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E00342: The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of *Anteros (bishop and martyr of Rome, S00170), tells of the care he took to collect the written acts of the martyrs, in which he was prompted by the presbyter and martyr Maximus/Maximinus (perhaps *Maximus/Maximilianus, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria vetus, S00173), and records Anteros' own martyrdom, and burial in the cemetery of Callixtus on the via Appia outside Rome, on 3 January [AD 236].

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posted on 17.03.2015, 00:00 by robert, Bryan
Liber Pontificalis 20

First edition (as reconstructed by Duchesne)

Anteros, natione Grecus, ex patre Romulo, sedit ann. XII m. I d. XII. Martyrio coronatur temporibus Maximini et Africani consulibus. Hic gestas martyrum diligenter a notariis exquisivit et in ecclesia recondit propter quondam Maximo presbitero [qui] martyr effectus est ... Qui etiam sepultus est in cimiterio Calesti, via Appia, III non ian.

'Anteros, born in Greece, son of Romulus, held the see 12 years 1 month 12 days. He was crowned with martyrdom in the time of the consuls Maximinus and Africanus [AD 236]. He carefully sought out the acts of the martyrs from the notaries and deposited them in the church, because of a certain priest Maximus, who was crowned with martyrdom. ... He [Anteros] was buried in the cemetery of Callixtus on the via Appia on the third day before the Nones of January [3 January].'


Second edition

Anteros, natione Grecus, ex patre Romulo, sedit ann. XII m. I d. XII. Martyrio coronatur temporibus Maximini et Africani conss. Hic gestas martyrum diligenter a notariis exquisivit et in ecclesia recondit propter quodam Maximino presbitero qui martyrio coronatus est ... Qui etiam sepultus est in cymiterio Calisti, via Appia, III non. ianuar.

'Anteros, born in Greece, son of Romulus, held the see 12 years 1 month 12 days. He was crowned with martyrdom in the time of the consuls Maximinus and Africanus [AD 236]. He carefully sought out the acts of the martyrs from the notaries and deposited them in the church, because of a certain priest Maximinus, who was crowned with martyrdom ... He [Anteros] was buried in the cemetery of Callixtus on the via Appia on third day before the Nones of January [3 January].'


Text: Duchesne 1886, 65 and 147. Translation: Davis 2010, 8, lightly modified.

History

Evidence ID

E00342

Saint Name

Anteros, martyr and bishop of Rome, ob. c. 236 : S00170 Anonymous Martyrs : S00060 Maximus, martyr and presbyter in Rome, ob. c. 235 : S00173

Saint Name in Source

Anteros Maximus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

530

Evidence not after

546

Activity not before

225

Activity not after

255

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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts

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

Anteros is one of a number of early popes listed as martyrs by the Liber Pontificalis, for whom there is no other evidence of their martyrdom. His burial in the cemetery of Callixtus is confirmed by the discovery there, in the 'crypt of the popes', of his original epitaph (E05073). The care taken by the bishops of Rome, through the centuries of persecution, to record and preserve the acts of the Roman martyrs, is a recurrent theme in the sixth-century Liber Pontificalis, presumably in order to bolster the authenticity of the Martyrdoms that were circulating at the time: see also E00268, E00343. Quite what role the presbyter Maximus (or Maximinus) was believed to have played in this process is obscure - the collection is said to have been made 'because of (propter)' him. Maximus could just possibly be the martyr Maximus (or Maximinus) buried on the via Salaria (S00173), but is more likely to have been another man, since Maximus of the Salaria is never described as a priest.

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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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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