Saint NameAntony, 'the Great', monk of Egypt, ob. 356 : S00098
Euphemia, martyr in Chalcedon, ob. 303 : S00017
Antoninus, martyr of Piacenza : S00328
Saint Name in SourceAntonius
Type of EvidenceLiterary - Pilgrim accounts and itineraries
Evidence not before551
Evidence not after614
Activity not before551
Activity not after614
Place of Evidence - RegionItaly north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
Palestine with Sinai
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcPiacenza
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Piacenza
Major author/Major anonymous workPilgrim of Piacenza
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPilgrimage
Cult Activities - MiraclesApparition, vision, dream, revelation
Healing diseases and disabilities
SourceThis Itinerary was written by an anonymous pilgrim to Palestine who started and finished his journey in Placentia. He visited the East probably not long after the earthquake in 551, since he presents the destruction of Berytus (modern Beirut) in this year as a relatively recent event. He certainly visited Palestine before the Persian invasion in 614, since in his account Jerusalem is under Roman administration.
The Itinerary is extant in two recensions. The first one is shorter and generally closer to the original, but sometimes it is the second recension which preserves the original text. Moreover, the additions that can be found in the second recension, unfortunately difficult to date, bear an interesting witness to the development of the cult of saints.
The Itinerary can be compared with an earlier pilgrim's diary written in the 380s by another western pilgrim, Egeria. The Piacenza Pilgrim's itinerary is less detailed than her account, but shows the development of the cultic practices and infrastructure which had taken place in the course of two hundred years: there are more places to visit, more objects to see, and more saints to venerate.
DiscussionThe identity of the Euphemia who visited our pilgrim and cured him is not in any doubt: she was unquestionably the great martyr of Chalcedon. The identity of her male companion is less certain, because different manuscripts (of both recensions) offer different readings of his name: 'Antonius' and 'Antoninus'. If the correct reading is 'Antonius' (and this is the reading Geyer chose for his edition), then the saint was Antony the 'Great', the fourth-century monk of Egypt, whose grave in Alexandria the pilgrim may well have recently visited (see E00513). If, on the other hand, 'Antoninus' is correct, the saint will have been Antoninus, martyr of Piacenza (our pilgrim's home town). We think that Antoninus of Piacenza is much the most likely saint, because in the very first sentence of his Itinerary the pilgrim tells us that he was accompanied throughout his travels by Antoninus (see E00578). If this was the case, it would in fact be strange if Antoninus had not appeared to the pilgrim in his hour of need.
Geyer, P. (ed.), Antonini Placentini Itinerarium, in Itineraria et alia geographica (Corpus Chistianorum, series Latina 175; Turnholti: Typographi Brepols editores pontificii, 1965), 129-174. [Essentially a reprinting of Geyer's edition for the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 39, Wien 1898.]
Stewart, A., Of the Holy Places Visited by Antoninus Martyr (London: Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society, 1887).
Wilkinson, J., Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades (2nd ed.; Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 2002).