History Of Country Region
Devotional inscriptions. From the pre-Constantinian era the practice of devotional inscriptions directed to the heroes of the Roman church, i.e., the martyrs of the faith, developed rapidly within the community. These were extemporaneous attestations, generally autograph, traced as graffiti on the walls of the sacred areas in the city’s suburbs. Australia Subway Map The most important complex of this type of written production, unique in its genre, is certainly that called of the Triclia under the basilica Apostolorum on the Via Appia: a courtyard, porticoed on three sides and furnished with benches, on whose walls were traced 332 graffiti 22% of them in Greek between the mid 3rd and early 4th c., attesting the memory of some 600 individuals. In this place where, according to a tradition already attested by the depositio martyrum and by an epigram of Pope Damasus You who go in search of the names of Peter and Paul, must know that the saints once dwelt here: ICUR V 13273, vv. 1-2, Peter and Paul were temporarily buried, a funerary cult center developed for a period of about 50 years for the commemoration of the two apostles, in honor of whom visitors ate a ritual meal refrigerium and sometimes left written traces of their presence.
This is not the place to take up the hoary and perhaps idle, in their periodic repetition questions about the presence of Peter and Paul in catacumbas, whether dead following a translation or alive tradition of a dwelling there. Australia Subway Map What seems certain is that the Christian community of Rome considered that place as an area made sacred by the presence, whether true or presumed, of a funerary memory of the two apostles. In this sense the messages conveyed by the graffiti traced on the walls of the porticoed courtyard triclia do not seem to admit of doubts. The numerous visitors there seem to have been for the most part little skilled in writing, and used unusual large, rough capital letters, sometimes alternated with small letters esp. the letter b, traced with difficulty with implements not always suitable to the purpose, as it seems we must conclude from the oversized, ragged character of the letters, which were uneven and often not very clear.
Most of these inscriptions contain prayers addressed to the two apostles, usually expressed in the locutions remember so-and-so in mente habete, eivj mnei,an e;cete: ICUR V 12914, 12980, 13055, protect so-and-so sunthrh,satethrh,sate: 13053, pray for so-and-so petite, orate, rogate pro: 12931, 12989 help so-and-so subvenite, adiuvate: 12967. Sometimes visitors made explicit the particular motive that led them to ask the intervention of Peter and Paul: a good journey by sea Petre et Paule in mente habete Restitutum nabiga felix in deo ICUR V 12973 and the similar 12959, or the victory of one’s favorite horse in the circus races, as indicated by some images of richly dressed horses with their heads wreathed ICUR V 13088 a-c, 13089 a-d. One certain fact that results from the texts of these graffiti, Australia Subway Map as well as from the morphology and the functional typology of the setting, is that not a few visitors expressed their devotion also with a meal consumed in honor of the two martyrs. This custom finds cogent expression in the terms refrigerium, refrigerare, taken from everyday language and already used among the pagans to indicate the meals taken at the tombs of relatives: Petro et Paulo Tomius Coelius refrigerium feci ICUR V 12981; Dalmatius botum is promisit refrigerium V 12932; XIIII kalendas apriles refrigeravi Parthenius in deo et nos in deo omnes V 12961.