The Life of Pope Sylvester  

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At the same time Constantine Augustus constructed a basilica in the Sessorian palace1, where also he placed and enclosed in gold and jewels some of the wood of the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he dedicated the church under the name by which it is called even to this day, Hierusalem2. In that church he offered the following gifts:

4 candlesticks of silver burning before the holy wood, like to the number of the 4 gospels, weighing each 80 lbs.;
50 silver chandeliers, weighing each 15 lbs.;
a goblet of gold, weighing 10 lbs.;
5 golden chalices for service, weighing each one lb.;
3 silver goblets, weighing each 8 lbs.;
10 silver chalices for service, weighing each 2 lbs.
a golden paten, weighing 10 lbs.;
a silver paten overlaid with gold and set with jewels, weighing 50 lbs.;
a silver altar, weighing 250 lbs.;
3 silver pitchers, weighing each 20 lbs.;
and all the land about the palace he gave, as an offering to the church; [or: near the palace itself,] likewise the property of Sponsae on the Via Lavicana3, yielding 263 sol.;
near the city of Laurentum4 the property of Patrae, yielding 150 sol.;
near the city of Nepeta5 the property of Anglesis, yielding 150 sol.;
near the aforesaid city the property of Terega6, which yields 160 sol.;
near the city of Falisca7, the property of Herculus, which he gave to Augustus and Augustus gave to the church of Hierusalem, yielding 140 sol.;
near the city of Tuder8 the property of Angulae, yielding 153 sol.

1. The Sessorian palace is known to have been a residence of the empress Helena. Two inscriptions in her honor have been discovered there. In spite of alterations and mutilations the present basilica still shows traces of its origin as a private hall. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 196, n. 75.
2. The title is now Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. In the fifteenth century an inscription was still legible beneath the apsidal mosaic, which commemorated the payment of a vow by Valentinian, Placidia and Honoria Augusti to the "holy church Hierusalem." As for the relic of the cross, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, writing about 348, says that fragments of the sacred wood were dispersed through all the world. Duchesne, ibid.
3. Or Labicana. One of the main roads leading over the Esquiline Hill to the Latin town of Labicum.
4. Cf. supre, p. 50, n. 1.
5. The modern Nepi in the upper border of the Roman province.
6. The spot may have taken its name from the river Treia, which flows by Nepi. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 196, n. 79.
7. Now Civita Castellana.
8. Now Todi, in Umbria.




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