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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world

The Greek Life and Martyrdom of *Athenogenes (martyr of Pedachthoe, S00065), of the 4th/5th c., mentions the martyrdom of *Ariston (S01390) under Diocletian at Sebasteia, pointing out that many confuse him with *Rheginos (S01389), a contemporary martyr who died and was buried at Neokaisareia/Neocaesarea, where his shrine (martyrion) survived at the time of writing; all in northern Asia Minor. Written in Pedachthoe (also northern Asia Minor).

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom

Literary - Hagiographical - Lives of saint

Anysios, Life and Martyrdom of Athenogenes (BHG 197b), 27

[For a summary and discussion of the complete
Martyrdom, see E02993.]

27. Τοιαύτη μὲν γέγονεν ἡ τοῦ ἁγίου μάρτυρος ἄθλησις· ἐπειδὴ δέ τινες πλανώμενοι οἷοί τε λέγειν οὑκ Ἀρίστονα εἶναι τὸν ἅγιον τὸν ἐν Σεβαστειᾳ ἀθλήσαντα – δι’ ἣν αἰτίαν ἔφην - ἀλλὰ Ῥηγῖνον, ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς εἷς τῶν ὑπηρετῶν τοῦ ἁγίου Ἀθηνογένους ἐγένετο, γινωσκέτω οὖν ἕκαστος τὸν ἅγιον Ῥηγῖνον οὐκ ἐν Σεβαστεὶᾳ ἀθλήσαντα, ἀλλ’ ἐν Νεοκαισαρείᾳ τῇ πόλει· καί ἐστιν αὐτοῦ ἔτι καὶ νῦν τὸ μαρτύριον. Σφοδροτάτου γὰρ διωγμοῦ κατὰ τῶν χριστιανῶν ἐπικειμένου ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ, τοῖς ἐν τῇ αὐτῶν χώρᾳ τούτου ἕνεκεν ἀποσταλεὶς παρὰ τοῦ ἁγίου Ἀθηνογένους ὁ ἅγιος Ῥηγῖνος πολυπραγμονῆσαι κατὰ τοὺς διωγμοὺς τῶν χριστιανῶν τὰ συμβαίνοντα ἤτοι ἀποβαίνοντα καὶ δῆλα αὑτὸν καταστῆσαι τὰ τῶν διοικουμένων γνωρίσματα, συσχεθεὶς υπὸ τῶν τυράννων ὁ ἅγιος Ῥηγῖνος τὸν τοῦ μαρτυρίου στέφανον ἔσπευσεν ἀναδέξασθαι. Ἀκούσας δὲ περὶ τῆς αὑτοῦ ἀθλήσεως ὁ ἅγιος Ἀθηνογένης καὶ πολλῆς χαρᾶς πλησθείς, ηὐχαρίστησεν τῷ δεσπότῃ Χριστῷ. Μέλλων δὲ ἐκδημεῖν ἐκ τῆς Σαδοπίνης ἐπὶ τὴν Σεβαστείαν ὁ ἅγιος Ἀθηνογένης ἐνετείλατο τοῖς πᾶσιν μηκέτι Ῥηγῖνον τὸν Ἀθηνογένους καλεῖσθαι, ἀλλ’ Ἀθηνογένην τὸν Ῥηγίνου λέγεσθαι, διὰ τὸ ἐκεῖνον τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰληφέναι τοῦ μαρτυρίου. Καὶ ταῦτα μὲν κατὰ τὸν ἅγιον Ῥηγῖνον.

‘27. Such was the contest of the holy martyr. Now, since certain people erroneously think that they can say that the holy man who was martyred at Sebasteia was not Ariston – for the reasons I have recounted – but Rheginos, who was also one of the servants of Saint Athenogenes, let every person know that Saint Rheginos was not martyred in Sebasteia, but in the city of Neokaisareia. His shrine (
martyrion) still exists. For, while a most severe persecution against Christians was about to break out at that time, Saint Rheginos was sent by Saint Athenogenes to the people of their region in order to manage the affairs of the Christians during the persecutions, namely to make clear and publicly known the features of those suffering a persecution. And, when Saint Rheginos was arrested by the tyrants, he hastened to earn the crown of martyrdom. Now, when Saint Athenogenes heard about his martyrdom, he was filled with joy and gave thanks to the Lord Christ. And, as he was leaving Sadopine for Sebasteia, Saint Athenogenes ordered everyone that they no more talk of Rheginos as being the man of Athenogenes, but rather Athenogenes of Rheginos, because the latter had received God’s grace of martyrdom. So this is all about Saint Rheginos.’

Text: Maraval 1990. Translation: E. Rizos.

Cult Places

Burial site of a saint - unspecified

Rejection, Condemnation, Sceptisism

Uncertainty/scepticism/rejection of a saint

Non Liturgical Activity

Oral transmission of saint-related stories
Composing and translating saint-related texts
Saint as patron - of an individual

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


The text is preserved in one manuscript, the 10th-century Codex Sabaiticus 242, of the Patriarchal Library of Jerusalem, on which see:


This digression offers an informed clarification regarding the identity of the martyr Ariston, specifically his differentiation from another known figure, Reginos. It is probable that Ariston was among the figures buried at the shrine of Pedachthoe. The existence of the shrine of Reginos at Neocaesarea is not known from any other source.


Text, French translation, commentary:

Maraval, P. La Passion inédite de S. Athénogène de Pédachthoè en Cappadoce (BHG 197b). Subsidia Hagiographica 75. Bruxelles: Société des Bollandistes, 1990.

Record Created By

Efthymios Rizos

Date of Entry


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00589Ariston, martyr of PontusἈρίστωνUncertain
S01389Rheginos, martyr at Neokaisareia/NeocaesareaῬηγῖνοςCertain
S01390Ariston, martyr of Pedachthoe, Asia MinorἈρίστωνCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Efthymios Rizos, Cult of Saints, E02997 -