Saint NameSaints, name lost or very partially preserved : S01744
Saints, unnamed : S00518
Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions
Archaeological and architectural - Internal cult fixtures (crypts, ciboria, etc.)
Evidence not before350
Evidence not after700
Activity not before350
Activity not after700
Place of Evidence - RegionRome and region
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcSuburban catacombs and cemeteries
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Suburban catacombs and cemeteries
Cult activities - PlacesBurial site of a saint - crypt/ crypt with relics
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
Cult Activities - MiraclesMiraculous protection - of people and their property
Miraculous protection - of communities, towns, armies
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesOther lay individuals/ people
SourceLeft-hand part of a marble plaque, assembled from seven conjoining fragments. H. 0.54 m; W. 1.13 m; Th. 0.06 m. Letter height 0.035-0.045 m. Wide margins.
First recorded in 1931 on the surface level of the Cemetery of Praetextatus. Now probably on a wall at the cemetery's museum. First published by Antonio Ferrua in 1971. A high quality photograph is offered in the Epigraphic Database Bari.
DiscussionThe inscription records a prayer, or a kind of acclamation of (probably unnamed) holy martyrs. Ferrua does not comment on the form of the verb used in line 3, which clearly reads ERVAMUR. This is probably the 1st person plural subjunctive of eruo/'to throw out, root up, take'. It is, however, also possible that the author of the inscription intended to write eruamur/'we are saved'. In either case, the inscription expresses a wish that all Christians be saved from evil through the intercession of martyrs.
Ferrua pointed out that such an inscription could have been displayed not only at a tomb in the cemetery, but also in a house.
Dating: The inscription, as others from the Cemetery of Praetextatus, dates from the late antique period.
Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB10219, see http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/10219
De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.) Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 5: Coemeteria reliqua Viae Appiae (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1971), no. 14803.