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E05299: Chromatius of Aquileia preaches a sermon in Latin in Aquileia between 388 and 407 on the feast day of *Felix and Fortunatus (brothers, martyrs of Aquileia and Vicenza, S01164).

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posted on 2018-04-09, 00:00 authored by frances
Chromatius of Aquileia, Sermon 7


Natale est hodie sanctorum martyrum Felicis et Fortunati, qui civitatem nostrum glorioso martyrio decorarunt ...

‘Today is the feast day of the holy martyrs Felix and Fortunatus, who, through their glorious martyrdom, adorn our city ...’

Text: Lemarié 1969. Translation: Frances Trzeciak.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Felix and Fortunatus, brothers, martyrs of Aquileia and Vicenza : S01164

Saint Name in Source

Felix, Fortunatus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Aquileia Sardinia Sardinia Sardegna Sardinia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Chromatius of Aquileia

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


A sermon of Chromatius, the bishop of Aquileia between 388 and 407. This sermon only survives as a fragment, the entirety of which is given here. Chromatius’ sermons were unknown for centuries after his death and were only rediscovered in the mid-twentieth century by Joseph Lemarié and Raymond Étaix. This sermon was preached to Chromatius’ congregation at some point during his episcopate. Before he was bishop, Chromatius took an active role in the 381 Council of Aquileia. This was one of the councils which condemned Arius' teachings as heretical. Chromatius was also a correspondent of several prominent figures in the late fourth-century church, including Jerome, Rufinus of Aquileia and Ambrose of Milan. In the late fourth century, Aquileia was a lively and diverse port town at a crossroads of the empire. It had strong links to the east and prominent Jewish and pagan communities. Chromatius’ sermons provide a view of the Nicene community of Aquileia in this dynamic time.


Chromatius uses similar phrasing when praising the glory of martyrs in general. In Sermon 9.2, he describes how ‘the death of the martyrs is an ornament of the church and a crown of virtue’ (... mors martyrum decor Ecclesiae est et corona virtutis).


Text, French translation and commentary: Lemarié, J. (ed.), and Tardif, H. (trans.), Chromace d’Aquilée, Sermons. 2 vols. (Sources Chrétiennes 154, 164; Paris: Cerf, 1969-71). Further Reading: Beatrice, P.F. (ed.), Chromatius of Aquileia and His Age: Proceedings of the International Conference Held in Aquileia, 22-24 May 2008 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011). Lizzi, R., "Ambrose’s Contemporaries and the Christianization of Northern Italy," Journal of Roman Studies 80 (1990) 156-173. McEachnie, R., Chromatius of Aquileia and the Making of a Christian City (London: Routledge, 2017). Truzzi, C., Zeno, Gaudenzio e Cromazio. Testi e contenuti della predicaione Cristiana per le chiese di Verona, Brescia e Aquileia (360 – 410 ca.) (Brescia: Paideia, 1985).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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