Saint NameSaints, unnamed : S00518
Saints, name lost or very partially preserved : S01744
Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060
Saint Name in Sourcespirita sancta
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Funerary inscriptions
Archaeological and architectural - Internal cult fixtures (crypts, ciboria, etc.)
Evidence not before350
Evidence not after700
Activity not before300
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
SourceFragment of plaque of Phrygian marble. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.30 m; W. 0.37 m; Th. 0.023 m. Letter height 0.04-0.05 m. Good quality lettering, traces of paint on the letters. Decorated with a carving of an ivy leaf. This was probably a single-line inscription.
Antonio Ferrua reports that the stone was found in 1851 in area F11 of the Cemetery of Praetextatus, and moved to the Lateran Museum. It appears in de Rossi's notes, and a facsimile was published in 1910 by Orazio Maruchi, together with other inscriptions from the Lateran collection. In 1933 Enrico Josi decided to bring the stone back to the cemetery (where it is now displayed in area T4), and a copy was left in the Museum. A transcription was first published by Ferrua in 1971.
DiscussionThe inscription probably invokes the souls of the deceased, possibly specifically martyrs, buried in the cemetery, to pray for the living, or for the person for whom the epitaph was composed. Similar phrasing sometimes occurs in epitaphs considered as testimonies to burials ad sanctos.
Dating: The inscription, as others from the Cemetery of Praetextatus, dates from the late antique period.
Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB10220, see http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/10220
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. 14804.
Marucchi, O., I monumenti del Museo cristiano Pio-Lateranense riprodotti in atlante di xcvi tavole, con testo illustrativo (Milan: Ulrico Hoepli, 1910), Tav. LII no. 33 (image).