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E01051: The Depositio Episcoporum, a list of the burials of the bishops of Rome, deceased between 255 and 352, gives both the day of the year and the place of their burial; from the so-called Chronography of 354, compiled in Latin in Rome, c. 354.

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posted on 2016-01-04, 00:00 authored by robert
Chronography of 354

VI kal. Ianuarias Dionisi, in Callisti.
III kal. Ianuar. Felicis, in Callisti.
prid. kal. Ianuar. Silvestri, in Priscillae.
III idus Ianuarias Miltiadis, in Callisti.
XVIII kal. Feb. Marcellini, in Priscillae.
III non. Mar. Luci, in Callisti.
X kal. Mai. Gai, in Callisti.
IIII non. Augustas Stephani, in Callisti.
VI kal. Octob. Eusebii, in Callisti.
VI idus Decemb. Eutychiani, in Callisti.
non. Octob. Marci, in Balbinae.
prid. idus Apr. Iuli, in via Aurelia miliario III, in Callisti.

27 December of Dionysius, in [the cemetery] of Callixtus. [ob. 269]
30 December of Felix, in [the cemetery] of Callixtus. [ob. 274]
31 December of Silvester, in [the cemetery] of Priscilla. [ob. 335]
30 December of Miltiades, in [the cemetery] of Callixtus. [ob. 314.]
15 January of Marcellinus, in [the cemetery] of Priscilla. [ob. 304.]
5 March of Lucius, in [the cemetery] of Callixtus. [ob. 255]
22 April of Gaius, in [the cemetery] of Callixtus. [ob. 296]
2 August of Stephanus, in [the cemetery] of Callixtus. [ob. 255]
26 September of Eusebius, in [the cemetery] of Callixtus. [ob. 310/311]
8 December of Eutychianus, in [the cemetery] of Callixtus. [ob. 283]
7 October of Marcus, in [the cemetery] of Balbina. [ob. 336]
12 April of Julius, on the via Aurelia, at the 3rd milestone, in [the cemetery] of Callixtus. [ob. 352.]'

Text: Mommsen 1892. Translation: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Dionysius, bishop of Rome, ob. c. 267 : S00542 Felix, martyr and bishop of Rome, ob. c. 273 : S00200 Silvester, bishop of Rome, d. 336 : S00397 Lucius, bishop of Rome, ob. c. 258 : S00208 Stephen, martyr and bishop of Rome, ob. c. 257 : S00205 E

Saint Name in Source

Dionisus Felix Silvester Lucus Stephanus Eusebius Marcus Iulius Marcellinus Miltiades

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Calendars and martyrologies


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Other liturgical acts and ceremonies

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - unspecified

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


The Chronography of 354 is an illustrated codex containing a calendar, several lists of consuls, prefects of Rome, bishops of Rome, and Christian feasts, as well as some other material. The Chronography can be safely dated to 354 because the lists of consuls and prefects of Rome end at that year. The calendar proper lists secular and pagan festivals, imperial anniversaries, etc. The Chronography contains two important lists for the cult of saints: the Depositio episcoporum / 'The Burial of Bishops', discussed here, and the Depositio martirum / 'The Burial of Martyrs' (E01052), which immediately follows it in the manuscripts. Both lists tell us the day of the year of the bishop or martyr's burial, and its location, suggesting that annual commemoration occurred at these sites. The original of the codex is lost. The lists of bishops and martyrs are known from three manuscripts, dating from the the late 15th to the early 17th century, all are copies of (lost) Carolingian manuscripts, made from the late-antique original.


Sixtus/Xystus II (257-258) and Marcellus (305/6-306/7) are missing from the list, although according to the Liber Pontificalis, complied in the sixth century, both were buried in Rome (see E00362 and E00399). In the case of Sixtus this is understandable, because as a martyr he is noted in the Depositio martyrum (E01052). The latter is either confused with Marcellinus, his immediate predecessor, or perhaps there never was a bishop of Rome named Marcellus, in spite of the fact that he has an entry in the Liber Pontificalis. All but the last two commemorations are listed in chronological order through the year, from January to December. The commemorations of Mark (ob. 336) and Julius (ob. 352) seem to be added at the end of an already existing list. This suggests that an earlier list was composed during the pontificate of Mark (January-October 336) and added to by the author of the Chronography of 354, working during the pontificate of Liberius (bishop 352-366), Julius' immediate successor. The record of Julius being buried on the Aurelia 'in [the cemetery] of Callixtus' is both confusing and interesting: confusing, because 'the cemetery of Callixtus' normally applies to the cemetery on the via Appia, where so many of the other popes on this list were buried; interesting, because, unless it is an error, it suggests that the cemetery of Calepodius on the via Aurelia, in which Julius was buried (E01243), was already sometimes known, not by its old secular name, but by the name of a prominent saint buried within it, here the bishop and martyr Callixtus (S00145) - the same man who developed the 'cemetery of Callixtus' on the via Appia! The list almost certainly had a liturgical function. It names not only the dates, but also the places of burial of the bishops, which suggests that a ceremony was celebrated at these cemeteries. However, we know that the catacombs were restored and made widely accessible only by pope Damasus (366-384), Liberius' successor, thus these celebrations are not entirely certain and their character remains unknown. Interestingly, the dates of most of these burials differ from those which will be given later in the Liber Pontificalis (compare the respective records), which suggests that they were not firmly fixed and their celebration was not very important.


Edition: Mommsen, T., Chronographus anni CCCCLIIII, in: Chronica Minora saec. IV. V. VI. VII., vol. 1 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Auctores Antiquissimi 9; Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1892), 13-196. Edition and German commentary: Divjak, J., and Wischmeyer, W., Das Kalenderhandbuch von 354: Der Chronograph des Filocalus,, 2 vols. (Vienna: Holzhausen, 2014). On the Chronography of 354: Burgess, R.W., "The Chronograph of 354: Its Manuscripts, Contents, and History," Journal of Late Antiquity 5 (2012), 345-396. Salzman, M.R., On Roman Time: The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991). For the chronology of the bishops of Rome: Davis, R., "Pre-Constantinian Chronology: The Roman Bishopric from AD 258 to 314," Journal of Theological Studies 48 (1997), 439-470.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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