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E06401: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 9.171) of 599, to Romanus, defensor of the papal patrimony in Sicily, mentions a monastery dedicated to *Erasmus (bishop of Antioch and martyr of Formia, S00867), *Maximus (probably the bishop of Naples, ob. c. 361, S02171) and *Juliana (martyr of Nicomedia, buried at Pozzuoli/Cumae, S01162) in Naples (southern Italy), and a hostel dedicated to *Theodore (soldier and martyr of Amaseia and Euchaita, S00480), probably in Palermo (Sicily). Written in Latin in Rome.

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posted on 2018-09-11, 00:00 authored by frances, Bryan
Pope Gregory the Great, Register of Letters 9.171

The opening of a letter relating to the will of the noblewoman Alexandria:

Fuscus abbas monasterii sanctorum Erasmi, Maximi atque Iulianae, quod Neapolim ab Alexandria clarissimae memoriae femina, sicut nosti, fundatum est, quae etiam et heredem instituit, massam Papyrianensem, quae illic in Sicilia sita est, cum xenodochio sancti Theodori suprascriptum monasterium suum asserit habere communem.

‘Fuscus, abbot of the monastery of Saints Erasmus, Maximus and Juliana, that was founded in Naples by Alexandria, a woman of most illustrious memory, as you know, who also appointed it her heir, asserts that his aforesaid monastery owns the estate of Papyriana situated there in Sicily, in common with the hostel of Saint Theodore.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 727-8. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 2, 650.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Erasmus, bishop of Antioch and martyr of Formia : S00867 Maximus, bishop of Naples, ob. c. 361 : S02171 Iuliana, martyr in Nicomedia, buried near Pozzuoli : S01162

Saint Name in Source

Erasmus Maximus Iuliana

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

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives



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).


The xenodochium of Theodore may well be the institution in Palermo, mentioned in Gregory, Register 9.35 (see E06386). Fuscus and the monastery in Naples dedicated to Maximus, Erasmus and Juliana are also mentioned in another of Gregory’s letters (E06402). It is not entirely clear who the Saint Maximus of the dedication was; but the most likely candidate is Maximus, fourth-century bishop of Naples, who died in c. 361 (S02171). Erasmus and Juliana both had established cult in Campania.


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).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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