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E06033: Fragmentary Latin epitaph for a nun from a monastery of *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030); found at the mausoleum of Santa Costanza, cemetery of Sant'Agnese, via Nomentana, Rome. Probably late 6th c. or later.

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posted on 21.07.2018, 00:00 by pnowakowski
When revisited by Antonio Ferrua the stone was scarcely legible. The underlined letters are documented by transcriptions of early modern explorers but are no longer visible.

[hic r]e̲q̲u̲i̲e̲s̲c̲i̲t̲ [- - -]
[- - -]b̲a̲ r̲e̲l̲i̲g̲i̲o̲[sa - - -]
[in mo]n̲a̲steriu [- - -]
[S. St]heani 

2. possibly Dati]ba = Dativa: Ferrua || 4. HE·EANI: stone

'[Here] rests [- - -]ba the nun [- - - in] the monastery [of Saint] Stephen. (ivy leaf)'

Text: ICVR, n.s., VIII, no. 21402 = EDB15264.

History

Evidence ID

E06033

Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source

Sthefanus

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

550

Evidence not after

800

Activity not before

550

Activity not after

800

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 - cemetery/catacomb

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits

Source

Fragment of a marble plaque, broken and lost on top. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.285 m; W. 0.34 m. Letter height 0.045 m. Found in the pavement of the mausoleum of Santa Costanza on the via Nomentana, cemetery of Sant’Agnese. The stone is now exhibited in the atrium of the monastery at the cemetery of Sant'Agnese. The inscription was first published by Antonio Ferrua in 1983, in the eighth volume of the Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae. It had, however, already been recorded by Giovanni Battista Doni in the 17th c. who made a handwritten transcription. It also features in the notes of other explorers of the Roman catacombs, for example, Luigi Gaetano Marini and Giovanni Battisa de Rossi.

Discussion

The name of the deceased may have been Dativa. Ferrua does not attempt to answer to which of the monasteries dedicated to Stephen she was affiliated. Dating: Antonio Ferrua suspends judgement on the date of this epitaph. He notes, however, that Giovanni Battista de Rossi dated it, in his unpublished notes, to the late 6th or even the 8th century. Carolina Ventura (in EDB) dates it, however, to the 4th c. We suggest that the existence of a monastery named after Stephen in Rome is very unlikely prior to the discovery of his relics in Palestine in 415 (E04059) and the introduction of his cult to Rome by Amnia Demetrias and Pope Leo I between 440 and 461 (E05194).

Bibliography

Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB15264 see http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/15264 De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.) Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 8: Coemeteria viarum Nomentanae et Salariae (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1983), no. 21402 (with further bibliography).

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