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E06384: Two letters and a memorandum of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 9.178, 9.179, and Appendix V) of 598/599, require and describe the oath that Maximus, bishop of Salona, had to swear, in order to absolve himself of excommunication, at the grave of *Apollinaris (bishop and martyr of Ravenna, S00331) at Classe (by Ravenna, northern Italy). Written in Latin in Rome.

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


[...] si isdem Maximus coram uobis et praedicto cartulario nostro de haeresi praestito se sacramento purgauerit atque de aliis ante corpus sancti Apolloinaris, sicut scripsimus, tantummodo requisitus liberum se esse responderit [...]

'... if the same Maximus purges himself of his simoniacal heresy in the presence of you and of our aforesaid secretary, discharging an oath, and replies before the body of Saint Apollinaris that he is free of the other charges, when asked to do so, as we have written ...'

Proinde si Maximus Salonitanus praestito sacramento firmauerit simoniaca se haeresi non teneri atque de aliis ante corpus sancti Apollinaris tantummodo requisitus innoxium se esse responderit [...]

'Therefore, if Maximus of Salona takes an oath to confirm that he is innocent of simoniacal heresy, and when asked about other matters before the body of Saint Apollinaris, replies that he is innocent ... '

Appendix V
Tunc duxit eos ad sanctum corpus beati Apollinaris et iuravit se de omnia quae adversus eum dicta de mulieribus uel esacismate simoniaco fuerant mixtum se non esse.

‘Then he [Maximus] led them to the sacred body of Saint Apollinaris, and swore that he had not been involved in all the charges brought against him, about women and the simoniacal schism.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 735-6, 1097. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 2, 654, 531.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Apollinaris, bishop and martyr of Ravenna : S00331

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 - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

Cult Activities - Relics

Oath made on a relic Bodily relic - entire body


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).


This letter is included in Martyn’s translation as 8.36 but in Norberg’s edition as an appendix (Norberg 2: 1096-1097).


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: Dal Santo, M., Debating the Saints' Cult in the Age of Gregory the Great (Oxford: OUP, 2012). McCulloch, J., "The Cult of Relics in the Letters and Dialogues of Gregory the Great," Traditio 32 (1976), 145-184. Neil, B., and Dal Santo, M. (eds.), A Companion to Gregory the Great (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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