12. Of GAZA. Marcus, the biographer of St. Porphyry of Gaza, lived in the fourth and fifth centuries.
He was probably a native of Proconsular Asia, from which country he travelled to visit the scenes of sacred history in the Holy Land, where he met and formed an acquaintance with Porphyry, then at Jerusalem, some time before A. D. 393. Porphyry sent him to Thessalonica to dispose of his property there; and after his return, Marcus appears to have been the almost inseparable companion of Porphyry, by whom he was ordained deacon, and was sent, A. D. 398, to Constantinople, to obtain of the emperor Arcadius an edict for destroying the heathen temples at Gaza.
He obtained an edict to close, not destroy them.
This, however, was not effectual for putting down heathenism, and Porphyry went in person to Constantinople, taking Marcus with him, and they were there at the time of the birth of the emperor Theodosius the Younger, A. D. 401. They obtained an imperial edict for the destruction both of the idols of the heathens and their temples; and Marcus returned with Porphyry to Gaza, where he probably remained till his death, of which we have no account.
Life of Porphyry
He wrote the life of Porphyry, the original Greek text of which is said to be extant in MS. at Vienna, but has never been published.
A Latin version (Vita S. Porphyrü, Episcopi Gazensis), was published by Lipomanus, in his Vitae Sanctorum, by Surius
, in his De Probatis Sanctorumn Vitis,
and by the Bollandists, in the Acta Sanctorum, Februar. vol. iii. p. 643, &c. with a Commentarius Praevius and notes by Henschenius
. It is given also in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland, vol. ix. p. 259, &c.
Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. x. p. 316; Cave, Hist. Litt.
ad ann. 421, vol. i. p. 403; Oudin, De Scriptor. Eccles.
vol. i. col. 999; Galland, Biblioth. Patrum, Proleg. ad Vol. IX.