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E07904: Jerome, in his On illustrious men, in his note on *Clemens/Clement (bishop of Rome, martyr of the Crimea, S00111), states that a church in Rome preserves the memory of Clemens' name. Written in Latin in Bethlehem (Palestine), 392/393.

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posted on 27.05.2020, 00:00 by robert
Jerome, On Illustrious Men (De viris inlustribus) 17 (Clement of Rome)

Obiit tertio Traiani anno et nominis eius memoriam usque hodie Romae exstructa ecclesia custodit.

'He died in the third year of Trajan and a church built at Rome preserves the memory of his name unto this day.'

Text: Richardson, 1896. Translation: Richardson, 1892.

History

Evidence ID

E07904

Saint Name

Clemens/Clement, bishop and martyr of Rome : S00111

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

392

Evidence not after

393

Activity not before

350

Activity not after

393

Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Bethlehem

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

Bethlehem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Jerome of Stridon

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Source

Jerome wrote this collection of very short biographies of 135 Christian authors at the beginning of his stay in Bethlehem in 392/393. Amongst the authors commemorated were several who suffered martyrdom (which Jerome records at the end of their biographies) and others (such as Eusebius of Vercelli and Hilary of Poitiers) who would later attract cult, but Jerome's purpose in writing De viris inlustribus was to show how many learned men there had been, and still were within the Christian church (he closes with a rather longer biography of himself!), rather than to encourage saintly cult. We have therefore only created database entries from the De viris inlustribus in the very few cases (such as this one) where Jerome happens to provide information that sheds significant light on the cult of a saint.

Discussion

Jerome evidently refers to the titulus Clementis (on the site of present-day San Clemente), and is the first author to attest its existence. The early titular churches were named after their founders or owners and not after patron saints; so the titulus Clementis will in origin have commemorated a secular patron, Clemens. The church is first referred to as the titulus sancti Clementis only at the time of the Roman synod of 499 (E02744), but the testimony of Jerome proves that it was already associated with the bishop and martyr of Rome, Clemens, at the end of the fourth century.

Bibliography

Text: Richardson, E.C., De viris inlustribus (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Altchristlichen Literatur, vol. 14/1a, Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, 1896), 1-56. Translation: Richardson, E.C., On Illustrious Men (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 3, Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892). Revised and edited by K. Knight. . Further reading: Brandenburg, H., Ancient churches of Rome from the fourth to the seventh century: the dawn of Christian architecture in the West, Turnhout: Brepols, 2005.

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