The Martyrologium Hieronymianum is preserved in a number of early manuscripts, which share much in common but also diverge so that it is impossible to reconstruct from them a single authoritative text. Below we, therefore, offer separate English translations of each important early manuscript, and by clicking the 'Datum Table' button, you can view these different versions in their original Latin, set side-by-side for ease of comparison. For a full discussion of the Martyrologium, click 'Discussion/Bibliography.'
The Martyrologium Hieronymianum commemorates on 10 January the following feasts:
The burial of *Miltiades, bishop, ob. 314, (S00659
Possibly *Firmus, martyr of Verona, and companion of Rusticus (S01487
Possibly companions of *Perpetua, Felicitas and their companions, martyrs of Carthage (S00009
Possesor, who is among *Lesser saints, on 9 January in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum: in Smyrna and Africa (S02224
Polio../Poliastus/Poliarcus, possibly among *Lesser saints, on 7 January in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum: in Heraclea (Thrace), Greece, Antioch, and elsewhere (S02220
"On the fourth day before the Ides of January, in Africa, [the feast of] Revocatus, Firmus.
In Irta, [the feast of] Possesor, and two others.
In Rome, in the cemetery of Calistus, on the via Appia, the burial of bishop Militiades.
In Africa, [the feast of] Saturus, Vitalianus, Felicitas, Quintus, Artatus."
"On the fourth day before the Ides of January, in Africa, [the feast of] Revocatus, Firmus.
In Nirtha, [the feast of] Possesor and two others.
In Rome, in the cemetery of Calestus on the via Appia, the burial of bishop Melciades.
In Africa, [the feast of] Saturus, Vitalianus, Felicitas, Quintus, whose deeds are extant, Artatus."
The manuscript Bern 289 is very similar to Weissenburg 81, with an additional line:
"And the feast of Polio with his companions."
Quentin follows the manuscripts.
Delehaye records only the commemoration in Rome.
Translation and comments: M. Vukovic.
Saint NameMiltiades, bishop, ob. 314 : S00659
Firmus and Rusticus, martyrs of Verona : S01487
Perpetua, Felicitas and their companions, martyrs of Carthage : S00009
lesser saints, on 9 January in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum: in Smyrna and Africa : S0222
Saint Name in SourceMilitiades; Melciades; Melchiades
Revocatus; Saturus; Vitalianus; Felicitas; Quintus; Artatus
Type of EvidenceLiturgical texts - Calendars and martyrologies
Evidence not before600
Evidence not after800
Activity not before430
Activity not after800
Place of Evidence - RegionGaul and Frankish kingdoms
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Tours
Major author/Major anonymous workMartyrologium Hieronymianum
Cult activities - Festivals
Cult activities - PlacesBurial site of a saint - unspecified
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsComposing and translating saint-related texts
Cult Activities - RelicsBodily relic - entire body
SourceMartyrologium Hieronymianum, or the Martyrology of (Pseudo) Jerome, is the oldest extant martyrology in the Medieval Latin West. It was falsely ascribed to the prominent Christian author, Jerome. This collection is the primary source of all other martyrologies in the Latin West.
The predominant scholarly view is that the martyrology was first compiled in Northern Italy during the 5th century (probably Aquileia). No manuscript from the Aquileian redaction has survived. The text was revised in Gaul, probably Auxerre or Autun, in the 6th-7th century. This view relies on the evidence that some names of saints who lived in northern Italy and Frankish Gaul in the 6th - 7th century are present in the martyrology. The preserved text is known as the recensio Gallica, dated to 600 CE. At some point in the 7th century and no later than the early 8th century, the text was transmitted in England (Lapinge, 2005, 45). One or several copies reached England (Northumbria), where the text underwent some revision (Lapinge, 2005, 46). The text may have been eventually taken back to the continent where its earliest surviving copies are preserved in the manuscripts listed below (Lapinge, 2005, 73).
The compilers of the Martyrologium Hieronymianum relied on several sources: some early local calendars from Auxerre and Aquileia (Lifshitz, 20), The Chronography of 354 (E01051), a Greek martyrology compiled at Nicomedia around 360 AD (drawn basically from Eusebius, the Ecclesiastical History and the Martyrs of Palestine), which is familiar from the Syriac Martyrology of 411 AD (E00465), and the African Calendar of Carthage, from 505-535 AD (E02195, E02196, E02197, E02198, E02199, E02200, E02201, E02202, E02203, E02204, E02205).
The earliest and most famous manuscripts that contain the Martyrology of Jerome, which are listed below, date to the 8th century:
MS Paris, BnF lat. 10.837
A single scribe, Laurentius, produced the manuscript BnF 10.837 from Echternach between 703 and 710 (Lifshitz, 32). The Catalogue of BnF, which publishes the manuscript BnF lat. 10.837 online, also provides brief information about the dating: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6001113z/f22.image
MS Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Weissenburg 81
F. Lifshitz argues that Weissenburg 81 dates around 772. An online manuscript catalog reveals that the manuscript is from the 8th century: http://diglib.hab.de/?db=mss&list=ms&id=81-weiss&lang=en
MS Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Bongars 289
De Rossi and Duchesne, in the introduction to their edition, argue that Bern 289 does not date earlier than 766.
Vatican, BAV, Pal. lat. 238
The manuscript now in the Vatican originates from Lorsch. According to the online catalog (http://bibliotheca-laureshamensis-digital.de/bav/bav_pal_lat_238), the manuscript consists of two formerly independent parts, which were both written in Lorsch: the first part (fol. 3-73, Iulianus Pomerius) was written around 800, and the added fragment, which contains the Martyrologium Hieronymianum, (fol. 74-75, 1-2) was written in the first half of the 9th century.
The three 8th-century manuscripts contain two redactions, the first, preserved in the manuscript BnF lat. 10.837, already containing the Northumbrian redaction, and the second redaction, preserved in the manuscripts Bern 289 and Weissenburg 81. The standard edition by G. B. de Rossi and L. Duchesne publishes the four important 8th-century manuscripts in the parallel columns. Another edition is by H. Quentin with the commentary by H. Delehaye.
In this database, the following manuscripts and editions of the Martyrologium Hieronymianum are used:
- MS Paris, BnF lat. 10.837 (Codex Epternacensis), fol. 2r-32v, 8th century, from the monastery Echternach in Luxembourg
- MS Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Bongars 289 (Codex Bernensis), fol. 53v-129v, 8th century, from St. Avold near Metz
- MS Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Weissenburg 81 (Codex Wissenburgensis), fol. 7r-103r, 8th century, from a Carolingian royal institution in or around Maastricht (Lifshitz, 4)
- MS Vatican, BAV, Pal. lat. 238 (Fragmentum Laureshamense), fragment (consists of five pages within the manuscript BAV Palat. 238, containing the Martyrologium Hieronymianum from 25 December to 3 January, and from 27 January to 31 January), 8th to 9th century, from the monastery of Lorsch
- De Rossi, G. B., and Duchesne, L., Martyrologium Hieronymianum ad finem codicum adiectis prolegomenis. Acta Sanctorum Nov.II.1 (Brussels, 1894)
- Quentin, H. and Delehaye, H., Acta Sanctorum Nov.II.2 (Brussels, 1931)
In the database, the text of the four 8th-century manuscripts is displayed in the first columns of the Datum Table. The texts are from the edition of G. B. de Rossi and L. Duchesne; however, the text is, at times, corrected after the consultation with the manuscripts. The corrections pertain to letters, words, and sentences. The manuscript Vatican BAV 238 is entirely from the edition of de Rossi and Duchesne. Furthermore, the text from the edition of Quentin is presented in two further columns. Finally, the text from the Commentary of H. Delehaye is placed in the sixth and final column of the Datum Table.
Sources: Lifshitz, 2006; Lapinge, 2005; idem, 2018; Summary: M. Vukovic.
DiscussionOn 10 January, all three early manuscripts of the Martyrologium Hieronymianum record the commemoration of *Miltiades, bishop, ob. 314, (S00659) in Rome, in the Cemetery of Calixtus on the via Appia.
Also, all three manuscripts record on this date the commemoration of Firmus in Africa, for whom Delehaye thinks that he is *Firmus, martyr of Verona, and companion of Rusticus (S01487), also because they are recorded a day earlier (E04604). We will take it as a possible option.
Revocatus, commemorated in Africa on this date, also appears a day before (E04604) as a companion of *Perpetua, Felicitas and their companions, martyrs of Carthage (S00009).
Irta, Mirtha, Nirtha is not identified as a location. Delehaye mentions that this could be Cirtha in Numidia (North Africa). Possesor, who appears to have commemoration in this unidentified location, also appears on a day earlier among *Lesser saints, on 9 January in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum: in Smyrna and Africa (S02224).
Saturus, Vitalianus, Felicitas, Quintus, Artatus, commemorated in Africa, are also, according to Delehaye, all companions of *Perpetua, Felicitas and their companions, martyrs of Carthage (S00009).
The corrupted name of a saint, Polio../Poliastus/Poliarcus, resembles another saint commemorated among *Lesser saints, on 7 January in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum: in Heraclea (Thrace), Greece, Antioch, and elsewhere (S02220).
BibliographyOn the Martyrologium Hieronymianum:
Duchesne, L., "A propos du Martyrologe Hieronymien," Analecta Bollandiana 17 (1898), 421-447.
Lapinge, M., The Roman Martyrs: Introduction, Translations, and Commentary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).
Lapinge, M., "Acca of Hexham and the Origin of the Old English Martyrology," Analecta Bollandiana 123 (2005), 29-78.
Lifshitz, F., The Name of the Saint. The Martyrology of Jerome and Access to the Sacred in Francia, 627-827 (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006).
Riain, P. O., "A Northumbrian Phase in the Formation of the Hieronymian Martyrology. The Evidence of the Martyrology of Tallaght," Analecta Bollandiana 120 (2002), 311-363.
On the manuscripts of the Martyrologium Hieronymianum:
Butzmann, H., Die Weissenburger Handschriften. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1964 (Wolfenbüttel: Neue Reihe, Bd. 10), 242-243.
Muller, J. C., Trois manuscrits liturgiques de l'abbaye d'Echternach à Paris (Abteistadt Echternach), 202-206.
Croinin, D. O., "Rath Melsigi, Willibrord, and the earliest Echternach Manuscripts," Peritia 3 (1984), 17-39.
Libaert, P., "Notice sur 43 manuscrits d'Echternach conservés à la bibliothèque nationale de Paris," Hémecht 1 (1985), 53-73.
McKitterick, R., Books, Scribes and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, Sixth-Ninth Centuries (Aldershot: Variorum, 1994).
On saints and calendars:
Farmer, D. H., Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978).
Nilles, N., Kalendarium Manuale utriusque ecclesiae prientalis et occidentalis I-II (England: Gregg International Publishers Limited England, 1971).
Watkins, B., The Book on Saints: A Comprehensive Biographical Dictionary (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015).