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E06418: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 11.16) of 600, to John, sub-deacon of Ravenna, mentions an oath taken before the body of *Peter (the Apostle, S00036) in 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 11.16

Extract from a letter dealing with a case in which a banker, Iohannes, had stood as a guarantor for a palace official called Importunus:

Sed quia quibusdam erat suspicio, quod praedicto Importuno non simpliciter sed compendii causa fideiussor accesserit, ad sacratissimum corpus beati Petri apostolorum principis districta omnino sacramenta, quantum nobis renuntiatum, praebuit non solum nullum se ab eo ex toto commodum recepisse uerum etiam nec aliquid habuisse promissum sed ei, ut ceteris, simpliciter accessisse.

‘Some people suspected that he had guaranteed the aforesaid Importunus as his surety not honestly, but for the sake of a profit, but Iohannes in fact provided strict oaths before the most holy body of Saint Peter, prince of the apostles, that he had not only received no payment from him at all, but also had nothing promised to him, but had guaranteed him honestly as he had guaranteed others.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 885. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 3, 752.


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 - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Oath made on a relic


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: 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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