University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E07478: Latin epitaph just possibly referring to five saints. Probably from a cemetery on the via Nomentana, Rome. Possibly 3rd c. [provisional entry]

online resource
posted on 2019-03-23, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
sancti V[- - -]
Aureli[- - -]

1. Sancti[an]u[s] or sancti V [martyres] Ferrua

For a translation, see the commentary.

Text: ICVR, n.s., VIII, no. 23025 = EDB41612.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Saints, name lost or very partially preserved : S01744 Saints, unnamed : S00518 Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060

Saint Name in Source

sancti sancti sancti

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions


  • 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

Suburban catacombs and cemeteries

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Suburban catacombs and cemeteries Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


Left-hand fragment of a marble plaque. Preserved dimensions: H. 28 cm, W. 56 cm, Th. 2 cm. Letter height 4.5 cm. A large left-hand margin is preserved, carrying a depiction of Daniel, an Old Testament character, flanked by two lions. The stone was offered to the Lateran Museums in 1929, reportedly as a find from the via Nomentana. Later deposited in the Museo Pio Cristiano, in the Vatican. Ferrua points out that the shape of the letters supports this claim, as they are of the 'ostrian' type, common in high quality epitaphs of the via Nomentana cemeteries.


Ferrua offers two interpretations of this text. Line 1 could contain the name of the deceased, e.g. Sancti[an]u[s]. Alternatively, this could be a reference to some Five martyrs, for example sancti V [martyres], but Ferrua does not develop on their possible identity. The editors of the Epigraphic Database Bari dates the inscription to the third century.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB41612. see De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.) Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 8: Coemeteria viarum Nomentanae et Salariae (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1983), no. 23025 (with further bibliography). Ferrua, A., "Incrementi epigrafici nel Museo Vaticano Pio Cristiano (1934-1970)", Rendiconti della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia 46 (1974), 155 and fig. 19.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager