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According to the internal chronology of his vita, Stephen was born on 11 August 715 and died
on 28 November of his 53rd year, i.e. in 767. His vita was written 42 years later (809) by Stephen,
deacon of Hagia Sophia. The chroniclers Nikephoros (Breviarium) and Theophanes (Chronographia),
however, place his death in 765, which would mean that his vita was written in 807, the usually
accepted date. The vita was commissioned by Epiphanios, Stephen’s successor as a recluse on Mt. St.
Auxentios, at the request of the nuns of the Trichinarea convent on this holy mountain. The vita was
extremely popular, and survives in nineteen manuscripts. There is also a revised version by Symeon

Stephen, born to a craftsman of Constantinople, was baptized by patriarch Germanos I. After
his elementary education in the capital, he was brought by his parents to Mt. St. Auxentios at the
advent of iconoclasm, and was dedicated to monastic life. He lived on the mountain as a hermit, under
the spiritual direction of the recluse John, receiving the tonsure at age 15. Sometime between 745 and
756 he founded on the holy mountain the male monastery of St. Auxentios. An ardent iconodule,
Stephen refused to accept the Council of Hiereia of 754. Constantine V ordered the destruction of
Stephen’s monastery in 763, and the arrest of the saint. After exile to Prokonnesos and imprisonment
in Constantinople, he was tortured, dragged through the streets and executed. M.-F. Auzépy has ar-
gued that he was martyred more for his role in instigating the conspiracy of 766 against the emperor
Constantine V than for his support of icons. Nonetheless, thanks to his vita he is remembered prima-
rily as one of the prominent iconodule martyrs of the first period of iconoclasm.

[ 95 ]

PG 100:1069-1186 (version used for database and textbase)
M.-F. Auzépy, La Vie d’Etienne le Jeune par Etienne le Diacre(Aldershot, 1997), with French tr.
F. Iadevaia, Simeone Metafraste, Vita di s. Stefane Minore (Messina 1984), rev. E. Follieri, BZ 79
(1986) 144; F. Halkin, AB 103 (1985) 183f.

BHG 1666-1667e
J. Darrouzès, DHGE 15 (1963) 1238
O. Volk, LThK 9 (1964) 1049
P. Rouillard, BiblSanct 11 (1968) 1420f
A. Kazhdan, N.P. Sevcenko, ODB 3 (1991) 1955
V.G. Vasil’evskij, “Zitie Stefana Novogo,” ZMNP 191 (1877) 283-329, repr. in his Trudy 2 (St.
Petersburg 1909-12) 297-350
Ch. Loparev, “Vizantijskie zitija svjatych,” VizVrem 17 (1910)119-47
P.V. Nikitin, “O Zitii Stefana Novogo,” Izvestija Akademii nauk, 6th ser. (1912) no. 18, 1099-1115
Ch. Diehl, “Une vie de saint de l’époque des empereurs iconoclastes,” Comptes rendus des séances
de l’Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres
(March-April 1915) 134-50
J. Gill, “A Note on the Life of Saint Stephen the Younger by Symeon Metaphrastes,” BZ 39 (1939)

idem, “The Life of Stephen the Younger by Stephen the Deacon: Debts and Loans,” OrChrP 6
(1940) 114-39
I. Sevcenko, “Hagiography,” 10f, 30 n. 15
G. Huxley, “On the Vita of Stephen the Younger,” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 18 (1977)

M.F. Rouan, “Une lecture ‘iconoclaste’ de la Vie d’Etienne leJeune,” TM 8 (1981) 415-36
S. Gero, “Jannes and Jambres in the Vita Stephani Iunioris (BHG 1666),” AB 113 (1995) 281-292


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