Site logo

The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity


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


Name

Polykarpos/Polycarp, bishop and martyr of Smyrna, and his companion martyrs

Saint ID

S00004

Number in BH

BHG 1556-1564

Reported Death Not Before

155

Reported Death Not After

170

Gender
Male
Type of Saint
Martyrs, Bishops , Miracle-workers in lifetime
Related Evidence Records
IDTitle
E00008The Greek Martyrdom of *Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), of the 2nd/3rd c., recounts various miracles accompanying the arrest and martyrdom of Polycarp/Polykarpos. Written in Smyrna (western Asia Minor).
E00014Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Ecclesiastical History (4.15), mentions as his source-texts martyrdom accounts of the martyrs of Smyrna, including *Polykarpos/Polycarp (bishop and martyr, S00004), *Metrodoros (Marcionite priest and martyr, S00047), and *Pionios (presbyter and martyr, S00031), and of the martyrs of Pergamon, *Karpos, Papylos and Agathonike (S00051); all in western Asia Minor. He also mentions a collection of martyrdom accounts compiled by himself (now lost). Written in Greek in Palestine, 311/325.
E00035The Greek Martyrdom of Polycarp describes the martyrdom of *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), including accounts of miracles and references to the veneration of his remains. Written in Smyrna (western Asia Minor) between the late 2nd and 3rd centuries. 3rd/4th century interpolations are possible. Overview entry
E00054The epilogue of the Greek Martyrdom of *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004) outlines the transmission history of the text. The last copyist, a certain Pionios, claims that the saint revealed the text to him in a vision. 3rd/4th century addition to the 2nd/3rd century Martyrdom of Polycarp. Written in Smyrna (western Asia Minor).
E00056Α 3rd/4th century addition to the 2nd or 3rd century Greek Martyrdom of *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004) indicates 23 February as the date of the saint's martyrdom. Written in Smyrna (western Asia Minor).
E00057The Greek Martyrdom of *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), of the 2nd/3rd c., recounts how the saint was revered while still alive, with the faithful seeking to touch his body. Written in Smyrna (western Asia Minor).
E00066Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Ecclesiastical History (4.15), summarises and quotes from the Martyrdom of *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), of the 2nd/3rd c., describing various miracles accompanying the martyrdom in Smyrna (western Asia Minor). Written in Greek in Palestine, 311/325.
E00087The Greek Martyrdom of *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), of the 2nd/rd c., recounts how, after the saint's martyrdom, the Christians collected and buried his cremated bones, and intended to celebrate the anniversary of his death. Written in Smyrna (western Asia Minor).
E00096Τhe Greek Martyrdom of *Pionios (presbyter and martyr of Smyrna, S00031), of the 3rd c., recounts how Pionios and his companions were arrested on the feast day of *Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004) and tried in Smyrna (western Asia Minor) in 250. Pionios was burned alive, and after martyrdom, his body looked like that of an athlete, while his face shone with supernatural grace. Written presumably in Smyrna.
E00139Eusebius of Caesarea, in various passages in his Ecclesiastical History, refers to a collection of early martyrdom accounts he compiled, probably in the 290s or 300s; with references to *Pionios (martyr of Smyrna, S00031), *Karpos, Papylos, and Agathonike (martyrs of Pergamon, S00051), the *Martyrs of Lyon (S00316), and *Apollonios (martyr of Rome, S00106). Written in Greek in Palestine, in 311/325.
E00367Gregory of Tours writes the Glory of the Martyrs (Liber in Gloria Martyrum), in Latin in Tours (north-west Gaul), 580/594. Overview entry.
E00453The Greek Life of *Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), of the 3rd or early 4th c., recounts the life and miracles of Polykarpos/Polycarp, describing him as a holy man and miracle worker, without referring to his martyrdom. Written in Smyrna (western Asia Minor).
E00488Polykrates, bishop of Ephesos, writing in Greek to Victor, bishop of Rome, in the late 2nd c., and quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical History, cites the apostles and martyrs resting in the provinces of Asia as proof of the legitimacy of the traditions of the local churches: *Philip (the Apostle, S00109) at Hierapolis; *John (the Apostle and Evangelist, S00042) at Ephesos; *Polykarpos/Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004) and *Thraseas (bishop of Eumeneia, martyred at Smyrna, S00271), both at Smyrna; *Sagaris (bishop and martyr of Laodicea, S00272) at Laodicea; *Papirios (S00274); *Meliton (eunuch of Sardis, S00273) at Sardis. Written in Ephesos (western Asia Minor); quoted by Eusebius in Palestine, 311/325.
E00628Gregory of Tours, in his Glory of the Martyrs (85), tells of a miracle during a mass celebrated in Riom (central Gaul) in the late 540s or 550s on the feast of *Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), after the reading of the saint's Martyrdom. Written in Latin in Tours (north-west Gaul), 580/594.
E00708Fragmentary Greek inscription from Ephesos (western Asia Minor) with an excerpt from a letter, probably from the emperor Justinian (527-565), stating the unique dignity of *John (Apostle and Evangelist, S00042) and his precedence over *Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004).
E00877Four boundary stones, with Greek inscriptions, of a church of *Po(- - -), an unidentified saint, found in the proximity of Appia (Phrygia, west central Asia Minor). Probably late antique (5th-7th c.).
E01212Fragmentary Greek inscription with an invocation of *Polycarp/Polykarpos (martyr of Smyrna, S00004). Found at Mytilene (Lesbos, the Aegean Islands). Probably late antique or middle Byzantine.
E01416The early 5th c. Syriac Martyrology commemorates on 27 January the martyrdom of *Polykarpos (martyr of Nicaea, S00958).
E01436The early 5th c. Syriac Martyrology commemorates on 23 February the martyrdom of *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, 00004), and of *Koskonios, Melanippos and Zenon (martyrs of the province of Asia, 00964), here apparently associated with a certain Aratos.
E01614A tract on the Trinity, written in Latin, probably in 6th c. Gaul, claims that cities where the churches were founded by the Apostles have never fallen under the control of heretics. It lists Jerusalem; Ephesus, founded by *John (the Apostle and Evangelist, S00042); Alexandria, founded by *Mark (the Evangelist, S00293); and Smyrna, where the first bishop was Polycarp/Polykarpos (S00004). It then lists four founders of sees in Gaul: *Trophimus (bishop and confessor of Arles, S00617), *Paulus (bishop of Narbonne, S00503), *Saturninus (bishop and martyr of Toulouse, S00289), and *Daphnus (bishop of Vaison, S00851), and claims them as disciples of the Apostles. The tract has been attributed to Caesarius of Arles, but the attribution is questionable.
E02011Gregory of Tours, in his Histories (1.25), mentions several 1st, 2nd, and 3rd century martyrs, namely *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), *Paul (the Apostle, S00008), *James ('the brother of the Lord', S00058), *Mark (the Evangelist, S00293), *Stephen (the first martyr, S00030), *Clemens (bishop of Rome, martyr of the Crimea, S00111), *Symeon (bishop and martyr of Jerusalem, S01139), *Ignatios, (bishop of Antioch and martyr of Rome, S00649), *Iustinus (philosopher and martyr of Rome, S01140), *Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), *Cornelius (bishop and martyr of Rome, S00172), and *Cyprian (bishop and martyr of Carthage, S00411). Written in Latin in Tours (north-west Gaul), 575/594.
E02892The Church Calendar of Ioane Zosime, compiled in Georgian in the 10th century, based however on the 5th-7th c. prototype from Jerusalem, commemorates on 26 January the translation of the relics of *John Chrysostom (bishop of Constantinople, ob. 407, S00779) to Constantinople, 'bishop Theodoros' (probably the 8th c. bishop of Jeruslaem), the Emperor Valens, *Polycarp/Polykarpos (probably the martyr of Nicaea, S00958), and *Xenophontos (martyr of Constantinople, 5th c., S01815).
E02989Gildas, in his treatise On the Destruction of Britain, refers to the martyrdom of *Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), and quotes him. Written in Latin in Britain, c. 480/c. 550.
E03033The early seventh-century Georgian version of the Lectionary of Jerusalem commemorates on 22 February, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004).
E03039The early seventh-century Georgian version of the Lectionary of Jerusalem commemorates on 28 February at the Martyrion Basilica, *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004).
E03638The Church Calendar of Ioane Zosime, compiled in Georgian in the 10th century, based however on the 5th-7th c. prototype from Jerusalem, commemorates on 8 February *Romelios (one of the *eight martyrs of Palestine, S00198), *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), *Agathangelos (bishop and martyr of Damaskos, S01252), and *Theognios (bishop of Betelia, near Gaza, S01506).
E03651The Church Calendar of Ioane Zosime, compiled in Georgian in the 10th century, based however on the 5th-7th c. prototype from Jerusalem, commemorates on 21 February *Adrianos and Natalia (martyr of Nicomedia and his pious wife, S01342), *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), and *Eustathios (bishop of Antioch, ob. 337, S01316).
E03652The Church Calendar of Ioane Zosime, compiled in Georgian in the 10th century, based however on the 5th-7th c. prototype from Jerusalem, commemorates on 22 February *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004) and, as a later addition, Athanasios of Paulopetrion, confessor under the iconoclast emperor Leo V the Armenian (813-820).
E03653The Church Calendar of Ioane Zosime, compiled in Georgian in the 10th century, based however on the 5th-7th c. prototype from Jerusalem, commemorates on 23 February *Porphyrios (bishop of Gaza, ob. 420, S01368) and *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004).
E03658The Church Calendar of Ioane Zosime, compiled in Georgian in the 10th century, based however on the 5th-7th c. prototype from Jerusalem, commemorates on 28 February *Polycarp/Polykarpos (bishop and martyr in Smyrna, S00004), *Alexandros (Martyr at Dryzipera, S00070), *Šahdost/Sadoth (katholikos and martyr in Persia, ob. 442, S01581), and *Proterios (bishop of Alexandria, ob. 457, S01626).
E04535Long and complex, but poorly spelt, Greek text roughly inscribed on all the faces of a limestone slate, invoking the help of a number of saints: a saint *Klemens (probably *Clement of Alexandria, S02839), *Polykarpos (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004), *Tryphon (martyr of Nikaia/Nicaea, S00439), *Kyprianos (probably the magician and martyr of Antioch, S01704), *Athanasios (probably the bishop of Alexandria, S00294), *Epiphanios (probably the bishop of Salamis, S00215), *Theodore (soldier and martyr of Amaseia and Euchaita, S00480), and *George (soldier and martyr, S00259). Found at Lythrodontas near ancient Tamassos, Cyprus. Probably 5th or 6th c.
E05438Bede, in his Martyrology, records the feast on 26 January of *Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004). Written in Latin at Wearmouth-Jarrow (north-east Britain), 725/731.
E05627Bede, in his Martyrology, records the feast on 24 September in Autun (central Gaul) of *Andochius, Thyrsus and Felix (martyrs of Autun, S02094), who were sent to Gaul by *Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004); *Symphorianus (martyr of Autun, S00322) also performed miracles there. Written in Latin at Wearmouth-Jarrow (north-east Britain), 725/731.
E05663Bede, in his Martyrology, records the feast on 1 November in Dijon (eastern Gaul) of *Benignus (martyr of Dijon, S00320), who was sent to Gaul by *Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004) with *Andochius and Thyrsus (martyrs of Autun, S02094). Written in Latin at Wearmouth-Jarrow (north-east Britain), 725/731.
E05852The Calendar of Willibrord, in its earliest version, records the feasts of various saints in February. Written in Latin at Echternach, Frisia (north-east Gaul), 703/710.
E05950Mosaic portraits of twelve apostles and twelve martyrs (six female, six male) depicted on the barrel vaults of the Cappella Arcivescovile in Ravenna (northern Italy), datable 494/520.
E07728Gregory of Tours, in his Histories (1.28-29), describes the martyrdom of the *Martyrs of Lyon (E00316), and of Irenaeus (bishop and martyr of Lyon, S02832). Written in Latin in Tours (north-west Gaul), 575/594.