Religion Past and Present

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(320 words)

[German Version]

In contrast to general conceptions of the time, for Christians, from the very beginning, the day of death was the real dies natalis, especially for martyrs. Already Cyprian of Carthage (Ep. 12.2: CSEL 3/2, 503) recommended keeping a list of dies natales. The oldest lists are so-called calendaria that named feast days for the use of individual churches (Calendar: III, 1), such as the Depositio martyrum and the Depositio episcoporum of the Roman chronographer of the year 354, which inter alia contains the days of death and the burial places of Roman martyrs an…

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Sode, Claudia, “Martyrologies”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 January 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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