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E05100: Latin epitaph for a reader of the titulus-church of *Iohannes and Paulus (brothers and eunuchs, martyrs of Rome under Julian, S00384). Found in the church of S. Sesbastiano/Basilica Apostolorum at the Cemetery 'ad Catacumbas', via Appia, Rome. Dated 567.

online resource
posted on 2018-02-20, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
+ hic requiescit M[aximi]nus lector tituli sanctorum
Iohannis et Pauli m[artt(yrum)] dulcis amicus omnium letus e[t]
semper cum omnes [vicinos?] suos qui vixit annus XX et m(enses) octo
depositus in pace [VI idus] aprilis ante pridie Pascae, imperante
domno nostro Iustino p(er)p(etuo) [v]ict(ore) an[no secun]do. anima tua in luce
[iterum] eodem consulem
et in pace aeternam et oret pr[o no]bis ani[ma tua].

6. the line is written in very small letters between the last two lines

'+ Here reposes Maximinus, reader of the titulus-church of saints Iohannes and Paulus, martyrs, sweet friend to everyone, happy, and always with his neighbours. He lived 20 years, eight months. He was deposited in peace [on the 6th day before the ides] of April, on the first day before the Easter Vigil, in the second year of the reign of our lord Justin, eternal conqueror /and consul for the second time\. Your soul is in light and in eternal peace, and may your soul pray for us!'

Text: ICVR, n.s., V, no. 13289B = EDB1274.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Iohannes and Paulus, brothers and eunuchs, martyrs of Rome under Julian, A.D. 361/363 : S00384

Saint Name in Source

Iohannes et Paulus

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

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Other

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


The inscription was carved on a large marble plaque which also accommodated two earlier epitaphs dated respectively 341 and 345, which are still clearly visible. Our text is read from opposite direction. Twelve fragments of the plaque were retrieved and assembled, allowing one to estimate the original dimensions of the plaque as: H. 1.10 m; W. 2.19 m; Th. 0.05 m. Letter height 0.04-0.045 m. The plaque is decorated with a poorly made, shallow carving of a peacock. Five fragments of the right-hand part were found by Lorenzo Fortunati in the ruins of the basilica of Saint Stephen on the Via Latina in 1857. Other fragments were found by Paul Styger among tombs in the pavement of the Basilica Apostolorum/Church of San Sebastiano, during his excavations between 1915 and 1933. The right-hand part was first published by Fortunati in 1858 and 1859. Fragments from the left-hand part were published by Paul Styger in 1918. The first complete edition of the inscription was offered by Antonio Ferrua in 1961. A high-quality digital photograph is offered in the Epigraphic Database Bari.


The inscription is an epitaph for Maximinus, a reader of the titulus-church of Iohannes and Paulus (SS. Giovanni e Paolo), sited on the Caelian hill. The clerics of this church were in charge of the cemetery 'ad Catacumbas', and were often buried here. Hence the presence of the tomb of Maximinus in the Basilica Apostolorum. For further comments on links between the clergy of that titulus and the Basilica Apostolorum, see Nieddu 2009, 369, note 1695. The inscription does not openly say if Maximinus was intentionally buried ad sanctos, but it is, of course, possible. The dating formula mentions the second year of the reign of the emperor Justin II (567), and the first day before the Easter Vigil. As in 567 Easter fell on 10 April, this allows one to calculate the date of burial of Maximinus as 8 April (= the sixth day before the ides of April). Because of the date, the inscription is one of several important testimonies to the fact that in the 6th c. the church on the Caelian hill, formerly known as the titulus Byzantis and titulus Pammachii, was renamed the titulus Iohannis et Pauli.


Edition: Complete text: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB1274, see Carletti, C., Epigrafia dei cristiani in Occidente dal III al VII secolo. Ideologia e prassi (Bari: Edipuglia, 2008), 219-220, no. 114. De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.) Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 5: Coemeteria reliqua Viae Appiae (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1971), no. 13289. Ferrua, A., "Lavori a S. Sebastiano", Rivista di archeologia cristiana 37 (1961), 214. Left-hand part: Hendrichs, F., La voce delle chiese antichissime di Roma (Rome: Desclée & C. Editori Pontifici, 1933), Tav. 68, fig. 263. Styger, P., "Il monumento apostolico della via Appia secondo gli ultimi della basilica di S. Sebastiano, 1915-1916", in: Dissertazioni della Pontificia Accademia romana di archeologia 13 (1918), 32-33. Right-hand part: Diehl, E., Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres, vol. 1 (Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1925), comments on no. 1139. Marucchi, O., Epigrafia cristiana. Trattato elementare con una silloge di antiche iscrizioni cristiane principalmente di Roma (Milan: U. Hoepli, 1910), 106, no. 206. de Rossi, G.B., Inscriptiones christianae urbis Romae septimo saeculo antiquiores, vol. 1 (Rome: Ex Officina Libraria Pontificia, Officina libraria Philippi Cuggiani, 1857), no. 1123. Fortunati, L‏., Relazione generale degli scavi e scoperte fatte lungo la via Latina (Rome: Tipografia tiberina, 1859), 14. Fortunati, L.‏, Brevi cenni intorno allo scoprimento della basilica del primo martire della Chiesa S. Stefano ed altri monumenti sacri e profani lungo la Via Latina a tre miglia da Roma (Rome: Tipografia tiberina, 1858), 12. Further reading: Nieddu, A.M., La Basilica Apostolorum sulla via Appia e l'area cimiteriale circostante (Città del Vaticano: Pontificio istituto di archeologia cristiana, 2009), 133 note 589, 137, 369 notes 1695 and 1703. Pietri, Ch., Pietri, L., Desmulliez, J., Prosopographie de l'Italie chrétienne (313-604) (Rome: École française de Rome Paris: diff. de Boccard, 1999), 1464.

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