Pre-Constantinian chronology: the Roman bishopric from AD 258 to 314.
I. The received chronology
It will be as well to begin by giving the accepted chronology for the relevant incumbents of the Roman see, as argued and presented by L. Duchesne:(3)
Xystus II 30 Aug 257-6 Aug 258 Dionysius 22 July 259-26 Dec 268 Felix 5 Jan 269-30 Dec 274 Eutychian 4 Jan 275-7 Dec 283 Gaius 17 Dec 283-22 April 296 Marcellinus 30 June 296-25 Oct 304 Marcellus 27 May (or 26 June) 308-16 Jan 309 Eusebius 18 April 309 (or 310)-17 Aug 309 (or 310) Miltiades 2 July 311-11 Jan 314
This scheme met wide approval;(4) thus A. Mercati adopted it without change for this part of the list of popes printed in the Annuario Pontificio from 1947.(5) Already in his edition of the Liber Pontipcalis(6) Mommsen had accepted the scheme except for the end of Marcellinus' pontificate (which he assigned with a mark of interrogation to 23 Aug 303),(7) and for Marcellus, whose dates he left blank to accord with his theory that Marcellus was never strictly a pope; for Eusebius he preferred the year 310. Among the standard works, that of F. X. Seppelt(8) differs only in giving Marcellus a pontificate beginning in 307, and in preferring 310 for Eusebius' brief occupancy of the see. The articles on these popes written by E. G. Weltin for the New Catholic Encyclopedia follow the same scheme (with Marcellus from May 308).(9) Those which have yet appeared in the Dictionnaire d'histoire et de geographie ecclesiastique (alphabetically to Gaius only)(10) put Dionysius from 258 (sic) to 268, Felix from 3 Jan 269 to 28 or 29 Dec 273 or 274, Eutychian, Gaius, and Eusebius as above (with the alternative for Gaius of starting a day earlier, and a mention of the suggestion of Lietzmannt(11) and Caspar that Eusebius' pontificate might belong to 308 rather than either of the two following years). The variant 273/274 shows awareness of an alternative scheme, such as that given more fully in the articles by G. Schwaiger for the Lexikon fur Theologie und Kirche:(12)
Dionysius 22 July 260 [259?]-26 Dec 267 [268?] Felix 5 Jan 268 [269?]-30 Dec 273 [274?] Eutychian 4 Jan 274 [275?]-7 Dec 282 [283?] Gaius 17 Dec 282 [283?]-22 April 295 [296?] Marcellinus 296-304 Marcellus May 307(?)-16 Jan 308(?) Eusebius 18 April-17 Aug 308 [309? 310?] Miltiades 310-314
The orthodox dating is given in square brackets; the preferred alternatives are, except for Dionysius, all one year earlier. Schwaiger's alternatives in fact follow the system adopted by E. Caspar,(13) and they owe a great deal to the work of C. H. Turner.(14) In the Oxford Dictionary of Popes J. N. D. Kelly, claiming generally to follow the 1984 edition of the Annuario Pontificio, retains Duchesne's scheme except for placing the accession of Dionysius one year later, Felix's accession two days earlier, and Miltiades' death one day earlier; for Marcellus he gives the dates Nov/Dec 306 to I6 Jan 308 and for Eusebius 18 April to 21 Oct 310.(15)
Except for the dates preferred by Caspar and Schwaiger, quibbles with Duchesne's chronology in modern standard reference works are, it will be seen, effectively confined to the accession date of Dionysius and to the events in the period of persecution and its aftermath, from 304 to 309/10. It may seem rash to attempt to subvert the rest of the accepted account and defend a scheme similar to that preferred by Caspar and Schwaiger, but it is necessary: the Duchesne scheme rested on a misunderstanding (for which that great scholar was in no way responsible) of the nature of the main source for the chronology. That main source, it will be shown, is only in part a primary source; in part its data rest merely on the kind of calculation in which modern writers, the present not excluded, also indulge. The difficulty of course will be to disentangle which elements are primary and which are not. But I believe it can be done, and the consequence will be the rejection of the traditional version-a version whose influence probably depends more on the supposed `authority' of the Annuario Pontificio than on anything else.
II. The sources for the chronology
The eastern (Greek and Syriac) sources for the chronological tradition are disappointingly unhelpful--of the eastern writers Eusebius of Caesarea (d. 339/340), though his account is arguably older than any of the surviving western material, had already a very garbled version of the papal chronology for the latter part of the third century.(16) There is nothing to be gained by printing the relevant extracts from his History or Chronicle; for the later eastern material, equally valueless, the reader may consult Duchesne.(17)
The `western' chronological tradition for this period derives ultimately from two sources, independent of each other: (a) the `Chronographer of 354' and (b) the so-called `Index Catalogue'; as some kind of control the material preserved in (c) the Martyrologium Hieronymianum can be used, but with caution. The evidence of the Liber Pontificalis, and of later calendars and martyrologies, is of no independent value (except, occasionally, for the correction of textual errors in the earlier documents).
(a) The `Chronographer of 354' provides, with much other material, three relevant items:(18)
1. a list, headed depositio episcoporum, of the obituaries(19) of ten Roman bishops from Lucius (who died in 254) to Silvester (31 Dec 335); the list gives the calendar dates without the years and is arranged in calendrical order on the assumption that the year begins on 25 December. It concludes with dates placed out of this calendrical order for the next two incumbents of the see, Marcus (died 336) and Julius (352). It is therefore reasonably inferred that at least this part of the Chronographer's work was originally compiled in 336 and then updated. It is not to be thought of as a calendar of saints but rather as a list of anniversaries for commemoration at the various cemeteries where the popes were buried; these locations are carefully noted.
2. a list, also in calendrical order, headed item depositio martirum, beginning explicitly with Christmas Day, and then giving the other feast days (or merely the principal ones?) observed, we may assume, at Rome in the mid-fourth century. Feasts like Easter which were not fixed in terms of the Roman civil calendar are not included. Apart from Christmas and the natale Petri de cathedra on 23 February, the days observed are all feasts of martyrs down to the persecution of Diocletian, most of them local Roman, running from Peter and Paul on 29 June (to them is attached the as yet not satisfactorily explained consular date for the year 258), and including two popes who had been omitted from the earlier list, Callistus on 14 October and Xystus on 6 August. As in the previous list the locations for the anniversary celebrations are noted.
3. most importantly for our purposes, there follows a list of the Roman bishops from Peter to Liberius (352-66)--hence this list is often called the Liberian Catalogue. Except for the last, who was evidently still alive at the time of this compilation, the length of each pontificate is given in years, months, and days, and consular years are normally given for the accession and death of each pope, along with the names of contemporary Roman emperors. It will be seen from the text below that the compiler's normal method includes the artificial assignment of the accession of a new pope to the year following that of his predecessor's demise. There are three significant lacunae in the early part of the list, but these do not affect the period 258-314; the short lacuna after the statement of Xystus II's martyrdom evidently explained that the see was vacant. That is not to say that the surviving manuscripts of the list always reflect the text of the original faithfully: Roman numerals are notoriously liable to corruption in manuscripts.
The Liberian Catalogue
For the years 258-314, from the `Chronographer of 354' (with, in brackets, the consular years expressed in modern terms and, in italics, additions from the other lists preserved by the Chronographer):
Xystus ann. ii m. xi (xii, 1574) d. ui. coepit a cons. Maximi et Glabrionis (256) usque Tusco et Basso (258) et passus est uiii id. aug. (uiii idus aug., Xysti in Callisti) ...(20) a cons. Tusci et Bassi (258) usque in diem xii kal. aug. Aemiliano et Basso cons. (259)
Dionisius ann. uiii m. ii d. iiii. fuit temporibus Gallieni ex die xi kal. aug. Aemiliano et Basso cons. (259) usque in diem uii kal. ian. cons. Claudi et Paterni (269) (ui kal. ianuarias, Dionisi, in Callisti)
Felix ann. u m. xi d. xxu. fuit temporibus Claudi et Aureliani a cons. Claudi et Paterni (269) usque in consulatum Aureliano ii et Capitolino (274) (iii kal. ianuar., Felicis, in Callisti)
Eutycianus ann. uiii m. xi d. iii (uii, 1574). fuit temporibus Aureliani a cons Aureliano iii et Marcellino (275) usque in diem uii idus dec. (so B G; iiii idus V) Caro ii et Carino cons. (283) (ui idus decemb., Eutychiani, in Callisti)
Gaius ann. xii m. iiii d. uii. fuit temporibus Cari et Carini ex die xui (so V; ui G 1574, uii B) kal. ian. cons. Carino ii et Carino (283) usque in x kal. mai. Diocletiano ui et Constantio ii (296) (x kal. mai., Gai, in Callisti)
Marcellinus ann. uiii m. iii d. xxu. fuit temporibus Diocletiani et Maximiani ex die prid. kal. iulias a cons. Diocletiano ui et Constantio ii (296) usque in consul. Diocletiano uiiii et Maximiano uiii (304) quo tempore fuit persecutio et cessauit episcopatum ann. uii m. ui d. xxu (xuiii kal. feb., Marcellini, in Priscillae--but this entry almost certainly belongs to his successor Marcellus)(21)
Marcellus annum unum m. ui (so V G; uii B 1574) d. xx. fuit temporibus Maxenti a cons. x et Maximiano (308) usque post consulatum x et septimum (309)
Eusebius m. iiii d. xui a xiiii kal. maias usque in diem xui kal. sept. (vi kal. octob., Eusebii, in Callisti) Miltiades ann. iii m. ui d. uiii (uiiii B) ex die ui nonas iulias a consulatu Maximiano uiii solo quod fuit mense sep. Volusiano et Rufino (311) usque in iii idus ianuarias Volusiano et Anniano coss. (314) (iiii idus ianuarias, Miltiadis, in Callisti)
(b) The `Index Catalogue' is a list of Roman bishops giving no more than their names with the years, months, and days of their tenure. It was originally compiled certainly no later than the end of the fifth century--how much earlier it is impossible to say, and Mommsen's suggestion(22) that it might even be older than the Liberian Catalogue lacks proof. I print the text given in the manuscript Vaticanus Reginae 1997 (from Chieti), perhaps of the eighth century.(23) While not the oldest of the nine MSS which give this section of the catalogue, this MS seems to have corrupted the figures less than any of the others. In brackets are given the only variants Mommsen preferred to the figures of this MS when constructing his text.(24)
xxiiii syxtus sed. an. i m. x d. xxui xxu zionisius sed. an. viii m. u d. iiii xxui felix sedit an. iiii m. i d. xxu xxuii euthicianus sed. ann. i m. i d. ii (d i) xxuiii gaius sed. ann. xi m. iiii d. xii xxuiiii marcellus sed. ann. i m. iiii d. xii (d xui) xxx eusebius sed. m. ui d. iii xxxi melchiadis sed. ann. iiii
For this period the Index Catalogue offers fewer details than the Liberian Catalogue, but the independently transmitted set of lengths for each pontificate can offer some control on the data in the Catalogue. The omission of Marcellinus from the Index Catalogue gives rise to controversies which need not concern us.(25)
(c) The Martyrologium Hieronymianum, as we have it, derives from an archetype probably compiled at Auxerre in the last decade of the sixth century. But the material of Roman origin seems not to have been updated later than 422 (which is not to say that this material has not suffered in later transmission).(26) The relevant entries and principal manuscript variants (with some pertinent remarks based on those in Delehaye's commentary given in the notes), are (in chronological, not calendrical, order):(27)
XYSTUS II: p. 419 6 August Romae in cimiterio Calesti via Appia natale Syxti episcopi et martyris(28) DIONYSIUS: p. 10 26 December Romae in cimiterio Priscillae depositio Dionisi episcopi(29) FELIX I: p. 14 29 December et Romae<in cimiterio Calisti, om. E>Felicis p. 15 (A B Cambr. Rich. only) 30 December Romae Felicis episcopi(30) EUTYCHIAN: p. 638 7 December Romae Euticiani episcopi p. 639 8 December Rom/// depositio Euticiani episcopi (E) Romae depositio Euthiciani episcopi et confessoris (Rich.) Romae Euticiani (KL) p. 395 25 July Suticiani; p. 396 (Mon. only) 26 July Romae Euticiani papae(31) GAIUS: p. 202 22 April Romae<in cimiterio Calesti via Appia, om. E> depositio <sancti, om. E>Gai/Gagi episcopi(32) p. 106 20 February Romae<via Appia in cimiterio Calesti depositio, om. E>Gai/Gagi episcopi(33) P. 345 1 July Romae<depositio, E>Gai/Gagi<episcopi, E; papae B W>(34) MARCELLINUS: None of the occurrences of the name Marcellinus in MH seems to belong to the pope so named, though note the entry on 4 October below. MARCELLUS: p. 42 16 January Romae via Salaria/Salutaria in cymiterio Priscellae depositio sancti Marcelli episcopi<et confessoris, om. E>(35) p. 540 4 October E: Romae Balbinae Marcelli episcopi B W: Romae via Appia sanctae Albinae et Marcellini episcopis(36) EUSEBIUS: p. 527 26 September Romae via Appia in cimiterio Calesti depositio sancti Eusebi episcopi P. 537 2 October Romae natale sancti Eusebi episcopi(37) p. 639 8 December Eusebi episcopi(38) MILTIADES: p. 34 10 January Romae in cimiterio via Appia Caelesti<in cimiterio Calisti via Appia, E>et<om. E>depositio Miltiadis/Melchiadis episcopi P 347 2 July E: depositio Miltiadis Eutici B W: in eadem urbe (sc. Romae) via Appia in cimiterio Calesti natale Eutici et depositio Melciadis papae(39)
Such in effect are the sources of the entire western chronological tradition, with the efforts in the sixth and later centuries to combine elements from the different traditions (e.g. in some recensions of the Liber Pontificalis) we need not concern ourselves. It is on the material given above that any reconstruction must be based. The `traditional' reconstruction relies very heavily on the data from the Chronographer of 354; indeed it does little more than smooth out the inconsistencies of this compilation, and calculate from the data given those accession dates which are not actually stated.
III. The days of the week for papal ordinations(40)
If we add to the received dates the days of the week on which the successive incumbents took up office a curious pattern emerges. From Xystus II through to Miltiades the sequence as given by Duchesne and Mercati would run as follows:
30 Aug 257 Sunday 22 July 259 Friday 5 Jan 269 Tuesday 4 Jan 275 Monday 17 Dec 283 Monday 30 June 296 Tuesday 27 May or 26 June 308 Thursday or Saturday 18 April 309 or 310 Monday or Tuesday 2 July 311 Monday
Except in 259 and 308 there is a predilection for the first three days of the week. Sunday occurs only in 257. Monday occurs three or four times, Tuesday occurs twice or perhaps three times; and what is most curious is that in the two cases where Tuesday certainly occurs the date is in the twelve months following an occurrence of a leap year's day in the Julian calendar. Of the variant dates mentioned above (p. 441) Kelly's 22 July 260 was a Sunday.
The accession dates of the succeeding pontiffs from Silvester to the death of Felix IV in 530 are in many cases admittedly the result of calculation (denoted by(*) in the list below), but a fair number are independently recorded. Duchesne's list,(41) with which Mercati agrees, runs as follows (we can neglect the less successful claimants to the see: Felix II, whose accession date in 355 is not precisely known, Ursinus (24 Sept 366), and Eulalius (418) and Laurentius (498), whose dates coincide exactly with those of their rivals):
Silvester 31 Jan 314 Marcus 18 Jan 336 Julius 6 Feb 337 Liberius 17 May 352(42) Damasus (*)1 Oct 366 Siricius (*)15, 22 or 29 Dec 384 Anastasius I (*)27 Nov 399 Innocentius (*)22 Dec 401(43) Zosimus 18 March 417 Boniface I 29 Dec 418 Celestine I (*)10 Sept 422 Xystus III 31 July 432 Leo I 29 Sept 440 Hilarus 19 Nov 461 Simplicius (*)3 March 468 Felix III (*)13 March 483(44) Gelasius (*)1 March 492 Anastasius II (*)24 Nov 496 Symmachus 22 Nov 498 Hormisdas (*)20 July 514 John I (*13 Aug 523 Felix IV 12 July 526
Nine of the dates (not counting that for Felix III) are recorded, thirteen are calculated. Every one of these dates is a Sunday.(45) If it is argued that too many of the above dates rest on calculation rather than record, it should be realized that the dates can often be reached without invoking the `Sunday rule', and that this then merely acts as confirmation. There is no point in pursuing the list further. Subsequent dates down to 1087, even that for Gregory I on 3 Sept 590, are with a few exceptions(46) calculated rather than recorded, but as before many can be reckoned without recourse to the `rule'. In fact, all subsequent recorded or plausibly calculated dates of papal accessions down to the eleventh century(47) occur on Sundays.
What of the dates before 258? Few of these are known. Duchesne and Mercati offer:
Pontian 21 July 230 (Wednesday) Anteros 21 Nov 235 (Saturday) Fabian 10 Jan 236 (Sunday) Lucius 25 June 253 (Saturday) Stephen 12 May 254 (Friday) Xystus II 30 Aug 257 (Sunday)
The occurrence of Sunday twice in these six entries is interesting; so too the occurrence of Saturday twice--if later custom was observed the ordination might have taken place during a vigil service extending through Saturday night into Sunday morning, and the accession might have been reckoned from the Saturday, but this point should not be pressed.
The impression is clear. From 314 onwards into the Middle Ages, and at least on some occasions in the mid-third century, Sunday was the preferred day. There need be no surprise at this; the installation of a new bishop was a public act of the Christian community and was naturally performed on a day when the community could be expected to gather to witness it. Certainly by 418 the custom was regarded as long established. Pope Zosimus died on 26 December, a Thursday in that year. The disputed election which followed meant that the supporters of the rival candidates, Eulalius and Boniface, had every reason to have their man ordained as soon as possible. Yet in the relatio of Aurelius Anicius Symmachus, prefect of Rome, to the emperor Honorius we read:
verum cum vir sanctus Eulalius ad ecclesiam Lateranensem de exequiis prioris episcopi a populo et a clericis faisset adductus, ibi per biduum cum maxima multitudine et cum pluribus sacerdotibus remoratus est, ut expectaretur dies consuetus, quo possit sollemniter ordinari (Coil. Avellana, Ep. 14, ed. O. Gunther, CSEL XXXV p. 59; dated 29 Dec 418).
The dies consuetus can only have been Sunday, even if the pagan(48) prefect avoids specifying dies dominica; and it had to be awaited, even if the delay allowed the supporters of Boniface to elect their candidate. If we could assume that 27 December was celebrated as the feast of St John at Rome this early, we would also have a clear example that even when an ordination needed to be carried out urgently an important feastday could not provide an excuse for anticipating an ordination before the ensuing Sunday.(49)
It is likely that similar factors affected events at the time of the disputed election of Damasus and Ursinus following the death of Liberius in 366. Liberius died on 24 September, a Sunday. The partisans of Ursinus gathered in the basilica of Julius and demanded the ordination of Ursinus, while Damasus' followers, meeting at what would later be S. Lorenzo in Lucinis, clamoured for Damasus as bishop. Paul bishop of Tibur ordained Ursinus. Damasus led his supporters to the basilica of Julius and they rioted there for three days: many were killed. After seven days Damasus occupied the Lateran basilica and was there ordained. Such is the account in the Preface to the Libellus Precum of Marcellinus and Faustinus.(50) Exact dates for the two ordinations are not given;(51) but the interval between them of seven days (which seems to include the three days of rioting) is surely significant. And although the text might be read to mean that the ordination of Damasus was delayed only by the need to gain occupation of the Lateran, the delay must surely be interpreted as caused by the need to wait for a Sunday (it is most unlikely that Ursinus' supporters ever held the Lateran). For whatever reason, Damasus' supporters had `missed' the Sunday on which Ursinus had been ordained, and the latter's supporters made the most of the fact that their man had been ordained first: Ursinus vir venerabilis, qui prius fuerat pontifex ordinatus.
We have established that the `Sunday rule' existed in the fourth and fifth centuries, and certainly governed the dates of ordination of Silvester, Mark, and Julius. But why should this rule have originated only in 314? Why should the custom have been any different in the latter part of the third century and in the early years of the fourth? What is more, there is excellent evidence that the rule existed at least as far back as the early third century: the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus asserts it explicitly: `1. Let the bishop be ordained ... chosen by the people. 2. And when he has been proposed and found acceptable to all, the people shall assemble on the Lord's day (die dominica, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) together with the presbytery and such bishops as may attend ...'(52)
The dates hitherto accepted for papal ordinations between 258 and 314, whether transmitted or calculated, should therefore be adjusted to coincide with a Sunday. This can be done in one of two ways.(53) Either the calendar date within the year could be changed, mostly by making it a day or two earlier (hence the two-day discrepancy in the date of Felix's accession in 269). Or the calendar date could be retained and the year changed, generally to one year earlier. The former procedure might seem preferable on the grounds that the Liberian Catalogue more often transmits the year than the calendar date; it is a method requiring less disregard for the transmitted text. But the latter procedure is preferable for one straightforward reason. The consular dates given in the Liberian Catalogue are, unlike the calendar dates, the result of calculation. The calendar dates are strictly primary data; the consular years were added early, by 354, perhaps even by 336, but they are not primary.(54) There are five arguments in support of this contention.
First, the Liberian Catalogue gives consular years not merely for the period we are dealing with but right back to St Peter (dated AD 30-55), but it does not give any calendar dates (except for Peter's martyrdom, supposedly on 29 June) before the time of Pontian who, it states, was discinctus on 28 September 235 following his exile to Sardinia. Thereafter calendar dates frequently but by no means invariably accompany the consular dates (see the text above). No one will claim that the early consular dates rest on any authority (separate sets of dates are provided for Cletus and Anaclitus, who represent a single historical personage, Anencletus); their existence throws an element of doubt also on to the later consular dates.
Second, the consular dates betray signs that they are in some cases the result of calculation. The already-mentioned practice(55) of the Catalogue, that the accession of each bishop is normally assigned to the year following that of his predecessor's demise, is clearly artificial: it could only ever be true historically if the see were actually vacant at the end of the year--and this was clearly not the case after every bishop's death. Curiously, it was the case between the death of Silvester on the last day of 335 and the accession of Marcus on 18 Jan 336--in the very year in which the compilation may have been made(56)--and it may have been this which produced the compiler's artificial theory for every earlier papal accession. What is more, the scheme of consular years is not in fact satisfactory. Working from AD 30 the compiler reached the dates 150-53 for Anicetus, but the next pope, Pius, instead of acceding as we would expect in 154, is dated 146-61, and thereafter the sequence of years again runs regularly.(57) Clearly the compiler was working from both ends of the list towards the middle. He preferred to forget about the resulting overlap of seven or eight years; it was not glaring when years were denoted by the names of consuls and would be noticed only by a reader who carefully checked against the full consular fasti. The scheme, then, is an artificial construct, made from, and added to, a pre-existing list of popes with their years of tenure. Indeed, in making his calculations the interpolator took only complete years into account, neglecting the fact that he should have summed the months and days and from them reckoned extra full years.
Third, in one case only, that of Eusebius (see the text above), the compiler gives the calendar dates but not the consuls--hence the continuing debate about the date of this pontificate. It seems that the compiler did not know how to express in his artificial scheme the tenure of the only pope on the list before 336 whose pontificate did not include a single new year. If that was the reason, it follows that the consular years even in the early part of the fourth century are calculations and not primary data. It will not do to claim that most of the consular dates are derived from imperial records, but that since the church was not recognized by the government during the years of the Great Persecution the records were not kept. The same argument would require there to be no dates preserved for Marcellus (for whom the Catalogue gives 308-309); and anyway there was no persecution at Rome while it was under the control of the emperor Maxentius (306-12).
Fourth, the consular dates stated for the pontificates of Lucius (accession not given, death 255), Stephen (253-55), and Xystus II (256-58) not merely overlap in an impossible way, but the point at which they do not overlap (255/6) provides a historically impossible date either for the death of Lucius and accession of Stephen or for the latter's replacement by Xystus. The details of the relations between the churches of Rome and Carthage known from Cyprian's correspondence make it absolutely certain that Lucius was replaced by Stephen in 254, and Stephen by Xystus in 257. The Catalogue's years at this point are false.(58)
Fifth, the form of the consular dates in the Catalogue is identifiable as Constantinian. That is to say, the years are denoted by the names of those consuls who were later deemed to have been legitimate in terms of Constantinian theory, and not in terms of those reckoned legitimate in Rome at the time.(59) Thus, for the period from 307 to 312 the consuls recognized in Rome by contemporaries were:(60)
307 Galerius Maximianus VII, Maximinus I but from April onwards 307 was called post sextum consulatum
308 consules quos iusserint DD NN Augusti but from 20 April, Maxentius I, Romulus I
309 Maxentius II, Romulus II
310 Maxentius III
311 consules quos iusserint DD NN Augusti but from September, Rufinus and Volusianus
312 Maxentius IV (until his defeat and death at the Milvian Bridge on 28 October; thereafter, Constantine II, Licinius II, as below).
But elsewhere the consuls recognized at the time, and at the time or subsequently by Constantine, were:
307 in the east: Severus, Maximinus I in Constantine's areas:
initially (it seems) Galerius Maximianus VII, Maximinus I
but from the autumn: Maximianus IX, Constantine (I)(61)
308 Diocletian X, Galerius Maximianus VII
309 in the east: Licinius I, Constantine (I) in Constantine's areas: post cons. X et VII
310 in the east: Andronicus, Probus in Constantine's areas: II post cons. X et VII
311 Galerius Maximianus VIII, Maximinus II
312 Constantine II,(62) Licinius II.
The Liberian Catalogue describes 308 as cons. X <sc. Diocletiani> et Maximiano; 309 as post consulatum X et VII and 311 as consulatu Maximiano VIII solo quod fait mense sep. Uolusiano et Rufino. In other words, in none of the three years it mentions in the disputed period does it follow precisely the system used at Rome at the time,(63) and the consuls given for 309 suggest that the Catalogue's base list is of the consuls recognized at the time and subsequently by Constantine.
It might be objected that a writer in the Constantinian period would have found it tactful, even politically safer, to have `translated' earlier material into the currently accepted version and remove the name of the tyrannus Maxentius. But the Chronographer shows elsewhere that he did not find this necessary. As Mommsen pointed out,(64) the Chronographer's actual list of consuls(65) from Brutus and Collatinus to his own time does follow the current view, but his list of the praefecti urbi from 254 to his own time(66) follows the Maxentian system evidently inherited from his source. The Chronographer's list of popes--the Liberian Catalogue--might have been expected to follow the same system as his list of prefects if the consuls were in his source document; that it follows the later system is surely proof that the consular dates are not inherited from contemporary records but have been inserted with the new-style list of consuls at hand. In principle the compiler should not have found this too difficult. His data included a number of calendar dates already, and more importantly the statements of the years, months, and days of each pope. Working back from his own time, or rather from 336 (see above), the Chronographer simply counted off the required number of years in his list of consuls and noted down what he assumed were the appropriate consuls on his list of popes. He only had to undercount once and all earlier entries would be a year later than they should have been, until and unless as he worked backwards he chanced to overcount and thus correct himself. And that is exactly what he did. For the end of the period with which we are concerned his date for Miltiades' death (11 Jan 314) is right; at the beginning his date for Xystus' martyrdom (6 Aug 258) is equally right. But much in between is one year `late'. It should be noted that his consular calculations are not totally useless: treated with caution they can act as some control on the manuscript tradition of the numbers of years assigned to each pontificate, for it is very unlikely that the copyist of a manuscript would have corrected the latter from the full consular fasti).
We can now draw the threads together. The data will be those of the Liberian Catalogue other than the consular dates, the Index Catalogue, and the supposition that, other things being equal, the accession date of each pontiff should fall on a Sunday.
The starting point is the death on 6 Aug 258 of Xystus II, the most prominent victim at Rome of Valerian's persecution (even if his fame was later eclipsed by that of the archdeacon Laurence, martyred, according to the usual tradition, four days later). The Liberian text then refers to the ensuing vacancy until 21 July,(67) and the accession next day, 27 July, of Dionysius. But in which year? The year 259 claimed by the Liberian text has no authority; if it is right that is coincidence. Many scholars have preferred 260 on historical grounds. If the Roman church was prepared to wait not less than eleven months before choosing a new bishop, in order, presumably, to avoid the attention of an actively persecuting government, is it not just as plausible that it waited until the news came of Valerian's capture by the Persians and his son Gallienus' Edict of Toleration for the Christians? The preference now seems to be for dating Valerian's capture to the early part of 660 rather than to 259; we do not know how soon his son reversed the anti-Christian policy. This argument is not conclusive; the Roman church might not have waited for news which could hardly have been anticipated, and in 25 T it had elected a new bishop, Cornelius, some fifteen months after Fabian's martyrdom but quite probably before Decius' persecution had died out. For us the crucial fact is that Dionysius' accession date, 22 July, was a Friday in 259 and a Sunday in 260. For Dionysius' tenure over and above the number of full years, the Liberian figures of two months, four days must be emended: for m. ii read m. v, a frequent enough slip with Roman numerals--and the Index Catalogue does in fact give five months. His death will then be on 26 December, the day given in the Liberian Catalogue; but the year will depend on the date of the accession of his successor.
Felix acceded on an unstated date and survived five years eleven months twenty-five days. His obituary in the deposition list is 30 December. That is eleven months twenty-five days after 5 January which was a Sunday in 268. His predecessor Dionysius' death will thus have been in December 267, and his pontificate will have lasted seven full years, rather than the eight given by the Liberian Catalogue.(68) As for Felix, if we accept the five full years, his death will have been on 30 Dec 273 (rather than 274 as in the Liberian text).
The obituary of Eutychian is given as 7 or 8 December (the date 25 July in the Liber Pontificalis need not detain us); the `fractional' part of his tenure is given as eleven months three days. 4 January was a Sunday in 274. His decease will have been in December 282 (and not the Liberian 283), presumably on the seventh (so the Liberian text) rather than the eighth (as given in the Depositio). Had his accession been in 275 and on the equivalent Sunday, i.e. 3 January, the Liberian `fraction' could not be accounted for.
For Gaius the Liberian text gives the accession date as 17 December; in 282 (but not in 283, the consular date given) this was a Sunday. His death after twelve years four months seven days will fall near enough (read `six days' and reckon inclusively?) on the stated obituary date 22 April, but in 295, not 296. The manuscript variants of the date for his accession, 26 or 27 December, cannot fall on a Sunday in any close year and would require considerably more drastic emendation of the months and days of his tenure.
Marcellinus' accession is also given in the Liberian text: 30 June, which was a Sunday in 295 (but not in 296, the consular date given). He is said to have held the see eight years three months twenty-five days. There is no genuine tradition on his date of death,(69) and much controversy about what exactly happened to him in Diocletian's persecution (apostasy through traditio of the Scriptures or even through sacrificing? abdication? martyrdom? or some combination of these?).(70) The stated tenure would reach to about 24 or 25 Oct 303. Could it be, as Mommsen advocated, that the date assigned to Marcellinus' abdication in the sixth-century forgery of the Acts of the fictitious Council of Sinuessa, 23 Aug 303, represents a genuine tradition of the actual date of the end of this pontificate?(71) If so, the Roman numerals of the Liberian text (m. iii d. xxv) require an adjustment down to m. i d. xxiii; but this is palaeographically improbable and should not be pressed. That it was apparently in the autumn of 303 that Diocletian himself arrived in Rome(72) might be of even more significance for whatever really happened to Marcellinus in the persecution; legend, though it is worth little in such matters, brought Marcellinus and Diocletian into close contact (which would be impossible in 304, the date usually given for the end of the pontificate).
The Liberian statement that the see was then vacant for seven years six months twenty-five days has never received a satisfactory explanation.(73) Those who held that the Liberian Catalogue represented some kind of imperial compilation could suggest that this was the length of time that elapsed before the government again `recognized' the Roman bishopric, the occasion being the accession of Miltiades, or the summoning of that pope before the prefect of the city, at Maxentius' behest, to receive back the title deeds to church property. Assuming that Marcellinus left the stage in 303, whether on 23 August or about 24/25 October, seven years six months twenty-five days will take us to either about 20 March or 20 May, in either case in 311; certainly neither date will suit the accession of Miltiades on 2 July. The text may be corrupt; but if so the corruption is early. The compiler of the first edition of the Liber Pontificalis (c. 530) read it in this way. Judgement must be suspended.
For the rest of the period it is best to work backwards from the death of Miltiades, stated in the Liberian text to have occurred on 11 Jan 314. His stated tenure of three years six months eight days would give 3 July 310 for his accession; but the accession is given on 2 July with the consular year 311. The consular year should be rejected: 310 must be right--the Index Catalogue has rounded up his tenure to four years, inexplicably if the original figure was only two years and a fraction.(74) 2 July was a Sunday in 310, but not in 311.3 July was a Sunday in neither year. The Liberian `fraction' suggests that his death was 10 January rather than 11 January, and this is confirmed by the MH and later martyrological and calendrical sources.
The accession of Miltiades on 2 July 310 followed, at some interval, the pontificate of Eusebius, to whom the Liberian text assigns four months sixteen days from 18 April to 17 August. Quite apart from the lack of any consular year, something is clearly wrong with either the figures or the calendar dates. The depositio episcoporum in its only significant departure from the Liberian obituary dates assigns him to 26 September, which tallies no better than 17 August with the stated tenure.(75) The difference here may be accounted for by the fact that Eusebius died in exile in Sicily; the depositio should record the actual burial in some unknown year when his body was brought back to Rome, and for our purposes that is irrelevant. The same might be true of 17 August if that were the date of his death and if the stated tenure were reckoned only to his exile. As predecessor of Miltiades, his latest possible year is 309. The accession date 18 April was a Sunday in 308; that is likely to be the correct year.(76) Perhaps he was exiled after four months sixteen days, about 3 Sept 308, and died in exile on 17 August (309? or even after Miltiades' accession in 310?--there is no proof that the Roman church would have waited for news of his death before ordaining a successor, any more than it did when other popes were exiled, Pontian in 235, Liberius in 355, Martin in 653); the return of his body to Rome may not have taken place until after Constantine had ousted Maxentius, so that his final burial may have been on 26 Sept 313 or even later. If (Saturday) 26 Sept 313 was the date, the ceremony will have coincided very neatly with the gathering of bishops in Rome for the Council Constantine required to be held by Miltiades to deal with the Donatist problem. This met in the Lateran and lasted three days: the recorded date for it, (Friday) 2 October, is probably the last of these days.(77)
That scheme leaves an interval of very nearly two years between Eusebius' exile and Miltiades' accession; since Eusebius was the second successive pope to be exiled by Maxentius in consequence of the all too public squabbling within the Roman church on the question of strictness or laxity in the readmission of those who had apostatized in the recent persecution, we may well suppose either that Maxentius prevented the choice of a new bishop until 310 or that the church was in too distracted a state to agree on a candidate.
The previous exile was Marcellus who has to be fitted in between Marcellinus (summer/autumn 303) and Eusebius (18 April 308). The Liberian text assigns him one year six months twenty days in the consular years 308 and 309 (clearly too late); it offers no calendar dates. The depositio gives no burial date as it stands, but its entry of 15 January for Marcellinus coincides so closely with the date 16 January given in later martyrologies and calendars for Marcellus, that it is almost certain that the name in the depositio should be corrected from marcellini to marcelli. After all, it was Marcellinus, not Marcellus, who acquired a doubtful reputation for his failure to withstand persecution, and as such he is the more likely candidate for omission from the list of burials than one whose exile could be interpreted as witnessing to the faith. A. Amore's retention of 15 January for Marcellinus, and his rejection of 16 January as originating either in the notion of the author of fictitious Acts of Marcellus that Marcellinus' successor could appropriately be assigned to the following day or as the dedication day of the titulus Marcelli, are both highly implausible suggestions.(78) The date 15 or more probably 16 January is that of Marcellus' burial. But since he died in exile it is no help in determining the dates of his pontificate. It is likely enough that after Marcellinus' fate there was an interval, while the persecution actively continued, before the selection of Marcellus; and it is also likely, though not certain, that nothing was done until after the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian on 1 May 305. On the other hand the one year six months twenty days of Marcellus, if they are to end before 18 April 308, must have commenced before Maxentius' proclamation as Emperor on 28 Oct 306, and his pontificate may even have begun while Constantius, certainly no persecutor, was Augustus in the west (1 May 305 to 25 July 306).
With trepidation I suggest a date in May 305. Now it happens that 20 May was a Sunday and would be two years six months twenty-five days after one possible date (25 Oct 303) for Marcellinus' end, after whom the Liberian text gives the hitherto unexplained figure of seven years six months twenty-five days for the see's vacancy.(79) Marcellus' tenure of one year six months twenty days would then reach to about 10 Nov 306, and his expulsion by Maxentius will be only a fortnight after that Emperor's securing of Rome. The cause of Marcellus' exile was his involvement in civil disturbance, which in the climate of Maxentius' usurpation (itself the product of rioting in the city when the Caesar Severus attempted to carry out Galerius' orders for the introduction of the poll-tax) might have produced a speedy reaction from the new regime. But clearly Marcellus' entire tenure could be shifted exactly fifty-two weeks later with no less damage to the figure given in the Liberian Catalogue. Or Sunday 17 or 24 March 306 could be fitted after the other suggested date (23 Aug 303) for Marcellinus' departure from the scene. As in the case of Eusebius dealt with above, we need not necessarily suppose that he had died before his successor was installed. But clearly we are here reduced to guesswork.
It will be appropriate to summarize the results, while omitting the more hypothetical considerations advanced above for the end of the pontificate of Marcellinus and the more precise dates for Marcellus:
Dionysius 22 July 260-26 Dec 267 Felix 5 Jan 268-30 Dec 273 Eutychian 4 Jan 274-7 Dec 282 Gaius 17 Dec 282-222 April 295 Marcellinus 30 June 295-autumn 303 Marcellus 305/6; exiled 306/7; died in exile, date unrecorded; buried at Rome 16 Jan (313 or later) Eusebius 18 April 308; exiled early Sept 308; died 17 Aug (309 or later); buried at Rome 26 Sept 313(?) Miltiades 2 July 310-10 Jan 314.
The historical consequences of this revised chronology may now be considered.
1. The accession date for Dionysius may cast some light on the date of the end of Valerian's persecution.(80)
2. Since the news of Dionysius' death can hardly have failed to reach Syria by, at the latest, early March 268, the Council of Antioch (which deposed Paul of Samosata and wrote to Dionysius) must have met not later than the winter of 267/8. It follows both that Paul was able to retain possession of the church house before Aurelian's intervention longer than has usually been supposed, and that it is that much less likely that Paul had any official dealings with Zenobia, queen of Palmyra (her husband Odenathus seems to have survived until 267/8).(81) The Roman bishop to whom, along with the bishops in Italy, Aurelian referred in his solution to the controversy at Antioch will still presumably have been Felix, assuming that this incident is correctly dated to 272.(82)
3. Some light may be thrown on the Great Persecution at Rome. We no longer have to suppose that Marcellinus managed to survive its outbreak there (by whatever means) for a year and a half, merely by a matter of months. In earlier major persecutions the Roman bishop--a very public figure--was among the first to be picked out by the authorities; notably so in January 250, several months before the dates born by the libelli preserved from Egypt, while in 258 Valerian's rescript produced action against Xystus at Rome more than a month sooner than against Cyprian at Carthage. Even if the remark attributed by Cyprian to Decius,(83) that he would sooner hear of another pretender to the Empire than another bishop in Rome, is not strictly historical, it may reflect the anxiety of the authorities in the capital to carry out orders in 250, and there was no reason for greater dilatoriness in 303. If the First Edict of the spring of 303 did not cause Marcellinus' disappearance from the scene, the Third Edict (release from prison after sacrificing) may have done so: and this edict may have been in the nature of an amnesty in preparation for Diocletian's vicennalia on 20 Nov 303.
4. If Marcellus was made bishop before Maxentius took control at Rome, some illumination is thrown on the policy of Constantius and `his' Caesar, Severus, towards Christianity. And the interval following Marcellinus, traditionally reckoned to last well into the reign of the non-persecuting Maxentius (until 308 or even 309/10), need have no bearing either on the interpretation of Maxentius' religious policy or on that of the squabbles within the Christian
5. Eusebius' accession, if dated rightly to 18 April 308, might tie in with the fact that Maximian had recently left Rome, and his son Maxentius could at this stage have thought it prudent, worthwhile, or merely possible, to attract Christian support.(84) The fairly rapid removal of Eusebius in early September 308, in so far as it was not brought about by the internal but very public squabbling of the Christian community in Rome, might have been connected with the challenge to Maxentius' authority posed by the proclamation in Africa of L. Domitius Alexander, a proclamation which Zosimus (Historia Nova 2.12) links with Maxentius' quarrel with his father.(85)
6. The date at which Miltiades received back the title deeds of church property from the city prefect on Maxentius' instructions could be anything up to two years five months before Maxentius was overthrown by Constantine; there is then less temptation to assume that Maxentius' action was conditioned by the desire to gain Christian support in an imminent war against the invader from Gaul. The fact that the Chronographer's records of the date of Easter begin with the year 312 (13 April) may, or may not, mean that the celebration that year was more public than had been possible since before the persecution.
7. There is an ambiguity in the evidence for the stance taken by the predecessors of Miltiades at Rome on the matter of those Christians who had lapsed during the persecution: did Marcellus and Eusebius favour a laxist or rigorist policy on the question of readmission to the church? Indeed, did the different popes follow a consistent policy? Whatever their policy or policies, it is clear that there was opposition, and that this resulted in the civil power (i.e. the government of Maxentius) intervening to send first Marcellus, and later Eusebius and his opponent Heraclius, into exile. That the dispute between Eusebius and Heraclius concerned the policy to be adopted towards penitent apostates is clear from Damasus' epitaph on Eusebius,(86) but Damasus is equivocal on who took which stance; in prohibiting the lapsi from bewailing their sins, Heraclius may either have wanted their readmittance without further ado, or have intended to bar them permanently--of these possibilities the former, with the corollary that Eusebius took the sterner line, is often assumed. But if, as is suggested above, the final burial of Eusebius after his death in exile was on 26 Sept 313 and was a preliminary to the meeting of the Lateran Council a few days later, and since that Council supported (as it was no doubt planned that it would) the less rigorist point of view of Caecilian against the Donatists in Africa (where the point in dispute was similar), the case is strengthened for resolving the ambiguity about the stance of at least this one of the predecessors of Miltiades at Rome: it will have been Eusebius who was less rigorous than Heraclius, not vice versa. But even if the coincidence of date provides evidence that Eusebius could be claimed as a victim of disturbances caused by rigorists, it does not follow that his predecessor Marcellus had taken the same line.(87)
Can the dates of the earlier bishops' accessions, given above,(88) be modified to suit the `Sunday rule'? Working backwards, Xystus II's accession is already assigned to Sunday 30 Aug 257. For Stephen, the date Friday 12 May 254 in fact depends on reducing the Liberian figures of four years two months twenty-one days by one year and subtracting from the (certain) date of his death, 2 Aug 257; one might read the days as twenty-six and assign the accession of Stephen to Sunday 7 May, or read twenty days, reckoned (inclusively) from 14 May. Lucius' date, Saturday 25 June 253, results from altering the Liberian figures three years eight months ten days by cancelling out the years entirely and subtracting the fraction of a year remaining from his death on 5 March 254 (certain); with a pontificate ending early in March much clearly depends on how the end of February is treated in the calculation, and we could as well select Sunday 26 June 253 for his ordination. The dates for Cornelius' tenure (two years three months ten days) cannot be given for lack of any record of the date of his death (14 September was his burial,(89) but he had died in exile at Centumcellae); an accession early in March 251 is possible (2 or 9 March 2519(90) to about 12 or 19 June 253?). Fabian's accession can remain on Sunday 10 Jan 236. Anteros' accession in 235 is recorded by the Liberian as 21 November, a Saturday, but should we not read X kl. dec. in place of XI kl. dec. for his accession and place it on Sunday 22 November?
Duchesne's date for Pontian's accession, (Wednesday) 21 July 230, was arrived at solely by subtracting the Liberian five years two months seven days from the date when he was discinctus on exile to Sardinia, given as 28 Sept 235. The Liber Pontificalis turns the Catalogue's discinctus into defunctus, no doubt wrongly (lectio difficilior!), but transmits the date as 30 October;(91) that would put his accession at 23 Aug 230, a Monday. Hence Turner(92) read 29 October for the end of his tenure and suggested that his accession was Sunday 22 August. But the matter is complicated by the fact that the MH(93) and the Liber Pontificalis(94) date his predecessor Urban's death to 19 May; it is difficult to see why there should have been an interval from May to July, let alone August, in 230. The length of Pontian's tenure may be irretrievably corrupt; nor can the Liberian figures for Urban, eight years eleven months twelve days, be easily reconciled with the fact that his predecessor Callistus' anniversary is given in the depositio martirum and all later sources as 14 October. The burial anniversaries of Callistus and Urban are both likely to be right, but we cannot be totally confident about the years (222 and 230?).(95) For Callistus' predecessor Zephyrinus no genuine anniversary date is on record(96) (though the year of his death was probably 217, or a year either way); this is true too for all the earlier names on the list, and for them even precise years cannot be stated. It is clearly best not to venture earlier than 235 in the attempt to establish precise papal chronology. By a curious coincidence that is the very year from which (until 284) precise dates for the Emperors themselves can no longer be given.
(1) The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis), The Ancient Biographies of the first ninety Roman bishops to AD 715, Liverpool University Press (Translated Texts for Historians, Latin Series VI, Liverpool University Press, 1989); now continued with full commentaries in volumes XIII (1992) to AD 817 and XX (1995) to AD 891.
(2) I am particularly grateful for the comments on this paper which my colleague Dr John Curran has provided.
(3) Le Liber Pontificalis, texte, introduction et commentaire, vol. I (1886), pp. CCXLVIII-CCXLIX, CCLX-CCLXI.
(4) For a bibliography of work on papal chronology between 1886 and 1957 see C. Vogel in the third volume of the reedition (Paris, 1957) of L. Duchesne's Liber Pontificalis, pp. 28-29; surprising omissions there are C. H. Turner's very significant contributions, `The Papal Chronology of the Third Century', JTS 17 (1915/16), 338-53; `The Early Episcopal Lists: III', and `The Early Episcopal Lists: IV', ibid. 18 (1916-17), 103-17 and 117-34; on Turner's scheme see n. 53; cf. also H. J. Lawlor and J. E. L. Oulton, Eusebius, vol. 2 (1928), 40-46.
(5) See A. Mercati, `The New List of the Popes', Medieval Studies 9 (1947), 71-80 (translated from his `La serie dei papi nell' Annuario Pontificio per l'anno 1947', Osservatore romano 19.1.1947); and (e.g.) Annuario Pontificio per I'anno 1988 (Citta del Vaticano, Libreria editrice Vaticana, 1988), pp. 8*-9*.
(6) M. G. H. Gestorum Pontificum Romanorum, vol. I (Berlin, 1898), p. LIX.
(7) This date is one which occurs in the acts of the fictitious Council of Sinuessa: P. Coustant, Epistolae Romanorum Pontificum (Paris, 1721, reprint 1967), Appendix, cols. 29, 36 (=Mansi, Concilia, vol. I, pp. 1251, 1257) die quod dicunt Vulcanibus (i.e. the Vulcanalia, 23 August) ..., damnatus autem et Marcellinus episcopus suo indicio x kalendas Septembris Diocletiano uiii et Maximiano uii. Cf. n. 71.
(8) Geschichte der Papste, vol. I (2nd edition, Munich, 1954).
(9) Dionysius, NCE 4.876, Felix, 5.878 f.; Eutychian, 5.642; Gaius, 6.241; Eusebius (by R. K. Poetzel), 5.633; Marcellinus, 9.188; Marcellus, 9.190. The precise dates of Dionysius are there stated to rest on the authority of Eusebius and Jerome (untrue) against Caspar and some moderns who want 260-67. The article on Miltiades (NCE 9.857 f.) is from the hand of J. Chapin but defends the precise date given above for that pope, though the piece begins merely with `c.311'; Chapin is aware that the source is the Liberian Catalogue.
(10) Dionysius, DHGE 14.Z47 f. (Botte); Felix, 16.886 f. (Nautin); Eutychian, 16.91 f. (Marot); Gaius, 11.237 f. (Bardy); Eusebius, 15.1433 (Marot).
(11) Cf. n. 76.
(12) The articles on Marcellinus and Miltiades are by A. Stuiber and H. U. Instinsky respectively and are less explicit chronologically.
(13) E. Caspar, Geschichte des Papstums von den Anfangen bis zur Hohe der Weltherrschaft, 2 vols. (Tubingen, 1930-33), vol. I, 84-102 passim; cf. by the same author, Die alteste romische Bischofsliste. Kritische Studien zum Formproblem des eusebianischen Kanons (Berlin, 1926); and `Die rBmische Bischofe der diokletianischen Verfolgung', Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte 46 (1927), 330-33. Schwaiger is more explicit chronologically than Stuiber and Instinsky, and gives Marcellinus 30 June 295 to 25 Oct 304 and Miltiades 2 July 310 to 10 Jan 314.
(14) C. H. Turner, art. cit. (in n. 4).
(15) Oxford Dictionary of the Popes (Oxford, 1986), preface (p. vii). I do not know where the date 21 October for Eusebius originates; it is given also by T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, (Harvard University Press, 1981), 38, citing Damasus' poem (ed. Ihm, 18, same number in the more recent edition by Ferrua): but this bears no date; I suspect 21 October results from textual corruption in English of 2 October (VI non. Oct.), a duplication in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum of the date 26 September (VI kal. Oct.) given in both the MH and the depositio episcoporum (cf. below at n. 37). See, however, n. 75.
(16) Cf. T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, p. 146, H. J. Lawlor and J. E. L. Oulton, Eusebius, vol. 2 (London, 1928), pp. 40-46, 255, 260-61.
(17) Liber Pontificalis, vol. 1, 34-41, with vol. 3 (ed. C. Vogel, 1957), pp. 69-70.
(18) The texts below are taken from Mommsen's edition, M.G.H. (A.A.) IX, Chronica Minora I (1892), at pp. 70-76, with the Additamenta from M.G.H. (A.A.) XIII, Chronica Minora III (1898), p. 718; Chronica Minora I gives the text of most of the Chronographer, but note also CIL [I.sup.2], p. 379 ff.; cf. Henri Stern, Le calendrier de 354, Etude sur son texte et ses illustrations (Bibl. arch. et hist., 55, Paris, 1953); M. R. Salzman, On Roman Time. The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the rhythms of urban life in late antiquity (The transformation of the classical heritage XVII) (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1990). The earlier part of the papal list (Liberian Catalogue) in the Chronographer, and the question whether it may, or may not, depend on a list drawn up by Hippolytus (down to 234/5?), does not here concern us (see Stern (1953), 114, contra Vogel/Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis vol. 3 (1957)).
(19) It may be remarked, once for all, that strictly all our records are those of the dates of burials rather than of deaths; ancient practice being what it was it is likely that the day of death and burial will normally have been the same; at the most there will have been a difference of a day. In exceptional circumstances a final burial or translation may be recorded, which causes chronological problems in a few cases (Marcellus, Eusebius; and, at an earlier period, Pontian and Cornelius).
(20) For the lacuna here see n. 67.
(21) Pace A. Amore, I martiri di Roma (1975), p. 69; that the depositio episcoporum was first written only some thirty years after Marcellinus' death is irrelevant. The manuscripts were not. Cf. n. 36.
(22) Ed. cit. (in n. 6) of Liber Pontificalis, p. XXIX.
(23) Best seen in Duchesne's edition of the Liber Pontificalis, I, pp. 18-19.
(24) op. cit. XXXV-XXXVI.
(25) See E. H. Rottges, `Marcellinus-Marcellus zur Papstgeschichte der diokletianischen Verfolqungszeit', Zeitschrift fur katholische Theologie 78 (1956), 385-420; A. Amore, `Il preteso ilapsus' di papa Marcellino', Antonianum 32 (1955), 411-26.
(26) Apart from a probably interpolated note of the death of Leo I (461), with no location given for his burial, the regular series of papal obits ends with Boniface I (422). For this and the location of the surviving text to late sixth-century Auxerre see L. Duchesne in the J. B. de Rossi-L. Duchesne edition (Acta Sanctorum Novembris 11, pars prior (1894), especially at p. XLIX).
(27) Text from the H. Quentin and H. Delehaye edition, Acta Sanctorum Novembris 11, pars posterior (1931). I ignore the various partial catalogues of papal names inserted on 9 August, 23 and 31 December.
(28) Additionally at 2 February and 2 November there are entries for the dedication of a basilica to Xystus and others at Fossombrone; entries on 3 and 6 April are interpolations into the MH from the Liber Pontipcalis and refer to Xystus I, for whose date of burial, as for the dates of all the bishops before the third century, there is no genuine tradition.
(29) The cemetery should be that of Callistus.
(30) All the MSS have in the laterculus for this day entries for `Appiani' and `Papiani', which can be explained as corruptions of `Via Appia' where the cemetery of Callistus, the burial place of Felix, was located.
(31) The source for these last two entries is the Liber Pontificalis, which gives 25 July.
(32) The fragments of his Greek epitaph found in that cemetery seem to support this day: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. EIII[Sigma][Kappa]. .KAT. [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Cf. also the entry on the Neapolitan marble calendar for 22 April: P(assio) S (ancti) Gai P(a)p(e) Romis.
(33) An interpolator has inserted an entry belonging at X Kal. Mail on X Kal. Mar.
(34) Delehaye explains this as originating with another Gaius, himself wrongly duplicated here from 1 January where there is an entry for Gaius at Bononia, in Moesia Superior; but more probably Romae and Depositio have crept forward from the next day, 2 July (in fact the laterculi for 1 and 2 July contain much material in common); and there are enough Gaii around on 30 June, 1 and 2 July without any need to cite 1 January.
(35) The Gelasian and Gregorian Sacramentaries, the Liber Pontificalis, and the Gesta Marcelli, BHL 5234-35, agree on this date.
(36) The entry refers to pope Marcus (336) who was buried in the Cemetery of Balbina between the Viae Appia and Ardeatina, and has been anticipated from 7 October; the entry is repeated more or less fully or correctly on 3 and 6 October. Nevertheless, A. Amore, I martiri di Roma, p. 75, supports these entries as genuinely recording the burial of pope Marcellus on 4 or 7 October. Here he agrees that some emendation of Marcellini is required, despite his strictures (p. 69) against those who emend the name in the depositio episcoporum!
(37) The previous entry has been wrongly duplicated from VI kal. Oct. to VI non. Oct.
(38) Delehaye suggested that rather than explain this entry in the same way as the last--today is VI id. Dec.--it is better to suppose that Eusebius has been `attracted' to the day belonging to Eutychian (if indeed the name is not simply a corruption of Eutychian), on whom see above; but a preferable explanation can be based on the entry for 8 November (VI id. Nov.) `in Nicomedia Eusebii Calesini/Caelesti', where someone ignorant of Eusebius of Nicomedia has interpolated `Calisti' from the entries in October or September.
(39) Eutychius appears to be an interpolation. Despite depositio it seems clear that the reference is to Miltiades' ordination (cf. Liberian Catalogue).
(40) It should be noted in what follows that `accession' date refers to the ordination or consecration as bishop, not to the actual election; where the date of this is known at all, it is found to precede the ordination by a day or two, though once it was accepted that outside political authority had the right to confirm the election the interval could extend to several months. It was not until the time of Gregory VII that the popes reckoned their pontificates from the time of election rather than installation.
As is customary for dates cited in Roman history, all are given in terms of the Julian calendar, in the third-century AD the Gregorian dates of our current calendar retrojected correspond exactly with those of the Julian calendar (in the fourth century the Gregorian dates are one day `ahead'). For calculating the days of the week for calendar dates the table by A. F. L. Wilkinson has been used; this, which formerly appeared in Whittaker's Almanack (last in the edition of 1964, p. 194), provides Julian dates down to 1752.
(41) op. cit., p. CCLXI.
(42) The Liberian Catalogue has 22 May, a Friday, but the Martyrologium Hieronymianum has an entry on 17 May depositio Liberii episcopi; since the entry cannot refer to his death, which was certainly on 24 September (366), it can best be explained as recording the date of his ordination; MH has the same confusion with Miltiades (see above), Innocentius, and Boniface 1. No doubt the Liberian MSS are in error in giving xi kal. iun. for the correct xvi kal. fan.
(43) MH has an entry for his depositio on 21 December; it also gives the correct date 12 March; the same mistake as before should be assumed. If the date 21 December is exact, the year will be 402, and this year, given by Prosper, has its defenders (e.g. Seppelt and Funk).
(44) The Council he held on 13 March 487 might have been on his natale ordinationis; Hilarus had held a council on 19 Nov 465.
(45) Duchesne was, of course, aware of the Sunday rule: at Liber Pontificalis I p. CCXLVII, col. 2, he notes that a church rule, whose application can be established from Pope Miltiades, fixed ordination on Sundays. All ordination dates known from Miltiades onwards as given in the Liberian Catalogue are Sundays (since Duchesne himself put Miltiades' ordination on a Monday he presumably meant `from Silvester onwards').
(46) Leo III (27 Dec 795), Hadrian II (14 Dec 867), John VIII (14 Dec 872), Damasus 11 (17 July 1048), Leo IX (12 Feb 1049), Stephen IX (3 Aug 1057), all Sundays, and those in the following note.
(47) Benedict IX sold the pontificate to Gregory VI on I May 1045, a Wednesday, but the ordination may not have taken place that day; Clement II was ordained 25 Dec 1046, a Thursday; Victor II on Maundy Thursday, 13 April loss, but Duchesne postpones the ordination till Easter Sunday; Alexander II on Monday 1 Oct 1061, though Duchesne prefers the previous day. The precedent set by Clement II of selecting a major feast day was then followed by Gregory VII, 29 June 1087. Cf. Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, vol. 2, pp. LXXII-LXXIII. There is just one possible, but improbable, earlier example of the choice of a great feast day in place of a Sunday, for the ordination of Boniface V in 619: his death was 25 Oct 625 after a tenure stated as five years ten months (the months are omitted in some MSS of the Liber Pontificalis or fumed into days in others [ten months LP [E.sup.5bh]; ten days LP III ([KGE.sup.6]; thirteen days [E.sup.1])], but confirmed by two chronological catalogues [those of Fredegar and Corbie II: ann. Vm. X.] and by the curious expression in Boniface V's epitaph, quinque et bis mensibus annis); this would give an ordination on 25 December, a Tuesday in 619, but Christmas Day in any year. However the vacancy stated in the Liber Pontificalis after the death of his predecessor Deusdedit on 8 Nov 618 is one month sixteen days (to which a full year must be added); with inclusive reckoning this suggests that Boniface V was ordained on Sunday 23 Dec 619, in fact at the December Embertide. This solution is rightly preferred by Duchesne (Liber Pontificalis I p. CCLVI, where the need for the year's vacancy between Deusdedit and Boniface V during the revolt of Eleutherius is demonstrated).
What happened outside Rome is not strictly relevant to our argument, though it seems that the same Sunday rule was widely if not universally observed for episcopal ordinations. More relevant is Roman custom for the ordination of bishops at Rome for other sees; as far as we know the Sunday rule was observed, but in very few cases are precise dates recorded for papal ordination of bishops in the suburbicarian province: thus, none is on record for Naples before the ordination of Athanasius (Vita Athanasii 3, M.G.H. SSrL p. 442) by Leo IV on 15 March, in a year generally given as 850 when it was a Saturday (either the year was 851, or by that date the Saturday night/Sunday morning ordinations had `drifted' back into daylight on Saturday). At Ravenna, technically (whatever its prelates would like to think, see below) in the suburbicarian province, there is some confirmation of the rule. Agnellus, Lib. Pont. Rav. c. 70 (M.G.H. SSrL p. 326) specifically assigns the ordination of Maximian by pope Vigilius at Patras to 14 Oct 546, which was (even in the extraordinary circumstances) a Sunday; the attempts made by (or recorded by) Holder-Egger in the notes to that edition of Agnellus, to calculate the accession-dates of other Ravennate prelates do make use of the Sunday rule. The rule was also presupposed when an arrangement had to be made for the presence of a bishop-elect at Rome for ordination. In 666 Constans II granted Maurus bishop of Ravenna a typus autocephaliae (text in M.G.H. SSrL p. 3so, note) which resolved the curious anomaly by which the bishop of Ravenna had been a bishop within the metropolitan province of Rome but had himself been for over two centuries metropolitan over the bishops of the province of Emilia (on this situation see Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, 1, p. CXXIX col. 2, note). Hitherto with all suburbicarian bishops, the bishop of Ravenna had been ordained by the pope, but after the death of Maurus the new bishop Reparatus was ordained by three of his own suffragans (ut mos est Romanus pontifex consecrari, Agnellus, Lib. Pont. Rav. c. 115). But Reparatus seems to have reached some kind of compromise with the papal objections to Ravennate independence and decreed that future bishops should after all be ordained at Rome, for Agnellus writes: decrevit<Reparatus>ut in tempore consecrationis non plus quam octo dies Roma electus moram invertat. (In fact the next bishop of Ravenna, Theodore, was ordained by his own suffragans, though he later made his submission to the pope, Agnellus, cc. 117, 124.) The point of his spending no more than eight days in Rome was that the bishop-elect of Ravenna on the one hand need be there no longer than necessary (the deal was not to offend his amour-propre unduly), but on the other hand he should spend the minimum time in Rome which (reckoned inclusively) could not fail to include a Sunday.
(48) A. Chastagnol, Les fastes de la prefecture de Rome au bas-empire (1962), 281, sees him as likely to be a Christian, in view of his use of sanctus to describe the Apostles, bishops, and Easter-day (the influence of his mother, an Anicia, having outweighed that of his father's family); but Chastagnol concedes that Duchesne, Histoire ancienne de l'eglise III, 247, and G. Bardy, Histoire de l'eglise Fliche-Martin, IV, 252, regarded him as a pagan.
(49) For fifth-century practice cf. also Leo I, Ep. 6.6 to Anastasius of Thessalonica (PL 54.620 or ed. Silva-Tarrouca, Epistolarum Romanorum Pontificum ad vicarios per Illyricum aliosque episcopos collectio Thessalonica (Rome, 1937)), dated 12 Jan 444: Cognovimus sane, quod non potuimus silentio praeterire, a quibusdam fratribus solos episcopos tantum diebus dominicis ordinari; presbyteros vero et diaconos, circa quos par consecratio fieri debet, passim quolibet die dignitatem officii sacerdotalis accipere; quod contra canones et traditionem Patrum usurpatio corrigenda committit; which presumes that whatever might happen for the ordinations of priests and deacons there was no doubt that bishops were ordained on Sundays; and Ep. 9.1 to Dioscurus of Alexandria (PL 54.625): Quod ergo a patribus nostris propensiore cura novimus esse servatum, a vobis quoque volumus custodiri, ut non passim diebus omnibus sacerdotalis vel levitica ordinatio celebretur; sed post diem sabbati, eius noctis quae in prima sabbati lucescit, exordia deligantur, in quibus his qui consecrandi sunt ieiunis, et a ieinnantibus sacra benedictio conferatur. Quod eiusdem observantiae erit, si mane ipso Dominico die, continuato sabbati ieiunio celebretur, a quo tempore praecedentis noctis initia non recedunt, quam ad diem resurrectionis, sicut etiam a Pascha Domini declaratur, pertinere non dubium est ... (PL 54.626:) ... etiam ipse servaveris: ut his qui consecrandi sunt numquam benedictio nisi in die resurrectionis dominicae tribuatur, cui a vespera sabbati initium constat ascribi, et quae tantis divinarum dispositionum mysteriis est consecrata, ut quidquid est a Domino insignius constitutum, in huius died dignitate sit gestum; mystical and scriptural reasons for the choice of the day then follow, but it is clear that to Leo the ordinations on Saturday night and Sunday morning are closely linked to the Roman custom of fasting on Saturdays.
(50) Coll. Avellana, Ep. 1.4-6 (ed. O. Gunther, CSEL XXXV p. 2-3): octavo Kalendas Octobr. Gratiano et Dagalaifo consulibus (366) Liberius humanis rebus eximitur. (5) tunc presbyteri et diacones Ursinus Amantius et Lupus cum plebe sancta, quae Liberio fidem servaverat in exilio constituto, coeperunt in basilica Iuli procedere et sibi Ursinum diaconum pontificem in loco Liberii ordinari deposcunt; periuri vero in Lucinis Damasum sibi episcopum in loco Felicis expostulant. Ursinum Paulus Tiburtinus episcopus benedicit. quod ubi Damasus, qui semper episcopatum ambierat, comperit, omnes quadrigarios et imperitam multitudinem pretio concitat et armatus fustibus ad basilicam Iuli perrumpit et magna fidelium caede per triduum debacchatus est. (6) post dies septem cum omnibus periuris et arenariis, quos ingenti corrupit pretio, Lateranensem basilicam tenuit et ibi ordinatus est episcopus et redimens iudicem urbis Viventium et praefectum annonae Iulianum id egit, ut Ursinus vir venerabilis, qui prius fuerat pontifex ordinatus, cum Amantio et Lupo diaconibus in exilium mitteretur.
(51) Damasus' death was certainly on 11 Dec 384 (see Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis I p. CCL), and his tenure is given as eighteen years three months eleven days in the Liber Pontificalis and in the best MSS of the index-catalogues; his ordination will have been 1 Oct 366, a Sunday. It follows that Ursinus' ordination by Paul of Tibur was the previous Sunday, 24 September, the very day that Liberius died. The not unprejudiced account in the Preface to the Liber Precum avoids drawing attention to this indecent haste.
(52) Hippolytus, The Apostolic Tradition, ii. 1-2, ed. Gregory Dix (London ed. 2, 1968), pp. 2-3, whose translation I quote; cf. ed. by B. Botte, La Tradition Apostolique de Saint Hippolyte: essai de reconstitution, Liturgiewissenschaftliche Quellen und Forschungen 39 (Munster, 1963); the Greek original may be reconstructed from Apost. Const. 8.4.2.
(53) C. H. Turner, art. cit. (n. 4), accepted the `Sunday rule', but was unable to decide between the two methods of reconciling the transmitted data, and thus produced a series of alternative dates for the accessions of Eutychian, Gaius, and Marcellinus; for Dionysius he altered the year from 259 to 260 and kept 22 July as the accession date, but he retained the year 269 for Felix and shifted the calendar date from 5 to 3 January.
(54) The point was made in an aside by Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, vol. I, p. CCXLVIII colt 2, `(le) catalogue romain auquel furent adaptees les notes consulaires en 336', but he accepted the compiler's work as accurate, except for the death of Dionysius which he placed in 268 rather than in 269 as given by the Liberian text (loc. cit. and p. CCXLIX colt 1). Somewhat inconsistently Duchesne then defends the consular years given for Marcellus, 308-309, because they come from the catalogue; though it is of course true that this was much nearer the calculator's own time than 268/9.
In passing it may be noted that if either the consular years or the calendar dates are interpolated calculations it will be the former, which are a virtually complete series, not the latter; these are given more spasmodically and furthermore they could have been calculated more fully from the other data (obituary dates and lengths of tenure) given. For wrong consular years in a chronicle, cf. the papal chronology in Prosper of Aquitaine for 398 on.
(55) See above p. 445.
(57) In historical fact Anicetus succeeded Pius, and not vice versa; on this fault in the Catalogue see Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis I, p. LXXII.
(58) It would suit my argument to claim that the consular dates were calculated, and incompetently, from the lengths of tenure after the latter had already been corrupted. But in theory textual corruption in the consular dates could here be to blame:
254: Valerian II, Gallienus I 255: Valerian III, Gallienus II 257: Valerian IIII, Gallienus III.
(59) The point has been noted by T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, p. 304 n. 106, who does not explore the further consequences of it; but rejection of the consular years assigned to Marcellus allows him to place Marcellus' election at the end of 306 and his death in exile in January 308. R. W. Burgess, The Chronicle of Hydatius and the Consularia Constantinopolitana (Oxford 1993), 191, states wrongly (though see n. 63) that the papal list in the Chronographer (along with the Chronographer's prefect list and the Consularia Constantinopolitana) preserves Maxentius' list of consuls.
(60) See R. S. Bagnall and others, Consuls of the Later Roman Empire (1987), pp. 148-59; T. D. Barnes, The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine (Harvard University Press), 92-94; The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, I, pp. 1042-43; cf. A. Degrassi, I fasti consolari dell'impero romano, pp. 77-78.
(61) See Barnes, op. cit., p. 94 n. 14, Bagnall, op. cit., p. 149.
(62) In the later tradition Constantine was reckoned to have held his previous, first, consulship twice, in different years for different parts of the Empire!
(63) Admittedly in the case of 311 there is a trace of the `Roman' consulship, from September, of Volusianus and Rufinus: it is far more likely that here the data have been contaminated from the consuls listed in the table of Roman prefects, than that this is the sole surviving trace of a source that consistently gave the Maxentian consuls. Or possibly the Chronographer was using a copy of the consular list which had been `politically corrected', but in which the names of Volusianus and Rufinus had accidentally survived. But I do not think that an extra line in the list at this point is the cause of his earlier calculations being so often a year out.
(64) Edition of the Chronographer in M.G.H. (A.A.) IX, at p. 38.
(65) ed. cit., pp. 50-61.
(66) pp. 65-69. For the years 351-52 this list of prefects even preserves the names of consuls appointed by the usurper Magnentius which have been removed from all other surviving fasti, Bagnall, op. cit., p. 48. For the period 307-12 both sets of consuls are given in the Consularia Constantinopolitana (R. W. Burgess, op. cit., 191, 235).
(67) The words missing from the text will be those preserved for us by the Liber Pontificalis (Duchesne, I 155, 4-5; Mommsen 34, 12), albeit in a slightly different context, et presbyter) praefuerunt.
(68) Duchesne admits that the years at this period cannot be confirmed by contemporary history and must be reckoned from the catalogues. It may be noted in passing that the Liberian Catalogue has problems here with its consular dates; the death of Dionysius and accession of Felix are both assigned to 269, whereas the normal method employed would have been to place them in successive years. This is the one point at which Duchesne rejected the consular year (269) of the Liberian text (cf. n. 54 above). Although there is some similarity in the names of the consuls for 269 (Claudius and Paternus), Duchesne's 268 (Paternus 11 and Marinianus), and my 267 (Paternus and Arcesilaus), the cause of error is more likely to be miscounting on the list of names than palaeographical corruption.
(69) His feast is wrongly stated as 2 June in Kelly, op. cit., p. 25 (that day belongs to the pair of martyrs Marcellinus and Peter on the Via Labicana). The usual date, 26 April, goes back to the Liber Pontificalis (Duchesne 1, 162, 7-10; Mommsen 42, 6-12), which, however, gives it (or in the better MSS 25 April) not as the date of his death (pace T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 303 n. 103) but as that of his burial following twenty-five or twenty-six days during which his body is supposed to have lain unburied on Diocletian's orders. Barnes' further suggestion (loc. cit.) that the LP's date might result from confusion with the priest Marcellinus is not very helpful since the latter is the martyr mentioned above, whose date was 2 June.
(70) See the works cited in n. 25.
(71) Mommsen, edition of Liber Pontificalis, p. LIII, n. 5: `Acta haec qui finxit saec. Vl ineunte ... diem iudicii vix videtur commentus esse'. Cf. n. 7. Note Mommsen, op. cit., p. LXX, for a calculation in 793 which would put Marcellinus' death at about 25 Dec 305 (for the year, 304 may be intended, see Duchesne XLIX); but it is most unlikely that this represents any genuine tradition.
(72) See T. D. Barnes, New Empire, p. 56. Diocletian left Rome on 20 Dec 303 (Lactantius, de mortibus persecutorum 17); he had arrived before the start of his vicennalia on 20 November. If the Passio Quattuor Coronatorum (Acta Sanctorum, November, 111 (1910), 765 ff.) is trustworthy on this particular, he had arrived before 8 November. It is thus plausible that he was there at the time of Marcellinus' death (?) if that was about 26 October. Diocletian's previous certainly recorded port of call was Durostorum on 8 June 303; the Passio would then require a visit to Sirmium before his arrival in Rome. That Diocletian was in Rome by 23 August is not formally excluded, merely implausible; pace Mommsen, edition of Liber Pontificalis, p. LV, Lactantius does not say that Diocletian's departure from Rome was post paucos menses.
(73) ann. uii m. ui d. xxu might in fact be no more than a corrupt dittography of the last set of figures given, those for Marcellinus, ann uiii m. iii d. xxu. But see below, at n. 79, for another explanation.
(74) Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis I, CCXLIX, of course accepted the Liberian consular years and placed the accession of Miltiades on 2 July 311, which entailed correcting the tenure in the same document from ann. III to ann. II.
(75) The duplication in MH of the entry for 26 September (VI kal. Oct.) at 2 October (VI non. Oct.) is curious as this would be five months sixteen days (inclusively) from 18 April; but the entry is surely secondary--it is clear from the depositio episcoporum that 26 September is the primary date in the MH. Such duplication is frequent enough in MH; though a corruption in the depositio cannot be excluded--it would not affect the calendrical order of the entries. However, the alteration required in the Liberian text from four months to five months is not palaeographically easy.
(76) So too H. Lietzmann, Petrus und Paulus in Rom ([1927.sup2]), 8 ff.
(77) Barnes, op. cit., p. 241, citing G. Roethe, Zur Geschichte der romischen Synoden im 3. und 4. Jahrhundert, 65, n. 44, Optatus 1.23, Cap. Coll. Carth. 3.323.
(78) A. Amore, op. cit., p. 75; cf. n. 21 and n. 36.
(79) Note that E. Caspar, `Kleine Beitrage zur alteren Papstgeschichte', Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte 46 (1927),321-55 at 326 n. 2 (and cf. 47 (1928), 162-202), emended the Liberian figure to three years six months twenty-five days, which could be the interval between Marcellinus and Marcellus if the latter's accession is dated shortly after Maxentius gained control at Rome--so T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 303 n. 102.
(80) See above pp. 459-60.
(81) On this see F. Millar, `Paul of Samosata, Zenobia and Aurelian: the Church, Local Culture and Political Allegiance in Third-century Syria', JRS LXI (1971), 1-17, especially 8-9 with n. 95 for the date of Odenath's death and 12-13 for Paul's `procuratorship' teeing fantasy.
(82) Eusebius, HE 7.30.19. See Millar, art. cit., at 14-16: Aurelian does not have to be passing through Antioch at the time and could have responded to the appeal made to him at any date after his accession (summer 270). Despite Millar's views I doubt whether appealing to the Emperor was quite the first thing which would occur to Christians at this date wanting an internal dispute settled, and therefore I do not find the minimum interval of eighteen months between the Council and the (answer to the) appeal surprising. If the petition to the Emperor was sent sooner, does Eusebius' statement that it was sent to Aurelian rest merely on his inference from Aurelian's name on the reply it elicited?
(83) Cyprian, Ep. 55.9.
(84) So T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 38.
(85) For the date of Alexander's revolt, between May and the autumn of 308, see Barnes, New Empire, 14 with n. 17. It is curious that the Liber Pontificalis makes the next pope, Miltiades, to be African, which might imply that his selection would have been tactless while Africa was in revolt against Maxentius (until the end of 309, Barnes, loc. cit. and his n. 18); but the nationalities given for the popes, at least down to Damasus inclusively, are not trustworthy.
(86) Text in A. Ferrua, Epigrammata Damasiana (1942), no. 18.
(87) Cf. J. N. D. Kelly, op. cit., p. 25: `Marcellus ... a merciless judge ... a rigorist whose hard-line penitential demands soon aroused majority opinion in the community against him'; p. 26: `Eusebius ... it appears that he allowed those who had apostatized to be restored after due penance, while Heraclius ... resisted their readmission'. In the Damasine epitaph for Marcellus (Ferrua, op. cit., no. 40) alter in line 5 is most economically understood to be Heraclius. Unless Heraclius reversed his opinions it should be assumed that the view taken by Eusebius was the same as that of Marcellus, but that alone does not finally resolve the ambiguity; it could be rejoined that Marcellus' body was not brought back to Rome on the same occasion (though it might have been already reburied there). That alter had once denied Christ (or that Damasus claimed he had) does not mean he cannot have been a rigorist (one thinks of the shady past of some who espoused Donatism in Africa).
(88) See pp. 451-2.
(89) W, H. C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church (1965), p. 417, nevertheless relies on it when he asserts the otherwise unattested date 4 June 251 for Cornelius' accession date (i.e. two years three months ten days before 14 Sept 253); but on p. 414 he places Cornelius' death in June 253; in both places he cites Cyprian who does not in fact give dates. For all we know Cornelius' body was not brought back to Rome for some years after 253.
(90) By a slip, C. H. Turner, art. cit., 353, gives 6 or 13 March 251; these days were Thursdays. His alternative suggestions, 16 or 23 June 251, were, curiously, Mondays.
(91) The depositio gives 13 August which will refer to his later reburial (along with Hippolytus) at Rome; compare the cases of Cornelius, Marcellus, and Eusebius who also died in exile.
(92) C, H. Turner, art. cit. (in n. 4); the variant 29 October is not well supported in the manuscript tradition.
(93) Ed. cit. (in n. 27) p. 262, cf. p. 273.
(94) Duchesne I 143. 6-7; Mommsen 23.5. The LP places the burial of pope Urban in the cemetery of Praetextatus, wrongly; he was in fact buried in that of Callistus. The false location results from confusion with a martyr also named Urban buried at Praetextatus on 25 May; the confusion developed further to the point that some MSS of the LP altered pope Urban's date to 25 May, and this was the date accepted in the liturgical tradition from the seventh century onwards.
See Duchesne ad loc.
(95) If Callistus died on 14 Oct 222, and the Liberian tenure, five years two months ten days is correct; his ordination might be fixed on (Sunday) 3 Aug 217; but 4 Aug 216-14 Oct 221 is also possible. But the Index catalogue gives the tenure as five years ten months ten days (perhaps 4 Dec 214 to 14 Oct 219?). The repetition of the fractions two (or six) months ten days for Victor, Zephyrinus, and Callistus raises suspicions.
(96) The Liber Pontificalis gives 25 August (a guess, like all the earlier obituary dates in LP), Duchesne's note on this date in his commentary on the life of Zephyrinus is misleading. He states that the Martyrologium Hieronymianum gives XIII kal. ian. (20 December), and that this must be the true date. But the MH entry for that date (Delehaye, ed. cit. (in n. 27) p. 655: Et Romae depositio Zephirini papae) recurs on 21 December in the Epternach MS (et Romae Zepherini episcopi), and although Delehaye's commentary does not notice the point the entry has surely strayed to 20/21 December from the peculiarly garbled text on 23 December (item Petri apostoli Lini Telii Syxti item Syxti Solani Eutaristili Basilini Zephirini Gallini item Corneli). Now as Delehaye saw (ed. cit. p. 663) there are yet more papal names in the earlier part of the entry for 23 December, and he felt justified in reconstructing the following text: Romae Petri apostoli Lini Cleti Anacleti Evaristi Xysti Telesphori Hygini Aniceti Eleutheri Victoris Zephyrini Callisti Urbani Fabiani Cornelii Stephani Xyrti II Felicis Eutychiani Marcelli; and although there is no warrant in the surviving MSS for so doing, it would be tempting to fill in the remaining gaps to produce a papal list complete from Peter to Marcellus, inserted for no very obvious reason on 23 December by some copyist of the Martyrology (similar lists or partial lists of popes occur on 9 August and 31 December). Had the anniversary been genuine, it would have been accompanied by the name of the cemetery where it was celebrated. But in reality, Zephyrinus' name has strayed from 23 December to 20/21 December; the same could have happened as easily with other names on the list whose anniversaries are known, and no one would then have thought that 20 or 21 December had any claim to be preferred as a genuine anniversary for them. Callistus was evidently the first pope to acquire a liturgical celebration shortly after his death; it was the lack of this for Zephyrinus and his predecessors (even the martyred Telesphorus) which prevented any memory of their anniversaries surviving.
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|Publication:||The Journal of Theological Studies|
|Date:||Oct 1, 1997|
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