Saint NamePudentiana, virgin and martyr of Rome : S00591
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Funerary inscriptions
Archaeological and architectural - Internal cult fixtures (crypts, ciboria, etc.)
Evidence not before528
Evidence not after528
Activity not before528
Activity not after528
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 - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - lesser clergy
SourceThe inscription is carved on the threshold of a doorway leading to the 'vestibule' of the subterranean basilica in the cemetery of Hippolytus. H. 0.44 m; W. 2.86 m. Letter height 0.033 m. The inscribed face is weathered.
Found in the early 1880s during the exploration of the subterranean basilica in the cemetery of Hippolytus on the via Tiburtina by Orazio Marucchi and Mariano Armellini, and subsequently published by them. The present reference edition is by Antonio Ferrua in the seventh volume of the Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae (1980). A photograph is offered in the epigraphic database Bari.
DiscussionThe inscription is the epitaph for a reader of the titulus-church of Pudentiana. This is the predecessor of the modern church of Santa Pudenziana on the Viminal Hill (on the vicus Patricius). The church occurs under different names, also, for example, ecclesia Pudentiana, and titulus Pudentis, as it is termed here.
According to the legendary account of her martyrdom (E02507), Pudentiana was a sister of *Praxedis and a daughter of Pudens, a Roman senator who received the Apostle *Peter during his stay in Rome. The story is clearly fictional and the name of the church, titulus Pudentis, may well in fact derive from the name of the owner of the house and the plot of land, where the church is now located, later turned into the fictional figure.
For an inscription with a reference to the titulus-church of Praxedis, found in the same cemetery, see E05353. For the epitaph for a presbyter of the titulus Pudentianae, dating probably from the 5th c., and found in the same cemetery, see E05356.
Dating: Our epitaph is dated by a consular year, falling on 528 (the year following the consulship of Mavortius, AD 527).
Epigraphic Database Bari, nos. EDB21787, see http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/21787
De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.), Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 7: Coemeteria via Tiburtinae (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1980), no. 19994 (with further bibliography).
Bovini, G., Sant'Ippolito (Città del Vaticano: Pontificio istituto di archeologia cristiana, 1943), 144.
Hendrichs, F., La voce delle chiese antichissime di Roma (Rome: Desclée & C. Editori Pontifici, 1933), Fig. 264 (image).
Diehl, E., Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres, vol. 1 (Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1925), no. 1272.
Marucchi, O., Le catacombe romane (Rome: Desclée, Lefebvre E.C., 1905, 2nd ed.), 333.
Armellini, M., Gli antichi cimeteri cristiani di Roma e d'Italia (Rome: Tipografia poliglotta, 1893), 321.
Marucchi, O., "Conferenze della società di cultori della cristiana archeologia in Roma", Bullettino di archeologia cristiana 4 Ser. 2 (1883), 107.
Giornale degli scavi VII, 63 no. 171.
For the cemetery of Hippolytus, the subterranean basilica with his tomb, and a lost basilica on the surface, see the works listed in:
Bertonière, G., The Cult Center of the Martyr Hippolitus on the via Tiburtina (Oxford: B.A.R., 1985).
Löx, M., Monumenta Sanctorum: Rom und Mailand als Zentren des frühen Christentums. Märtyrerkult und Kirchenbau unter den Bischöfen Damasus und Ambrosius (Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2013), 64, 211.
Nuzzo, D., "Hyppoliti coemeterium", in LexiconTopographicum Urbis Romae. Suburbium, vol. 3, 68-75.
Trout, D., Damasus of Rome: The Epigraphic Poetry. Introduction, Texts, Translations, and Commentary (Oxford: OUP, 2015), 146-147.