Abercius of Hieropolis (Greek Αβέρκιος, died c. 167) was a bishop of Hierapolis (modern Castabala) at the time of Marcus Aurelius, also known as Abercius Marcellus.[1] He was supposedly the successor to Papias.

Abercius, Bishop of Hierapolis
Abercius of Hieropolis (Menologion of Basil II).jpg
Miniature from the Menologion of Basil II
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
Roman Catholic Church
FeastOctober 22/November 4
AttributesVested as a bishop

Abercius is said to have evangelized Syria and Mesopotamia, and is on that basis referred to as one of the Equals-to-the-Apostles. He was imprisoned under Marcus Aurelius, and died about 167.

Abercius' feast day is celebrated on October 22 (for those churches which follow the Julian Calendar, October 22 occurs on the Gregorian Calendar date of November 4).

Several works are ascribed to Abercius:

  1. An Epistle to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, of which Baronius speaks as extant, but he does not produce it
  2. A Book of Discipline (Greek Βίβλος διδασκαλίας) addressed to his clergy; this too is lost.[2]

Abercius is also the subject, and probable author, of the Inscription of Abercius, preserved in the Vatican Museum. In 1881 Scottish classical scientist William Ramsey, established that in Phrygia in ancient times there were two cities, called the Hieropolis. One of them, modern Pamukkale, was further to the northeast, near the modern village of Kochhisar (this region in ancient times was called Pentapolis - 'five cities,' one of which was Hieropolis). This Ramsey discovered the remnants of an ancient tomb that is said to be made by Abercius before his death with inscriptions on it. The fragment of this tomb can be found at the Vatican museum. [3]



  1. ^ "St. Abercius Marcellus – Catholic Online". Archived from the original on 7 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
  2. ^ Christie, Albany James (1867). "Abercius". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. p. 2.
  3. ^ Святой Аверкий, епископ Иерапольский(St.Abercius, bishop of Hieropolis) Retrieved on 14 Feb 2018

Other sourcesEdit

  • Holweck, F. G., A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co., 1924.

External linksEdit

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Abercius". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.