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E01052: The Depositio Martirum, a list of burials of martyrs (primarily of Rome), gives both the day of the year and the place of their burial; from the so-called Chronography of 354, compiled in Latin in Rome, c. 354.

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posted on 04.01.2016, 00:00 by Bryan
ITEM DEPOSITIO MARTIRVM.
VIII kal. Ian. natus Christus in Betleem Iudeae.

mense Ianuario.
XIII kal. Feb. Fabiani in Callisti et Sebastiani in Catacumbas,
XII kal. Feb. Agnetis in Nomentana.
 
mense Februario. 
VIII kal. Martias. natale Petri de cathedra,
 
mense Martio. 
non. Martias. Perpetuae et Felicitatis, Africae.
 
mense Maio.
XIIII kal. Iun. Partheni et Caloceri in Callisti, Diocletiano VIIII et Maximiano VIII [A.D. 304].
 
mense Iunio. 
III kal. Iul. Petri in Catacumbas et Pauli Ostense, Tusco et Basso cons. [A.D. 258]
 
mense Iulio 
VI idus Felicis et Filippi in Priscillae et in Iordanorum, Martialis Vitalis Alexandri et in Maximi Silani. hunc Silanum martirem Novati furati sunt. et in Pretextatae, Ianuari.
III kal. Aug. Abdos et Semnes in Pontiani, quod est ad ursum piliatum.
 
mense Augusto. 
VIII idus Aug. Xysti in Callisti et in Praetextati Agapiti et Felicissimi. 
VI idus Aug. Secundi Carpofori Victorini et Severiani Albano. et Ostense VII ballistaria Cyriaci Largi Crescentiani Memmiae Iulianetis et Ixmaracdi.
IIII idus Aug. Laurenti in Tiburtina.
idus Aug. Ypoliti in Tiburtina. et Pontiani in Callisti.
XI kal. Septemb. Timotei, Ostense.
V kal. Sept. Hermetis in Basillae Salaria vetere. 

mense Septembre. 
non. Sep. Aconti, in Porto, et Nonni et Herculani et Taurini.
V idus Sept. Gorgoni, in Lavicana.
III idus Sept. Proti et Iacinti, in Basillae.
XVIII kal. Octob. Cypriani, Africae. Romae celebratur in Callisti.
X kal. Octob. Basillae, Salaria vetere, Diocletiano IX et Maximiano VIII consul. [A.D. 304],
 
mense Octobre.
pri. idus Octob. Callisti in via Aurelia. miliario III.
 
mense Novembre.
V idus Nov. Clementis Semproniani Claui Nicostrati in comitatum.
III kal. Dec. Saturnini in Trasonis.
 
mense Decembre.
idus Decem. Ariston in pontum.
 


'ALSO THE BURIAL OF THE MARTYRS

25 December Christ is born in Bethlehem in Judea.

In January
20 January. of Fabianus in [the cemetery] of Callixtus, and of Sebastianus in the 'Catacumbas' [cemetery].
[*Fabianus, bishop and martyr of Rome, S00147; and *Sebastianus, martyr of Rome, S00400]

21 January. of Agnes on [the via] Nomentana.
[*Agnes, virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097]


In February 
22 February. The feast of Peter of the Chair (Natale Petri de Cathedra).
[*Peter, the Apostle, S00036]
 

In March 
7 March. of Perpetua and Felicitas in Africa.
[*Perpetua and Felicitas, martyrs of Carthage, S00009]


In May
19 May. of Parthenius and Calocerus in [the cemetery] of Callixtus, during the 9th [consulship] of Diocletian and the 8th of Maximian [A.D. 304].
[*Calocerus and Parthenius, martyrs of Rome, S00679]
 

In June
29 June. of Peter in the 'Catacumbas' [cemetery], and of Paul on [the via] Ostiense, during the consulship of Tuscus and Bassus. [A.D. 258]
[the Apostles *Peter and *Paul, S00036 and S00008]


In July 
10 July. of Felix and Filippus in [the cemetery] of Priscilla, of Martialis, Vitalis, and Alexander in [the cemetery of] the Jordani, and of Silanus in [the cemetery] of Maximus (this martyr Silanus was stolen by the Novatians), and of Ianuarius in [the cemetery] of Praetextatus.
[*Ianuarius, eldest son of Felicitas and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Appia, S02863; the other six sons of *Felicitas, martyrs of Rome, buried on the via Salaria, S00525]

30 July. of Abdos and Semnes in [the cemetery] of Pontianus which is at the Bear in a Cap (ad ursum piliatum).
[*Abdos and Semnes, Persian martyrs of Rome, S00573]
 

In August 
6 August. of Xystus in [the cemetery] of Callixtus and of Agapitus and Felicissimus in [the cemetery] of Praetextatus.
[*Xystus/Sixtus II, bishop and martyr of Rome, S00201; *Felicissimus and Agapitus, deacons of Xystus and martyrs of Rome, S00202]

8 August. of Carpophorus, Secundus, Victorinus and Severianus in Albanum. And on [the via] Ostiense, at the ballistaria at the seventh mile, of Cyriacus, Largus, Crescentianus, Memmia, Iulianetis and Smaragdus.
[*Four Crowned Martyrs of Rome, S00587; *Cyriacus, Smaragdus, Largus and companions, martyrs of Rome, S00678]

10 August. of Laurentius on the [via] Tiburtina.
[*Laurence, deacon and martyr of Rome, S00037]

13 August. of Hippolytus on [the via] Tiburtina, and of Pontianus in [the cemetery] of Callixtus.
[*Hippolytus, martyr of Rome, S00509; *Pontianus, bishop and martyr of Rome, S00169]

22 August. of Timotheus on [the via] Ostiense.
[*Timotheus, martyr of Rome, S00330]

28 August. of Hermes in [the cemetery] of Basilla [on the via] Salaria vetus. 
[*Hermes, martyr of Rome, S00404]


In September
5 September. of Acontus, in Portus and of Nonnus and Herculanus and Taurinus.
[*Acontus and companions, martyrs of Portus, S00670]

9 September. of Gorgonius on [the via] Labicana.
[*Gorgonius, martyr of Rome, S00576]

11 September. of Protus and Hyacinthus in [the cemetery] of Basilla.
[*Protus and Hyacinthus, eunuchs and martyrs of Rome, S00464]

14 September. of Cyprian, in Africa. In Rome celebrated in [the cemetery] of Callixtus.
[*Cyprian, bishop and martyr of Carthage, S00411]

22 September. of Basilla on [the via] Salaria vetus, during the 9th consulship of Diocletian and the 8th of Maximian. [A.D. 304]
[*Basilla, virgin and martyr of Rome, S00684]


In October
14 October. of Callixtus on the via Aurelia, at the 3rd milestone.
[*Callixtus, bishop and martyr of Rome, S00145]


In November
9 November. of Clement, Sempronianus, Clavus [Claudius?], Nicostratus in Comitatum.
[*Four Crowned Martyrs, second group, S00685]

29 November. of Saturninus in [the cemetery] of Traso.
[*Saturninus, martyr of Rome, S00422]


In December
13 December. of Ariston in Pontus [possibly an error for Portus, the port of Rome]
[*Ariston, martyr of Pontus or Portus, S00589]


Text: Mommsen 1892, 71-72. Translation: R. Wiśniewski.

History

Evidence ID

E01052

Saint Name

Agnes, martyr in Rome (ob. c. 304) : S00097 Fabianus, martyred bishop of Rome, ob. 250 : S00147 Peter the Apostle : S00036 Calocerus and Parthenius, martyrs in Rome, ob. ??? : S00679 Perpetua, Felicitas and their companions, martyrs in Carthage,

Saint Name in Source

Agnes Fabianus Petrus Calocerus, Parthenius Perpetua, Felicitas Paulus Hermes Abdo, Semnes Acontus Gorgonius Xystus Felicissimus, Agapetus Secundua, Carpoforus, Victorinus, Severianus Cyriacus, Largus, Crescentianus, Memmia, Iulianes, Ix

Related Saint Records

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Calendars and martyrologies

Evidence not before

330

Evidence not after

354

Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Major author/Major anonymous work

Chronography of 354

Source

The Chronography of 354 is an illustrated codex containing a calendar, several lists of consuls, prefects of Rome, bishops of Rome, and Christian feasts, as well as some other material. The Chronography can be safely dated to 354 because the lists of consuls and prefects of Rome end at that year. The calendar proper lists secular and pagan festivals, imperial anniversaries, etc. The Chronography contains two important lists for the cult of saints: the Depositio episcoporum / 'The Burial of Bishops' (E01051), and the Depositio martirum / 'The Burial of Martyrs', discussed here, which immediately follows the Depositio episcoporum in the manuscripts. Both lists tell us the day of the year of the bishop or martyr's burial, and its location, suggesting that annual commemoration occurred at these sites. The original of the codex is lost. The lists of bishops and martyrs are known from three manuscripts, dating from the the late 15th to the early 17th century, all are copies of (lost) Carolingian manuscripts made from the late-antique original.

Discussion

The martyrs' feast days in the Depositio Martirum are listed in chronological order through the year, from January to December. Late March and April are empty, almost certainly to avoid collision with Easter. As in the Depositio episcoporum, besides the date and name, each entry names the martyr's burial place in one of Rome's cemeteries. The nature of the list strongly suggests annual commemoration on the relevant days at the relevant sites; indeed this is explicit in the 14 September entry for Cyprian of Carthage, which tells us that he (or his deposition) 'is celebrated (celebratur)' on that day in the cemetery of Callistus. A few entries however differ from this model: 25 December: Christmas, which opens the list, is the earliest attestation of this feast from the whole of Christendom. 22 February: Natale Petri de Cathedra (literally: the feast of Peter of the chair). The original meaning of this expression and the character of the feast is uncertain. Later, it would be celebrated as the feast commemorating the foundation of the episcopal see of Rome (the feast of the Chair of St Peter). Février (1977) supposes that this explanation may be anachronistic for the mid-fourth century, and that the feast's reference to a chair symbolises Peter's role as teacher, rather than his authority as bishop. Be that as it may, 22 February was the day of the pre-Christian feast, celebrated in the city of Rome, of Caristia or Cara Cognatio. This was a holiday celebrated in the family, which emphasised love and concord in the family and community; so the day may have been chosen as a Christian feast to mark a reconciliation of the Christian community in the city of Rome, though it is not known when this happened nor precisely why. In two, possibly three, places non-Roman saints are listed: 7 March (Perpetua and Felicitas), 14 September (Cyprian), and, possibly, 13 December (Ariston of Portus or Pontus). In the case of Perpetua and Felicitas, they are located simply 'in Africa' (which most probably means Carthage), suggesting that the Church of Rome remembered, rather than actively celebrated, their festival. In the case of Cyprian, however, the commemoration took place both 'in Africa' (most probably once again Carthage) and in the cemetery of Callistus at Rome. The very last entry, for Arsiton on 13 December, is just possibly for an obscure martyr of Pontus (in northern Asia Minor), for whom see E02997, but why he should be mentioned in this list is obscure; so it is possible that 'Pontus' is an error for 'Portus', the port of Rome (though there is no good documentation for an Ariston, martyr of Portus). No further saints from other parts of Christendom are listed. Three entries give not only the day of the celebration, but also the date of the event. In two cases: 19 May (Parthenus and Calocerus) and 22 September (Basilla) the year is 304 - therefore during the Diocletianic persecution. 29 June: '[Depositon] of Peter in the 'Catacumbas' [cemetery] and Paul on [the via] Ostiensis', during the consulship of Tuscus and Bassus (A.D. 258), is much more problematic. The places in which this feast was celebrated are well-known: the basilica on the via Ostiensis where Paul the Apostle was reputedly executed; and where his burial church, today's San Paulo fuori le mura, was built; and the 'Catacumbas' cemetery (under the church of San Sebastiano on the via Appia), the cemetery which subsequently gave its name to all the suburban subterranean cemeteries of Rome (and elsewhere). A link of the two Apostles with this cemetery is also attested by other sources, but why Peter, and in this text apparently Peter alone, would be buried at or transferred to San Sebastiano in 258, some two centuries after his execution, is a much debated issue that goes far deeper than this database can explore, see Wiśniewski (2019), 14-17. The brief passage under 10 July, is the only evidence we have of a theft of the martyr Silanus by Novatians, a competing Christian group in Rome, which refused to accept both those who had lapsed during the persecution and all those who communicated with them; it is wholly obscure what this theft was about. This entry is also interesting because the seven male saints commemorated on this day in later texts are always described as seven brothers, sons of Felicitas, and all martyred together with her. Here in the Depositio there is no reference to Felicitas or to any family relationship.

Bibliography

Edition: Mommsen, T., Chronographus anni CCCCLIIII, in: Chronica Minora saec. IV. V. VI. VII., vol. 1 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Auctores Antiquissimi 9; Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1892), 13-196. Edition and German commentary: Divjak, J., and Wischmeyer, W., Das Kalenderhandbuch von 354: Der Chronograph des Filocalus,, 2 vols. (Vienna: Holzhausen, 2014). On the Chronography of 354: Burgess, R.W., "The Chronograph of 354: Its Manuscripts, Contents, and History," Journal of Late Antiquity 5 (2012), 345-396. Salzman, M.R., On Roman Time: The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991). Further reading: Février, P.-A., "Natale Petri de cathedra", Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 121(1977), 514-531. Wiśniewski, R., The Beginnings of the Cult of Relics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).