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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world

Fragmentary Latin epitaph with an invocation of a female saint whose name is lost, and possibly of unnamed martyrs, asked to accept the soul of the deceased. Found in the ager Veranus, via Tiburtina, Rome. Probably from the cemetery of Cyriaca. Probably late 4th – early 5th c.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

Archaeological and architectural - Internal cult fixtures (crypts, ciboria, etc.)

beata [Maria et]
beati m[artyres Christi]
bos peti[mus acceptum]
abeatis Kai[- - -]

'O blessed [Mary, and] the blessed [martyrs of Christ], we ask you [to accept] Kai[- - -]!'

ICVR, n.s., VII, no. 18966 = EDB29817.

Cult Places

Burial site of a saint - crypt/ crypt with relics
Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave
Burial site of a saint - cemetery/catacomb

Non Liturgical Activity


Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


Two conjoining fragments of the left-hand part of a marble plaque. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.23 m; W. 0.27 m; Th. 0.025 m. Letter height 0.04 m.

Found in the
ager Veranus, and stored in the Musei Capitolini. A transcription and a squeeze are recorded in de Rossi's archive.

First published by Antonio Ferrua in 1980, from the squeeze. The editors of the Epigraphic Database Bari say that the inscription is now lost.


The inscription invokes the aid of a female saint on behalf of the deceased. Antonio Ferrua tentatively restored her name as Mary, Mother of Christ, but other completions are also possible. This invocation is followed by another one, addressed probably to unnamed martyrs (here the first letter of the word martyres is preserved).

Dating: The editors of the Epigraphic Database Bari date the inscription to the late 4th or early 5th c.


Epigraphic Database Bari, nos. EDB29817, see

De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.),
Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 7: Coemeteria via Tiburtinae (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1980), no. 18966.

Record Created By

Paweł Nowakowski

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristUncertain
S00060Martyrs, unnamed or name lostbeati martyresCertain
S00518Saints, unnamedbeati martyresCertain
S01744Saints, name lost or very partially preservedbeati martyresCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Paweł Nowakowski, Cult of Saints, E05308 -