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E00324: The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of *Pius (bishop of Rome, S00672) tells of his burial in Rome close to the body of *Peter (the Apostle, S00036) on 11 July [AD 146]. An interpolation in the second edition, certainly added later than 546, probably in Rome, attributes to Pius the construction of the church in Rome of *Pudentiana (martyr of Rome, S00591), sister of *Praxedes (martyr of Rome, S00142).

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posted on 04.03.2015, 00:00 by robert
Liber Pontificalis 11

First edition (as reconstructed by Duchesne)

Pius, natione Italus, ex patre Rufino, frater Pastoris, de civitate Aquileia, sedit ann. XVIIII m. IIII d. III. Fuit autem temporibus Antonini Pii, a consulatu Clari et Severi ... Qui etiam sepultus est iuxta corpus beati Petri in Vaticano V id. iul.

'Pius, born in Italy, son of Rufinus, brother of Pastor, from the city of Aquileia, held the see 19 years 4 months 3 days. He was bishop in the time of Antoninus Pius, from the consulship of Clarus and Severus [AD 146] ... He was buried close to the blessed Peter’s body on the Vatican on the 5th day before the Ides of July (11 July).'


Second edition

Pius, natione Italus, ex patre Rufino, frater Pastoris, de civitate Aquilegia, sedit ann. XVIIII m. IIII d. III. Fuit autem temporibus Antonini Pii, a consolatu Clari et Severi ... ... Qui etiam sepultus est iuxta corpus beati Petri in Vaticano V id. Iul.

'Pius, born in Italy, son of Rufinus, brother of Pastor, from the city of Aquileia, held the see 19 years 4 months 3 days. He was bishop in the time of Antoninus Pius, from the consulship of Clarus and Severus [AD 146] ... ... He was buried close to the blessed Peter’s body on the Vatican on the 5th day before the Ides of July [11 July].'


Text: Duchesne 1886, 59 and 132. Translation: Davis 2010, 5, lightly modified.

The passage in brackets, <>, in the second edition is an interpolation of uncertain date, found only in some of the manuscripts of the Liber Pontificalis.

History

Evidence ID

E00324

Saint Name

Praxedes, 2nd-century martyr in Rome : S00142 Pudentiana, martyr at Rome, ob. ??? : S00591 Pius, bishop of Rome, ob. c. 145 : S00672

Saint Name in Source

Praxedes Potentiana Pius

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

546

Activity not before

140

Activity not after

150

Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Rome

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Major author/Major anonymous work

Liber Pontificalis

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Relatives of the saint

Source

The Liber Pontificalis consists of a series of short lives of popes. The preface attributes it to pope Damasus (366-384), but this attribution is obviously false. According to Louis Duchesne, the first modern editor of the Liber Pontificalis, the original series of lives was written in Rome by an anonymous author, probably a member of the lesser clergy, in the 530s, and contained the lives from *Peter the Apostle to Felix IV (ob. 530). Shortly after, before 546, the text was re-edited by another anonymous author and only this edition survives. The first edition, however, can be reconstituted on the basis of its two epitomes (and the second edition). The second edition started to be continued systematically from the time of pope Honorius (625–638). It should be noted that Theodor Mommsen dated both editions of the Liber Pontificalis to the 7th century, but his opinion is widely rejected and the commonly accepted dating is that of Duchesne. For the pre-Constantinian period (before 312), the credibility of the Liber Pontificalis is very low. The chronology is confused, and details concerning the personal lives, decisions, and ordinations of the bishops of Rome at best reflect what people in the 6th century trusted to be true, at worst are a pure invention of the author. The situation changes with the later lives. Already the information of 4th century papal foundations and offerings are generally trustworthy. The early 6th century evidence, based on the author's first hand knowledge is even better, though still imperfect.

Discussion

For the claim by the author of the Liber Pontificalis that almost all the early bishops of Rome were buried at the Vatican close to St Peter, see E00265. The passage on the construction of the church dedicated to St Pudentiana is a later addition to the text of the Liber Pontificalis, of uncertain date. This church certainly already existed in the 4th century (see E###), but it was known then as the titulus Pudentis, almost certainly after the owner of the block (insula) and house which had been converted into a Christian cult place.

Bibliography

Edition: Duchesne, L., Le Liber pontificalis. 2 vols (Paris: E. Thorin, 1886-1892). (With substantial introduction and commentary.) Translation: Davis, R., The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis) (Translated Texts for Historians 6; 3rd ed.; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2010).

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