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E05835: Fragmentary Latin inscription recording a work of decoration dedicated to *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), of unknown provenance, but normally considered to have come from the 4th c. basilica of Agnes on the via Nomentana, Rome. Probably late 4th c.

online resource
posted on 2018-06-20, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
[- - - mar]tyre Agneti Potitus serbus dei ornavit

ACN corrected to AGN: stone

'[- - -] to the martyr Agnes, Potitus, servant of God, decorated it.'

Text: ICVR, n.s., VIII, no. 20758.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Agnes, virgin and martyr of Rome : S00097

Saint Name in Source

Acnes, corrected to Agnes

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements Archaeological and architectural - Altars with relics Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)


  • 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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


Fragment of a marble epistyle block. H. 0.07 m; W. 1.34 m; Th. 0.17 m. Letter height 0.035-0.04 m. The stone was first recorded by Alessandro Gregorio Capponi in the lapidarium of the Museum of cardinal Albano in the early 18th c. Later seen there by Lodovico Muratori (18th c.). Luigi Gaetano Marini (late 18th early 19th c.) saw it in the Capitoline Museums. The first edition in print was offered by Marini in 1831, in Scriptorum veterum nova collectio by Angelo Mai. In the second half of the 19th c. the stone was moved to the Lateran Museum. Now in the Vatican Museums, Lapidario Cristiano ex Lateranense. Republished by a number of 19th and early 20th c. editors. For a list of editions up to 1983, see the lemma in the eighth volume of the new series of the Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae by Antonio Ferrua, now the reference edition for this text.


Antonio Ferrua identifies the stone as part of an epistyle block from the ciborium of the basilica of Agnes (Sant'Agnese fuori le mura) on the via Nomentana. Dating: The editors of the Epigraphic Database Bari date the inscription to the late 4th c. This was also the view of earlier editors, for example, Giovanni Battista de Rossi and Orazio Marucchi, who argued that the inscription came from the basilica dedicated to Agnes by Constantina, daughter of Constantine I (see EXXXX), not from the 7th c. basilica of Pope Honorius (see E05762; E05764; E05765). According to de Rossi and Marucchi, the dedicant, a certain Potitus (PCBE: Italie chrétienne, s.v.), lived in the late 4th c. He probably funded an embellishment of the altar over which the ciborium was set.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, nos. EDB9578, 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. 20758 (with further bibliography). Hendrichs, F., La voce delle chiese antichissime di Roma (Rome: Desclée & C. Editori Pontifici, 1933), Fig. 223. Diehl, E., Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres, vol. 1 (Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1925), no. 1769B. Marucchi, O., I monumenti del Museo cristiano Pio-Lateranense riprodotti in atlante di xcvi tavole, con testo illustrativo (Milan: Ulrico Hoepli, 1910), Tav. XLIV, no. 6. Marucchi, O., Epigrafia cristiana. Trattato elementare con una silloge di antiche iscrizioni cristiane principalmente di Roma (Milan: U. Hoepli, 1910), 181, no. 178. Marucchi, O., Le catacombe romane (Rome: Desclée, Lefebvre E.C., 1905, 2nd ed.), 364. Armellini, M., Il cimitero di s. Agnese sulla via Nomentana (Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta della S.C. di Propoganda Fide, 1880), 375, Tav. XIII no. 2. De Rossi, G. B., "Il museo epigrafico cristiano Pio-Lateranense", Bullettino di archeologia cristiana 3. Ser. 2 (1877), 10. Luigi Gaetano Marini in: Angelo Mai, Scriptorum veterum nova collectio e Vaticanis codicibus edita, vol. 5 (Rome: Typis Vaticanis, 1831), 116, no. 1. Further reading: Lapidge, M., The Roman Martyrs. Introduction, Translations, and Commentary (Oxford: OUP, 2018), chapter XVII. Pietri, Ch. and others, Prosopographie de l’Italie chrétienne (313-604) (Prosopographie chrétienne du Bas-Empire 2, Rome: 2000), s.v. Potitus. Rüpke, J. and others, Fasti sacerdotum: Die Mitglieder der Priesterschaften und das sakrale Funktionspersonal römischer, griechischer, orientalischer und jüdisch-christlicher Kulte in der Stadt Rom von 300 v. Chr. bis 499 n. Chr. (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2005), 1235.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity