The Life of Pope Sylvester  

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At the same time Constantine Augustus1 built the basilica of blessed Paul, the apostle, at the bidding of Silvester, the bishop, and laid his body away there in bronze and enclosed it2, as he did the body of the blessed Peter. And to this basilica he offered the following gifts:

near Tarsus3 in Cilicia: the island of Cordionon, yielding 800 sol.

All the consecrated vessels of gold and silver and bronze he set there, as in the basilica of blessed Peter, the apostle, so also he ordained them for the basilica of blessed Paul, the apostle. Moreover he placed a golden cross over the tomb of blessed Paul, the apostle, weighing 150 lbs.

near the city of Tyre:
the property of Comitum, yielding 550 sol.;
the property of Tymia, yielding 250 sol.;
the property of Fronimusa, yielding 700 sol.,
70 lbs. of oil of nard,
50 lbs. of spices,
50 lbs. of cinnamon;

near the city of Egypt:
the property of Cyrios, yielding 710 sol.,
70 lbs. of oil of nard,
30 lbs. of balsam,
70 lbs. of spices,
30 lbs. of storax,
150 lbs. of oil of myrrh;
the property of Basilca, yielding 550 sol.,
50 lbs. of spices,
6o lbs. of oil of nard,
20 lbs. of balsam,
6o lbs. of saffron;
the property of the island Maccabes, yielding 510 sol.,
510 stalks of fine papyrus,
300 bags of flax.

1. One manuscript reads, "Constantine Augustus and Lord Constantius Augustus built" etc. If Constantine really built the first basilica of St. Paul, it was a small and unpretentious edifice. In 386 the emperors Valentinian II, Theodosius and Arcadius ordered the erection of a great church on the site, which was completed early in the fifth century. It was destroyed by fire in 1823 and the present basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura is almost entirely a latter-day reconstruction.
2. The empty sarcophagus of St. Paul was unearthed during the work of rebuilding the present church. It is of marble and bears an inscription in fourth century letters, "PAULO APOSTOLO ET MARTYRI." The tomb lay farther outside the city walls than that of St. Peter and was rifled probably during the Saracen invasion, if not before.
3. It was evidently thought appropriate to endow the church of Paul of Tarsus with lands in the vicinity of his birthplace.




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