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E06910: Pope Gelasius I, in a letter of 492/496, mentions a church dedicated to the martyr *Eleutherius (martyr of Rome, S01661) in Histonium (modern Vasto, central Italy). Written in Latin in Rome.

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posted on 2018-10-17, 00:00 authored by frances
Gelasius I, Letter to Celestinus


In ecclesia beati martyris Eleutherii, quae in Histoniensium civitatis parochia probatur esse constructa, Julianum diaconum, si ni in eo est quod contra canonum veniat instituta, presbyteri honore decorabis.

‘In the church of the blessed martyr Eleutherius, which we allowed to be constructed as a parish of the city of Histonium, you will grace the deacon Julianus with the honour of being a priest, if there is nothing in him which contravenes the canons and institutes.’

Text: Thiel 1867. Translation: Frances Trzeciak.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Eleutherios/Eleutherius, martyr of Rome, and his mother Antia : S01661

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 name in other Language(s)

Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)


A letter from the letter collection of Pope Gelasius I (492-496).


The site of Histonium is on the Adriatic coast, on approximately the same latitude as Rome. According to some versions of the Martyrdom of Eleutherius his body was translated to Troia in northern Puglia, closer geographically to Histonium than Rome and on the same side of the Apennines.


Edition: Thiel, A., ed., Epistolae Romanorum Pontificum Genuinae et quae ad eos scriptae sunt a s. Hilario usque ad Pelagium II, (1867) Further Reading: Neil, Bronwen and Allen, Pauline, 'Introduction' in The Letters of Gelasius I (492-496). Pastor and Micromanager of the Church (Turnhout, 2014), pp. 1-64.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity