University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E04733: Two fragments of Latin epitaphs probably expressing a wish that the deceased would live 'among the saints,' or saying that they were buried 'among saints' (possible references to burials ad sanctos). Found in the lower part of the Cemetery of Callistus, via Appia, Rome. Probably 5th c.

online resource
posted on 2018-01-27, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Inscription 1:

[- - -]ama [- - -]
[- - -] viva[s - - -]
[- - - inter] santos [- - -]

'[- - -] may you live [- - - among] saints [- - -].'

Inscription 2:

[- - - in]ter s[anc]tis [- - -]

'[- - -] among saints [- - -].'

Text: ICVR, n.s., IV, no. 10350 = EDB40952 and EDB40953.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Saints, name lost or very partially preserved : S01744 Saints, unnamed : S00518 Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060

Saint Name in Source

sancti sancti sancti

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions


  • 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 - crypt/ crypt with relics

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


Two fragments of marble plaques, broken and lost on all sides. Fragment A: H. 0.15 m; W. 0.20 m; Th. 0.013 m. Letter height 0.03 m. There is no description of Fragment B. Fragment B was found by Giovanni Battista de Rossi in staircase LI in the lower part of the cemetery of Callistus. Published by de Rossi in 1877 with a drawing. Now probably lost. Fragment A was recorded by Antonio Ferrua in area A6. Both fragments were published together by Ferrua in 1964, but they are in fact unconnected.


The inscriptions may, but do not necessarily, refer to some martyrs buried in the Cemetery of Callistus. They can simply refer to the belief that the deceased will join the heavenly community of saints after their deaths. Dating: Marida Pierno (in EDB) dates the inscriptions to the 5th c.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB40952, see Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB40953, 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. 10350a-b. de Rossi, G.B., La Roma sotterranea cristiana, vol. 3 (Rome: Cromo-litografia pontificia, 1877), 223.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager