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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, in its account of the siege of Constantinople in 626, states that an attack on the city in boats across the Golden Horn, by Slav troops in the Avar army, was defeated through the intercession of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033). Written in Greek at Constantinople, c. 630.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Paschal Chronicle, s.a. 626

In the sight of the Chagan of the Avars, an attempt by Slav warriors in his army to attack Constantinople by crossing the Golden Horn in canoes is defeated.

Καὶ τοῦ θεοῦ κελεύσαντος διὰ τῶν πρεσβειῶν τῆς δεσποίνης ἡμῶν τῆς θεοτόκου, ἐν μιᾷ ῥοπῇ ἡ διὰ θαλάσσης γέγονεν αὐτῷ πτῶσις.

'And at God’s command through the intercession of our Lady the Mother of God, in a single instant, calamity at sea came to him [the Chagan].'

Text: Dindorf 1832, 724. Translation: Whitby and Whitby 1989, 178.

Non Liturgical Activity

Saint as patron - of a community


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


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.


The failed attack across the Golden Horn took place in conjunction with a similarly unsuccessful assault on the land walls. These were the last military actions in the siege before the Avars abandoned it and retreated from the city. The date was 7 August 626.


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 θεοτόκοςCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
David Lambert, Cult of Saints, E07976 -