Monday, September 5, 2011

Some Names of Quarters from the Liber Pontificalis

Through a roundabout hunt I ended up looking at an English translation of the Liber Pontificalis for information on Antioch. This source is: THE BOOK OF THE POPES, (LIBER PONTIFICALIS) I - TO THE PONTIFICATE OF GREGORY I, Translated with an introduction by LOUISE ROPES LOOMIS, Ph.D., published by COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS, 1916.

What I stumbled upon in this volume was a gift of some assets in the city of Antioch to the Basilica of St Peter's in Rome. These consisted of:

  • the house of Datianus, yielding 240 solidi
  • the little house in Caene, yielding 20 and one third solidi
  • the barns in Afrodisia, yielding 20 solidi
  • the bath in Ceratheae, yielding 42 solidi
  • the mill in the same place, yielding 23 solidi
  • the cook shop in the same place, yielding 10 solidi
  • the garden of Maro yielding 10 solidi
  • the garden in the same place, yielding 11 solidi

The footnote in the translation described Caene, Afrodisia and Ceratheae as "all quarters of Antioch". This perked up our interest as the names of the quarters are scarcely mentioned elsewhere. The first two locations are new to us. Ceratheae would seem to be the same as that area known as the Kerateion, which is mentioned more than any other area in the sources. We have also written on it in the past.

Then we have the issue as to whether the "garden of Maro" is in a quarter called Maro, or belonged to someone of that name. More intriguing still is the "house of Datianus". Is this a person or a place (near to the Baths of Datianus)? Or was this in fact the Baths? The rent that it yields is a vast multiple of that of the "little house in Caene".

In other translations (eg Raymond Davis) the places names are given as Aphrodisia and Cerateae.

This intrigued us enough to track down the Latin version(s) in Le Liber pontificalis: texte, introduction et commentaire, Volume 1, Part 1 edited by Louis Duchesne, Cyrille Vogel (published by E. Thorin, 1884). This work collected together the various versions then extant. Thus in Latin:

  • domus Datiani, praest. sol. CCXL;
  • domunucula in Caene :i. praest. sol. XX et tremissium;
  • cellae in Afrodisia, praest. sol. XX;
  • balneum in Cerateas, praest. sol. XLII;
  • pistrinum ubi supra, praest. sol. XXIII;
  • propina ubi supra, praest. sol. X;
  • hortum Maronis, praest. sol. X;
  • hortum ubi supra, praest. sol. XI;

However the footnotes reveal that in some versions of the MSS:

  • Datiani was shown as Daciani
  • Caene was shown as Gaene, Genae and Cene
  • Afrodisia was also Afrodia and Afrondisia
  • Cerateas was also Ceratheas, Cerathenas, Caereteas, Cereteas, Ceretheas, Ceretias and Ceretes
  • Maronis was shown as Aronis

As for the barns in Afrodisia, it seems strange to have a barn in the city. Did the author mean stables? We note however that the translation of cellae covering many types of small rooms, in houses, inns, brothels and temples.

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