Balakhovskaia Aleksandra

The legend of the vineyard of the widow of theognost in st. John chrysostom’s hagiography: pro et contra

Balakhovskaia Aleksandra (2013) "The legend of the vineyard of the widow of theognost in st. John chrysostom’s hagiography: pro et contra ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia III : Filologiia, 2013, vol. 32, pp. 7-20 (in Russian).


The legend of the vineyard which belonged to the widow of Theognost appears in the Lives of St. John Chrysostom in the middle of the 7th century, and since that time it has become an indispensable part of his hagiography. It is one of both the most vivid and the most controversial hagiographic narratives of the saint. The legend says that the empress Eudoxia misappropriated the vineyard of a poor widow. The widow asked St. John Chrysostom to help her, and he demanded that Eudoxia should return the vineyard. But the empress was already angry with St. John for his accusations of avarice; she wanted to revenge on him and refused to return the vineyard. After that St. John rebuked her, comparing her with the impious biblical queen Jezebel. The empress, being insulted, strove to depose the saint. This legend, associated first of all with the biblical narration of the vineyard of Naboth, is still continuing to arouse scholars’ interest. So far they have not arrived at an agreement as to the trustworthiness of this narration. The paper examines two opposing points of view on this problem and evaluates them by means of the analysis of historical sources.


St. John Chrysostom’s Hagiography, the legend of the widow’s vineyard, the empress Eudoxia


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Balakhovskaia Aleksandra