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E05357: Latin epitaph invoking *Hippolytus (martyr of Rome, S00509), named domnus, to aid the deceased and provide refrigerium in his afterlife. Found on the via Tiburtina, probably the cemetery of Hippolytus, Rome. Now lost. Probably 4th c.

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posted on 2018-04-21, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
refrgeri tibi do-
mnus Ipolitus sid

The general meaning of the text is more or less clear (Saint Hippolytus is invoked to aid the deceased), the exact interpretation of the phrasing has, however, been disputed. Giovanni Battista de Rossi considered the following interpretations:

1) First suggested by Rafaele Garucci in Vetri ornati di figure in oro... (Roma: , 1858), 45, note 2: refr(i)geri(o) tibi domnus Ipolitus sit, which he probably understood as 'May the lord Hippolytus be as a refreshment to you!'

2) First suggested by de Rossi himself, and supported by Antonio Ferrua in the ICVR series: refrigeret tibi domnus Ipolitus Sid(oni), 'May the lord Hippolytus refresh/relieve you, Sidonius (or Siddinius, etc.)!'

Text: ICVR, n.s., VII, no. 20166 = EDB21202.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Hippolytus, martyr of Rome : S00509

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions 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

Burial site of a saint - crypt/ crypt with relics

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Miracles

Power over life and death Miraculous protection - of people and their property

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


Marble plaque with a complete inscription. Seen by Antonio Bosio in a cemetery on the via Tiburtina, near the church of San Lorenzo, in a vineyard owned by Giovanni Battista Marini, possibly the cemetery of Hippolytus. First published by Bosio in 1632. The stone is now lost and all later editions are based on Bosio's text and description.


In Christian inscriptions from the Roman catacombs, refrigerium is normally a commemorative banquet held in honour of the deceased at his tomb (see, for example, E05087). Here the term is probably used to denote the general relief (refreshment) in the afterlife hoped for from saint Hippolytus who was buried in the same cemetery. Dating: Domenico Schiraldi (in EDB) dates the inscription to the 4th c.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, nos. EDB21202, see 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. 20166 (with further bibliography). Diehl, E., Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres, vol. 1 (Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1925), comments to no. 2318. Marucchi, O., Epigrafia cristiana. Trattato elementare con una silloge di antiche iscrizioni cristiane principalmente di Roma (Milan: U. Hoepli, 1910), 158, no. 129. Armellini, M., Gli antichi cimeteri cristiani di Roma e d'Italia (Rome: Tipografia poliglotta, 1893), 316. Armellini, M., Le chiese di Roma dal secolo IV al XIX (Rome: Tipografia Vaticana, 1891), 877. de Rossi, G.B., "Il cimitero di S. Ippolito: presso la via Tiburtina e la sua principale cripta storica ora dissepolta", Bullettino di archeologia cristiana 4 Ser. 1 (1882), 45. Bosio, A., Roma sotteranea (Rome: Appresso Guglielmo Facciotti, 1632), 409. Further reading: de Rossi, G.B., "Insigni scoperte nel cimitero di Domitilla", Bullettino di archeologia cristiana 2 Ser. 6 (1875), 29 (mentioned).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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