Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 468
Presbyter Marcellus (future bishop of Rome) buries the bodies of the martyrs during the Diocletianic persecutions in Rome, early 4th c. Account of the Liber Pontificalis (written in Rome), AD 530/546.
30. Marcellinus:
[…] Et exinde Marcellus presbiter collegit noctu corpora cum presbyteris et diaconibus cum hymnis et sepelivit in via Salaria, in cymiterio Priscillae, in cubiculum qui patet usque in hodiernum diem, quod ipse praeceperat paenitens dum traheretur ad occisionem, in cripta iuxta corpus sancti Criscentionis, VII kal. mai. […]
Marcellus later becomes the bishop of Rome himself: the next notice in the Liber Pontificalis is about him.
(ed. Duchesne 1886: 162)
30. Marcellinus:
[...] And presbyter Marcellus, together with the presbyters and the deacons, during the night collected the bodies [of the martyrs], with chants, and he buried them on the Via Salaria, in the cemetery of Priscilla, in a cubiculum that is accessible even today, as he [Marcellinus] had ordered when he repented while he was being conducted towards execution, in the crypt near the corpse of Saint Crescentius, on 25 April. [...]
Marcellus later becomes the bishop of Rome himself: the next notice in the Liber Pontificalis is about him.
(trans. S. Adamiak)


Marcellus, who was to succeed Marcellinus, is presented as a kind of deputy of his. In one of the codices we read an addition about Marcellinus making Marcellus swear not to follow Diocletian's orders.

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • Rome

About the source:

Title: Liber Pontificalis, The Book of Pontiffs, Gesta Pontificum Romanorum
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Liber Pontificalis is a major source for the history of the papacy in the first millenium. It is a collection of the lives of popes, starting from St Peter and kept going through to 870. Liber Pontificalis is prefaced by two apocryphical letters of Pope Damasus and Jerome, but it cannot be dated to that period. Although Mommsen tended to put the date of the actual compilation as late as the seventh century, nowadays Duchesne`s view is generally accepted that there were two editions made in the 530s-540s. The first, presumably completed soon after 530, has not survived as such, though we have two epitomes made from it (known as “Felician” and “Cononian” from the names of the popes at which they end). Duchesne tried to reconstruct it in his edition, but we follow the second edition presented by him, which was completed by the siege of Rome in 546. The work was then left aside for some time, and taken up again probably under Honorius (625-638) or shortly afterwards; hence the additions were written shortly after each pontiff`s death.
Liber starts to provide some more reliable information with the times of Pope Leo I (440-461), and becomes very well informed with the end of the fifth century. The lives of earlier popes cannot be considered as a valid source of information about their lifetime. However, those notices are a precious source for the sixth century: we learn what was considered an old tradition at the time, and how the past of the Roman church was being seen and constructed then. It is especially important when we deal with the liturgy.
 L. Duchesne ed., Le `Liber Pontificalis`, vol. 1., Paris 1886.
 T. Mommsen ed., Liber Pontificalis pars prior, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Gesta Pontificum Romanorum 1, Berlin 1898.
 The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis). The ancient biographies of the first ninety Roman bishops to AD 715, revised edition, translated with an introduction by R. Davis, Liverpool 2000.


Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ritual activity - Procession
Ritual activity - Burying the dead
Devotion - Veneration of saints and relics
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER468,