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E00364: The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of *Eutychianus (bishop and martyr of Rome, S00662), tells how he buried 342 martyrs and established rules concerning such burials, and then recounts his own burial in the cemetery of Callixtus on the via Appia outside Rome, on 25 July [AD 283]. In the second edition, but not the first, he is said to have suffered martyrdom.

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posted on 02.04.2015, 00:00 by robert
Liber Pontificalis 28

First edition (as reconstructed by Duchesne)

Eutycianus, natione Tuscus, ex patre Marino, de civitate Luna, sedit ann. I m. I d. I. Fuit autem temporibus Auriliani, a consolatu Auriliano III et Marcellino usque in diem id. decemb. Caro II et Carino consolibus ... Hic temporibus suis per diversa loca CCCXLII martyres manu sua sepelivit. ... Qui etiam sepultus est in cimiterio Calisti, via Appia, VIII kal. aug.

'Eutychianus, born in Tuscia, son of Marinus, from the city of Luna, held the see 1 year 1 month 1 day. He was bishop in the time of Aurelian, from the 3rd consulship of Aurelian and that of Marcellinus [AD 275] to the Ides of December [13 December] in the 2nd consulship of Carus and that of Carinus [AD 283] ... In his time he buried 342 martyrs in various places with his own hands ... He was buried in the cemetery of Callixtus on the via Appia on the 8th day before the Kalends of August [25 July].'


Second edition

Eutycianus, natione Tuscus, ex patre Marino, ex civitate Lunae, sedit ann. I m. I d. I. Fuit autem temporibus Aureliani, a consulatu Aureliano III et Marcellino usque in die idus decemb., Caro II et Carini cons. ... Hic temporibus suis per diversa loca CCCXLII martyres manus suas sepelivit. Qui et constituit ut quicumque de fidelium martyrem sepeliret, sine dalmaticam aut colobium purpuratum nulla ratione sepeliret, quod tamen usque ad notitiam sibi devulgaretur ... Et martyrio coronatur. Qui etiam sepultus est in cymiterio Calisti, via Appia, VIII kal. aug.

'Euctychianus, born in Tuscia, son of Marinus, from the city of Luna, held the see 1 year 1 month 1 day. He was bishop in the time of Aurelian, from the 3rd consulship of Aurelian and that of Marcellinus [AD 275] to the Ides of December [13 December] in the 2nd consulship of Carus and that of Carinus [AD 283] ... In his time he buried 342 martyrs in various places with his own hands. He also decreed that any of the faithful who buried a martyr should never do so without wearing a dalmatic or a purple cloak—it had been brought to his notice that this was happening ... He was crowned with martyrdom. He was buried in the cemetery of Callixtus on the via Appia on the 8th day before the Kalends of August [25 July].'


Text: Duchesne 1886, 71 and 159. Translation: Davis 2010, 11, lightly modified.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

History

Evidence ID

E00364

Saint Name

Anonymous Martyrs : S00060 Eutychian, bishop of Rome, ob. c. 282 : S00662

Saint Name in Source

Eutycianus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

530

Evidence not after

546

Activity not before

270

Activity not after

290

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 - Places

Burial site of a saint - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Ceremonies at burial of a saint

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Other

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

Eutychianus 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, and it is unclear how a story of his martyrdom might have emerged in the short space of time between the writing of the first and second editions of the text. It is also unknown where our authors could have derived the information that Eutychianus buried 342 martyrs. Equally obscure is his institution (mentioned in the second edition only) of a special dress-code for the burial of martyrs; however, along with the statement (in both editions) that he himself 'with his own hands' buried the 342, this fits with a theme that runs through the Liber Pontificalis of care for martyrs and for their stories.

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

Keywords

Licence

Exports