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E01315: The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of *Felix III (bishop of Rome, ob. 492, S00785), recounts his building of a basilica of *Agapitus (deacon and martyr of Rome, S00203), near the church of saint Laurence on the via Tiburtina outside Rome, and his burial at the basilica of *Paul (the Apostle, S00008) [AD 492].

online resource
posted on 2016-04-27, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Liber Pontificalis 50

First edition (as reconstructed by Duchesne)

Felix, natione Romanus, ex patre presbitero, sedit ann. VIII m. XI d. XVII.


Sepultus est apud beatum Paulum.

'Felix, born in Rome, son of priest, held the see 8 years 11 months 17 days.


He was buried at the blessed Paul.'

Second edition

Felix, natione Romanus, ex patre Felice, presbitero de titulo Fasciolae, sedit ann. VIII m. XI d. XVII. Hic fuit temporibus Odobacris regis usque ad tempora Theodorici regis. Hic fecit basilicam sancti Agapiti iuxta basilicam sancti Laurenti martyris.

'Felix, born in Rome, son of Felix, priest of the titulus of Fasciola, held the see 8 years 11 months 17 days. He was bishop in the time of king Odovacer until the time of king Theoderic. He built the basilica of saint Agapitus close to the basilica of saint Laurence the martyr.'


Hic sepultus est in basilica beati Pauli apostoli.

'He was buried in the basilica of the blessed Paul the apostle.'

Text: Duchesne 1886, 93/95 and 252. Translation: Davis 2010, 40-41, lightly modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Felicissimus and Agapitus, and four other deacons of Xystus II, all martyrs of Rome : S00202 Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Felix III, bishop of Rome, ob. 492 : S00785

Saint Name in Source

Agapitus Paulus Felix

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)


  • 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

Major author/Major anonymous work

Liber Pontificalis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body


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 church of Agapitus, whose martyrdom in mentioned in chapter 25 (see E00362), on the via Tiburtina is named in the Notitia Ecclesiarum Urbis Romae (E00683).


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). Further reading: Krautheimer, R., Corpus Basilicarum Christianarum Romae: The early Christian Basilicas of Rome (IV–IX Centuries), Vatican City 1937–1977 Brandenburg, H., Ancient churches of Rome from the fourth to the seventh century : the dawn of Christian architecture in the West, Turnhout 2005.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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