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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity


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


Name

Agnes, virgin and martyr of Rome

Saint ID

S00097

Number in BH

BHL 156-160

Gender
Female
Type of Saint
Martyrs, Virgins
Related Evidence Records
IDTitle
E00257Sulpicius Severus, in his Dialogues (2.13) on *Martin (ascetic and bishop of Tours, ob. 397, S00050), recounts how Martin often conversed with a number of major saints in heaven: *Thekla (follower of the Apostle Paul, S00092), *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), and the Apostles *Peter and *Paul (S00036 and S00008), and also how he knew demons by name. Written in Latin in Primuliacum (south-west Gaul), c. 404-406.
E00403The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, recounts the founding and endowment of the basilica of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097) outside Rome by the emperor Constantine (312-337).
E00676The Notitia ecclesiarum urbis Romae, a guide to saints' graves around Rome, lists those on the via Nomentana, north-east of the city. Written in Latin in Rome, 625/649.
E01052The Depositio Martirum, a list of burials of martyrs (primarily of Rome), gives both the day of the year and the place of their burial; from the so-called Chronography of 354, compiled in Latin in Rome, c. 354.
E01244The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, is critical of *Liberius (bishop of Rome, ob. 366, S00758), but mentions his burial in the cemetery of Priscilla on the via Salaria, on 9 September [AD 366], and his links with the churches of the Apostles *Peter (S00036) and *Paul (S00008), and, particularly that of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), which he beautified, all in Rome.
E01276The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of *Innocentius (bishop of Rome, ob. 417, S00575), tells of the dedication and endowment of the basilica of *Gervasius and Protasius (martyrs of Milan, S00313) inside the city, built from the bequest of a certain Vestina; of the roofing and decoration of the basilica of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097) on the via Nomentana; and of Innocentius' burial in the cemetery ad Ursum Pileatum on the via Portuensis outside Rome, on 28 July [AD 417].
E01285The Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome in the 530s, and re-edited before 546, in its account of *Bonifacius (bishop of Rome, ob. 422, S00472), recounts the disputed election of Bonifacius and Eulalius, during which the former stayed at the cemetery of *Felicitas (martyr of Rome, S00525) on the via Salaria and celebrated Easter at the basilica of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097) on the via Nomentana, both in the suburbs of Rome, while the latter stayed at [the church of?] *Hermes (presumably the martyr of Rome buried on the via Salaria vetus, S00404), at Antium (Anzio, south of Rome), and celebrated Easter at the Lateran, within Rome. It also mentions the construction by Bonifacius of an oratory of Felicitas and her son Silvanus at her cemetery on the via Salaria, and his burial close to her body on 25 October [AD 422].
E01350The second edition of the Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome between the 530s and 546, in its account of *Symmachus (bishop and confessor of Rome, ob. 514, S00793), lists his building works at, and donations to, the churches of various saints in Rome and its region.
E01443The short Life of *Honorius (bishop of Rome, ob. 638, S01459) in the Liber Pontificalis, written in Latin in Rome soon after his death, lists his construction of, and offerings to, the churches of many saints in Rome and its region.
E02218Augustine of Hippo preaches a sermon on the feast of *Fructuosus, Augurius and Eulogius (martyrs of Tarragona, S00496), at the memorial shrine of *Theogenes (martyr and probably bishop of Hippo, S01133), and refers to the reading of their Martyrdom. He emphasises that, though martyrs like these, as well as *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), are superior to pagan heroes, they are honoured, not worshipped by Christians. Sermo 273, delivered in Latin at Hippo Regius (North Africa), 391/397.
E02323Augustine of Hippo preaches a sermon on the feast of the discovery of the relics of *Gervasius and Protasius (martyrs of Milan, S00313) in Milan (northern Italy), in an undetermined place in North Africa where some of their relics were deposited. He mentions the martyrs, *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), *Crispina (martyr of Theveste, S00905), *Nemesianus (child martyr of Africa, S01811), and *Peter the Apostle (S00036), relates a miracle of Gervasius and Protasius when their relics were discovered, and mentions the reading of written accounts (libelli) of martyrs' miracles at their shrines. Sermon 286, delivered in Latin, possibly in 425/430.
E02475The Latin Martyrdom of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), is written, presumably in Rome, during Late Antiquity, certainly before the late 7th c. It tells of how Agnes, a young woman of noble birth, embraces chastity, is exposed in a brothel, and is eventually martyred. She is buried on the via Nomentana. Near her grave *Emerentiana (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00496) is also martyred; Constantia, daughter of the emperor Constantine, is cured there, leading to the building of a basilica for Agnes and a mausoleum for Constantia.
E02495The Martyrdom of *Felix II (bishop and martyr of Rome, ob. 365, S00493) is written in Latin, presumably in Rome, perhaps during the Laurentian schism (498-506). It narrates Felix's election to the bishopric of Rome after the exile of pope Liberius (352-366); Felix's condemnation of Arians in a council; his building of a basilica on the via Portuensis; his loss of the episcopate and Liberius' return; the persecutions that follow, and Felix's martyrdom and burial at the second milestone on the via Aurelia.
E02520The Martyrdom of *Gallicanus, Iohannes and Paulus (martyrs of Rome under Julian, S01244 and S00384) is written in Latin, presumably in Rome, in the 5th or 6th c. Divided into two parts, it first narrates the conversion of the general Gallicanus and his daughters Attica and Artemia thanks respectively to the eunuchs Iohannes and Paulus and the emperor Constantine’s daughter, Constantia, who was healed from leprosy thanks to her devotion to *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097); Gallicanus’ devotion to *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), his donations to the poor and to the Church, and building of two churches, one dedicated to *Laurence (deacon and martyr of Rome, S00037), in Ostia, where he lives with *Hilarinus (martyr of Ostia, S01518); Gallicanus’ exile in Egypt under Julian and his martyrdom there; the martyrdom and burial of Hilarinus in Ostia. The second part narrates the martyrdom of *Iohannes and Paulus (brothers and eunuchs, martyrs of Rome under the emperor Julian, S00384) and their burial in their own house at the hands of Terentianus and his son, who later convert to Christianity and reveal the story of the saints’ martyrdom. An alternative version, written in the 6th c., adds the martyrdoms of *Crispus, Crispinianus and Benedicta (martyrs of Rome, see S01526 and S01516), and of *Terentianus and his son (martyrs of Rome, S01517), all buried by the priests Iohannes and Pimenius in Iohannes and Paulus’ house. It ends with the building of a church by the senator Vizantius and his son Pammachius in the saints’ house.
E02616A sermon, falsely attributed to either Ambrose of Milan or Maximus of Turin, is dedicated to the feast of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097); it describes episodes of her martyrdom on the basis of The Martyrdom of Agnes (E02475), and presents Agnes as an example to follow for young girls. Written in Latin, probably in northern Italy, perhaps in the 6th c. and certainly before the late 8th c.
E03995A hostile account of the actions of Pope Damasus, written by supporters of his rival Ursinus (Collectio Avellana 1), accuses him and his supporters of attacking supporters of Ursinus at the extramural church of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097) at Rome in 368. Written in Latin in Rome, 368/9.
E04418Prudentius writes Crowns of the Martyrs XIV, a poem on the martyrdom of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097): the young virgin Agnes refuses to sacrifice to the pagan gods; she is placed in a brothel but no-one dares to take her virginity; eventually, she is beheaded by a soldier and her soul is taken to heaven. Written in Latin in Calahorra (northern Spain), c. 400. Overview of Peristephanon XIV.
E04509Prudentius, in his poem (Crowns of the Martyrs XIV) on *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), mentions the tomb of the martyr (outside Rome) and her role as protector of the citizens of the city. Written in Latin in Calahorra (northern Spain), c. 400.
E04510Prudentius, in his poem (Crowns of the Martyrs XIV) on *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), recounts how a man who impudently looked at Agnes, exposed at the corner of the street, was struck by a thunderbolt but later restored to his senses through the prayers of the martyr. Written in Latin in Calahorra (northern Spain), c. 400.
E04616The 6th/7th c. recension of the Latin Martyrologium Hieronymianum, as transmitted in 8th c. manuscripts, records the feasts of a number of saints on 20 January.
E04617The 6th/7th c. recension of the Latin Martyrologium Hieronymianum, as transmitted in 8th c. manuscripts, records the feasts of a number of saints on 21 January.
E04624The 6th/7th c. recension of the Latin Martyrologium Hieronymianum, as transmitted in 8th c. manuscripts, records the feasts of a number of saints on 27 January.
E04627The 6th/7th c. recension of the Latin Martyrologium Hieronymianum, as transmitted in 8th c. manuscripts, records the feasts of a number of saints on 28 January.
E05070The 6th/7th c. recension of the Latin Martyrologium Hieronymianum, as transmitted in 8th c. manuscripts, records the feasts of a number of saints on 31 December.
E05206Ambrose of Milan, in a letter to Simplicianus (Letter 7), suggests that martyrdom leads to true freedom, using the examples of *Thekla (follower of the Apostle Paul, S00092), *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), *Pelagia (martyr of Antioch, S01093), *Laurence (deacon and martyr of Rome, S00037) and the *Maccabean martyrs (pre-Christian Jewish martyrs of Antioch, S00303). Written in Latin in Milan (northern Italy), c. 387.
E05210Ambrose of Milan adapts a sermon (Concerning Virgins), given on virginity on the feast day of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097). He praises and gives accounts of the martyrdoms of *Thekla (follower of the Apostle Paul, S00092), *Soteris (virgin and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Appia, S00548), *Pelagia (martyr of Antioch, S01903) and another unnamed martyr of Antioch. Written in Latin in Milan (northern Italy), 377.
E05212Hymn (Agnes beatae virginis), almost certainly by Ambrose of Milan, for the feast day of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097). Written in Latin in Milan (northern Italy), sometime after 386.
E05285Ambrose of Milan, in his De Officiis, a tract on the virtues expected of the clergy, praises the virtues of *Laurence (deacon and martyr of Rome, S00037), the *Maccabean martyrs (pre-Christian Jewish martyrs of Antioch, S00303), the Holy *Innocents (children killed at the order of Herod, S00268) and *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097). Written in Latin in Milan (northern Italy), in the later 380s.
E05435Bede, in his Martyrology, records the feast on 21 January at Rome of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097). Written in Latin at Wearmouth-Jarrow (north-east Britain), 725/731.
E05437Bede, in his Martyrology, records the feast on 23 January at Rome of *Emerentiana (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00495), killed at the tomb of her foster sister *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097). Written in Latin at Wearmouth-Jarrow (north-east Britain), 725/731.
E05555Venantius Fortunatus writes eleven books of Poems in Latin, mainly in western and north-western Gaul, 565/600; many of them with reference to saints. Overview entry.
E05745Small fragments of two or three inscriptions probably related to the cult of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), probably from a poem by Pope Damasus (366-384). Found in the cemetery of Agnes on the via Nomentana, Rome.
E05762Latin inscription with a poem commemorating the embellishment with silver of the tomb of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097) by Pope Honorius I (625-638). Now lost, but originally probably displayed at the tomb of Agnes in her basilica on the via Nomentana, Rome (S. Agnese fuori le mura).
E05764Latin inscription with a poem commemorating the construction of a splendid church (aula) of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), certainly by Pope Honorius I (625-638). Now lost but originally displayed on the triumphal arch over the apse of the basilica of Agnes (Sant'Agnese fuori le mura) on the via Nomentana, Rome.
E05765Latin inscription in mosaic in the apse of the church of S. Agnese fuori le mura on the via Nomentana, Rome, built by Pope Honorius I (625-638). The inscribed poem praises the beauty of the scene depicted above: the crowning by God of *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097) with a martyr's crown, and the offering of the basilica to her by Honorius. An inscription on the same mosaic labels the image of Agnes.
E05782Agnellus of Ravenna, in his Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Ravennatis, written in Latin, describes the building of a church dedicated to *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097) in Ravenna (northern Italy) in 473/477; and the burial there of a bishop in 477. Account written in Ravenna in 830/846.
E05835Fragmentary Latin inscription recording a work of decoration dedicated to *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), of unknown provenance, but normally considered to have come from the 4th c. basilica of Agnes on the via Nomentana, Rome. Probably late 4th c.
E05836Image of a praying girl, on a marble plaque in low-relief, perhaps labelled as *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097). The label is, however, scarcely legible, and its text and date have been questioned. According to different reports found in the cemetery or church of Agnes on the via Nomentana (Sant'Agnese fuori-le-mua), Rome. Usually dated to the 4th c.
E05840The Calendar of Willibrord, in its earliest version, records the feasts of various saints in January. Written in Latin at Echternach, Frisia (north-east Gaul), 703/710.
E05850High quality inscription for a woman named Agnes, apparently from one of the Roman suburban cemeteries. Sometimes presented as the epitaph for, or a monumental dedication to, *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097). Probably 3rd or 4th c.
E05864Latin epitaph to a married couple buried by their daughter near an unnamed female martyr, ad sancta(m) martura(m), probably *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097). Found at the cemetery of Agnes, via Nomentana, Rome. Probably late 4th c.
E06109Jerome, in his treatise to Demetrias, cites *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome S00097) as an example of chastity; Letter 130, written in Latin in Bethlehem (Palestine), 414.
E06237Venantius Fortunatus, in a poem on virginity (8.3), gives a list of prominent female virgin saints. Written in Latin in Gaul, probably in the early 570s.
E06337Gregory the Great in a papal letter (Register 2.50) of 592, to the sub-deacon Peter in Sicily, orders that money be paid to a holy man living in an oratory dedicated to *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097) near Palermo (Sicily). Written in Latin in Rome.
E06411Gregory the Great in a papal letter (Register 9.233) of 599, to Decius, bishop of Lilybaeum, asks him to consecrate a female monastery dedicated to *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), *Laurence (deacon and martyr of Rome, S01229), *Hermes (martyr of Rome, buried on the via Salaria vetus, S00404), *Pancratius (martyr of Rome, S00307), *Sebastianus (martyr of Rome, S00400), and *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), inside the city of Lilybaeum (Sicily). Written in Latin in Rome.
E06540The Latin Gelasian Sacramentary (or Liber Sacramentorum Romanae Ecclesiae), probably compiled around 750 near Paris using earlier material from Rome records prayers to saints on their feast days in January.
E06584Aldhelm, in his prose On Virginity, names *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097) as an exemplary virgin. Written in Latin in southern Britain, for the nuns at the monastery at Barking (south-east Britain), c. 675/686.
E06659Aldhelm's verse On Virginity lists a range of saints as exemplary virgins, with some variations to the list found in the earlier prose version of the same treatise. Written in Latin in southern Britain, for the nuns at the monastery at Barking (south-east Britain), c. 675/710. Overview entry
E06788A Latin papyrus preserved in Monza (northern Italy) lists the 'oils of the holy martyrs who in body rest in Rome' brought from Rome for Theodelinda, queen of the Lombards, naming many Roman saints. Written at Monza or Rome, 590/604; preserved in its original copy.
E06997The De Locis Sanctis, a guide to the graves of the martyrs around Rome, lists those on the via Nomentana, north-east of the city. Written in Latin in Rome, 642/683.
E07467Very fragmentary painted Latin inscription, possibly referring to *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), and *Emerentiana (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00495). Found in the Coemeterium Maius / Catacombe di Sant'Emerenziana on the via Nomentana, Rome. Probably late 4th - early 5th c. [provisional entry]
E07844Venantius Fortunatus, in a poetic epitaph for a young woman named Vilithuta (Poem 4.26), depicts patriarchs, apostles, and celebrated virginal saints taking part in the judgement of sinners after death, mentioning *Elijah (Old Testament prophet, S00217), *Enoch (Old Testament Patriarch, S00762), *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030), *Mary (the Mother of Christ, S00033), *Agnes (virgin and martyr of Rome, S00097), *Thekla (follower of the Apostle Paul, S00092), and *Agatha (virgin and martyr of Catania, S00794). Written in Latin in Gaul, 565/576.
E07888The Itinerarium Malmesburiense, a guide to saints' graves around and within Rome, lists those outside porta Nomentana, north-east of the city. Written in Latin in Rome, 642/683.