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E06682: Two late 4th or early 5th century Latin funerary inscriptions from Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) mention burials at the shrine of *Syneros (martyr of Sirmium, S01882). They are probably related to an extramural building, excavated in the 19th century, which has been interpreted as the basilica of the martyr.

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posted on 03.10.2018, 00:00 by erizos
1. Funerary inscription of Aurelia Aminia

[Ego Aur]elia Aminia po/[sui] titulum viro me[o] / [F]l(avio) Sancto ex n(umero) Iov(ianorum) pr(o)tec(tori) / bene meritus qui vixit / ann(os) pl(us) m(inus) L qui est defunc/tus civit(ate) Aquileia titulum / posuit ad beatu(m) Syneroti(m) ma/rture(m) et infante(m) filiam / suam nomine Ursicina / qui vixit annis n(umero) III

‘I Aurelia Aminia set up this memorial inscription (titulus) for my husband, Flavius Sanctus, protector of great merit from the unit of the Ioviani, who lived more or less 50 years and died at the city of Aquileia. (The memorial was placed) next to the blessed martyr Syneros and to her infant daughter named Ursicina, who lived 3 years.’

Publications: CIL 03.10232; ILS 9205; ILCV 2182.
Images: http://www.ubi-erat-lupa.org/monument.php?id=4349


2. Funerary inscription of Artemidora

A(lpha) - Christogram - O(mega) / Ego Artemidora fe/ci viva me memori/am ad dom(i)num / Synerotem inte/r antem ad dexte/ram inter Fortuna/t{ane}m et Disiderium / A(lpha) - Christogramm - O(mega)

'I Artemidora during my lifetime made this tombstone at the lord Syneros, between the right anta and [the tombs of] Fortunatus and Desiderius.'

Publications: CIL 03.10233; ILCV 2181

History

Evidence ID

E06682

Saint Name

Serenus, gardener martyr of Sirmium : S01882

Saint Name in Source

Syneros

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

350

Evidence not after

450

Activity not before

350

Activity not after

450

Place of Evidence - Region

Dalmatia, Pannonia and the Upper Danube

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Sirmium

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

Sirmium Epidauros Ἐπίδαυρος Epidauros Epidaurus Cavtat

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Children Soldiers

Source

Inscription of Aurelia Aminia Material: marble Dimensions: height 74 cm, width 77 cm, depth 7.5 cm Ancient find spot: Sirmium (Pannonia) Modern find spot, date of find: Sremska Mitrovica, 1875 Museum: Archaeological museum of Zagreb Publications: CIL 03.10232; ILS 9205; ILCV 2182. Inscription of Artemidora Material: marble Dimensions: height 55 cm, width 58 cm, depth 6 cm Ancient find spot: Sirmium (Pannonia) Modern find spot, date of find: Sremska Mitrovica, 1875 Museum: Archaeological museum of Zagreb Publications: CIL 03.10233; ILCV 2181

Discussion

For the hagiography and cult of Syneros/Serenus, see E05830. These inscriptions are the only epigraphic attestations of a shrine dedicated to the martyr Syneros in ancient Sirmium. They preserve the martyr’s name in Greek form, which again appears in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum but not in the Martyrdom of Serenus (E05830). Both memorials were erected by women of high social status, especially Aurelia Aminia, whose husband belonged to an imperial guard unit, the Jovians. Together with the inscription mentioning the basilica of the martyr Irenaeus of Sirmium (E###), they present a rare attestation of the existence of Pannonian cults of martyrs as well as the social status of Pannonian Christians. The discovery of the inscriptions in the 19th century instigated an archaeological campaign in search for the shrine. In 1882-1883, Adolf Hytrek of the National museum of Zagreb conducted excavations and discovered an extramural necropolis, located between the northern and western Roman roads leading to the city. According to Hytrek’s reports, a single-naved basilica with semicircular apse to the West was discovered, dating from the 4th century. Hytrek identified the building as Syneros’ Basilica and proposed a its reconstruction as a monumental building measuring 19.30 х 30.30 m., with an 11 m. wide apse, and approx. 1.5 m. thick walls. The excavated remains disappeared over the following decades. Hytrek’s contemporaries raised serious objections against his methods and the validity of his conclusions. A joint Yugoslav-American campaign in 1969-1970 rediscovered the scarce remains of the structure, but the long-term devastations of the site made a full reconstruction of the building’s ground plan impossible. The only certain conclusions of the last campaign were that the central structure had a surrounding porch of free-standing pillars (1 x 1 m. thick and at 2 m. distance) on the western and eastern side ending with pilasters (antae), where one of the inscriptions mentioning the basilica was probably found. The entire superstructure was built of brick and lime mortar, while the foundations were of crushed material with mortar. The position of the apse is impossible to determine. The fate of Pannonian early Christian cult places is linked to the dissolution of the Middle Danube Limes. The changes that occurred in the 4th century caused Pannonian cult places to be destroyed and a number of Pannonian martyrs to be forgotten until the second wave of Christianisation in the 9th century. The memory of Pannonian martyrs was only preserved if there had been a strong literary or relic tradition that had spread to other Christian centres that did not have such a violent and abrupt break with ancient tradition. Thus the necropolis around the basilica of Syneros went out of use in the first half of the 5th century, due to barbarian invasions and subsequent devastations, and the memory of the saint’s martyrdom survived only in literary tradition.

Bibliography

Text: Aurelia Aminia: CIL 03.10232; ILS 9205; ILCV 2182. Artemidora: CIL 03.10233; ILCV 2181. Further reading Farlati, D., and Coleti, J., Illyricum sacrum, T. VII (Venice, 1817), 497-507. Hytrek A., “Starokršansko grobište sv. Sinerota u Sriemu,” Ephemeris Salonitana I (1894, Jaderae), 1-6. Ljubić, Š., “Bazilika sv. Synerotesa u Mitrovici,“ Viestnik hrvatskoga Arheologičkoga družtva 5/1 (1883, Zagreb), 19. Ljubić, Š., “O groblju sv. Sinerota u Mitrovici,“ Viestnik hrvatskoga Arheologičkoga družtva 8/4 (1886, Zagreb), 97-105. Јеремић, М., „Култне грађевине хришћанског Сирмијума“, in Д. Познановић (ed.), Sirmium и на небу и на земљи (1700 година од страдaња хришћанских мученика) (Sremska Mitrovica, 2004), 49-51.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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