Porphyrios of Gaza - Oxford Reference

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Source:
The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium
Author(s):

Alexander Kazhdan

Porphyrios of Gaza, 

bishop of Gaza (from 395) and saint; born Thessalonike ca.347, died Gaza 26 Feb. 420. Porphyrios began his career as a monk in the Egyptian and Palestinian desert (ca.372–82), then went to Jerusalem, where he earned his living as a leather-worker. In 392 he became a priest and three years later bishop of Gaza. The core of the Life of Porphyrios, allegedly written by his disciple Mark the Deacon, involves the bishop's struggle against paganism in Gaza and his campaign for destruction of the temple of the local god Marnas (identified with Zeus). In Constantinople, Porphyrios gained the covert support of John Chrysostom and attracted the Empress Eudoxia to his cause by predicting to her the birth of a male heir. Her husband, Emp. Arkadios, was reluctant, but Eudoxia arranged for her newborn son, Theodosios II, to sanction the destruction of the Marneion, supposedly on his baptismal day (6 Jan. 402?). Returning with an army commanded by the clarissimus Cynegius (a relative of Cynegius Maternius?), Porphyrios set the Marneion afire and replaced it with a huge church allegedly designed and funded by Eudoxia.

Bibliography

source. Marc le Diacre, Vie de Porphyre évêque de Gaza, ed. H. Grégoire, M.-A. Kugener (Paris 1930), with Fr. tr.; rev. by F. Halkin, AB 49 (1931) 155–60, and F. Nau, ROC 27 (1929–30) 422–41.Find this resource:

    BHG 1570–72.Find this resource:

      J.L. Heiberg, Den hellige Porphyrios, biskop af Gaza (Copenhagen 1912).Find this resource:

        Alexander Kazhdan

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