.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (July 2021) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 9,065 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Philostorgios]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Philostorgios)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Epitome of Philostorgius' Church History by Photios I of Constantinople (British Library, 16th-century manuscript)

Philostorgius (Greek: Φιλοστόργιος; 368 – c. 439 AD) was an Anomoean Church historian of the 4th and 5th centuries.

Very little information about his life is available. He was born in Borissus, Cappadocia to Eulampia and Carterius,[1] and lived in Constantinople from the age of twenty. He is said to have come from an Arian family, and in Constantinople soon attached himself to Eunomius of Cyzicus, who received much praise from Philostorgius in his work.

He wrote a history of the Arian controversy titled Church History (Ἐκκλησιαστικὴ ἱστορία, Ekklēsiastikē Historia). Philostorgius' original appeared between 425 and 433, in other words, slightly earlier than the History of Socrates of Constantinople, and was formed in twelve volumes bound in two books. The original is now lost. However, the ninth-century historian Photius found a copy in his library in Constantinople, and wrote an epitome of it. Others also borrowed from Philostorgius, most notably the author of the Artemii Passio (Artemius being a legendary martyr under Julian the Apostate), and so, despite the eventual disappearance of the original text, it is possible to form some idea of what it contained by reviewing the epitome and other references.[2] This reconstruction of what might have been in the text was first published, in German, by the Belgian philologist Joseph Bidez in 1913; a third, revised edition of his work undertaken by Friedhelm Winkelmann was published in 1981; this edition has recently been translated into English by Philip R. Amidon.

He also wrote a treatise against Porphyry, which is completely lost.[3]


Philostorgius’ account of the emperor Constantine I’s death is not corroborated by any other extant source.[4] He reported that Constantine was poisoned by his family members and portrays Constantine’s son Constantius II, whom he was sympathetic to,[4] as the instigator of the murders of his male relatives following Constantine’s death, but in this version Constantius’ actions are justified.[5]

Philostorgius’ tale must be false,[5] as the “official version” promoted by Constantius himself was that his relatives were innocent victims of a sudden mutiny.[6] Varying suggestions have been given for the origins of this rumor. Burgess believed it was a later invention when Constantius’ role in the murders could no longer be plausibly denied,[5] while Crawford thought it was used to motivate the soldiers to murder Constantius’ relatives.[7]

In other cases, however, what Philostorgius says is consistent with what other sources say. For instance, Ammianus Marcellinus’ statement that Gratian supervised his younger brother’s education[8] lines up with Philostorgius, who disliked Gratian, admitting that he “discharged the duty of a father” towards him.[9]



  1. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 9, chapter 9.
  2. ^ Philostorgius Church History, editor and translator Philip R. Amidon, S.J. (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007), xxi
  3. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 10, chapter 10.
  4. ^ a b Hunt 1998, p. 4.
  5. ^ a b c Burgess 2008, p. 20.
  6. ^ Burgess 2008, p. 27.
  7. ^ Crawford 2016, “Preparation for the Purple: Constantius’ Upbringing and Accession”.
  8. ^ McLynn 1994, p. 85.
  9. ^ Hughes 2013, p. 138.


Further reading