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E07471: Fragmentary Latin inscription commemorating a dedication to unnamed saints, probably *Alexander and *Eventius (bishop and priest, martyrs of Rome, S00127). Found in the cemetery of Saint Alexander on the via Nomentana, Rome. Probably 5th or 6th c. [provisional entry]

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posted on 23.03.2019, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Inscription A:

sanctorum
ornavit

'decorated ... of the saints'

Inscription B:

Iunia Sabina
c(larissima) f(emina) eius
fecerunt

'[... and (?)] Iunia Sabina, the clarissima, his wife - they made it.'

Text: ICVR, n.s., VIII, no. 22959 = EDB41549.

History

Evidence ID

E07471

Saint Name

Alexander, Eventius and Theodolus, bishop, priest and deacon, martyrs of Rome : S00127 Saints, unnamed : S00518

Saint Name in Source

sancti

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements Archaeological and architectural - Internal cult fixtures (crypts, ciboria, etc.) Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

600

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

600

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 - crypt/ crypt with relics

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Other lay individuals/ people Aristocrats

Source

The two inscriptions are carved on two faces of two columns bases, made of marble, and measuring 25 cm x 21 cm x 21 cm. Both texts are framed, and measure respectively 10 cm x 18.5 cm, and 11 cm x 18.5 cm. Letter height 2.2 cm. The columns supported by the bases were probably designed to carry the ciborium. Found by Giovani Battista de Rossi in 1854, in proximity of the saints’ altar in the cemetery.

Discussion

It is very probable that both inscriptions come from the same dedicatory text, the majority of which is now lost. Ferrua suggested a hypothetical restoration of the entire inscription, including the text from the other two, now lost, bases of the ciborium: [NN sepulcrum] sanctorum ornavit [Eventio et Alexandro sanctis martyribus. NN et] Iunia Sabina c.f. eius fecerunt / '[NN] decorated [the tomb] of the saints [Eventius and Alexander, the holy martyrs. NN and] Iunia Sabina, the clarissima, his wife, made (it)'. Although the general sense is plausible, the actual phrasing can, of course, be disputed. Orazio Marucchi rather implausibly considered Inscription B as an independent dedication and understood it as: Iulia Sabina c(um) f(ilio) eius fecerunt/'Iulia Sabina with her son - they made it'.

Bibliography

Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB41549. see http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/41549 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. 22959 (with further bibliography).

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