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E02518: The Martyrdom of *Vitalis and Agricola (master and slave, martyrs of Bologna, S00310), wrongly attributed to Ambrose of Milan (ob. 397), exists in Latin in two main versions. The supposed 'first version' is a forgery written in the 16th c., on the basis of the 'second version', which probably dates from the 9th c.

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posted on 2017-03-08, 00:00 authored by mpignot
The Martyrdom of Vitalis and Agricola


BHL 8690: Patrologia Latina 17, 747-749; Acta Sanctorum, Nov, II, 1, 247-249.

BHL 8691: Lanéry (2008), 569-572.

We have not produced summaries of these texts, both of which are much later than c. 700 (the end date for our project).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Agricola, martyr of Bolonia (Italy), master of Vitalis, ob. 303/312 : S00310

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence 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


The 'first version' of the Martyrdom of Vitalis and Agricola, BHL 8690, was, until recently, generally thought to date from the 5th century (Clavis Patrum Latinorum 2245; Gryson, R., Répertoire général des auteurs ecclésiastiques Latins de l’Antiquité et du Haut moyen âge, 2 vols. (Freiburg, 2007), I, 91). However, Lanéry 2008, 445-464, has argued convincingly that it is a forgery prepared by the editors of Ambrose's works at the end of the 16th century, on the basis of the other main medieval version of the martyrdom, BHL 8691, which dates probably from the 9th century. Lanéry underlines in particular that there is no manuscript evidence for BHL 8690.


Editions: BHL 8690: Patrologia Latina 17, 747ss; Acta Sanctorum, Nov, II, 1, 247-249 BHL 8691: Lanéry (2008), 569-572 Further reading: Lanéry, C., Ambroise de Milan hagiographe (Paris, 2008), 445-464.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity