Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1834
Presbyter Anthimus from Asia Minor arrives to Rome with the Proconsul Pinianus. He attempts to convert some pagan peasants and destroys pagan cult places. He survives miraculously an attempt to drown him in Tiber but later is convicted and beheaded, (the story is said to take place in the reign of Diocletian, AD 303/305). The Martyrdom of the Presbyter Anthimius and his companions, probably the 8th c.
For the first part of the story about the Presbyter Anthimus see [1832].
II (8) Tunc transeuntem Priscum Proconsulem increduli tenuerunt, dicentes ei: Per Anthimum eversa sunt omnia simulacra, et omnis lucus incensus est. Tunc Priscus Consularis jussit eum teneri a populo, et ad sacrificandum impelli. Sed cum contemneret minas et seditiones eorum, ligaverunt in collo saxum, et in Tiberis medio eum jactaverunt. Sed Angelus Domini apparuit ei in Tiberi, et rupit vincula ejus, et revocavit eum in cellulam orationis suae. Cum autem mane facto viderent gentiles, Christianos more solito venientes ad eum, coeperunt insultantes dicere: Ite ad Anthimum vestrum in fundum Tiberis, ubi demersus jacet. Christiani autem dicebant: Nos Anthimum Dei servum vidimus sanum, et benedixt nos more solito: incolumis est, et nulla macula in eo. Tunc dicere inter se coeperunt: Nos eum per pedem traximus, et nullum membrum ejus sanum dereliquimus, ac manibus nostris saxo collo ejus ligato praecipitem in mediam Tiberis undam jactavimus: quomodo haec isti affirmant? Tunc ingressi singulatim, attendebant eum sanum populo praedicantem. Tunc pene omnes, qui jactaverunt eum in Tiberim, advoluti genibus ejus, poenitentiam agentes, baptizati sunt.
II (9) Requirente deinde Prisco Consulari, facta est de eo accusatio talis; quod non solum non potuisset occidi, sed et omnes qui eum occidere conati sunt ad fidem Christi convertisset. Tunc Priscus jussit eum adduci ad se, quem per triduum in vinculis et in torturis agens, cum nulla posset ratione ad hoc perducere ut idolis immolaret, fecit eum capite caedi. Cujus corpus tulerunt populi, qui per eum fuerant conversi, et in suo oratorio ubi orare consueverat posuerunt: in quo loco praestantur beneficia orationibus ejus, ad laudem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, cui est honor et gloria in secula seculorum.
In what follows, the martyrdom of the best friend of Anthimus, Maximus, is recorded.
(Acta Sanctorum, Mai, II, 616)
For the first part of the story about the Presbyter Anthimus see [1832].
II (8) At the same time, the incredulous people reached the Proconsul Priscus who was passing by, and told him: "All the idols are destroyed by Anthimus, and every shrine is being burnt." Then the Consularis Priscus ordered Anthimus to be captured by the people and forced to sacrifice. But because he disdained their threats and schemes, they tied a rock to his neck and threw him to the Tiber. But the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in the Tiber, broke his chains, and brought him back to the cell of his prayer. When next morning, the pagans saw the Christians going to see him as usual, they started to insult them saying: "Go to see your Anthimus rather in the depths of the Tiber where he lies drowned. But the Christians replied: "We saw Anthimus servant of God, safe and sound, and he blessed us as he usually does. He is unharmed and has no wounds." Then they started to say between them: "But we dragged him by the leg and we did not leave unharmed any of his limbs; with our own hands we tied a rock to his neck and threw him headlong in the middle of the Tiber. How could they say those things?" Then they entered one by one and saw him safe and sound as he preached to the people. At that point, all of those, who threw him to the Tiber, genuflected, did penance and received baptism.
(9) Later, on the command of the Consularis Priscus, Anthimus has been accused of what follows: that not only he could not have been killed but also that he converted to the faith of Christ all those who tried to kill him. Then Priscus ordered Anthimus to be brought to him. For three days he kept him in chains and tortured but as he could by no means force him to make a sacrifice to the idols, he had him beheaded. The people who had been converted by him took his body and placed it in the oratory in which he used to pray. In this place, the favours may be obtained through his prayers to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ whose is the honour and glory for ever and ever.
In what follows, the martyrdom of the best friend of Anthimus, Maximus, is recorded.
(trans. M. Szada)

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • Rome

About the source:

Title: Martyrdom of Anthimus and Companions, Acta s. Anthimi et sociorum martyrum, Passio Anthimi et sociorum
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The Martyrdom of Anthimus and Companions is the anonymous text composed in Italy focusing on the cult of these martyrs which developped along the via Salaria and Osimo. The text was dated to the 5th or 6th century but more recently it was convincingly claimed that it should be rather dated to the 8th century. For the details and bibliography see Pignot 2017.
BHL 561:
Acta Sanctorum, Mai., II, 614-616; Mara, M.G., I martiri della via Salaria (Rome, 1964), 54-83 (also provides an Italian translation).
Matthieu Pignot, Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity, E02483 E02483, 2017


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Fame of sanctity
Relation with - Secular authority
Relation with - Noble
Relation with - Peasant
Ritual activity - Blessing
Conflict - Violence
Relation with - Pagan
Devotion - Supernatural experience
Pastoral activity - Preaching
Pastoral activity - Missionary work
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1834,