Saint NameClemens/Clement, bishop and martyr of Rome : S00111
Type of EvidenceLiterary - Other
Evidence not before392
Evidence not after393
Activity not before350
Activity not after393
Place of Evidence - RegionPalestine with Sinai
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcBethlehem
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Bethlehem
Major author/Major anonymous workJerome of Stridon
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
SourceJerome wrote this collection of very short biographies of 135 Christian authors at the beginning of his stay in Bethlehem in 392/393. Amongst the authors commemorated were several who suffered martyrdom (which Jerome records at the end of their biographies) and others (such as Eusebius of Vercelli and Hilary of Poitiers) who would later attract cult, but Jerome's purpose in writing De viris inlustribus was to show how many learned men there had been, and still were within the Christian church (he closes with a rather longer biography of himself!), rather than to encourage saintly cult. We have therefore only created database entries from the De viris inlustribus in the very few cases (such as this one) where Jerome happens to provide information that sheds significant light on the cult of a saint.
DiscussionJerome evidently refers to the titulus Clementis (on the site of present-day San Clemente), and is the first author to attest its existence. The early titular churches were named after their founders or owners and not after patron saints; so the titulus Clementis will in origin have commemorated a secular patron, Clemens. The church is first referred to as the titulus sancti Clementis only at the time of the Roman synod of 499 (E02744), but the testimony of Jerome proves that it was already associated with the bishop and martyr of Rome, Clemens, at the end of the fourth century.
Richardson, E.C., De viris inlustribus (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Altchristlichen Literatur, vol. 14/1a, Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, 1896), 1-56.
Richardson, E.C., On Illustrious Men (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 3, Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892). Revised and edited by K. Knight. .
Brandenburg, H., Ancient churches of Rome from the fourth to the seventh century: the dawn of Christian architecture in the West, Turnhout: Brepols, 2005.