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E07475: Very fragmentary Latin epitaph from the cemetery of Saint Alexander on the via Nomentana, Rome, recording the date of death of the buried person as the feast (dies natalis) of unnamed martyrs, probably *Alexander, Eventius and Theodolus (bishop, priest, and deacon, and martyrs of Rome, S00127) venerated in this cemetery. Could we write: Probably 3rd c., perhaps 276. Very tentatively dated 276 (by a restored consular date). [provisional entry]

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posted on 23.03.2019, 00:00 by pnowakowski
[- - -]III kalen(das)
[- - -]io die
[- - - A]emiliano
[coss. nat]us in
[urbe Rom]a et
[defunctus] die
[V non(as) mai(as)] nat(ali) martor(um)

'[- - -] on the 3rd (?) day before the Calends of [- - -] day [- - - and] Aemilianus [the consuls, born] in [the city of Rome], and [died on the 5th] day [before the Nones of May], on the feast of the martyrs.'

Text: ICVR, n.s., VIII, no. 22966 = EDB41559.

History

Evidence ID

E07475

Saint Name

Alexander, Eventius and Theodolus, bishop, priest and deacon, martyrs of Rome : S00127 Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060

Saint Name in Source

martyres martyres

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

200

Evidence not after

400

Activity not before

200

Activity not after

400

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 - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - crypt/ crypt with relics

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Officials Other lay individuals/ people Children

Source

Right-hand part of a marble plaque. Preserved dimensions: H. 56 cm, W. 41 cm, letter height 3 cm. Recovered from the ruins of the cemetery's basilica in 1854. Now fixed on a wall in sector F of the cemetery (where it was placed on 3 May 1888, the feast day of Alexander, Eventius, and Theodulos).

Discussion

It is possible that the epitaph commemorates the death of a boy who died the same year he was born. In lines 3-4, it contained a consular date of which no more than the name of one of the consuls, Aemilianus, is preserved. Antonio Ferrua gives an account of the attempted restorations of the missing name, and hence, the date: initially de Rossi argued for '[Albino et] Aemiliano' (= AD 206), but Gatti questioned this dating as it fell far too early before the conventional date of the martyrdom of Alexander, Eventius, and Theodulus, which, he said, was AD 271 (Gatti based his assumption on the martyrdom account of the three saints, our E02481, which is, however, strange, as it sets the martyrdom under the emperor Trajan). Gatti opted for AD 276 and the reconstruction '[Tacito II et] Aemiliano'. Diehl and Schneider, much more reasonably, pointed out that consuls called 'Aemilianus' were in office also in AD 206, 227, 244, 249, and 259, but we can narrow down this range by excluding AD 227 when the second consul was Maximus, and AD 249, the year of the second consulship of an Aemilianus (who would therefore have been named first). Yet another hypothesis was put forward by Marucchi and Belvederi, who doubted that the name Aemilianus belonged to a consular dating formula. Eventually, Ferrua himself, by rather tentatively eliminating other dates, preferred AD 276. The date in line 7 was restored merely on the supposition that the feast is of the three principal martyrs venerated in the cemetery of Saint Alexander: Alexander, Eventius, and Theodolus, which falls on 3 May according to the Martyrologium Hieronymianum (E04797).

Bibliography

Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB41559. see http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/41559 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. 22966 (with further bibliography).

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