Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Bishops of Rome, Pre-Constantinian
(4,912 words)

An early bishop of Rome presided over the Christian community or communities settled in the capital of the Roman Empire during the first three centuries CE. Traditionally, only those who had been included in one of the bishop’s lists constructed from the later 2nd century CE onward are considered “bishops of Rome.” The most prominent list, the Liber pontificalis, composed in the early 6th century CE names 32 persons in lineal succession starting with the apostle Peter (Peter [Apo…

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Handl, András, “Bishops of Rome, Pre-Constantinian”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 02 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2022

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