Cemetery. — NAME.—The word coemeterium or cimiterium (in Gr. koim?t?rion) may be said in early literature to be used exclusively of the burial places of Jews and Christians. A single doubtful example (Corp. Inscript. Lat., VIII, n. 7543), where it seems to be applied to a pagan sepulture, can safely be disregarded, and though the word, according to its etymology, means sleeping place (from koimasthai, to sleep), its occurrence in this literal sense is rare. Moreover, the phrase “their so-called cemeteries” (ta kaloumena koim?t?ria), used in an imperial edict of 259, shows that it was even then recognized as a distinctive name. The word occurs in Tertullian (De anima, c. ii) and is probably older. Let us add that though what we now understand by a cemetery is a separate, park-like enclosure not being the “yard” of any church, the word was originally of much more general application. It was applied either to any single tomb or to a whole graveyard, and was the usual term employed to designate those subterranean burial places now commonly known as the catacombs (q.v.).
EARLY HISTORY.—There can be little doubt that in the beginning of the preaching of Christianity the converts to the Gospel were content to be interred without distinction in the graves of their Jewish brethren (Acts, v, 6, viii, 2, and ix, 37). But it is also plain from the nature of things that this arrangement could not have been of long duration. To the Jew the dead body and all connected with it was an uncleanness. To the Christian it involved no contamination, but was full of the hope of immortality (I Cor., xv, 43). The practice of separate interment must, therefore, have begun early both in Rome and in other places where there were large Christian colonies. It would seem that the earliest Christian burial places were family vaults (to use a rather misleading word) erected upon private property. But the desire to rest near those of their own faith who had passed away before must have been especially strong in Rome, where even artisans practising the same trade sought to be buried side by side with their fellow-craftsmen and formed associations for the purpose. Wealthy Christians accordingly enlarged their family burial places and admitted their poorer brethren to share them. “For himself, for his freedmen, and for charity” (sibi et libertis et misericordiae) is an inscription found in a construction of this class. Partly owing to the nature of the soil, partly, no doubt, to the desire of imitating the burial places in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, and in particular the Sepulchre of Christ, the practice was largely followed of excavating a subterranean chamber or series of chambers in the recesses of which bodies could be laid and walled in with bricks or marble slabs. The need of interring a disproportionately large number of persons upon one small property probably led to the early development of a system of narrow galleries tunnelled through the tufa, with horizontal niches (loculi) scooped out in the walls on both sides. At the same time it would be a mistake to suppose that Christians throughout the Roman Empire were compelled to resort to great secrecy regarding their interments. On the contrary, the well-understood principle of law that a burial place was a locus religiosus and consequently inviolable seems at normal times to have guaranteed to the Christians a large measure of immunity from interference. The jurisdiction which the pagan College of Pontiffs possessed over all places of sepulture no doubt caused difficulties, especially at those epochs when active persecution broke out, but the general tendency of the Roman magistrates was to be tolerant in religious matters. Moreover it is probable that for many years after the Gospel, was first preached in Rome the Christians were looked upon merely as a particular sect of Jews, and the Jews, as we may learn from Horace and other pre-Christian writers, had long held a recognized and assured position which excited no alarm.
Hence from Apostolic times down to the persecution of Domitian, the faithful were interred upon private burial allotments, situated like the pagan tombs along the border of the great roads and of course outside the walls of the city. Moreover, as Lanciani says, “these early tombs whether above or below ground, display a sense of perfect security and an absence of all fear or solicitude” (Lanciani, Pagan and Christian Rome, 309). The vestibule and crypt of the Flavians, members of Domitian‘s own family, afford a conspicuous example of this. The ground, bordering on the Via Ardeatina, belonged to Flavia Domitilla, the niece of Domitian. Here a catacomb was excavated, a portion of which seems to have been set aside for the interment of the family. The entrance can plainly be seen from the road, and the vestibule and adjoining chambers still remain in which, according to Roman custom, anniversary feasts took place in honor of the dead. In this case the feasts would have been the agapae, or love feasts of the Christians, probably preceded or followed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; but the custom of honoring the third, ninth (afterwards seventh), thirtieth, and anniversary day of the decease seems to have been borrowed from the religious observances of Greece and Rome and to date from the earliest times. In contrast to these original private tombs the portion of the catacomb excavated for the use of the Christian community at large consisted of a vast network of galleries dug at more than one level. For a while, like many other underground Christian cemeteries, this catacomb seems to have been known by the name of the donor, Domitilla, but later it was called after the holy martyrs Nereus and Achilleus, who were subsequently buried there. Further, towards the close of the fourth century a basilica in honor of these two martyrs was erected upon the spot. Their tomb was near the entrance and consequently it was not disturbed, but the ground was dug away and the church built immediately over the tomb, much below the level of the surrounding soil. On the other hand, through devotion to these saints interments multiplied and numerous fresh galleries for the purpose were excavated in the immediate vicinity of the church. All this is typical of what took place in many other instances. The early burial places, which were certainly in private ownership and confined to isolated plots of ground (arece), seem in the third century to have often become property held by the Christian community in common, other adjoining allotments being bought up and the whole area honeycombed with galleries at many different levels. We learn from the “Philosophumena” that Pope Zephyrinus appointed Callistus (c. 198) superintendent of the cemeteries. So again we have distinct record of the restoration of the cemeteries to the Christians in 259 after the Valerian persecution. (Euseb., Hist. Eccles., VII, xiii.) According to De Rossi the freedom which the Church at normal times enjoyed in their possession was due to the fact that the Christians banded themselves together to form a collegium funeraticium, or burial society, such associations, of which the members paid a certain annual contribution, being expressly recognized by law. (See Roma Sotterranea, I, 101 sq.) For this view there is very good evidence, and though objections have been raised by such authorities as Monseigneur Duchesne and Victor Schultze, the theory has by no means been abandoned by later scholars. (See Duchesne, Histoire ancienne de l’eglise, I, 384; Marucchi, Elements d’archeologie, I, 117-124.)
When martyrs were thus buried, crowds of their fellow-Christians desired to be buried near them; moreover, some sort of open space forming a small chamber or chapel was generally opened out where Mass could be celebrated upon or beside the tomb. Still, this was only an occasional use. The catacombs, owing to difficulties of light and ventilation, were not ordinarily used as places of Christian worship except at times of fierce persecution. After Constantine’s edict of toleration (312), when peace was restored to the Church, basilicas were sometimes built over portions of the catacombs, especially over the known burial place of some favorite martyrs. At the same time, during the fourth century the eagerness to be interred in these subterranean galleries gradually waned, though the zeal of Pope Damasus in honoring the tombs of the martyrs seems to have revived the fashion for a few years at a later date. After 410, when Rome was sacked by Alaric, no more burials took place in the Roman catacombs, but the earlier spread of Christianity is well illustrated by the excavations made. Any accurate estimate is of course impossible, but Michael de Rossi calculated that in the zone of territory lying within three miles of the walls, more than five hundred miles of subterranean galleries had been tunnelled and that the number of Christians buried therein must have exceeded 1,700,000. The use of open-air cemeteries in place of catacombs had probably begun in Rome before Constantine. Many have been identified in modern times (De Rossi, Roma Sotterranea, vol. III, bk. III), though it is not always easy to determine exactly the period at which they started. In other parts of the world it is quite certain that innumerable open-air Christian cemeteries were in existence long before the close of the period of persecutions. We may cite as characteristic the discoveries of Dr. W. M. Ramsay in Phrygia, where many Christian graves clearly belong to the second century, as also those of Northern Africa, of which we hear already in Tertullian, and in particular those of Salona in Dalmatia (second to sixth century; see Leclercq, Manuel d’archeologie, I, 327-329). This last is particularly interesting because the surviving remains illustrate so clearly the extreme antiquity of the practice of interring the dead in the near neighborhood of the oratories in which the Christians, assembled to offer the Holy Sacrifice. It is probably to this custom that we may trace the origin of the lateral chapels which have become so notable a feature of all our greater churches. No doubt the tendency to surround the church with graves was long kept in check by the Roman law forbidding the dead to be interred within the walls of cities; but this law at an early date bean to be disregarded, and after the pontificate of John III (560-575) it would seem that burials at Rome generally took place within the walls.
As a rule the Christians, though their cemeteries were separate, accommodated themselves in things permissible to the burial usages of the peoples among whom they lived. Thus in Egypt the early Coptic Christians converted their dead into mummies with the use of asphalt and natron. Again, thought catacombs existed far way from Rome in many places where the soil favored such excavations, e.g. in Naples and Sicily, still, in certain tracts of country otherwise suitable, e.g. in Umbria, the early Christians abstained from this method of interment, apparently because it was not used by the pagan inhabitants (see N. Muller in Realencyklopadie f. prot. Theol., X, 817).
BURIAL IN CHURCHES.—The fact that the tombs of the martyrs were probably the earliest altars (cf. Apoc., vi, 9), together with the eager desire to be buried near God‘s holy ones, gradually led up to the custom of permitting certain favored individuals to be interred not only near but within the church. It may be said that the Roman emperors led the way. Constantine and Theodosius were buried under the portico of the church of the Apostles in Constantinople. At Rome, when the restrictions against burial within the city began to be set aside, the entrance of St. Peter’s became the usual place of interment for the popes and other distinguished persons. It was no doubt in imitation of this practice that King Ethelbert of Canterbury was persuaded by St. Augustine to dedicate a church to Sts. Peter and Paul outside the town, with the intent “that both his own body and the bodies of his episcopal successors and at the same time of the kings of Kent might be laid to rest there”. Probably a varying phase of the same tendency may be recognized in the practice of erecting little shelters or oratories, basilicoe, over certain favored graves in the open. The Salic law prohibited outrages upon such basilicas under heavy penalties: “Si quis basilicam super hominem mortuum exspoliaverit 1200 denarios culpabilis iudicetur”, i.e. “If any one shall plunder a basilica erected over the dead he shall be fined 1200 denarii” (cf. Lindenschmidt, Handbuch d. deutsch. Alterthumskunde, I, 96). But interment within the church itself had been known from an early date in isolated cases. St. Ambrose allowed his brother Satyrus, although he was a layman, to be buried within the church beside the tomb of a martyr. As for himself, he wished to be buried under the altar of his own basilica. “Hunc ego locum (sc. Sub altari) praedestinaveram mihi. Dignum est enim ut ibi requiescat sacerdow ubi offerre consuevit”, i.e. “This place (beneath the altar) I had chosen for myself. For it is fitting that where the priest has been wont to sacrifice, there should he rest (Migne, P.L., XVI, 1023.) In the earlier periods, however, when we hear of burial in churches we may as a rule presume that the cemetery basilicas are meant (cf. De Rossi, Roma Sotterranea, III, 548 sq.), and for a long time the resistance made to the growing practice of burial in churches was very determined. Of the numerous conciliar decrees upon the subject that of Vaison in 442 may be taken as a specimen. “According to the tradition of our ancestors”, it says, “measures must be taken that on no account should anyone be buried within the churches, but only in the yard or in the vestibule or in the annexes [exedris]. But within the church itself and near the altar the dead must on no account be buried.” This decree with others similar purport was afterwards incorporated in the canon law. As may be learned from St. Gregory of Tours it was frequently disregarded in the case of bishops and royal personages, but on the other hand we have record of many other bishops, abbots, and other distinguished men both in the sixth century and later who were buried juxta urbem, or in communi coemeterio. Saint Acca (q.v.) might be mentioned as an English example in point. None the less in the first half of the ninth century the serious abuses attendant upon the neglect of this prohibition were constantly complained of. The passage in the capitularies of Theodulfus (c. 790) is particularly interesting because it was afterwards translated into Anglo-Saxon (c. 1110) in the following form:
“It was an old custom in these lands often to bury departed men within the church and to convert into cemeteries [lictunum] the places that were hallowed to God‘s worship and blessed for offering to Him. Now it is our will that henceforth no man be buried within a church unless it be some man of the priesthood [sacerdhades] or at least a layman of such piety that it is known that he by his meritorious deeds earned when living such a place for his dead body to rest in. It is not our intention however that the bodies which have been previously buried in the church should be cast out but that the graves which are seen therein be either dug deeper into the earth or else be levelled up and the church floor be evenly and decently laid so that no grave [non byrgen] be any longer apparent. But if in any place there be so many graves that it is impossible to effect this, then let the place be left as a cemetery [Thonne hate man tha stowe to lictune] and the altar be taken from thence and set in a clean [i.e. new] place and a church be there raised where people may offer to God reverently and decently” (Thorpe, Eccles. Institutes and Laws, 472).
This decree plainly shows both that the law against burying within the churches had often been disregarded in the past and also that any attempt to enforce it rigidly was looked upon as impracticable. No one could determine the precise degree of piety which merited a relaxation, and in most countries those whose dignity, wealth, or benefactions enabled them to press their claims with vigour had little difficulty in securing this coveted privilege for themselves or for their friends. The English liturgist, John Beleth, seems to admit that any patronus ecclesioe, i.e. the patron of a living, could claim to be buried in the church as a right, and his words are adopted by Durandus, though possibly without a full appreciation of their meaning. Still, such lay interments within the sacred building and especially in the chancel always stood in contradiction to the canon law, and some show of resistance was generally made. In particular, it was insisted on that tombs should not project above the pavement or should at least be confined to the side chapels. The ecclesiastical legislation of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries continued to recognize the right of the clergy to be buried within the sacred building, but it need hardly be remarked that the intervention of state legislation in almost all modern countries has deprived these decrees of much of their practical importance.
MEDIEVAL CEMETERIES.—When the tribes of the North were first converted to Christianity an effort was generally made to restrain the converts from being buried in the barrows used by the pagans. This does not seem to have been the case to the same extent when the Gospel was preached to the Romanized Gauls. There, says Boulanger (Le mobilier funeraire gallo-romain et franc, 27), the pagan and the Christian Roman will often be seen resting side by side. “Glass with biblical subjects or pottery bearing Christian inscriptions may be found next door to a grave which contains the obol intended for Charon.” In the Frank and Saxon interments there is not usually this confusion of pagan and Christian. At the same time, the national burial custom, which required the warrior to be buried with his arms and the girl with her ornaments and the implements of her daily occupation, was long observed even by Christians. The temptation which this custom offered for the rifling of graves was viewed with much disfavor by the Church, and under Charlemagne an ecclesiastical council passed a decree which seems to have been effective in putting an end to this burial with accoutrements (Boulanger, op. cit., 41). Still Hincmar, Archbishop of Reims, in 857, found it necessary to issue a whole series of instructions De sepulcris non violandis. In all these early Christian cemeteries the orientation of the tombs was carefully attended to. Each corpse was laid with its feet to the east, though it has been remarked as a curious fact that pagan Frankish sepultures also commonly exhibit the same peculiarity (Boulanger, op. cit., 32). With regard to England it may probably be assumed, though clear evidence is lacking, that separate Christian graveyards were formed almost from the beginning in all those places where the faithful were numerous. It would seem that even before a church was built it was the practice of our Saxon forefathers to set up a cross, which served as a rendezvous for the Christians of the district. An instance may be quoted from the almost contemporary life of St. Willibald, born in 699, who when he was three years old was consecrated to God at the foot of such a cross in a remote part of Hampshire. The suggestion has been recently made with much plausibility that round such a cross the Christian converts loved to be laid to rest, and that these primitive crosses marked a site upon which church and churchyard were established at a later time (see Baldwin Brown, Arts in Early England, I, 254-266). Certain it is that the churchyard cross was always a conspicuous feature of the consecrated enclosure and that the churchyard usually afforded sanctuary as secure as that of the church itself for those who were fleeing from justice or private vengeance. Numerous ecclesiastical ordinances enjoin that the churchyard was to be surrounded by a wall or other boundary sufficient to keep out straying cattle and to secure the area from profanation. As a specimen we may take the following ordinance of the Bishop of Lincoln in 1229:—”Regarding the arrangements of a church-yard [coemeterium] let the ground be properly enclosed with a wall or a ditch, and let no part of it be taken up with buildings of any kind unless during time of war. There should be a good and well-built cross erected in the church-yard to which the procession is made on Palm Sunday, unless custom prescribes that the procession should be made elsewhere” (Wilkins, Concilia, I, 623). This churchyard procession on Palm Sunday, in which, as early as the time of Lanfranc, the Blessed Sacrament was often carried in a portable shrine, as well as all the relics of the church, was a very imposing ceremony. Many descriptions of it have been left us, and traces still survive even in Protestant countries, where, as for example, in Wales, the country people to this day often visit the churchyard on Palm Sunday and scatter flowers on the graves (see Thurston, Lent and Holy Week, 213-230; The Month, April, 1896, 378). Less admirable was the use of the churchyard in medieval times as a sort of recreation ground or marketplace. Numerous decrees were directed against abuses, but it was difficult to draw a clear line between what was legitimate and permissible and what was distinctly a profanation of the sacred precincts. The very fact that people congregated in the churchyard on the way to and from service on Sundays and holidays made it a convenient place of assembly. Down to modern times the day of the village feast or fair is often found to coincide with the sometimes forgotten original dedication of the church or with the festival of its patron saint. Moreover, there was a tendency to regard the church and its precincts as a sort of neutral ground or place of security for valuables. Hence ancient contracts often include a clause that such and such a sum of money is to be paid on a certain date in a particular church or churchyard. In any case it cannot be denied that the erection of stalls and booths for fairs in the churchyard persisted in spite of all prohibitions (Baldwin Brown, op. cit., 274, 364).
A curious feature found in many churchyards from the twelfth to the fourteenth century, especially in France, is the so-called lanterne des morts, a stone erection sometimes twenty or thirty feet high, surmounted by a lantern and presenting a general resemblance to a small lighthouse. The lantern seems to have been lighted only on certain feasts or vigils and in particular on All Souls’ Day. An altar is commonly found at the foot of the column. Various theories have been suggested to explain these remarkable objects, but no one of them can be considered satisfactory. Besides the churchyard cross and the lanterne des morts, cemeteries, especially when not attached to the parish church, frequently contained a mortuary chapel similar to those with which modern usage is still familiar. Here, no doubt, Mass was offered for the souls of the departed, and the dead were on occasion deposited, when for some reason the service at the graveside was delayed. These mortuary chapels seem usually to have been dedicated to St. Michael, probably from the function attributed to him of escorting the dead to and from the judgment seat (cf. the Offertory in the requiem Mass: “Signifer Sanctus Michael repraesentet eas in lucem sanctam”. In other graveyards a “lych-gate”, i.e. a roofed gate way to the cemetery, served to afford shelter to the coffin and mourners when waiting to proceed to the graveside. Provision was also generally made, and some such arrangement is recommended by the decrees of more modern times, for the bestowal of bones which might be dug up in making new graves. Most churchyards possessed something in the nature of a charnel house or ossuary, and in many parts of the world, where for various reasons space had to be economized, a principle was recognized that after a certain term of years graves might be emptied to make room for new occupants, the remains thus removed being consigned to the charnel house. This was and is particularly the case in regions where, owing to the unsuitable nature of the soil, e.g. in the City of Mexico, the dead are built into oven-like chambers of solid masonry. When these chambers are cleared at intervals to receive another occupant, it is not unusual to find here and there a body which instead of falling to dust has become naturally desiccated or mummified. Such gruesome specimens have not unfrequently been sold and without a particle of foundation exhibited as “walled up nuns” or “victims of the Inquisition“. (See The Month, January, 1894, pp. 14, 323, 574, and April, 1904, p. 334.) Among the Capuchins and some other orders in Southern Europe charnel houses are often constructed with the most fantastic elaboration, the bodies, dried to the consistency of parchment, being arranged around the chamber in niches and robed in their religious habits. Moreover, even here, secular persons, following medieval precedents, have been admitted in some cases to share the sepulture of the religious. The curious practices observed in many ancient cemeteries, for instance in the arcade known as the Charmer of the Cemetery of the Innocentsat Paris, would afford much matter for discussion, but lie outside the limits of the present article. A very favorite decoration for such erections or for cemetery walls was the Dance of Death (q.v.), otherwise known as the Dance Macabre. The frescoes of this character, however, seem none of them to be older than the fourteenth century.
MONASTIC CEMETERIES.—From an early date every religious house possessed a cemetery of its own. An interesting discovery of such a graveyard belonging to Anglo-Saxon nuns of the eighth century was made a few years ago near Hull. It is possible that these monastic cemeteries in early missionary days often formed the nucleus of a churchyard intended for all the faithful. In any case it became the ardent desire of many pious persons to be laid to rest among the religious of monastic institutions, and they often sought to purchase the privilege by benefactions of various kinds. Formal compacts dealing with this matter are to be met with among early charters, e.g. those of Anglo-Saxon England; and the question, as will easily be understood, led to much friction at a somewhat later date, between the religious orders and secular clergy, resulting in a great deal of ecclesiastical legislation upon the right of choosing a sepulture and the claims of the parish priest.
CONSECRATION OF CEMETERIES.—The practice of blessing the grave or the vault in which any Christian was laid to rest is extremely ancient, and it may be traced back to the time of St. Gregory of Tours (De Gloria Conf., c civ). In many early pontificals, e.g. those of Egbert of York and Robert of Jumieges, a special service is provided with the title Consecratio Cymiterii, and this, with certain developments and additions, is still prescribed for the blessing of cemeteries at the present day. According to this rite five wooden crosses are planted in the cemetery, one in the center and the others at the four points of the compass. After the chanting of the Litany of the Saints with special invocations, holy water is blessed and the bishop makes the circuit of the enclosure sprinkling it everywhere with this water. Then he comes to each of the crosses in turn and recites before it a prayer of some length, these five prayers being identical with those appointed for the same purpose in the Anglo-Saxon pontificals of the eighth century. Candles are also lighted before the crosses and placed upon them, and this feature, though not so ancient as the prayers, is also of venerable antiquity. On each of these occasions incense is used, and finally a consecratory preface is sung at the central cross, after which the procession returns to the church, where solemn Mass is celebrated. A cemetery which has thus been consecrated may be profaned, and it is in a measure regarded as losing its sacred character when any deed of blood or certain other outrages are committed within its enclosure. For example, as the ground has been blessed for those who are in Communion with the Church, the forcible intrusion of someone who has died under the Church‘s ban is looked upon as a violation which unfits it for the purpose for which it was designed. Innocent III decided that in such a case, if for any reason it was impossible to exhume the remains and cast them out of the enclosure, the cemetery must be reconciled by a form of service specially provided for the purpose. In a celebrated instance, known as the Guibord Case, which occurred in Montreal, Canada, in 1875, the bishop, seeing the civil law uphold the intrusion, laid the portion of the cemetery so profaned under an interdict. Finally we may note the quasi-consecration imparted to the famous Campo Santo of Pisa, as well as to one or two other Italian cemeteries, by the alleged transference thither of soil from Mount Calvary.
CEMETERIES AND THE CIVIL LAW.—It would be impossible here to deal in detail with the various legislative enactments which now almost everywhere prevent the Church‘s requirements from being carried into effect. (See Christian Burial.) “From the principles which now obtain in German law”, writes Dr. Peter Lex in his recent work, “Das kirchliche Begrabnissrecht”, “the idea of a Catholic churchyard from the point of view of Catholic teaching and practice, has been completely suppressed and the cemetery has been degraded into a mere burial-ground belonging to the civil corporation.” In such matters as the burial of Protestants or non-Christians in ground formerly blessed for the faithful only, the Church when opposed by the civil power allows her ministers to give way rather than provoke a conflict. In England, according to the Burials Act of 1852, the “Burial Boards” in different parts of the country are empowered to provide adequate graveyards out of the rates. In these a certain portion is consecrated according to the rites of the Church of England and the remainder is left unconsecrated. Of this last such a proportion as may be necessary is assigned for the use of Catholics, who are free to consecrate it for themselves. Moreover, when a chapel is erected upon the Church of England portion of the cemetery, a similar building must as a rule be provided in the other sections. The act assigns to the “Burial Board”, at least indirectly, the control of the inscriptions to be set up upon the tombstones in the cemetery, but these powers are generally administered without hardship to Catholics. When Catholics are buried in ground which is not specially consecrated for their use the priest conducting the funeral is directed by the “Rituale Romanum” to bless the grave, and if the priest himself cannot conduct the funeral further, to put blessed earth into the coffin. Children who have died before baptism, we may notice, should be interred apart in ground which has not been consecrated; and it is usual even in the consecrated portion to assign a separate place for infants that have been baptized.
For other points not touched upon here, see the article Christian Burial.
CEMETERY LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES.—The several States of the Union have upon their statute books legislation, in its broader outlines identical, providing for the incorporation of cemetery associations, the safe and sanitary location and regulation thereof, and the protection of sepulture therein. In some States this statutory protection is more or less restricted to incorporated cemetery associations and is not directly applicable to church cemeteries. As a rule cemeteries throughout the United States are exempt from taxation and monuments therein from execution. The law is adverse to the disturbance of the dead in their last resting-place. In Alabama cemetery authorities removed the body of a child from a cemetery, which had been discontinued, to another cemetery that had been founded in place thereof, without giving the child’s parents notice. The parents recovered damages to the amount of $1700 from the cemetery authorities. (18 So. R., 565.) In many of the States there are statutes making it a criminal offense to remove or deface tomb-stones, fences, or trees in a cemetery.
The bodies of the dead belong, to their surviving relatives to be disposed of as they see fit, subject, of course, to public sanitary regulations. (Bogert vs. Indianapolis, 13 Ind. R., 434.) The title of the lot-holder in a cemetery is rarely a title in fee simple. The right of burial conveyed by written instrument in a churchyard cemetery is either an easement or a licence, and never a title to the fee-holder. (McGuire vs. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 54 Hun. N. Y., 207.) Where, for instance, the certificate of purchase reads, “to have and to hold the lots for the use and purpose and subject to the conditions and regulations mentioned in the deed of trust to the trustees of the church”, this was construed as a mere licence; and, as such, revocable. The regulations of the Church may, and usually do, limit the right of interment in the cemetery to those who die in communion with the Church; and the courts have held that the Church is the judge in this matter. (Dwenger vs. Geary, 113 Ind. 114, 54 Hun. N. Y., 210.) One C—, a Catholic, received from the proper officer of a Catholic cemetery a receipt for seventy-five dollars, being the purchase money for a plot of ground in the cemetery. C—died a Freemason, and the cemetery authorities would not allow his body to be buried in the lot which he had bought. The case went to the highest courts in New York, and the cemetery authorities were upheld, it satisfactorily appearing that the rules of the Catholic Church forbid the burial, in consecrated ground, of one who is not a Catholic or who is a member of the Masonic fraternity. (People vs. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 21 Hun. N. Y., 184.) The Guibord Case at Montreal (1875) may be recalled in this connection. Guibord, an excommunicated man, was interred in the Catholic cemetery by a decree of a civil court. Bishop Bourget laid the portion of the cemetery thus desecrated under interdict. Bishop Dwenger, of the Fort Wayne Diocese, secured an injunction against one Geary, who desired to bury the body of his suicide son in a lot owned by him (Geary) in the Catholic cemetery. The Supreme Court of Indiana upheld the bishop. (113 Ind., 106.)
While the right of eminent domain may be invoked to condemn lands for cemetery purposes, the same right may be employed to take the cemetery lands for such public purposes as extending a highway. However, in some States there are statutes prohibiting the opening of streets through cemeteries. The State exercising its police power, or a municipality, when authority is delegated to it by the legislature, may forbid the further use of a cemetery for interments, or declare it a nuisance and a danger to public health, and authorize the removal of the dead therefrom; and this may be done by such authorities without recourse to eminent domain proceedings. Various questions have arisen as to the right of a cemetery lot-owner to erect a monument thereon and as to his right to compel the cemetery authorities to keep the cemetery walks and grounds in good order and repair.
In the absence of special regulations reserving such matters to the discretion of the cemetery authorities, the right of the lot-owner has been affirmed in these particulars. (61 N. W. Rep., 842; 36 S. W. R., 802.) Trusts for the purpose of keeping the graves in repair are held to be charitable to the extent of excepting them from the statute against perpetuities. (Am. and English Encycl. of Law, V, 790.) The heir-at-law has a right of property to the monuments of his ancestors in the graveyard, and may sue any person defacing them. (3 Edw. Ch., Rh., 155.)
HUMPHREY J. DESMOND.
CANADIAN LEGISLATION CONCERNING CEMETERIES.—In the Dominion of Canada, cemeteries are under the authority of the legislatures of the different provinces. Outside of the Province of Quebec, in the English-speaking provinces, the laws regarding them are, with slight variations, the same. In all the provinces, cemeteries are exempt from taxation. Cemetery companies are authorized by general statutes. In the Province of Ontario provision is made for the amount of capital to be subscribed, and a certain percentage to be paid thereon, before an act of incorporation shall be granted, and “no such cemeteries shall be established within the limits of any city”. In the case of incorporated villages or towns, a cemetery may be established when the lieutenant-governor, in council, considers that there is no danger for the public safety, and that in the opinion of the Provincial Board of Health the proposed cemetery may, under all the circumstances, be safely permitted It is enjoined that “no body shall be buried in a vault or otherwise, in any chapel or other building in the cemetery, nor within fifteen feet of the outer wall of such chapel or building. No grave may be reopened for the removal of a body, without permission of the corporation authorities, or the order of a judge of the County Court, excepting cases where the Crown may order the removal of a body for the purpose of legal inquiry”. The company must furnish a grave for strangers and for the poor of all denominations free of charge, on a certificate, in the latter case, of a minister or a clergyman of the denomination to which the deceased belonged, that the representatives of the deceased are poor and cannot afford to buy a lot in the cemetery. The shareholders in such cemetery, cannot receive more than eight per cent on their investments. All excess must be applied to the preservation, improvement, and embellishment of the land of burial-grounds, and to no other purpose. Penalties are imposed upon any one destroying or defacing any tomb, injuring trees or plants, or committing any nuisance in the cemetery (see ch. cccvii, of the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1897, an “Act respecting the Property of Religious Institutions”).
The Criminal Code of Canada enacts penalties for not burying the dead, for indignity to dead bodies, for forging, mutilating, destroying, or concealing registers of burials. The body of every offender executed, shall be buried within the walls of the prison, within which judgment of death is executed on him, unless the lieutenant-governor in council orders otherwise.
Any religious society or congregation of Christians may, among other things, acquire land for a cemetery. These are subject to the general rules, as the precautions for health, etc. The provisions of this law have been extended to the Church of England, and “all rights and privileges conferred upon any society or congregation of Christians, in virtue of this statute, shall extend in every respect to the Roman Catholic Church, to be exercised according to the government of said Church“. Since April 7, 1891, the same privileges have been extended to those professing the Jewish religion. In the Province of Quebec, provisions are also made for the incorporation of cemetery companies. The lieutenant-governor may at any time, by order in council, confirm any deed of sale or grant, executed with prescribed formalities, of any one piece of land not exceeding twenty-five arpents in extent, to any persons not less than five in number named in such deed, such persons not being trustees for a religious congregation or society, or Roman Catholics. These associations are subject to the general laws as regards health regulations, and are further obliged to keep registers of all interments or disinterments, as well as a record of all proceedings and transactions of the corporations. Any parish mission, congregation or society of Christians not being a parish recognized by law, may, in the mode indicated by the statute, acquire lands for cemeteries, and, subject to the approval of the lieutenant-governor, may exchange such lands for others for a like purpose. Each parish must have its cemetery, the exception being in favor of large cities, where many parishes use the same place for interments. This cemetery belongs to the parish represented by the parish priest, or Protestant rector or pastor, and churchwardens. No cemetery can be acquired, exchanged, or enlarged without the authorization of the bishop. Lands may be expropriated for cemetery purposes. No body may be buried until at least twenty-four hours after death. Special laws exist in all the provinces with reference to burials in time of epidemic. In the Province of Quebec, interments in churches are permitted, but the coffin must be covered by at least four feet of earth, or encased in masonry, of at least eighteen inches in thickness if in stone, or of at least twenty inches if in brick, both brick and stone having been well covered with cement. The same regulations apply to burials in private vaults. Interments in churches or cemeteries may be prohibited in the interest of public health by the superior or diocesan ecclesiastical authority. In the Province of Quebec the civil and religious authorities are interwoven, thus the pastor of every parish is bound to keep in duplicate registers of births, marriages, and deaths. At the end of each year he deposits one of the copies at the court-house of the district, and the other is retained in the parish record.
As regards burials in consecrated ground, no question can now be raised affecting the powers of the Catholic Church authorities. By Art. 3460, Revised Statutes, P. Q., 1888, it is enacted: “it belongs to the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical authority to designate the place in the cemetery, in which each individual of such faith shall be buried, and if the deceased, according to the canon rules and laws, in the judgment of the ordinary, cannot be interred in ground consecrated by the liturgical prayers of such religion, he shall receive civil burial on ground reserved for that purpose and adjacent to the cemetery.” Virtually the same law is in force in the Province of Ontario as that shown above. This legislation in the Province of Quebec arose from a celebrated action at law, commonly known as the “Guibord Case”. Joseph Guibord was a member of the “Institut Canadien”, an organization which had been condemned by the bishop, and whose members were excommunicated as a body. Guibord died, November 18, 1869. His widow applied to the religious authorities for the burial of his body in the cemetery. The parish priest of the church of Notre-Dame, under instructions from diocesan authorities, refused to accede to this demand, offering however to bury the deceased in an adjoining lot, where children who die without having been baptized, public sinners, etc., are interred. This the widow refused, and she applied for a writ to force the church authorities to grant a Christian burial. This petition was granted by the Superior Court. The Court of Review, reversing the judgment, held that the civil courts had no jurisdiction to inquire into the reasons for the refusal of the parish priest to grant Christian burial, and that he and his wardens had the right to subdivide the burial grounds into such lots as they might think fit, and to regulate as to where and how the mode of burial should be carried out. Many other questions were raised, but these were the principal grounds. The Court of Appeal for the Province of Quebec unanimously confirmed the Court of Review. The case was carried before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England, where the judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal was reversed. It was held that a Catholic parishioner, who had not been excommunicated nominatim (i. e. by name), and who had not been proved to have been a public sinner, was not, according to the diocesan regulations, which had been invoked by both parties, under any valid ecclesiastical censure which would deprive his remains of Christian burial. The report of the case may be found in “Lower Canada Jurist”, Vol. XX, and covers all the relations of Church and State since the cession of Canada by France to England.
Strict regulations exist as to the disinterment of bodies, which cannot be effected without authority from the Superior Court, as well as from the diocesan authorities. These apply equally to cemeteries, and to churches and chapels where burials have been made. Registers of all such disinterments have to be kept. In 1907 a petition was presented by the Franciscan Order to the Superior Court at Three Rivers, against the rector of the Anglican parish church. It set forth that, prior to the cession of Canada to England, the Franciscans were known as the “Recollets”, and had established a missionary post at Three Rivers, in the earliest days of the colony, where they built a church, wherein they buried the members of their order, and some Catholic laymen as well. When the cession took place, their properties were confiscated. They urged that for many years they had no representatives in the country, and that their church had passed into, and then was in the possession of the minister of the Church of England. The latter body, they said, had never used their church for burial purposes, as was established by the register of burials. They further set forth that recently the Franciscan Order had built a new church, where they desired to have the remains of their brethren who had been buried during the French regime interred according to the discipline of the Catholic Church, and they prayed for an order from the court, to be permitted to make such disinterments, undertaking to pay all damages. On December 3, 1907, a judgment was rendered dismissing the petition because, prior to making their application, the Franciscans had not obtained permission from the authorities of the Church of England, in whose possession and under whose control the church was when the order for the disinterment was sought to be obtained.
J. J. CURRAN.
EARLY ROMAN CHRISTIAN CEMETERIES.—This article treats briefly of the individual catacomb cemeteries in the vicinity of Rome. For general information on the Roman catacombs, see Roman Catacombs. This summary account of the individual catacombs will follow the order of the great Roman roads along which were usually located the Christian cemeteries:
Sources of the History of the Catacombs.—There is but the faintest hope that any new documents will ever turn up to illustrate the pre-Constantinian period of the ancient cemeteries of Rome. Their place is taken necessarily by late martyrologies, calendars, Acts of the martyrs, writings of popes, historico-liturgical books of the Roman Church, and by old topographies and itineraries come down to us from the Carlovingian epoch. Among the old martyrologies the most famous is that known as the Martyrology of St. Jerome (Martyrologium Hieronymianum). Its present (ninth-century) form is that essentially of Auxerre in France, where it underwent considerable remodeling in the sixth century. But it is older than the sixth century, and is surely an Italian compilation of the fifth century, out of rare and reliable documents furnished by the churches of Rome, Africa, Palestine, Egypt, and the Orient. No martyrology contains so many names and indications of saints and martyrs of a very early period, and it is of especial value for the study of the catacombs, because it very frequently gives the roads and the cemeteries where they were buried and venerated in the fifth century, while the cemeteries were yet intact. By dint of transcription, however, and through the neglect or ignorance of copyists, the text has become in many places hopelessly corrupt, and the restitution of its dates and local and personal indications has been one of the hardest crosses of ancient and modern ecclesiastical archaeologists. Besides its very ancient notices of the cemeteries, this martyrology is of great value as embodying a catalogue of martyrs and basilicas of Rome that surely goes back to the early part of the fifth century, and perhaps a third-century catalogue of the Roman pontiffs. Several other martyrologies of the eighth and ninth centuries contain valuable references to the martyrs and the cemeteries, especially that known as the Little Roman (Parvum Romanum) Martyrology, and which served as a basis for the well-known compilation of Ado. Next in importance comes an ancient Roman Calendar, published between the years 334 and 356, written out and illustrated by a certain Furius Dionysius Philocalus. This calendar contains a list of the popes, known formerly as the “Bucherian Catalogue”, from the name of its first editor, and the Liberian, from the pope (Liberius, 352-56) with whom it ends. The whole book is now usually known as the “Chronographer of A.D. 354”. Besides this ancient papal catalogue, the book contains an official calendar, civil and astronomical, lunar cycles, and a Paschal table calculated to 412, a list of the prefects of Rome from 253 to 354 (the only continuous one known), a chronicle of Roman history, the “Natalitia Casarum”, and other useful contents, which have caused it to be styled “the oldest Christian Almanac”. It contains numerous traces of having been drawn up for the use of the Roman Church, and hence the value of two of its documents for the cemeteries. They are, respectively, a list of the entombments of Roman bishops from Lucius to Sylvester (253-335), with the place of their burial, and a Depositio Martyrum, or list of the more solemn fixed feasts of the Roman Church, with indications of several famous martyrs and their cemeteries. The importance of all this for the original topography of the catacombs is too clear to need comment. We will only add that closer examination of the ecclesiastical documents of the “Chronographer of 354” leaves us persuaded that they date from the third century and represent the location of the cemeteries at that time and the martyrs whose cult was then most popular.
In the latter half of the fourth century Pope St. Damasus (366-84) did much to beautify the ancient Roman cemeteries and to decorate the tombs of the most illustrious martyrs. As he possessed a fine poetic talent, he composed many elegant inscriptions, which were engraved on large marble slabs by his “friend and admirer”, Furius Dionysius Philocalus, already known to us as the calligrapher of the preceding document. The lettering used by this remarkable man was very ornamental, and as its exact like is not found before or after, it has been styled the hieratic writing of the catacombs. In time these inscriptions were copied by strangers and inserted in various anthologies and in travellers’ scrapbooks or portfolios. Many of the original stones perished from various causes, but were piously renewed in situ during the sixth century. To these Damasan inscriptions De Rossi owed much, since any fragment of them in a cemetery indicates an “historic crypt”, and their copies in the manuscripts are links for the construction of the chain of history that connects each great cemetery with the modern investigator.
To the above Pontes, or sources of information and control, must be added the historic-liturgical literature of the Roman Church from the fourth to the eighth centuries—the period in which the bodies of the most celebrated martyrs began to be removed en masse from the catacombs, through fear of the marauding Lombards. Such are the Liber Pontificalis in its several recensions, the Acts of the martyrs, chiefly the Roman ones, the calendars of the Roman Church constructed out of the missals of sacramentaries, the antiphonaries, capitularies of the Gospels, and the like, in which not infrequently there are hints and directions concerning the cemeteries and the martyrs of renown who were yet buried there. Finally, there has been extracted almost endless information from the old Roman topographies of travellers and the itineraries of pilgrims. Of the former we possess yet two curious remnants, entitled “Notitke regtonum Urbis Romae” and “Curiosum Urbis Romae”, also a list of oils collected at the shrines of the Roman martyrs by Abbot Johannes for Queen Theodolinda, and known as the Papyrus of Monza. An Old Syriac text of the sixth century and a note of the innumerae cellulae martyrum consecratae in the almanac of Polemius Silvius (499) complete the list of strictly topographical authorities. Certain itineraries of pilgrims from the seventh to the ninth century are not less useful as indicating the names and sites of the cemeteries, whether above or below ground, and what bodies were yet entombed therein as well as the distance between the cemeteries and their position relative to the great monuments of the city.
After the middle of the ninth century the historic crypts had been emptied, and the bodies brought to Roman churches. Naturally, the written references to the catacombs ceased with the visitors, and a stray chapter in the “Mirabilia Urbis Ronne” or an odd indication in the “Libri Indulgentiarum” kept alive the memory of those holy places which once attracted a world of pilgrims. It is not easy to explain how one of the best of the old itineraries, referable to the seventh century, should have fallen into the hands of William of Malmesbury, and been by him copied into his account of the visit of the crusaders to Rome under Urban II (1099). Neither is it easy to explain why the old itineraries of Einsiedeln, Wurzburg, and Salzburg make no mention of the tombs of such celebrated Roman martyrs as St. Clement the consul, St. Justin the philosopher, Apollonius the Roman senator, Moses a famous priest of the time of St. Cornelius, and many other celebrities of the early Roman Church, who were, in all likelihood, buried in some of the many Roman cemeteries. What the old pilgrims saw they related honestly and faithfully; more they compiled from guides, now lost. They were not learned men, but pious travellers, anxious to benefit their successors and unconsciously enabling us to form some exact idea of the solemn scenes that they once assisted at. (Shahan, The Beginnings of Christianity, New York, 1905, 410-16.)
THE VATICAN CEMETERY.—The first popes were buried near the body of St. Peter, “in Vaticano” “juxta corpus beati Petri”. St. Anacletus, the second successor of St. Peter raised over the body of the Apostle a memoria, or small chapel (Lib. Pontif., ed. Duchesne, I, 125). This narrow site was the burial-place of the popes to Zephyrinus (d. 217), with whom began the series of papal burials in the cemetery of St. Callistus (Barnes, The Tomb of St. Peter, London, 1900). Among the epitaphs discovered near the tomb of St. Peter are two celebrated ones, dogmatic in. content, that of Livia Primitiva, now in the Louvre, and that known as the Ichthys Zonton (Fish of the Living), symbolic of the Eucharist. In the sixteenth century a marble fragment showing the word LINUS was found on this site, not improbably from the epitaph of the first successor of St. Peter. The building of two basilicas, the Old St. Peter’s in the fourth and the New St. Peter’s in the sixteenth century, easily explains the disappearance of the early papal monuments “in Vaticano”. The cemetery was probably above ground. From 258 to 260 (de Waal, Marucchi) the bodies of the Apostles reposed in the catacomb of St. Sebastian on the Via Appia, in a cubiculum or chapel (the Platonia), yet extant, whither they were taken from their original resting-places for some not sufficiently clear reason. In the fifth century members of the imperial family found a resting-place in the vicinity of the Apostle’s tomb. It was long a favorite burial-place; in 689 the Saxon king, Cedwalla, was laid to rest there, “ad cujus [se. apostolorum principis] sacratissimum corpus a finibus tense pio ductus amore venerat”, says Bede (H. E., v, 7), who has preserved the valuable metrical epitaph put up by order of Pope Sergius ending with: “Hie depositus est Caedual, qui et Petrus, rex Saxonum,” etc. The “Grotte Vecchie” and the “Grotte Nuove”, or subterraneous chapels and galleries in the vicinity of the tomb of St. Peter, cover the site of this ancient Christian cemetery; in them lie buried also a number of popes; St. Gregory I, Boniface VIII, Nicholas V, Alexander VI. The rich sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, important for early Christian symbolism, is in the “Grotte Nuove” [de Waal, Der Sarkophag des Junius Bassus in den Grotten von St. Petrus, Rome, 1900; Dufresne, Les Cryptes vaticanes, Rome, 1900; Dionisi (edd. Sarti and Settele), Sacrar. Vaticanae basilicas cryptarum monumenta, Rome, 1828-40].
VIA AURELIA, beyond the Porta Cavallegieri.—1. Cemetery of St. Pancratius, a very youthful martyr, probably of the persecution of Diocletian. His body was never removed to a city church as were so many others, hence the cemetery remained open in the Middle Ages. Its galleries have suffered a complete devastation, last of all during the French Revolution, when the relics of the martyrs were dispersed. 2. Cemetery of Sts. Processus and Martinianus, the jailers of St. Peter in the Mamertine Prison, converted by him, and soon after his death beheaded on the Aurelian Way. The pious matron Lucina buried their bodies on her own property. The cemetery, it is believed, extends beneath the Villa Pamfih, and perhaps beyond under the Vigna Pellegrini. The accessible galleries exhibit a complete devastation, also very large loculi, an indication of remote Christian antiquity. In the fourth-century overground basilica St. Gregory preached his sermon “Ad. SS. martyrum corpora consistimus, fratres” etc. (P.L. LXXVI, 1237). Paschal I transported the bodies of the two saints to a chapel in the Vatican. After the twelfth century the cemetery was totally forgotten. 3. Cemetery of the “Duo Felices”. The origin of the name is obscure, though connected somehow with Felix II (355-58) and Felix I (269-74); the latter, however, was certainly buried in the papal crypt in St. Callistus. 4. Cemetery of Calepodius, a very ruinous catacomb under the Vigna Lamperini, opposite the “Casale di S. Pio V”, or about the third milestone. Calepodius was a priest martyred in a popular outbreak, and buried here by Pope St. Callistus. Later the pope’s own body was interred in the same cemetery, not in the one that bears his name. St. Julius I (337-52) was buried there, and a little oratory long preserved the memory of St. Callistus. His body was eventually transferred to Santa Maria in Trastevere, where it now lies.
VIA PORTUENSIS, the road leading to “Portus” or Porto, the new “Havre” of Rome.—5. Cemetery of St. Pontianus, to the right beneath Monte Verde. It is so called, not from Pope Pontianus (230-35) but from a wealthy Christian of the same name mentioned in the Acts of Callistus, and whose house seems to have been the original nucleus of the present Sta Maria in Trastevere, the site once claimed by the cauponarii under Alexander Severus, but adjudged by that emperor to the Christians. It was discovered by Bosio in 1618. Many famous martyrs were buried there, among them Sts. Abdon and Sennen, noble Persians who suffered martyrdom at Rome, it is thought in 257. In an overground fourth-century basilica were deposited the bodies of two popes, Anastasius I (d. 405) and Innocent I (d. 417). Byzantine frescoes of the sixth century attract attention, also the “historic chapel” of Sts. Abdon and Sennen, whose bodies were removed to the basilica magna above ground about 640, finally in 820 to the city basilica of St. Mark, when the cemetery was abandoned. 6. Cemetery of St. Felix, indicated in several “Itineraria” as located on the Via Portuensis, not far from the cemetery of Pontianus, but not yet found; also known as “ad insalsatos” probably a corruption (Marucchi) of “ad infulatos” in reference to the Persian tiara of Sts. Abdon and Sennan. 7. Cemetery of Generosa. Generosa was a Roman lady who buried on her property the bodies of the martyrs Simplicius, Faustinus, and Beatrix, transferred later (683) to St. Bibiana, in the city. The cemetery, a poor rural one, is now famous for important inscriptions of the “Fratres Arvales” found there between 1858 and 1874. (Henzen, Acta fratrum Arvalium quae supersunt, Berlin, 1874.) The cemetery probably grew up (Marucchi) from a neighboring quarry whence later it took in the sacred wood of the ancient pagan brotherhood of the “Arvales”, who seem to have died off or removed elsewhere about the middle of the third century. An ancient basilica, built by St. Damasus, was also unearthed when the aforesaid inscriptions were discovered. As in most catacombs an overground cemetery grew up, which was used until the eighth century.
VIA OSTIENSIS.—8. Tomb of St. Paul. The body of St. Paul was buried on the Ostian Way, near the place of his martyrdom (ad Aquas Salvias) on the property (in praedio) of Lucina, a Christian matron, St. Anacletus, second successor of St. Peter, built a small memoria or chapel on the site, and about 200 the Roman priest Caius refers to it (Euseb., H. E., ii, 25) as still standing. From 258 to 260 the body of St. Paul with that of St. Peter lay in the “Platonia” of St. Sebastian; in the latter year, probably, it was returned to its original resting-place. In the meantime a cemetery had been growing in the aforesaid praedium of Lucina. Constantine replaced the little oratory of Anacletus with a great basilica. Under Gregory XVI, the sarcophagus of St. Paul was discovered, but not opened. Its fourth-century inscription bears the words PAULO APOST MART (Paul, Apostle and Martyr). The museum of the modern basilica contains some very ancient epitaphs from the aforesaid cemetery of Lucina, antedating the basilica; two of them bear dates of 107 and 111. After these we must come down to 217, before finding any consular date on a Christian epitaph. Dom Cornelio Villani proposed (1905) to publish all the ancient Christian epitaphs found here. 9. Cemetery of Commodilla, at a little distance from that of Lucina. Commodilla is an unknown Christian matron, on whose property were buried Felix and Adauctus, martyrs of the persecution of Diocletian. This cemetery, once extensive, is now difficult of access, and its frescoes and inscriptions have disappeared almost entirely. The open loculi are an evidence of the pillage to which such cemeteries were once subject. 10. Tomb of St. Timothy. Timothy was possibly a priest of Antioch, martyred at Rome under Diocletian, and buried by the pious matron Theona in her garden, not far from the body of St. Paul, “ut Paulo apostolo ut quondam Timotheus adhaereret”, says the Martyrology (May 22). De Rossi identifies with this tomb a small cemetery discovered by him (1872) in the Vigna Salviucci to the left of the Ostian Way, and opposite the apse of St. Paul. 11. Cemetery of St. Thecla, discovered by Armellini in 1870, named from some unknown Roman Thecla, and certainly anterior to Constantine; an epitaph of Aurelia Agape has an early Christian savor and is cut on the back of a pagan epitaph of the time of Claudius Gothicus (268-70). 12. Cemetery of Aquae Salviae. There was certainly a cemetery in early Christian times on or near the site of the decapitation of St. Paul (now Tre Fontane); it probably bore the name of St. Zeno. Farther on was the Cemetery of St. Cyriacus, mentioned in the “Mirabilia Urbls Rome” and seen by Bosio at the end of the sixteenth century. Its exact site is no longer known. Ostia itself, at the end of the road, had a remarkable Christian cemetery.
IV. VIA ARDEATINA, to the right of the Appian Way; the ancient Porta Ardeatina between the churches of St. Sabas and St. Balbina was destroyed in the sixteenth century to make way for the fortifications of Sangallo.—13. Cemetery of St. Domitilla (Tor Marancia), the largest of all the Roman catacombs known to Bosio, who thought it a part of Saint Callistus, and nearly perished (1593) in its depths. It is the ancestral burial-place of Flavia Domitilla, wife of the consul Flavius Clemens (95). She was exiled by Domitian for her Christian Faith to the island of Pontia; her faithful servants Nereus and Achilleus, said to have been baptized by St. Peter, followed her into exile, were beheaded at Terracina, and their bodies brought back to the family sepulchre of their mistress. In 1873 De Rossi discovered the important ruins of the large three-nave basilica erected here between 390 and 395 in honor of these saints and of St. Petronilla, whose body was transferred thence to St. Peter’s in the eighth century. At an earlier date (1865) he had the good fortune to discover, close to the highway, the primitive entrance to the cemetery, one of the most ancient Christian monuments. It is a spacious room or gallery, with four or five separate niches for as many sarcophagi, the walls finished in fine stucco, with, classical decorations. On either side are similar edifices, whittle later in date, but evidently used by the guardian of the monument and for the celebration of the Christian agapae or love-feasts. The sarcophagi, whole or fragmentary, the brick tiles, and the names on the epitaphs (Claudii, Flavii, Ulpii, Aurelii) show that this hypogceum or “vestibule of the Flavians”, as it is called, belongs to the early part of the second century. De Rossi believed it the tomb of the martyred consul, Flavius Clemens (95). The site has suffered from the vandalism and greed of earlier visitors, but the frescoes yet extant exhibit great beauty of execution and a rich variety of Christian symbolism. “We are quite sure”, say Northcote and Brownlow (I, 126-27), “that we have been here brought face to face with one of the earliest specimens of Christian subterranean burial in Rome; and it shows us the sense of liberty and security under which it was, executed.” Not far away was discovered in 1875 the famous epitaph of “Flavius Sabinus and his sister Titiana”, possibly the children of Flavius Sabinus, brother of the Emperor Vespasian, mentioned by Tacitus (Hist., III, 65) as a mild, but indolent and austere man, terms that to some seem to make him out a Christian and therefore the origin of the new religion among the Flavii. Quite near also are the touching third-century inscriptions of M. Antonius Restutus “sibi et Buis fidentibus in Domino”, i.e. for himself and his own who trust in God; likewise the very ancient and fine crypt of Ampliatus, whom De Rossi identifies with the Ampliatus of Romans, xvi, 8. Not to speak of numerous dogmatic epitaphs, the cemetery of Domitilla is famous for a beautiful third-century Adoration of the Magi, here four in number, and for the venerable second-century medallion of Sts. Peter and Paul, the oldest known monument of Christian portraiture, and a signal proof of their simultaneous presence at Rome and their religious authority. It was also, according to De Rossi, the burial-place of Sts. Marcus and Marcellianus, and the family sepulchre of St. Damasus, whose mother (Laurentia) and sister (Irene) were buried there, likewise himself. The site was discovered by Wilpert in 1902.
V. VIA APPIA.—14. Cemetery of St. Callistus, one of the oldest underground burial-places of the Roman Christians. As a public Christian cemetery it dates from the beginning of the third century. The original nucleus from which it developed was the famous crypt of Lucina, a private Christian burial-place from the end of the first century, very probably the family sepulchre of the Caecilii and other closely related Roman families. From there grew, during the third century, the vast system of galleries and cubicula that then took and has since kept the name of Coemeterium Callisti; early in the third century it was known as The Cemetery (to koim?t?rion) par excellence, and owed its new name, not to the burial there of Pope Callistus (for he was buried in the cemetery of Calepodius), but to his zeal in developing and perfecting the original arece, or private Roman sepulchral plots, that in his time had come to be the first landed property ever possessed by the Catholic Church. The chief interest of this cemetery lies in the so-called Papal Crypt, in whose large loculi were buried the popes from St. Zephyrinus (d. 218) to St. Eutychianus (d. 283). Of the fourteen epitaphs it once contained there remain but five, more or less fragmentary: Anterus, Fabian, Lucius, Eutychianus, Urban? (Maruechi, II, 138-144). In the fourth century Pope St. Damasus ornamented richly this venerable chapel, and put up there two epitaphs in honor of the numerous martyrs buried in St. Callistus, among them several of his predecessors. One of these epitaphs was found in situ, but broken in minute fragments. Its restoration by De Rossi is a masterly specimen of his ingenious epigraphic erudition; the closing lines are now celebrated:
Hic fateor Damasus volui mea condere membra
Sed cineres timui sanctos vexare piorum
(I, Damasus, wished to be buried here, but I feared to offend the sacred remains of these pious ones). For a view of the (near-by) countless graffiti or pious scratchings of medieval pilgrims (names, ejaculations) see Marucchi, “Elements d’archeol. chret.”, II, 140-41. Popes St. Marcellinus and St. Marcellus (d. 304; d. 309) were buried in the cemetery of Priscilla (see below); on the other hand Popes St. Eusebius (d. 309) and St. Melchiades (d. 314) were buried in the cemetery of Callistus, but elsewhere (see below). The neighboring very ancient crypt of St. Cecilia offers an interesting Byzantine (sixth-century) fresco of the saint, and in the niche whence her body was transferred (817) to the church of St. Cecilia in Trastevere, a recent copy of Stefano Maderna’s famous statue of the saint as she was found when her tomb was opened in 1599. In the same cemetery, and close by, separated only by a short gallery, is a series of six chambers known as the “Sacramental Chapels” because of the valuable frescoes that exhibit the belief of the early Roman Christians in the Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, and are at the same time precious jewels of early Christian art. Pope St. Eusebius, as said, was buried in this cemetery, in the gallery called after him the crypt of St. Eusebius, and in which once reposed quite close to him another martyr pope, St. Caius (d. 296). In the sepulchral chapel of the former may still be seen the epitaph put up by Damasus, and from which monument alone we learn of an unhappy schism that then devastated the Roman Church. On either side are sculptured perpendicularly the words: “Furius Dionysius Philocalus, Damasis pappae cultor atque amator” i.e. the name of the popes famous calligrapher, also his friend and admirer. At some distance lies the crypt of Lucina, in which was once buried Pope St. Cornelius. Lucina is identified by De Rossi with the famous Pomponia Graecina of Tacitus (Annales, XIII, 32); the crypt, therefore, is of Apostolic origin, an opinion confirmed by the classical character of its symbolic frescoes and the simplicity of its epitaphs; its Eucharistic frescoes are very ancient and quite important from a doctrinal standpoint. The body of St. Cornelius, martyred at Centumcellae (Civitavecchia) was brought hither and long-remained an object of pious veneration, until in the ninth century it was transferred to Santa Maria in Trastevere. His epitaph (the only Latin papal epitaph of the third century) is still in place: “Cornelius Martyr Ep [iscopus]”, i.e. Cornelius, martyr and bishop. 15. Cemetery of St. Sebastian. This cemetery, from two to three miles out of Rome, was known through the Middle Ages as Coemeterium ad Catacumbas, whence the term catacomb, a word seemingly of uncertain origin (Northcote and Brownlow, I, 262-63). The chief importance of this cemetery now lies in the fact that here were deposited (258) for a time the bodies of St. Peter and St. Paul, taken respectively from their Vatican and Ostian repositories under somewhat obscure circumstances; they were restored in 260. The chapel in which they were thus temporarily placed (see Liber Pontif., ed. Duchesne, Introd., I; civ-cvii, and i, 212) beneath the church of St. Sebastian, is still accessible. Close by arose in time the cemetery known as “ad Catacumbas” or “in Catacumbas”, a local indication that was eventually extended to all similar Christian cemeteries. St. Philip Neri loved to visit the crypts of St. Sebastian; an inscription in one of them recalls his veneration of these holy places. From the fourth century on, an over-ground cemetery was formed around the Basilica Apostolorum that was then built and which included the Platonia or aforesaid mortuary chapel of the Apostles. The rich mausolea of this cemetery added to the dignity of the underground burial-place that was, like the others of its kind, no longer used for burials after 410. The body of St. Sebastian, buried there “apud vestigia apostolorum”, is still in the church, but in a modern chapel. It was only after the eighth century that the original fourth-century name of Basilica Apostolorum gave way to that of St. Sebastian. 16. Cemetery of Praetextatus, dates from the second century, when the body of St. Januarius, eldest son of St. Felicitas, was buried there (c. 162). The chapel of that saint exhibits a fine Damasan epitaph and elegant symbolical frescoes representing the seasons, with birds, genii, etc. Among the famous martyrs buried in this cemetery were Felicisinus and Agapitus, deacons of Pope Sixtus II and colleagues of St. Laurence, put to death under Valerian in 258, also St. Urbanus, a bishop and confessor mentioned in the Acts of St. Cecilia. Certain portions of this cemetery, hitherto inaccessible by reason of the proprietor’s unwillingness, are said to offer traces of great antiquity, and perhaps contain historic chapels or tombs of much importance.
VIA LATINA.—The cemeteries on this road, like those on the Aurelian Way, have never been regularly explored, and their galleries are at present quite choked or dilapidated. Marucchi (II, 229) distinguishes three groups of ancient Christian monuments that appear in the aforementioned “Itineraria“; the church of Sts. Gordian and Epimachus; the basilica of Tertullinus, and the church of St. Eugenia with the cemetery of Apronianus, also a large basilica dedicated by St. Leo I to St. Stephen Protomartyr, discovered in 1857, in the heart of an ancient Roman villa, near the remarkable pagan tombs of the Valeril and Pancratii.
VIA LABICANA, outside the Porta Maggiore.—17. Cemetery of St. Castulus, a martyr under Diocletian, and according to the Acts of St. Sebastian the husband of Irene, the pious matron to whose house was brought the body of the soldier-martyr. The cemetery was discovered by Fabretti in 1672 and reopened in 1864, when the railway to Civitavecchia was building, but was again closed because of the ruinous state of the corridors and crypts. 18. Cemetery of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus, known also asad duns lauros, ad Helenam from the neighboring (ruined) mausoleum of St. Helena (Tor Pignattara), and sub Augusta, in comitatu, from a neighboring villa of Emperor Constantine. St. Peter and St. Marcellinus suffered under Diocletian. They were honored with a fine Damasan epitaph known to us from the early medieval epigraphic collections. Here also were buried St. Tiburtius, son of the city prefect, Chromatius, and the obscurely known group called the “Quattuor Coronati”, four marble-cutters from the Danubian region. The splendid porphyry sarcophagus at the Vatican came from the mausoleum of St. Helena. In 826 the bodies of Peter and Marcellinus were stolen from the crypt and taken to Germany, where they now rest at Seligenstadt; the story is graphically told by Einhard (Mon. Germ. Hist., Script., XV, 39). Since 1896 excavations have been resumed here, and have yielded important results, among them the historic crypt of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus and a small chapel of St. Tiburtius. Wilpert discovered here and illustrated a number of important frescoes: Our Lord amid four saints, the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Magi, the Good Shepherd, Oranti, and some miracles of Christ (Wilpert, Di un ciclo di rappresentanze cristologiche nel cunitero dei SS. Pietro e Marcellino, Rome, 1892). Elsewhere are scenes that represent the agape, or love-feast, of the primitive Christians, symbolic of paradise or of the Eucharist. There is also a noteworthy fresco of the Blessed Virgin with the Infant Jesus between two adoring Magi. This, cemetery is said to have been more richly decorated with frescoes than any other except that of Domitilla.
VIII. VIA TIBURTINA.—19. Cemetery of St. Cyriaca. According to ancient tradition, represented by the pilgrim-guides (itineraria), she was the widow who buried St. Laurence (martyred August 6, 258) on her property “in agro Verano”. In 1616 Bosio saw in this cemetery an altar, a chair, and an inscription, with a dedication to St. Laurence. The enlargement of the modern cemetery of San Lorenzo damaged considerably this venerable catacomb. Many important or interesting epitaphs have been found in this cemetery, among them those of a group of Christian virgins of the fourth and fifth centuries (De Rossi, Bullettino, 1863). In the fourth century Constantine built here a basilica over the tomb (ad corpus) of St. Laurence; here were buried Pope Zosimus (418), Sixtus III (440), and Hilary (468); in one of these three niches, later vacant, lie buried the remains of Pius IX. In 432 Sixtus III added another church (basilica major) facing the Via Tiburtina; it was not until 1218 that Honorius III united these churches and made the basilica of Constantine the Confessio of the earlier Sixtine basilica, on which occasion the presbyterium, or sanctuary, had to be elevated. 20. Cemetery of St. Hippolytus. On the left, of the Via Tiburtina under the Vigna Gori (now Caetani). Considerable uncertainty reigns as to the identity of this Hippolytus, both in his Acts and in the relative verses of Prudentius; possibly, as Marucchi remarks, this confusion is as old as the time of St. Damasus and is reflected in his metrical epitaph, discovered by De Rossi in a St. Petersburg manuscript. According to this document Hippolytus was at first a follower of Novatian, about the middle of the third century, but returned to the Catholic Faith and died a martyr. The famous statue of Hippolytus, the Christian writer of the third century, made in 222, and now in the Lateran Museum, was found in the Vigna Gori in the sixteenth century; our martyr and the Christian scholar are doubtless identical. In 1882-83 a small subterranean basilica was discovered here with three naves and lighted by an air-shaft. According to the “Itinerary of Salzburg” this cemetery contained the body of the actor-martyr Genesius and the bodies of the martyrs Triphonia and Cyrilla, the (alleged) Christian wife and daughter of Emperor Decius, of whom nothing more is known.
IX. VIA NOMENTANA.—21. Cemetery of St. Nicomedes, near the Porta Pia, in the Villa Patrizi, known to Bosio but rediscovered only in 1864. Nicomedes is said to have suffered martyrdom under Domitian and to have been buried by one of his disciples “in horto juxta inures”. Very ancient masonry, Greek epitaphs, and other signs, indicate the great age of this small cemetery, that may reach back to Apostolic times. 22. Cemetery of St. Agnes. The body of St. Agnes, who suffered martyrdom probably under Valerian (253-60), was buried by her parents “in praediolo suo”, i.e. on a small property they owned along the Nomentan Way. There was already in this place a private cemetery, which grew rapidly in size after the interment of the youthful martyr. The excavations carried on since 1901, at the expense of Cardinal Kopp, have revealed a great many fourth- to sixth-century graves (formos) beneath the sanctuary of the basilica. The cemetery (three stories deep) is divided by archaeologists into three regions, the aforesaid primitive nucleus (third century), a neighboring third-century area, and two fourth-century groups of corridors that connect the basilica of St. Agnes with the ancient round basilica of St. Constantia. It is not certain that the actual basilica of St. Agnes, built on a level with the second story of the catacomb, is identical with that built by Constantine; there is reason to suspect a reconstruction of the edifice towards the end of the fifth century. St. Damasus composed for the tomb of Agnes one of his finest epitaphs. Symmachus (498-514), and Honorius I (625-38), restored the basilica, if the former did not reconstruct it; to the latter we owe the fresco of St. Agnes between these two popes. In the sixteenth century, and also in the nineteenth (Pius IX, 1855), it was again restored; in 1901 (November 25) new excavations laid bare the heavy silver sarcophagus in which St. Pius V had deposited the bodies of St. Agnes and St. Emerentiana. In the neighboring Coemeterium majus (accessible from the cemetery of St. Agnes through an arenaria, or sand-pit) is the famous crypt or chapel of St. Emerentiana, opened up in 1875, at the expense of Monsignore Crostarosa, and identified by De Rossi with the Coemeterium Ostrianum, the site of very archaic Roman memories of St. Peter, a position now strongly disputed by his disciple Marucchi (see below, Cemetery of Priscilla). In the vicinity of the crypt of St. Emerentiana is an important arcosolium-fresco representing the Blessed Virgin as an Orante, with the Infant Jesus before her. It belongs to the first half of the fourth century, and is said by Marucchi (II, 343) to be almost the latest catacomb fresco of Our Lady, a kind of hyphen between the primitive frescoes and the early Byzantine Madonnas; it seems at the same time a very early evidence of the adorational use of paintings in public worship (Le Bourgeois, Sainte Emerentienne, vierge et martyre, Paris, 1895). 23. Cemetery of St. Alexander, between four and five miles from Rome, and within the limits of an early Diocese of Ficulea. It is the burial-place of two martyrs, known as Alexander and Eventius. Whether this Alexander is the second-century pope and martyr (c. 105-15), as his legendary Acts indicate, is quite doubtful; possibly he is a local martyr of Ficulea. The matron Severina buried here the bodies of the two saints in one tomb, and near to them the body of Saint Theodulus; early in the ninth century they were all transferred to the city, after which the cemetery fell into ruins. As in the cemetery of St. Laurence and in that of St. Symphorosa, there arose here two basilicas, one built by Constantine (ad corpus), rediscovered in 1855, another in the fifth century; there remain yet some important relics of the former, an altar with its marblecancellus, or front, in which was opened a fenestella confessionis through which could be seen the bodies of the martyrs, the site of the schola cantorum in front of the altar, and in the apse the episcopal chair.
X. VIA SALARIA NOVA.—24. Cemetery of St. Felicitas. This famous Roman matron and her seven sons were put to death for the Christian Faith, under Marcus Aurelius. The very ancient Acts of their martyrdom are extant in a Latin translation from the Greek, and are probably based on the original court records. The place of burial of the mother and Silanus, her youngest son, not given in the Acts, is learned from the fourth-century Liberian Catalogue and from sixth- and seventh-century itineraries, as the cemetery of Maximus (otherwise unknown) on the Via Salaria. A basilica, built there in the fourth century, was ornamented with a fine epitaph by St. Damasus (Verdun MS.). Early in the fifth century it served Boniface I (418) as a place of refuge from the adherents of the Antipope Eulalius; Boniface was also buried there, according to the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum”. Gregory the Great preached there one of his homilies “Ad martyres”. The two bodies were transferred to the city in the ninth century, and the cemetery was lost sight of until De Rossi discovered it in 1858, almost simultaneously with his discovery of the crypt of St. Januarius in the cemetery of Praetextatus. In 1884 the “historic crypt” was discovered, beneath a basilica of the fourth century; it is surmised that this must have been the site of the house of Felicitas, or at least of the trial. 25. Cemetery of Thraso, Coemeterium Jordanorum. The cemetery of Thraso, a rich and aged martyr in the persecution of Diocletian, was discovered in 1578 by Bosio. It once contained a fine Damasan epitaph; its chief oratory or crypt was restored in 326 and was open until the end of the thirteenth century. The body of St. Thraso was at some unknown time taken to Sts. John and Paul in the city. In this cemetery excellent third- or fourth-century frescoes are still visible, among them an interesting one symbolic of the Eucharist. A little farther on, to the right of the road, is the Coemeterium Jordanorum, possibly, says Marucchi (II, 369), the deepest of the Roman catacombs; it has four stories, but the groups of galleries are separated by sand-pits (arenarice). The name, says the aforesaid writer, may be a corruption of Germanorum, i.e. the other sons of St. Felicitas. Here, too, it seems, ought some day to be found the arenaria, or sand-pit, in which Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria were buried during the persecution of Valerian (257), and in which (their Acts tell us) some Christians who came there to pray were stoned to death and walled up by the heathen (Via Salaria in arenaria illic viventes terra et lapidibus obrui). In the sixth century this venerable sanctuary was still visited, and through its fenestella the bones of the martyrs scattered on the ground within could still be seen (Marucchi, op. cit., II, 371). Many important and interesting epitaphs have been found here. 26. Cemetery of Priscilla. This is the oldest general cemetery of Early Christian Rome (Kaufmann) and in several respects the most important. It takes its name from Priscilla, the mother of the Senator Pudens in whose house St. Peter, according to ancient tradition, found refuge. The sepulchral plot (area) of Pudens on the New Salarian Way became the burial-place of Aquila and Prisca (Rom., xvi, 3), and of Sts. Pudentiana and Praxedes, daughters of Pudens. In this manner the history of the very ancient Roman churches of Santa l’udentiana and Santa Prassede, also that of Santo, Prisca on the Aventine, being originally the meeting-places (domesticae ecclesiae, Rom., xvi, 5), of the little Christian community, became intimately connected with the burial-site of the family to which they originally belonged. In this catacomb were buried Sts. Felix and Philip (two of the seven martyr sons of St. Felicitas), also Popes St. Marcellinus (d. 304) and St. Marcellus (d. 309), both victims of the persecution of Diocletian. In the basilica (see below) that was soon raised on this site were buried several popes, St. Sylvester (d. 335), St. Liberius (d. 366), St. Siricius (d. 399), St. Celestine (d. 432), and Vigilius (d. 555). Their “fine group of sarcophagi remained intact”, says Marucchi (II, 385) until the ninth century, when the transfer of their bodies to various city churches brought about the usual neglect and final decay of the cemetery, above and below ground. Marucchi maintains that here and not at St. Agnes is the true Coemeterium Ostrianum mentioned in ancient Roman Acts of martyrs as containing a reservoir where St. Peter was wont to baptize, also the chair in which he first sat (ad nymphas ubi Petrus baptizaverat, sedes ubi prius sedit Sanctus Petrus, etc.) when he began his Roman ministry. With much erudition and acumen he develops this thesis in his oft quoted work (Elements d’archeologie chretienne, II, 432 sqe .), his principal arguments being based on a detailed study of two ancient reservoirs in this cemetery, according to him the original Petrine baptisteries, through deep veneration for which holy places came about the later development of the cemetery of Priscilla, the burial there of several fourth- and fifth-century popes, the overground basilica of St. Sylvester, etc. It was only in 1863 that earnest and continuous efforts were made to explore in a scientific way this vast necropolis; in 1887 the finding of the burial-crypts of the Acilii Glabriones amply repaid the efforts of the Sacred Commission of Archaeology. The corridors and cubicula of this portion of the cemetery of Priscilla offer numerous evidences of Apostolic antiquity, and there is sufficient reason to believe (a) that the aforesaid Acilii Glabriones were closely related to the family of Senator Pudens, and (b) that their Christian family epitaphs of the second century began with the (not yet found) epitaph of Manius Acilius Glabrio, consul in 91, and put to death by Domitian for charges (Suetonius, Domit., 15; Dio Cassius, LXVII, 13) now recognized as equivalent to the profession of the Christian religion. Not far from the modern entrance to the cemetery is the elegant subterranean chapel or crypt known as the Capella Greca, from two Greek epitaphs found there; this crypt is ornamented with very ancient symbolic frescoes, the most important of which is the celebrated Eucharistic painting in the apse, known as the Fractio Panis, because in it. a figure (the priest) is breaking bread and giving it to persons seated at the same table (Wilpert, Fractio Panis, la plus ancienne representation du sacrifice eucharistique, Paris, 1896). In the vicinity was found in 1820 the epitaph of St. Philomena (facsimile in Christian Museum of the Lateran); according to Marucchi the current legend of St. Philomena is a nineteenth-century invention. The three tiles of this epitaph were removed at some early date from their original place and used to close another grave, so that the body found in 1820 was not that of Philomena, nor are the tracings on the epitaph those of instruments of martyrdom but anchors, palms, etc. (op. cit., II, 409-10; cf. de Waal, “Die Grabschrift der heiligen Philumena”, in “Rom. Quartalschrift”, 1898). There is also here a very ancient fresco of the Blessed Virgin holding to her breast the Infant Jesus, while a prophet (Isaias ?; cf. Is., ix, 2; xlii, 6) points to a star above her head. It is a clear evidence of the sentiments of Christian veneration for the Mother of God in the second century, to which period the best archaeologists refer this fresco (see Mary). Elsewhere in Saint Priscilla is the oldest known liturgical fresco of the early Christian Church, the virgo sacra or Deo dicata, i.e. a Christian virgin whose solemn consecration to the service of God is quite dramatically set forth by the artist (cf. Marucchi, II, 417-18, and Wilpert, “Gottgeweihten Jungfrauen”, in bibliography). From a theological point of view not the least important discovery in Saint Priscilla was the fresco in which Our Lord is represented as giving the Christian law to St. Peter with the inscription “Dominus legem dat” (the Lord gives the law); De Rossi considered it as confirmatory of the primacy of Peter; Monsignor Duchesne saw in it a reference to the traditio symboli or Apostles’ Creed communicated to the neophytes at the moment of baptism. It belonged to the fourth century and was discovered in 1887, but has since almost entirely perished (reproduced in De Rossi’s “Bullettino”, 1887, 23 sqq.). The once rich and imposing basilica built by St. Sylvester over the scene of so many early and valuable Christian memories has long since perished. De Rossi published (“Bullettino”, 1890, plates VI-VII) a plan of its probable outlines; Marucchi suggests (ingeniously and with verisimilitude) that in the apse of this basilica stood the ancient Chair of Peter, the “sedes ubi prius sedit” when he baptized in the suburban villa of Senator Pudens, the true Coemeterium Ostrianum in whose venerable precincts Pope Liberius took refuge about the middle of the fourth century, and confirmed the faith of the Romans by baptizing regularly amid the Apostolic memories yet fresh and influential at that place. Some of the papal epitaphs in this basilica have reached us by way of the various medieval epigraphic collections, among them [“Sylloge Corbeiensis”, in De Rossi, “Inscript. Christ.”, II (I) 83, 85] an epitaph that the latter, with Marucchi (II, 469-70) and others, believes to be the epitaph of Pope St. Liberius; if so it offers indisputable evidence of the constant orthodoxy of that much maligned pope.
XI. VIA SALARIA VETUS, beyond the present Porta Pinciana (see Marucchi, II, 437-74).—27. Cemetery of St. Pamphilus, an unknown martyr. It was discovered by De Rossi in 1865. Among some rude charcoal sketches in one of its cubicula is one representing the demolition of a pagan idol, an index of the end of the fourth century.—28. Cemetery of St. Hermes (or Basilla), a little farther on, in a vineyard of the German College. Hermes seems to have been a martyr of the early part of the second century (c. 119). The fourth-century Liberian Catalogue mentions him as buried in the cemetery of St. Basilla; Padre Marchi and De Rossi had the good fortune to discover the ancient fourth-century basilica raised above the martyr’s tomb; it proves to be the largest of the subterranean churches of Rome, and was probably built on the site of an older edifice. It was constructed in the tufa rock, lined with masonry, and had quite a high vault. This basilica was a favorite burial-place, for its floor was found covered with sepulchres. The body of St. Hermes was removed to the city by Adrian I (772-95). This cemetery also held the bodies of Sts. Protus and Hyacinthus, martyrs in the persecution of Valerian (257), and mentioned in the Liberian Catalogue. Their mistress, Saint Basilla, suffered at the same time; the Martyrologium Hieronymianum calls them “doctores sanctie legis”. The body of St. Basilla has not been found, but that of St. Hyacinthus now reposes in the church of the Propaganda at Rome whither it was transferred in 1845 after its discovery by Padre Marchi; that of St. Protus, though once buried in the neighboring loculus, seems to have been removed in the ninth century by Leo IV. Since 1894 excavations have been renewed in this cemetery, in consequence of which the crypt and stairs built by St. Damasus, or about his time, have been found. The cemetery of Hermes has already yielded a number of valuable dogmatic epitaphs now kept in the Kircherian Museum at Rome.—29. Cemetery ad clivum cucumeris. It was located in the vicinity of Aqua Acetosa, and was the burial-place of several martyrs, among them the Consul Liberalis, whose fin; metrical epitaph has come down to us through the “Itineraries”.
Martyris hic Sancti Liberalis membra quiescunt
Qui quondam in terris consul honore fuit
(Here reposes the body of Saint Liberalis, who in life was honored as a Consul). The exact site of this cemetery is unknown, though De Rossi believed for a while (1892) that he had discovered it.
XII. VIA FLAMINIA, outside of Ports del Popolo, the great northern highway, as the Via Appia was the great southern highway, of Rome.—30. Cemetery of St. Valentinus. This martyr, according to his (late) Acts a priest and a physician, seems to have suffered under Claudius Gothicus (268-70). He was buried on the site of his martyrdom by the pious matron Sabinilla at the first milestone on the Flaminian Way. In time a small cemetery grew up about the tomb of the martyr which in the Middle Ages was in charge of the Augustinians; one of them, the historian Onofrio Panvinio, wrote a description of it. Eventually, however, the cemetery became a wine-cellar. In 1877 Marucchi discovered the “historical crypt” of St. Valentinus, with its interesting Byzantine frescoes of the seventh century, among them a Crucifixion, the only one found in the catacombs, and one of the oldest artistic representations of this scene. As in the ancient Crucifixion in Santa Maria Antiqua (Roman Forum), the figure of Christ is clothed in a colobium, or long mantle. An overground cemetery on the site is said to have been the most extensive of its kind. The epitaphs collected there yield only to the epigraphic collection in the Lateran Museum for number and importance; many are dated, from 318 to 523, i.e. to the final period of the consular dignity. A fourth-century basilica built on this site has recently been discovered (1888), showing, like so many others, the fenestella confessionis through which the tomb of the martyr could be seen. The cemetery was open and respected as late as the middle of the eleventh century. With the transfer of the martyr’s body (fourteenth century) to Santa Prassede in the city began the decay of the catacomb; the basilica had fallen by the time of Bosio (1594), whose “Villa Bosia” was over the cemetery, and yet exists as Villa Trezza.
THOMAS J. SHAHAN