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E06432: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 13.22) of 602, to Honorius, bishop of Taranto, relates to the building of a baptistry in a church dedicated to *Mary (mother of Christ, S00033) in Taranto (southern Italy). 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 13.22

Full text of the letter:

Fraternitate tua indicante didicimus in ciuitate Tarentina, in qua praeesse dinosceris, in ecclesia sanctae Mariae baptisterium te nouiter construxisse. Et ideo, frater carissime, praesenti auctoritate suscepta tui desiderii complebis effectum, quatenus per sacrum lauacrum peccatorum illic maculae deleantur.

‘Gregory to Honorius, bishop of Taranto
We have learnt through your Fraternity’s report that you have recently built a baptistry in the church of Saint Mary, of which you are known to be in charge in the city of Taranto. And for that reason, my very dear brother, receiving the authority of this letter, you will complete the outcome of your desire, so that the stains of sins may be washed away therein through sacred bathing.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 1023. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 3, 843.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Martin, ascetic and bishop of Tours, ob. 397 : S00050

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 - dependent (chapel, baptistery, etc.)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


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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