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E06409: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 9.210) of 599, to Romanus, defensor of the papal patrimony in Sicily, concerns a slave of a church dedicated to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) in Saponara (Sicily). Written in Latin in Rome.

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posted on 11.09.2018, 00:00 by frances
Pope Gregory the Great, Register of Letters 9.210

Extract from a letter concerning the slave Luminosus:

Vnde quia seruum sanctae Mariae, quod est parrochiae ecclesiae grumentinae, se esse asserit, necesse est ut ecclesiastica tuitione ualletur.

‘Therefore, because he asserts that he is a slave of the church of Saint Mary, which is in the parish of the church of Saponara, it is necessary that he should be defended by the church’s protection.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 769. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 2, 674.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters



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


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory the Great (pope)

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Slaves/ servants


A letter transmitted as part of Gregory the Great’s Register of Letters. This letter collection, organised into fourteen books, is large and contains letters to a variety of recipients, including prominent aristocrats, members of the clergy and royalty. The issues touched on in the letters are equally varied, ranging from theological considerations to mundane administrative matters. This collection of letters, which was possibly curated by Gregory, was originally much larger. The surviving Register comprises several groups of letters which were extracted at several later moments in history, the largest of which took place in the papacy of Hadrian I (772-795).


Edition: Norberg, D., S. Gregorii Magni, Registrum epistularum. 2 vols. (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 140-140A; Turnhout: Brepols, 1982). English translation: Martyn, J.R.C., The Letters of Gregory the Great, 3 vols. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2004). Further Reading: Neil, B., and Dal Santo, M. (eds.), A Companion to Gregory the Great (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

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