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E06402: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 9.173) of 599, to Fantinus, defensor of the papal patrimony in Sicily, concerns the recovery of property of the abbot of two monasteries, one dedicated to the Archangel (presumably *Michael, S00181), the other 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); both monasteries presumably in Naples (southern Italy). 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 9.173

From the opening of a letter that seeks to recover this lost property:

Fuscus abbas monasteriorum sancti Archangeli, quod Macharis dicitur, atque sanctorum Maximi, Erasmi et Iulianae asseruit constantium cellae suae presbyterum ob temporis qualitatem se in Sicilia transmigrasse et codices monasterii sui atque uela se cum pariter deportasse.

‘Fuscus, abbot of the monastery of the holy Archangel, which is called Macharis, and of Saints Maximus, Erasmus and Juliana, has asserted that Constantius, a priest of his monastery, due to the nature of the times, had removed himself to Sicily and had taken away with him some manuscripts from his monastery and clothing likewise.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 730-1. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 2, 651, modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181 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

Michael 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


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).


Fuscus and the monastery dedicated to Maximus, Erasmus and Juliana are also mentioned in another of Gregory’s letters (E06401), in which it is stated that the monastery was in Naples. It is not entirely clear who the Saint Maximus of the dedication was; but the most likely candidate is Maximus, bishop of Naples in the 4th century, who died in c. 361 (S02171). Erasmus and Juliana both had established cult in Campania. The monastery of the Archangel, which Fuscus also ruled, was presumably also within the territory of Naples.


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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