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E06445: Two letters of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 14.16 and 14.17) of 604, to Leo, bishop of Catania, concern a monastery dedicated to *Vitus (presumably the martyr of Lucania and Rome, S00599) on Mount Etna (Sicily). 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 14.16 (to Leo, bishop of Catania)

Extract from the opening of a letter dealing with abuses in the monastery:

Marcianus monachus monasterii sancti Viti quod in Ethena monte est positum cum consensu, ut ait, congregationis eiusdem monasterii ad nos ueniens questus est multas monasterium ipsum a quibusdam molestias ac praeiudicia sustinere.

‘Marcianus, a monk of the monastery of Saint Vitus, which is located on Mount Etna, with the consent of that community, as he claims, came to us with the complaint that his monastery is suffering many troubles and a lot of damage through certain men.’

Gregory repeats this information in 14.17, written to Hadrianus, papal notary in Sicily.

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 1089-90. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 3, 882-3.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Vitus, martyr in Lucania (Southern Italy), c. 303-305 : S00599

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


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: 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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