Section XVII. Christian inscriptions with consular dating

This wall displays inscriptions from the Christian cemeteries of Rome, provided with consular dating (from 306-312 to 530-533 A.D.). This was expressed by the names of the two consuls elected each year (they could also be emperors) and then (from the fourth century A.D.), as the names of the consuls in office were unknown, mentioning the two from the previous year (or just one). Rarer in pagan inscriptions, this was found more frequently in Christian ones, especially in the fourth century, where it was sometimes included in the formula regarding the day of death and burial. This was introduced by the verb depositus, “deposed” or the noun depositio, “deposition” and always provided the day and month, important for Christians as it indicated the dies natalis, the day of birth to eternal life. The dated inscriptions offer a reliable yardstick for the study of the many undated inscriptions.