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E05083: Fragmentary Greek epitaph for *Lucius (bishop and martyr of Rome, S00208). Found at the cemetery of Callixtus, via Appia outside Rome. Probably 255.

online resource
posted on 2018-02-13, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Λούκις [ἐπίσκ(οπος)]

'Lucius, [bishop].'

Text: ICVR, n.s., IV, no. 10645 = EDB4254.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Lucius, bishop of Rome, ob. c. 258 : S00208

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



Two conjoining fragments of a marble plaque. Dimensions: H. 0.30 m; W. 0.70 m. Letter height 0.06 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 high-quality photograph is offered by Antonio Felle in the Epigraphic Database Bari. Now in cubiculum Aa.


The inscription is considered the original epitaph for pope Lucius. Our main source for his life and death is the mid-6th c. Liber pontificalis which says that he died a martyr's death in 255 (E00360). The date of the deposition of Lucius in the cemetery of Callixtus is recorded by the Liber Pontficalis as 25 August. However, the more reliable list of the depositions of bishops of Rome in the Chronography of 354 gives the date as 5 March (E01051). His commemoration is mentioned on 4 March by the Martyrologium Hieronymianum (E04706). Lucius' 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: If this is the original epitaph for pope Lucius, it must date to 255 or shortly thereafter.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB4254, 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. 10645. Diehl, E., Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres, vol. 1 (Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1925), no. 958. Marucchi, O., Epigrafia cristiana. Trattato elementare con una silloge di antiche iscrizioni cristiane principalmente di Roma (Milan: U. Hoepli, 1910), 191, no. 194. Wilpert, J., La Cripta dei Papi e la cappella di Sainta Cecilia ne cimetero di Callisto (Rome: Desclée & C., 1910), 20 fig. 13. de Rossi, G.B., La Roma sotterranea cristiana, vol. 2 (Rome: Cromo-litografia pontificia, 1867), 62-70 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