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E02772: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 1.23) of February 591, to Anthemius, rector of the papal patrimony in Campania, mentions a monastery of Saint *Erasmus (martyr of Formia, S00867) on the side of 'mount Repperus', and an oratory of an unspecified archangel (probably *Michael, S00181) next to a basilica of *Peter (the Apostle, 00036) in the Castrum Lucullanum; all in Campania (southern Italy). Written in Latin in Rome.

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posted on 2017-05-08, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Pope Gregory the Great, Register of letters 1.23

Extract from the letter:

Praeterea Paulino presbytero monasterii sancti Erasmi, quod in latere montis Repperi situm est, sed et duobus monachis in oratorio sancti Archangeli seruientibus, quod in Luculano castro iuxta sancti Petri basilicam esse dinoscitur, binos te in praesenti tantummodo solidos dare praecipimus, qui et ipsi tuis rationibus imputentur.

''Furthermore, we order you to give at present just two gold coins each to Paulinus, priest at the monastery of Saint Erasmus, situated on the side of mount Repperi, and to two monks serving in the oratory of the holy Archangel, which is known to be in Castrum Lucullanum beside the basilica of saint Peter, again charging the cost to your accounts.'

Text: Norberg 1982, 21. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 1, 134, modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Erasmus, martyr and bishop of Formia (Italy), ob. c. 303 : S00867 Archangels (unspecified) : S00191 Peter the Apostle : S00036 Michael, the Archangel : S00181

Saint Name in Source

Erasmus Archangelus Petrus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

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

Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory the Great (pope)

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - dependent (chapel, baptistery, etc.)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


A letter transmitted as part of Gregory the Great’s Register of Letters. This letter collection, organised into fourteen books, is large and contains letters to a variety of recipients, including prominent aristocrats, members of the clergy and royalty. The issues touched on in the letters are equally varied, ranging from theological considerations to mundane administrative matters. This collection of letters, which was possibly curated by Gregory, was originally much larger. The surviving Register comprises several groups of letters which were extracted at several later moments in history, the largest of which took place in the papacy of Hadrian I (772-795).


This letter provides additional evidence about the cult of Erasmus in Campania (see S00867). The mons Repperus mentioned in the letter is not attested otherwise, and the monastery mentioned by Gregory cannot be located, although it was perhaps close to the other place mentioned in Gregory's letter, Castrum Lucullanum (on the site of Naples' Castel dell'Ovo). The reference to an unspecified archangel is probably to the Archangel Michael, since he is the principal archangel to receive dedications in our period and also features in the Martyrdom of Erasmus (E02771).


Edition: Norberg, D., S. Gregorii Magni, Registrum epistularum. 2 vols. (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 140-140A; Turnhout: Brepols, 1982). English translation: Martyn, J.R.C., The Letters of Gregory the Great, 3 vols. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2004).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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