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E07515: Latin epitaphs illustrating the practice of invoking ordinary deceased to intercede for the living in the same way martyrs were invoked. Found in various cemeteries on the via Salaria, Rome. Probably late 3rd/early 4th c. [provisional entry]

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posted on 2019-04-06, 00:00 authored by CSLA Admin
1) Marble plaque, broken into two conjoining fragments. H. 0.235 m; W. 0.855 m; Th. 0.025 - 0.03 m. Letter height 0.025-0.03 m. First recorded by Marangoni in the Cemetery of Saint Saturninus. Later seen at the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. Offered to the Lateran Museums by Giovanni Battista de Rossi. A copy of this epitaph is kept at the Benedictine Museum at Catina where it was offered by Placidus Scamacca (see CIL X 1089*,33).

Anatolius filio benemerenti fecit
qui vixit annis VII mensis VII diebus XX ispiritus tuus bene requies-
cat in deo petas pro sorore tua

'Anatolius made it to his merited son, who lived 7 year, 7 months, 20 days. Your spirit has a good rest in God. Intercede for your sister!'

Text: ICVR, n.s., IX, no. 23793 = EDB14291.

2) Plaque of Phrygian marble. H. 0.2 m; W. 0.62 m; Th. 0.015 - 0.03 m. Letter height 0.02 m. First recorded by Marangoni in the Cemetery of Saint Thraso or Saint Saturninus on the via Salaria. In 1801 seen at the cemetery of Priscilla on the via Salaria by Ponzetti. Transferred to the Vatican Museums, subsequently to the Lateran Museums, and back to the Vatican Museums. Now in the collection Pio Cristiano of the Vatican Museums.

Aurelius Agapetus et Aurelia
Felicissima alumne Felicitati
dignissimae que vicsit
 anis XXX et VI 
et pete pro Celsinianu coiugem

'Aurelius Agapetus and Aurelia Felicissima to their foster-daughter Felicitas, the most worthy one, who lived 30 and 6 years. And intercede on behalf of Celsinianus, (your) husband!'

Text: ICVR, n.s., IX, no. 23926 = EDB7531.

3) Plaque of Parian marble. H. 0.13 m; W. 0.22 m; Th. ?? m. Letter height 0.02 m. First recorded by Marangoni in the Cemetery of Saint Thraso or Saint Saturninus on the via Salaria. Later transferred to the church of Saints Kosmas and Damianus at Anagni where it was seen by de Rossi. Now in the lapidarium of the Cistercian monastery at Anagni (monastero delle suore Cistercensi della Carità).

Suti pete
pro nos
ut salvi simus

1. Suti = Suste = Xyste/Sixte Diehl, Suti = Sutirem = Soterem Cavedoni refuted by Ferrua and Mazzoleni

'O Sixtus (?), intercede for us, so that we would be saved!'

Text: ICVR, n.s., IX, no. 24178 = EDB9372.

4) Plaque of Carian marble, broken into seven conjoining fragments. H. 0.305 m; W. 1.18 m; Th. 2.2 m. Letter height 0.02-0.025 m. Letters painted red. First recorded by Giovanni Battista de Rossi in the Catacombs of the Jordans (Catacomba dei Giordani), in cubiculum Ca. Now in sector C8. First published by de Rossi in 1873.

The plaque bears two epitaphs, probably carved by the same hand.

Sozon benedictus
redidit an(norum) nobe.

Berus ⳩ ispirum
in pace et pet pro nobis

'Sozon, the blessed, gave up (his soul) at the age of seven.'

'Verus (christogram), may your spirit be in peace! Intercede for us!'

Text: ICVR, n.s., IX, no. 24492 = EDB13599.


Evidence ID


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

Women Children Other lay individuals/ people


ICVR - Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae EDB - Epigraphic Database Bari

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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