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Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, Plots 162.22-36


Constantine VII Flavius Porphyrogenitus (“born in the purple”) ruled the Byzantine emperor as a member of the Macedonian dynasty in 913-959 C.E. Beyond the challenges he faced in managing Imperial authority and international relations throughout his reign, Constantine VII devoted considerable energy to his scholarly pursuits. Among his many writings is the collection Excerpts from Historians, in which he quotes or epitomizes earlier writers on topics chiefly of relevance to statecraft and leadership. In this passage from the book on plots against the government (de insidiis), the emperor paraphrases the earlier accounts of John Malalas and the Easter Chronicle on the Samaritan uprising in 484 C.E.


Ὅτι ἐπὶ τῆς βασιλείας Ζήνωνος πρόφασιν λαβόντες οἱ ἐκ τοῦ ἔθνους τῶν Σαμαρειτῶν ἐτυράννησαν καὶ ἔστεψαν λῄσταρχον ὄνομα Ἰουστάσαν Σαμαρείτην. καὶ εἰσῆλθεν ἐν Καισαρείᾳ καὶ ἐθεώρησεν ἱππικὸν καὶ ἐφόνευσε πολλούς, ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς πρώτης Παλαιστίνης Πορφυρίου. ἔκαυσε δὲ καὶ τὸν ἅγιον Προκόπιον ὁ αὐτὸς Ἰουστάσας. καὶ εὐθέως ὁ δοὺξ Παλαιστίνης Ἀσκληπιάδης ἦλθε μετὰ τῆς αὐτοῦ βοηθείας καὶ ὁ λῃστοδιώκτης Ῥήγις ὁ ἀξιωματικός, καὶ ὁρμήσαντες κατ’ αὐτῶν μετὰ τῆς αὐτῶν βοηθείας συνέβαλον αὐτῷ καὶ παρέλαβον αὐτὸν καὶ ἀπεκεφάλισαν αὐτόν, καὶ ἐπέμφθη ἡ κεφαλὴ αὐτοῦ μετὰ τοῦ διαδήματος τῷ βασιλεῖ Ζήνωνι· καὶ εὐθέως ὁ Ζήνων ἐποίησε τὴν συναγωγὴν αὐτῶν τὴν οὖσαν εἰς τὸ Γαργαρίζη ὄρος εὐκτήριον οἶκον τῆς ἁγίας θεοτόκου, ἀνανεώσας καὶ τὸν ἅγιον Προκόπιον, ποιήσας διάταξιν μὴ στρατεύεσθαι Σαμαρείτην, δημεύσας τοὺς εὐπόρους αὐτῶν. καὶ ἐγένετο φόβος καὶ εἰρήνη.1

Textual Note

Ed. de Boor 1905


It happened during the reign of Zeno that the people of the Samaritan race seized a pretext and rebelled, and crowned a bandit chief, the Samaritan named Justasas. And he came to Caesarea and watched chariot races and murdered many people when Porphyrios was governor of Palestine I. The same Justasas also burned the Church of St. Procopius. And immediately Asclepiades, dux Palestinae, came with his forces and the bandit-hunter Regis, a dignitary. Setting out against them with their forces, they engaged with him and captured him and beheaded him, and his head was sent along with his diadem to the emperor Zeno. Immediately the emperor Zeno made their synagoge on Mount Garizim into a a house of prayer for the Holy Mother of God. He also renovated (the Church of) St. Procopius, issued an edict that a Samaritan could not hold a military post, and confiscated the property of their wealthy. And there was fear and peace.

Translation Note

Trans. J. L. Rife

Works Cited

  • 1 Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Excerpta historica iussu imp. Constantini Porphyrogeniti confecta III: Excerpta de insidiis, ed. Carl de Boor, repr. Hildesheim: Weidmann, 2003 (Berlin: Weidmann, 1905), p: 162.22-36, bk: 3.34.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record


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How to Cite This Entry

Joseph L. Rife, “Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, Plots 162.22-36,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, entry published October 19, 2022,


Joseph L. Rife, “Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, Plots 162.22-36.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife., edited by Joseph L. Rife. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project, 2022. Entry published October 19, 2022.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, Plots 162.22-36

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
  • Joseph L. Rife, editor, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
  • David A. Michelson, Daniel L. Schwartz, and William L. Potter, technical editor, “Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, Plots 162.22-36
  • Joseph L. Rife, entry contributor, “Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, Plots 162.22-36

Additional Credit:

  • TEI encoding by William L. Potter
  • Electronic text added by Joseph L. Rife
  • Testimonia identified by Joseph L. Rife
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