Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1839
Asterius, presbyter in Rome, buries the body of Bishop Callixtus who died in prison persecuted by the Emperor Alexander. Then Asterius himself is arrested and put to death in AD 222. Account of the Martyrdom of Callixtus, written probably in Rome before the eighth century.
9. Post dies vero decem et septem venit presbyter ejus, nomine Asterius cum clericis noctu, et levavit corpus B. Calixti episcopi et honorifice sepelivit in cymeterio Calepodii via Aurelia pridie Idus Octobris. Post dies autem sex tenuit Alexander Asterium presbyterum: quem praecepit per pontem praecipitari. Cujus sanctum corpus inventum est in Ostia, et a quibusdam Christianis sepultum in eadem civitate sub die XII Kalendarum Novembris: regnante Domino nostro Jesu Christo qui vivit et regnat Deus per omnia secula seculorum. Amen.
(Acta Sanctorum Octobris V, 441)
9. After the seventeen days his presbyter, named Asterius, came with other clerics at night and took the body of the blessed Bishop Callixtus and buried him with honours in the cemetery of Calepodius on the Via Aurelia on the day before the Ides of October [i.e. 12 October]. After six days, Alexander arrested the Presbyter Asterius and had him thrown down from the bridge. His holy body was discovered in Ostia and it was buried there by some Christians on the twelfth day before the Kalends of November [i.e. 21 October] in the reign of our Lord, Jesus Christ who lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(trans. and summary M. Szada)


The date of death of Callixtus in AD 222 is known from Eusebius of Caesarea, History of the Church 6.21.

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • Rome

About the source:

Title: Martyrdom of Callixtus, Passio Callixti, Passio Callisti, Acta Callixti, Acta Callixti
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The Martyrdom of Callixtus is an anonymous account most probably composed in Rome in the milieu interested in the cult of Callixtus and his companions, the Presbyters Calepodius and Asterius, in Trastevere (which is already attested in the fourth century). The date of the text is uncertain but it is surely earlier than the eighth century. because it was used by Bede in his Martyrology. Some scholars attempt to prove that the Martyrdom is earlier than the biography of Callixtus in the Liber Pontificalis, thus claiming that it is earlier than the sixth century. The arguments, however, are not compelling. For a detailed discussion and further bibliography see Pignot 2017.
Mombritius, B., Sanctuarium seu vitae sanctorum, 2 volumes with additions and corrections by D. A. Brunet and D. H. Quentin (Paris, 1910), I, 268-271. The original edition was published in  ca. 1480.
Acta Sanctorum, Oct., VI, 439-441
Matthieu Pignot, Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity, E02485, 2017


Burial/Funerary inscription
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Fame of sanctity
Ritual activity - Burying the dead
Public law - Secular
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
Administration of justice - Secular
Administration of justice - Capital punishment
Conflict - Violence
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1839,