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E04800: Very fragmentary epitaph, possibly mentioning a saint whose name is lost (possibly Di[- - -]). Found in a cemetery on the via Ardeatina, Rome. Probably second half of the 4th c.

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posted on 31.01.2018, 00:00 by pnowakowski
[- - -] Felix viv[us - - -]
[- - -].ci SMAS[- - -]
[ - - -]IC Θ
[ - - -] s(an)c̅(t)is DI (a monogram)

'[- - -] Felix, when he was alive [- - -] of saint Di[- - -]. (a monogram)'

Text: ICVR, n.s., IV, no. 12357a = EDB3744.

History

Evidence ID

E04800

Saint Name

Saints, name lost or very partially preserved : S01744

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions Archaeological and architectural - Internal cult fixtures (crypts, ciboria, etc.)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

350

Evidence not after

400

Activity not before

350

Activity not after

400

Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Suburban catacombs and cemeteries

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

Suburban catacombs and cemeteries Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Other

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Source

Four conjoining fragment of a marble plaque. H. 0.36 m; W. 0.44 m. Letter height 0.04-0.05 m. First recorded by Antonio Ferrua in 1962, in a staircase in area F15 of a cemetery on the Via Ardeatina, and published by him in 1964, in a drawing, but with no transcription. A transcription is offered by Marida Pierno in the Epigraphic Database Bari. The cemetery was found by Giovanni Battista de Rossi, already in 1867, and later explored by Henry Stevenson in 1880-1881. Between 1958 and 1961 it was excavated by Antonio Ferrua. The stone is now in cubiculum Fk in that cemetery.

Discussion

The inscription is clearly an epitaph stating that Felix prepared a tomb for himself while still living. Line 4 may contain a reference to a saint, but if so, it is not clear which saint was mentioned, and why. Ferrua was unable to explain the meaning of the monogram in line 4. Dating: Marida Pierno (EDB) places the inscription in the second half of the 4th c.

Bibliography

Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, nos. EDB3744, see http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/3744 De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.) Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 4: Coemeteria inter Vias Appiam et Ardeatinam (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1964), no. 12357a.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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