File(s) not publicly available

E00398: The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of *Marcellinus (bishop and martyr of Rome, S00660), tells of his martyrdom with three others, Claudius, Quirinus/Cyrinus and Antoninus, and their burial in the cemetery of Priscilla on the via Salaria nova outside Rome, close to the body of *Criscentio (Crescentio, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria, S00530), on 25 April [AD 304].

online resource
posted on 22.04.2015, 00:00 by robert
Liber Pontificalis 30

First edition (as reconstructed by Duchesne)

Marcellinus, natione Romanus, ex patre Proiecto, sedit ann. VIIII m. IV d. XVI. Fuit autem temporibus Diocletiani et Maximiani, ex die kal. iul. a consulatu Diocletiani VI et Constantio II usque Diocletiano VIIII et Maximiano VIII, quo tempore fuit persecutio magna, ut intra XXX diebus XVII milia hominum promiscui sexus per diversas provincias martyrio coronarentur. De qua re et ipse Marcellinus ad sacrificium ductus est ut turificaret: quod et fecit. Et post paucos dies penitentiam ductus ab eodem Diocletiano pro fide Christi cum Claudio et Quirino et Antonino capite sunt truncati et martyrio coronantur. Et iacuerunt corpora sancta in platea ad exemplum christianorum dies XXVI ex iussu Diocletiani. Tunc Marcellus presbiter collegit noctu corpora sanctorum et sepelivit in via Salaria, in cimiterio Priscillae, in cubiculum qui patet usque in hodiernum diem, quod ipse praeceperat penitens dum trahetur in occisionem, in cripta, iuxta corpus sancti Criscentionis, VII kal. mai.

'Marcellinus, born in Rome, son of Projectus, held the see 9 years 4 months 16 days. He was bishop in the time of Diocletian and Maximian, from 1 July in the 6th consulship of Diocletian and 2nd of Constantius [AD 296] to the 9th of Diocletian and 8th of Maximian [AD 304], when there was so great a persecution that within 30 days 17,000 persons of both sexes were crowned with martyrdom in various provinces. This was why Marcellinus also was taken to sacrifice, to offer incense, which he did. After a few days overcome with repentance, along with Claudius, Quirinus, and Antoninus, he was beheaded and crowned with martyrdom by Diocletian. After this the holy bodies lay in the street for 26 days at Diocletian’s command as an example to the Christians. Then the priest Marcellus brought the bodies together and buried them on the via Salaria in the cemetery of Priscilla in the chamber which is still open today, as he had ordered when he repented and was being taken to his death, in the crypt close to the body of saint Crescentius, on 25 April.'


Second edition

Marcellinus, natione Romanus, ex patre Proiecto, sedit ann. VIIII m. IV d. XVI. Fuit autem temporibus Diocletiani et Maximiani, ex die kal. iul. a consulatu Diocletiani VI et Constantio II usque Diocletiano VIIII et Maximiano VIII, quo tempore fuit persecutio magna, ut intra XXX diebus XVII milia hominum promiscui sexus per diversas provincias martyrio coronarentur christiani. De qua re et ipse Marcellinus ad sacrificium ductus est ut turificaret, quod et fecit. Et post paucos dies, penitentiam ductus ab eodem Diocletiano pro fide Christi cum Claudio et Cyrino et Antonino capite sunt truncati et martyrio coronantur. Et post hoc factum iacuerunt corpora sancta in platea ad exemplum christianorum dies XXV ex iussu Diocletiani. Et exinde Marcellus presbiter collegit noctu corpora cum presbyteris et diaconibus cum hymnis et sepelivit in via Salaria, in cymiterio Priscillae, in cubiculum qui patet usque in hodiernum diem, quod ipse praeceperat penitens dum trahetur ad occisionem, in crypta, iuxta corpus sancti Criscentionis, VII kal. mai.

'Marcellinus, born in Rome, son of Projectus, held the see 9 years 4 months 16 days. He was bishop in the time of Diocletian and Maximian, from 1 July in the 6th consulship of Diocletian and 2nd of Constantius [296] to the 9th of Diocletian and 8th of Maximian [AD 304], when there was so great a persecution that within 30 days 17,000 persons of both sexes were crowned with martyrdom as Christians in various provinces. This was why Marcellinus also was taken to sacrifice, to offer incense, which he did. After a few days overcome with repentance, along with Claudius, Cyrinus, and Antoninus, he was beheaded and crowned with martyrdom by Diocletian. After this the holy bodies lay in the street for 25 days at Diocletian’s command as an example to the Christians. Then the priest Marcellus with priests and deacons brought the bodies together at night with hymns, and buried them on the via Salaria in the cemetery of Priscilla in the chamber which is still open today, as he had ordered when he repented and was being taken to his death, in the crypt close to the body of saint Crescentio, on 25 April.'


Text: Duchesne 1886, 73 and 162. Translation: Davis 2010, 12, lightly modified.

History

Evidence ID

E00398

Saint Name

Marcellinus, martyr and bishop of Rome, ob. c. 303 : S00660 Crescencius, martyr in Rome, buried on the Via Salaria, ob. ??? : S00530

Saint Name in Source

Marcellinus Criscentio

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

530

Evidence not after

546

Activity not before

295

Activity not after

546

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 - crypt/ crypt with relics

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Ceremonies at burial of a saint

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

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

Marcellinus, probably did not die a martyr, since in the Chronography of 354, which was written only some fifty years after his death and is in general a reliable text, his burial is listed amongst those of the bishops of Rome (E01051), not amongst those of the martyrs. However, unlike in the case of many other popes who were elevated to the status of martyr by the Liber Pontificalis with no evident supporting evidence, here our author may have relied on a text. Duchesne (1886, xcix), rightly in our opinion, points out that the story of Marcellinus' martyrdom, as told in the Liber, is unusually detailed, and similar in structure to surviving Martyrdoms; he hypothesises that the account is based on a lost Martyrdom of Marcellinus. Marcellinus' companion martyrs, Claudius, Quirinus/Cyrinus and Antoninus, are otherwise undocumented, and Marcellinus himself does not feature prominently in our sources - his grave on the via Salaria is noted by only one of the three seventh-century pilgrim itineraries (E06998). The martyr 'Criscentio', named in this passage is certainly the martyr *Crescencius, whose grave in the cemetery of Priscilla features in all three seventh-century itineraries .

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).

Usage metrics

Categories

Keywords

Licence

Exports