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E01320: The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of Anastasius II (bishop of Rome, 496-498) records his making of the confessio of *Laurence (deacon and martyr of Rome, S00037) at his church outside Rome, and his burial in the basilica of *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), on 19 November [AD 498].

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posted on 29.04.2016, 00:00 by robert
Liber Pontificalis 52

First edition (as reconstructed by Duchesne)

Anastasius, natione Romanus, ex patre Petro, de regione V caput Tauri, sedit ann. I m. XI d. XXIIII.
Fuit autem temporibus Theodorici regis. Hic fecit confessione beati Laurenti martyris ex argento, pens. lib. LXXX.

'Anastasius [II], born in Rome, son of Peter, from the 5th region, Caput Tauri, held the see 1 year 11 months 24 days. He was bishop in the time of king Theoderic. He built the confessio of the blessed Laurence the martyr, of silver weighing 80 lb.'


Qui etiam sepultus est apud beatum Petrum XIII kal. decemb.

'He was buried at saint Peter on 19 November.'


Second edition

Anastasius, natione Romanus, ex patre Petro, de regione V caput Tauri, sedit ann. I m. XI d. XXIIII.
Fuit autem temporibus Theodorici regis. Hic fecit confessionem beati Laurenti martyris ex argento, pens. lib. LXXX.

'Anastasius, born in Rome, son of Peter, from the 5th region, Caput Tauri, held the see 1 year 11 months 24 days. He was bishop in the time of king Theoderic. He built the confessio of the blessed Laurence the martyr, of silver weighing 80 lb.'


There follows a critical account on the position taken by Anastasius II in the Acacian schism.


Qui nutu divino percussus est.

'He was struck down by God’s will.'


......


Qui etiam sepultus est in basilica beati Petri apostoli XIII kal. decemb.

'He was buried in the basilica of the blessed Peter the Apostle on 19 November.'


Text: Duchesne 1886, 95/97 and 258. Translation: Davis 2010, 42, lightly modified.

History

Evidence ID

E01320

Saint Name

Lawrence, martyr of Rome, ob. 258 : S00037 Peter the Apostle : S00036

Saint Name in Source

Laurentius Petrus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

530

Evidence not after

546

Activity not before

496

Activity not after

498

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 - crypt/ crypt with relics

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - unspecified

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Precious material objects

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

The author of the Liber Pontificalis clearly considers Anastasius II to have been a bad bishop, punished by God with sudden death. Still, he mentions his burial on 19 November, which proves that the fact of mentioning the exact day of burial (which could be used for annual commemoration) does not necessarily suggest a belief in his sanctity.

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). Further reading: Krautheimer, R., Corpus Basilicarum Christianarum Romae: The early Christian Basilicas of Rome (IV–IX Centuries), Vatican City 1937–1977 Brandenburg, H., Ancient churches of Rome from the fourth to the seventh century : the dawn of Christian architecture in the West, Turnhout 2005.

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