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E00327: The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of *Callixtus (bishop and martyr of Rome, S00145), states that he died a martyr and was buried in the cemetery of Calepodius, on the via Aurelia outside Rome, on 14 October. The second edition adds that he built a cemetery on the via Appia, where many martyrs lie and which is still called the cemetery of Callixtus.

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posted on 04.03.2015, 00:00 by robert
Liber Pontificalis 17

First edition (as reconstructed by Duchesne)

Calistus, natione Romanus, ex patre Domitio, de regione Urberavennantium, sedit ann. VI mens. II dies X. Fuit autem temporibus Macrini et Theodoliobolli a consulatu Antonini et Alexandri. Hic martyrio coronatur ... Hic fecit basilicam trans Tyberim et cimiterium via Appia qui dicitur Calisti. Qui etiam sepultus est in cymiterio Calepodi, via Aurelia, miliario III, prid. id. octob.

'Callixtus, born in Rome, son of Domitius, from the region of Urbs Ravennatium, held the see 6 years 2 months 10 days. He was bishop in the time of Macrinus and Theodoliobollus from the consulship of Antoninus [AD 218] and of Alexander [AD 222]. He was crowned with martyrdom ... He built the basilica across the Tiber and the cemetery on the via Appia called that of Callixtus. He was buried in the cemetery of Calepodius on the via Aurelia at the 3rd mile the day before the Ides of October [14 October].'


Second edition

Callistus, natione Romanus, ex patre Domitio, de regione Urberavennantium, sedit ann. VI m. II d. X. Fuit autem temporibus Macrini et Theodoliobolli a consulatu Antonini et Alexandri. Hic martyrio coronatur ... Qui etiam sepultus est in cymiterio Calepodi, via Aurelia, miliario III, prid. id. octob. Qui fecit alium cymiterium via Appia, ubi multi sacerdotes et martyres requiescunt, qui appellatur usque in hodiernum diem cymiterium Calisti.

'Callixtus, born in Rome, son of Domitius, from the region Urbs Ravennatium, held the see 6 years 2 months 10 days. He was bishop in the time of Macrinus and Theodoliobollus from the consulship of Antoninus [AD 218] and of Alexander [AD 222]. He was crowned with martyrdom ... He was buried in the cemetery of Calepodius on the via Aurelia at the 3rd mile on 14 October. He built another cemetery on the via Appia, where many sacerdotes and martyrs lie at rest; even to this day it is called the cemetery of Callixtus.'


Text: Duchesne 1886, 63 and 141. Translation: Davis 2010, 7, lightly modified.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

History

Evidence ID

E00327

Saint Name

Callixtus, martyr and bishop in Rome, ob. c. 222 : S00145 Anonymous Martyrs : S00060

Saint Name in Source

Callistus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

530

Evidence not after

546

Activity not before

220

Activity not after

230

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

Burial site of a saint - cemetery/catacomb

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body

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

Callixtus was one of the papal martyrs who acquired significant cult, with a Martyrdom that survives in over 130 manuscripts (E02485), and a grave on the via Aurelia that gave its name to the cemetery it lay in (E06912, no.15) and which is mentioned in all three seventh-century pilgrim itineraries (E00689, E06982, E07896). It is not completely certain, but likely, that the author of the Liber Pontificalis knew the Martyrdom: both accounts set their events in the short reign of Severus Alexander, and, perhaps most tellingly, both say that Callixtus came from the region of Rome known as that of the people of Ravenna. The church in Trastevere that Callixtus supposedly built was the titulus on the site of the present-day Santa Maria in Trastevere, which, rightly or wrongly, remained for many centuries closely associated with the name of Callixtus (see Duchesne 1886, 141-142, note 5). The cemetery of Callixtus, with its 'crypt of the popes', is one of the principal Christian cemeteries of the via Appia.

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).

Licence

Exports

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

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Licence

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