Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1300
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Funerary inscription of the presbitera Leta from Tropea (Italy) who died in the age of forty, the 5th c.
B(onae) m(emoriae) s(acrum) Leta presbitera que
vixit ann(is) XL m(ensibus) VIII d(iebus) VIIII
quei bene fecit maritus
precessit in pace pridie
idus Maias.
(Epigraphic Database Rome no. 006613)
Sacred in happy memory: the presbytera Leta, who lived forty years, eight months, and nine days, whose husband erected this tombstone. She went forth in peace on the day before the Ides of May [=15 May].
(trans. L.M. Maloney in Eisen 2000: 130)


It is commonly held in the historiography that the presbytera Leta was the wife of the presbyter, and not an office-holder herself (see e.g. the note of Leta in PCBE 2, Italie, v. 2, where it is even suggested that she might have been the wife of the presbyter Monses known from the other inscription from Tropea see [1301]). That she should be rather interpreted as a proper presbyter was argued by Otranto 1982 and Eisen 2000.

Place of event:

  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily
  • Tropea

About the source:

Origin: Tropea (Italy south of Rome and Sicily)
A white marble slab, damaged along the edges and without the left corner. The dimensions: H: 0,75m; W: 1,55m; Th.:  0,025m. The inscription is not carved centrally on the slab. It was found in 1876 by Felice Toraldo near the Torre Lunga in Tropea during the excavations at the paleochristian cemetery. Now kept in Palazzo Toraldo in Tropea.
Trismegistos no. 247185
Epigraphik Datenbank Clauss/Slaby no. EDCS-23400015 (ill.)
Epigraphic Database Rome EDR006613
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum X/2, 8079
E. Diehl (ed.), Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres, vol. 1, Berlin 1924/1925, no. 1192.
M. Buoncore (ed.), Inscriptiones christianae Italiae septimo saeculo antiquiores, vol. 5: Regio III: Regium Iulium, Bari 1987, no. 13.
U.E. Eisen, Women officeholders in early Christianity: epigraphical and literary studies, Collegeville, Minn 2000.
G. Otranto, "Note sul sacerdozio femminile nell’antichità in margine a una testimonianza di Gelasio I”, Vetera Christianorum 19 (1982), 341–360.


Family life - Marriage
Relation with - Wife
Female ministry
Described by a title - Presbytera/Presbyteressa
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1300,