E06788.jpg (189.48 kB)
Download file

E06788: A Latin papyrus preserved in Monza (northern Italy) lists the 'oils of the holy martyrs who in body rest in Rome' brought from Rome for Theodelinda, queen of the Lombards, naming many Roman saints. Written at Monza or Rome, 590/604; preserved in its original copy.

Download (189.48 kB)
online resource
posted on 09.10.2018, 00:00 by Bryan
The Notitia of Theodelinda's oils

This list of relics is supplemented by a number of individual labels (pittacia) from the flasks of oil, twelve of which also survive in Monza. These pittacia essentially duplicate the information found in the list below, so we have not made separate entries for them. However it should be noted that the name of one saint is known only from the pittacia and not from the list: *Candida (martyr of Rome with Arthemius and Paulina, buried on the via Aurelia, S00552), whose name is partially preserved in pittacium II of the editions of Valentini and Zucchetti, and of Glorie.

Not(itia) de olea s(an)c(t)orum martyrum qui Romae in corpore requiescunt idest

[Left column]
sancti Petri apostholi
sancti Pauli apostholi
[sanct]i Pancrati
sancti Arthemi
sanctae Sofiae cum tres filias suas
sanctae Paulinae
sanctae Lucinae
sancti Processi
sancti Martiniani
[san]c[ti] Grisanti
[sanct]ae D[a]riae
sancti Mauri
sancti Iason
[et a]li[i] sancti multa milia
sancti Sat[ur]nini
sancti [..]pinionis
sancti Systi
[sanct]i L[au]renti
[san]cti [Ypp]oliti
sanctorum Iohannis et Pauli
sanctae A[gnet]is et aliarum
mul[ta]rum mar[ty]rum
sancti Y[…]ion
sanctae So[th]eris
sanctae Sa[pie]ntiae
sanctae Sp[ei]
sanctae Fides
sanctae Ca[rit]atis
sanctae C[a]e[cili]ae
[sanct]i [T]arsicii
sancti Cornilii
et multa milia sanctorum
[sanct]i Iohannis sancti Liberalis
[………………………]
[sancti B]lastro et multorum sanctorum
[sed et] alii sancti idest CCLXII
[in unu]m locum et alii CXXII
[et alii sancti] XLV quos omnes
[Iust]inus presbiter colliga
[sancti Laure]nti martyris sepelivit
[s. Feli]citatis cum septem
[filios s]uos


[Right column]
sancti Bo[ni]f[a]ti
sancti Hermitis
sancti Proti
sancti Iacynti
sancti Maximiliani
sanctus Crispus
sanctus Herculanus
sanctus Bauso
sancta Basilla
oleo de s[i]de ubi prius sedit sanctus Petrus
sancti Vitalis
sancti Alexandri
sanctus Martialis
sanctus Marcellus
sancti Siluestri
sancti Felicis
sancti Filippi et aliorum multorum sanctorum
sancti Seuastiani
sancti Eutycii
sancti Quirini
sancti Valeriani
sancti Tiburtii
sancti Maximi
sancti Orba[ni]
sancti Ianuarii
sanctae Petronillae filiae sancti Petri apostoli
sancti Nerei
sancti Damasi
sancti Marcelliani
[sancti A]cillei
[sancti Ma]rci

+ quas olea sancta tenporib[u]s
domni Gregorii papae addu-
xit Iohannis indignus et pecca-
tor domnae Theodelindae
reginae de Roma.


'A list of oils of the holy martyrs who rest in the body at Rome, that is

[Left column]
of saint Peter the apostle [*Peter the Apostle, S00036]
of saint Paul the apostle [*Paul the Apostle, S00008]
of saint Pancratius [*Pancratius, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Aurelia, S00307]
of saint Arthemius [*Arthimius, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Aurelia, S00552]
of saint Sophia with her three daughters [*Sophia and her three daughters, Spes, Fides, Caritas, martyrs of Rome, buried on the via Aurelia, S00554]
of saint Paulina [Paulina/Paulinus, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Aurelia, $S00553]
of saint Lucina [*Lucina, virgin and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Aurelia, S00557]
of saint Processus [*Processus, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Aurelia, S00556]
of saint Martinianus [*Martianus, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Aurelia, S00556]
of saint Grisantus
of saint Daria [*Chrysanthus and *Daria, chaste couple and martyrs of Rome, buried on the via Salaria, S00306]
of saint Maurus
of saint Iason [*Maurus and *Iason/Jason, brothers and martyrs of Rome, buried on the via Salaria, $00526]
and many thousand other saints
of saint Saturninus [*Saturninus, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria, S00422]
of saint [...]pinio
of saint Sixtus [*Xystus/Sixtus II, bishop and martyr of Rome, S00201]
of saint Laurence [*Laurence/Laurentius, deacon and martyr of Rome, S00037]
of saint Hippolytus [*Hippolytus, martyr of Rome, S00509]
of the saints John and Paul [*Iohannes and Paulus, brothers and eunuchs, martyrs of Rome under the emperor Julian, S00384]
of saint Agnes and many other female martyrs [*Agnes, virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097]
of saint Y[…]ion
of saint So[th]eris [*Soteris, virgin and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Appia, S00548]
of saint Sapientia
of saint Spes
of saint Fides
of saint Caritas [*Sophia/Sapientia and her three daughters, Spes, Fides and Caritas, martyrs of Rome, buried on the via Aurelia, S00554]
of saint Caecilia [*Caecilia, virgin and martyr of Rome, S00146]
of saint Tarsicius [*Tarsicius, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Appia, S02859]
of saint Cornilius [*Cornelius, bishop and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Appia, S00172]
and of many thousands of saints
of saint Iohannes [*Iohannes, martyr of Rome under the emperor Julian, buried on the via Salaria vetus, S00514] and saint Liberalis [martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria vetus, S02703]
[………………………] [the manuscript is corrupt]
of saint Blastro [*Blastus, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria vetus, S00476], and of many saints,
but also other saints, that is 262
in one place and another 122,
and 45 other saints, all of whom
the priest Iustinus, colleague
of saint Laurence, the martyr, buried [These five lines refer to saints buried on the via Salaria by a priest Iustinus, as described towards the end of the Martyrdom of Polychronius, Xystus, Laurence, Hippolytus and Others, $E02504];
of saint Felicitas with her seven sons; [*Felicitas, martyr of Rome with her seven sons, S00525]


[Right column]
of saint Bonifacius [*Bonifacius I, bishop of Rome, ob. 422, buried on the via Salaria, S00472]
of saint Hermes [*Hermes, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria vetus, S00404]
of saint Protus
of saint Iacyntus [*Protus and *Hyacinthus, eunuchs and martyrs of Rome, buried on the via Salaria vetus, S00464]
of saint Maximilianus [*Maximilianus/Maximus, martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria vetus, S00173]
saint Crispus [*Crispus, martyr of Rome under the emperor Julian, buried on the via Salaria vetus, $S01526]
saint Herculanus [*Herculanus, martyr of Rome, buried on the the via Salaria vetus, S02820]
saint Bauso [*Bauso, martyr of Rome, buried on the the via Salaria vetus, S02423]
saint Basilla [*Basilla/Basilissa, virgin and martyr of Rome, buried on the the via Salaria vetus, S00684]
oil from the seat where earlier saint Peter sat [*Peter, the Apostle, S00036]
of saint Vitalis
of saint Alexander
saint Martialis [Vitalis, Alexander and Martialis, three of the seven sons of *Felicitas, martyred with her at Rome, $00525]
saint Marcellus [*Marcellus, bishop and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria, S00529]
of saint Silvester [*Silvester, bishop of Rome, ob. 336, buried on the via Salaria, S00397]
of saint Felix
of saint Philippus and of many other saints [Felix and Philippus, two of the seven sons of Felicitas, martyred with her at Rome, $00525]
of saint Sebastian [*Sebastianus, martyr of Rome, S00400]
of saint Eutycius [*Eutychius, martyr of Rome, buried at S. Sebastiano on the via Appia $00631]
of saint Quirinus [*Quirinus, martyr of Rome buried at S. Sebastiano on the via Appia, S01225]
of saint Valerianus
of saint Tiburtius [*Valerianus and Tiburtius, husband and brother-in-law repectively of Caecilia, buried on the via Appia,

History

Evidence ID

E06788

Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036 Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Pancratius, martyr of Rome : S00307 Arthimius, martyr of Rome : S00552 Sophia and her three daughters, Spes, Fides, Caritas, martyrs of Rome, buried on the via Aurelia : S00554 Lucina, virgin

Saint Name in Source

Paulus Petrus Pancratius Arthemus, Paulina, Lucina Sofia cum tres filias suas, Sa[pie]ntia, Sp[es], Fides, Caritas Lucina Processus, Martinianus Maurus, Iason Sat[ur]ninus L[au]rentius A[gne]s So[th]eris Caecilia Cornilius [B]lastro He

Related Saint Records

Image Caption 1

The Monza papyrus of the Notula (image reproduced from Valentini and Zucchetti 1942, tav. 1).

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - List Documentary texts - Relic label Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

590

Evidence not after

604

Activity not before

590

Activity not after

625

Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Rome

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

Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Major author/Major anonymous work

Lists of Shrines in Rome

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Pilgrimage

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Monarchs and their family

Cult Activities - Relics

Contact relic - oil Collections of multiple relics Ampullae, eulogiai, tokens Transfer, translation and deposition of relics

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Oil lamps/candles

Source

During the pontificate of Gregory the Great (590-604), as stated at the end of the list, an otherwise unknown Iohannes/John brought a number of small glass vials (perhaps 14 in all) to the Lombard court in northern Italy from Rome. These ampullae contained 'oils of the martyrs', presumably oil from the lamps burning at their tombs outside the walls at Rome. Each vial was labelled with a small papyrus tag (conventionally referred to as a pittacium, from the Latin word for such a label), which recorded the names of the saints whose oils it contained. The oil of Peter and of Paul each had its own flask, but the pittacia tell us that the other vials each contained the oils of many saints – John either collected oil from one lamp from each cemetery, to represent all the martyrs buried there, or put together tiny amounts of oil from lamps burning in front of each grave. A single papyrus sheet (termed a notitia or perhaps notula) served as a catalogue of the entire collection. All these items (the notitia/notula, the pittacia, and the vials) are preserved to this day at the cathedral of S. Giovanni Battista in Monza; for the appearance of the papyrus, see the image (reproduced from Valentini and Zucchetti 1942). For a photograph of some of the ampullae, as well as reproductions of the notula and pittacia, see Vitali 1966, plates 40-42; for the notula and pittacia, see also the plates to Sepulcri 1903. From the list and pittacia, we can tell that John visited most of the important Christian cemeteries of the city, though he did not visit those of the via Flaminia, via Labicana, via Latina or via Portuensis.

Discussion

To understand the meaning of the evidence one needs to understand the intentions of Queen Theodelinda, for whom John was working (as is explicitly stated at the end of our list). Theodelinda (PLRE IIIB, 1235-6) was the daughter of Garibald I of Bavaria. She became queen of the Lombards in 589 by marrying first Authari, king of the Lombards (r. 584-590), and then after his death, his successor Agilulf (r. 590-616). She died during the reign of her son Adaloald (616/626). During her reign she was concerned with restoring Nicene Christianity to a position of primacy in Italy. Among the churches she built was the cathedral of Monza. To strengthen her position and her claim on orthodoxy, Theodelinda needed the supernatural power of Rome from which came authority. She therefore sent to Rome, and Rome came to her: 'Like the local heroes of so many of the north Italian cities that Theodelinda knew firsthand, the Roman saints rested in a ring of tombs around Rome's great walls. What distinguished Rome was not the location of its martyria and funerary basilicae but the overwhelming quality and quantity of its saints and martyrs, so potent an empress might want them, so many that the Monzan pittacia (like the itineraria later) simply allude to unnamed thousands. Conceived in this manner, the essence of late sixth- and early seventh-century Rome could, perhaps, be distilled and carried away. In a collection of glass vials in a basilica at Monza, Theodelinda or her heirs concentrated a bit of the prophylactic and miraculous power of a host of saints whose names and stories were now intimately and inextricably bound up with Roman (and Christian) identity.' (Trout 2005, 144) The evidence bears testimony to the power Theodelinda attributed to these oils of the martyrs, which brought to Monza the power of the saints' relics in Rome. The veneration of saints in early seventh century Monza is thereby evident. Although the names of the saints are presented in this document as a simple list, with no indication of the individual cemeteries where they lay, the oils were of course collected cemetery by cemetery, and the names were therefore also listed by cemetery. With the help of the three seventh-century guides to the martyrs' graves of Rome (the Notitia Ecclesiarum, the De Locis Sanctis, and the Itinerarium Malmesburiense), we can therefore identify within the text individual cemeteries (or at least groups of cemeteries along the same road): for instance, after Peter and Paul, who head the list, there are five saints, or groups of saints, from the via Aurelia, followed by saints of the via Salaria. Being able to identify these groups, makes it much easier to identify the individual martyrs, all of whom (with one single exception) are also documented in other sources. A few entries do require particular comment: The entry for the somewhat implausible saint Sapientia [Wisdom], with her three daughters (Spes, Fides and Caritas [Hope, Faith and Charity]), which appears at the lower end of the left-hand column, is problematic. They are listed here with saints of the via Appia (with whom they also appear on the related pittacium), but, towards the top of the same column, a 'saint Sofia and her three daughters' are also listed, here amongst martyrs of the via Aurelia; and it is on the Aurelia that the Notitia Ecclesiarum records a saint Sophia (with two daughters, named in Greek 'Pistis [Faith]' and 'Agapite [Charity]'; see E00689), and the Itinerarium Malmesburiense the same family of martyrs, though by their Latin names of Sapientia, Fides, Spes and Caritas (E07896). There is no obvious explanation for the duplication of this family of 'virtuous' martyrs, with a mother named 'Wisdom/Sapientia/Sophia', and daughters named 'Faith/Fides/Pistis', 'Hope/Spes/Elpis' and 'Charity/Caritas/Agapite'. Bauso, towards the top of the right-hand column and amongst saints of the via Salaria vetus, is the one saint of the list documented in no other source. The 'oil from the seat where earlier saint Peter sat', listed just below Bauso and also from the Salaria, is not readily explained, but must represent an attempt to link the cemetery where it was housed with the very earliest period of Christianity in Rome.

Bibliography

Text: Glorie, F. (ed.), Not(ula) de olea sanctorum Martyrum quie Romae corpore requiescunt, in Itineraria et alia geographica (Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina 175; Turnhout: Brepols, 1965), 284-92. [Reproduces Valentini and Zucchetti's text, adding notes that quote mentions of the relevant saints in the pilgrim itineraries.] Tjäder, J.-O. (ed.), Die nichtliterarischen lateinischen Papyri Italiens aus der Zeit 445-700, vol. 2 (Stockholm, 1982), 205-222. Valentini, R., and Zucchetti, G. (ed.), Codice topografico della città di Roma, vol. 2 (Rome, 1942), 35-47. Further Reading: Sepulcri, A., "I papiri della basilica di Monza e le reliquie inviate da Roma," Archivio Storico Lombardo 30 (1903), 241-262. Trout, D., "Theodelinda's Rome: Ampullae, Pittacia, and the Image of the City," Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 50 (2005), 131-150. Vitali, L. (ed.), Il Tesoro del Duomo di Monza (Milan, 1966).

Continued Description

rticles/_/13730557'>S00537]of saint Maximus [*Maximus, martyr of Rome, associated with Caecilia, buried on the via Appia, S00537]of saint Orbanus [*Urbanus, bishop and confessor/martyr of Rome, buried on the via Appia, S00538]of saint Ianuarius [*Ianuarius, eldest son of Felicitas and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Appia, S02863]of saint Petronilla the daughter of saint Peter the apostle [*Petronilla, daughter of saint Peter and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Ardeatina, S00402]of saint Nereus [*Nereus, eunuch and martyr of Rome, companion of Achilleus, buried on the via Ardeatina, S00403]of saint Damasus [*Damasus, bishop of Rome, ob. 384, buried on the via Ardeatina, S00535]of saint Marcellianus [*Marcellianus, twin brother of Marcus, deacon and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Ardeatina, $01401]of saint Achilleus [*Achilleus, eunuch and martyr of Rome, companion of Nereus, buried on the via Ardeatina, S00403]of saint Marcus; [*Marcus, twin brother of Marcellianus, deacon and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Ardeatina,$01401]these holy oils in the timesof lord Gregory the pope,John, unworthy and a sinner,brought to the lady Theodelinda,the queen, from Rome.'Text: Glorie (1965) / Tjäder (1982). Translation: P. Polcar.