University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E04734: Latin epitaph recording a burial near a saint whose name is lost. Found in the lower part of the Cemetery of Callistus, via Appia, Rome. Probably second half of the 4th c.

online resource
posted on 2018-01-27, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
[B]asileus e[t - - -]
feceru[nt sibi locum]
ad dom[inum - - -]
et filia[e quae vixit - - -]
mesis [- - -]
ma[- - -]

1. Basileus de Rossi, [B]asileus Ferrua || possibly ad dom[inos de Rossi

'Basilues and [- - -] made [for themselves this tomb (locus)] next to the lord [- - -], and to (his/their) daughter [who lived - - -] months [- - -].'

Text: ICVR, n.s., IV, no. 9698 = EDB20228.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

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

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

Women Children Other lay individuals/ people


Left-hand fragment of a marble plaque, broken into three conjoining parts. H. 0.34 m; W. 0.34 m; Th. 0.022 m. Letter height 0.033 m. The upper and left-hand margins are preserved. Decorated with a carving of a dove and a palm branch. First recorded by Giovanni Battista de Rossi in staircase LI at the Cemetery of Callistus. Now in area L, near the crypt of Saint Cornelius. The fragment from the left-hand corner, visible in de Rossi's drawings, was lost when Antonio Ferrua revisited the stone. Republished by Ferrua in 1964. Included in the collection of Roman inscription referring to the cult of saints by Paola de Santis (2010).


The inscription records a burial close the tomb of a saint whose name is lost. For a similar, better preserved epitaph, see E04729 (a woman buried ad domnum Gaium, i.e. *Gaius, pope and martyr of Rome, S00145). In our case, we are unable to identify the saint or martyr mentioned in the epitaph. De Rossi rightly noted that a group of martyrs could also be referred to, as line 3 can be alternatively restored ad dom[inos - - -]/'next to lords/masters'. It is also not clear whether the expression ad dominum/ad dominos was understood by the author of the epitaph as a reference to a burial ad sanctos, or was a topographical description of the location of the tomb. Dating: Antonio Felle dates the inscription to the second half of the 4th c.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB20228, see De Santis, P., Sanctorum monumenta. 'Aree sacre' del suburbio di Roma nella documentazione epigrafica (IV-VII secolo) (Bari: Edipuglia, 2010), 213, no. 63. 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. 9698. Diehl, E., Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres, vol. 1 (Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1925), comments to no. 2132. de Rossi, G.B., La Roma sotterranea cristiana, vol. 3 (Rome: Cromo-litografia pontificia, 1877), 224, and Tav. XXXI. de Rossi, G.B., "Roma: Scavi nel cimitero di Callisto", Bullettino di archeologia cristiana (1875), 136. ?Giornale degli scavi I, p. 149, n. 6.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager