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E00528: The Piacenza Pilgrim records his visit to Caesarea Maritima (Palestine) and the graves of *Cornelius (centurion baptised by Peter in Acts, S00301) and the local martyrs *Pamphilos (S00140) and *Prokopios/Procopius (S00118). 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 robert
Pilgrim of Piacenza, Itinerarium 46

First recension

Deinde ueni Caesarea Philippi, quae Turris Stratonis, quae et Caesarea Palaestinis uocatur. In qua requiescit sanctus Pamphilus, sanctus Procopius, sanctus Cornelius, ex cuius lectu benedictionem tulimus.

'From there I travelled to Caesarea Philippi, which also has names Strato's Tower and Caesarea Palestinae, the resting-place of saint Pamphilus, saint Procopius, and saint Cornelius from whose bed we took a blessing.'

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

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


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Pamphilos of Caesarea, martyr in Palestine, ob. 310 : S00140 Prokopios from Scythopolis, martyr in Palestine, ob. 303 : S00118 Cornelius the Centurion, New Testament saint : S00301

Saint Name in Source

Pamphilus Procopius Cornelius

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 - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Relics

Contact relic - saint’s possession and clothes


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 martyrdoms of Pamphilos and Prokopios at Caesarea were recorded by Eusebius (see E00275 and E00391, and E00296, repectively). The story of Cornelius, the centurion converted by Peter, is told in Acts 10. It is not clear, however, why our pilgrim believed that Cornelius' bed could convey a blessing (unless this is a strange way to refer to his grave). Beds feature quite often in our database as relics, but this is generally because they were places where miraculous cures had happened (see, for instance, E00412, relating to a bed where Elijah effected a miraculous cure), or they were where the saint had passed to heaven. There is no special reference to a bed in the story of Cornelius in Acts.


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). Further reading: Maraval, P., Lieux saints et Pèlerinages d'Orient: Histoire et géographie, des origines à la conquête arabe (Paris: Cerf, 1985), 300.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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