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E00526: The Piacenza Pilgrim recounts how *Euphemia (martyr of Chalcedon, S00017), and *Antoninus/Antonius (probably Antoninus, martyr of Piacenza, S00328, but possibly *Antony, 'the Great', monk of Egypt, ob. 356, S00098) appeared to him and cured him, when he was ill in Jerusalem. Account of an anonymous pilgrim, written in Latin, probably in Placentia (northern Italy), c. 570.

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posted on 2015-05-18, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Pilgrim of Piacenza, Itinerarium 46

First recension
Iterum uenientes in Hierusolima, ubi etiam aegrotus remansi per multum tempus. Euidenter oculata fide uidi beatam Euphemiam per uisionem et beatum Antonium; quomodo uenerunt, sanauerunt me.

'When we returned to Jerusalem I had to stay there a long time because I was ill. But with my own eyes I clearly saw a vision of blessed Euphemia and blessed Antonius, and when they came to me they cured me.

The second recension follows the text of the first without important modifications.

Text: Geyer 1898, 190 and 217. Translation: Wilkinson 2002, 150, lightly modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Antony, 'the Great', monk of Egypt, ob. 356 : S00098 Euphemia, martyr in Chalcedon, ob. 303 : S00017 Antoninus, martyr of Piacenza : S00328

Saint Name in Source

Antonius Euphemia Antoninus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Pilgrim accounts and itineraries


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Piacenza Sardinia Sardinia Sardegna Sardinia Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Pilgrim of Piacenza

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Miracles

Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Healing diseases and disabilities


This Itinerary was written by an anonymous pilgrim to Palestine who started and finished his journey in Placentia. He visited the East probably not long after the earthquake in 551, since he presents the destruction of Berytus (modern Beirut) in this year as a relatively recent event. He certainly visited Palestine before the Persian invasion in 614, since in his account Jerusalem is under Roman administration. The Itinerary is extant in two recensions. The first one is shorter and generally closer to the original, but sometimes it is the second recension which preserves the original text. Moreover, the additions that can be found in the second recension, unfortunately difficult to date, bear an interesting witness to the development of the cult of saints. The Itinerary can be compared with an earlier pilgrim's diary written in the 380s by another western pilgrim, Egeria. The Piacenza Pilgrim's itinerary is less detailed than her account, but shows the development of the cultic practices and infrastructure which had taken place in the course of two hundred years: there are more places to visit, more objects to see, and more saints to venerate.


The identity of the Euphemia who visited our pilgrim and cured him is not in any doubt: she was unquestionably the great martyr of Chalcedon. The identity of her male companion is less certain, because different manuscripts (of both recensions) offer different readings of his name: 'Antonius' and 'Antoninus'. If the correct reading is 'Antonius' (and this is the reading Geyer chose for his edition), then the saint was Antony the 'Great', the fourth-century monk of Egypt, whose grave in Alexandria the pilgrim may well have recently visited (see E00513). If, on the other hand, 'Antoninus' is correct, the saint will have been Antoninus, martyr of Piacenza (our pilgrim's home town). We think that Antoninus of Piacenza is much the most likely saint, because in the very first sentence of his Itinerary the pilgrim tells us that he was accompanied throughout his travels by Antoninus (see E00578). If this was the case, it would in fact be strange if Antoninus had not appeared to the pilgrim in his hour of need.


Edition: Geyer, P. (ed.), Antonini Placentini Itinerarium, in Itineraria et alia geographica (Corpus Chistianorum, series Latina 175; Turnholti: Typographi Brepols editores pontificii, 1965), 129-174. [Essentially a reprinting of Geyer's edition for the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 39, Wien 1898.] English translations: Stewart, A., Of the Holy Places Visited by Antoninus Martyr (London: Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society, 1887). Wilkinson, J., Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades (2nd ed.; Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 2002).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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