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E02683: Augustine of Hippo preaches in Latin a sermon on the feast of the *Scillitan Martyrs (martyrs in Carthage from Scillium, S00913), referring to their Acts. Sermon 299E, preached probably in Carthage (North Africa), possibly in 397.

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posted on 2017-04-10, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 299E

[Tractatus de natale sanctorum Scillitanorum in Basilica Novarum

'Discourse on the birthday of the Scillitan saints in the Basilica Novarum]

1. Martyrum Christi uirorum et feminarum fortitudo Christus. Si enim uiri soli in passione fortes exsisterent, sexui fortiori uirtus tribueretur. Ideo fortiter pati et infirmior sexus potuit, quia Deus in omnibus potuit ...

'1. The strength, the fortitude, of Christ's martyrs, men and women alike, is Christ. If men, alone, you see, stood out as being brave and strong in suffering, their courage would be attributed to the stronger sex. The reason the weaker sex too has been able to suffer bravely, is that God was able make it possible in people of all sorts ...'

There follows a general reflection on martyrdom. Later on (ch. 2) Augustine refers to the words spoken by one of the martyrs which indeed can be found in the Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs:

Illo magisterio edocta fortissima femina; honore, inquit, Caesari tamquam Caesari: timorem autem Deo.

'Taught by this magisterial lesson, that most valiant woman said: "Honour to Caesar as Caesar, but reverence to God".'

In what follows the preacher deals with the issue of wealth.

Text: Morin 1930, 550 and 553. Translation: Hill 1994, 263 and 265. Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Scilitan martyrs, ob. 180 in Carthage (North Africa) : S00913

Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Latin North Africa

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Carthage Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Major author/Major anonymous work

Augustine of Hippo

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Oral transmission of saint-related stories

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


The sermon is tentatively dated to 397 on the basis of intertextual references and its place in the collection of Augustine's sermons.


Text: Morin, G., Sancti Augustini Sermones post Maurinos reperti (Miscellanea Agostiniana, vol. 1; Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1930). Translation: Hill, E., The Works of Saint Augustine. A Translation for the 21st Century, vol. III 9, Sermons 273-305A on the Saints (New York: New City Press, 1994). Dating: Kunzelmann, A., "Die Chronologie der sermones des hl. Augustinus," Miscellanea Agostiniana, vol. 2 (Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1931), 417-452.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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