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E01071: The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of *Hyginus (bishop of Rome, S00671), states that he was buried in Rome close to the body of *Peter (the Apostle, S00036) on 11 January [AD 149].

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posted on 10.01.2016, 00:00 by robert
Liber Pontificalis 10

First edition (as reconstructed by Duchesne)

Yginus, natione Grecus, ex philosopho, de Athenis, sedit ann. IIII m. III d. III. Fuit autem temporibus Veri et Marci, a consulatu Magni et Camerini usque ad Orfito et Camerino... Qui etiam sepultus est iuxta corpus beati Petri in Vaticanum III id. ianuar.

'Hyginus, born in Greece, a former philosopher, from Athens, held the see 4 years 3 months 3 days. He was bishop in the time of Verus and Marcus from the consulship of Magnus [Niger] and Camerinus to that of Orfitus and Camerinus [AD 149] ... He was buried close to the body of the blessed Peter on the Vatican on 11 January.'


Second edition

Yginus, natione Grecus, ex philosopho, de Athenis, cuius genealogia non inveni, sedit ann. IIII m. III d. IIII. Fuit autem temporibus Veri et Marci, a consulatu Magni et Camerini usque ad Orfito et Prisco... Qui etiam sepultus est iuxta corpus beati Petri in Vaticanum III id. ianuar.

'Hyginus, born in Greece, a former philosopher, from Athens, whose ancestry I have not traced, held the see 4 years 3 months 4 days. He was bishop in the time of Verus and Marcus from the consulship of Magnus [Niger] and Camerinus to that of Orfitus and Priscus [AD 149] ... He was buried close to the body of the blessed Peter on the Vatican on 11 January.'


Text: Duchesne 1886, 57 and 131. Translation: Davis 2010, 4-5, lightly modified.

History

Evidence ID

E01071

Saint Name

Hyginus, bishop of Rome, ob. c. 140 : S00671

Saint Name in Source

Yginus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

530

Evidence not after

546

Activity not before

135

Activity not after

145

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 - tomb/grave

Source

The Liber Pontificalis consists of a series of very 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

For the claim by the author of the Liber Pontificalis that almost all the early bishops of Rome were buried at the Vatican close to St Peter, see E00265.

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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