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E05073: Fragmentary Greek epitaph for *Anteros (bishop and martyr of Rome, S00170). Found at the cemetery of Callixtus, via Appia, outside Rome. Probably 236.

online resource
posted on 2018-02-13, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Ἀντέρως ἐπί[σκ(οπος)]

'Anteros, bishop.'

Text: ICVR, n.s. IV, no. 10558 = EDB4259.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Anteros, bishop and martyr of Rome : S00170

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

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


  • Greek

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

Ceremonies at burial of a saint

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects



Three conjoining fragments of a marble plaque. Dimensions: H. 0.56 m; W. 1.03 m. Letter height 0.048 m. Recorded in cubiculum Aa, in the area of the so-called Crypt of the Popes at the cemetery of CalliXtus, and first published in 1854 by Giovanni Battista de Rossi. His edition was used by Adolf Kirchhoff who included the inscription in his Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum. Republished by de Rossi in 1867, and by other scholars (e.g. Wilpert 1910, Marucchi 1910, Diehl 1925). Revisited and republished in 1964 by Antonio Ferrua. A new edition was offered in 2008 by Carlo Carletti. A high-quality photograph is offered by Antonio Felle in the Epigraphic Database Bari. Now in cubiculum Aa.


The inscription is the epitaph for pope Anteros, successor of *Pontianos (E04740), and the first pope buried in the so-called Crypt of the Popes in the cemetery of Callixtus. He died in 236, under the emperor Maximinus the Thracian, and is sometimes considered as a martyr, although the preserved part of the epitaph does not call him so. He is, however, mentioned as a martyr by the Liber pontificalis (E00342), and probably by the Martyrologium Hieronymianum on 24 November (E05030), which is not in accordance with the date of his burial given by the Liber pontiificalis (3 January). His name was probably also included on a now lost plaque with a list of martyrs and confessors, erected by pope Sixtus III, 432-440 (E04721). Dating: The burial of Anteros, as well as the burial of his predecessor Pontianus, were attended by pope Fabianus (236-250). Hence, if this is the original epitaph for Anteros, it must be contemporary to his death (236) or just slightly later, certainly within the episcopacy of Fabianus. De Rossi argued that the plaque was the original 3rd c. epitaph for Anteros. Kirchhoff wondered, however, if one should place this and other monumental epitaphs for popes in the 5th c., but his reasoning was based only on his doubts that the suburban cemeteries of Rome were cult places as early as in the 4th c. Ferrua argues for a 3rd c. date. Carletti dates the epitaph to 236.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB4259, see Carletti, C., Epigrafia dei cristiani in Occidente dal III al VII secolo. Ideologia e prassi (Bari: Edipuglia, 2008), 147-148, no. 19. 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. 10558. Diehl, E., Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres, vol. 1 (Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1925), no. 594. Marucchi, O., Epigrafia cristiana. Trattato elementare con una silloge di antiche iscrizioni cristiane principalmente di Roma (Milan: U. Hoepli, 1910), 189, no. 191, and Tav. IX. Wilpert, J., La Cripta dei Papi e la cappella di Sainta Cecilia ne cimetero di Callisto (Rome: Desclée & C., 1910), 18 and fig. 11. de Rossi, G.B., La Roma sotterranea cristiana, vol. 2 (Rome: Cromo-litografia pontificia, 1867), 55-58 and Tav. 3. Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, no. 9674. Civiltà cattolica 1854, vol. 3, 127 (ed. de Rossi) Further reading: Carletti, C., Epigrafia dei cristiani in Occidente dal III al VII secolo. Ideologia e prassi (Bari: Edipuglia, 2008), 36.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity