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E05261: Latin visitor graffiti with invocations on behalf of two people, including one monk, affiliated to an institution of a saint Caecilia (probably *Caecilia, virgin and martyr of Rome, S00146), and of a saint whose name is lost. Found in the cemetery Ad Sanctos Marcellinum et Petrum /inter duas lauros, via Labicana, Rome, in the crypt where *Marcellinus and Petrus (martyrs of Rome, S00577) were probably venerated. Probably 7th/9th c.

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posted on 26.03.2018, 00:00 by Bryan
Graffito 1:

In a group of visitor graffiti executed with a stylus on the east wall of the so-called basilica M, an apsed crypt in the cemetery Ad Sanctos Marcellinum et Petrum. Letter height c. 6 cm.

mon(achus) + de s(an)c(t)a Cecila +
Iordannis clerecus + ora pro me p[eccatore]

'A monk + of Saint Caecilia +. Iordannis, cleric. + Pray for me, [a sinner]!'

Text: ICVR, n.s., VI, no. 15970.08-10 = EDB7602.

Graffito 2:

Executed with a stylus on the left-hand side of the east wall of the same so-called basilica M, an apsed crypt in the cemetery Ad Sanctos Marcellinum et Petrum, close to the passage leading to cubiculum Ma. Letter height 2.5-4.5 cm.

[Te]odius
[de s(an)c(t)]a Cecilia

'Teodius (?) [of Saint] Caecilia.'

Text: ICVR, n.s., VI, no. 15971 = EDB6630.

Graffito 3:

In a group of visitor graffiti (the same as in no. 1 above) executed with a stylus on the east wall of the same so-called basilica M. Letter height c. 3.5 cm.

[- - -]
s(an)c(t)i [- - -]

'[- - -] of Saint [- - -]'

Text: ICVR, n.s., VI, no. 15970.05 = EDB9457.

History

Evidence ID

E05261

Saint Name

Caecilia, virgin and martyr of Rome : S00146 Petrus and Marcellinus, priest and exorcist, martyrs of Rome : S00577 Tiburtius, son of the prefect Chromatius, martyr of Rome : S01404 Gorgonius, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Labicana : S00576 Fo

Saint Name in Source

Cecilia

Image Caption 1

Graffiti 1 and 3. From: ICVR, n.s., VI, p. 93.

Image Caption 2

Plan of this sector of the catacombs with the apsed crypt marked in the middle. From: Marucchi 1905, 268.

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

600

Evidence not after

850

Activity not before

600

Activity not after

850

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 - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Inscription

Source

Graffiti from the cluster described in point 1 and 3 were partly published by Orazio Marucchi in 1898. A complete edition with a drawing was offered by Antonio Ferrua in 1975. Graffito 2 was first published by Antonio Ferrua in 1975. A photograph is now offered in the Epigraphic Database Bari.

Discussion

The graffiti were authored by people visiting the saints' tombs in the cemetery, certainly those of *Marcellinus and Petrus (S00577), and probably also those of the martyr *Tiburtius (S01404), the martyr *Gorgonius (S00576), the *Four Crowned Martyrs (S00685), and the puzzling *Thirty Martyrs of Rome (S00586), and *Forty Martyrs of Rome (S00540). Gorgonius and Tiburtius also appear in a painting in one of the cubicula of the same cemetery (E05246), whilst at least one of the Four Crowned Martyrs, Clemens, was also invoked by visitors (E05236). The importance of the graffiti we quote here, lies, however, in the fact that they name the institutions to which some of the visitors were affiliated. The name of one of the holy patrons of these institutions is lost, and we cannot restore it. The other holy figure is a saint Caecilia. Antonio Ferrua wondered it this could be the patron of the monastery dedicated to *Caecilia (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00146) and *Agatha (virgin and martyr of Catania, S00794), founded by Pope Paschal I (817-824), and located next to the church of S. Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome. But note that Caecilia alone, without Agatha, is here mentioned as the eponym. Dating: Based on the assumption that Graffiti 1 and 2 may mention a monk from the monastery founded by Pope Paschal I, Ferrua tentatively dated them to the 9th c. Carlo Carletti (in EDB) dates Graffito 1 to the late 7th - early 8th c., Graffito 2 to the late 8th - early 9th c., and Graffito 3 to the 7th c.

Bibliography

Edition: Graffito 1: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB7602. See http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/7602 De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.), Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 6: Coemeteria viis Latina, Labicana et Praenestina (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1975), no. 15970.08-10. Marucchi, O., "La cripta storica dei SS. Pietro e Marcellino recentemente scoperta sulla via labicana", Nuovo bullettino di archeologia cristiana 4 (1898), 167. Graffito 2: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB6630. See http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/6630 De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.), Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 6: Coemeteria viis Latina, Labicana et Praenestina (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1975), no. 15971. Graffito 3: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB9457. See http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/9457 De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.), Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 6: Coemeteria viis Latina, Labicana et Praenestina (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1975), no. 15970.5. Marucchi, O., "La cripta storica dei SS. Pietro e Marcellino recentemente scoperta sulla via labicana", Nuovo bullettino di archeologia cristiana 4 (1898), 167.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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