This day in ancient history

From rogueclassicism:

ante diem xiv kalendas decembres Mercatus — in the wake of the lengthy ludi Plebeii, the Romans needed a few days to restock their cupboards ca. 64 A.D. — upside down crucifixion of Peter 303 A.D. — martyrdom of Hesychius of Antioch 1718 — premiere of Voltaire’s Oedipe in Paris

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to This day in ancient history

  1. Hugo says:

    I thought he died June 29, as the basis for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. hm…

  2. Joe says:

    Father – a TLM alert – Extraordinary Form at St. Monica Parish in Philadelphia, 12 Noon on Dec. 8th.

  3. Josiah Ross says:

    Joe-
    I can do better- Solemn high Midnight Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes, Philadelphia, 12 Midnight, Christmas eve.
    It’s our first solemn high mass.

  4. Where did rogueclassicism get this?
    Why wouldn’t the martyrology state this date for Peter’s crucifixion?

  5. David says:

    Hugo, that’s correct. The Martyrology gives 29 June as the date for St. Peter’s crucifixion.

  6. Jordanes says:

    Hugo said: I thought he died June 29, as the basis for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. hm…

    Actually it’s more likely to be the other way around: his feast on June 29 is probably the basis for the belief that he died on that date. The Church remembers his crucifixion on June 29, but that doesn’t mean that St. Peter actually was crucified then.

    Where did rogueclassicism get this?

    Good question. I’d never heard of Nov. 23 as the date of St. Peter’s crucifixion before.

    The old Catholic Encyclopedia has this to say about the date of St. Peter’s death and of his feast:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11744a.htm#IV

    The day of his martyrdom is also unknown; 29 June, the accepted day of his feast since the fourth century, cannot be proved to be the day of his death . . . As early as the fourth century a feast was celebrated in memory of Sts. Peter and Paul on the same day, although the day was not the same in the East as in Rome. The Syrian Martyrology of the end of the fourth century, which is an excerpt from a Greek catalogue of saints from Asia Minor, gives the following feasts in connexion with Christmas (25 Dec.): 26 Dec., St. Stephen; 27 Dec., Sts. James and John; 28 Dec., Sts. Peter and Paul. In St. Gregory of Nyssa’s panegyric on St. Basil we are also informed that these feasts of the Apostles and St. Stephen follow immediately after Christmas. The Armenians celebrated the feast also on 27 Dec.; the Nestorians on the second Friday after the Epiphany. It is evident that 28 (27) Dec. was (like 26 Dec. for St. Stephen) arbitrarily selected, no tradition concerning the date of the saints’ death being forthcoming. The chief feast of Sts. Peter and Paul was kept in Rome on 29 June as early as the third or fourth century. The list of feasts of the martyrs in the Chronograph of Philocalus appends this notice to the date — “III. Kal. Jul. Petri in Catacumbas et Pauli Ostiense Tusco et Basso Cose.” (=the year 258) . The “Martyrologium Hieronyminanum” has, in the Berne manuscript, the following notice for 29 June: “Romae via Aurelia natale sanctorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, Petri in Vaticano, Pauli in via Ostiensi, utrumque in catacumbas, passi sub Nerone, Basso et Tusco consulibus” (ed. de Rossi-Duchesne, 84). The date 258 in the notices shows that from this year the memory of the two Apostles was celebrated on 29 June in the Via Appia ad Catacumbas (near San Sebastiano fuori le mura), because on this date the remains of the Apostles were translated thither. Later, perhaps on the building of the church over the graves on the Vatican and in the Via Ostiensis, the remains were restored to their former resting-place: Peter’s to the Vatican Basilica and Paul’s to the church on the Via Ostiensis. In the place Ad Catacumbas a church was also built as early as the fourth century in honour of the two Apostles. From 258 their principal feast was kept on 29 June, on which date solemn Divine Service was held in the above-mentioned three churches from ancient times (Duchesne, “Origines du culte chretien”, 5th ed., Paris, 1909, 271 sqq., 283 sqq.; Urbain, “Ein Martyrologium der christl. Gemeinde zu Rom an Anfang des 5. Jahrh.”, Leipzig, 1901, 169 sqq.; Kellner, “Heortologie”, 3rd ed., Freiburg, 1911, 210 sqq.). Legend sought to explain the temporary occupation by the Apostles of the grave Ad Catacumbas by supposing that, shortly after their death, the Oriental Christians wished to steal their bodies and bring them to the East. This whole story is evidently a product of popular legend.

    Of course it is possible, although not provable, that the June 29 translation of the relics of the Apostles happened on the traditional date of St. Peter’s crucifixion.

  7. David says:

    From the Roman Martyrology for 29 June:

    Romæ natalis sanctorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, qui eodem anno eodemque die passi sunt, sub Nerone Imperatore. Horum prior, in eadem Urbe, capite ad terram verso cruci affixus, et in Vaticano juxta viam Triumphalem sepultus, totius Orbis veneratione celebratur; posterior autem, gladio animadversus, et via Ostiensi sepultus, pari honore habetur.

    St. Peter was crucified on that day. It says so.

  8. Jordanes says:

    Yes, and the Kalends of Christmas also say that Jesus was born on 25 Dec., one thousand years after the anointing of King David, in the 194th Olympiad, in 752 A.U.C., in the 42nd. year of the reign of Augustus — and yet Jesus may not have really been born on 25 Dec. in the exact year specified in the Kalends, nor was it necessarily exactly 1,000 years from David’s anointing to the birth of Jesus (the traditional Martyrology says 1,032 years, which might not be right either: similarly, the traditional Martyrology’s assertion that Jesus was born in the 5,199th year from the Creation of the world isn’t necessarily true). In the same way, the Roman Martyrology does not actually say that St. Peter was crucified on 29 June. It says that day is the “birthday” of Saints Peter and Paul, which means that is when the Church commemorates their martyrdoms, not that they were actually martyred on 29 June. Maybe they were, but there is no way to tell, and the Martyrology is not evidence of the actual date of their martyrdoms.

  9. David says:

    “Birthday” in the Martyrology means the day that someone died. When we commemorate them on a different day, there is a notation on the saint’s birthday that indicates the date of the commemoration, and another notation on the day of the commemoration which indicates the date of their “birthday.”

  10. Jordanes says:

    “Birthday” in the Martyrology means the day that someone died.

    Or the day that the saint’s “birthday” is traditionally commemorated.

    When we commemorate them on a different day, there is a notation on the saint’s birthday that indicates the date of the commemoration, and another notation on the day of the commemoration which indicates the date of their “birthday.”

    That only applies when a saint’s date of death is actually known. Nobody but God knows the exact date when Sts. Peter and Paul died, so there can be no “different day” when their deaths might be commemorated apart from the traditional date of 29 June, which only began to be observed as their feast day in and after A.D. 258.

    As I said, the Martyrology is not evidence of the actual date of their martyrdoms. It is only evidence of the date that the Church has traditionally remembered their martyrdoms, which may or may not have been on 29 June, and may or may not have been on the same day of the same year, and may or may not have been on the same day exactly one year apart — all of those possibilities are attested in ancient tradition, but there is no historical evidence favoring one possibility above the others. The passage from the Martyrology is NOT the Church’s insistence that St. Peter actually died on 29 June and that Catholics must believe that is when he died.