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Volume 55, Issue 1, June 2015

Geoffrey D. Dunn
Pages 137-157

Life in the cemetery: Boniface I and the catacomb of Maximus

Liber pontificalis records that, during the disputed Roman episcopal election, which started at the end of 418 and lasted several months, between Eulalius and Boniface, the latter took up residence in the cemetery of Felicity when the two candidates were expelled from the city. It also records Boniface, after his ultimate victory as legitimate bishop, refurbishing this cemetery and eventually being buried there. Although Liber pontificalis is wrong on a number of points with regard to the disputed election, as revealed through letters preserved in the Collectio Avellana, there is no reason to doubt Boniface’s attraction to this martyrial complex on the via Salaria nova. This paper considers the catacomb and Boniface’s connection with it in the context of what we know about Roman episcopal burials of the early fifth century.

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