was shed. From Theodoret and the Paschal Chronicle we learn that in 362 presbyters and virgins were murdered and their corpses given to be devoured by swine. Sozomen tells vividly the story of the rioting, and of the martyrdom of Saints Eusebius, Nestabus, and Zeno. When the riot broke out, these men were dragged from the house in which they had taken refuge, and cast into prison. The citizens then held an uproarious meeting in the theatre, after which they ran to the prison, took the unfortunate Christians out, and murdered them with every circumstance of brutality. Another Christian, Nestor, was maltreated at the same time, but his personal beauty excited the compassion of the mob, who cast him out of the city before he was quite dead. He vas carried to the house of Zeno, the cousin of the three other murdered men, and afterwards Bishop of Maiumas; but he died while his wounds were being dressed. This Zeno, himself in danger of the same fate, had fled to the neighbouring Anthedon. There the heathen, more merciful than the Gazaeans, only scourged him; he was able to escape to Maiumas, where he lay hid until the danger had passed.

The bodies of Eusebius, Nestabus, and Zeno were burned by the heathen, who, knowing the Christian affection for relics, and doubtless fearing their efficacy, mingled such bones as escaped the flames with the bones of camels and asses. But their precaution, the legend says, was vain; for the identity of the bones was divinely revealed to a Christian woman who was living at Gaza (though she was not a native of the city). She gathered them reverently together in a pot and conveyed them to the future Bishop of Maiumas-still divinely directed, for she knew him not before. Zeno kept the bones until, in the reign of Theodosius, he was ordained bishop; then he built a house of prayer outside the walls of the city, and placed under the altar the bones of the three martyrs and of Nestor the Confessor.

The governor of the province very properly arrested the ringleaders of the riot and held them to trial for sedition and murder. But he was reckoning without his Emperor. Julian, we are told, remarking that the Gazaeans had only retaliated on the Galilaeans for past offences, relieved the too zealous governor of his office.

If Sozomen is to be believed, Saint Hilarion also narrowly escaped death on the same occasion; but his enemies found him fled. There is, however, some reason to think that he may have left Palestine some time before.

Saint Ambrose (writing in 388) attributes the burning of the churches at this time to the Jews, but the ordinary Gazaean population scarcely needed their assistance in such an affair.

It would seem that the basilica was not utterly destroyed, unless that which Mark calls the ' old church ' was a second building, which is hardly probable. Bishop Irenion, who was present at the Synod of Antioch in 363, and died about 393, built the bishop's house, and also a church which was called ' Peace ' (c. 18). It was during his occupation of the see that Saint Paula, Jerome's friend, visited Gaza (in 386). His successor Aeneias hlled the see for a very short time, being followed by Porphyry in 395.

Thus, when Porphyry came upon the scene, there were already two churches and a bishop's house in existence. Yet the Christians were very few in numbers. And the pagans had no less than eight temples for public worship, not to mention the idols in private houses and in the villages.

Most of the heathen deities with whom the Christians had to contend in Gaza are familiar to all students of antiquity-the Sun, Aphrodite, Apollo, the Maiden (i. e. Persephone, rather than the consort of Marnas), Hecate, the Fortune of the City, and some hero who was worshipped at a shrine called the Heroon. These are all mentioned by Mark (c. 64). The Fortune of the City was represented, as Stephanus of Byzantium and Eustathius tell us, with a heifer beside her, for Io; and so indeed she appears on local coins.

But the chief god of Gaza, as is abundantly evident, was Marnas, the ' Cretan Zeus '. Though he is forgotten now, his worship was of the greatest importance in Palestine. A dedication to him has been found at Canatha in the Hauran. It is significant that, as Lampridius incidentally records, the Syrian Emperor Severus Alexander invoked Marnas and Jupiter in the same breath.

This deity is of sufficient historical interest to justify some discussion of his nature in this place. His name is generally explained as of Syrian origin, and equivalent to ' Our Lord '. Of the truth of this etymology there is grave doubt; the Syrian appearance of the word is probably fortuitous. Nor need we look to any connexion with a word for rain; Mark's statement (c. I9) that Marnas was regarded as the lord of rain means no more than that he was a sky­god or a god of fertility, as every local ' Zeus ' or ' Baal ' was. The true connexion is more likely to be with a Cretan word, which is preserved in the forms marna (recorded as the word for ' maiden '), and 'Britomartis ' (which is glossed as ' sweet maiden '). But how, it will be asked, can a word meaning ' maiden ' have anything to do with Zeus > The answer is that the name ' Marnas ' must stand to ' marna ' as ' Kouros ', the young man (under which name we know that the Cretans worshipped the young Zeus), to ' Kora ', the maiden goddess. Marnas and Marna, then, would be the young Zeus and his young consort. Now the worship of a young Zeus, coupled in legend with a goddess or nymph, sometimes called Europa, sometimes Dictynna, sometimes Britomartis, is especially characteristic of Crete. Dictynna or Britomartis is a sort of maiden goddess of the woods and wilds; the Greeks identified her naturally with Artemis the huntress. As the lover of Britomartis w e find Minos; but Minos is merely a hypostasis of the Cretan Zeus.

Were it not supported by other evidence, one might hesitate to press the philological connexion of Marnas with Crete (for philological speculations are notoriously precarious, and the weight of the opinion of Semitic scholars is probably against us). But first comes the definite statement, found in more than one ancient writer, that Marnas was the Cretan Zeus. Next, there is the tradition that Gaza itself was a Cretan foundation. It was actually called Minoa, as having been founded by Minos. True, our authority for this statement, Stephanus of Byzantium, is late; but when his statements are not in themselves absurd or contradictory of known facts, they are to be treated with respect. That the people of Gaza, in Roman times at least, believed in the tradition, is certain; they actually represented Minos on their coins. This tradition has been treated with contempt by scholars of the class, now happily decreasing in numbers, who believe that Greek tradition is never based on fact of any kind, and is not worth considering in the light of archaeological evidence. We have been told that the tradition is an invention of antiquaries of the Graeco­Roman age. If so, then those antiquaries must have possessed a curious faculty of divination. They can hardly have been acquainted with the old identification of the Cherethites with the Cretans, or with Jeremiah's significant description of the Philistines as ' the remnant of the country of Caphtor', any more than they can have guessed at what the spade has lately revealed to us.

Recent archaeological research in Crete and Philistia proves, beyond any possible doubt, a connexion between the two countries in Minoan times. Whether the Philistines went to Crete from Palestine or came to Palestine from Crete (which is the more likely), the connexion between the two countries is now definitely established by the pottery which has been found in excavations such as those at Gezer, Bethshemesh and Tell­es­Safi (Gath).

So much for the general connexion between Crete and Philistia. Now for Marnas. A1though the coins on which he is represented are miserable works of art, and it is difficult to be certain of details, yet this much seems to be established. First, he seems to be a youthful god. The attributes which he holds are so obscure that it is perhaps preferable not to conjecture what they are; but one of them looks like a bow, and his general aspect like that of the young Zeus Kasios at Pelusium is Apolline. Secondly, as the figure on the title­page of this book shows, he is accompanied in his temple by a goddess in the attitude and with the attributes of the Greek huntressgoddess, Artemis. After what we have read of the Cretan Britomartis, will it be doubted that we have here, in Marnas and the Artemislike goddess, any other than the Cretan Zeus and his consort Britomartis, or Dictynna: Kouros and Kora ?

The Zeus Kasios of Pelusium, just mentioned, is connected by more than coincidence with Zeus­Marnas of Gaza. They are both young, Apolline gods. Further, when Epiphanius is describing the worship of human beings as gods by the heathen, two of the instances he chooses are ' Marnas the slave of Asterios ' at Gaza (be it noted that Asterios is one of the names of the Cretan Zeus) and ' Kasios the ship­owner at Pelusium '. What euhemeristic interpretation of these two cults he had in his mind is unfortunately unknown to us; but the juxtaposition of the two is suggestive. Rather more vague in its suggestion, but not negligible, is the statement of Stephanus and Eustathius that the stretch of sea from Gaza to Pelusium was known as the Ionian Sea. It is true that they derive the name from Io, who was worshipped at Gaza. But in all probability it really means the Greek sea, the sea of Javan, the coast of which received colonists (and their cults) from the western isles, such as Crete.

The fall of the Marneion removed the last stronghold of Paganism in this part of the world. The Serapeion at Alexandria had fallen in 391; the destruction of the temples of Heliopolis and Apameia had followed soon after. ' Now ', wrote Jerome to Laeta from his cell at Bethlehem, ' the Egyptian Serapis also has become Christian; Marnas at Gaza mourns in prison, and expects in dread the instant destruction of his temple.' And later, in his commentary on Isaiah, in 411, he triumphantly proclaims: ' the Serapeum at Alexandria and the temple of Marnas at Gaza have risen up again into churches of the Lord.' With that, although it would be idle to pretend that Paganism was rooted out, we may say that it ceased to be an established faith. And by about a century later it seems to have completely disappeared from Gaza, for the biography of Peter the Iberian, Bishop of Maiumas in the fifth century, written about 500, shows no sign of it.

Of Mark's book, as literature, it is not necessary to say much. Draeseke has suggested that the writer may have been acquainted with the works of Dionysius the Areopagite; but the resemblances (as of the vision of Porphyry in the Place of the Skull to the vision of Carpus related by Dionysius in his eighth Letter) on which he bases his theory seem quite insufficient to support it. We must take the book as it is. Its transparent sincerity has won for it admiration, even in the bald Latin translation by which alone it was known until the first publication of the Greek text by Haupt in 1874. Graces of style it has none; the vocabulary is limited ­ and monotonous. Nevertheless, after the somewhat clumsy introduction, there is not a dull line in it, and it is unsurpassed in directness and vividness of narration by any biography of a similar subject. The author's point of view is, of course, narrow; the great events of his time do not interest him, except in so far as they touch the interests of his little corner of Palestine. But the statements that Praylius was Bishop of Jerusalem when Porphyry was ordained presbyter, and that Theodosius II was proclaimed Emperor from his birth, seem to be the only positive historical errors in the text. On the date of the birth of Theodosius II it would appear that he is right, and the great majority of other writers wrong. His omissions are, however, somewhat extraordinary. Draeseke has pointed out, for instance, how astonishing it is that he makes no mention of the death of Eudoxia, to whom the Christians of Gaza were so deeply indebted, and who did not live to hear of the completion of the church which was named after her. Yet she had said in his hearing, ' Remember always me and my child.'

It is hardly necessary to say that the genuineness of the book has been impugned; but the names of the sceptics, whose arguments were sufficiently refuted long ago, need not be disinterred from the obscurity in which they lie.

Mark tells us little about himself, save that he was by profession a calligrapher, and came from Asia to Jerusalem, where he became the disciple of Porphyry. The saint sent him to Thessalonica to settle his affairs. About 397 he was ordained deacon, and in the next year sent on a mission to Constantinople, to obtain a decree against the pagan temples of Gaza. He accompanied Porphyry again to Constantinople on the more successful mission of 40I­2. His book, in which he reported at length the dispute between Porphyry and the unfortunate Manichaean Julia, is lost to us. It must have been interesting, but one doubts whether it would have been impartial. For Mark has the faults of his qualities, and one can hardly expect him to show mercy to Arian or Manichaean, any more than to ' them of the idol­madness '. He has a bound less admiration for the irrepressible Barochas. Barochas, indeed, is the second hero of the book. Whenever he appears he seems to be either smiting the heathen hip and thigh or, more often, being beaten by them to within an inch of his life. ' Quel homme, ce Baruch ! ' we exclaim with Lafontaine. But if Mark is carried away by enthusiasm for the godly zeal of this champion of the faithful, or for the ascetic extravagances of Porphyry or Salamtha, the old Adam is by no means dead in him. We catch a glimpse of him when we read (C, 42) of the beauty of the blushing Eudoxia or (c. 88) of the handsome young men and women who support the Manichaean Julia; and it is clear to any one who reads with intelligence the story of Salamtha that Mark was, innocently enough, affected by the charm of the maid. It is this sympathy in the writer which is his most attractive quality to the modern reader.

The picture of Porphyry which Mark draws is singularly human. It would be absurd to judge the bishop by modern standards, as does the German historian who complains of his brutality in the persecution of the heathen. It is true that he paved the street with sacred stones from the Marneion, and that he cursed the Manichaean Julia, so that she fell down in a fit and died. He thus even surpassed the Christian sophist Aetius, whose victory in debate over Aphthonius the Manichaean caused the latter to die of chagrin, though, it would seem, not so suddenly as Julia. Such remarkable sensitiveness on the part of the Manichaeans to defeat in argument (or abuse) may have helped to console their Christian adversaries for the fact that Diocletian's decree, imposing the death penalty on adherence to the doctrines of Manes, was never carried into effect. ' There is no hostilitie so excellent', said Montaigne, ' as that which is absolutely Christian.' Nevertheless, one has read of more brutal saints than Porphyry; and usually, if Mark is not a downright liar, he acted under considerable provocation:

Cet animal est tres mechant;
Quand on l'attaque, il se defend.

From the data given by his biographer, it is calculated that Porphyry must have been born at Thessalonica about A.D. 347; for he was about forty­five years old when he was made presbyter; he was ordained bishop after being a presbyter for three years, and died in 420 after having filled the see for very nearly twenty­five years. For all the events of his life Mark is almost the only authority He fails, however, to mention that the bishop was present in 415 at the Council of Diospolis, at which the Pelagian heresy was condemned. He appears to have been succeeded (though perhaps not directly) by Natiras or Netoras, who is known to have been bishop in 431.

Saint Porphyry is commemorated on February 26.



T1 It is a good thing to behold with our own eyes the contendings of holy men, and their godly zeal and desire, for the sight thereof causeth us to love them. Nevertheless the narrations of such as have known them truly likewise furnish no small profit, stealing into the souls of them that listen. Sight indeed is more trustworthy than hearing, but hearing also persuadeth, if the tale be told by such as be worthy of belief. If then in the narration of profitable matters no heedlessness were found, neither were the seed of falsehood sown among the truth, the writing down of such things were superfluous; for the truth would suffice for edification, seeing that the seed thereof would be sown continually and the ears of one generation receive it from another. But seeing that time breedeth corruption, either through forgetfulness or through heedlessness, I am of necessity come to the present writing, in order that in the long course of time so saintly a man, I mean the holy T2 Porphyry, may not be forgotten. For to remember his righteous deeds is a medicine and a defence unto them which hear.


For it is strange that tragic poets and other such writers should spend their speech on laughter and old wives' fables, but that we should suffer men who are saints and worthy of remembrance to be given over to forgetfulness. What punishment shall I not justly suffer, if I commit not to writing the life of a man, so beloved of God, that may teach us to love wisdom through him, who strove zealously after the heavenly life ? We shall tell the history of his wars and his standing up not only against the leaders and champions of the madness of idols, but even against a whole people filled full of all madness. For he remembered the words of the blessed apostle, w hereby he saith: ' Take up the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the terrible day, and having overcome all to stand.' [Eph. 6:13]. Having put on this whole armour the said apostle went in unto the fight; but Porphyry also, having like adversaries, and as mighty, and being set to a conflict like unto the apostle's, was crowned with an equal victory, and did raise up a trophy in the midst of the city of the Gazaeans, even that holy church of Christ which he did found. T3 But that which gave him the victory was not his human nature, but his purpose, which drew unto itself the divine grace: for the love of Christ being exceeding hot within him, he had power to suffer and to do all things. How many warlike onslaughts did this man abide at the hands of his adversaries; how many plottings and mockings did he endure !


other such writers. i e. especially writers of comedy, to whom, by a chiastic construction, the 'laughter' refers, while ' old wives' fables ' refers to the writers of tragedy. that may teach us. Literally: the life of a man so beloved of God, a life, teaching philosophy, of him who strove earnestly after the heavenly life. madness of idols. eidolmania and the corresponding adjective -manes are used by Mark, though not exclusively, in preference to the milder eidolatria, -latres terrible day. Mark's text has phobera (probably by a mere slip of memory) instead of ponera which is the reading of the New Testament MSS. holy church. Agion ekklesion The epithet here seems to have a purely general sense. Usener (Legenden der heiligen Pelagia, p. 38), commenting on the phrase where it occurs in c. 202 says that it means the chief church in the city, under the immediate control of the bishop. But in many places, as in the phrase scholazein te hagio ekklesia, it can hardly have any such special sense; and here, although the church founded by Porphyry happens to have been the cathedral church, the addition of the qualification tou Christou seems to indicate that the adjective is used quite generally.


But because it is not possible to tell fully all things concerning that famous man, since they are many, and to the many seem to be incredible, I will set forth a few things which I remember, having lived with him for a long time, and enjoyed converse with that blessed and awful soul that now dwelleth with the angels. Who then would not justly praise this man, who possessed in himself all manner of virtue I know indeed that no words could attain unto the virtue of such a man; nevertheless I must endeavour, being of good courage through his holy prayers. But I will write his praises not in high­sounding words; for elegant words are not wont to adorn the life of such men, but rather doth the virtue of their works magnify the speech itself wherein they are told. Wherefore I also, being encouraged by the holy prayers of the said saintly man, do approach this writing, asking through them for grace and help from the Lord Jesus Christ, that I may be able, whatsoever be the occasion, to set forth the virtue of the holy man. But I pray them, who do chance to read this writing, not to disbelieve the things that are said therein; for I was an eye­witness of the virtue of the man, living with him and faring with him by T4 sea, and being evil entreated with him until the last day of his life in this world. But here let me make a beginning of the telling of my story.


awful soul. phobera: the sense of this adjective, like that of the English awful, has weakened down to that of thaumastos See Nuth, p. 37. Whatsoever be the occasion. oia depote prophasei: possibly ' by whatsoever means '. The two senses come very close together, as in c. 31.


Gaza is a city of Palestine that is on the borders of Egypt; and it is of no small account, being a populous city and notable.

But there flourished in it about that time the madness of men after idols. The bishopric of this city did Porphyry, of whom we tell the praise, receive. For his country indeed he had in heaven Jerusalem (for therein was his name written) and on earth Thessalonica; and his family was noble. Now there came upon him a divine desire to leave his country and the splendour of his family and countless riches, and to cleave unto the solitary life; and taking ship from the city of the Thessalonians he cometh unto Egypt. And straightway he went to Scetis, and after a few days is deemed worthy of the honourable habit. And when he had sojourned there with the holy fathers for the space of five years, again there entered into him another divine desire to worship the holy and venerable places of God; and when he had gone thither and worshipped, he departed into the parts about Jordan and dwelt in a cave, sojourning there also likewise five years in much affliction. And by reason of the great dryness and changeableness in T5 those parts, he fell into a great sickness. But seeing himself to be sick unto death, by the dispensation (of God) he beseecheth one of his acquaintance to take him up to Jerusalem. Now his disease was a hardening of the liver with a continuous fever, very slight. And though such a disease prevailed over him and pierced his entrails without ceasing, and his body was consumed away, yet he ceased not daily to go around the holy places, being bowed down and vithout strength to hold his body upright, but leaning upon a staff.

Now at that time it chanced that I also came by ship from Asia to worship the venerable places, and having come there I sojourned a long time, living by the work of my hands; for I was skilled in the art of handwriting. And beholding the holy man going continually to the Resurrection of Christ and to the other places of prayer, I marvelled that in so great weakness of body he forbore not so to vex himself.


to leave his country. About 372, when he was about twenty­five years old. Scetis The most desert of the monastic settlements in the district of the Wady Natron or Valley of Nitria, about sixty miles south of Alexandria. See Dom C. Butler's edition of Palladius, Hist. Lauriaca, ii, p. 1 87; Duchesne, Hist. of Early Christian Church, vol. ii (Eng. ed. 1912), p. 391 f. honourable habit. timiou proschematos, the monastic habit. The epithet is also used by Mark of the Cross and of baptism, and may there be translated ' precious '. In all connexions it is doubtless merely ornamental. when he had gone thither. About 377. changeableness. Of temperature (between night and day, rather than between the seasons) by the dispensation (of God). oikonomia is used (without theou) like pronoia, for God's providence (Nuth, p. 54 f.). The reason for the use of the phrase here is not obvious; it does not appear why the decision to return to Jerusalem was more providential than any other of Porphyry's actions. to take him up to Jerusalem. About 382. a hardening of the liver with a continuous fever, very slight. skiroma (or skirroma) is, Sir Clifford Allbutt informs me, a general word for ' induration ' (cp. Dioscor. de Mat. Med. i. 1. 3, and Pollux Onom . iv. 1 98 kapkinoma, skirroma meta phlegmones epalyges). leptotaton seems to be merely ' very slight ', rather than ' subtle ' in the sense of ' insidious '. I also came. Before 392 the Resurrection of Christ. The Anastasis, a circular building containing the Holy Sepulchre, a portion of the buildings connected with Constantine's basilica erected on the site of the former temple of Astarte. See the plans in ' The Churches of Constantine at Jerusalem ' (Library of the Palest. Pilgrims Text Soc., vol. i).


And on a day meeting him on the steps of the Testimony, that was founded by the blessed Emperor Constantine, seeing that he could not go forward on his feet, I ran and stretched forth my hand to him and besought him to lean upon it and go up the steps. But T6 he would not, saying: ' It is not just that I who go my way to ask pardon for my sins should lean upon the hands of another; but let God see my labour, brother, that in his unspeakable compassion he may have pity on me also.' Therefore he went his way and hearkened to the divine sayings, lending ear unto the doctors, and partaking always of the mystic table he would return again to his lodging. What manner of life he lived, indeed, w as manifest, for he despised his sickness in such wise that one accounted him to have the disease not in his own but in another man's body; for the hope of God made it light for him to bear.


Testimony. The Martyrion, the basilica of Constantine, is said to have been so called as being built over the place that bore witness to the Resurrection. See Eusebius, Vita Const. iii, c. 28; and Saint Cyril's Catechetical Lectures, xiv. 6. It stood actually over the spot where the Cross was found; while the reputed site of the Crucifixion was supposed to lie between it and the Anastasis.


But this alone did grieve and hurt him, that his superfluity should remain and not be sold, according to the saying of the Gospel, and distributed among the poor. [Matt 19:21] Now the cause of this hindrance was that his brethren were children when he departed out of his own country. Being therefore grieved about this matter, he asketh me, who was now familiar with him (for I served him because of his weakness), to take ship to Thessalonica and divide his possessions with his brethren; and giving me a letter with his commandments and commending me unto the Lord he let me depart, giving me a very little for my expenses; for he had but small wealth at that time Straightway I went down to Ascalon and found a ship and put to sea, and after thirteen days, having made a fair voyage, we came to Thessalonica; and T7 having shown the written commandment I divided the possessions with his brethren And I sold to them the goods which s ere my lot for three thousand pieces of gold, but the raiment and the silver vessels I brought with me and other pieces of gold, a thousand and four hundred; and when I had gathered all together in the space of three months I put to sea again, and came after twelve days to the port of Ascalon; and there having hired beasts of burden and laden them I went up unto the holy city And straightway when he beheld me the thrice blessed man embraced me with joy and tears (for joy also can cause tears to flow); but I knew him not; for his body was very strong and his countenance ruddy And I turned my eyes about looking often upon him; but he, seeing it, smiled pleasantly and said:


pieces of gold. The ordinary nomisma or solilus of the time, weighing 4.55 grammes, being 1/72 of the Roman pound. Three thousand of these would be equivalent in weight to over £1,700 sterling; and 1,400 to about £800.


Marvel not, brother Mark, seeing me whole and strong, but learn the cause of my being healed and then marvel exceedingly at the unspeakable loving­kindness of Christ, how the things whereof men have despaired are by him made straight ' And I besought him to tell me the cause of his being healed and how he had cast out such a disease And he answered me ' About forty days ago when I was keeping the vigil of the holy day of the Lord, an unspeakable pain of the liver gat hold upon me, and being T8 unable to endure the anguish I vent and lay down near the sacred Skull, and by reason of the great pain I fell as it were into a trance. And I see the Saviour nailed upon the Cross and one of the thieves with him hanging upon another cross, and I begin to cry out and speak the words of the thief 1 " Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom " [Luke 23: 42] And the Saviour answereth and saith to the thief that is hanging " Go down from the cross and save him that is lying there, even as thou wast saved " And the thief came down from the cross and took me in his arms and kissed me, and stretching forth his right hand raised me up, saying, " Come to the Saviour " And straightway I rose up and ran to him, and I see him coming down from the Cross and saying to me, " Take this wood and keep it " And I took the same precious wood and lifted it up, and straightway I came to myself out of my trance, and from that same hour there was no more pain in me, neither is the place of the disease manifest. '


cast out. periegrapsen, in the sense of 'reject', the sacred Skull. So, too, in Luke xxiii. 33 ton topon ton kaloumenon kranion; the more common designation is ' the place of the skull '. the same precious wood. To auto timion zulon, perhaps for auto to t. z..,; the precious wood itself '.


But I, when I had heard these things, marvelled exceedingly, and glorified God, who ever sheweth mercy unto them that call upon him, and much more unto them that truly and sincerely pray to him.

But from thenceforth I did more diligently serve the man (for I held him to be verily the servant of God) And when I had restored unto him all the things that I had brought, I abode with him, serving him and enjoying his spiritual conversation For he was verily a blameless man, very meek, pitiful, having also, if ever any man, skill to judge the Holy T4 Scripture and to resolve the hard questions therein (nay, neither was he lacking in outward learning), answering and stopping the mouths of unbelievers and heretics, a lover of the poor, compassionate, easily moved to tears, honouring old men as fathers, [cf 1 Tim 5:1] and young men as brethren, and little ones as his own children, behaving himself gently, and lowly in spirit and in speech, not for a pretence but in truth (for there was no guile in him [cf. John 1;47]), exceeding temperate, so that he was delivered utterly from all passions, knowing not anger, remembering not evil, letting not the sun go down upon his wrath, [cf Eph 4;26] having all his passions dead, save only that indignation which he stirred up against the enemies of the faith.


did more diligently serve. Perissoteron oikonomethen eis This seems to be the sense (through oikonomos in the sense of a steward); Mark became his ' familiar '. outward learning. Tes exothn paideais the learning of this world. in spirit and in speech. To ethos (character) kai ton logon (its expression in language), ouk en prospoiesei all' aletheia (the reading of H). from all passion. See the note on c. 101


Now when he had received from me the g money and the other things which I had brought, and sold the raiment and had made precious vessels out of the more part of the silver money, he gave away the remainder within a little time to them that were in need, not only in the holy city, but also in other cities and villages and monasteries, especially to them that are in Egypt; for the monasteries there were very poor. But to the strangers also that dwelt in the place he became a second Abraham [cf Gen 18.1] Thus it came to pass that in a very short time he gave away all his superfluity, so that he himself was in want of his daily food Therefore he applied himself unto the craft of the shoemaker, dressing and sewing hides, in all ways after the pattern T10 of that divine apostle, [cf 2 Thess 3:8] who would not eat bread for naught; and notwithstanding he could have earned his living from some other handicraft, yet he desired in all things to follow the example of the aforesaid glorious man, in afflictions and labours and persecutions and perils by sea and risings up of the heathen [cf 2 Cor 6:4; 11:26]. But I besought him to live with me in common (for I had a superfluity out of mine occupation), but he suffered it not, saying, ' We brought nothing into this world, neither can we carry anything out ' [1 Tim 6:7] And again he would say, ' If a man worketh not, neither shall he eat ' [2 Thess 3:10]. But I waxed bold, and said unto him, ' Wherefore then when thou hadst plenty didst thou not work nor suffer me to work ? ' And he answered me, ' That former work which I did w as greater by many times than that which I do now; for this present work sustaineth one or two, but the former did sustain countless numbers, and not only those multitudes, but did also provide spiritual sustenance for mine own soul '


precious vessels. Presumably church plate. the monasteries there were very poor, but according to the Historia Lausiaca (ed. Butler, p. 30) Pambo told his steward Origenes to distribute Saint Melania's gifts of money in Libya and the islands, but not in the more wealthy Egypt (dia to euporoteran einai ten choran). That former work. The point seems to be ' I did work then, and the work which I did then,' &c.


Now these things being so, Praÿlius, who held the bishopric of the holy places, heard of the name and the life of the saintly Porphyry, and sending for him very instantly ordained him to the office of Elder, and moreover committed unto him the safe­keeping of the precious wood of the Cross. T11 Then did we know that those things had been fulfilled for him which he heard in his trance, when he beheld the Lord on the Cross and the robber with him, and the Master saying, ' Take this wood and keep it for me ' But the blessed Porphyry, when he received this ordination, was about forty and five years old But though he was deemed worthy of this honour, he changed not his former manner of life, but continued in mortification and affliction of the body, in fasting and watching [cf 2 Cor 6:5]. His food was foul bread and herbs, and these after the going down of the sun; but on the other holy days he ate at the sixth hour, partaking also of oil and cheese and steeped pulse; and he would take withal one cup of wine mixed with water, and this by reason of sickness in his bowels [Cf 1 Tim 5:23] This course and rule did he keep continually for all the days of his life.


Praÿlius, who held the bishopric. hierosunen, as in c. 4, of Porphyry as Bishop of Gaza. This appears to be a mistake. From 386 to about 407 the Bishop of Jerusalem was John; he was succeeded by Praÿlius. In c. 12 Mark still more definitely speaks of Praÿlius as ' bishop of Jerusalem '. It is possible that the words describing Praylius in c. 12 are a later addition by some one who knew that he became bishop of Jerusalem. Then by ' priest of the holy places ' Mark may mean chorepiscopus, suffragan. It seems unlikely that, writing about 420, Mark should have forgotten that Praÿlius only became bishop of Jerusalem about 417. Porphyry was ordained presbyter in 392 wood of the Cross. This was preserved in a special oratory in the court behind the great basilica . in mortification, &c. en te asketike kakopatheia. after the going down of the sun. It was quite a usual practice-as for instance in the monasteries under the rule of Pachomius-to eat but once a day; but apparently the more ascetic form of the practice was to take the meal after sunset. So did Saint Antony of the Desert. And so did one Theodore (Vitae patrum, x. 154, Migne, lxxiii. 198) who boasted: 'Habeo viginti duo annos, ex quo praeterquam Sabbato et Dominico die nunquam me sol comedentem vidit.' the other holy days. ' other ', deleted by Eberhard and Draeseke, is otiose but textually correct. steeped pulse. Brekton osprion: see H. Gelzer, Leontios' von Neapolis Leben des h. Johannes (1893), index under osperon; cp. Palladius, Hist. Laus 1051l A (p. 48, ed. Butler): Macarius of Alexander is described as eating only raw vegetables and osprion brekton, where the variant reading ospridion is not recorded by Butler.


Now after three years that he had been ordained, it falleth out that the bishop of the afore­mentioned city of Gaza passed away from this life; he was Aeneias, who was bishop for a very short time And before Aeneias was Irenion, who also himself hath become a fellow­citizen of the angelic powers, whose praises it is not possible to go aside from this matter and write, but a special treatise svere necessary to describe in order the life of the said glorious Irenion, and we leave it for other writers who have full knowledge of his life when therefore the afore­mentioned holy T12 man had been laid to sleep, they who were then Christians, being few and easily to be numbered, were gathered together with the clergy, and took counsel for certain days into w hose hands they should commit the bishopric, but achieved nothing; for contention prevailed among them, some desiring some of the clergy, and others some of the lay­folk; for in sooth among the lay­folk also there were some of honourable and holy life When therefore there arose a great confusion and the matter went nothing forward, at last they agreed that five of the clergy and as many of the notable lay­folk should go out to the metropolitan high­priest and ask of him a bishop, whomsoever the Holy Ghost might reveal unto him.


Aeneias died at the end of 394 or beginning of 395~ Irenion died about 393. He is given in the Martyrologium Romanum on Dec. 16: Gazae in Palaestina sancti Irenionis Episeopi (ed. 1873, p. 187). angelic powers. On the claim of the monk to the angelic politeiaa see Usener, Der heilige Theodosios, p. 121 f. of honourable and holy life. Bio kai semnoteti kekosmemenoi the metropolitan high­priest. that is, the Archbishop of Caesarea, the metropolitan church of Gaza.


Now he that held the high­priesthood at that time was John, who also was a man of good repute and adorned with all virtue. When therefore the Gazaeans came unto him, they besought him to give them a priest which should be able by deeds and by speech to withstand the idolaters. And when he had heard them he straightway proclaimed a fast, and after three days the Lord revealed to him concerning the blessed Porphyry; and he writeth a letter to the afore­mentioned holy Praÿlius, the bishop of Jerusalem, to send the blessed Porphyry to him, because of a certain question concerning the Scripture which was required to be explained by him. For the blessed man was skilful to explain everything that was accounted difficult in the Holy Scripture, and this power he had by the grace of the Holy Ghost. And Praÿlius, beloved of God, putting faith in the writing T13 of the blessed John, sent Porphyry away, enjoining him that he should not tarry more than seven days.


John died before 404 and was followed by Eulogius, who presided in 415 at the synod of Diospolis. He had succeeded Gelasius, who had succeeded Euzoius, who was expelled under Theodosius I; Lequien, Oriens Christ. iii. 561­3 bishop of Jerusalem. See Usener, Leg. d. heil. Pelagia, p. 33; the use of bishop, not archbishop, corresponds to the conditions before the year 451, after which the synod of Chalcedon granted the higher title (J. Gildemeister, Scta S. Pelagiae (1879), p 2)


But when the blessed Porphyry heard the signification of the letter that was written by the most holy John, at first he was troubled, but afterward he said: ' The will of God be done.' And having called me to him on that evening he saith to me: ' Brother Mark, let us go and worship the holy places and the precious Cross; for much time shall pass away before we shall worship them again.' And I said: ' Wherefore sayest thou thus, Father ? ' And he answered and said: ' Yesternight I beheld the Saviour, saying unto me, " That which I committed unto thy trust restore thou again. For I desire thee to be joined unto a woman who is lowly indeed but virtuous. Do thou take her and adorn her, that she may forget her former poverty. For though she chance to be lowly, yet is she not a stranger unto me, but mine own sister. But do thou watch carefully lest, having a wife and taking care of thine house, thou bring therein aught of injustice or violence or unlawfulness: for thou wilt both kindle my wrath and grieve her; for she also hath no pleasure in such things. But do thou only have a goodly zeal, and all things shall be provided unto thee from ~s hence thou hast no expectation." These things did my Master Christ reveal unto me yesternight, and I fear lest, desiring in some way to make atonement for mine own Tl4 sins, atonement for the sins of many others also be laid upon me. Nevertheless it is not possible to gainsay the will of God.'


bring therein, &c. me . . .ex adikias e bias h paranomias sunagages. The sense of the last word is obscure; but it seems to mean ' to bring (into the house, as a concubine) along with (the legitimate wife) '. Or there may be a reminiscence of some such prohibition as the third canon of the Nicene CouncilCOUDCil, forbidding the clergy to have ' spiritual sisters ' living with them:


Having said this he went forth, and I with him, and when we had worshipped the holy places and the precious Cross, and he had prayed and wept much, he placed in the golden coffer the precious and life­giving Cross and made it fast, and went forth; and going to the blessed Pra~iliusn the bishop, he committed unto him the keys, and having received from him a blessing, and a commendation unto God, he went forth. So coming to our lodging, we make ourselves ready. And having hired three beasts, and taking provision for the journey, we went forth; but the pro risions were all that was in the house. And there were five of us on the journey, the b]essed man himself and I and two ass­drivers, and another young servant, called Barochas: whom the blessed man a little time before found in the street, cast out and in the uttermost peril, and taking him up he received him into his house, and having spent much upon him, by the help of Christ he made him whole. Thereafter, then, he abode with him, serving him with me. But the things which happened to the God­fearing Barochas I will declare as my story proceedeth.

Now having journeyed on that lay, on the next we came to Caesarea. But our presence was bruited abroad through all the city; for the blessed man was well known because he loved the poor. And we went to the inn that was there.


Barochas. Apparently the same as Baruch (hebrew: BR'CH) = Blessed. on that day. March 16, 395.


T15 But when the blessed John, the archbishop, heard it, he came running to us, and having greeted each other and prayed a little, they sate down. And the archbishop said unto him: ' Rise up, Brother, for the Lord's sake, and take food with me, that speedily we may rise up to keep the vigil of the Holy Day.' For we had entered on the evening of the Sabbath. But the blessed Porphyry besought him to let him go for the evening, by reason of his weariness after the journey; and he said that after his first sleep he would rise up to keep the vigil. But when the archbishop would not be persuaded, the blessed man rose up and went forth with him, taking also me (for we left brother Barochas in the inn with our cloaks); and at his exhortation we did sup. And having conversed much concerning things spiritual, and slept a little, we rose up to keep the vigil.


But in that night the blessed John sendeth for the Gazaeans and saith unto them: ' Ye shall be ready to come forth; for to­day ye receive your priest, the man whom the Lord hath shown, without blame, beloved of God, boiling over with the faith.' And when it was morning they seized the blessed man and ordained him bishop of Gaza. But he wept much, and would not be satisfied of his tears; for he said that he was unworthy of such a priesthood. And being with difficulty comforted by the Gazaeans and the Christians which were there, he held his peace. And when we had performed the sacred office of T16 the Lord's Day, we were again bidden to taste food with the archbishop.


when it was morning. This was Sunday, March 18, 395. Mark, however, appears to reckon Porphyry's tenure of the see from his entry into Gaza on the next Wednesday (see p. 112, C. 103). ordained him bishop. echeirotonesan episkopon. The word is used both of the people and of the clergy for electing to a dignity, creating. But for the bishop the word is cheirothetein, the laying on of hands.


But he enjoined us to depart with all speed, and when we had spent one other day we departed. And we slept at Diospolis, and thence we came late at night and slowly into Gaza, being exceeding weary and afflicted. And the cause of the affliction was this. Hard by Gaza there are villages beside the road which are given to the madness of idols. So the dwellers in these villages agreed together and strewed all the road with thorns and prickles, so that one could not pass by, and poured out filth, and made smoke of other evil­smelling things, so that we were choked by the stench and went in peril of being blinded. Hardly escaping therefore, about the third hour of the night we entered int o the city. Now this vexation was caused to the blessed man by a visitation of demons; but it vexed him not, for he knew it to be an ambush of the devil, because he desired to turn away the just man from his entering in.


we departed. March 20, 395. The reason for haste was that they should be at Gaza for Easter (March 25). we entered into the city. March 21, 395.


So we went to the bishop's house, which was founded by the afore­named saint Irenion, the bishop, together with the holy church that is called Irene (Peace). Concerning the occasion whereby it received its name there be two tales. For the people of Gaza say that when the city was taken by Alexander the Macedonian, the war by a certain covenant was there brought to an end, whence the place was called Peace. This place the blessed Irenion found to be held in honour by the Gazaeans, and therein founded T17 the church. So whether for the said reason or because of the name of the founder, it hath continued to be so called until the present time. Thither then went we, unto the bishop's house founded by him, the which was passing small.


was taken. Alexander besieged Gaza for two months in 332 B.C. on his way into Egypt. whether for the said reason, &c. There was a Church of Peace at Byzantium at the beginning of the fourth century; and the church of Hippo bore the same name in 393 (Duchesne, Early History of the Christian Church, Eng. ed. 1912, ii, p. 67). The name was not an unnatural one to give to a Christian place of prayer founded after the close of the Great Persecution.


But in that year it fell out that there was a drought, and all they of the city imputed the thing to the coming of the blessed man, saying that ' It was revealed unto us by Marnas that the feet of Porphyry bring bad luck to the city '. But when God continued to send no rain through the first month, which they call Dios, and also through the second, which is Apellaios, they were all afflicted. And they of the idol­madness gathered together in the Marneion, and made many sacrifices and prayers for this matter; for they said that Marnas was lord of the rains (and they say that Marnas is Zeus). And they continued seven days saying hymns and going forth without the city to a place called the Place of Prayer, but they returned again unto their own works, cast down in spirit, having achieved naught. After this had so fallen out, the Christians came together, with men, women, and children, to the number of two hundred and four score, and besought the holy Porphyry to come forth with them to the Place of Prayer and make supplication that the rains might be sent down (for there was already a famine), and they besought him the more because the people imputed the drought to the coming of the blessed man.


feet . . . bring bad luck. Kakopodinos estin the opposite of 'Agathopous, , boni pedis homo, on which see R. Herzog in Philologus, lvi (1897), p. 46. The same idea was contained in the English ' first foot ', the person who first enters a house after the beginning of the new year. continued to send no rain. From the end of October 395 to January 3, 396. first month, which they call Dios. The Gazaean year consisted of twelve months bearing the same names as in the Syromacedonian calendar, and counting thirty days in each. The first day of their year was our 28th of October. There were also five intercalary days (six in every fifth year) which were intercalated between Loös and Gorpiaios, the tenth and eleventh months. We thus get the following correspondences, in ordinary years: October 28=Dios I.
November 27 =Apellaios I .
December 27=Audynaios I.
January 26=Peritios I.
February 2s=Dystros I.
March 27=Xanthikos I.
April 26=Artemisios I
May 26=Daisios I.
June 25 = Panemos I .
July 25 = Loos I .
August 23=Loos 30.
August 24­8=intercalary days.
August 29 = Gorpiaios I,
September 28=Hyperberetaios I, Marnas. Mazochi saw long ago that this passage does not imply that the name Marnas means ' raingod '. At the same time he points out that the Hebrew moreh (,~8112) means 'rain' (Joel ii. 23); the resemblance in sound may have suggested that Marnas was a rain­god. The generally accepted interpretation-given by Mazochi himself-connects the name with the Syrian Marna = 'Lord '. But its origin, as I have tried to indicate elsewhere, is probably western (' Some Palestinian Cults ', Proc. Brit. Acad. v; and the Introduction to this volume, p. xxxii) . Place of Prayer. proseuches. proseucha is the word used by Juvenal (iii. 296) for a place of prayer belonging to some despicable sect, probably either the Jewish or the Christian. It was probably a common term for such places, whether Jewish or Pagan or Christian (cp. c. 60); and there is no ground for Mazochi's theory that the place mentioned by Mark was necessarily a Jewish, or a Pagan praying­place modelled on a Jewish one. In Egypt, it is true, the term meant a Jewish synagogue: see Mitteis u. Wilcken, Grunizinge u. Chrestomathie der Papyruskunde, I. i, p. 112


So the holy man was persuaded, and having T18 proclaimed a fast he bade them all to be gathered together at even in the holy church, that we might keep the vigil there. And we made through the whole night thirty prayers and as many bendings of the knee, besides singing and the readings. And when it was morning, taking the sign of the precious Cross to go before us, we went out with hymns to the ancient church that is in the west of the city, which they say was founded by the most holy and blessed Asclepas, the bishop, who suffered many persecutions for the true faith; whose life and works are written in the Paradise of delight. So when we had come to the said church, we made as many prayers there also, and departing thence we went to the holy shrine of the glorious martyr Timotheus, wherein are laid also other relics of Maiour the martyr and Theë the confessor, and having there made as many prayers and bendings of the knee we returned again unto the city, having made on the way three prayers and three bendings of the knee. But coming nigh unto the city we found it shut (it was the ninth hour); for the idol­madmen did this, desiring to scatter the people abroad, in order that we might not fulfil our supplication. But when we had abode two hours before the gate, and there was none to open to us, God seeing the patience of the people and the groans and the untold tears, especially of the holy man, is moved with compassion, as in the time of the mighty Elias the prophet, [[3] Kings 18:45] T19 and stirreth up a south wind, and the heaven is covered with clouds, and lightnings and thunders begin with the going down of the sun, and a great rain descendeth, so that it seemeth to be not drops of water but hail descending from heaven. But we for our much joy scarce felt it; for we had fallen upon each other's necks.


sign of the precious Cross. semeion. Mark is careful to use this word or ektupoma (c. 77), in order to distinguish the object from the true Cross. Duchesne (Early History of the Christian Church, Eng. ed. 1912, ii, p. 64 note) remarks that Eusebius uses the same word ' sign ' of the supposed actual true Cross which was worshipped at Jerusalem, perhaps because he doubted its authenticity. Asclepas. Also called Asclepius. See Introduction, p. xxv. the Paradise of delight. Gen iii. 23 Compare the ' paradise of delights ' in Saint John Chrysostom's prayer for the faithful departed in the Syro­Jacobite liturgy (J. M. Neale, Liturgies of St. Mark, &c., 1869) p 253); ' the garden of delight ' (Marquess of Bute, The Coptic Morning Service,1 882) p. 98); and the inverted phrase in the liturgy of Saint James and in various forms of the Greek burial service (en truphe Paradeisou kataskenosan). Timotheus. See Introduction, p. xx. {above} ninth hour. About 2.30 p.m. two hours. That is, until about 4.10 p.m. going down of the sun. About 5 p.m.


But certain of the Greeks, when they beheld what marvellous works God wrought for us, believed and opened the gate and mingled with us, crying out: ' Christ alone is God, he alone hath conquered.' And they came together with us to the holy church; and thence the blessed man let them depart in peace, having sealed them with the seal of Christ. They were in number one hundred and twenty and seven, being men seventy­eight, and women thirty­five, and children fourteen, of which five were maidens. And we, when we had offered the perfect sacrifice of thanksgiving, returned each man in joy and peace unto his own place. But so mighty a rain descended in that night and on the next day that all men were afraid lest houses should fall in; for the more part of them were made of unbaked bricks. And our Lord Jesus Christ caused the rain to continue unceasingly from the eighth day of Audynaios until the tenth Now Audynaios with them is the month of January according to the Romans, but their months are earlier by five days than the Roman months And on the eleventh we celebrated the day of the Theophany of our Master Jesus Christ with joy, singing hymns T20 and giving thanks for all the things that his loving­kindness had wrought for us And there were added unto the fold of Christ in this same year, over and above the hundred and twenty and seven, other one hundred and five.

But they of the idol­madness ceased not to lie in wait for the blessed man and the other Christians. For whensoever they could find a governor that w as a Greek, they secretly persuaded him, either with money, or through their godless religion, to distress the Christians, so that the most blessed man suffered no common affliction therefrom Therefore he prayed continually night and day unto the merciful God that he might turn them from he error of their ways unto his own truth.


sealed . sphragisas te tou Xr. sphragidi This is the word used for the preliminary signing of the converts with the sign of the Cross. They then became catechumens, and after due instruction were baptized (cp. c. 3I). But it must be remembered that the words sphragigis, sphragizein are also used by other writers in connexion with the actual baptismal ceremony. sacrifice of thanksgiving. eucharsitian from the eighth day of Julynaios. i.e. from January 3­5, 396. earlier by five days. Not always; see note on C 19. Theophany. That is, the Epiphany, January 6. find. Lit. lay their hands on. See Gelzer, Leontios' von Neapolis Leben des h. Johannes, index, s.v drassomai.


Now since I have made mention above of the blessed Barochas, I will relate the rest of the story concerning him This man, if any, was possessed of godly zeal; for he suffered many hard things from the idolaters For once he went out to a village not far from the city, on account of a certain payment to the church. Now he that owed the payment was an idolater, and when he was asked for payment he sought to tarry and put off the matter; but the God­fearing Barochas would not suffer him. Thereupon strife arose between them, and the wicked husbandman calleth certain fellow villagers like unto himself, and they begin to beat the blessed Barochas with clubs; and taking him up half dead they cast him forth T21 out of the village into a desert place; and he lay there without speech or sense But on the next day, by the mercy of God, there passeth through that place Cornelius the deacon with other two Christians, and finding Barochas, beloved of God, they knew him and took him up and bare him into the city.


payment to the church. ekklesiastikou kanonos. The Moscow Metaphrasis uses siteresiou instead of the second word. It is clear that the churches in Palestine at this time were landowners (their estates being managed by the oikonomoi: see c. 95 and Gelzer, Leontios' von Neapolis Leben les h. Johannes, p. 121) and that their tenants were not necessarily Christians. The collectors of these canons were called canonicarii.


But when they of the idol­madness saw him being carried, supposing him to be a corpse, they fell into a frenzy, because it was accounted pollution to bring a corpse into the city; and snatching him from the shoulders of them who bare him, they begin to beat the deacon Cornelius, beloved of God, and the two Christians; and fastening a rope to the foot of the blessed Barochas they dragged him along. In the meanwhile certain of the brethren come and tell the blessed bishop, and he being troubled calleth me and other three brethren who are present with him, and saith unto us: ' Take courage, Brethren, and run; for the occasion to bear witness is at hand.' Now when re had come to the place where they had bound the blessed man, the multitude ran together, and some spake despitefully of the most holy bishop; but others, seeing his patience, how, when men spake despitefully of him, he waxed not wroth, but did on the contrary exhort every man, saying that they should not thus defile and insult a body of like nature to their own, these others come over to our side; and so they turn against each other, even to blows. But we, seeing that there was much confusion, T22 took up Barochas, beloved of God, and went back into the holy church. And seeing that there was still breath in him, we gave him tendance.


And all the evening and the night there was instant prayer over him; for all the brethren were gathered together. And the holy bishop ceased not from weeping and praying unto God for him; for he knew how godly a zeal he had. But when God saw the tears of the holy priest, and the entreaties of the people (for they held him to be a second Phineas against the idolaters [Num 25:11]), he quickened his mercy towards him, and in that night he openeth his eyes, and beginneth to speak, and to ask that drink be given to him. But I, who sate beside him, straightway ran to tell the blessed bishop; for by reason of my great joy I forgat to give him the drink; even as happened [Acts 12;14] to the maid with the blessed apostle Peter, when, hearing the voice of Saint Peter, for joy she opened not the door but left him there and first vent and told them who were in the house. Somewhat after this manner was it also with me. But when the blessed bishop heard it, he was not moved by affection but continued steadfast in prayer; and we perceiving his firmness and immovableness left him, and went away, I and the deacon Cornelius, beloved of God; for he was sitting T24 with me beside the blessed Barochas. But when the most holy bishop had ended his prayers and the whole office, he also came and sate with us, and questioned the God­fearing Barochas how it had happened to him from the beginning, and he told us all things in order.


by affection. Hupo tou pathous in the general sense, of emotion. But it may also have something of the other meaning of the word, ' accident ' or unexpected development. office. Akolouthian.


Now while we were taking counsel what should be done, the day dawneth; and lo ! the public advocate with the guardians of the peace and the two chief councillors, Timotheus and Epiphanius, and many others come and begin to cry out against us and make a tumult, saying: ' Why brought ye a corpse into the city, seeing that the laws of our fathers forbid this P ' And at the same time they spake despitefully of the blessed bishop. But we, hearing the tumult, came out, and seeing us they begin to beat me and Cornelius the deacon, beloved of God. But when we protested, calling the public officers to witness, the most holy bishop restrained us, exhorting and admonishing every one, that we should not be thus wroth without reason. But the godless men, the more they were exhorted, the more mad did they become, and spake despitefully of the holy man. So the tumult continued; but Barochas, beloved of God, is strengthened and filled with godly zeal, and riseth up and snatcheth a piece of wood, and beginneth to smite the bystanders; and fear falleth upon them all, and they begin to fall over each other in flight; and he continued T24 pursuing them as far as the temple of Marnas that then was; and so our new Samson returneth again, having won a great victory, and himself laid low a thousand of the Gentiles. From that time therefore they of the idolmadness feared him, and could not endure to hear his name.

Now after a little time we were accounted worthy to be ordained deacons, I and Barochas, beloved of God, I indeed being greatly unworthy, but he full worthily and justly receiving this gift.


public advocate. demekdikon generally assumed to be the same as the official otherwise called ekdikos tes poleos, , defensor civitatil; ' des Raths und gemeiner Bürgerschaft Schirmvogt '(Draeseke), These officials are first heard of in the Augustan age, when they act as intermediaries between the government and the cities. They were elected by the citizens and confirmed by the praefeetul praetorio. They held office for two years and had jurisdiction in ordinary crimes and civil cases under 300 aurei. They are to be distinguished from the permanent sundikoi (Philippi in Rhein Mus. viii. 508; art. ekdikos in Pauly­Wissowa Kroll, Realencyel.; and cp. L. Mitteis u. V. Wilcken, Grundzüge u. Chrestomathie der Papyruskunde, I. i, p. 81). The Church had representatives called ekklesiekdikoi (Gelzer, op. cit. p. 122), whose duties were connected with church-discipline. It seems uncertain whether the demekdikon is quite the same as the ekidikos tes poleos; he may possibly be a representative of the demos as distinct from the boule. guardians of the peace. eirenarchon "Irenarchae quoque, qui disciplinae publicae et corrigendis moribus praeficiuntur,' Dig. 1. 4. 18. Cp. M. Gelzer, Studien zur byz. Verwaltung Ägyptens councillors. proteuonton. The Egyptian papyri provide some evidence about the corresponding authorities in Egyptian communities; in the villages the title proteuonton is, however, less commonly employed than protokometai Their special function was to act as local taxation authorities, but also, it would seem, they were responsible for the government of the village. They formed a koinotes, a sort of ' parish council ', with an acting committee called the komarchai. Thus in Pap. Cairo 67006 recto, 3, the proteuontes wish to impose on a woman state­services to which she is not liable; in Pap. Lond. 1073, the comes of Arcadia is asked to instruct the protokometai to protect some persons engaged in building. In the case of a city with a boule, the term proteuontes, according to Maspero, is sometimes used for the bouletai or decurions. See Mitteis u. Wilcken, op. cit. I. i, p. 84; Maspero in Bull. de l'Inst. franc. d'Archeologie orientale, vi, p. 4z; and, for older evidence, Ducange, Gloss. Graec. In this biography the term appears again in c. 27 and in c. 95. In the latter instance Sampsychus is supported by ' the rest of the council '; but in the former Mark speaks as if there were no more than three proteouontes altogether. It is possible then that he uses the word in a sense corresponding to the Egyptian komarchai, as a committee of the council.


But the saint Porphyry, seeing the unlawful things that were done daily by the idolaters, taketh counsel with himself to send me unto Byzantium to ask the Emperors that the temples of the idols be destroyed. For they still gave oracles in Gaza, especially that which was called the Marneion. And having indited letters to the most saintly and holy John, who was at that time bishop of Constantinople, whose glory and praise is remembered of all men, he sent me away in a ship, and after twenty days we arrived, and having delivered the letters to the blessed John I explained unto him the whole matter by word of mouth. And straightway, when he had heard it, he declared it unto Eutropius the chamberlain, who at that time prevailed greatly with the Emperor Arcadius. And when he had read unto him the letter of the blessed bishop and asked of him to be favourable unto that which was written therein, he took his leave of him and came forth, and saith unto me: ' Have patience, my child; for I hope in our Master Christ that he will show mercy unto us as he T25 is wont.'


John, who was at that time bishop of Constantinople. Saint John Chrysostom was consecrated February 26, 398. On July 27 of the same year Eutropius quarrelled with him, and carried a law depriving the churches of the right of asylum. Mark's visit therefore falls between February 26 and July 27, 398. According to Theodoret (Hist. Eccl. v. 29), John showed special zeal against heathen temples in Phoenicia, procuring decrees from the Emperor and subscriptions to the campaign from wealthy and pious ladies. Eutropius the chamberlain. The eunuch Flavius Eutropius, pratpositus sacri cubiculi and patricius, who was in 399 consul (the first of his kind to attain this dignity) with Manlius Theodorus. He was in the same year deposed by the party of Gainas and beheaded at Chalcedon. Zosimus (v. I2. I) says that he ruled the weak Arcadius as if he were a beast of the field (kathaper boskematos).


And I ceased not daily to remind him, and he would send and importune Eutropius. And after seven days there is uttered a divine decree that the temples of the idols in the city of the Gazaeans should be shut and no longer give oracles. And a certain Hilarius, an adjutant of the Master of the Offices, is entrusted with this ordinance. And I after three days set sail from Byzantium, and come in ten days unto the city of the Gazaeans, seven days before the coming of Hilarius. And I found the most holy Porphyry sick. But when I gave him the answer of the most blessed John, the bishop of Constantinople, and read it unto him, he was filled with joy, and the fever left him and he was cured. But he said that the sickness had taken him by reason of the much affliction wherewith the idolaters afflicted him. Now after seven days cometh the said Hilarius, having two officers of the consular court and many guards out of Azotus and Ascalon, and all the pomp of office. And straightway he seized the three councillors of the city and took sureties from them and declared unto them the divine decree, which commanded that the temples of the idols in the city of Gaza should be shut up on pain of the death of the chief men of the same city; and he overturned all the idols in them and shut them up. But the temple of Marnas he suffered secretly to give oracles; for he T26 received therefor a great sum of money. And they of the idol­madness began again to do unlawful things, as they were wont.


adjutant of the Master of the Offices. soubadiouba, subadiuva. The Magister Officiorum had as his assistants an adiutor and a subadiuva adiutoris. On the Master of the Offices and his functions see Cassiodorus Far, vi. 6 (Hodgkin, Letters of Cassiodorus, p. 30z). One Hilarius, possibly the same man, was governor of Palestine about 387. O,ffliScers of the consular court. Komentaresious tes upatikes. These commentarienses were officers of the governor's court, who received the formal charge against an accused person, and were responsible for securing him, bringing him before the judge, keeping the records of the trial, and finally seeing that sentence was executed. For the ' consulars ', see note on c. 50. councillors of the city. See note on c. 25


Now it falleth out that another marvellous thing cometh to pass, calling many to come to the knowledge of the truth. For God, being compassionate, findeth occasions to turn the race of men unto his light that enlighteneth the mind. The thing that happened was on this wise. A certain lady of the notable people of the city, called Aelias, being about to give birth to a child, fell into great peril; and the cause of the peril was this. Her child came not forth after the natural manner, but was turned aside contrary to nature, and having put forth one hand the rest of his body could not be delivered; for it lay crosswise in the womb and the midwives availed not to move it into the natural place. But the pain that was upon the woman was unspeakable, since in the throes of her travail she sought to bring forth the child; and her labours increased the more when the second day followed after the first; and the third day likewise was more painful than the second. And her labours endured unto seven days, the evil being ever increased. But the physicians also desired to cut the child out of her, and when they beheld how her strength was fallen away, they despaired of her life. Her parents, therefore, and her husband T27 Heros, being superstitious, offered up sacrifice each day for her, and they brought in also enchanters and soothsayers, thinking to profit her thereby, but accomplished naught.


that enlighteneth the mind. Eis to noeton outo phos, as distinct from the light perceived by the physical eye. Aelias. The text is Ailías; the Moscow Metaphrasis has Aliás. This is an unusual form for a female name; but for that very reason it is improbable that it should be a corruption of Ailia so common a name. It is just possible that onomati Ailías be a construction analogous to the English ' by the name of Aelia ', though I can give no parallels from Greek. But the Moscow Metaphrast evidently understood Ailiás as a nominative. since . . . the child. Town kata horan odinon to brphos othouson.


Now she had a nurse that was a believer, who being exceeding grieved made petitions for her in the houses of prayer. So on a certain day when she was praying in the church with tears, there came in Saint Porphyry about the ninth hour, and I with him. And he seeth the old woman in great affliction, praying unto God with tears, and standing still he inquired after the reason. And she looking upon him fell at his feet, beseeching him to pray unto Christ for her. And when the saint knew the cause of the woman's grief, he himself wept; for he was exceeding compassionate. And he saith to the nurse: ' I hear concerning that house that it is idolatrous, and can hardly be saved; but, nevertheless, to God all things are possible; for he findeth occasion to save them which are about to perish. Depart, therefore, and gather together all her kinsfolk and her parents and her husband, and say unto them: " Seeing that there is here an excellent physician who can cure her, if he cause her to escape from this peril, what reward will ye give him ? " And they will of a surety promise thee many things. Then say unto them this also: " If he cure her, give me your word withal that ye will not turn aside from him nor depart from him unto another." Cause them all to lift up their hands to heaven and give their word that they will perform all the things that they have promised. And when they T28 have done this, say unto the woman that travaileth before them all: " Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, healeth thee; believe on him and live." '


inquired after the reason. The Moscow Metaphrasis has ' although he was not ignorant of the reason, yet he inquired '. The addition is characteristic of the later writer's idea of necessary improvements to Mark's sincerer narrative. Mark implies immediately afterwards that the saint did not know the cause. for her. i. e. for her mistress.


So when the old woman had heard the words of the blessed bishop, and he had commended her unto God, she ran to the house, and finding them all weeping and the woman in uttermost peril, she exhorted her parents and her husband to be of good courage, and said unto them that ' An excellent physician sent me unto you, that ye may give me your word that if she be cured ye will not deny him.' And when her parents and her husband heard it they said: ' If he wish to take all our possessions, we shall not withhold them, only let us see our daughter live.' And the nurse said: ' Lift up your hands unto heaven, and give me this promise that ye will not deny the physician.' And they eagerly and with tears lifted up their hands, saying that ' Nay, all that is ours shall be his all the days of our life; for what comfort shall we have if she die ? ' For she was their only child, and fair and pleasant in her ways above all others. But the nurse, when she heard their words, said with a loud voice before them all: ' Thus saith the great priest Porphyry: " Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, healeth thee; believe on him and live." ' And straightway the woman shrieked aloud, and brought forth the child alive.


And all they that were there were astonied, and cried out: ' Great is the God of the Christians; great is the priest Porphyry.' And on the next day the parents of the T29 woman and her husband and all her family and kinsfolk went unto the blessed Porphyry and fell at his feet, asking to be sealed in Christ. And the blessed man having sealed them and made them catechumens sent them away in peace, exhorting them to make attendance in holy church; and after a little time, when he had instructed them, he baptized them, together with the woman and the child. And they called his name Porphyry. And they that were enlightened through the occasion of this woman were in number sixty and four.


make attendance in holy church. scholazein, i. e. to go constantly to receive instruction previous to baptism. and the child. Reading to brephei with H, instead of to brephos. enlightened. Possibly­ here used only in the general sense of ' converted ', but often, as in cc. 47, 74, for ' baptized '.


But they of the idol­madness, the more they saw the Christians increasing in numbers, the more wroth did they become, and suffered them not to hold any civil office, but entreated them as naughty slaves. And the blessed Porphyry, seeing again the great wrong that was done to the Christians and enduring it not, beholding how despitefully they were entreated, departeth to Caesarea unto the blessed John, the archbishop, and beseecheth him with tears to let him go; for he said he could no longer bear the outrageous things that were done by the Gazaeans. But when the blessed John heard it he exhorted him to be of a stout heart and not to forsake the bishopric.


departeth to Caesarea. September 401.


And the most holy Porphyry answered and said unto him: ' I call thee to witness before the unseen God, and by our hope which is Jesus Christ the Lord of all creations and the Holy Ghost which we worship and which giveth life to all things, neglect not my petition, that the destruction of countless souls be not imputed unto us. But I pray thee, Father, to take ship with me unto the Imperial City, that we may petition the Emperors, if the King of Heaven consent, T30 to overturn the temples of the idols.' But the blessed John said unto him: ' My son, thy prayer is just, but the time is not fitting, for the season groweth worse towards the winter solstice.' And the blessed Porphyry answered: ' If God will that we should be saved and convert the multitudes of Gaza, he is able to preserve us even in winter. But do thou, Father, take courage in his mercy and be willing, and we shall have a fair voyage.' The blessed John saith unto him: ' The will of Christ be done.'


I call thee to witness before the unseen God. Reading martúromai se with H, for marturoumai se. for the season. H gar cheimerois trope loipon epilampanetai, the winter solstice is yet to come, the weather is getting worse. Nuth quotes Friedlander, Sittengesch. ii5, p. 20 sq., showing that from November 11 to March 5 practically all navigation ceased.


So the blessed Porphyry, having taken his commands, writeth to me to come with all speed to Caesarea and to bring with me three books and three and forty pieces of money, the which chanced to remain over from the revenues of the holy church. And I, having received his letter, took the books and the money and straightway departed, and coming to Caesarea I found the most holy bishops making ready for the voyage; and after two days we put to sea and sailed on the twenty­eighth day of Gorpiaios (which is according to the Romans the twenty­third of September), and by the mercy of Christ making a fair voyage after ten days we put in at the island of Rhodes.

Now there was then in the island, living solitary in the remote parts thereof, a man named Procopius, who is now numbered with the angels; for he fell asleep five years ago, having lived a blameless life in fasting and watching and utter poverty. He had also the gift of prophecy and the power of T31 casting out devils. So when we had put in at Rhodes, as hath been said, and heard tell of the manner of life of the holy man, we held it necessary not to pass him by, but to enjoy his angelic company; and having inquired where he had his abode we journeyed unto him, sailing along the coast in a small boat, and came and knocked at his door. And he straightway came forth himself and opened to us, albeit he had with him another, a disciple.


pieces of money. nomismata, gold solidi (of normally 4­55 grammes), 43 of which would be equivalent in weight to about 24g English sovereigns. straightway departed. September 22, 40I. the twenty­eighth day of Gorpiaios. September. According to Nuth, H reads hemera ogdoe kai eikadi Gorpiaiou kata de Romaious Septembrio (sic) eikadi trite. The other manuscripts omit the words here given in heavy type; Henschen conjectured Peritiou for trite, with the result that the whole chronology was thrown out until the right reading was restored by Nuth from H. At the same time, Nuth argues that trite should be pempte. Mark has applied his rule that the Gazaean calendar is five days in advance of the Roman to all months, whereas it is only true of January and April; in the other months the advance is only three or four days. They set sail therefore on September 25, 401, and arrived at Rhodes about October 6. five years ago. That is, in 415 or 416, for this life was doubtless written in 420 or 421. {NB> Not according to Gregoire!}


But when he beheld the most holy bishops, he fell upon his face and worshipped them; then rising up he kissed me also and the God­fearing Eusebius the deacon, whom the holy John the archbishop brought with him. And leading us into the place of prayer he went behind us, giving the foremost place to the most blessed bishops, saying: ' It is fitting that ye, being priests, should have the foremost place, and I, being lowly and not even thought worthy of ordination, the hindmost.' Then knew we that the most holy Procopius possessed the gift of vision; for albeit he had never beheld us nor heard concerning us, he knew by the spirit that the most blessed John and Porphyry were bishops; therefore gave he to them the ho1lour of the first place at prayer. Then after the prayer we sate down, and when he had spoken with us of many things profitable to our souls, he inquired of the reason of our travelling. And the blessed Porphyry related to him all things concerning the Gazaeans, how madly they are given unto idols, and how many terrible things the Christians suffer from them, and that for this reason they are going up to pray the Emperor that the temples of the idols may be overturned.


the most blessed John and Porphyry. Mark uses the circumlocution hoi peri tous m. I k. P. 'the company of the most blessed,' &c.; but obviously it cannot include the whole company, unless ' kai diakonooi ' has fallen out. travelling. Ton skulmou a word, like our own ' travel ', expressing the hardship of voyaging; Cp. CC. 37, 40


T32 But when Saint Procopius, the anchorite, heard it he wept and said: ' Lord Jesus Christ, turn thy servants from the deceits of the devil unto the light of thy faith.' Then saith he to the most holy bishops: ' Be not discouraged, Fathers; for God, who knoweth the zeal of your faith, will prosper your way and give you all the desires of your hearts. Hearken, therefore, while I counsel you as the Lord hath revealed it unto my lowliness. When ye come up to Byzantium, join yourselves first to the most holy bishop John, and make petition with him unto God, did impart the matter unto him; and he also himself will counsel you according as the Lord revealeth it unto him. For he cannot have speech in the Palace, seeing that the Empress Eudoxia is wroth with him. He therefore commendeth you unto Amantius, the chamberlain of the Lady, a man that feareth God and honoureth the habit of the priests; and he bringeth you in to the Empress, and w hen y e go in to her she will receive you kindly. Impart then unto her the whole matter and take your commands of her and go forth. And when ye come before her the second time, after ye have reminded her of the matter, say unto her that "We hope in Christ the Son of God,, if thou art zealous in the present matter, that he will give thee a male child." And when she heareth this, T33 she will be exceeding joyful (for she is great with child, and this is the ninth month since she conceived) and she will do all things that she may accomplish the matter for you, if God will.'


Almantius. Probably the same man who was afterwards the favourite of Theodosius II (Nuth, p 29 note).


And we having heard the words of the holy man and believed on that which he said, received his blessing and departed; and putting to sea on that day, we sailed and after other ten days came to Byzantium. And having taken a lodging, on the next day we went to the most holy archbishop John. And he, when he knew who we were, received us with much honour and tendance. And he inquired of us for what reason we had endured to travel, and we related it unto him. And when he knew it, he remembered that sometime before we had made this same prayer unto him by letters; and he knew me again and saluted me kindly. But he exhorteth us not to be discouraged but to have hope in the mercies of God. And he said to us: ' I indeed have not power to speak with the Emperor; for the Empress hath kindled his wrath against me, because I accused her concerning a possession which she desired and took away by force. To me indeed it maketh no matter, that he is wroth therefor, neither do I give heed unto it, for they hurt themselves, not me; for even if they hurt my body, they profit my soul much more. Howbeit, let us leave this thing to the tender mercy of God. But concerning your ordinance, if it shall seem good to the Lord, to­morrow I send for the T34 eunuch Amantius, who is the chief officer of the Empress, having much favour in her eyes, and verily a servant of God; and I impart the matter unto him, and he will be exceeding zealous, if Christ will.' And we, having received from him these commands and his blessing, departed unto our lodging.


after other ten days. i.e. about October 16, 401 a possession. The estate of the widow of Theognostus, which was seized by the empress. See Draeseke, Gesamm. Patr. Untersuchungen, pp. 227, 241 ff., where other references are given. chief officer. Kastresion, castrensem. The full title is comes et castrensis sacri Palatai. The office was probably one of those instituted by Diocletian. As the name shows, the castrensis was in essence and origin a quartermaster; but he was responsible for a great part of the domestic administration and also for the upkeep of the buildings of the Palace.


On the next day we went to the holy man, and find with him the chamberlain Amantius; for he had paid heed to our business and sent for him and instructed him concerning us. And when we entered, and Amantius knew that we are they concerning whom he spake to him, he rose up and worshipped the most holy bishops, bowing down his face to the ground; and they knowing who he was fell upon his neck and kissed him. And the most saintly archbishop John bade them also out of their own mouths to instruct the chamberlain concerning their business. So the most holy Porphyry related to him all things concerning the idolaters, how boldly they do unlawful things and how they trouble the Christians. And he hearing it wept, and being filled with godly zeal saith unto them: ' Be not discouraged, Fathers; for the Lord Christ shall be a shield unto his religion. Pray ye, therefore; and I speak to the Augusta, and have hope in the God of all things, that he will show us his mercy after T35 his wont. And on the next day I bring you in also to her, and do ye instruct her out of your own mouth as much as ye wish, and ye shall find her instructed of me beforehand.' And when he had said this he bade us farewell and returned again, and we, having had much spiritual conversation with the most holy archbishop John, and received his blessing, returned to our lodging.


On the next day. October 18, 401.


On the next day the chamberlain Amantius sendeth two beadles to bring us to the Palace, and rising up speedily we went thither. And we found him waiting for us, and he took the two bishops and led them in to the Augusta Eudoxia. And when she beheld them, she saluted them first, saying ' Grant me your blessing, Fathers; ' and they worshipped her. And she sate upon a golden couch, and saith unto them: ' Pardon me, priests of Christ, by reason of the necessity of my belly that oppresseth me; for it behoved me to go to the antechamber to meet your holiness. But for the Lord's sake pray for me, that I may bring forth happily that which is in my belly.' But the most holy bishops, marvelling at her condescension, said: ' May he that blessed the womb of Sarah and of Rebecca and of Elizabeth, bless that which is in thy belly and cause it to live.'


On the next day. October 19, 401. beadles. dekanon These were the lowest rank of court­officials, employed as janitors and messengers, a large corps, under three primicerii, and ultimately under the magister officiorum. They are first mentioned towards the end of the fourth century. Seeck in Pauly­Wissowa, Realencyclopädie, s.v. happily, meta philanthropias. This is probably not equivalent to kata philanthropian theou, by the mercy of God,' but rather used in a more general sense of a ' happy ' or ' kindly ' delivery. The same phrase occurs in c. 42.


And when they had had other spiritual conversation also, she saith unto them: ' I know for what reason ye have made this journey; for Amantius the chief officer hath instructed me beforehand. But if ye also wish to instruct me, say your bidding, Fathers.' So, being commanded, they explained all things concerning the idol­madmen, how they do T36 fearlessly impious deeds and how they oppress the Christians, suffering them not to hold any civic office, nor to till their own fields, ' from which they pay public taxes unto your government.' But when the Empress heard it, she said: ' Be not discouraged, Fathers; for I hope in the Lord Christ, the Son of God, that I may persuade the Emperor to do that which is fitting for your holy faith, and to send you away hence comforted. Depart, therefore, and refresh yourselves, for ye are aweary, and pray that God may favour my petition.' And when she had thus spoken, she commanded money to be brought, and taking three handfuls each she gave to the most holy bishops, saying: ' Take this for the meanwhile against your expenses.' And the bishops received it and, having called upon her many blessings, went forth. And as they came forth, the greater part of the coins they distributed to the beadles who stood at the doors, so that but little was left to them. But the Empress, when the Emperor came in to her, told him the business of the bishops, and asked him that the temples of Gaza might be destroyed.


But the Emperor, when he heard it, was vexed, and said: ' I know that that city is idolatrous, but it is well­disposed in the matter of the paying of taxes, contributing much money. If therefore we come suddenly upon them, and affright them, they will flee and we shall lose so much tribute. But if it seem good, T37 we shall afflict them piecemeal, taking away the dignities from the idol­madmen, and the other civic offices, and will command their temples to be shut up and to give oracles no longer. For when they are afflicted and brought altogether into a strait place, they will acknowledge the truth. For a change that is over­sudden is a heavy thing for subjects to bear.' But the Empress when she heard it was sore grieved (for she was fervent in the faith), but answered not the Emperor save only this: ' The Lord is able to succour his servants the Christians, whether we wish it or whether we wish it not.' These things the God­fearing Amantius, the chamberlain, related unto us.


On the next day the Augusta sent for us, and having first after her wont saluted the holy bishops bade them sit down. And after they had spoken much of spiritual matters, she saith unto them: ' I spake unto the Emperor and he was a little vexed. But be not discouraged; for, if God will, I will not cease until ye be satisfied and depart having accomplished your desire which is of God.' And the bishops, when they heard her words, worshipped her. And our Saint Porphyry, being sore moved, and remembering the words of the thrice blessed Procopius, the anchorite, said to the Empress: ' Do thou labour for Christ, and he shall grant thee for thy labour a son, who shall live and reign, for thee to see and enjoy many years.' And when the Empress heard his words she was filled with joy and blushed, and the beauty which T38 was in her countenance was increased; for the things which are apparent make manifest the things which are unseen.


On the next day. October 20, 401. for thee to see. Since Eudoxia died in September 404, Porphyry's prophecy was not fulfilled in all particulars. the beauty. Lit. ' there was added to her countenance beauty above that which she had.'


Then saith she unto the most holy bishops: ' Pray ye, Fathers, that according to your words by God's will I may bring forth the male child, and if this come to pass, I promise you to do all that ye ask. And another thing which ye did not ask I purpose to do, with Christ's will; for I will found a holy church in Gaza in the midmost of the city. Depart ye, therefore, in peace and abide quietly, praying continually for me that my travail may be happy: for this is the ninth month and it is nigh to be fulfilled.' So the bishops having taken their leave and commended her to God went forth from the palace. And prayer was made that she should bring forth a male child; for we trusted in the words of the holy Procopius, the anchorite. And we went daily to the most holy John, the archbishop, and enjoyed his holy words, which were sweeter than honey and the honey­comb. [Cf Ps. 19:19 (18:11)] And Amantius the chamberlain came continually to us, sometimes bringing us answers from the Empress, and sometimes for the sake of our conversation.


this is the ninth month. The same had been said by Procopius about October 6 (c. 34). Therefore Theodosius must have been born late in October or early in November. Eudoxia had so far borne: (I) Flaccilla, 397; (2) Saint Pulcheria, 399; (3) Arcadia, 400. The last was born on April 3, 400; therefore if Theodosius was born in October or November, it must have been, not in 400 (as has been supposed), but in 401, which entirely agrees with the rest of the chronology of Mark's narrative. The whole question is ably worked out by Nuth, pp. 12 f. the most holy John, the archbishop. Saint John Chrysostom is not mentioned again, probably because he went to Asia Minor to inquire into the charges against Antoninus, Bishop of Ephesus. This he must have done in the winter of 401­2, not early in 400 as generally supposed. See Nuth, pp. 14f


Now after a few days the Empress bringeth forth the male child, and they call his name Theodosius, after the name of his grandfather Theodosius the Spaniard, who was Emperor with Gratian. But the young Theodosius when he was born was brought T39 forth in the purple, wherefore even from his birth he was proclaimed Emperor. And there was much rejoicing in the city, and messengers were sent forth to bear the good tidings unto the cities, with gifts and favours. But the Lady, when she had brought forth the child and was risen from childbed, sent to us Amantius, saying to us by him: ' I give thanks to Christ that through your holy prayers God hath granted me the son. Pray ye, therefore, Fathers, for his life and for me, the lowly one, that I may fulfil those things which I promised unto you, if Christ himself again will, through your holy prayers.'


was proclaimed Emperor. Here Mark seems to be in error. It appears from the Paschal Chronicle that the solemn inauguration of the infant Emperor took place on January 10, 402, when he was more than two months old. At any rate it is clear from the story that he was already Augustus when he was carried out after the baptismal ceremony. It is true that the phrase (c. 46) ' after a few days ' looks as if it was at least intended that the baptism should take place very soon after the Empress had finished her lying­in. But, on the other hand, the phrase ' the days ran on ' (c. 47) indicates a rather greater lapse of time; and Mark's use of oligos is peculiar. He says, for instance (c. 103), that Porphyry lived ' a few years ' after the consecration of the Eudoxiana, and we know that these few years were no less than thirteen ! (Nuth, p. 30 note). the cities. i.e. of the provinces.


And when the seven days of her lying­in were fulfilled, she sendeth for us, and cometh to meet us at the door of the bedchamber, carrying also the child in the purple. And she bowed her head, saying: ' Draw nigh, Fathers, to me and to the child which God hath granted unto me through your holy prayers.' And she also gave the child into their hands that they might seal him. And the holy bishops sealed both her and the child with the seal of the cross; and when they had prayed, they sate down. And after they had had much heart­stirring speech together, the Lady saith unto them: ' Know ye, Fathers, what I am resolved to do concerning your business ? ' And my lord Porphyry answered and said: ' Whatsoever thou hast resolved, thou hast resolved with God; for in this night T40 it was revealed unto my worthlessness by a vision that I was in Gaza, and that I stood in the house of the idols there that is called the Marneion, and that thy Piety gave unto me the Gospel, and said unto me: " Take, read." And I having opened the book found the portion in which the Lord Christ saith unto Peter: " Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." [Matt. 16:18] And thou, Lady, didst answer and say: " Peace be upon thee, be strong and quit thee like a man." And upon this I awakened, and by this am I persuaded that the Son of God will work with thee for thy purpose. Now tell us, Lady, what thou hast resolved.'


The Empress answered and said: ' If it seem good unto Christ, after a few days it behoveth that the child receive holy baptism. Depart ye, therefore, and make a petition and request, setting down in order therein all things that ye desire, and when the babe cometh forth after the precious baptism, give the petition unto him that carrieth it; and I will teach him what to do, and I hope in the Son of God that he will order the whole matter according to the will of his compassion.' And we, having received these commands, called many blessings upon her and upon the child, and went forth and departed and made the petition, setting down many things in the paper, not only the overturning of the idols, but also privileges for the holy church and the Christians, and a revenue to T41 be provided; for the holy church was poor.


Now the days ran past, and the day came on which it was purposed that the young Emperor Theodosius should be enlightened. And all the city was hung with garlands and adorned with silks and gold vessels and al] manner of other adornments, so that no man could describe the splendour of the city; nay, one might behold the multitudes of the inhabitants like the waves of the sea, various with all sorts of garments. But it is not in my power to express the glory of that splendour, but belongeth to those who are practised in speech; but I will be about the present true history. When the young Theodosius had been baptized and came forth from the church to the Palace, then again might one behold the goodliness of the multitude of them that went before, and their shining raiment; for they were all clad in white, so that it seemed as though the multitude were covered with snow. There went first Patricians, and Illustres, and every dignity, together with the troops of soldiers, all bearing candles, so that it seemed as though stars were shining on the earth. And nigh unto the babe that was carried was the Emperor Arcadius himself, whose countenance was glad and bright, even brighter than the purple that he wore; and one of the nobles carried the babe in bright raiment. And we marvelled, seeing so great glory. And Saint Porphyry saith unto us: ' If things that T42 are of the earth and after a little time vanish away have such glory, how much more the heavenly things, which are prepared for the worthy, which neither eye hath seen nor ear heard, neither have they entered into the heart of man.' [I Cor 2:9].


enlightened. photizesthai, i.e. 'baptized'. See note on c. 31. On the various synonyms for baptism see F. E. Warren, Liturgy and Ritual of Ante­Nicene Church, 2nd ed. (1912), p 54 them that went before. Ton progoumenon. Bury (Later Rom. Emp. i, pp. 200 f.) translates ' magnates ', which would be attractive if the order were ton pr. Tou plthous, instead of tou plyth. Ton pr.. In the next sentence prougounto can only mean 'led the procession ', so probably Mark is not using the participle in a technical sense. Patricians and Illustres. Patricius is the title of a dignity instituted by Constantine. Unattached to any office, it was the culmination of the cursus honorum, and ranked next to the lowest imperial dignity (nobilissimus). See E. A. Stuckelberg, Der Constantinische Patriciat (1891) Illustris was another of the titles borne by palatine dignitaries and the highest military officers; below the illustres came the spectabiles, and below these the clarissimi. In later times, as in the seventh century, these titles seem to have lost a good deal of their dignity.


Now we stood in the vestibule of the holy church, having also the paper of the petition, and when he came forth after the baptism, we cried out saying: ' We make petition of thy Piety,' stretching forth also the paper. And he that carried the babe, beholding it, and knowing our business (for he had been taught beforehand by his mistress), commanded that the paper be shown unto him, and when he received it, he stood still. And he commanded that there should be silence, and opened the paper and read a portion, and having rolled it up he placed his hand under the head of the babe, and bowed it, and cried out before all the people: ' Their Majesty hath commanded that the things which are in the petition be done.' And all they that beheld marvelled and worshipped the Emperor, calling him blessed, because he was found worthy to see in his own days a son reigning; and he was lifted up with pride when he heard them. And tidings were brought beforehand to the Empress Eudoxia also of that which had been done by her child, and she was glad and fell upon her knees and gave thanks to God.


after the baptism. He appears to have been baptized by Severianus of Gabala, in the absence of Saint John Chrysostom (Nuth, p. 16).


But when the child came into the Palace, the Lady met him and received and kissed him, and taking him up greeted the Emperor also, saying: ' Blessed art thou, my Lord, because of the things that thine eyes have seen in thy T43 lifetime.' And the Emperor rejoiced when he heard her. And the Empress, seeing that he was glad, said: ' If it please thee, let us learn what is contained in the petition, that the things that are therein may be fulfilled.' And the Emperor bade read the paper, and when it was read, he said: ' Hard indeed is the request to perform, but harder to refuse, since it is even the first command of our son.' And the Lady saith unto him: ' Not his first command only, but arrayed in this holy garment hath he given it, and the petition is made for the sake of piety and of holy men.' But the Emperor consented hardly, though the lady was very instant with him. All these things did Amantius, beloved of God, report unto us.


harder to refuse. Reading barutera de he paraitesis with H and the Paris Epitome. this holy garment. The white baptismal dress worn by the baptized for a week (cp. c. 101, p 109, and see Usener, Legenden der Pelagia, p. 48).


On the morrow the Empress sendeth for us, and having according to her custom first saluted the holy bishops bade them sit, and saith unto them: ' By your prayers hath God laid upon me your business, and with his help hath it been done, and ye have seen what means I did use. But if it seem good on the morrow I will send for the quaestor, and before your faces I will bid him make according to the signification of your petition a divine rescript in the name of the two Emperors, and, to speak plainly, whatsoever ye say unto him he shall do.' And the bishops when they heard this also called many blessings upon her, and on her son and the Emperor, and when they had conversed on many other matters profitable to the soul they took their leave and went forth. And on the morrow she sent T44 for the quaestor and for us, and saith unto him: ' Take this paper and according to its signification draw out a divine rescript.' And the quaestor, taking the paper, speedily dictated the divine rescript, while we were yet present. And we put it into his mind that he should appoint captains and consulars for our defence, and troops under them. But when the divine rescript was complete and signed, we besought the Lady that the matter should be committed into the hands of some man among the nobles. And she bade Amantius seek out a man that was a zealous Christian, to whom it should be committed.


quaestor. Perhaps chancellor is the nearest English equivalent to this title. consulars. i. e. persons of consular rank, which they received from the Emperor whether they had actually becn consuls or not. They were sent to govern the provinces as imperial legates.


For many of them which were in high places held the faith but in pretence; on whom the divine judgement came afterwards. For when the Emperors knew that they were not righteous men of undefiled faith, they took away from them their dignities, and punished them in their bodies and with amercements. But these things happened before this time; wherefore the Augusta commanded that a man of true faith be entrusted with our business. And he that was entrusted was one called Cynegius, one of the consistory, an admirable man and fervent in the faith. And having called him to her, the Augusta commanded him to overturn all the temples of the idols unto their foundations and burn them with fire. And she granted him money also from her own hand, saying: ' Take these for thine expenses, and see that thou take nothing from the most holy bishops.' And when he had received these commandments from his mistress, he went forth, being filled with greater zeal.


they took away. Tillemont refers this to the banishment of Eutropius (399), Nuth (p. 26 note) to the time after the disturbances of Gainas (July 1 400) . In tauta de pro toutou eparchthem toutou refers to the present story, tauta to the punishment of the unorthodox. Cynegius. Otherwise unknown; not Cynegius the praetorian prefect, who died in 388 when consul (Nuth, p. 30 note) consistory. He was, that is, a comes consistorii, as the Paris Epitome calls him; in other words, one of the regular members of the imperial council.


Now when we had passed the rest of the winter and spent the holy Paschal days and T45 the day of the Resurrection, we made ready to sail away. And we asked the admirable Amantius to make known our departure unto his mistress that we might take leave of her. And he when he heard it was grieved that we intended to sail away; for he loved us so much, that he himself asked his mistress to give him leave that he might go to make his prayers at the holy and venerable places. But his mistress feared to give him leave, lest when he came thither he should become a monk and remain there; for she knew the manner of life of the man. For he was in sooth blameless, giving much alms, and always fasting, and entertaining many strangers and ready to help the necessities of the pious. So much concerning Amantius, beloved of God. But he brought knowledge of us to his mistress and we went in to her, and she saith to the most holy bishops: ' When, with God's will, do ye sail ? ' And they said, ' For this reason have we come hither, to take leave of your Majesty.' And she said: ' Remember always me and my child.'


Resurrection. April 6, 402. he was in sooth blameless. To Amantius is attributed the foundation of the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle at Constantinople.


And straightway she commanded money to be brought, and when it was brought she said to my lord the bishop Porphyry: ' Father, take these two hundreds and found the holy church which we promised to found in the midst of Gaza, and make known to me if thou requirest yet more money, and I will send it straightway. And found also a guest­house, that thou mayest receive the brethren that come to sojourn in the city and T46 mayest provide them with their expenses for three days.' And she gave also to the most holy John one thousand pieces of gold and to both of them precious vessels, and for their expenses she gave unto them each an hundred pieces of gold. And the aforesaid most holy John, bishop of Caesarea, obtained whatsoever privileges he desired on account of his own church. And when they had prayed and called many blessings on the Empress and her son and the Emperor, they went forth.


hundreds. kentenaria. The centenarium is generally taken to represent 100 Roman pounds of gold, i. e. 7,200 solidi, the equivalent in weight of about £4,100 English. But the identification is not quite certain. See Kubitschek in Pauly­Wissowa, Realencycl. s.v., and in Numismatische Zeitschrift (Vienna), 1911, p. 190. one thousand pieces of gold. The equivalent in weight of about £570 sterling.


But they asked that they might go in unto the Emperor also; and the Emperor asked them whether they were wholly quit of their business, and whether the Empress had bestowed upon them any gifts. And they said that ' We are wholly quit, God saving your Piety, and your spouse, most beloved of God, and your son, whom God preserve, and many and great are the gifts that we have received.' And straightway the Emperor also bade the prefects to grant unto them out of the public revenues of Palestine twenty pounds of gold apiece. And he himself also gave unto them on account of their expenses one handful each, which was found to be fifty pieces of money for each. And when they had called many blessings on him also, they went forth. But we spent in the city other three days, until we received the grant of the forty pounds, and after three days we went aboard and set sail, on the three and twentieth day of Xanthikos, according to the Gazaeans, but according to the Romans the eighteenth of April. And the most illustrious T47 Cynegius departed after us, using the public post.


were wholly quit. This appears to be the sense of teleios apellagesan, prefects. Eparchois. twenty pounds. The equivalent in weight of about £820 sterling. fifty pieces of money. i. e. gold pieces; the total sum being equivalent in weight to £28 10os. sterling. eighteenth of April. It would appear that the interview with the Emperor was on April 12, since two intervals of three days each are mentioned and the arrangements for the interviews with the Empress and Emperor had taken a week, since Easter was on April 6.


Now we came to Rhodes in five days. And we were desirous to go out to the saint Procopius, the anchorite; and though w e earnestly besought the owner of the ship to allow us three hours, he would not allow it, saying that ' I shall not find so fair a wind '. But we said unto him that ' The prayers of the holy man are able both to preserve us and to give us a fair wind '. But the owner of the ship hardened his heart and would not accept our request; but when we had taken in water, we put out to sea. And we were sore grieved, that we had failed of this meeting. We besought him, therefore, by prayer to pardon us and to pray for us, that we might be preserved and fulfil the work which we had taken in hand.


in five days. i. e. on April 23, 402.


So when we had sailed from Rhodes and made a good voyage for two days, the weather being fair, of a sudden a storm ariseth, winds and lightnings and thunders, and very great waves, and the waves were uplifted and became as high mountains, and the ship was tossed on high so that we seemed to touch the clouds. And there were cries and tears and prayers to God, and we besought also the prayers of the holy Procopius, the anchorite. And when the evening came and the storm abated not, we continued without sleep the whole of that night. But about dawn, being wearied with their great affliction, the most holy bishops T48 fell asleep for a little while; and in his sleep my lord Porphyry seeth Saint Procopius, the anchorite, saying unto them: ' Instruct the owner of the ship and seal him again (for he is of the abominable heresy of Arius) and prepare him to call Arius accursed and his evil faith, and straightway this so great tempest shall cease. For it is because he is of the said heresy that he would not suffer you to come unto me. However, do ye instruct him, for he will receive the true doctrine from you.'


When he heard these things our holy Porphyry awoke, and calling us related the things that he had seen in his sleep. And straightway calling the owner of the ship we said unto him: ' Dost thou wish that thy ship should be saved, and all we and before all things thine own soul ? ' And he saith, ' Of this there is no question.' And the bishops said unto him: ' Deny thine evil faith and believe on the true faith, and be saved, thou and thy ship and all of us.' The owner of the ship saith unto them: ' Since I see that ye have foreknowledge (for ye have understood that which is in my heart although no man hath informed you), behold I say unto you: I believe as ye believe and I deny the heresy of Arius and Arius himself. But I beseech you that when there is time ye show me the light out of the Holy Scriptures unto the true faith.' And the holy bishops took and sealed him again, making a prayer over him, and made him also to partake of the divine mysteries. And in the meanwhile also the T49 tempest ceased and toward evening the wind turned, and we sailed fairly, and having spent on the sea other four days, on the fifth at dawn we came unto the seaport of the land of the Gazaeans, which they call Maiumas.


the divine mysteries. That the materials for the Eucharist were carried on board ship by the faithful is shown by SaintAmbrose (de excessufratris sui Satyri, i. 43); Gregor. Magn. Dial. iii. 36, and cp. the note in Migne on the former. Since the converted Arian was allowed to communicate, the first stage of signing with the Cross was evidently allowed, in this emergency, to qualify him, although under ordinary circumstances he would have had to wait until he had been fully baptized. Or is Mark using anasphragizein here in the sense of ' re­baptize ' ? on the fifth. i.e. May 1, 402.


And when we were come ashore, the Christians there when they knew it received us with psalm­singing; and likewise also they of the city when they heard it came to meet us, having with them the sign of the precious Cross, themselves also singing psalms. And the people from the two places were mingled together, and there was no small number; for they from the seaside were the more, because they had many Egyptians who were merchants of wines. But they of the idolmadness, when they saw the things which happened, were cut to the heart; but they dared not to do aught, since they heard how great honour the most holy bishops had received from the Emperors, and that the idols were to be overturned; and they were sore disquieted and cast down.


But when we came into the city, in the place that is called the Four Ways, there was a statue of marble which they said was a statue of Aphrodite; and it was upon a base of stone, and the form of the statue was of a woman, naked, and having all her shame uncovered. And all they of the city did honour to the statue, especially the women, T50 kindling lamps and burning incense. For they reported concerning it that it giveth answer in dreams unto those who wish to make trial of marriage, but they deceived each other, speaking falsely. And oftentimes, being bidden by the demon to make a contract of marriage, they were so unfortunate that they came even to divorce, or lived together in evil wise. These things did we learn from them which turned aside from error and acknowledged the truth.


Four Ways. The Leipzig editors compare the Acta Martyris AnastasSi Persae, ed. Usener 2399, ' the Tetrapylon that is in the middle of the city.' It is the crossing of the four main roads in the centre of the town. Cp. also tetraplateia (Ducange, App. ad Gloss. Graec.). upon a base, or, above an altar (bomos). giveth answer in dreams. Draeseke (Zeitschw. f. wiss. Theol. xliv. 1901, pp. 82­86) supposes this to be a case of incubation, i.e. of the practice of sleeping in temples in order to receive the assistance of the deity. But, since this statue was in a street, he admits that the actual incubation must have taken place elsewhere, i. e. in the temple of Aphrodite (c. 64). If so, one would have expected the offerings to have been made to the cultus-statue in the temple. On the practice of incubation in antiquity, see Mary Hamilton, Incubation (St. Andrews, 1906).


But some of the idolaters also, being unable to bear the calamity of the grievous marriages whereunto they had been led by the bidding of the demon of Aphrodite, were indignant and confessed the deceit. For even such are the demons, to deceive and say naught at all that is true; for it is not in them to know of a certainty, but by guesses they delude and win over the people which are enslaved unto them. For how can they speak truly who are fallen away from the truth? Even if they happen to prophesy aright in aught, it is by chance that this cometh about, even as among men it chanceth oftentimes that one foretelleth concerning a matter and it cometh about by chance. When therefore they foretell the event aright by chance, seeing that this is but seldom, we marvel; but though they err continually, of this we are silent. Thus much concerning demons and their error.


Now when we had come out of the ship unto the city as hath been said, when we came unto the place where was the aforesaid idol of T51 Aphrodite (but the Christians were carrying the precious wood of Christ, that is to say the figure of the Cross), the demon that dwelt in the statue beholding and being unable to suffer the sight of the sign which was being carried, came forth out of the marble with great confusion and cast down the statue itself and brake it into many pieces. And it fell out that two men of the idolaters were standing beside the base on which the statue stood, and when it fell, it clave the head of the one in twain, and of the other it brake the shoulder and the wrist. For they were both standing and mocking at the holy multitude.


come out of the ship. ekpleusanton, usually meaning ' set sail from '.


And many of the Greeks when they beheld the sign which had come to pass, believed, and mingled with the lay­folk and entered with them into the holy church which is called Peace. And there was great joy among the Christians on that day for three reasons; in the first place because they received back their priest in good health, and having done according to his desire; and in the second place because the gods of the heathen were dashed in pieces and become as dust that is scattered from the summer threshing­floor, [Dan 2:35] and also they who were like unto them were broken because they trusted in them; and in the third place, and before all others, because moreover souls that were gone astray were saved and added unto the fold of Christ. And when he had sealed them the bishop let them go in peace, bidding them make attendance in the holy places of prayer. And they were in number thirty­two men T52 and seven women. And when the archbishop John had spent other two days in Gaza he departed unto Caesarea, all the Christians and the holy bishop bringing him on his way for two miles.


places of prayer. Scholazain tais hagiais proseuchais. This is parallel to sch. te hagia ekklesia (c. 31), and proseuche is therefore to be translated ' place of prayer ', not merely ' prayer '. See note on c. 19 (p­ 123)


But after the tenth day came the admirable Cynegius, having with him the consular and the captain and a great band of soldiers and civil officers. But many of the idolaters had foreknowledge of this and departed out of the city, some into the villages, and some into other cities; and they were the more part of the rich men of the city. And the said Cynegius quartered the soldiers in the houses of them which had fled. And on the next day having called to him the people of the city, the captain and the consular being present, he uttered unto them the imperial letter, which commanded that the idols and their temples be overturned and given unto the fire. And straightway when they heard, the idolaters cried out with a loud voice, so that the governors were wroth and threatened them, sending soldiers among them, who beat them with clubs and staves. But the Christians with great joy shouted aloud, praising the Emperors and the governors.


after the tenth day. May 13, 402.


And straightway they went with the governors and the troops and overturned the places of the idols of Gaza. Now there were in the city eight public temples of idols, of the Sun T53 and of Aphrodite and of Apollo and of the Maiden and of Hecate and the temple called of the Hero, and the temple of the Fortune of the City, which they called the Tychaion, and the Marneion, which they said was the temple of the Cretan­born Zeus, which they accounted to be more famous than all the temples in the world. And there were also other very many idols in the houses and in the villages, whereof no man could reckon the number. For the demons having taken hold upon the will of the Gazaeans, a people easily led astray, had filled with error all their citv and the parts round about it. But this they suffer because of their great simplicity; wherefore when they are converted unto the holy faith they become zealous Christians.


eight public temples, &c. See Introduction, {above}


Thus much concerning the Gazaeans. Being commanded, therefore, the soldiers with the Christians of the city and of the part of it that is by the sea went forth against the idols. And desiring first to overthrow the Marneion, they were set back; for the priests of that idol, having heard beforehand, did bar the doors of the inner temple within with great stones, and taking down into the place called the sanctuary that none may enter whatsoever precious vessels were in the temple, and moreover the very images of the gods themselves, they hid them there, and escaped through the same sanctuary by other ways up; for it was said that from the afore­mentioned sanctuary there were many ways going up into divers places. Being therefore set back, as I said before, they turned against the other places of idols, and some they overthrew, and others they gave unto the fire, having seized all the precious T54 vessels that were therein. But Saint Porphyry had laid a curse in the church upon every Christian citizen that should take aught from the places of the idols unto his own profit; no man, therefore, of the citizens that believed took aught, save only the soldiers, and such strangers as were sojourning there. Therefore there went about with the lay­folk devout men of the clergy and the holy bishop Porphyry himself, restraining them that they should take nothing for themselves.


So they spent ten days overthrowing the temples of the idols, and after the said days they took counsel concerning the Marneion also, how they should deal with it. For some said that it should be digged down, and others burned down, and others that the place should be purified and consecrated unto a church of God, and there was much searching out of this matter. And at the last the holy bishop proclaimeth a fast to the people, and a prayer, that the Lord may reveal unto them how they must do. And having fasted on that day and prayed unto God concerning this matter, in the evening they celebrated the Holy Communion. But during the celebration of the Communion, a child of about seven years, which was standing with his own mother, cried out suddenly, saying: ' Burn ye the inner temple unto the foundation; for many terrible things have been done in it, especially the sacrifices of human beings. And after this manner burn ye it: bring liquid pitch and sulphur and fat of swine, and mingle the three and anoint the brazen doors and set fire to T55: them, and so shall all the temple be burned; for otherwise is it not possible. But the outer temple leave ye with the court. And after the burning, having purified the place, found there a holy church.' And he said also this: ' I swear unto you before God, otherwise may it not be done; for neither is it I that speak, but Christ who is within me.' These words did he speak in the language of the Syrians. But when they heard they all marvelled and glorified God.


ten days. May 14­23, 402. sacrifices of human beings. The charge was probably unfounded. See Draeseke, Zeitschr. f. wiss. Theol. xliv. 190I, p. 85. Iiquid pitch. i.e. raw, distinct from ' dry pitch ' which was thickened by re­heating (Plin. N. H. xxiv. 7. 23, Dioscorides, i. 94, 97).


And this marvel came also unto the hearing of the holy bishop, and stretching forth his hands to heaven he glorified God and said, ' Glorv be unto thee, Holy Father, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and understanding and hast revealed them unto babes.' [Matt 11:25] And he commanded that the child and his mother, after the people had been dismissed from the church, should be present in the bishop's house; and having put the child apart, he said to the woman: ' I adjure thee by the Son of the living God to say whether it was thou or some other, thou knowing him, who did put it into the mind of thy child to utter those words which he said concerning the Marneion.' And the woman said: ' I yield myself up unto the terrible and dreadful judgement­seat of Christ, if I foreknew aught of the things which my son did utter this day. But, if it seem good unto thee, lo ! take the child and examine him with threats, and if any one hath put it into his mind to speak these words, T56 he will be afraid and confess, but if he will say nothing else, it is manifest that he was filled with the Holy Ghost.' And the bishop having heard the speech of the woman and thought it good, said that she should be taken apart for a little, and the child be brought in; and the boy being set there he said unto him: ' Who put it into thy mind to utter in the church those things which thou spakest concerning the Marneion ? ' And the child was silent. Then the most holy bishop commanded that a scourge should be brought, and the child be stretched out, that he might be made afraid. And he that held the scourge lifted up his voice and cried out, saying: ' Who told thee to speak ? Say, lest thou be smitten with the scourge.' But the boy stood dumb, uttering no word. Then we that stood around him said the same to him with threats; but he was not moved.


after the people had been dismissed from the church. meta ten apolusin tes ekklesias. The word apolususis evidently used in the general sense, and not as equivalent to missa. In c. 76 tas a. ton heothinon euchon it is slightly more specialized, though even there it is better rendered ' dismissal ' or ' departure '.


At the last, after we had all ceased, the boy opened his mouth and said in the Greek dialect: 'Burn ye the inner temple unto the foundation; for many terrible things have been done in it, especially the sacrifices of human beings. And after this manner burn ye it: bring liquid pitch and sulphur and fat of swine, and mingle the three and anoint the brazen doors and set fire to them, and so shall all the temple be burned; for otherwise is it not possible. But the outer temple leave ye with the court. And after the burning T57, having purified the place, found there a holy church. I swear unto you again before God, otherwise may it not be done. For it is not I that speak, but Christ who is within me.' And the most holy bishop Porphvry marvelled, and all they that were with him, when they heard the bold saying of the boy, and how plainly he spake; and calling his mother, the bishop asked her whether she or her son knew the Greek tongue; but she affirmed with oaths that neither she nor her child knew Greek. And when he heard it, again the most holy Porphyry glorified God, and bringing three coins gave them to the woman. But the boy beholding the coins in the hand of his mother cried out, saying in the Syriac tongue: ' Take them not, Mother, lest thou also sell the gift of God for gold.' And we hearing it marvelled again exceedingly. But the woman gave back the three coins saying to the bishop, ' Pray for me and my child and commend us unto God.' And the holy bishop sent them away in peace.


the Greek tongue, which indeed seems to have been little known to the lower classes in Palestine at any time. See E. Schurer, Gesch. des jud. Volkes 4 ii, p 85. coins. The word is nomismata, i. e. the ordinary gold solidi of the time. Three such would be equivalent in weight to £1 14s. sterling.


But at dawn he called together the God-fearing clergy and the Christ­loving lay­folk, and likewise the admirable Cynegius and the governors, and told them how the boy had spoken concerning the Marneion. And when they heard they were astonied and with one mind said that according to the saying of the boy, even so it should be burned. Taking, T58 therefore, the liquid pitch and the sulphur and the swine's fat and mingling the three they anointed the inner doors, and having made a prayer they kindled the fire, and straightway all the temple took fire and was burned. And as many of the soldiers and of the strangers as were able seized out of the fire whatsoever they found, whether it was gold or silver or iron or lead.


Christ­loving lay­folk. Here for the first time Mark uses this phrase (ho philochristos laos), sometimes in the amplified form oi tou ph. l.. The word los in this phrase is not necessarily always opposed to kleros, though it is sometimes, as here and in c. 75.


But there was a man there, one of the officers of the soldiers, which they call a tribune, being appointed to oversee the burning of the temple. Now in appearance he was a Christian, but unknown to the many he was an idolater. He standing by and seeing the burning and the plundering by the soldiers was cut to the heart, and making a show to punish their disorderliness did scourge unmercifully one whom he found bearing away some of the spoil. Now while these things were happening and the walls were being destroyed, of a sudden out of the fire a burning beam falleth upon the tribune and bringeth upon him a twofold death; for it brake his head and burned the rest of his body. And straightway the soldiers which believed and the Christ­loving folk, knowing the man, that his heart was inclined unto the idols, glorified God and said that psalm which saith: ' Why doth the tyrant boast himself in mischief All the day long thy tongue hath imagined T59 wickedness; like a sharp razor thou hast wrought deceitfully Thou hast loved mischief above goodness, iniquity more than to speak righteousness. Thou hast loved all words of destruction, a deceitful tongue. Therefore may God destroy thee for ever, may he pluck thee out and remove thee from thy dwelling­place and thy root out of the land of the living; ' [Ps. 52:1ff (51:1ff)] and the rest of the psalm. But the temple continued to burn for many days.


And after this, search was made in the houses also (for there were many idols in most of the courts), and of those which were found some were given to the fire and others were cast into the jakes {latrines}. And there were found also books filled with witchcraft, which they called sacred, out of which they of the idolmadness performed their mysteries and other unlawful things. And unto these was done even as unto their gods.


cast into the jakes. eis borboron. This was the crowning insult to any religious image. There is a legend (supposed to go back to Saint Jerome) of a Jew who tried to defile an image of the Virgin in this manner (J. A. Herbert, British Museum Catalogue of Romances, ii, p. 612).


But many came running unto the holy faith, and some indeed from fear, but others condemning their former life, and unto all the holy church did open her doors; for she remembered the holy scripture which saith : ' Unto him that knocketh it shall be opened, and he that seeketh findeth,' [Matt 7:7] and again ' whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is preached.' [Phil. 1:18] But some of the believers also said unto the holy bishop that it behoved him to receive not those who came out of fear, but those whose purpose was good.


But the holy bishop said to them which spake thus: T60 ' There be also virtues which come by chance unto men from circumstances. For even as a man who hath gotten a froward servant first admonisheth him by all means to behave him self wisely and to serve him with a simple heart, but when he findeth him nowise obedient unto his admonition, then there after of necessity he layeth upon him fear and blows and bonds and other such things, desiring not to destroy him but that he should be saved and acknowledge that which behoveth him; even such may ye suppose God to be, enduring our frowardness with long suffering, and oftentimes persuading us for our profit both through the scriptures and through other holy men; but when we are not persuaded, desiring in all things like a good and merciful master to keep us and not to thrust us away, he layeth upon us his fear and his teaching, calling us of necessity to acknowledge that which behoveth us. Therefore the divine scripture saith: " When he slew them, then they sought him, and they returned and inquired early after God." [Ps 78:34 (77:34)] And again it saith concerning them who behave themselves unruly and stiffen their necks against God:" With muzzle and bridle ye shall hold in their jaws lest they come nigh thee." [Ps 32:9 (31:9)] It is needful therefore, my children, that mankind be admonished by fear and threats and discipline. Therefore again it saith: " It is good for me T61 that thou hast humbled me, that I may learn thy statutes." [Ps 99:71 (98:71)] These things have I said because of those who desire to come unto our holy faith. For even if they come doubting, time is able to soften their hearts, if Christ consent. But, that I may tell you yet another thing, even though they be not seen to be worthy if the faith, having been already in a state of evil, they that are born of them can be saved, by having converse with the good.'


virtues which . . . from circumstances. Peristaktikai aretai sumbainousai tois anthropois


Thus spake the holy Porphyry, and having persuaded the brethren he received all those that desired to be enlightened, having instructed them for many days not only before the baptism, but also thereafter; for he continually taught the people, not speaking high-sounding words, desiring to make a show, but teaching in plain speech and explaining all things out of the scripture. There were added, therefore, unto the fold of Christ in that year about three hundred persons, and thenceforth in each year the numbers of the Christians received an increase.


persons. onomata. Cp. Acts i. I5. On this usage see Nuth, p. 42, and Dieterich in Byz. Zeitschr. viii, 1899, p. I98. Psychological subtleties in explanation of the usage are, however, unnecessary; the name represents the person, and name can therefore be used for person. A good instance of the substitution is afforded by the Greek coins of Lysimachus, King of Thrace, and other rulers, where Victory is represented placing a wreath on the name of the king (G. F. Hill, Hist. Greek Coins, p. 123)


Now when the Marneion was wholly burned, and the city was set in order, the blessed bishop took counsel with the holy clergy and the Christ­loving lay­folk, to found a holy church in the place that was burned, as it had been revealed unto him when he was in Constantinople; for which reason also he received the mone~ from the Empress Eudoxia, most beloved of God. Having sent away the T62 governors, therefore, and the Christ­loving lay­folk, he kept with him some of the soldiers, lest there should be any uprising after their departure; yet not only for this cause, but also that they might help in the bringing together of the materials for the building of the said holy church. Some then counselled that it should be built after the fashion of the temple of the idol; for the shape of it was round, being set about with two porticoes, one within the other; but the midst of it was a dome spread out and stretching up on high; and it had also other things becoming unto idols, and convenient for the abominable and unlawful deeds which were done by the idol­madmen. After this fashion, then, some said that the holy church should be built, but others said the contrary, saying that the very remembrance of the fashion thereof should be destroyed; and they who said this persuaded all men, as speaking well. But the holy bishop said: ' This also let us leave to the will of God.' But while yet the place is being made clear, there cometh a servant of the Master of the Offices bringing an imperial letter from Eudoxia, whose memory endureth for ever, and the letter contained greeting and made request for prayers for herself and for the Emperors, her husband and her child. And there was in another paper within the letter the plan of the holy church, shaped like a cross, even as now with God's help it is to be seen, and it was written in the letter that the holy church should be founded T63 according to the plan. And the saint Porphyry rejoiced when he read and beheld the plan; for he knew that this also came to pass by divine revelation, and remembered the scripture which saith : ' The king's heart is in the hand of God.' [Prov. 21:1] And the letter said furthermore that precious pillars and marbles were about to be sent.


Having sent away . . . Iay­folk. These Christians who were dismissed were clearly only those who had come up for the time from Maiumas (see c. 65). the shape of it was round. See references to the literature of this subject in my paper on ' Some Palestinian Cults ' (Proc. Brit. Acad. vol. v).


When, therefore, the ashes were carried away and all the abominations were destroyed, the rubbish that remained of the marble work of the Marneion, which they said was sacred, and in a place not to be entered, especially by women, this did the holy bishop resolve to lay down for a pavement before the temple outside in the street, that it might be trodden under foot not only of men, but also of women and dogs and swine and beasts. And this grieved the idolaters more than the burning of the temple. Wherefore the more part of them, especially the women, walk not upon the marbles even unto this day.

But after a little time, he proclaimeth a fast on a certain day, and when the people were dismissed after the morning prayers, the bishop, beloved of God, bade every man that loved Christ to bring each one mattocks and shovels and other such tools. This had he proclaimed in the evening before, that all should be found ready in the morning, as indeed it came to pass. T64


But when the people were come together with the said tools in the holy church that is called Peace, he bade them all singing together to go to the place where the Marneion was aforetime, and he himself followed after, carrying the sacred gospel­book and having around him the holy clergy, verily after the likeness of Christ with his disciples. And before the people went Barochas, whose memory endureth alway, bearing the figure of the precious Cross, and on either side of the people were the soldiers which were left behind for the good government of the city. And as they went they sang, and in the place of the division of the psalm they said the Alleluia; and this was the psalm 1 which thev said: ' O come, let us rejoice before the Lord, let us make a joyful noise unto God our saviour. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For God is a great lord and a great king over all the earth; for in his hand are the ends of the earth and the high places of the hills are his; for his is the sea and he made it, and his hands fashioned the dry land. O come let us worship and fall down before him, let us cry aloud before the Lord our maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.' [Ps 95:1-7 (94:1-7)]


after the morning prayers. Tes apoluseos ton heothinon euchon genomenes. See above, note on c. 67.


And they said other psalms also until they came unto the Marneion. Now Saint Porphyry, T65 the bishop, had persuaded a certain Rufinus, an architect of Antioch, a believer and well skilled, by whom the whole of the building was accomplished. He taking gypsum marked out the fashion of the holy church according to the form of the plan which was sent by the Augusta Eudoxia, most beloved of God. And when the most holy bishop had made a prayer and bending of the knee, he bade the people dig. And straightway all with one mind and with the same zeal began to dig, crying: ' Christ hath conquered.' And there was no difference to be seen between man and woman, or old man or child, but their zeal gave unto all of them the same strength, and some digged and others carried away, so that in a few days all the places were digged and cleared out.


gypsum. On this method of making plans, see Haupt in Hermes, iv (I869), p. 29. The plan of Alexandria was similarly marked out with flour. fashion. thesis here means the actual plan on the site, as distinct from the plan on paper (skaruphon) .


And having made ready beforehand the materials for the building, both very great stones from the hill that is called Aldioma toward the west of the city, and other material, the saint brought together again the Christloving folk, and having made many prayers and much singing of psalms at the place, he himself girt up his loins and began the first to carry stones and put them into the foundations; and then also the clergy, beloved of God, and all the lay­folk, rejoicing and singing with a loud voice, so that the sound was heard three miles from the city.


Aldioma. Mazochi compares Etym. Mag. 'Aldemos h aldos, ho Zeus, hos en Gaze tes Surias timatai, para to aldainw, to auxano, ho epi tes auxeseos ton karpon. Methodios.. He suggests, among other things, that it may be connected with {Heb. HLG}, perfodere, since there were quarries there.


But a great marvel came to pass on that day. There be wells within the enclosure of the temple, whereof there is one to the southward of the present holy church of God, having no small depth. Now three boys, being athirst, went aside to drink, and coming T66 nigh to the mouth of the well bended over, leaning upon the wood that was over the mouth, as children do; and the wood brake, and the three fell into the well. And some who were there went and told the people of that which had come to pass; and there was no small tumult, all men running together to the well. But when he learned what had come to pass, the most holy Porphyry himself also ran to the place, and bade them keep silence, and when they were silent he began to pray and beseech God with many tears that he would keep the children alive and unharmed, and especially because of the idolmadmen, that they may not say: ' Where is their God on whom they hoped ? ' And when he had spent one hour lying upon the ground, he arose and bade some one go down by the ropes of the buckets, to make search for the boys. For the multitude were shouting out, calling the children, and there was none that gave ear to them from below out of the well.


spent one hour. Poiesas horan mian. No twisting of the words will do away with this singular instance of belief in the efficacy of prayer as opposed to action.


But when the man went down the three boys were found sitting upon a great stone unharmed and of good cheer, talking with each other. And when the man beheld them he marvelled exceedingly and glorified God, and shouted out from below and said: ' Glorify the Lord, for the three boys live.' And when the saintly and holy bishop heard, and the people, they rejoiced, and sending down a great basket bade the three to be brought up together. For they were little children of about six or seven years. And he that was below having received the basket and fastened T6, it safely set the three therein, exhorting them to shut their eyes until they should come to the top, and to say: ' Jesus Christ, save us.' And having done this he shouted out to pull the rope steadily; and as they pulled they said the hymn of the three children : ' Blessed art thou, Lord God of our fathers.' [Dan 3:52] And when they came up and the saintly bishop beheld them (for he was standing at the mouth of the well and holding the rope) he was filled with joy and wept and cried out, saying:' ' All ye works of the Lord, praise the Lord, sing unto him.' [Dan 3:57] And when they had lifted them out of the basket, they searched them, lest any part of their body were bruised; and there was no hurt found in them.


But we beheld a great marvel; for the three were found to have marks shaped like to a cross, as it were scratched with a needle, the one in the midst of his forehead, the second upon his right hand about his fingers, and the other on his right shoulder. And the little crosses were fairly fashioned, neither crooked nor awry, but of one measure, so that they were manifest signs of God; for neither did they cause any pain to the children, nor was there any blood, but they were as it were stamped with vermilion. And they remained on them a sufficient time that all might see and marvel; for many also of the strangers when they beheld them believed.


And the man also that went down for the children, when he T68 was brought up, affirmed with oaths, saying that ' When I put them in the basket and they were borne up I beheld as it were lightning round about them until they came unto the mouth of the well.' And there was joy among the Christians on that dav, but among the idolaters grief and offence.

But the building went forward day by day, all men working with zeal and haste; for no man was deprived of his wages, but he rendered them more than their due, giving freely to the labourers; for he said: ' It behoveth that blessing and not a curse should be upon all the work of the building.'


And in the next year the Empress Eudoxia sendeth the pillars which she promised, marvellous and great, in number two­and­thirty (and they are called Carystian), the which are in the holy church shining like emeralds. But w hen they came into harbour, there was shown forth again the zeal and eagerness of the Christ­loving folk; for all when they heard it straightway ran to the shore, not only the men, but also women and children and old men (for the desire of the faith enabled all of them), and bringing wagons they laid each pillar upon a wagon and drew it and set it in the open part of the temple, and turned again and conveyed another until they had conveyed them all. Of these matters thus much.


in the next year. A.D. 403. Carystian. ' Cipollino ' from Carystus in Euboea. See G. R. Lepsius, Griechische Marmorstud?en, Abh. der k. Akad., Berlin, 1890, p. 41. Professor J. L. Myres, to whom I owe this reference, informs me that the quarries are still open, several of them belonging to an English firm. came into harbour. kataleusanton. But Nuth, p. 47, maintains that the word here means 'were taken out of the ship ', which seems very doubtful. Open part of the temple. En to huaithro,. The double portico had been left standing, and Mark apparently uses the wood which technically would mean the roofless nave of the temple for the whole space within the circle of the portico.


But about that time there came to sojourn in the city a certain woman of Antioch called T69 lulia, who was of the abominable heresy of them which are called Manichaeans; and knowing that certain persons were but lately enlightened and not yet stablished in the holy faith she wrought secretly and corrupted them, bewitching them by her doctrine, and much more by gifts of money. For he that invented the said godless heresy was not able to catch any otherwise than by the bestowing of money. For unto those who have understanding their doctrine is filled full of all blasphemy and condemnation and old wives' fables that entice foolish womenfolk and childish men of vain mind and wit. For out of divers heresies and opinions of the Greeks did they build up this their evil belief, desiring by wickedness and craft to take hold on all men. For they say that there be many gods, that they may be acceptable unto the Greeks; and moreover they acknowledge nativities and fate and the science of the stars, in order that they may sin without fear, holding that the commission of sins is not in us, but cometh from the necessity of fate.


Julia. The Moscow Metaphrasis calls her Yuliana.


But they confess Christ also, for they say that he was made man in appearance; for they themselves in appearance are called Christians. For the matters which are worthy of laughter and ill words I pass by, that I may not fill the ears of them which light upon them with things T70 very grievous to hear and monstrous tales. For taking opinions from Philistion the maker of plays and from Hesiod and others that are called philosophers and mingling them with the opinions of the Christians they builded up their own heresy. For even as a painter making a mixture of divers colours perfecteth the appearance of a man or a beast or some other thing for the deceit of them that behold it, that it may seem to them that are foolish and without understanding to be true, but to them that have understanding it is a shadow and a deceit and an invention of man; so also the Manichaeans having drawn out of divers opinions did perfect their own evil belief, nav rather, having gathered together and mingled the venom of divers serpents, did prepare a deadly poison for the destruction of the souls of men. But, as aforesaid, that pestilent woman having come to the city, certain persons were led away by her deceitful teaching.

NOTES: in appearance. This opinion (Docetism) was held by various Christian sects, including Marcionites and Gnostics, as well as by the Manichaeans. Philistion the maker of plays. Draeseke suggests that this may be the writer of mimes, a native of Sardes, Magnesia or Nicaea, who lived in Rome in the time of Tiberius. See W. Christ, Gesck. d. griech. Litt.3, p. 625.


But after some days Saint Porphyry, having been informed by certain of the believers, sent for her and questioned her, who she was and whence and what manner of belief she held. And she confessed both her country and that she was a Manichaean. And when they that stood around him were moved with wrath (for there were certain devout men with him), the blessed man besought them not to be angered, but with patience to exhort her a first and a second time, observing the saying of the holy apostle.[Ti. 3:10] T7I Then saith he to the woman: ' Abstain, Sister, from this evil belief; for it is of Satan.' But she answered: ' Speak and hear, and either persuade or be persuaded.' And the blessed man said: ' Prepare thyself against the morrow and present thyself here.' So she took her leave and departed. But the blessed man, having fasted and prayed much unto Christ that he would shame the devil, prepared himself against the next day, and called certain of the devout, both clergy and laymen, to hear the dispute between himself and the woman.


And on the morrow the woman presenteth herself, having with her two men and as many women; they were young and fair to look upon, and the faces of them all were pale; but Julia was old in years. And they all did build their reasoning upon the teaching of this world, and much more Julia than the others. And their guise was lowly and their manner gentle, but, as it is said, they were outwardly sheep, [Matt 7:15] and inwardly ravening wolves and venomous beasts; for hypocrisy is in all their words and deeds. Then being bidden to sit down they inquired into the matter. And the saint, holding the holy gospels and having made the sign of the Cross on his mouth, began to ask her to declare her belief, and she began to speak. And brother Cornelius the deacon, of whom mention was made a little time before, being skilled in the shorthand of Ennomus, did at the bidding of the most blessed bishop note all that was said and disputed, I and T72 brother Barochas reminding him. But I have not written the dispute in this book, seeing that it was long, and desiring to make the present writing brief; but in another book I have set it forth for them that desire to know both the wisdom that was given of God unto the most holy Porphyry, and the old wives' fables which the marvel­monger and magician Julia spake in her foolishness.


Ennomus. This person is unknown; but there is no reason to suspect a corruption in the text. Haupt suggested ta en nomo semeias, for ' legal shorthand ', but it is doubtfui whether the words could bear that meaning. in another book, which has not survived. The ' Acta Archelai ' profess to report a similar dispute (on which see Encycl. Brit.1l xvii, p. 577), and were probably Mark's chief literary source for Manichaeism, if he had anything but hearsay to go upon.


On whom the divine justice came quickly. For after she had said many vain things for many hours and spoken the customary blasphemies against the Lord and God of all, Saint Porphyry, being moved by divine zeal, when he saw him that comprehendeth all things both seen and unseen blasphemed by a woman possessed of the devil and submitting herself unto his will, gave forth his sentence against her, saying: ' God, who made all things, vho alone is eternal, having neither beginning nor ending, who is glorified in trinity, shall smite thy tongue and muzzle thy mouth, that thou mayst not speak evil things.'


And straightway with the sentence go followed also the punishment; for Julia began to tremble and her countenance to be changed, and continuing as in a trance for a certain time she spake not, but was without voice or motion, having her eyes open and fastened upon the most holy bishop. But they that were with her, beholding that which she suffered, were sore afraid, and sought to awake her spirit and sang charms into her T73 ear; and there was no speech and there was no hearing. And after she had been for a certain time without speech, she gave up the ghost, departing unto the darkness which she honoured, holding it to be light, according to the scripture which saith :' Woe unto them that make the sweet bitter and the bitter sweet; that put darkness for light and light for darkness.' [Is. 5:20] And the saint bade that her body should be laid out and committed unto a grave, taking pity on her human nature; he was exceeding compassionate.


And as many as heard that which had come to pass marvelled exceedingly, not only they of our faith, but also the strangers. And the two men which were with her, and the women, and as many as had been corrupted by her, came running and fell at the feet of the most blessed bishop, saying, ' We have erred,' and asked penance. But the blessed man caused them all to curse Manes, the author of their heresy, after whom also they were called Manichaeans, and having instructed them for many days he brought them into the holy catholic church. And by the means of those persons others also of the strangers repented and were enlightened.


But after the space of five years the work of the great holy church was accomplished, and it was called Eudoxiana after the name of the Empress Eudoxia, most beloved of God. And the most holy Porphyry consecrated it on the day of the Resurrection of holy Easter T74 very sumptuously, sparing not expense; but having gathered together all the monks, to the number of about a thousand persons, with other devout people, of the clergy and laymen and bishops, he made good cheer all the days of holy Easter. And there were to be seen angelic choirs not only in the office of the church, but also in the hours when they did eat their food. For their table was not only a visible, but also a spiritual table; for after the meat was said a psalm, and after the drink an hymn. But when they of the idolmadness saw that which came to pass, their hearts were melted. For strangers came from every quarter to see the beauty and greatness of the said holy church; for it was said to be greater than all the churches of that time.


Easter. April 14, 407.


For this reason, when he laid the foundations at the beginning he was accused of certain of the faithful, because he made it great, although the Christians in the city were few; and the most holy Porphyry answered and said: ' Let not your faith be little; for I am of a good hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that he will multiply his flock and will make this house greater, because it shall not be able to contain the multitudes of the Christians. For the belief of the Christians is not of man, that it may be seen for a season and be brought to an end, but it is of God. and receiveth increase.' These and such­like words did the blessed man ever speak unto the faithful, not only in the church, but also in every place, enlightening and succouring T75 the Christ­loving folk. And after the days of the feast he sent away the multitudes in peace, each to his own place.


Let not your faith be little, reading me…olige as a single sentence.


But after the foundation and consecration of the said holy church, he ordered that there should be given unto each stranger sojourning in the city his expenses for one day, and he furnished also unto each poor man, both stranger and citizen, for each day the sum of six obols; besides which he himself provided out of his own substance, unto those that came unto him, garments and silver and gold, providing unto each according to his worth; and no one of those that required aught was without part in his gifts. But in the days of the fasts of the holy Paschal season he furnished unto each poor man the sum of ten obols for forty days. And having given commandment in his pious testament that the said ten obols should by all means be given for the forty days, and set apart revenue out of which he desired that they should be given,in the said testament he ordered that if these things should not be furnished each year, the said revenue should go unto the holy church of Caesarea. But these things came to pass afterwards.


six obols . . . ten obols. The obol was at this time a bronze coin, the Latin name for it being follis. It was probably the largest of the current bronze coins, slightly smaller than a shilling. Its value in relation to the solidus at this time is not recorded; later, in the sixth century, it was 1/210.


But they of the idol­madness, the more they beheld Christianity to prosper, the more mad did they become, and sought earnestly to hurt the Christians and before all their holy shepherd Porphyry. For once a contention having arisen about lands between the steward of the holy church and Sampsychus, the chief T76 city councillor, Barochas, beloved of God, seeing the steward spoken of despitefully, came to succour him and began to speak despitefully of the said Sampsychus. And when the rest of the council heard it they gathered together and went against the steward and Barochas, beloved of God; and there went up together with the councillors many of the citizens, having found an occasion to hurt them of the faith and, as one might say, from a little spark so great a fire was kindled and did burn up, that all the Christians were in danger to be destroyed. For so furiously did the idolaters rage that they lifted up even swords and clubs and slew seven persons and smote many others.


councillor. See note on c. 25.


Then not being contented with this they went against the shepherd himself. But some, who rejoiced in that which is good, ran beforehand and brought tidings to the most holy bishop of the onset of the multitude. And when the blessed man heard it, he called me to him and said: ' Let us flee, Brother, and hide ourselves a little while, until the wrath of the Lord be passed.' And having climbed the wall we fled by the roofs. But the idolmadmen brake the doors of the bishop's house and entered in, and when they found not Saint Porphyry they spoiled all that they found there.


But I and the blessed Porphyry fleeing T77 over the roofs found a maiden of about fourteen years, who knew the holy bishop and fell at his feet. But the blessed man asked her who she was and who were her parents. And the maiden answered and said that she was an orphan both of father and of mother; but she said that she had a grandmother that was an old woman and infirm in body, and she herself did labour, and sustain herself and her grandmother. And he asked her whether she was a Christian, and she again said that she was not, but had desired it a long time, ' if indeed I be worthy.' And the compassionate Porphyry hearing the speech of the maiden was pricked in heart and wept, saying: ' How ready to receive the good is the race of the Gazaeans. But the adversary is earnest to hinder such a purpose; whom the Lord shall smite with the word of his mouth.' [cf. 2 Thess 3:8] And he said to the maiden: ' Bring unto us hither a mat in this roof­chamber, that we may abide here until the tumult of the city be stilled, and tell no man that we are here. And she affirmed with oaths that she would not reveal them, not even unto her grandmother.


roof­chamber. domation, a garret, or some slight construction on the roof of the building. Mazochi compares Mart. Polyrarpi, § vii, where the martyr is found en tini domatio katakeimenos.. It was evidently exposed, for Mark notes in c. 98 that they were able to sleep there because it was summer­time.


And going down through a little room into her own dwelling she brought the mat and a pillow of chaff, and having spread the mat put the pillow under it; and falling at the feet of the blessed man she besought him to taste of her scant food, and not to be offended because of her poverty; for it was towards evening. But the holy man, desiring to follow the example of the great prophet T78 Elias, said to the maiden: ' Haste thee, daughter, and bring it, that the Lord may render unto thee through me spiritual food and food for the flesh.' [Cf 1 (3) Kings 17:10] And she hastened and went down and going forth bought bread and olives and cheese and steeped pulse and wine, and brought them all and set them before us saying, ' Take, my Lords, and bless my poverty.' And the blessed man again was pricked in his heart and wept, foreseeing how great faith she was like to have in Christ. And when we had risen up and made the customary prayers and sate down I partook of both cheese and wine, but the holy man of bread and steeped pulse and water. And when we had sent the maiden away to her grandmother we slept in the roof­chamber; for it was the summer season. And we asked also the name of the maiden, and she said ' Salaphtha ', which is being interpreted in Greek Irene (Peace). And we spent also the next day on the roof, the fair Irene doing us all service with much zeal.


Salaphtha. Mazochi notes that the true name may have been Salamtha (the Paris Epitome has Salantha). In Syriac SALMTA is ' Peace '. doing us all service. Poiouses humin pasin apokrisin. For this mediaevalism cp. Doctrina lacobi nuper baptizati (ed. N. Bonwetsch, Abh. d. k. Gesellsch. d. Wiss. zu Gottingen, N.F., xii. Nr. 3), p. 90, 1.


But when we knew that the tumult of the city was stilled, we went by night into the holy church, and going up into the bishop's house found naught in it, save only Barochas, beloved of God, T79 lying nigh unto death by reason of the wounds that he had gotten from the godless and impious idolaters. But after a few days the consular (who was called Clarus), having learned that which had come to pass in the city, sendeth an officer with many soldiers and putteth in ward those against whom the public officers informed him, and sendeth them unto Caesarea; and some he punished, and some he sent away after scourging them with whips; and so, having caused no little terror, he stilled the city.


officer Komentaresion See note on c. 27. public officer. demosieuontes: possibly subordinate police­officers, who in Egyptian villages seem to have been called demosioi: see M. Gelzer, Studien zur byzantinischen Ferwaltung Ägyptens, p 58.


But after a few days Saint Porphyry remembered that good maiden who received us, and sent for her by me; and she came running, having with her also another woman, whom she said to be her aunt. And they coming in to the blessed bishop fell at his feet; who received them kindly as a loving father. And he said to the maiden: ' Daughter, dost thou truly desire to become a Christian ? ' And she answered and said: 'Already told I thee, my Lord, that I have had this desire long time, and now I have brought a witness, even mine aunt, who also herself hath the same desire.' And he was exceeding jovful and said to her: ' Quit thee like a man and be strong, my chi]d.' And having called the steward of the holy church he bade him furnish to her and her grandmother four miliaresia of silver each day, and to her aunt he gave one piece of money, and having sealed T80 them with the sign of the Cross he let them depart, bidding them to spend their time in prayer and in receiving the instruction of the catechumens. And he sent also unto her house the God­fearing Timotheus the Elder and Instructor, and bade him seal the grandmother of the maiden; for as I said before she was stricken in body. And when they had received instruction the three after a little time were deemed worthy of precious baptism.


steward. Oikonomon. See note on c. 22. miliaresia. The miliarense was a silver coin introduced by Constantine, worth 1/1000 of the Roman pound of gold, and weighing the same as his gold solidus, i.e.1/72 lb. or about 4/5 of a modern shilling. The ' one piece of money ' mentioned in the next clause is the ordinary gold nomisma, in weight equivalent to about 11s. 6d. sterling. stricken in body. To soma eichen sumpeparmenon ' transfixed '.


But after they had put off the sacred dress, lo the holy man having called the said maiden unto him said unto her: ' Desirest thou that we should join thee unto a man in lawful marriage ? for thou art of age to have a husband. For neither is honourable marriage forbidden of our Scripture.' Then the maiden, hearing the words of the holy man, began to weep and to say: ' Good father, after that thou hast joined me unto a mighty husband, wouldst thou put me away from him and give me unto one that is lowly and of no worth? In no wise, my lord, do this thing.' But the saint, being amazed, said: ' And who is this whom I have joined unto you ? ' And she answered: 'Jesus Christ, the saviour of our souls, my true bridegroom, for ever and ever, from whom I shall never be put away.' But the saint, hearing her words, was sore moved and wept, so that out of the fullness of his heart he embraced the maiden and kissed her head; for in sooth he was altogether without passion and out of the great tenderness of his heart easily moved to tears. And w e who stood nigh him beholding the grace of the Holy Ghost that was given unto the maiden, T81 beloved of God, did glorify God who granteth wisdom and grace unto his elect. But on that day he let the maiden depart.


the sacred dress. See above, note on c. 49. forbidden of our Scripture. The reference is to Heb. 14:4 amazed. sunarpasas ' caught ', ' rapt '. Usener, Legenden der Pelagia, 57: su ei ho golios pphis ho…hueiselthown te Eua kai sunarpasas autyn. cp Luke viii. 29; Prov. vi. 25. without passion. apathes. The text may be defended. The passage tallies with c. 8, where it is said that Porphyry attained ten teleian apatheian. It is true that in the same chapter he is described as sumpathetikos. But the point here seems to be that Mark is anxious that Porphyry's emotion should not be wrongly interpreted; it was no human passion that moved him. Yet it must be admitted that the passage is very clumsy. Haupt suggests eupathes the Teubner editors sumpathes, which is better.


And in these same days it came to pass that the old woman rested from her labours and went unto the Lord. Then having called unto him the maiden he sent for the Godfearing deaconess {Greek: diakonos, ie female deacon} Manaris, which also being interpreted according to the Greek tongue is Photine (Bright); to whom he commended Salaphtha, giving unto her the habit of the rule; and having commended them unto God he let them depart in peace. But she took a way of life such as no other woman took in that time, fasting daily, and after the fast partaking of a little bread with salt and steeped pulse or chopped herbs and water only; for of wine she partook not at all. But on the feast­days she partook of oil and did eat olives, but did taste of naught else of the food that is prepared with fire; and for all the forty days of fasting on every second day she ate steeped pulse or chopped herbs without bread; and the whole Paschal week she endured partaking of naught, save only on the holy fifth day, after the Holy Communion, of hot water. And so sore did she consume her body that they that saw her seemed to behold a shadow. And she became an ensample unto many other women also; for they followed zealously after the life and way of the holy maiden Salaphtha. Who seemeth to live until now; for unto the world she is dead, but unto Christ she liveth and is T82 with him through all time; of whose holy prayers may we be partakers. And so far be it told concerning the holy maiden Salaphtha.


Manaris. Mazochi connects with {Heb. NYR} = lucere, Heb. MINIR= lamp. the habit of the rule. To kanonikon schema. endured partaking of naught. The expressive word is heilken ' dragged along '.


But the most blessed bishop Porphyry, having stablished the rule of the church and all the office, lived other few years after the consecration of the great church. And falling sick he drew up a pious testament, bequeathing gifts unto many; and, commending unto God all them of the Christ­loving folk, he fell asleep with the saints in peace, on the second day of the month Dystros, in the year four hundred and fourscore according to the reckoning of the Gazaeans, having held his bishopric four and twenty years and eleven months and eight days, and fought the good fight unto the end against the idol­madmen until the day of his falling asleep. And now he is in the Paradise of delight, being an ambassador for us with all the saints; by whose prayers may we obtain mercy from God the Father, with the Son and Holy Ghost, unto whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.


Other few years. No less than thirteen. in the year four hundred and fourscore. Dystr. 2, 480 A.G. is February 26, 420 A.D. four and twenty years, &c. i.e. 25 years less 22 days. Therefore he began his tenure of the see on Dystr. 25 = March 21, 395 A.D. See above, note on c. 16.

Additional Information on
The Life of Porphyry of Gaza


Following the Life, Porphyry was born in Thessalonica around 347. He lived as a monk for tens years (c. 372-82) in Egypt and Palestine. He tehn worked as a leather worker in Jerusalem. He was ordained a priest about 392, and was charged with the relics of the True Cross until 395 when he became bishop of Gaza. Gaza was a pagan town, and Porphyry's carreer was dedicated to making it Christian. He did this be complaining about persecution of Christians to the Emperor Arcadius. Arcadius closed the pagen temples, but they soon reopened. Porphyry then obtained the help of the Empress Eudoxia, and was able to have the pagan temples torn down, and a the largest - the Marneion, replaced by the large Christian Church named after Eudoxia. He died Feb. 26, 420, and Feb 26 is his feast day.


G.F. Hill, in his introduction dismisses criticisms of the authenticity of Mark the Deacon's text. These had been suggest in the 18th and 19th century because of chronological oddities in his story. Hill's position has long been untenable.

Gregoire and Kugener's edition, which had more MS witnesses, improved on the Teubner edition used by Hill, but is much more important because of its exhaustive discussion of the reliability of the text.

The main problem turns out to be that the prologue of the Life was plagiarized from the Religious History of Theodoret [Gregoire xxxiii-xxxiv], which was not published until 444-445. Mark the Deacon on the other hand must have been roughly the same age as Porphyry, who died in 420 at 72 years of age [Gregoire xxxvi]. It is thus impossible for Mark to have written the Life we have it, unless he lived well beyond a hundred years!.

Gregoire and Kugener examine the the possibility that the Life is simply a historical romance. They dismiss this suggestion, and examine the arguments in detail. They argue instead that the Life as we have it was written about 600, but by someone using a diary of the journey to Constantinople written by Mark. Mark they suggest may even have died before Porphyry [Gregoire lxxiii].

The late date of the Life as we have explains some of the dating problems. Gregoire and Kugener suggest that, as well as borrowing from Theodoret's Religious History the later compiler also suppressed Porphyry's sympathies with the Pelagian heresy, a suprression which resulted in some other minor factual distortions in the text.

Overall, Gregoire and Kugener maintain, a generally true account of events is preserved in the Life, with much use of Mark's own work. The Life is not, however, reliable for dates. But its lively narrative, and fascinating story of the Christian suppression of paganism, as well as its account of politics in Constantinople, make this remain one of the the most interesting accounts of Imperial and Christian history in the late fourth/early fifth centuries.


The Text presented here is

Mark the Deacon: Life of Porphyry, Bishop of Gaza. translated with introduction and notes by G. F. Hill (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913)

It has been reformatted for HTML. Since 1913 additional research has been undertaken. In addition to Hill's bibliography, see also:

TEXTS/TRANSLATIONS Bibliographica Hagiographica Greaca, 1570-72 Marc le Diacre, Vie de Porphyre, ed. and French. trans. by Henri Gregoire and M.A. Kugener, (Paris: Belles lettres, 1930)
Reviewed by F. Halkin in Analecta Bollandiana 49 (1931), 155-60
Reviewd by F. Nau in R.O.C. 27 (129-30), 422-41 English translation by Claudia Rapp, based on Gregoire's edition, to be published in Medieval Hagiography: A Sourcebook, ed. Thomas Head, (New York: Garland, forthcoming 1998) P. Peeters, trans., "La View Géorgienne de saint Porphyre de Gaza", Analecta Bollandiana 59 (1941), 65-216 STUDIES C. Baur, John Chrysostom and His Time, tr. M. Gonzaga, (Westminister MD: 1960-61) J.L. Heiberg, Den heilige Porphyrios, biskop af Gaza, (Copenhagen: 1912) ENCYCLOPEDIA ENTRIES Lex.Theol.Kirche, 8:619-620 New Catholic Encylopedia, sv. "Porphyry of Gaza" Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, sv. "Porphyrios of Gaza" and "Mark the Deacon".

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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© Paul Halsall, November 1997
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