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E04799: Latin epitaph for an acolyte of the titulus of *Anastasia (martyr of Sirmium and Rome, S00602). Found in a cemetery on the via Ardeatina, Rome. Probably late 5th - early 6th c.

online resource
posted on 2018-01-31, 00:00 authored by Bryan
+ locus Inportuni (ivy leaf) acol(u)t(hi) (ivy leaf) S(an)c(t)ae (ivy leaf)
Ec̅(c)l̅esiae (ivy leaf) Ro̅m̅̅(anae) (ivy leaf) t̅(i)t̅(uli) (ivy leaf) s̅(an)c̅(t)e̅ Anastasiae

'+ Tomb (locus) of Importunus, acolyte of the Holy Roman Church, of the titulus of saint Anastasia.'

Below the inscription there is monogram which Antonio Ferrua hypothetically expands as:

dep. Inportuni in pace

'Deposition of Importunus, in peace.'

Text: ICVR, n.s., IV, no. 12303 = EDB7355.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Anastasia, martyr of Sirmium and Rome : S00602

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)


  • 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

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Other

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


Marble plaque broken into multiple conjoining fragments. H. 0.81 m; W. 1.42 m; Th. 0.055 m. Letter height 0.04 m. Decorated with carvings of ivy leafs inserted among the letters, and with a monogram of unclear meaning. First recorded by Antonio Ferrua on the floor of the cemetery's basilica, near a tomb where it was probably originally displayed. Now assembled and placed in that tomb by Ferrua. First published by him in 1964. The cemetery was recorded by Giovanni Battista de Rossi, already in 1867, and later explored by Henry Stevenson in 1880-1881. Between 1958 and 1961 it was excavated by Antonio Ferrua.


The inscription records the burial of an acolyte of a titulus of saint Anastasia. A titulus-church dedicated to Anastasia lies on the Palatine. It is attested in 499 by the list of signatures of clergy attending the council of that year. For a short description, see Lapidge 2018, 55. This is certainly the church to which the present deceased was affiliated. According to hagiographic tradition, Anastasia was venerated as a virgin and martyr of Rome, see, for example, E02264: an account of Arnobius, E02492 (a 5th c. Martyrdom of Anastasia and her Companions, see also Lapidge 2018, chapter II). Her historicity is, however, doubted, as she is not mentioned in the Chronography of 354 (E01052), and in a relevant Damasan inscription from her church (EXXXXX). The historical Anastasia, who gave her name to the titulus and church, was probably a rich benefactor, owner of the insula and the plot of land where the church was built. She may later have become confused with *Anastasia of Sirmium (S00602).


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, nos. EDB7355, 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. 12303. Further reading: Mazzoleni, D., "The rise of Christianity", in: Ch. Brunn, J. Edmondson, The Oxford Handbook of Roman Epigraphy (Oxford: OUP, 2014), 463 (mentioned).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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