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E04727: Latin inscription recording the purchase of a tomb (locus?) sited ‘ad martyres.’ Found in one of the crypts at the Cemetery of Callistus, via Appia, Rome. Probably second half of the 4th c.

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posted on 2018-01-26, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
ego Eu[- - - locum (?) e]mi ad mart[yres]
cum [- - -]

perhaps cum [uxore mea ab illo] Ferrua

'I, Eu[- - -] bought [this tomb (locus ?)] next to the martyrs, together with [- - -].'

Text: ICVR, n.s., IV, no. 9786.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions Archaeological and architectural - Internal cult fixtures (crypts, ciboria, etc.)


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Suburban catacombs and cemeteries

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

Suburban catacombs and cemeteries Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - cemetery/catacomb

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Other

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Other lay individuals/ people


Two non-conjoining fragments of a marble plaque. Preserved dimensions: left-hand fragment H. 0.15 m; W. 0.30 m; Th. 0.045 m; right-hand fragment H. 0.10 m; W. 0.22 m. Letter height 0.022 m. First recorded and assembled only by Antonio Ferrua, in cubiculum Ee in the lower part of the Cemetery of Callistus. First published by Ferrua in 1964.


The inscription records the purchase of a tomb probably by a man and his wife. The expression 'ad martyres' refers apparently to the tomb, which suggests that its owner considered it to have been sited ‘next to the martyrs', in the cemetery famous for tombs of martyrs and popes. This may be a mere mention of the popular name of the cemetery, but may also be an allusion to a burial ad sanctos, a statement that the married couple wanted to be buried ‘ad martyres'. Dating: Antonio Felle (in EDB) dates the inscription to the second half of the 4th c.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB21195, see De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.) Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 4: Coemeteria inter Vias Appiam et Ardeatinam (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1964), no. 9786.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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