The idea of apostolicity in Byzantium and the legend of the Apostle Andrew

Francis Dvornik



The Legendary Elements in the Andrew Tradition


The lost apocryphal Acts of Andrew as the ultimate source of the Constantinoplitan tradition — Gregory of Tours on Andrew’s stay in Byzantium—The apocryphal Acts of Andrew known in the East and West from the fifth to the ninth centuries—Date of the composition of the apocryphal Acts of Andrew — Scythia, not Achaea, as Andrew’s missionary field — Did Andrew preach in Asia Minor?—The legend of the maneaters as a reflection of the old tradition of Andrew’s preaching in Scythia — Later tradition identifying the city of the maneaters with Sinope — The “Scythian tradition” reflected in the original Acts and in the Legends of Andrew’s preaching in Colchis and in Georgia —Legendary traits in the ‘'Achaean tradition” — Oldest traditions quote Luke as missionary of Achaea — Spread of the new “Achaean tradition” — Legendary accounts of Argyropolis and Zeuxippus — Probable origin of the “Achaean tradition” — Conclusion.



The apocryphal writings on Andrew must now be searched in order to trace the origin and development of the tradition concerning his activity in Byzantium, and to determine the legendary elements which it contained.


Of the original apocryphal description of Andrew's activity—The Acts or Travels of Andrew—less survives than of similar apocryphal Acts of three other Apostles—John, Paul, and Peter. [1] Only a short text of the original Acts of Andrew seems to be preserved in a Greek manuscript in the Vatican Library. [2] Fortunately the Acts of Andrew have survived, at least in part, in some western and eastern texts whose authors, using the original Acts,



1. For more details see I. E. Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen (2nd ed., Tübingen, 1924), pp. 163-256.


2. It is the Vaticanus Graecus 808, published by M. Bonnet in R. A. Lipsius, M. Bonnet, Acta Apostolorum apocrypha, 2, pt. 1 (Leipzig, 1898), pp. xiv, 38-45.





based their information on what they found in them, sometimes copying whole passages from these sources.


The western texts are : the Latin letter of the priests and deacons of Achaea describing the martyrdom of Andrew [3]—also preserved in Greek versions—a Latin passion of the apostle, [4] and, most important of all, the Book of Miracles of St. Andrew the Apostle, compiled by St. Gregory, Bishop of Tours. [5]


The main Greek texts are the accounts of Andrew's martyrdom, called Martyrium Andreae Prius and Martyrium Andreae alterum, [6] the Acta Andreae et Matthiae, which exists also in Syriac, Ethiopic, Coptic, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon versions, and the Acta Petri et Andreae. [7]


The descriptions of Andrew's martyrdom, although important for attempts at a reconstruction of the original acts of St. Andrew, are of little interest for our investigation. [8] The Latin letter was composed by an African, who had found refuge in Sardinia, after being exiled by the Vandal King Thrasamond at the beginning of the sixth century.



3. Ed. M. Bonnet in Acta Apost. apocr., published by Lipsius and Bonnet on the basis of Tischendorf’s edition, 2, pt. 1, (Leipzig, 1898), pp. 1-37, with Greek versions.


4. Ed. M. Bonnet in Supplementum codicis apocryphi, 2. Acta Andreae (Paris, 1895), pp. 66-70. The Passio starts with the words Conversante et docente, by which it is often quoted.


5. Ed. M. Bonnet, Gregorius Turonensis Episcopus, Liber de miraculis beati Andreae Apostoli, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum, 1 (1883), pp. 826-846. Cf. ibid., 7 (1919), pp. 707-756, B. Krusch’s remarks on Bonnet’s edition.


6. Ed. M. Bonnet, in R. A. Lipsius, M. Bonnet, op. cit., pp. 46-57, 58-64.


7. Ed. M. Bonnet, ibid., pp. 65-127.

On the non-Greek versions of the Acta Andreae et Matthiae cf. R. A. Lipsius, Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten und Apostellegenden, i, pp. 546 seq. J. Flamion, Les actes apocryphes de l'Apôtre André (Louvain-Paris-Brussels, 1911), pp. 310 seq. The Anglo-Saxon version was published by J. Grimm (Andreas und Elene [Cassel, 1841]). The Acts of Peter and Andrew are preserved also in an Ethiopian and old Slavonic translation (Lipsius, ibid., p. 554).


Cf. also

·       F. Haase, Apostel und Evangelisten in den orientalischen Überlieferungen (Münster i. W., 1922), Neutestam. Abhandlungen, ed. M. Meinertz, 9, Heft. 1-3, pp. 249-252.

·       C. Schmidt, "Apokryphe koptische Apostelgeschichten und Legenden,” in A. von Harnack’s Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, 1 (Leipzig, 1893), pp. 919-922;

·       Guidi, “Gli Atti Apocrifi degli Apostoli nei testi copti, arabi e etiopici,” Giornale della Società Asiatica Italiana, 2 (1888);

·       M. R. James, Apocrypha anecdota, Texts and Studies, 2, no. 3; 5, no. 1 (Cambridge, 1893,1897);

·       S. Lewis “The Mythological Acts of the Apostles” in Horae Semiticae, 4 (London, 1904), pp. 1-30, Arabic translations of Andrew texts.


8. See the detailed examination of the Greek and Latin descriptions of Andrew’s martyrdom and of their relation to the primitive account now lost, in Flamion, op. cit., pp. 89-191.





The Latin text of this letter is older than its Greek versions, and even the text of the Latin passion reveals some affinities with the letter, although the author of this passion has also consulted the original Acts of Andrew. [9]


Of the Greek descriptions of Andrew's martyrdom, only the introduction to the Martyrium prius—which should very likely be dated from the end of the eighth century— [10] gives any indication of Andrew's missionary activity. From it we learn how Bithynia, Lacedemonia, and Achaea were assigned to Andrew for preaching the Gospel, [11] although, in this account, Macedonia should probably be substituted for Lacedemonia. However, in describing Andrew's activity, the author simply dismissed Macedonia, and allowed Andrew to reach Achaia direct from Asia Minor. Neither the Acts of Andrew and Matthew, nor the Acts of Peter and Andrew give any specific information concerning the area of Andrew's activities. The first, however, designates Achaea as Andrew's missionary territory, and reports that Andrew was brought miraculously by Christ Himself acting as pilot, with two angels disguised as sailors, to the city of the anthropophagites—not identified by name—in order to deliver Matthias, who had been imprisoned there and tortured by the natives, from the tragic fate that was awaiting him. The other document describes Peter's and Andrew's preaching in the land of the barbarians, but again without precise geographical designations, although it is full of accounts of fanciful miracles. [12]


For the purpose of the present study the most important of all the Andrew texts just mentioned is the Book of Miracles of St. Andrew. This was written by St. Gregory of Tours toward the end of his life, in 591 or 592. [13] Gregory discloses in his preface [14] that he had found a book De virtutibus S. Andreae which, because of its "Verbosity" was regarded by many as apocryphal.



9. Ibid., pp. 40 seq.


10. J. Flamion, op. cit., pp. 61 seq.


11. R. A. Lipsius, M. Bonnet, op. cit., 2, pt. 1, p. 47.


12. Cf. the analysis of the contents by Lipsius, Die apokr. Apost. 1, pp. 550-557. R. A. Lipsius, M. Bonnet, op. cit., 2, pt. 1, pp. 65 seq., 117 seq.


13. J. Flamion, op. cit., pp. 50-55.


14. MGH, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum, 1, p. 827.





From these writings he made a selection of Andrew's miracles, and, after purging them of all incongruous additions, incorporated them in his book on Andrew's miracles.


Gregory mentions, again in his preface, a collection of passiones apostolorum which wras accepted by the Christians of Gaul, and which originated in a Frankish monastery around the middle of the sixth century. [15] After Gregory's death, this collection was enriched by the addition of the “Virtues and Miracles of the Apostles," and was circulated under the name of “Abdias," the supposed Bishop of Babylon. [16] The attribution is, of course, legendary, and the main source of the Virtutes Andreae et Miracula added to this collection, as mentioned, was Gregory's writing. [17]


In Gregory's composition Andrew is said to have begun his preaching in Achaea, which had been allotted to him before the apostles had separated. On the Lord's order, given by an angel, Andrew sailed from Achaea to the city called Myrmidon, in order to free St. Matthias from the prison into which the inhabitants had thrown him. No mention is made of anthropophagites. When this story is compared with that in the apocryphal Acts of Andrew and Matthias, it is clearly apparent that Gregory of Tours knew of this work, and that this part of his compilation is merely an abridged version of the narrative contained in the Acts.


What follows in Gregory's Miracles of Andrew was taken from another apocryphal writing which could only have been the book De Virtutibus Andreae mentioned by Gregory in his preface. Gregory has Andrew, after delivering Matthias from prison, preach to the inhabitants of the city,



15. L. Duchesne, “Les anciens recueils de légendes apostoliques," Compte rendu du troisième congrès scientifique international des catholiques, 1894 (Brussels, 1895), section 5, Sciences historiques, pp. 75 seq. Cf. R. A. Lipsius, op. cit., i, pp. 165 seq., 557-566.


16. Published by J. A. Fabricius, Acta apostolorum apocrypha, sive historia certaminis apostolici, adscripta Ahdiae, Babyloniae episcopo, in his Codex apocryphus Novi Testamenti, 2 (Hamburg, 1719), pp. 456-515 (de gestis beati Andreae apostoli). The description of Andrew’s passion starts on p. 508. On Abdias see Lipsius, op. cit., pp. 117-178.


17. This collection of Pseudo-Abdias seems to have been known to Venantius Fortunatus (d. 609), who apparently quotes it in his poem De Virginitate (verses 137 seq., PL, 88, col. 270). It was also used by the author of the Auxerre edition of Martyrium Hieronymianum at the very end of the sixth century. Cf. G. B de Rossi, L. Duchesne, Martyrium Hieronymianum, in AS, Nov. 2, pt. 1 (Brussels, 1894), pp. LXXV seq.





and then goes on to describe, in great detail, how he journeyed back to his province of Achaea. The Apostle sailed first along the southern coast of the Black Sea, visiting the cities of Amaseia, Sinope, Nicaea, and Nicomedia, performing, of course, numerous miracles all along the way. At Nicomedia he boarded a ship for Byzantium, and on the journey through the Hellespont appeased by his prayers a violent storm which was endangering the safety of his companions.


While journeying from Byzantium through Thrace, Andrew was menaced by a multitude armed with swords, but, after he had implored help from the Lord, an angel appeared and disarmed the hostile crowd. The Apostle then reached Perinthus on the Thracian coast, whence he sailed to Macedonia. He preached and worked miracles in Philippi and in Thessalonica, and finally arrived at Patras in Achaea. [18] In the compilation attributed to Abdias, Andrew's story is copied, with slight differences in style, from Gregory's writings, although Andrew's stay in Byzantium and in Thrace is described as it was by the Bishop of Tours.


For any investigation into the origins of Byzantine tradition concerning the Apostle Andrew it is important to point out that in Gregory's writings, as early as the end of the sixth century, Byzantium and Thrace were mentioned among the places and provinces visited by Andrew, and it is evident from Gregory's introduction to his writings on the Apostle's miracles that the Bishop did not invent this information.



18. MGH, Script. Rev. Merov., i, p. 831. Byzantium and Thrace are mentioned in chaps. 8, 9, and 10.

Chap 8: Egressus inde apostolus Domini navem conscendit ingressusque Helispontum fretum, navigabat, ut veniret Byzantium. Et ecce commotum est mare, et incubuit super eos ventus validus, et mergebatur navis. Denique, praestolantibus cunctis periculum mortis, oravit beatus Andreas ad Dominum praecipiensque vento, siluit; fluctus autem maris quieverunt, et tranquillitas data est. Ereptique omnes a praesenti discrimine, Byzantium pervenerunt.

Chap. 9: Inde progressi, ut venirent Thracias, apparuit eis multitudo hominum a longe cum evaginatis gladiis, lanceas manu gestantes, quasi volentes in illis irruere. Quod cum vidisset Andreas apostolus, faciens crucis signum contra eos, ait : “Oro, Domine, ut decidat pater eorum, qui haec eos agere instigavit. Consturbentur virtute divina, ne noceant sperantes in te.” Haec eo dicente angelus Domini cum magno splendore praeteriens, tetigit gladios eorum, et corruerunt proni in terra. Transiensque beatus apostolus cum suis, nihil est nocitus; omnes enim, proiectis gladiis, adorabant eum. Angelus quoque Domini discessit ab eis cum magno lumine claritatis.

Chap. 10: Sanctus vero apostolus pervenit ad Perintum civitatem Traciae maritimam et invenit ibi navem quae in Machedoniam properaret....





He quotes a work on Andrew's virtues or deeds as his main source. Thus he copied his description of Andrew's travels from this manuscript which was regarded by many as apocryphal, and it is therefore essential to determine whether such a work ever existed, whether it has been known earlier in the West, as well as at the time of Gregory of Tours, and whether it was still in circulation in Byzantium in the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries. [19] Furthermore, could it have been used by the anonymous authors who, in this period, codified the legendary tradition of the foundation by Andrew of the episcopal see of Byzantium ?


Concerning Andrews activities, we still have today the testimony of Eusebius, made known also in the West by Rufinus' translation of Eusebius' Church history. After enumerating the canonical books of the New Testament, Eusebius adds the titles of some writings which were regarded with suspicion by the orthodox; [20] the so-called “Acts of Paul," as well as the so-called “Shepherd's Book and the Apocalypse of Peter," the epistle of Barnabas, the so-called “Doctrine of the Apostles," and the Gospel of the Hebrews. Then he continues:


“We should know also the writings propagated by the heretics under the names of the apostles, such as [the writings] containing the so-called Gospels of Peter, and Thomas, and Matthias, and similarly of other apostles, or like the Acts of Andrew and John, and the other apostles."


The Acts of Andrew are thus explicitly mentioned and designated as apocryphal writings. It may be that Eusebius already had in mind a Corpus of apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, containing the Acts of Peter, John, Andrew, Thomas, and Paul, because he enumerates only these Apostles in the above passage. [21]



19. Cf. also the short dissertation by F. Piontek, Die katholische Kirche und die häretischen Apostelgeschichten bis zum Ausgang des 6. Jahrhunderts, Dissertation (Breslau, 1907), published also in Sdralek's Kirchengeschichtliche Abhandlungen, 6 (Breslau, 1907).


20. Historia ecclesiastica, 3, chap. 25; GCS, 9, pt. 2, ed. E. Schwartz (1903), p. 252 (Rufinus, ibid., p. 253); PG, 20, col. 269.


21. Cf. C. Schmidt, Die alten Petrusakten im Zusammenhang mit der apokryphen Apostellitteratur untersucht, Texte und Untersuchungen, 24, N. F., 9 (Leipzig, 1903), pp. 29 seq. The best study on the Petrine Act is that of J. Flamion, “Les actes apocryphes de Pierre'' in Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique, 9 (1908), pp. 233-254, 465-490; 10 (1909), pp. 1-29, 245-277; Il (1910), pp. 5-28, 233-256, 447-470, 675-692; 12 (1911), pp. 209-230.





Thus it will be seen that some heretics were using this Corpus of apocryphal Acts instead of the canonical Acts of the Apostles.


The use of the apocryphal Acts of the Apostles by the heretics for the same period in the fourth century is attested to by Epiphanius. [22] He might have in mind the same collection of apocryphal Acts as Eusebius, although he mentions, in one instance only, the Acts of Andrew and Thomas, and in another those “of Andrew and the others."


This, however, does not mean, a priori, that all these Acts were composed by heretics, although they contained encratic views in ascetic practice and other passages which could be used by heretics —Gnostics, Manichaeans, and Priscillianists—as confirming their doctrines on those matters.


These apocryphal Acts were soon circulating also, in Latin translations, in the West, where they were propagated principally by the Manichaeans and later by the Priscillianists, but where they were read, too, by Catholics. The use of these apocryphal writings in the West is first attested by Philastrius, Bishop of Brescia, who was probably of Egyptian origin. In his description, written about 383 or 384, [23] of different heresies known to him, Philastrius enumerates the canonical books of both Testaments, urging that care be taken in reading apocryphal books because of their having been altered by heretics. He does not forbid such reading, but only advises readers to be cautious in using the books and to beware the dangerous ideas that had been insinuated into them. He mentions the Acts of Andrew, John, Peter, and Paul, and, although he does not single out the Acts of Thomas, it may be presumed that he had in mind the same Corpus of the Acts to which Eusebius seems to be alluding. The Acts of Andrew were an integral part of the Corpus.



22. Adversus Haereses, chaps. 47, 1 ; 61, 1 ; 63, 2; GCS, 31, ed. K. Holl (1922), pp. 216, 381, 399; PG, 41, cols. 852, 1040, 1064.


23. Filastrius, Diversarum hereseon liber, CSEL, 38, ed. F. Marx (1898), chap. 61 (old editions, chap. 88), p. 48; PL, 12, col. 1200. Cf. also Fabricius, op. cit., 2, p. 751 :

Scripturae autem absconditae, id est apocryfa, etsi legi debent morum causa a perfectis, non ab omnibus debent quia non intelligentes multa addiderunt et tulerunt quae voluerunt heretici: Nam Manichei apocryfa beati Andreae apostoli, id est Actus quos fecit veniens de Ponto in Greciam quos conscripserunt tunc discipuli sequentes beatum apostolum, unde et habent Manichei et alii tales Andreae beati et Joannis Actus evangelistae beati, et Petri similiter beatissimi apostoli, et Pauli pariter beati apostoli....





For this investigation Philastrius’ views on the Acts of Andrew are particularly important. He says that the Acts described Andrew’s deeds while journeying from Pontus to Greece. In Gregory’s Miracles of St. Andrew the Apostle’s travels are depicted in the same way, for there he is said to have started his journey to Greece from Amaseia and Sinope in Pontus.


Thus we may surmise that Philastrius had in mind the work that Gregory called Liber ed virtutibus Andreae and that this work was a Latin translation of the original apocryphal Acts, which have been shown to have formed a part of the Corpus of the five apocryphal Acts of the Apostles.


If this is true, the work mentioned by Philastrius must have included Byzantium among the places in Thrace visited by Andrew on his journey from Pontus to Greece, as do the Virtutes Andreae by Gregory, who had made an abridged and expurgated edition of the original Acts translated into Latin.


In the fifth century the Acts of Andrew, in their original form, circulated also in the West. This is confirmed, first of all by Pope Innocent I (402-417). In his letter to the Bishop of Toulouse, [24] the Pope attributes the composition of the Acts of Matthew, James, Peter, and John to Leucius, and of the Acts of Andrew—if this passage is authentic—to the philosophers Nexocharides and Leonides. The Pope seems here to have in mind the same Acts as Eusebius.


The letter of Turibius, a contemporary of Leo the Great (440461), to Hydacius and Ceponius also warns the faithful against reading the Acts of Andrew. [25] In the Prologue of Pseudo-Mellitus to the Passion of St. John the Evangelist [26] the composition of the Acts of Andrew is attributed to Leucius.



24. PL, 20, col. 502. See R. A. Lipsius, op. cit., 2, pt. 2, p. 430, and I. E. Hennecke, Handbuch zu den neutestamentlichen Apokryphen (Tübingen, 1904), p. 546. Cf. J. Flamion, Les Actes d'André, p. 263, footnote 1 on this attribution. It is possible that these two were mentioned in the original Acts among the names of the pagans converted by Andrew and that, in some circles, they were regarded as authors of the Acts.


25. PL, 54, col. 694C: specialiter autem Actus illos qui vocantur S. Andreae.


26. Fabricius, op. cit., 3, p. 604:

volo solititam esse fraternitatem vestram de Leucio quodam, qui scripsit Apostolorum Acta Joannis Evangelistae, et Sancti Andreae, vel Thomae Apostoli. Quaedam de virtutibus quidem quae per eos Dominus fecit, vera dixit; de doctrina vero multa mentitus est....

The last sentence recalls what Gregory says in his preface on the work De Virtutibus Andreae.





The same attribution is made by Evodius, a contemporary of St. Augustine, in his treatise against the Manichaeans. [27]


A study of allusions to the apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, found in Augustine's works, [28] has shown that the Manichaeans of North Africa and the Priscillianists of Spain were in possession of a Corpus of Acts of the Apostles containing the Acts of Peter, Andrew, Thomas, John, and Paul. They held this Corpus in high esteem, and regarded it as belonging to the canonical Holy Books of the New Testament, replacing the Acts of the Apostles considered canonical by the Catholics. It appears that Augustine and his Manichaean adversaries still regarded this Corpus as anonymous, although Augustine himself mentioned the name of Leucius in one of his works. [29]


All of this evidence confirms that the Acts of Andrew, although regarded by many as apocryphal and heretical, were well-known in the West in the fifth and sixth centuries and that the work was easily accessible to Gregory of Tours. Although no direct proof is extant, it can safely be assumed that Gregory made an extract from the same work as that quoted in previous testimonies. [29a]


There is no direct evidence to show that the original Acts of Andrew circulated in Byzantium during the fifth and sixth centuries, but it is reasonable to presume that the apocryphal Acts of the Apostles were known in Byzantium during this period. That this was the case is indicated by the sixth-century chronicler Malalas, [30]



27. Enodius Uzalensis, De fide contra Manichaeos, chap. 38, CSEL, 25, ed. J. Zycha (1891), pp. 968 seq. Cf. J. Flamion, op. cit., p. 188.


28. To record these allusions a survey of Augustine's works was made by C. Schmidt, op. cit., pp. 44, 52. The most important passage for the Acts of Andrew is to be found in Augustine’s Contra Faustum Manichaeum, 14, chap. i, 30, chap. 4; CSEL, 25, ed. J. Zycha (1891), pp. 402, 751.


29. Contra Felicem, 2, chap. 6; ibid., p. 833. J. Flamion (op. cit., pp. 189 seq.) thinks, in contradiction to C. Schmidt (op. cit., p. 50), that even in this passage Augustine had the Acts of Andrew in mind.


29a. It is important to note that the Manichaean Psalm-book mentions the same episode described by Gregory in chapter 12 of his book on Andrew’s miracles (op. cit., p. 832), namely the burning of the house in Thessalonica in which Andrew’s disciple stayed (C. R. C. Alberry, A Manichaean Psalm-book ; Manichaean Manuscripts in the Chester Beatty Collection, 2 [Stuttgart, 3:938], p. 142). This is an additional indication that Gregory very probably had at hand the same Acts of Andrew as those used by the Manichaeans and other heretics.


30. Ed. Bonn, pp. 252 seq. See in C. Schmidt, op. cit., pp. 64, 65, the discussion of allusions to Acts of Apostles in the works of Epiphanius, Theodoret, and Amphilochius. Andrew’s Acts are not specifically mentioned.





who had copied in his account of St. Peter, a part of the apocryphal Acts of this Apostle and seems to have adapted them to his own taste.


From the end of the seventh century the testimony of John of Thessalonica is available. In the preface to his new edition of a work describing the Blessed Virgin's death, John emphasizes the desirability of concentrating on re-editing pious writings which, though originally orthodox, had been disfigured by fanciful additions and changes contrived by the heretics who had used them. He does this for the works on the Virgin Mary's death, and by so doing follows the example of others who had recently done likewise with regard to works on the travels of Peter, Paul, Andrew, and John. [31] Although there is no evidence that the Acts of Andrew had been so treated, it can clearly be seen from what John says that Andrew's Acts were known and read in Byzantium in John's time, but were looked upon with suspicion.


With regard to the ninth century, we may quote George the Monk, who had also copied a passage from the Acts of St. Peter [32] in his World Chronicle, composed in the reign of Michael III, and who may have copied his passage from Malalas. But another important witness is available for this century—the Patriarch Photius. He testifies in his Bibliotheca [33] that the “Travels of Andrew" which were a part of the "Travels of the Apostles”—a clear allusion to the Corpus of the Acts of the Apostles mentioned above—were known and read at this time.



31. M. Bonnet, “Bemerkungen über die ältesten Schriften von der Himmelfahrt Mariae," in Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie, 23 (1880), p. 239:

οὕτω γὰρ εὑρήκαμεν χρησαμένους καὶ τοὺς ἔναγχος ἡμᾶς προηγησαμένους καὶ τοὺς πολλῷ πρὸ αὐτῶν ἁγίους πατέρας, τοὺς μὲν περὶ τὰς καλουμένας ἰδικὰς περιόδους τῶν ἁγίων ἀποστόλων Πέτρου καὶ Παύλου καὶ Ἀνδρέου καὶ Ἰωάννου, τοὺς δὲ περὶ τὰ πλεῖστα τῶν χριστοφόρων μαρτύρων συγγράμματα.


L. Vouaux, Les actes de Pierre et ses lettres apocryphes (Paris, 1922), p. 191, suggested that John of Thessalonica had in mind the attempts made by Malalas and Pseudo-Marcellus to purify the Acts of Peter (ibid. pp. 186 seq.). Let us not forget that, as mentioned before (p. 183), the Martyrium Prius was written in the eighth century and is based on the original Acts.


32. Bk. 3, chap. 21; ed. E. G. von Muralt (St. Petersburg, 1859), pp. 269 seq.; PG, 110o, cols. 428 seq.; ed. de Boor, 1 (Leipzig, 1904), pp. 364 seq.


33. PG, 103, Cod. 114, col. 389:

Ἀνεγνώσθη βιβλίον, αἱ λεγόμεναι Τῶν Ἀποστόλων Περίοδοι, ἐν αἷς περιείχοντο πράξεις Πέτρου, Ιωάννου, Ἀνδρέου, Θωμᾷ, Παύλου. Γράφει δὲ αὐτάς, ὡς δηλοῖ τὸ αὐτὸ βιβλίον, Λεύκιος Χαρῖνος. Cf. also Cod. 179, col. 524D.

See the thorough examination of these passages by Schmidt, op. cit., pp. 67-75, who tries to show that Photius cannot have studied the Corpus of Acts thoroughly, and might have attributed its authorship to Leucius, although the latter’s name was mentioned only in the Acts of John. Schmidt thinks that Photius might have contented himself with the lecture of the Acts of Peter and John, the first part of the Corpus. L. Vouaux, Les Actes de Paul (Paris, 1913), pp. 61 seq., thinks that Photius had at hand a copy of the Corpus of Acts which had been doctored by heretics. However, the accounts of many unlikely miracles and of numerous visions of the Lord in various manifestations described in the Acts as we know them, as well as their strong encratite character, would have justified Photius in rejecting them as unorthodox fables. As for Leucius, it is interesting to note that Pacianus, Bishop of Barcelona (d. bet. 379-392), in a letter against the Novations, numbered him among the teachers of the heretics (Pacianus, Epistolae tres; i, PL, 13, col. 1053B).





This is important, for it shows that the authors of the Byzantine Andrew texts, under examination here, had easy access to the apocryphal writings on the Apostle Andrew, and could have found in them the basis for the creation of their story on Andrew’s activity in Byzantium.



Before drawing conclusions from these findings, an attempt must be made to determine the most probable date of composition of the original apocryphal Acts of Andrew. This is essential to tracing the origin and development of the Andrew Legend. It is well known that, although the dates of the composition of the apocryphal Acts of John (about the middle of the second century), of Peter (about 180-190), of Paul (about the year 200), [33a] and of Thomas (third century) are generally agreed upon among specialists, the date of the composition of the Acts of Andrew is still subject to controversy. If these Acts were really composed by heretics—Gnostics or Manichaeans— they must have originated, if not in the second century, then, at least, at the beginning of the third. The fact that the Fathers testify unanimously that these Acts were used and highly valued by heretics seems to favor the conclusion that Andrew’s Acts owe their origin to the Gnostics or Manichaeans.


Such is also the judgement of Lipsius, [34] the foremost specialist in this kind of apocryphal literature. After a minute analysis of all available Andrew texts, he concluded that all of them are directly, or indirectly, derived from the original Acts or Travels of the Apostles which were composed by Gnostic writers.



33a. Concerning the dating of Acta Petri and Acta Pauli see C. Schmidt, Acta Pauli nach dem Papyrus der Hamburger Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek : Hamburg-Glückstadt, 1936), pp. 127 seq.


34. Op. cit., i, pp. 586 seq.





He thought that he had discovered in them slight traces of Gnostic doctrines that had escaped the scrutiny of both their Catholic censors and their editors. He believed that the strongest arguments for his thesis of the Gnostic origin of Andrew's Acts lay in the two fragments quoted from them by Evodius, and in the third fragment preserved in the work De vera et falsa poenitentia, [35] falsely attributed to St. Augustine. On this basis he thought that the origin of Andrew's Acts or Travels should be dated in the same period as that of Peter's and John's Acts or Travels, namely, in the second part of the second century.


Lipsius' thesis still has many supporters, although it has been thoroughly re-examined and criticized by J. Flamion, [36] who undertook the painstaking task of reconstructing the original Acts of Andrew from the material contained in Latin and Greek Andrew texts, all of which must ultimately derive, in one way or another, from the original composition. Contrary to Lipsius' belief, he found that the original Acts were not Gnostic, but were written by an orthodox writer who was strongly influenced by neopythagorism and, even more, by neoplatonism. The ideas which are regarded by Lipsius as Gnostic can be explained and understood in the light of strong encratite tendencies, not uncommon in the early Church and also manifested by the author of the Acts. This encratite tendency is particularly apparent in the description of the Apostle's martyrdom.


The account of Andrew's martyrdom formed the second part of the original Acts. The first part, describing Andrew's travels and preaching, is reflected in the work of Gregory of Tours, which is really an expurgated, abridged, and corrected edition of the original Acts. Gregory did not dwell on the Apostle's passion, because someone else had made a similar revision of the description of Andrew's martyrdom in Latin,



35. PL, 40, chap. 8, 22, cols. 1120 seq. The treatise seems, however, of too recent a date—ninth to eleventh century—to be of use in this respect. Cf. J. Flamion, op. cit., p. 191.


36. Op. cit., pp. 89-263. A resumé of this important study, by H. Coppieters, will be found in Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique, 13 (1912), pp. 325-332. A. von Harnack had already expressed his doubts about the Gnostic character of passages quoted by Lipsius. Von Harnack thought that the original Acts were re-edited in an expurgated catholic version in the post-Constantinian period (Geschichte der altchristlichen Litteratur bis Eusebius, 2 [Leipzig, 1897], pp. 543 seq.)





and the Bishop of Tours had at hand the result of this revision: the Latin martyrdom Conversante et docente.


In Flamion's opinion, the original Acts of Andrew were written in Greek in Achaea. This is indicated by an almost exclusive use of Hellenic names by the author and by the style of the whole composition which is intimately related to the style of Greek romances. [37] They were written by an intellectual Greek, who was an orthodox Christian with tendencies toward excessive asceticism, who was fond of Greek rhetoric, and who was influenced by philosophic traits which were in vogue at this period. The composition should be dated from the second half of the third century, a time when neopythagorism and especially neoplatonism were capturing the minds of many.


Gregory must also have known the Acts of Andrew and Matthias, because, as already mentioned, at the beginning of his Book on Andrew's miracles he summarized their fantastic account in a very condensed form. A Latin translation of these Acts actually existed in Gregory's time, for not only fragments, but also two independent redactions of it have since been found. [38] Holding a contrary opinion to that of Lipsius, Flamion thinks that the Acts of Andrew and Matthias, together with theiVcts of Peter and Andrew, did not form part of the original Acts of Andrew. Some characteristic features which the two compilations present, i.e. a talking sphinx, mention of Ethiopians, a predilection for psalmody and liturgy, the prominence given to monachism, etc., would seem to indicate that the two Acts originated in Egypt where monachism was strong, and that they were written about the year 400 by an Egyptian monk, who was well-versed in the Greek language. Since the teaching is orthodox, they may represent the reaction against apocrypha and its heretical tendencies, which was condemned by Athanasius in 367. [39]



37. See in this respect the interesting study by Rosa Röder, “Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten und die romanhafte Literatur der Antike,“ Würzburger Studien zur Altertumswissenschaft, 3 (Stuttgart, 1932).


38. Cf. R. A. Lipsius, M. Bonnet, op. cit., 2, pt. 1, p. XXI, and F. Blatt, Die lateinischen Bearbeitungen der Acta Andreae et Matthiae apud anthropophagos (Giessen, 1930)·


39. J. Flamion, op. cit., pp. 310-319. See Athanasius’ Easter letter 39 from 367 (PG. 26, cols. 1436-1440) in which the Bishop reviews canonical and non-canonical books. Cf. infra, p. 202, for this author’s thoughts on Flamion’s theory concerning the origin of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias.





E. Hennecke [40] gave vent to doubts concerning some of Flamion's findings. He was loath to share Flamion's appreciation of Gregory's work for the reconstruction of the original Acts, and hesitated to admit the existence of neoplatonic tendencies in the Greek Martyria. For this reason his proposed reconstruction of the Acts is extremely fragmentary and limited mostly to the events in Patras, which are described also in the short text preserved in Vaticanus Graecus 808, regarded by him as the only genuine part of the original Acts preserved down to our time. B. Pick followed Hennecke's suggestions, and limited himself in his reconstructions to Andrew's passion only. [41]


Hennecke's disciple, M. Blumenthal, [42] seems to have been well aware of this disadvantage, and tried to reconstruct the original Acts by using the Acts of Andrew and Matthias, those of Peter and Andrew, the Narratio, the work of the monk Epiphanius, and the Laudatio, the two latter compositions dating from the ninth century. The result is not much more satisfactory than the work of Hennecke himself, for Gregory's Miracula were completely left out in the reconstruction. Both specialists neglected the testimony of Philastrius of Brescia, who knew of a work called "the Deeds of Andrew," which described the Apostle's exploits on the way from Pontus to Greece. As mentioned before, Gregory also described Andrew's travels and deeds from Pontus to Greece, and his description, although abridged and expurgated, is of the utmost importance for the reconstruction of the original Acts.


On the whole, Flamion's findings concerning the Acts of Andrew were not disproved by his critics, and were accepted by the English specialist in apocryphal literature, M. R. James. [43]



40. Cf. his short review of Flamion’s work in Theologische Literaturzeitung, 38 (1913), cols. 73, 74. For more details see his Neutest. Apokr. (2nd ed., 1924), p. 250. He expressed the same scepticism, without giving any convincing argument, in his short review “Zur christlichen Apokryphenliteratur,” in Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 45 (1926), p. 313.


41. B. Pick, The Apocryphal Acts of Paul, Peter, John, Andrew, and Thomas (Chicago, 1909), pp. 200-221. The author uses for his reconstruction only the Martyrium Prius and Alterum and the Greek letter of the Achaian priest, neglecting completely the other important texts.


42. Formen und Motive in der apokryphen Apostelgeschichte, Texte und Untersuchungen, 59 (Leipzig, 1933), pp. 38-57.


43. See James’s review of Flamion’s book in the Journal of Theological Studies, 13 (1912), pp. 435-437, and his work The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford, 1924), pp. 337-357 (Acts of Andrew), 357-363 (The Martyrdom), 453-460 (Acts of Andrew and Matthew, Acts of Peter and Andrew).





The publication of a recently discovered fragment of the original Acts, translated into Coptic from the Greek original [43a] has, however, re-opened the controversy concerning the gnostic character of these Acts. The fragment describes an incident involving Andrew and the proconsul Varianus (Virinus in Gregory of Tours's “Miracles”), that happened in Thessalonica. Andrew is said to have addressed the soldiers, sent to arrest him, in the following words:


“Are you ashamed to face me because you see your nature convicting and exposing you ?”


The discoverer of this fragment gives to these words a gnostic meaning, for he says that the author of the Acts knew of a basic distinction between psychic men whose nature predestined them to heavenly life and those who are of only a corporeal physical nature. This distinction was a characteristic trait of second-century gnosticism. The discoverer of the fragment sees, too, a similar allusion in the Vaticanus Graecus 808 and the Laudatio whose author, according to G. Quispel, also had access to the original Acts. [43b]


This is an interesting observation which should be taken into consideration, but it would not, of itself, prove the gnostic origin of the Acts. Their author might have been influenced only by some gnostic notions or expressions currently popular among his contemporaries and regarded as harmless. The fragments of the original Acts contain really very few allusions which could justifiably be thought to suggest gnosticism. [43c] Moreover, everything seems to indicate that the Acts were written in Achaea in honor of a martyr whose body was taken for that of the Apostle Andrew.



43a. G. Quispel, “An Unknown Fragment of the Acts of Andrew (Pap. Copt. Utrecht N. 1),'' Vigiliae Christianae, 10 (1956), pp. 129-148.


43b. R. A. Lipsius, M. Bonnet, op. cit., 2, pt. 1, p. 44, line 14; M. Bonnet, “Acta Andreae Apostoli cum laudatione contexta ,'' Analecta Bollandiana, 13 (1894), p. 348, lines 7-14; idem, Supplementum codicis apocryphi, 2 (Paris, 3:895), p. 40. J. Flamion, however, seems to have shown (op. cit., p. 205 seq.) that the author of the Laudatio did not use the original Acts. P. M. Peterson, in his pamphlet Andrew, Brother of Simon Peter, his History and his Legends, Supplementum to Novum Testamentum, 1 (Leiden, 1958), pp. 26 seq., follows Quispel's dating without adding any new evidence.


43c. R. Liechtenhan, in his study “Die pseudoepigraphische Literatur der Gnostiker," Zeitschrift für die neutestamentlichen Wissenschaft, 3 (1902), pp. 295, 296, had reduced Lipsius' gnostic findings in Andrew's Acts to a minimum. Flamion was able, however, to show that even those findings that remained can be explained in the sense of neo-platonic teaching (J. Flamion, op. cit., pp. 152, 155, 162).





Gnosticism, however, was not as popular in Greece, apparently, as in Asia Minor where it had originated.


The discoverer of the Coptic fragment sees also an interdependence between the Acts of Paul and the Acts of Andrew, but this does not mean that the author of the Pauline Acts used the Acts of Andrew, for if it could be proved that he had, it would mean that the Acts of Andrew had been composed before those of Paul—toward the end of the second century. Up to the present time, however, it seems safer to regard the Acts of Andrew as dependent upon the Acts of Paul. [43d] All of this reveals how difficult it is to determine from the few fragments available for study the true character of the original Acts. Perhaps at some future date new discoveries will shed more light on this complicated problem, but, for our present purposes, we must be content to investigate further with evidence that thus far seems secure.


As already mentioned, the apocryphal Acts of John, Paul, Peter, Andrew, and Thomas were united in a special corpus of five books by the Manichaeans, who used them instead of the canonical Acts of the Apostles. This explains the repeated warnings of the Fathers against the reading of those Acts, some of which expressed ideas in vogue among the Manichaeans. The composition of all five Acts was often attributed, as by Photius, to one author—Leucius, who was supposed to have been St. John’s disciple. [44] It is, however, agreed now that Leucius composed only the apocryphal Acts of St. John; the authors of the other Acts, including that of Andrew, remain anonymous. [45]


Such are the results of our investigations. Regarding the Acts of Andrew, whether the original Acts were of gnostic origin, or whether they were written by an orthodox Greek rhetorician has not been seriously significant for our study.



43d. The question of the inter-relationship of the apocryphal Acts of Paul, Thomas, and Andrew is still under discussion and cannot yet be regarded as near solution. For details see C. Schmidt, W. Schubert Acta Pauli nach dem Papyrus der Hamburger Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Hamburg-Glückstadt, 1936); E. Peterson, “Einige Bemerkungen zum Hamburger Papyrusfragment der Acta Pauli," Vigiliae Christianae, 3 (1949), pp. 142-162; Ρ. Devos, “Actes de Thomas et actes de Paul," AnBoll, 69 (1951), pp. 119-130.


44. Cf. Epiphanius, Adversus Haereses, chap. 51, 6, PG, 41, col. 896; GCS, 31, ed. Holl (1922), p. 255.


45. I. E. Hennecke, Neutest. A pokr. (2nd ed.), p. 171, M. R. James, op. cit., p. 228.





The principal point at issue was to determine at what period the report on Andrew's travels through Thrace and Byzantium to Achaea originated. In this respect it can be regarded as established that the account of Andrew's stay in Thrace was circulated in the East at a very early period; in any event, before the fourth century.


This is a very important conclusion. It remains now to determine to what extent this tradition of Andrew's stay in Byzantium can be regarded as trustworthy, how it originated, what legendary elements are hidden within it, and how it influenced the development of the Andrew tradition concerning Byzantium. Perhaps the examination of the reliability of this account will also help to determine its date and origin more accurately. In this respect the oldest reports of the activity of the apostles must first be examined in order to see if there is sufficient evidence for the assumption in the original Acts, and in their derivatives, that Andrew worked and died in Achaea.


It is well known that posterity is poorly informed as to the whereabouts of the apostles after they separated to convey their message throughout Palestine and the rest of the world. [46] With regard to Andrew's apostolic activity, the oldest and most reliable information must be attributed to Origen, whose knowledge has been transmitted to us by the first Church historian, Eusebius. [47]



46. Cf. the summary of known facts concerning this in I. E. Hennecke, op. cit., pp. 117-125.


47. Hist. eccles., 3, 1; GCS, 2, pt. 1, ed. E. Schwartz, (1903), p. 188; PG, 20, col. 216. Eusebius quotes this information from the third book of Origen's commentary on Genesis. Even A. von Harnack (Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten [Leipzig, 1924], p. 88), in spite of his—unjustified—hesitation to attribute this report to a pre-Origenist or Origenist tradition, agrees that “in the Paradosis on the three Apostles—Thomas, Andrew, John—we have the oldest account of the allocation of the lands of the earth to the Apostles.”

This is what Eusebius reports:

τῶν δὲ ἱερῶν τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν ἀποστόλων τε καὶ μαθητῶν ἐφ᾿ ἅπασαν κατασπαρέντων τὴν οἰκουμένην, Θωμᾶς μέν, ὥς ἡ παράδοσις περιέχει, τὴν Παρθίαν εἴληχεν, Ἀνδρέας δὲ τὴν Σκυθίαν, Ἰωάννης τὴν Ἀσίαν, πρὸς οὓς καὶ διατρίψας ἐν Ἐφέσῳ τελευτᾷ, Πέτρος δ᾿ ἐν Πόντῳ καὶ Γαλατίᾳ καὶ Βιθυνίᾳ Καππαδοκίᾳ τε καὶ Ἀσίᾳ κεκηρυχέναι τοῖς [ἐκ] διασπορᾶς Ἰουδαίοις ἔοικεν· ὃς καὶ ἐπὶ τέλει ἐν Ῥώμῃ γενομένος, ἀνεσκολπίσθη κατὰ κεφαλῆς, οὕτως αὐτὸς ἀξίωσας παθεῖν. Τί δεῖ περὶ Παύλου λέγειν, ἀπὸ Ἱερουσαλὴμ μέχρι τοῦ Ἰλλυρικοῦ πεπληρωκότος τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ ὕστερον ἐν τῇ Ῥώμῃ ἐπὶ Νέρωνος μεμαρτυρηκότος; ταῦτα Ὠριγένει κατὰ λέξιν ἐν τρίτῳ τόμῳ τῶν εἰς τὴν Γένεσιν ἐξηγητικῶν εἴρηται.


Rufinus' translation of this passage (see ibid., ed. Schwartz, p. 189) added to Eusebius’ report of what he had learned about Matthew and Bartholomew:

Thomas, sicut nobis traditium est, sortitus est Parthos, Matthaeus Aethiopiam, Bartholomaeus Indiam citeriorem, Andreas Scythiam, Iohannes Asiam, unde apud Ephesum et commoratus est et defunctus. Petrus Pontum, Galatiam, Bithyniam, Cappadociam ceterasque confines provincias Iudaeis dumtaxat praedicans circumisse deprehenditur....


A. A. T. Ehrhardt (The Apostolic Succession [London, 1953], p. 68) refutes von Harnack’s misgivings. However, Origen does not mention Achaea as a missionary field of Andrew, and this contradicts Ehrhardt’s contention that, because Andrew is mentioned along with four other apostles whose Acts were then known, Andrew’s Acts must also have existed in Origen’s time.





This old source states that Scythia was assigned to Andrew for his missionary activity, and such an assignment seems entirely credible.


The Scythians—an Indo-European people—established an important empire between 700 and 200 b.c. in what is now Southern Russia. They became well known to the Greeks, who had already heard of them through the intermediary of numerous Greek colonists on the northern shores of the Black Sea, and also to the nations of Asia Minor because the Scythians promoted commercial relations between the Russian interior and Asia on the one hand, and with the civilized Greek world on the other. When their empire collapsed about 179 b.c. under pressure from their racial brothers, the Sarmatians, the lands beyond the shores of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov continued to be known in the Hellenistic world as Scythia. The Greek colonies on the coast were able to establish commerical relations with the new masters, and again became prosperous. Cherson and Panticapaeum, however, were incorporated into the Bosporan Kingdom, which was under Roman protection at the beginning of the Christian era.


It is known, too, that from the last century b.c. onward numerous Jewish settlements existed among the Greek colonies on the Crimean coast and the coast of the Sea of Azov. The Jews of this Diaspora, moreover, manifested an unusual religious zeal. Around their synagogues were grouped many proselytes called, in the inscriptions dating from the first centuries of the Christian era, worshippers of the Highest God. [48]



48. See E. Schürer, “Die Juden im bosporanischen Reiche und die Genossenschaften der σεβόμενοι θεὸν ὕψιστον,” Sitzungsberichte der königlichen preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil-hist. Klasse (Berlin, 1897), pp. 200-225. See also his additional notes in Theologische Literaturzeitung, 22 (1897), cols. 236-238, 505-507.


F. Cumont in his short study “Hypsistos” in Supplement à la Revue de l'instruction publique en Belgique (Brussels, 1897), completed Schürer's findings showing that a similar influence of the Jewish Diaspora on paganism existed in Asia Minor also. He discovered intimate links between the cult of Sabazius, especially widespread in Phrygia, and Judaism (Sabaoth or Sabbath ?), concluding that in that region “les collèges d'adorateurs du Très-Haut sont nés des anciens thiases de Sebazios" (p. 6). All this prepared the ground for Christianity. “L'on s'explique mieux," Cumont continues, “en tenant compte de cette situation, que la foi nouvelle ait opéré plus de conversions en Asie Mineure, que dans toute autre région" (p. 8).


This provides an explanation for the apostles' concentrating their activity on this region, and strengthens the probability of Andrew's preaching in the Crimea and Scythia. The Jewish Diaspora of these lands was in intimate contact with the Jewish communities in Asia Minor. Cf. also E. Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, 3 (4th ed., Leipzig, 1909), p. 174, and F. Dvornik, Les legendes de Constantin et de Méthode vues de Byzance, p. 171, footnote 2. The Ethiopian text, “Martyrdom of St. Andrew in Scythia" (The Contendings of the Apostles, 2, transl. and ed. by E. A. Wallis Budge [London, 1901], pp. 215 seq.), seems also to reflect strongly the early tradition of Andrew's missionary activity.





Thus it seems quite natural that this region should have been one of the first targets of Christian progaganda in apostolic times. This Diaspora opened an easy route of access into the “hinterland” still called “Scythia.”


There are some extant indications that missionary activity in Scythia must have started early, and that it had some success. Arnobius, Origen, and Tertullian speak of Christianity among the the Scythians and Parthians, [49] which shows that during the second century there already existed among the Scythians some Christian communities that, to judge from Eusebius' words, [50] were, by his time, well organized.


Thus Origen's statement that Andrew preached in Scythia seems to be well founded. In the same passage he further testifies that Peter preached to the Jewish Diaspora in Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia, and from there went to Rome where he was crucified. It has been seen that some legendary accounts—namely the Acta Petri et Andreae—present the two brothers, Peter and Andrew, as preaching the Gospel together in the lands of the barbarians.



49. Arnobius, Adversus nationes, I, chap. 16, CSEL, 4, ed. A. Reifferscheid (1875), p. 12; Origen, Commentarii in Matthaeum (Matt. 24:9), GCS, 38, ed. E. Klostermann (1933), p. 76; Tertullian Adversus Judaeos, CSEL, 70, ed. E. Kroymann (1942), p. 273. See more complete references in A. von Harnack, op. cit., pp. 533 seq., 537, 539 seq., 542, 546.


50. Demonstratio evangelica, 3, chap. 4, GCS 23, ed. I. A. Heikel, p. 119. Cf. also ibid., 1, chap. 2, p. 9, PG 22, col. 204B; cf. col. 25D. Cf. also Justin's Dialogus cum Tryphone Judaeo, chap. 117, PG, 6, col. 748, and von Harnack's comment on it in Die Ausbreitung, p. 546.





In Gregory's Miracles, Andrew is said to have preached in Pontus (Amaseia), in Paphlagonia (Sinope), in Bithynia (Nicomedia), and in Asia (Nicaea). A part of this tradition could be based on fact. [50a] If other, more secure, confirmation is not available on Peters' and Andrew's joint activities in Asia Minor, it is at least reasonable to see in the report an indication that Andrew reached Scythia through Asia Minor, and that the goal of his travels in Asia Minor was the northern coast of Pontus or of Paphlagonia, whence he wished to embark for Scythia.


In reality, Sinope in Paphlagonia, which is mentioned in Andrew's apocrypha, was, at the beginning of the Christian era, the most important trading center on the coast of the Black Sea, and a port that virtually monopolized the trade between the interior of Asia Minor and Parthia and the northern coast of the Black Sea. Under the reign of Mithridates (113-62 b.c.), King of Pontus, who had extended his domination over the Bosporus, Sinope was also a first-class military base, and the city retained its important position even after the decline of Pontus and the Bosporan Kingdom. Its importance was eclipsed only in the fourth century when Constantinople was founded and began to attract all commercial traffic to its port. The belief, popular at the time of its eminence, that Sinope boasted an ambo from which Andrew preached [51] may be older than the original Acts, and thus could be founded on fact. In this tradition the apocryphal writers found a historical basis for some of their stories.



Even the stories about the city of the anthropophagites, may reflect an indirect echo of Andrew's missionary activity in Scythia.



50a. Cf. what Th. Zahn says in his Forschungen zur Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, 6 (Leipzig, 1900), pp. 220 seq. In Muratori's Fragment John is said to have started his Gospel after having been urged by Andrew to write it. See what A. A. T. Ehrhardt says (in his study, “The Gospels in the Muratorian Fragment," Ostkirchliche Studien, 2 [1953], pp. 126 seq.) on Andrew's relation to the “Johannine circle," and on the frequency with which Andrew appears in the old tradition of Asia Minor. Some local traditions also seem to point to Andrew's stay in Asia. Theophanes Continuatus (ed. Bonn, p. 21) reports, for example, that when the Emperor Nicephorus I (802-811) was hunting on the Asiatic coast near the ruins of a Satyrus temple he found there an altar with the inscription: “This is an altar of St. Michael, prince of the celestial army, which was erected by the Apostle Andrew." Cf. R. Tanin, Constantinople byzantine (Paris, 1950), pp. 460 seq.


51. R. A. Lipsius, op. cit., 1, p. 604.





Some of the tribes of the Northeastern coast of the Pontus Euxeinus had had, since classical times, a very bad reputation as particularly dangerous pirates. Strabo, [52] who wrote his Geography in the last decade before Christ, mentions especially the Achaei, the Zygi, and the Heniochi, and describes the daring raids of their fleets of “camarae"—covered boats—against merchant vessels, cities, and even whole countries. He says also that the peoples of the Bosporus were often in collusion with them.


Here, then, we find the source of the extravagant charges of cannibalism levelled against these tribes by Aristotle. [53] Such stories also circulated among Christians, and Tertullian [54] preserved a vivid reminder of them in his writing against Marcion. This was a topic which appealed particularly to the writers of romances, and it provides a logical explanation of the origin of the strange experiences attributed to the Apostles in the fabulous city of the anthropophagites.


The city's name also should be connected with the early tradition of Andrew's preaching in Scythia. The Greek Acts of Andrew and Matthias do not disclose its name, but in Gregory’s extract from these Acts the city to which Andrew was sent by the Lord to free Matthias is called Myrmidona. [55]



52. Strabo, Rerum geographicarum, ii, chap. 2, 12, ed. H. L. Jones, 5 (Loeb Classical Library, 1924), pp. 202 seq. Strabo distinguishes Scythia proper from Little Scythia, modern Dobrudža, which was a part of Thracia, but which was established by Diocletian as the separate province of Scythia (ibid., 7, chap. 4, 5, chap. 5, 12, ed. H. L. Jones, 3, pp. 241, 273). With reference to Andrew only Scythia proper can be meant.


53. Aristotle, Politics, 1338b, 22, ed. H. Rackham (Loeb Classical Library, 1932), p. 646:

πολλὰ δ᾿ ἐστὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν ἃ πρὸς τὸ κτείνειν καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἀνθρωποφαγίαν εὐερῶς ἔχει, καθάπερ τῶν περὶ τὸν Πόντον Ἀχαιοί τε καὶ Ἡνίχιοι, καὶ τῶν ἠπειρωτικῶν ἐθνῶν ἕτερα... .

Herodotus (Historiae 4, pp. 18, 106, ed. A. D. Godley, 2 [Loeb Classical Library, 1938], pp. 218, 306) mentioned maneaters, a tribe dwelling north of the farming Scythians. He probably meant a Finnish tribe, ancestors of the Mordwa.


54. Adversus Marcionem, 1, chap. 1, PL, 2, col. 271 ; CSEL, 47, ed. E. Kroymann (1906), p. 291. Curiously enough the pagan philosopher who attacked the Christian teaching on the Eucharist, and whose objections are refuted by Macarius Magnes, seems to know nothing of Scythian cannibalism. Cf. A. von Harnack, Kritik des Neuen Testaments von einem griechischen Philosophen des 3. Jahrhunderts, in Texte und Untersuchungen, 37, pt. 4 (Leipzig, 1911), chap. 3, pp. 15, 46.


55. Cf. A. von Gutschmid, “Die Königsnamen in den apokryphen Apostelgeschichten” in Kleine Schriften, ed. F. Rühl, 2 (Leipzig, 1890), pp. 380 seq., first published in Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, Neue Folge, 19 (1864), pp. 391 seq.





This could be identified with the city of Myrmekion on the Chersonnesus of Taurus. It lay on the shore of “the Cimmerian Bosporus, at a distance of twenty stadia from Panticapaeum,” which is called by Strabo [56] “the greatest trading center of the barbarians,"


Although the Greek Acts of Andrew and Matthias, in the version extant today, do not name the city of the anthropophagites, Gregory must have used a Latin translation of these Acts in which it was named. Actually both versions of the recently discovered Latin translation call the city in which Matthias was kept prisoner, Mermedonia or Mirmidonia. [57]


However, the reticence of the author of the Greek Acts of Andrew and Matthias concerning the name poses a problem. Flamion advanced the theory that these Acts were written in Egypt, and that the maneaters to whom Matthias was sent to preach were Ethiopian tribes invading Upper Egypt at the time the Acts were composed. [58] This theory has its weaknesses. First, Flamion's main argument for the Egyptian origin of the Acts—the reference to speaking sphinxes — cannot be regarded as definitive, for Egypt was not the only country where such a story could have originated. All cultivated Greeks must have known about the existence of the sphinxes, and were certainly as much impressed by the imposing monuments of Egyptian architecture as are most people today. Moreover, Herodotus had already spoken of the sphinxes, and had placed such monuments in Scythia as well as in Egypt. According to him, the palace of the Scythian King Skyles was surrounded by sphinxes and griffons. [59] This, of course, does not mean that Flamion's deductions are not correct. On one point—the most important one—his findings concerning this literary document are without doubt correct ; namely, that the Acts of Andrew and Matthias have never formed part of the original Acts of Andrew. [60] They are an independent work with no doctrinal purpose ; simply an account of the miracles attributed to the Apostles.



56. Op. cit., 7, chaps. 4, 5, ed. H. L. Jones, 3, ibid., p. 240.


57. F. Blatt, op. cit., pp. 33, 35, 39, 41 (recensio Casanatensis), 96-98, 101, 103, 138, 140, 146, 148 (recensio Vaticana). His commentary on Myrmidonia, pp. 6 seq.


58. J. Flamion, op. cit., pp. 310 seq.


59. Herodotus, op. cit., 4, chap. 79, ed. A. D. Godley, ibid., 2, p. 278.


60. J. Flamion, op. cit., pp. 301 seq.





Flamion's comparison [61] of these Acts with the Acts of Peter and Andrew, the Martyrium Matthaei, and the latest recensions of the Acts of Thomas and the Acts of Peter, the latter of which are preserved only in a Slavonic translation, [62] clearly shows that all of these writings represent a new kind of apostolic romance, free of the doctrinal tendencies traceable in the original Acts of Peter, Paul, John, and Andrew, and that they manifest a different spirit, more imbued with orthodox Christian thinking, than do the original Acts.


Nor should the possibility of Egyptian origin for these Acts be dismissed. There are in all of them many instances which strongly suggest that their authors were entirely familiar with monastic life as it existed in Egypt in the fourth and fifth centuries, and this seems a stronger link to Egyptian origin than any mention of sphinxes. Flamion's [63] suggestion that they were written in Egypt before the year 400 can, therefore, be accepted.



61. Idem., pp. 269-300.


62. Published by I. Franko, “Beiträge aus dem Kirchenslavischen zu den Apokryphen des N. T. : Zu den gnostischen Περίοδοι Πέτρου," Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, 3 (1902), pp. 315 seq.


63. J. Flamion, op. cit., p. 318. S. Reinach (“Les apôtres chez les anthropophages,” Revue d’histoire et de littérature religieuse, 9 [1904], pp. 305-320) had already tried to show the Egyptian origin of this romance. The newly discovered fourth-century Coptic fragment of the original Acts of Andrew, which is followed by a “typical monk-story” from an account of the Patriarch Joseph, testifies to the popularity which Andrew’s Acts had enjoyed in Egyptian monastic circles. This strengthens Flamion’s thesis concerning the Egyptian origin of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias and the Acts of Peter and Andrew and of their fourth-century date when monachism flourished in Egypt. P. M. Peterson’s opinion (in his pamphlet, Andrew, Brother of Simon Peter, pp. 7, 32) that the Acts of Andrew and Matthias were written before 254 and that Origen’s report of Andrew’s preaching in Scythia was taken from these Acts is altogether unsubstantiated. The Acts do not mention Scythia; it was Matthias, not Andrew, who was sent to the land of the maneaters. The land where Andrew preached before he was ordered by the Lord to liberate Matthias was apparently far from the city of the cannibals, as was the land of the barbarians to which Andrew proceeded after liberating Matthias, but there is no evidence to suggest that the two lands were identical. It can be assumed that the anonymus author of the Acts imagined Andrew preaching in Achaea, whence he was sent to the city of the maneaters. Only there did he begin to preach to the “barbarians.”


There are several serious errors in Peterson’s short compilation, for example: He puts both the twelfth-century homilist Theophanes “Cerameus” and the fourteenth-century Church historian Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopulus in the ninth century (pp. 17, 18), and quotes them in connection with his dating of Pseudo-Epiphanius. He calls Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus (Kyrros) in Syria, Theodoret of Cyprus (p. 12). On page 11 he says that the Church historian Socrates “makes the first mention of Argyropolis possessing a bishop.” This is a misinterpretation of a passage (Hist. Eccles., 7, 25; PG, 67, col. 796) explaining that, because of its beautiful location, the Patriarch Atticus named the suburb of Constantinople that was opposite Chrysopolis, Argyropolis. Hesychius of Jerusalem died not in 440, as Peterson says (p. 11), but probably after 450; and Petrus Chrysologus died not in 450 (p. 12), but about 433. In all of this the author betrays an unfortunate misunderstanding or inaccurate evaluation of elementary matters, and, further, he occasionally quotes primary sources from secondary authorities.





The alternative suggestion—that the maneaters to whom Matthias was sent to preach should be identified with Ethiopian tribes which were invading Upper Egypt in the fourth century—is the weakest of all the arguments, and is inadequately supported, although it should be admitted that ancient authors located anthropophagites in Africa also; a point missed by Flamion. Ptolemy [64] located them on Africa’s east coast, somewhere between Zanzibar and Sofala. These tribes were far removed from Upper Egypt. Pliny, [65] however, speaks vaguely of maneaters in the upper reaches of the Nile, which strengthens Flamion’s theory. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the Acts to justify our thinking that its author had the Ethiopians in mind. He located the maneaters [66] in a city near the sea because they were said to hunt their prey in boats, and it could hardly be claimed that such a city existed among the tribes that Pliny had in mind. The author’s very apparent vagueness in his geographical references suggests that he located the city of the maneaters not near Egypt, but in a far distant land. One would expect that if he had had the Ethiopian tribes in mind, he would have been more specific, for their invasions must have filled the minds of the native population with horror and hatred.


On the other hand, tales of the existence of cannibals along the northeastern coast of the Black Sea were widely circulated and were known not only in Greece, but also in Africa, as is attested by Tertuilian ; so it seems logical to think that they were known in Egypt as well.



64. Geographia 4, chap. 8, 3 : Αἰθίοπες ἀνθρωποφάγοι. I used the photoreproduction of Codex Urbinatus Graecus 82 (Claudius Ptolemaeus, Geographiae Codex Urbinas Graecus 82, ed. P. Franchi de’ Cavalieri (Leipzig, 1932), fol. 36v.


65. C. Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis, 6, 195, ed. H. Rackham, 2 (Loeb Classical Library, 1942), p. 482. Pliny himself calls the region in which he places his Anthropophagi purely imaginary.


66. Ed. R. A. Lipsius, M. Bonnet in Acta Apost. apocr., 2, pt. 1, chap. 22, p. 96.





Thus we can conclude, with some justification, that the author of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias, who may have lived in Egypt or in some other country where Greek was a common language, had in mind Andrew's original missionary territory, Scythia, when speaking of the anthropophagites, and located the cannibals in that neighborhood.


This conclusion seems supported by the fact that in the Acts of Peter and Andrew, which are the continuation of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias, or at least assume their existence, Andrew, after his return from the city of the maneaters to the mountain where Peter, Matthias, Alexander, and Rufus were gathered, is sent with Peter and these disciples, by Christ, to the city of the barbarians. [67] This lends further support to the tradition that Andrew was Apostle to the barbarian Scythians. The Greeks of Achaea could hardly have been called barbarians by a Greek writer of the fourth or fifth century.


Moreover, another of these apocryphal writings, the Martyrium Matthaei, calls the city of the maneaters to which Matthew—not Matthias here—is sent by Christ, the city of Myrna (Myrne). [68] This name recalls the city of Myrmidona in Gregory of Tours's works, and of Mirmidonia about which we read in both versions of the Latin translation of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias. This strongly suggests that Myrna, or a similar name, might also have been given to this city in some Greek versions of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias. If such was the case, it would be clear that the author of these Acts had in mind Myrmekion, near Andrew's original missionary land. [69]



67. Idem, p. chap. I, pp. 117, 118.


68. Idem, chap. 4, p. 220.


69. Even the fourteenth-century Church historian, Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopulus (Historia Ecclesiastica, 2, chap. 41, PE, 145, col. 865) preserved the memory of the story, and in describing Matthias’ death, called the city in which he died Myrmene, basing his account on the apocryphal Martyrium Matthaei. The legend of the maneaters attracted the attention of V. G. Vasil’evskij, who devoted a short monograph to it: “Chozdenie apostola Andreja v strane Mirmidonjan," Žurnal ministerstva narodnago prosveščenija, 189, pt. 2 (1877), pp. 41-82, 157-185. Cf. also the account of Andrew’s legend given by S. V. Petrovskij, “Apokrificeskija skazanija ob apostol’skoj propovedi po černomorskomu poberežiju,” Zapiski imp. Odesskago obščestva istorii i drevnosti, 21 (1898), pp. 1-84. The author rightly pointed out that all of these accounts assumed Andrew’s activity to have been along the north coast of the Pontus Euxeinus.





As has been shown, the Greek version of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias does not specify the country in which Andrew was preaching when he received the Lord's command to go to the city of the maneat ers. The Acts of Peter and Andrew speak only of the lands of the barbarians where the two Apostles were sent to preach. The Latin translation of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias, also used by Gregory of Tours, identifies the country, however, as Achaea. This is reminiscent of two traditions—the earlier attributing Scythia to Andrew as his missionary field, and the later placing his activity in Achaea. The authors of the two Greek Acts seem still to have been impressed by the earlier tradition, and although they probably knew the later one, they did not dare to follow it explicitly and preferred to be vague about Andrew's missionary field. The Latin translator, on the other hand, followed the new tradition.


Nevertheless, even Gregory's description provides a faint suggestion of the old tradition. He has Andrew come from the city of the maneaters to Amaseia and Sinope in Pontus and Paphlagonia, which indicates that the site of Myrmidona was usually located in the older apocrypha on the coast opposite Pontus—in the Crimea or Scythia.



The city of maneaters is identified with Sinope only as a later tradition which we come upon in the last phases of the development of the Andrew Legend when popular imagination concentrated on describing the Apostle's activity in better known lands, such as Asia Minor, Greece, and Achaea, and his activity in Scythia was forgotten.


This identification of Myrmidona with Sinope can be found for the first time in Theodosius' description of his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, written about 550. [70] The author of the Narratio [71] was also acquainted with this new tradition, but he was still to some degree impressed by the old one, and toned down the whole story.



70. Theodosius, De situ Terrae Sanctae in Itinera Hierosolymitana, CSEL, 39, ed. P. Geyer (1898), pp. 144: De Cersona usque in Sinope, ubi domnus Andreas liberavit domnum Matheum evangelistam de carcere.... Quae Sinopi illo tempore Myrmidona dicebatur, et omnes, qui ibi manebant, homines pares suos comedebant.


71. M. Bonnet, Supplementum cod. apocr., 2, p. 48 (AnBoll., 13, p. 356).





He has Andrew preach first in Bithynia, and then mentions a miracle performed by the Apostle in Nicaea. After that he transports his hero to Thrace whence he is allowed to reach Scythia. From Scythia, Andrew is said first to have visited the shores of Colchis, and afterward to have reached Sinope.


The people of Sinope are depicted in the Narratio as “bloodeaters” ; cruel to their neighbors and to all visitors. They imprisoned Matthias, along with others, but no allusion is made to their cannibalism, which shows how the original tradition, placing the anthropophagites in or near Scythia, was even then being slowly pushed into the background, while the new tradition identifying the city of the cannibals with Sinope was gaining ground.


This explains why the copyists of the Acta Andreae et Matthiae—one in the tenth and the other in the sixteenth century—influenced by the new tradition, identified Sinope with the city of the maneaters, [72] although the older manuscripts of these Acts, as noted above, do not mention the city of the cannibals by name.


The monk Epiphanius accepted the new identification in his Vita Andreae, [73] written in the ninth century. He not only placed the anthropophagites at Sinope, but, in addition, blamed the Jews of that city for furthering this practice, and in this respect he was followed by the Laudatio, [74] a homily of St. Andrew of the same period. It is interesting to see how the tradition grew, and how one legend was replaced by another. [75]



72. Parisinus Graecus, 881 (tenth century), Escorial Y II, 4 (sixteenth century). Moreover in the Parisinus Graecus, 1313 (fifteenth century) Andrew starts from Amasia to go to the city of the anthropophagites (fol. 110) in order to liberate Matthias. On fols.159r, 159v the city of Myrmyne is mentioned. The present writer has been able to verify the readings in only the Parisian manuscripts. Cf. R. A. Lipsius, M. Bonnet, ibid., pp. xxiii, 65. The principal manuscript used by M. Bonnet for his edition of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias (Parisinus Supplementum Graecum, 824 [ninth century]) is not listed in Omont’s catalogue. We find in the catalogue, under this number, only Passio S. Barbarae. The Acta Andreae et Matthiae are scattered throughout the manuscript on the following folios, and in the following order: 10v, 9, 8, 7, 2, 5, 4, 3, 1v.


73. PG, 120, col. 220. On Epiphanius see infra p. 225.


74. M. Bonnet, op. cit., p. 9 (AnBoll, 13, p. 317). Cf. infra p. 227.


75. See also S. V. Petrovskij, op. cit., pp. 155 seq.





It is most probable—as mentioned before [76]—that the original Acts depicted Andrew's activity in only Asia Minor, Thrace, and Achaea. This is clearly indicated by Philastrius of Brescia, who says that the Acts described Andrew's activity on his way from Pontus to Greece. Gregory of Tours, as already noted, also starts his narrative of Andrew's miracles with the Apostle's stay in Pontus.


This, however, does not mean that the anonymous author of the original Acts did not know about Andrew's activity in Scythia, although very likely he did not even mention that country in his narrative. [77] At the end of the third century, when he composed his work, the tradition of Andrew's apostolic activity in Scythia was still too well known to be ignored. He simply supposed that Andrew, after finishing his preaching in Scythia, returned to the northern coast of Asia Minor; so he limited himself to describing Andrew's journey from Pontus to Greece, and evidently wrote Andrew's Acts only in order to connect the Apostle with Greece, Achaea, and Patras where, in his belief, Andrew had died a martyr’s death. The lack of reference to Scythia in the original Acts cannot, therefore, be used as an argument against Andrew's activity in that country.


There is yet another tradition which, although it also developed later, can be explained in the light of the oldest report on Andrew's missionary activity in Scythia. This is the belief that Andrew preached in Sebastopolis, on the northeastern coast of the Black Sea, and at the mouths of the Apsarus and Phasis Rivers. This tradition is reflected in Pseudo-Epiphanius' List of Apostles and Disciples, which, as has been shown, could have been composed only at the end of the seventh or, rather, at the beginning of the eighth centuries. When the tradition of Andrew's preaching in Greece and Achaea was created and connected with his activity in Byzantium, it was necessary to have him return from Scythia to the shores of the Pontus Euxeinus whence he could have reached Thrace. If the Sogdianoi mentioned by the author of Pseudo-Epiphanius' list could be identified with an Alanic tribe living between Phoullae and Sugdaea in the Crimea, it would be quite natural that the author should first have Andrew come back from the interior of Scythia to the coast of the Crimea.



76. See supra pp. 188, 194.


77. J. Flamion, op. cit., pp. 244 seq., saw very clearly the importance of this statement.





The Sugdaeans may have been known to him. They were Christians in his time, although in the ninth century the Slavic missionary Constantine-Cyril on his way to the Khazars, found that they still practiced some pagan rites. His biographer quotes the Sugdaeans among peoples using their own language in the liturgy. [78]


This identification, although extremely hypothetical is possible because Pseudo-Epiphanius places the Sogdianoi immediately after the Scythians, and because some manuscripts also use the form Sogdianoi. In any case, writers dependent on Pseudo-Epiphanius— if not he, himself—identified the Sogdianoi with the inhabitants of Sogdiana between the Rivers Oxus and Iaxartes.


The Gorsinians cannot be identified with certainty. The most logical suggestion appears to be that their name is a deformation of Georgia, as the country of Iberia is now called, [79] and this implies that Pseudo-Epiphanius regarded Andrew as a missionary to the Georgians also.


To these peoples are added, in some texts, the Sakai, [80] listed after the Sogdianoi. The Sakai were a mysterious people, located by the old geographers in the neighborhood of the Indians, Baktroi and Sogdians, either east of the Caspian Sea or beyond the River Iaxartes. This must have sounded fantastic, for other copyists preferred to call it, instead of Sakai, Thrakai, [81] thus bringing Andrew nearer his goal. This confusion of names among nations occupying such widely distant regions, sometimes summarized merely as "exterior Ethiopians,” is poor testimony to the reliability of such a tradition.



78. See F. Dvornik, Légendes, pp. 205, 208, 370, 375.


79. This interpretation was proposed to R. A. Lipsius (op. cit., 2, pt. 2, p. 430) by A. von Gutschmid, in a letter, and was also approved by Nöldeke.


80. See the different readings of the names of peoples to whom Andrew was supposed to have preached, in R. A. Lipsius, op. cit., 1, pp. 567 seq. ; especially in Th. Schermann, Propheten und Apostellegenden nebst Jüngerkatalogen des Dorotheus und verwandter Texte, pp. 247 seq.


81. See the comparison of the different readings in the manuscripts of the texts in R. A. Lipsius, ibid., pp. 568 seq. Cf. also Th. Schermann, ibid. pp. 134 seq.





The city of Sebastopolis, which arose in Augustus' time near the ruins of the former Greek colony of Dioscurias [82] on the coast of Colchis, was a logical stopping place on the way from the Crimea to Sinope. According to local tradition, St. Andrew preached there, together with Simon the Cananean. It is difficult to ascertain when this tradition began, but it became fully developed only in the ninth century, when it was reported by the monk Epiphanius. [83] However, some traces of the tradition, as it concerned Simon, are found in Moses of Chorene’s Armenian history (fifth century). [84]


It is possible that the legend of the preaching of Simon the Cananean in Sebastopolis and on the coast of Colchis penetrated from Syria to this region at an early date, but it would be bold to venture a similar supposition concerning Andrew. In any case it is an established fact that the Georgians themselves knew nothing before the very end of the ninth century about the preaching of the Apostle Andrew in their country. [85] It is mentioned for the first time in the Life of St. Peter the Iberian, an enlarged edition of which was composed by the archpriest Paul. [86] The author of the Life got his information from Nicetas the Philosopher, who can only be the Byzantine author (d. 890) of a panegyric on Andrew actually reporting Andrew as having preached in Iberia. [87] Thus it is evident that this idea was imported into Iberia from abroad.



82. Cf. M. Orbeli, “Gorod Bliznecov Διοσκουρίας i plemja Voznic Ἡνίοχοι," Žurnal ca, N.S. 3 (St. Petersburg, 1911), pp. 195-215.


83. Vita S. Andreae, PG, 120, col. 244. On Epiphanius see infra p. 225.


84. See V. Langlois, Collection des historiens anciens et modernes de l'Arménie, 2 (Paris, 1867), bk. II, chap. 34, p. 98. Cf. R. A. Lipsius, op. cit., 1, p. 580; 2, pt., 2, pp. 142-146, who took some of his information from A. von Gutschmid’s very useful study “Die Königsnamen in den apokr. Apostelgesch.,” op. cit., pp. 369 seq. (Rhein. Mus., 19, pp. 361 seq.).


85. This was demonstrated very clearly by I. Džavakov in his study “Propovědničeskaja dějatel’nost’ ap. Andrej a i sv. Niny. II. Apostol Andrej V Gruzii," Žurnal Žurnal, 333 (St. Petersburg, 1901), pp. 101-113. On the origins of Christianity on the coast of Colchis and among the Georgians see K. Kekelidze, Die Bekehrung Georgiens zum Christentum (Leipzig, 1928). For more complete indications see P. Peeters,“Les débuts du christianisme en Géorgie d’après les sources hagiographiques,” AnBoll, 50 (1932), pp. 1-58. The legendary tradition on Andrew’s activity in Iberia was invoked by the Georgians in the eleventh century when they claimed the independence of their Church from the patriarchate of Antioch. See the “Life of St. George the Hagiorite” in P. Peeters’ study “Histoires monastiques géorgiennes,” ibid. 36-37 (1917-1918), pp. 116 seq., 132 seq.


86. Published by N. Marr in Palestinskij Sbornik, 47 (1896), pp. xv, 82.


87. PG, 105, col. 64.





This conclusion is of some importance for the purposes of our investigation. If the Gorsinians mentioned in Pseudo-Epiphanius' catalogue can be identified with the Georgians, Pseudo-Epiphanius should be regarded as the inventor of this legend. He was followed by other Byzantine writers, and from Byzantium the Legend at last penetrated to the country where, logically, it should have originated, but which, until the end of the ninth century, had been content to have as its principal missionary St. Nina. [88] It is a fact that the oldest tradition had Andrew preach in Scythia, whither he came by sea from Sinope in Paphlagonia, and it was this that induced Pseudo-Epiphanius to indicate that Andrew had preached on the Caucasian coast on his return from Scythia.



On the whole it is, therefore, reasonable to say that the oldest report on Andrew's activity, attributed to Origen, seems to be as reliably confirmed and clear as can be expected in view of the few sources of information extant today; but what of the other tradition of Andrew's voyage through the Black Sea to Byzantium and thence through Thrace and Macedonia to Achaea where, in Patras, he is said to have suffered a death similar to that of his brother Peter in Rome ?


First of all, it is, strange that Origen, or the transmitter of this old tradition to Eusebius, who knew about Andrew's missionary activity in Scythia, knew nothing of his work in Achaea, or of his death in Patras. Origen—or Eusebius' witness to the old tradition— reports on the activity of five Apostles : Thomas in India, Andrew in Scythia, John in Asia, Peter in the provinces of Asia Minor and in Rome, and Paul from Jerusalem to as far afield as Illyricum. But in only three cases does he indicate where they died : Peter and Paul in Rome under Nero, and John in Ephesus. Nosuch information is given about Thomas and Andrew, and one gets the impression that, in the opinion of Origen or whoever transmitted the oldest tradition, these two Apostles died where they had preached : Thomas in India and Andrew in Scythia.



88. See S. V. Petrovskij's analysis of the Georgian Legend and its comparison with Epiphanius and the Laudatio, op. cit., pp. 132-150. The author dated the composition of the Georgian Legend after that of Epiphanius and the Laudatio, perhaps also after that of Symeon Metaphrastes.





Origen's silence in this respect—his name is at least quoted by Eusebius—carries the more weight in that he had been in rather close contact with Achaea. He visited that country twice; first about 230 and then about 240. [89] He must thus have been well acquainted with the religious traditions of this province, and if he had heard of Andrew's activity in Achaea and of his death in Patras, he would undoubtedly have mentioned it in his report on the Apostle's activities. The fact that he did not indicates that, in his time, this tradition did not exist.


Moreover, there seem to be some details in the description of Andrew's martyrdom in Patras which do not agree with historical facts. The names of the proconsuls of Achaea—Lesbius and Egeat es —found in the Acts cannot be verified. This, and the fact that their names are Greek rather than Latin, arouses the strongest doubts. Even if it be admitted that, between 44 and 67, and again after a few years' interruption, Achaea had been governed under the mandate of the Senate by former praetors with the title of proconsul, it can hardly be conceded that they resided in Patras. Corinth was much more suitable as the residence of a Roman governor; it was the first Roman colony in Achaea, and the most important trading center of the country.



The report on Andrew's preaching in Achaea conflicts with other more reliable reports on the penetration of Christianity into the province. St. Paul was its principal Apostle. He founded the Christian community in Corinth and was especially solicitous of the first Christians; tasks in which he was aided by his disciples, particularly by St. Luke the Evangelist. Admittedly there is no reason to reject the possibility that Achaea could have been the missionary field of more than one apostle, but it seems at least strange that the oldest tradition, represented by Luke's Acts of the Apostles and by Origen, did not even mention Andrew's preaching in that country.


Moreover, according to another very old tradition, St. Luke is said to have written his Gospel in Achaea.



89. Eusebius, Hist. eccles. 6, 23, 32; PG, 20, cols. 576, 592; ed. E. Schwartz, pp. 570, 586. Cf. E. de Faye, Origène, sa vie, son oeuvre, sa pensée, i (2nd ed., Paris, 1923-1928), pp. 31, 43. See what J. Flamion (op. cit., pp. 245 seq.) says on Origen's relations with Achaea.





This is attested by the old Prologue to Luke's Gospel. [90] Its anonymous author, in emphasizing Luke's eagerness to expound to the Greeks the mystery of Christ, and to protect them from being influenced by Jewish or pagan teachings, at the same time indirectly indicates that the Greeks were the principal subjects of his preoccupation, meaning that he preached to them. These first Prologues were dated by Corssen from the first third of the third century. [91] Dom de Bruyne saw in them an anti-Marcionist tendency, and dated them from the second century. M. J. Lagrange, [92] however, refusing to see in them any such tendency, dated them from the second half of the second century, before the year 170, suggesting that they bear a certain affinity to the Canon of Muratori, [93] which dates from the end of the second century. Recently, R. G. Heard, [94] who is more skeptical about the early origin of the Prologue, was inclined to date its present form from the third century; but it may incorporate, he says, “if not an earlier and purely biographical Prologue, at least earlier and very valuable biographical material."



90. See the edition of the Greek text and of its Latin translation, compared with the so-called “Monarchian” Prologue, by Dom de Bruyne, “Les plus anciens prologues latins des évangiles,” Revue bénédictine, 40 (1928), pp. 196 seq. The English translation of the passages from the Greek Prologue made by R. G. Heard is particularly interesting for our purpose (“The Old Gospel Prologues,” in The Journal of Theological Studies, 6 [1955], p. 7):


“Luke is a Syrian of Antioch, a doctor by profession, who was a disciple of the apostle, and later followed Paul until his martyrdom. He served the Lord without distraction, unmarried, childless, and fell asleep at the age of 84 in Boeotia, full of the Holy Spirit.—When the Gospels were already in existence... impelled by the Holy Spirit he wrote this whole Gospel in the regions of Achaea. He shows by means of the preface this very fact, that before him other Gospels had been written, and that it was necessary to set forth, for those of the Gentiles who believed, the accurate narrative of the dispensation, that they should not be distracted by the Jewish fables nor miss the truth through deception by heretical and vain fantasies. ... ”


Most of the Latin manuscripts of this Prologue read “Bithynia” for “Boeotia.” A later version of the Greek text mentions Thebes of Boeotia as Luke’s resting place. Cf. infra p. 214, footnote 96.


91. P. Corssen, Monarchianische Prologe zu den vier Evangelien; ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Kanons, Texte und Untersuchungen, 15 (Leipzig, 1896), pp. 17 seq., 63 seq.


92. In his recension of de Bruyne’s study, Revue biblique, 38 (1929), pp. 115-121.


93. M. J. Lagrange, Evangile selon Saint Luc (Paris, 1948), pp. xiii-xx. On the Fragment of Muratori cf. also the recent study by A. A. T. Ehrhardt, “The Gospels in the Muratorian Fragment,” op. cit., pp. 121-138.


94. Loc. cit., p. ii.





Without becoming deeply involved in the controversy, we may deduce from what has so far been established, that, according to the oldest known tradition, the true missionary of Achaea was, after Paul, Luke. No trace is to be found in this tradition that Andrew engaged in missionary activities there.


This tradition is also reflected in a Coptic inscription of the sixth or seventh century, though based on a much older text, apparently more ancient than the Latin Prologue and independent of it. [95] A Greek original of the text was published by H. von Soden. [96]


This Achaean version concerning Luke is further confirmed by Jerome, [97] although the latter, influenced by the Acta Andreae, believed that Andrew ended his career in Patras. These accounts lend an aspect of doubt concerning Andrew's activities in Achaea.


All of these facts are important also for dating the original Acts of Andrew. They indicate that this work, which is responsible for the new tradition of Andrew's activity in Thrace and Greece and of his death in Patras, could not have been composed in the second century, but only after Origen at the end of the third century. Thus the dating proposed by Flamion seems confirmed.


Although the new tradition appealed to many, it was some time before it spread everywhere and was accepted without hesitation. We quoted above some of the early copies of the Acta Andreae et Matthiae and the Acta Petri et Andreae in which the new tradition cannot be detected, but this is understandable when it is recalled that both apocrypha were composed in Egypt.



95. G. Lefebvre, “Egypte chrétienne, à propos de S. Luc," Annales du service des antiquités, 10 (1909), p. 1. Cf. M. J. Lagrange, op. cit., p. xiii.


96. Herrmann von Soden, Die Schriften des Neuen Testamentes, in ihrer ältesten erreichbaren Textgestalt, 1 (Göttingen, 1913), p. 327. The Greek text gives as the place of Andrew’s death not Bithynia—as can be read in most latin manuscripts of the Prologue to Luke’s Gospel,—but Boeotia. M. J. Lagrange, op. cit., p. xvii, thinks that the mention of Thebes in Boeotia has been added to the Greek text after the transfer, by Constantius, of Luke’s relics from Thebes to Constantinople. It seems probable, however, that in the Latin text the name of Boeotia was corrupted into Bithynia. For other interpretations see Th. Zahn, Einleitung in das Neue Testament (3rd ed., Leipzig, 1924), pp. 340, 341, as indicated by him in Das Evangelium des Lukas (Leipzig, 1913), pp. 13-19, 738-745.


97. In his commentary on St. Matthew:

Tertius Lucas medicus, natione Syrus Antiochensis, cuius laus in evangelio, qui et ipse discipulus apostoli Pauli, in Achaiae, Boeotiaeque partibus volumen condidit, quaedam altius repetens et, ut ipse in proemio confitetur, audita magis quam visa describens ; PL, 26, col. 18.





This is not all, for yet another fourth-century document may be cited which was written outside Greece—the Syriac Doctrina Apostolorum. Here again is discovered a faint reflection of the original tradition of Andrew's preaching in Asia Minor and on the northern shores of the Pontus, and although the reflection may already be weak, there is no allusion to Andrew in Achaea or Greece. On the contrary, these countries are said to have been evangelized by John and Luke.


First, when enumerating the letters written by the apostles which were kept with great reverence by their disciples and read in the churches, the compiler of the text says : [98]


"They again [the successors of the apostles' disciples] at their deaths also committed and delivered to their disciples after them everything that they had received from the apostles; also what James had written from Jerusalem, and Simon from the city of Rome, and John from Ephesus, and Mark from the great Alexandria, and Andrew from Phrygia, [99] and Luke from Macedonia, and Judas Thomas from India."


Reviewing the missionary activity of the apostles, he writes: [100]


“Ephesus and Thessalonica and all Asia and all the country of the Corinthians and all Achaea and its environs, received the Apostles' Hand of Priesthood from John the Evangelist, who had leaned upon the bosom of our Lord, and who built a Church there and ministered there in his office of Guide. Nicaea and Nicomedia and all the country of Bithynia and of Gothia, and of the regions round about it received the Apostle's Hand of Priesthood from Andrew, the brother of Simon Cephas, who was Guide and Ruler in the Church which he built there, and was Priest and ministered there. Byzantium and all the country of Thrace and its environs even to the great river, the border which separates the Barbarians, received the Apostle's Hand of Priesthood from Luke the Apostle, who built a Church there, and was Priest and ministered there in his office of Ruler and Guide." [101]


Flamion [102] thought that “Thracia" should be substituted for “Gothia” in the passage describing Andrew's missions.



98. W. Cureton, Ancient Syriac Documents (London, 1864), p. 32.


99. Cf. E. Hennecke, Handbuch, p. 547, footnote I.


100. W. Cureton, op. cit., p. 34.


101. Cf. the other versions of the Doctrina Apostolorum quoted by F. Haase in Apostel und Evangelisten, pp. 52-55, repeating the same tradition.


102. Op. cit., p. 242.





This, however, is impossible. This passage seems to have appeared strange to one copyist [103] who replaced “Gothia” with “Inner Galatia.” But the word “Gothia” is perfectly correct. In the fourth century the Goths were already strongly entrenched in the Crimea, and stayed there even when their racial brothers had migrated toward the West. The Crimean Goths were christianized in the fourth century, [104] an event which must have excited the interest of the entire Eastern Christian world, and they remained loyally orthodox in spite of their racial brethren's acceptance of Arianism. With good reason, therefore, an echo of the original tradition that attributed Scythia to Andrew may be seen in this description of his activity. Also, the wording “Gothia and of the regions round about it,” suggests the meaning : the Crimea and the Scythian lands around it. The distribution of Greek lands between John and Luke may seem strange; however, on one point the Syriac tradition of the fourth century is clear—it is unaware of Andrew's preaching in Thrace, Macedonia, or Achaea.



In Greek lands, however, and in the Latin West the new tradition concerning Andrew's preaching and martyrdom in Achaea began to spread in the second half of the fourth century. Gregory of Nazianzus [105] still seemed very much under the influence of the old tradition making Luke the Apostle of Achaea ; so he assigned that country to Luke, and Epirus to Andrew. Also, Theodoret of Cyrus, [106] in the middle of the fifth century, mentioned “Hellas” as Andrew's missionary field, and Pseudo-Chrysostom [107] does the same.


In the West Gaudentius of Brescia [108] apparently knew of the new version about 420, for he confesses to have heard that Andrew and Luke died at Patras in Achaea.



103. W. Cureton, op. cit., p. 172: "Inner Galatia.”


104. Cf. G. Vernadsky, Ancient Russia (New Haven, 1943), p. 119. F. Dvornik, Les Slaves, Byzance et Rome (Paris, 1926), pp. 65, 144, 164; idem, Légendes, pp. 160 seq.


105. Oratio 33, chap. 11, PG, 36, col. 228.


106. In Psalm 116:1, PG, 80, col. 1805.


107. Homilia in duodecim apostolos, PG, 59, col. 495.


108. Sermo 17, PL, 20, col. 963: Andreas et Lucas apud Patras Achaiae civitatem, consumati referuntur. At that time Pope Damasus seems to have believed that Andrew had suffered martyrdom on the cross (Carmen 8, PL, 13, cols. 381 seq.), but Eucherius, Bishop of Lyon (d. ca. 450) still knew only the old tradition. In his Instructionum libri duo, 1 (PL, 50, col. 809) he says: Andreas Scythas praedicatione molivit.





St. Gregory the Great [109] seems also to have accepted this tradition when he attributed the conversion of Achaea to Andrew without mentioning Scythia.


Most remarkable is the case of St. Jerome. Although he certainly knew of the tradition, reported by Eusebius, of Andrew's preaching in Scythia, and although he knew that Luke was regarded as the principal Apostle of Achaea, he was so greatly influenced by the new Andrew tradition, which had spread through the circulation of the Acta Andreae, that he admits that Andrew preached in Achaea. [110]


The original tradition was, however, not forgotten. The Pseudo-Athanasius [111]—in reality Basil of Seleucia—was much impressed by the Acta Andreae et Matthiae, as may be seen in his homily on St. Andrew, written about the year 459. He must have read this for he combines both traditions in his homily, and says that Andrew had "filled with grace not only Hellas, but also the lands of the barbarians." The later reports on Andrew's activity [112] combine the two traditions, and present Andrew as responsible for the penetration of Christianity into Scythia and Achaea. Both traditions are reflected also in Greek Synaxaries. [113]



When all this is taken into consideration, the tradition according to which Andrew journeyed from Pontus, by way of Thrace and Macedonia to Achaea, appears highly suspect, if not completely legendary.



109. Homilia 17 in Evangel. 17, PL, 76, col. 1148. Eucherius of Lyon, however, still followed the old tradition transmitted by Eusebius and his Latin translator Rufinus, and speaks only of Scythia as Andrew's missionary field (Instructiones, bk. 1, CSEL, 31, ed. C. Wotke, p. 135).


110. Epist. 59 ad Marcellam, 5, CSEL, 54, ed. I. Hildberg, p. 546: In omnibus locis versabatur [Jesus] cum Thomas in India, cum Petro Romae, cum Paulo in Illyrico, cum Tito in Creta, cum Andrea in Achaia (ed. J. Lebourt, Collection Guillaume Budé, 13 [Paris, 1953], p. 89). Cf. G. Grützmacher [Hieronymus, i [Leipzig, 1901], p. 99) who dates this letter from the year 394, and F. Cavallera [Saint Jérôme, sa vie et son oeuvre, 1 [Louvain, Paris, 1922], p. 167) who refers the letter to 395-396. See other minor writings in Th. Scherman's Prophet, vitae fabulosae, pp. 206-217. See J. Flamion, op. cit., p. 32-38, on the growth of the Andrew cult in the West in the fifth century, after the apocryphal Acts of Andrew, translated into Latin, had prepared the terrain.


111. PG, 28, col. 1108. Cf. supra p. 148. Cf. also Venantius Fortunatus, a contemporary of Gregory of Tours, in his Carminani libri decem, 8, MGH, Auct. Antiq., 4, pt. 1, p. 185: Nobilis Andream mittit Achaia suum. Ibid., i, op. cit., p. 7, Venantius praises Bishop Vitalis for having built the church of Andreas in Ravenna.


112. See supra, pp. 174 seq.


113. Ed. H. Delehaye, Propylaeum ad Acta Sanctorum Novembris, cols. 265 seq.





No less suspect is the story, first told in Pseudo-Epiphanius' catalogue and amplified by Pseudo-Dorotheus, of Andrew's stay in Byzantium. In the former Andrew preaches not in Byzantium, but in nearby Argyropolis. The Narratio and the Pseudo-Dorotheus impute the inability of the Apostle to preach in Byzantium to the fact that it was governed by a tyrant called Zeuxippus who imprisoned and put to death anyone who sought to preach Christianity there.


The name of Zeuxippus was always well known to the Byzantines. The Chronicon Paschale [114] recounts that the Emperor Severus built in Byzantium a public bath which he wished to be called Severium, but which the natives called Zeuxippus because on the Tetrastoon, a place with four porticoes a short distance from the baths, there once stood a bronze statue of the sun god with the inscription “Zeuxippus." Severus had removed the statue to the temple of Apollo which he had constructed on the city's Acropolis.


The name of Zeuxippus seems to derive from the mythical story of Zeus Hippios. According to Hesychius of Miletus, [115] Zeus tamed the horses of Diomedes in the holy grove of Hercules, located where the public bath was later built. Another explanation, in Eusebius' World Chronicle, [116] mentions a King of Sikyon called “Zeuxippus," the twenty-first in the succession of its rulers, and connects him with the baths in Byzantium bearing that name. George Cedrenus, [117] Syncellus, [118] and Malalas [119] also list Zeuxippus among Sicyon's rulers, though, according to them, he was preceded by twenty-six kings.



114. Ed. Bonn, i, p. 494, PG, 92, col. 649. Cf. C. D. Du Cange, Historia Byzantina. Constantinopolis Christiana (Paris, 1680), pp. 88-91. On the bath and its history see R. Janin, Constantinople, pp. 22, 215-217, 404-405.


115. Scriptores originum Constantinopolitanarum, ed. Th. Preger (Teubner, Leipzig, 1901), pp. 15 seq.


116. Chronicon, GCS, 24 (ed. R. Helm, 1913); Eusebius' works, 7, pt. 1, p. 62: 21 Zeuxippus, an. 31. Quidam ad huius memoriam conservandam balneas Byzantiorum multo post tempore appellatas putant. Cf. also Chronicon, ibid., 39, Eusebius' works, 7, pt. 2, p. 162.


117. Ed. Bonn, p. 144.            118. Ed. Bonn, p. 287.            119. Ed. Bonn, p. 69.





Such a legendary name naturally stimulated the imagination of the people of Byzantium, and it is not surprising that Zeuxippus was given a place in their folklore. Because the name was connected with the history of Byzantium from pagan times, it was easy to make of him a persecutor of Christians, and the creators of the Andrew Legend could have had, therefore, little difficulty in finding a suitable name for a fictitious ruler of Byzantium in apostolic times, and, at the same time, in endowing their Legend with a semblance of verisimilitude.


The place called Argyropolis (Silver city) was also well known to the Byzantines, though it was called so only from the fifth century onward. It owes this name to the Patriarch Atticus (406-425) who, according to his contemporary Church historian, Socrates, [120] seems to have made a habit of renaming places. He gave this name to the suburb of Constantinople situated opposite Chrysopolis (Golden city), because he liked its beautiful site. The public found this clever correlation pleasing; so it was called Argyropolis from that time on. [121]


Can a satisfactory explanation be found for the origin of the story that the Apostle Andrew worked and died in Achaea? Lipsius [122] advanced the theory that Andrew's Achaean mission represented a substitution of Greek Achaea for the Caucasian tribe of the Achaioi who lived on the Caucasian coast and who were the nearest neighbors of Scythia proper. This explanation found many adherents. [123]



120. Hist. eccles., 7, 25; PG, 67, col. 796B:

κατιδὼν οὖν ὁ Ἀττικὸς τὸν καταντικρὺ Χρυσοπόλεοις τόπον ἐυτερπῆ τυγχάνοντα, πρέπειν ἔφη, τοῦτον Ἀργυρόπολιν ὀνομάζεσθαι, καὶ ῥηθεὶς ὁ λόγος, εὐθὺς τὴν ἐπωνυμίαν ἐκράτυνεν.


121. This evidence provides additional documentation for the dating of the legend of Zeuxippus and of Andrew's stay in Argyropolis. It could hardly have been invented in the fifth century, when it would have been easy to disprove it, and perhaps not even at the beginning of the sixth century. Some time had to elapse before the origin of the name was forgotten. But even here the plagiarist was obviously careful to use names which would give his story credibility. On the site of Argyropolis see R. Janin, op. cit., p. 427. Cf. also Nicephorus' Church History (PG, 146, col. 1133).


122. Op. cit., i, p. 610.


123. Among others, B. Zimmermann in his article on Andrew in Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, 1 (Paris, 1907), cols. 2031-2034. I. E. Hennecke (op. cit. [ed. 1904], p. 544) called this suggestion "ungeheuer" (monstrous) in the face of “einer zweifellos deutlichen Tradition" (a doubtlessly clear tradition). In his Neutest. Apokr. (2nd ed., Tübingen, 1924, p. 251), however, he stated frankly:


“Ob für den Tod des Apostels in Patras in Sonderheit eine Lokaltradition bestand oder sich eine solche nur auf einen Märtyrer gleichlautenden oder ähnlichen Namens erstreckte, was dann für den Verfasser Anlass zu seiner Fabeldichtung geworden wäre, ist nicht auszumachen.

[Whether there was a local tradition for the death of the Saint in Patras, or whether such a tradition concerned only a martyr of the same or similar name, which might have given the author cause for his fabrication cannot be determined].''





This tribe was in fact well known in the classical period, especially in Greece. Strabo, [124] for example, says that “the Achaeans in the Pontus, as they are called, are a colony of Orchomenians who wandered there with Ialmenus after the capture of Troy." Pliny [125] also mentions the Achaeans, saying that they were divided into numerous tribal groups. Arrianus mentions them too in his Periplus, [126] written about a.d. 130-131.


Actually, although these Achaeans were often believed to have been Greeks from Phtiotic Achaea or from Orchomenus in Boeotia who founded a colony there, they had, in reality, nothing in common with the Greek Achaeans. Of interest, however, is the fact that this identification of Greek Achaeans with those of the Caucasian coast was an ancient one, recalled by Greek intellectuals even in the third century. It is, therefore, not impossible that the idea of their affinity gave to the author of the Acts of Andrew, who was familiar with the tradition that the Apostle had preached in Scythia, a country neighboring that of the Caucasian Achaeans, the thought that Andrew must also have preached to the Greek Achaeans.


There must, however, have been another incentive for associating Andrew so closely with Patras. It seems probable that in that city, the cult, of a local Saint with the same or a similar name had inspired a patriotic intellectual to identify him with the Apostle, and to supply what was wanting—a description of his martyrdom. Other apocrypha, especially the Acta Petri with which such a writer must have been familiar, provided him with the necessary pattern. Naturally, the Apostle had first to be conducted from his original mission, attested by the oldest tradition, in barbaric Scythia, through Hellenized Asia Minor and Thrace to Greece proper. The author wrote of this in the style of Greek romances,



124. Op. cit., C 416, bk. 9, ch. 2, 42; ed. H. L. Jones, 4, ibid., p. 340.


125. Op. cit., 6, sec. 30; ed. H. Rackham, 2, ibid., p. 360.


126. Arrianus, Periplus Ponti Euxini, Geographi graeci minores, 2, ed. C. Müller (Paris, 1882), p. 393.





displaying, at the same time, his vast geographical knowledge so as to give to his fantasies the ring of authenticity. In the history of Andrew’s brother, St. Peter, he found a very appealing prototype for Andrew’s heroic martyrdom. Thus Andrew’s story resembled that of his brother, even as to his death.


This instance of substituting for a local Saint a more famous one is not unique; witness the well-known case of St. Clement, third successor to St. Peter. In probably the fourth, or at the latest the beginning of the fifth, century a legend of St. Clement was published describing his miracles and sufferings when exiled by Trajan ad marmora in the Crimea, where he found two thousand Christian prisoners. [127] The body of the martyr was said to have been buried in the city of Cherson in a chapel near the sea. Although the story is wholly legendary, it was firmly believed and, by a curious coincidence, was made known in the West by the same St. Gregory of Tours [128] who had introduced the Andrew Legend there. When, about 861, St. Constantine-Cyril, Apostle of the Slavs, with his brother Methodius, stopped in Cherson on his way to the Khazars as Emperor Michael III’s envoy, he had the good fortune to find the relics which were regarded as those of Pope Clement, and this gave new impetus to the widespread cult of the Saint. He brought the relics to Rome in 868, and Pope Hadrian II deposited them in the Church of St. Clement. It is most probable that a similar explanation must be accepted for the history of the relics of St. Andrew.


For the purposes of this investigation, it is irrelevant whether or not the story of Andrew’s journey through Asia Minor, Thrace, and Macedonia to Greece proper is authentic. Two important points emerge from the present study: one, that Andrew’s activity in Thrace and Byzantium had already been described in the original Acts at the end of the third century, if not earlier ; and two, that from the fourth century onward it could have been regarded in Byzantium and elsewhere in the Christian world as historical fact.



127. See for details and bibliography F. Dvornik, Légendes, pp. 190-197. See the “Life” in F. X. Funk, Opera patrum apostolicorum, 2 (Tübingen, 1881).


128. Libri octo miraculorum, (Liber in gloria martyrum), MGH, Script. Rer. Merov., i, 35, ed. W. Arndt, Br. Krusch, pp. 510 seq.





The story of the foundation by Andrew of the see of Byzantium could very well, therefore, have originated at the end of the third or in the fourth century. But, as far as can be judged from the reconstruction of the original Acts, it did not originate at that time. There is no mention of a prolonged stay by Andrew in Byzantium in the Virtutes Andreae (utilized in Gregory's Miracula) or in any other writing. Although all the necessary elements for its formation existed at this early period, the story did not originate then because no-one in Byzantium was yet aware of the importance of an apostolic foundation to a see in ecclesiastical organization. The significance to a see of such a foundation became fully appreciated, as has already been shown, during the sixth and seventh centuries; therefore the earliest permissable date for the first known codification of the legend of Andrew's founding of the Byzantine see can be set at the end of the seventh and the first half of the eighth centuries. This, however, does not mean that the legend did not circulate by word of mouth, and perhaps also in writing, for some time before that period. Every condition necessary to its origin existed throughout Byzantium from the time of Constantius at the latest.


All of this cautions us against excessive harshness toward the Byzantines for their creation of this Legend. Once it was accepted not only in the East, but also in the West—as we learn from the Latin Virtutes Andreae used by Gregory of Tours in his Miracula—that Andrew had visited Thrace and Byzantium, the Byzantines could regard themselves as perfectly entitled to attribute the foundation of their episcopal see to this Apostle. At the time of the origin of the Legend no-one in Byzantium or in the West hesitated to believe that Andrew had preached the Gospel in Scythia and in Achaia, and Thrace and Byzantium seemed the necessary links between his activities in those two areas.


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