Memoria Vic/torini im pace / marture profe/ssum octav(o) idus / mai(a)s zie solis ora / octav(a) a(nno) pr(ovinciae) CCL […] I
'To the memory of Victorinus, in peace, the martyr who confessed on the eighth day before the Ides of May [8 May] on the Day of the Sun, at the eighth hour, in the year of the province CCL […] I.'
Text: Y. Duval, no. 174, vol. 1, p. 367–371. Translation: Stanisław Adamiak.
Saint NameVictorinus, martyr of Tipasa, early 4th cent. : S02628
Saint Name in SourceVictorinus
Image Caption 1Carletti, C., Epigrafia dei cristiani in Occidente dal III al VII secolo. Ideologia e prassi (Bari: Edipuglia, 2008), 306-307, no. 206.
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Funerary inscriptions
Evidence not before315
Evidence not after320
Activity not before315
Activity not after320
Place of Evidence - RegionLatin North Africa
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcTipasa
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Tipasa
Cult activities - PlacesBurial site of a saint - tomb/grave
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsBurial ad sanctos
Cult Activities - Cult Related ObjectsInscription
SourceThe inscription is on a block of sandstone of approximately cubic form (H. 50 cm, L. 58 cm, Th. 52 cm), found in 1940 in Tipasa, in the "area of Bishop Alexander." It is currently in the garden of the museum of Tipasa. The letters are about 5 cm high.
The epitaph was mostly hidden behind a masonry 'mensa'. The relationship between this mensa and the epitaph is unclear. The mensa may be an element of the tomb of Victorinus himself, or it may be the proof of the inhumation of someone else ad sanctos, as is the case of the Presbyter Amantius nearby (E06955).
DiscussionThe expression 'marture professum' is unique.
The year given in the inscription, expressed according to the era of the local calendar which dated years from AD 40, is a problem. There is some space between the CCL and the I. Carcopino read it as CCLXXI, which would give the year 310. But 8 May of this year was a Monday. If we are looking for years when 8 May was a Sunday, CCLXXVI (AD 315) or CCLXXI (AD 320) are possible. Courtois chooses 320, although according to Duval there is no clear reason for this choice.
Anyway, it is clear that the death of Victorinus happened after the end of the persecutions, so he was a victim either of some riots with pagans, or of the inter-Christian struggle connected with the Donatist schism (we do not know on which side). Carletti, however, disagrees with this conclusion, suggesting that the date refers to the deposition of the relics of Victorinus, and not to his death.
The name Victorinus appears several times in the Martyrologium Hieronimianum, but none of the entries corresponds exactly with the date of the epitaph. Some variation over the precise days of saints' feasts is very common in the Martyrologium and elsewhere, so it is possible that he is the Victorinus mentioned on 11 May (E04809), and the 'Victurina' on 10 May (E04811).
Epigraphik-Datenbank Clauss / Slaby, no. EDCS-13600241, see http://db.edcs.eu/epigr/edcs_id.php?s_sprache=en&p_edcs_id=EDCS-13600241.
Carletti, C., Epigrafia dei cristiani in Occidente dal III al VII secolo. Ideologia e prassi (Bari: Edipuglia, 2008), 306-307, no. 206.
Duval, Y., Loca sanctorum Africae: Le culte des martyrs en Afrique du IVe au VIIe siècle (Rome: École Française de Rome, 1982), vol. 1, 367-371, no. 174.
Carcopino, J., "Note sur une épitaphe de martyr récemment découverte à Tipasa de Maurétanie," Recueil des Notices et Mémoires de la Soc. archéologique, historique et géographique de Constantine 66 (1948), 87-101.
Courtois, C., "Victorinus et Salsa, note d’hagiographie tipasienne," Recueil des Notices et Mémoires de la Soc. archéologique, historique et géographique de Constantine, 68 (1954), 109-119 (AE 1955, no. 201)
Leschi, L., "Fouilles à Tipasa dans l’église d’Alexandre," Bulletin archéologique du Comité des travaux historiques 1941-42, 362-362 (AE 1942-3, no. 48).