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E06380: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 8.22) of 598, to the noblewoman Rusticiana in Constantinople, refers to the protection *Peter (the Apostle, S00036) gives to the city of Rome. Written in Latin in Rome.

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posted on 2018-09-11, 00:00 authored by frances
Pope Gregory the Great, Register of Letters 8.22

Extracts from a letter in which Gregory urges Rusticiana, then living in Constantinople, to return to Rome:

Iam dudum uestrae excellentiae me scripsisse et saepius imminuisse reminiscor ut beati Petri apostolorum principis limina reuidere festinet.
Sin uero gladios Italiae ac bella formidatis, sollicite debetis aspicere quanta beati Petri apostolorum principis in hac urbe protectio est, in qua sine magnitudine populi et sine adiutoriis militum tot annis inter gladios illaesi deo auctore seruamur.

‘‘I remember having written to your Excellency some time ago, and I repeatedly encouraged you to revisit soon the threshold of Saint Peter, the prince of the apostles.
But if, in fact, you are afraid of the swords and wars of Italy, you should observe most carefully what great protection is given to this city by Saint Peter, prince of the apostles. For we have been preserved for so many years, unharmed amid swords, with God’s support, without a large population of people, and without the support of soldiers.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 541-2. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 2, 517-18.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters


  • 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


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

Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory the Great (pope)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Saint as patron - of a community

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miraculous interventions in war Miraculous protection - of people and their property

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Soldiers Foreigners (including Barbarians) Women Aristocrats


A letter transmitted as part of Gregory the Great’s Register of Letters. This letter collection, organised into fourteen books, is large and contains letters to a variety of recipients, including prominent aristocrats, members of the clergy and royalty. The issues touched on in the letters are equally varied, ranging from theological considerations to mundane administrative matters. This collection of letters, which was possibly curated by Gregory, was originally much larger. The surviving Register comprises several groups of letters which were extracted at several later moments in history, the largest of which took place in the papacy of Hadrian I (772-795).


Edition: Norberg, D., S. Gregorii Magni, Registrum epistularum. 2 vols. (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 140-140A; Turnhout: Brepols, 1982). English translation: Martyn, J.R.C., The Letters of Gregory the Great, 3 vols. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2004). Further Reading: Neil, B., and Dal Santo, M. (eds.), A Companion to Gregory the Great (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity