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E05329: Fragmentary Latin epitaph, for the wife or other female relative of a cleric of the titulus-church of *Clemens (SXXXX), not named 'saint’, followed by a poorly preserved poem imitating Damasan wording. Found in the ager Veranus, via Tiburtina, Rome. Probably second half of the 4th or first half of the 5th c.

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posted on 2018-04-12, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
[- - -]s tituli Clementis VI idus apri[les - - -]
[- - - ra]puit regia caeli bianda
[- - - q]ue benicna semota prudens
[- - -]eivicnanque tumulo
[- - -]a ouiescit
[- - - p]raestamte rfsurget
[- - - vixit a]nn(is) LXXII fecit cu[m marito - - -]

1. possibly [dep. illa uxor illius lectori]s: Ferrua || 3. read benigna || 4. ]eivicnanque read benignamque: Marucchi, Ferrua, ]ei vicnanque: EDB || 5. read quiescit || 6. read p]raestante resurget, possibly Christo p]raestante: Ferrua, domino p]raestante: Marucchi || 7. XXII: Gatti, III ID IVLI: da Bra, LXXII: Ferrua

'[- - -] of the titulus of Clemens, on the 6th day before the ides of April [- - -] captured, the palace of heaven which is to be traversed [- - -] which benign, distant, prudent [- - -] and the benign one in the tomb (?) [- - -] reposes [- - -] arises with the aid [of Christ (?) - - - lived] 72 years, made with [her husband (?) - - -]'

Text: ICVR, n.s., VII, no. 18160 = EDB27923 and EDB30993. Translation: P. Nowakowski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Clemens (unspecified) : S01813

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

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


  • 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 - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


Two conjoining fragments of a marble plaque. The upper margin is preserved, as well as the endings of lines 2-6 of the text. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.53 m; W. 0.85 m. Letter height 0.05 m. The left-hand fragment was first recorded in the ager Veranus, on the via Tiburtina, by Giuseppe Gatti, and a transcription features in his archive. The fragments were first assembled and published by Orazio Marucchi. Now both fragments are displayed on an enclosure wall of the monastery on the ager Veranus. The current reference edition was published by Antonio Ferrua in 1980, based on his own examination of the stone and earlier editions. A colour photograph is offered in the Epigraphic Database Bari.


Antonio Ferrura supposes that the epitaph praises the wife of a cleric, possibly a reader, of the Roman titulus-church of Clemens. The church was a 4th c. foundation, located at the foot of the Lateran Hill. It was mentioned by, for example, Jerome (EXXXX), who attests its existence in 392, under Pope Siricius, 384-399 (EXXXX). In the 12th c. it was superseded by the present-day basilica of San Clemente. The identity of the eponym of this church is not clear. Based on an inscription found in the church (EXXXX) it has been suggested that his full name was Titus Flavius Clemens, rather implausibly identified with Clement of Alexandria (SXXXX), or a consul condemned to death under Domitian (SXXXX). The basilica is now dedicated to Pope Clement I (S00111). For another inscription recording this titulus-church, found in the same cemetery, see E05314. Dating: The editors of the Epigraphic Database Bari date the inscription to the second half of the 4th or first half of the 5th c.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, nos. EDB27923 and EDB30993. De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.), Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 7: Coemeteria via Tiburtinae (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1980), no. 18160. cf. ??19592. da Bra, G., Le iscrizioni latine della Basilica di S. Lorenzo fuori le mura del chiostro e delle catacombe di S. Ciriaca (Rome: Scuola tipografica Pio X, 1931), 101, no. 160. Marucchi, O., Epigrafia cristiana. Trattato elementare con una silloge di antiche iscrizioni cristiane principalmente di Roma (Milan: U. Hoepli, 1910), 195, no. 204. Marucchi, O., Le catacombe romane (Rome: Desclée, Lefebvre E.C., 1905, 2nd ed.), 309. Further reading: de Rossi, G.B., La Roma sotterranea cristiana, vol. 3 (Rome: Cromo-litografia pontificia, 1877), 517.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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