Skip to main content
Select Source:

Seven Sleepers of Ephesus

Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. The heroes of a romance which was popular among both Christians and Muslims in the Middle Ages. In the story, seven Christian young men take refuge from the persecution of the emperor Decius (249–51) in a cave near Ephesus, fall asleep and reawaken under the Christian emperor Theodosius II (408–50). They become proof of the resurrection of the dead. The grotto of the Seven Sleepers in Ephesus was an important Christian pilgrimage place until the Islamic conquest of Asia Minor in the 15th cent. Muslims located the story and tomb in various places, including a different Ephesus (Afsūs) which was within Arab territory from the 7th cent.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Seven Sleepers of Ephesus." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Seven Sleepers of Ephesus." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/seven-sleepers-ephesus

"Seven Sleepers of Ephesus." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/seven-sleepers-ephesus

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Seven Sleepers of Ephesus

Seven Sleepers of Ephesus (ĕf´Ĭsəs), in a Christian version of a widespread story, martyrs immured in a cave near Ephesus during the persecutions by Decius (c.250). Long afterward, in the 5th cent., they awoke (as from sleep) and were taken before Theodosius II, Roman emperor of the east. Their story reassured the emperor, who had been wavering in his faith. The youths returned to their cave, to sleep again until Judgment. The story, thought to be of Syrian origin, was popularized by Gregory of Tours. Feast: July 27.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Seven Sleepers of Ephesus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Seven Sleepers of Ephesus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/seven-sleepers-ephesus

"Seven Sleepers of Ephesus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/seven-sleepers-ephesus

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Seven Sleepers of Ephesus

SEVEN SLEEPERS OF EPHESUS

According to a pious legend, stemming perhaps from the 6th century, seven early Christian Ephesians who were walled up in a cave near their city when taking refuge from the persecution of Decius. Their names, with certain variations, were Maximian, Malchus, Marcion, Denis, John, Serapion, and Constantine. To shield them from the wrath of the emperor, according to the story, God put them to sleep. Some 200 years later the seven Ephesians awakened and found that their city had become Christian. Discovered by the astonished citizenry of Ephesus, the seven sleepers promptly died and were venerated as saints. baronius, in the 16th century, challenged the authenticity of the story, which, as recorded by Jacob of Serugh and gregory of tours, had enjoyed great popularity in the East and the West. H. Thurston and D. Attwater describe it as a Christianization of a pagan or Jewish legend closely akin to the tale of Rip Van Winkle.

Bibliography: h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq and h. i. marrou, 15 v. (Paris 190753) 15.1:125162. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 3:193196. f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 1246.

[e. day]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Seven Sleepers of Ephesus." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Seven Sleepers of Ephesus." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/seven-sleepers-ephesus

"Seven Sleepers of Ephesus." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/seven-sleepers-ephesus

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.