The holy font where Constantine Augustus was baptised1 by the same bishop Silvester of stone of porphyry, overlaid on every side within and without and above and as far as the water with purest silver, 3009 lbs.
In the centre of the font is a porphyry column, which bears a golden basin of purest gold, weighing 52 lbs., where is a flame and where in the Easter season burns balsam, 200 lbs., and the wick is of asbestos.
At the edge of the font in the baptistery is a golden lamb pouring water, which weighs 30 lbs.; to the right of the lamb the Savior of purest silver, 5 feet in height, weighing 170 lbs., and to the left of the lamb John, the Baptist, of silver, 5 feet in height, holding an inscribed scroll which bears these words: "Behold the Lamb of God, Behold, Who Taketh Away the Sins of the World," weighing 125 lbs.; [100 lbs.;]
7 silver stags pouring water2, weighing each 80 lbs.;
a censer of purest gold set with 49 prases, weighing 15 lbs.
He bestowed upon the holy font:
the estate of Festus, the keeper of the sacred bed-chamher, which Constantine Augustus gave him, in the region of Penestre3, yielding 300 sol.;
the estate of Gaba in the region of 4Gabii, yielding 202 sol.;
the estate of Pictm in the aforesaid region, yielding 205 sol.;
the Statilian estate5 in the region of Cora, yielding 300 sol.;
an estate in Sicilia Taurana, in the region Paramnense6, yielding 500 sol.;
within the city of Rome houses and gardens, [granaries,] yielding 2300 sol.;
the estate of Bassus, yielding 120 sol.;
the estate of Laninae in the region of Cartioli7, yielding 200 sol.;
the estate of Cacilae in the region of Momentum8, yielding 50 sol.;
the Statian estate in the Sabine region9, yielding 350 sol.;
the estate of Murinae in the Appian Alban region10, yielding 300 sol.;
the estate of Virgo in the region of Cora, yielding 200 sol.;
beyond the sea:
in the provinces of Africa:
the estate of Iuncis in the Mucarian region11, yielding 800 sol.;
the estate of Capsis in the region of Capsa12, yielding 600 sol.;
the estate of Varia Sardana in the Minnian region13, yielding 500 sol.;
the estate of Camarae in the region of Crypta Lupi14, yielding 405 sol.;
the estate of Numae in the region of Numidia15, yielding 650 sol.;
the estate of Sulphorata in the region of Numidia, yielding 720 sol.;
the estate of Walzari, an olive plantation in the region of Numidia, yielding 810 sol.;
in Greece: [also in Greece, in the region of Crete:]
the estate of Cefalina in Crete, yielding 500 sol.;
the estate of Amazon, yielding 222 sol.
1. The most venerable part of the present Lateran baptistery is hardly older than the end of the fourth century and most of it dates only from Xystus III. See infra, p.96. The stone font, however, is the original one stripped of its primitive decorations.
2. The stags may have been set around the font with the water running into it from their mouths. In the Roman baths water often flowed in jets from animal heads.
3. Probably a corrupt form for Praeneste, the modern Palestrina. A second century inscription in honor of one Valerius Priscus Festus has been found in the neighborhood. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 192, n. 47.
4. The modern Castiglione, twelve miles from Rome.
5. There was a "gens Statilia," to which belonged Titus Statilius Taurus, the friend of Augustus.
6. Duchesne thinks this may be Palermo. Op. cit., p. I93, n. 51.
7. Probably Carsioli, near the modern village Carsoli in Latium.
8. This perhaps should read Nomentum, the modern Mentana, to which the Via Nomentana led.
9. Cf. supra, p. 43, n. 8.
10. I.e., in the Alban Hills near the Via Appla. A district still called Morena lies between the Via Appia and the Via Latina.
11. Possibly the region of the Macae, a people living near the North coast. There were African bishops entitled "Iuncensis," but the situation of their diocese is not known. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 193, n. 55.
12. A city in the southwestern part of the modern country of Tunis. The place is now called Gafsa.
13. A bishop of Mina, in the province of Mauretania, attended the council of Carthage in 525. Duchesne, ibid., n. 57.
14. A corruption, perhaps, of Syrtica Leptis, i.e., the city of Leptis in the Regio Syrtica, the modem Tripoli.
15. The province of Numidia, which covered much the same territory as the modern Algiers.
16. A corrupt form. Duchesne accepts the suggestion of M. Vignoli that the island of Gaulus is intended, the modern Gozzo near Malta. Op. cit., p. 193, n. 60.