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E05162: Very fragmentary inscription possibly referring to the 'holy spirits'/spirita sancta, or to a female saint whose name is lost. Found in the Cemetery of Praetextatus, via Appia, Rome. Late antique.

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posted on 06.03.2018, 00:00 by pnowakowski
[- - - sa]ncta II[- - -]
[- - - vix]it ann[is - - -]
[- - -]PD[- - -]

1. [- - - sa]ncta +[- - -] Carletti in EDB || II = lower parts of one or two letters are visible in the drawing || 3. upper parts of two letters, probably D, P, or B are visible in the drawing, [- - -]++[- - -] Carletti in EDB

'[- - -] saint [- - -] lived [- - -] years [- - -].'

Text: ICVR, n.s., V, no. 14927l = EDB8328.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060 Saints, name lost or very partially preserved : S01744 Saints, unnamed : S00518

Type of Evidence

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



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


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

Burial site of a saint - crypt/ crypt with relics

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



Fragment of a marble plaque broken and lost on all sides. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.17 m; W. 0.19 m; Th. 0.045 m. Letter height 0.045 m. Found in 1909 in the Cemetery of Praetextatus. First published by Antonio Ferrua in 1971, in a drawing with no transcription. When examined by Ferrua the stone was in area H3. A transcription was offered by Carlo Carletti in the Epigraphic Database Bari. Carletti uses crosses (+) to mark damaged letters. Here we give our own transcription based on the drawing published by Ferrua.


The fragment certainly comes from an ordinary epitaph. It is very possible that line 1 contained a reference to 'holy spirits'/spirita sancta, of martyrs or simply other deceased, which often occurs in epitaphs in Roman catacombs. Another possibility is that line 1 mentions a female saint, or addressed the deceased for whom the epitaph was composed as 'saint' (that is 'redeemed', not 'saint' as an object of veneration). Dating: The inscription, as others from the Cemetery of Praetextatus, dates from the late antique period.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB8328, see 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. 14927l.

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