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E01700: The short Life of *Conon (bishop of Rome, ob. 687, S00891) in the Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome soon after his death, mentions a gathering of soldiers at the basilica of *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030) in Rome, and Conon's burial at the church of *Peter (the Apostle, S00036) on 21 September.

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posted on 2016-07-10, 00:00 authored by robert
Liber Pontificalis 85

Conon oriundus patre Traceseo, edocatus apud Siciliam, postmodum Romam veniens eiusdem ecclesiae militans ad presbyterii honorem devenit. Sedit menses XI.

'Conon, born to a father who was a Thracesian, was brought up in Sicily and afterwards came to Rome, served in this church, and reached the dignity of the priesthood. He held the see 11 months.'

There follows an account of the conflict between the clergy of Rome and the army, which supported different candidates for the see of Rome. While the clergy assembled at the Lateran, the army assembled at the basilica of Stephen (Santo Stefano Rotondo). Finally, Conon was chosen as a compromise candidate. He is described in the following way: quo vere aspectus angelicus, veneranda canities, sermo verus, provecta etas, simplex animus, quieti mores religiosae vite, qui se numquam aliquando in causis actusque seculares commiserat.

'...He had a truly angelic appearance, venerable white hair, true speech, advanced age, an honest mind, and the quiet habits of the religious life, and at no time had he engaged in business or worldly affairs.'


Qui etiam sepultus est ad beatum Petrum apostolum, sub die XXI mens. Sept.

'He was buried at the blessed Peter the apostle on the 21st day of September.'

Text: Duchesne 1886, 368-369. Translation: Davis 2010, 79, lightly modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Conon, bishop of Rome, ob. 687 : S00891 Peter the Apostle : S00036 Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source

Conon Petrus Stepanus

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

Vatican area

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

Vatican area 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

Burial ad sanctos


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.


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).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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