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E02815: Augustine of Hippo preaches in Latin a sermon for the feast of the beheading of *John the Baptist (S00020). Sermon 308, preached in Hippo Regius (North Africa) sometime between 397 and 430.

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posted on 2017-05-16, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 308

[In eadem solemnitate

'On the same feast']

Starting from the biblical reading on Herod who swore to give to Salome whatever she would ask for, Augustine preaches against the custom of taking oaths, without further references to the cult of John the Baptist.

Text: Patrologia Latina 38, 1408-1410. Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

John the Baptist : S00020

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

Hippo Regius

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

Hippo Regius Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Major author/Major anonymous work

Augustine of Hippo

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


The dating of the sermon is uncertain, but it was certainly preached in Hippo, which Augustine states clearly in § 5.


The words 'On the same feast' refer to Sermon 307 (E02768) which was preached on the feast of beheading of John the Baptist. According to the early 6th century Calendar of Carthage, on the 27 of December the Church of this city celebrated the feast 'of saint John the Baptist and of the apostle James whom Herod killed'. That was most probably the feast of the beheading of John. One needs to note, however, that though the sermon refers to the reading about the death of John, it does not mention the feast which is named only in the colophon. This colophon could be a later addition. Augustine preaches against the custom of taking oaths, but does not suggest in any way that people swore by saints.


Text: Migne, J.P., Patrologia Latina 38 (Paris, 1865). Translation: Hill, E., The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, vol. III 9. Sermons 306-340A for 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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