DEPOSITIO EPISCOPORUM – DEPOSITIO

I. The Depositiones and the Chronographer – II. The Depositio episcoporum – III. The Depositio martyrum. I. The Depositiones and the Chronographer. The two Depositiones pose the same problems with respect to origin, date and function; they have the same heortological characteristics and the same destiny. They were incorporated together into the Chronographer of 354 by Furius Dionysius Philocalus, occupying the third-to-last and penultimate places parts 11 and 12. Its decorations make this collection of Roman writings a de luxe book in the same class as the Vienna Genesis and the Vatican Virgil. Its date of 354 is given by the consular fasti, the lists of the prefects of Rome and of the popes, and by the Liberian catalog.

Moreover, the two Depositiones are based on a calendar that begins on 25 December, i.e., with the winter solstice. Each item contains three elements: the day of the month but no year, which could also be the day of their death, a name of a pope or martyr, and their place of burial depositio. The function of the two documents is clear from their arrangement and from the expression that appears on 14 September: XVIII. kal. octob. dies natalis Cypriani Africae, Romae celebratur in coemeterio Calisti: their purpose was to regulate the Roman church’s official celebration of the anniversaries of the deaths of those whose names they list. The lists reflect an intensification of the veneration of the saints at Rome. Ten years after the Chronographer, Pope Damasus attended to the so-called historical crypts of the catacombs, and had his epigrams written to Furius Dionysius Philocalus in characteristic calligraphy, called from then on Philocalian.

II. The Depositio episcoporum. In order, the first bishop of Rome commemorated in the calendar is Dionysius, 27 December, in the cemetery of Callistus. The names then follow the order of the calendar, ignoring the year of death until Eutychianus, 8 December, in the cemetery of Callistus. Then come two names following the normal order, Mark, 7 October 336, Julius, 12 April 352. Since the last pope of the original list is Sylvester 31 December 335, we deduce that the compilation stopped at 336, and that the list was later completed with two new names before finally being closed in 354, as regards the exemplar used by the Chronographer. The Mart. hier. used a different exemplar, updated to the time of Boniface’s episcopate 418 422.

III. The Depositio martyrum. Though we possess no similar elements for dating the second document, it is possible that it was drawn up during the same period as the first. All the items in it follow the order of the calendar and are largely concerned with the martyrs whose feasts are celebrated at Rome or in the immediately surrounding area. There are three papal martyrs: Fabian 20 January 250, Sixtus II 6 August 258, Callistus 14 October 222, who of course are not included in the Depositio episcoporum. Besides Peter and Paul, Callistus is the earliest martyr recorded. Curiously, these Roman martyrs are not listed: Ignatius of Antioch ca. 110, Pope Telesphorus under Hadrian Iren., Adv. haer.

3,3,3, Ptolemy and Lucius under Antoninus Pius Just., Apol. 2,2, Justin in 165 BHG 972z, 973, Apollonius under Commodus, whose Passio, however, may not be authentic BHG 149; V. Saxer, Martyrium Apollonii Romani. Analyse structurelle et probl¨mes d’authenticit: Rend. PARA 55-56 1982 1984 265-298; P. Lampe, Die stadtr¶mischen Christen in den ersten beiden Jahrhunderten, T¼bingen 2 1989, 270-277.

DEPOSITIO EPISCOPORUM – DEPOSITIO Gallery Photos

DEPOSITIO EPISCOPORUM – DEPOSITIO


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