File(s) not publicly available

E01289: The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of *Caelestinus (bishop of Rome, ob. 432, S00528), tells of his gifts to the basilicas of the Apostles *Peter (S00036) and *Paul (S00008) at Rome, and of his burial in the cemetery of Priscilla on the via Salaria outside the city, on 6 April [AD 432].

online resource
posted on 19.04.2016, 00:00 authored by robert
Liber Pontificalis 45

First edition (as reconstructed by Duchesne)

Caelestinus, natione Campanus, ex patre Prisco, sedit ann. VIII m. X d. XVII...
Qui etiam sepultus est in cimiterio Priscillae via Salaria VIII id. april.
'Caelestinus, born in Campania, son of Priscus, held the see 8 years 10 months 17 days...
He was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla on the via Salaria on 6 April.'

Second edition

Caelestinus, natione Romanus, ex patre Prisco, sedit ann. VIII m. X d. XVII.
Ad beatum Petrum apostolum: farum cantharum, pens. lib. XXV, ex argento purissimo; canthara argentea cireostata in gremio basilicae XXIIII, pens. sing. lib. XX.
Ad beatum Paulum apostulum: pharum cantarum argenteum, pens. lib. XXV; cantara cyreostata XXIIII, pens. sing. lib. XX.
Qui etiam sepultus est in cymiterio Priscillae via Salaria VIII id. April.

'Caelestinus, born in Campania, son of Priscus, held the see 8 years 10 months 17 days
At the blessed Peter the Apostle:
a chandelier weighing 25 lb of finest silver;
24 silver candlestick chandeliers in the body of the basilica, each
weighing 20 lb;
at the blessed Paul the Apostle:
a silver chandelier weighing 25 lb;
24 candlestick chandeliers each weighing 20 lb
He was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla on the via Salaria on 6 April.'

Text: Duchesne 1886, 89 and 230. Translation: Davis 2010, 33-34, lightly modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Celestinus, bishop of Rome, ob. 432 : S00528 Peter the Apostle : S00036 Paul, the Apostle : S00008

Saint Name in Source

Caelestinus Petrus Paulus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)



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

Major author/Major anonymous work

Liber Pontificalis

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Oil lamps/candles


The Liber Pontificalis consists of a series of very short lives of popes. The preface attributes it to pope Damasus (366-384), but this attribution is obviously false. According to Louis Duchesne, the first modern editor of the Liber Pontificalis, the original series of lives was written in Rome by an anonymous author, probably a member of the lesser clergy, in the 530s, and contained the lives from *Peter the Apostle to Felix IV (ob. 530). Shortly after, before 546, the text was re-edited by another anonymous author and only this edition survives. The first edition, however, can be reconstituted on the basis of its two epitomes (and the second edition). The second edition started to be continued systematically from the time of pope Honorius (625–638). It should be noted that Theodor Mommsen dated both editions of the Liber Pontificalis to the 7th century, but his opinion is widely rejected and the commonly accepted dating is that of Duchesne. For the pre-Constantinian period (before 312), the credibility of the Liber Pontificalis is very low. The chronology is confused, and details concerning the personal lives, decisions and ordinations of the bishops of Rome at best reflect what people in the 6th century trusted to be true, at worst are a pure invention of the author. The situation changes with the later lives. Already the information of 4th-century papal foundations and offerings are generally trustworthy. The early 6th-century evidence, based on the author's first hand knowledge is even better, though still imperfect.


The date of Celestinus' burial is mistaken. Counting from the beginning of his episcopate the date of his death can be established as 27 July, and indeed, his successor, Xystus III, was ordained on 31 July.


Edition: Duchesne, L., Le Liber pontificalis. 2 vols (Paris: E. Thorin, 1886-1892) (with substantial introduction and commentary). Translation: Davis, R., The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis) (Translated Texts for Historians 6; 3rd ed.; Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2010).

Usage metrics