University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E07502: Painted Latin inscriptions labelling painted figures of saints *Ianarius, *Silanus, *Philip, and *Martialis (martyrs of Rome and four out of seven sons of Felicitas, S00525). Found on a wall in the Cemetery of Felicitas/Cemetery of Maximus on the via Salaria, Rome. Probably late 6th/early 7th c.

online resource
posted on 2019-03-30, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
'[Ia]- nua[rius] S[i]- [lanus Phili]- ppus Martia[lis].'

'Ianuarius, Sil(v)anus, Philip, Martialis'

Text: ICVR, n.s., VIII, no. 23392 = EDB19603.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Felicitas, martyr of Rome with her seven sons : S00525

Saint Name in Source

Ianuarius, Silanus, Philippus, Martialis

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Graffiti Images and objects - Wall paintings and mosaics


  • 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 - crypt/ crypt with relics

Cult activities - Use of Images

  • Public display of an image


The inscription consists of five labels for male figures with nimbi, some of them also having superimposed hovering wreaths. The labels are written on both sides of their heads, and above the head of the rightmost figure, significantly lower than the others. The painting is located on the east wall of the surface basilica of the cemetery of Felicitas. The composition probably showed Christ in the posture of blessing, and the seven martyrs flanking their mother below him. An unlabelled probably female figure is indeed shown to the left of the four labelled martyrs. First published by Giovanni Battista de Rossi in 1885.


The painting also shows other figures flanking the four labelled sons. It is possible that these were the missing three sons with their mother in the centre of the group, and were also fitted with captions, now lost. Dating: The editors of the Epigraphic database Bari date the inscription to the late 6th/early 7th c.


Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB19603. 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. 23392 (with further bibliography). Marucchi, O., Le catacombe romane: Opera postuma, ed. E. Josi (Rome, 1933), 393. Armellini, M., Gli antichi cimeteri cristiani di Roma e d'Italia (Rome: Tipografia poliglotta, 1893), 205. de Rossi, G.B., "Scoperta d'una cripta storica nel cimitero di Massimo ad sanetam Felicitatem sulla via Salaria Nuova", Bullettino di archeologia cristiana 4. Ser. 3 (1884-1885), 156 and Tav. IX-X.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager