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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

The Paschal Chronicle records that the city of Constantinople was saved by the intercession of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) when it was besieged by the Avars and the Persians in 626. Written in Greek at Constantinople, c. 630.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Paschal Chronicle, s.a. 626

Καλὸv δὲ διηγήσασθαι ὅπως καὶ νῦν ὁ μόνος πολυέλεος καὶ εὔσπλαγχνος θεὸς τῇ εὐπροσδέκτῳ πρεσβείᾳ τῆς ἀχράντου αὐτοῦ μητρὸς καὶ κατὰ ἀλήθειαν δεσποίνης ἡμῶν θεοτόκου καὶ ἀειπαρθένου Μαρίας τὴν ταπειτὴν ταύτην αὐτοῦ πόλιν ἔσωσεν ἐκ τῶν κατὰ συμφωνίαν κυκλωσάντων αὐτὴν παναθέων ἐχθρῶν τῇ κραταιᾷ αὐτοῦ χειρί, καὶ τὸv ἐv αὐτῇ εὑρεθέντα λαὸν ἐλυτρώσατο τῆς προσδοκωμένης μαχαίρας, αἰχμαλωσίας τε καὶ πικροτάτης δουλείας,
ὃ οὐδεὶς τῶν πάντων εὐπορήσει διηγήσασθαι.

'It is good to describe how now too the sole most merciful and compassionate God, by the welcome intercession of his undefiled Mother, who is in truth our Lady Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, with his mighty hand saved this humble city of his from the utterly godless enemies who encircled it in concert, and redeemed the people who were present within it from the imminent sword, captivity, and most bitter servitude; no-one will find a means to describe this in its entirety.'

Text: Dindorf 1832, 716. Translation: Whitby and Whitby 1989, 169-170.

Non Liturgical Activity

Saint as patron - of a community


Miraculous protection - of communities, towns, armies
Miraculous interventions in war


The Chronicon Paschale (paschal or Easter chronicle) is a chronicle compiled at Constantinople in the first half of the 7th century. It covers events from the creation of the world up to the anonymous author's own time. The Chronicle probably concluded with the year 630 (see Whitby and Whitby 1989, xi), though the surviving text breaks off slightly earlier, in the entry for 628. The traditional name for the Chronicle originates from its introductory section, which discusses methods for calculating the date of Easter. The Chronicle survives thanks to a single manuscript, Vatican, Gr. 1941 (10th c.), on which all other surviving manuscripts depend. The only critical edition remains that of Ludwig Dindorf (1832).

The chronicler uses multiple chronological systems to date events: Olympiads, consular years, indictions, and years from the Ascension, as well as using Roman, Greek, and sometimes Egyptian dates (see Whitby and Whitby 1989, x). Numerous literary sources are utilised for the period before the author's own time, including well-known historical sources such as Eusebius and John Malalas. We have not included entries for material in the
Paschal Chronicle which simply reproduces material in earlier sources already entered in our database.


For the role of Mary in protecting Constantinople during the siege of 626, see E00568, E07976, E07977.


Dindorf, L., Chronicon Paschale (Bonn, 1832).

Whitby, M., and Whitby, M., Chronicon Paschale 284-628 AD (Translated Texts for Historians 7; Liverpool, 1989).

Record Created By

David Lambert

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of Christἡ θεοτόκος, ΜαρίαCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
David Lambert, Cult of Saints, E07973 -