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E01361: The second edition of the Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome between the 530s and 546, in its account of *Felix IV (bishop of Rome, ob. 530, S00809), tells of his construction of the basilica of *Cosmas and Damianus (brothers, physician martyrs of Syria, S00385) in the Forum of Rome; of his rebuilding of the basilica of *Saturninus (martyr of Rome, S00422), on the via Salaria outside the city; and of Felix' burial at the basilica of *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), on 12 October [AD 530].

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posted on 10.05.2016, 00:00 by robert
Liber Pontificalis 56

First edition (as reconstructed by Duchesne)

Felix, natione Samnius, ex patre Castorio, sedit ann. IIII m. II d. XIII. Fuit temporibus Theodorici regis et Iustini Aug., a consulatu Maburti usque ad consulatum Lampadi et Orestis, a die IIII id. iul. usque in diem IIII octob.

''Felix, born in Samnium, son of Castorius, held the see 4 years 2 months 13 days. He was bishop in the time of
king Theodoric and of the emperor Justin from 12 July in the consulship of Maburtius [AD 527] to 12 October in that of Lampadius and Orestes [AD 530].

.....

Qui etiam sepultus est apud beatum Petrum.

'He was buried at the blessed Peter.'



Second edition

Felix, natione Samnium, ex patre Castorio, sedit ann. IIII m. II d. XIII. Fuit temporibus Theodorici regis et Iustini Aug., a consulatu Maburtii usque ad consulatum Lampadii et Horestis, a die IIII id. iul. usque in IIII id. octub. Hic fecit basilicam sanctorum Cosme et Damiani in urbe Roma, in loco qui appellatur via Sacra, iuxta templum urbis Romae. Huius temporibus consumpta est incendio basilica sancti martyris Saturnini via Salaria, quam a solo refecit.

'Felix, born in Samnium, son of Castorius, held the see 4 years 2 months 13 days. He was bishop in the time of
king Theodoric and of the emperor Justin from 12 July in the consulship of Maburtius [AD 527] to 12 October in that of Lampadius and Orestes [AD 530]. He built the basilica of saints Cosmas and Damian in Rome, in the area called the Via Sacra, close to the temple of the City of Rome. In his time the basilica of saint Saturninus the martyr on the via Salaria was destroyed by fire; he rebuilt it from the ground up.'

.....

Qui etiam sepultus est in basilica beati Petri apostuli IIII idus octob.

'He was buried in the basilica of the blessed Peter the apostle on 12 October.'


Text: Duchesne 1886, 107 and 279. Translation: Davis 2010, 49-50, lightly modified.

History

Evidence ID

E01361

Saint Name

Kosmas and Damianos, brothers, physician martyrs in Syria, ob. 285/287 : S00385 Saturninus, martyr in Rome, d. c. 303 : S00422 Peter the Apostle : S00036 Felix IV, bishop of Rome, ob. 530 : S00809

Saint Name in Source

Cosmas, Damianus Saturninus Petrus Felix

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

530

Evidence not after

546

Activity not before

526

Activity not after

530

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

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body

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 basilica of Kosmas and Damianos was situated close to the Forum, that of Saturinus on the via Salaria.

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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