Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2234
DRAFT Latin inscription commemorating the restauration of the cemeterial basilica of St Hippolytus, done by the Presbyter Andreas. Rome, AD 538/545.
  + nec .[- - - i]terum, summot[a plebe precantum],
     [priscum] perdiderant antra [sacrata decus];
  n[ec tua iam ma]rtyr poterant v[enerande sepulcra]
(4)  [huic mund]o lucem mittere q[ua frueris].
  [lux tamen ista t]ua est quae nescit [fu]ne[ra, sed quo]
     [perpet]uo crescat, nec m[i]nua[tur, ha]bet.
  [nam nigra nox t]rinum stupuit per [sae]cula lumen
(8)  [admittunt]q(ue) novum conc[av]a saxa diem.
  [frustra ba]rbaricis [fremuerunt] ausib(us) hostes
     [foedarunt]q(ue) sacrum [tela cr]uenta locum.
  [inclyta] sed meli[us splendescit ma]rtyris aula
(12) [au]ctoremque p[remunt imp]ia facta suum.
  [pr]aesule Vigilio sump[serunt] antra decorem,
     praesbyt̂êri Andreae cur[a pe]regit opus. +
(ed. Epigraphic Database Bari, EDB21710, slightly modified based on the drawing from ICVR, n.s. VII, no. 19937)
+ Not even [- - - ravaged?] again, removed from the praying crowd, the holy caverns lost the ancient splendour. Nor your tomb, Oh venerable martyr, could any longer throw light which you enjoy to this world. But your light is this which knows not burial, whereas possess this through which it perpetually grows, is not diminished. Since the black night has wondered, through the ages, at the Triple Light, and the newly-hewn rocks let in a new day. The enemies roared in vain with barbaric, daring ventures, and bloody weapons polluted the holy place. But the glorious hall of the martyr shines even more brilliantly, whilst the wicked acts burden their doer. The caverns obtained the splendour under bishop Vigilius, the work was completed through the care of the presbyter Andreas. +
(trans. Pawel Nowakowski)

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • Rome

About the source:

Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Five pieces (a-e) consisting of smaller conjoining fragments of a marble plaque. Dimensions of pieces: a: H. 0.028, W. 0.034 m; b-c: H. 0.69 m, W. 0.51 m; d: H. 0.36 m, W. 0.91 m; e: H. 0.70 m, W. 0.63 m. Presumed original dimensions of the entire plaque: H. 1.05 m; W. 1.80 m; Th. 0.045 m. Letter height 0.055 m.
Conjoining pieces b-c were first recorded by Gilii and feature in his manuscripts. They were displaced from the cemetery of Saint Hippolytus and reused in the pavement of the church of the Four Crowned Martyrs. Other fragments and a complete edition and restoration were first offered by Giovanni Battisa de Rossi in 1882 (pieces d and e come from the basilica in the cemetery of Hippolytus, excluding piece a which was found only in 1930 and ist first edition is that in the ICVR series). Minor corrections for de Rossi's restoration were offered by Bücheler and Ihm in 1895 (in Ihm's corpus of Damasan and pseudo-Damasan inscriptions), and subsequently by other editors. We reproduce the text as it is presented in the Epigraphic Database Bari with minor corrections based on the drawing by Antonio Ferrua.
Judging from the extant fragments, one can say that approximately half of the original text of the inscription is lost. The fragments were, however, put together by Giovanni Battista de Rossi, who also offered a complete restoration of the poem as seven elegiac couplets (a total of fourteen verses). Antonio Ferrua praises de Rossi's reconstruction as an 'ingenious work'. Nonetheless, minor corrections were suggested by himself and other scholars, especially after the discovery of 'fragment a' from the upper left-hand corner, which proved de Rossi's conjectured text to have been wrong at least in this portion. Strikingly, Ferrua who offers a drawing of this new fragment, does not comment on how it changes the shape of verse 1, sticking to the original restoration by de Rossi.
De Rossi noted that the phrasing of the poem resembles that of Prudentius's Peristephanon 11 (see also De Santis 2010, 56, note 219), and based some of his restorations on the expressions used by this author.
The poem dates to the pontificate of pope Vigilius (537-555), as it is explicitly stated in verse 13. Hence, de Rossi connected the erection of the plaque, and the restoration works it commemorated with repairing the damage inflicted upon Roman cemeteries by the Goths during the sixth century sieges of the city of Rome.
(by Pawel Nowakowski)


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2234,