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E05745: Small fragments of two or three inscriptions probably related to the cult of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), probably from a poem by Pope Damasus (366-384). Found in the cemetery of Agnes on the via Nomentana, Rome.

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posted on 2018-06-15, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
The three fragments are published and discussed together in one entry by Antonio Ferrua in the eighth volume of the Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae. Only parts of several letters can be read on them:




The dimensions of the fragments and the letter height differ greatly in each case. Ferrua notes that the text on Fragment A imitates Philocalian script and is almost certainly from an inscription postdating the pontificate of Pope Damasus. He identifies Fragments B and C as remnants of one or two genuine Damasan inscriptions, probably related to the cult of Agnes, which is based on their find-spot.

Armellini implausibly argued that Fragment C came from the first verse of the lost inscription of Constantina, dedicated to Agnes ($E07863).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Agnes, virgin and martyr of Rome : S00097

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) 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

Major author/Major anonymous work

Damasan and pseudo-Damasan poems

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - Popes

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects



Three small fragments of marble plaques. Fragments A and C are broken and lost on all side. Fragment B has its upper margin preserved. Dimensions: A: H. 8.5 cm, W. 15.5 cm; Th. 3.5 cm; letter height c. 5 cm; B: H. 8.5 cm; W. 7 cm; Th. 2 cm; letter height c. 8 cm; C: H. 25 cm; W. 16 cm; letter height c. 8 cm. Fragment B was known already to Mariano Armellini in the later 19th c., and published by him in 1889. Armellini reportedly found it at the site of a vineyard at the basilica of Agnes. Fragment C was recorded and copied (a squeeze) by Giovanni Baptista de Rossi, but published only by Antonio Ferrua in 1983, from de Rossi's squeeze. It is now lost. Fragment A was first recorded by Ferrua and published by him in 1942. Fragments A and B are now in cubiculum Ce of the cemetery of Agnes.


Editions: Epigraphic Database Bari, nos. EDB38030, see Epigraphic Database Bari, nos. EDB38031, see Epigraphic Database Bari, nos. EDB14241, see De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.) Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 8: Coemeteria viarum Nomentanae et Salariae (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1983), no. 20754 (Fragments A-C). Ferrua, A. (ed.), Epigrammata Damasiana (Sussidi allo studio delle antichità cristiane 2, Rome: , 1942), nos. 38 (fragment B) and 38(1) (fragment A). Armellini, M., in: Cronachetta mensuale di scienze naturali e d'archeologia (1889), 24 (fragment B).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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