Saint NameLucius, bishop of Rome, ob. c. 258 : S00208
Saint Name in SourceΛούκις
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Funerary inscriptions
Archaeological and architectural - Internal cult fixtures (crypts, ciboria, etc.)
Evidence not before255
Evidence not after255
Activity not before255
Activity not after255
Place of Evidence - RegionRome and region
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcSuburban catacombs and cemeteries
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Suburban catacombs and cemeteries
Cult activities - PlacesBurial site of a saint - crypt/ crypt with relics
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsCeremonies at burial of a saint
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - bishops
Cult Activities - Cult Related ObjectsInscription
SourceTwo 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.
DiscussionThe 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.
Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB4254, see http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/4254
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)
Carletti, C., Epigrafia dei cristiani in Occidente dal III al VII secolo. Ideologia e prassi (Bari: Edipuglia, 2008), 36.