University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E06406: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 9.195) of 599, to Scholasticus, defensor, mentions a bequest to a church dedicated to *John (the Baptist, S00020, or the Evangelist, S00042) outside Ortona (central Italy). Written in Latin in Rome.

online resource
posted on 2018-09-11, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Pope Gregory the Great, Register of Letters 9.195

Extract from a letter dealing with various property disputes:

Asseruit etiam Ferrocinctum quendam condito testamento heredem nostram instituisse ecclesiam atque ecclesiae sancti Iohannis, ante portas Ortonensis ciuitatis sita est, duos casales fundi campos et Ausimanos legati titulo reliquisse et a nostra eos nunc ecclesia detineri.

‘He also asserted that a certain Ferrocinctus nominated our church as his heir in his will, and that to the church of Saint John, situated in front of the gates of the city of Ortona, he bequeathed two homesteads and fields at Osimo under the title of his legacy, and that they are now being held by the Church.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 749-50. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 2, 662.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

John the Baptist : S00020 John, the Apostle and Evangelist : S00042

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

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


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).


It is not specified which Saint John was the dedicatee of this church at Ortona; the most likely is the Baptist.


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



    Ref. manager