The Life of Pope Sylvester  

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At the same time Constantine Augustus built a basilica to the blessed martyrs Marcellinus, the priest, and Peter, the exorcist, at Inter duas Lauros; also a mausoleum where his mother, Helena Augusta, was buried1 on the Via Lavicana, at the 3rd milestone. And in this place, both for love of his mother and for veneration of the saints, he offered votive gifts: [or: At the same time Constantine Augustus built a basilica on the Via Lavicana at Inter duas Lauros to blessed Peter and Marcellinus, the martyrs; also a mausoleum where the most blessed Augusta, his mother, was buried in a sarcophagus of porphyry, and he offered there:]

a paten of purest gold, weighing 35 lbs.
4 silver candlesticks overlaid with gold, 12 feet in height, weighing each 200 lbs.;
a golden crown, that is a chandelier, with 120 dolphins, weighing 30 lbs.;
3 golden chalices, weighing each 10 lbs., set with prases and jacinths;
2 golden pitchers, weighing each 40 lbs.; an altar of purest silver, weighing 200 lbs.
before the tomb of the blessed Helena Augusta2, which is of porphyry carved with images,
20 silver chandeliers, weighing each 20 lbs.

Likewise for the aforesaid holy martyrs he gave to the basilica as a gift:

an altar of purest silver, weighing 200 lbs.;
2 patens of purest gold, weighing each 15 lbs.;
2 silver patens, weighing each 15 lbs.;
a large goblet of the purest gold, whereon the name of Augustus was engraved, weighing 20 lbs.;
a smaller goblet of gold, weighing 10 lbs.;
5 silver goblets, weighing each 12 lbs.;
20 silver chalices for service, weighing each 3 lbs.;
4 silver pitchers, weighing each 15 lbs.;
every year 900 lbs. of pure oil of nard,
100 lbs. of balsam,
100 lbs. of spices for incense for the aforesaid holy martyrs, blessed Marcellinus and Peter;
the estate of Laurentum near the aqueduct, with a bath, and all the land from the Porta Sessoriana as far as the Via Penestrina, and from the Via Itineris Latinae as far as Mount Gabus3; [or: the travellers' road as far as the Via Latina near Mount Gabus, Mount Gabus itself; or: and the travellers' road as far as the Via Latina near Mount Albius, Mount Albius itself;]
the property of Helena Augusta, yielding 1220 sol.;
the island of Sardinia4 with all the property belonging to that island, yielding 1024 sol.;
the island of Mesenum5 with the property belonging to that island, [or: belonging to it, all of it.] yielding 810 sol.;
the island of Matidia, which is Mount Argentarius6, yielding 600 sol.;
the property in the Sabine region, which is called Duae Casae, at the foot of Mount Lucretius7, yielding 200 sol.

1. The remains of the mausoleum of the empress Helena and the catacomb of Santi Pietro e Marcllino may be seen about two miles from the Porta Maggiore at a place now called Tor Pignattara on the Via Casilina, which was formerly the Via Labicana. The basilica has completely disappeared. An imperial palace stood near by, "ad Duas Lauros," near the two laurels, in the time of Septimus Severus and was the scene of the assassination of Valentinian III in 455. The mausoleum is octagonal in shape and surmounted with a dome. In the sixteenth century Bosio saw the ruins of a great courtyard and portico about it, all of which have now vanished. Eusebius says that the body of the empress was transported in state to Rome for burial. Life of Constantine, Richardson, Nicine and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. 2, vol. I, P. 532.
2. The huge porphyry sarcophagus which was found in the mausoleum of Helena was removed in the twelfth century to the Lateran by Pope Anastasius IV, who destined it for his own sepulchre. Pius VI transferred it to the Vatican, where it now stands near the sarcophagus from the mausoleum of Constantina. It is adorned with figures in relief, chiefly battle scenes.
3. It is impossible to form an exact idea of the area meant by this obscure description, though the general location is clear enough. The "aqueduct" may be either the Alexandrine or the Claudian, both of which pass near the Via Praenestina and the Via Latina. Mount Gabus or Monte Cavo may be any one of the hollow hillocks or craters which dot the Campagna. Duchesne, op. cit., p. 199, n. 91.
4. The whole island cannot have been conveyed to the basilica. Our author has in all likelihood omitted a list of the particular properties on the island.
5. Duchesne suggests that the peninsular of Misenum is intended. That is so nearly an island that it might well pass for one in common speech. Op. cit., p. 199, n. 93.
6. Monte Argentaro on the coast of Tuscany, also a peninsular almost cut off from the mainland.
7. Mount Lucretilis, now known as Monte Genaro, made famous by Horace.




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