Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum / Journal of Ancient Christianity

Ed. by Brennecke, Hanns Christof / Drecoll, Volker Henning / Heil, Uta / Markschies, Christoph

Together with Elm, Susanna / Gemeinhardt, Peter / Meier, Mischa / Perrone, Lorenzo / Pollmann, Karla / Riedweg, Christoph / Schöllgen, Georg / Williams, Rowan / Wischmeyer, Wolfgang

CiteScore 2018: 0.21

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.130
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.563

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 18, Issue 3


Bishop Callistus I. of Rome (217?−222?): A Martyr or a Confessor?

András Handl
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Basel, Faculty of Theology, Institute of Church History, Nadelberg 10, Basel 4051, Switzerland
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-05-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zac-2014-0019


Doubtlessly, Callistus, Bishop of Rome (217?−222?), was added to the list of honored martyrs of the City of Rome (Depositio martyrum). But whether or not he actually was martyred, as the Acta Callisti suggest, is controversially debated. The author of the Refutatio omnium haeresium (Elenchos), an opponent of the bishop, does not at all refer to his death. He does mention, however, that Callistus was sentenced to the mines of Sardinia. After his return, Bishop Victor (189?−199?), and implicitly the author as well, acknowledges him as a confessor. Because the terminology is not definite at this point in time, the confessor Callistus is described as a martyr and added to the list of martyrs after his death. The missing narrative of his violent death that is implicated by the title martyr is invented by the Acta. The efforts to underscore the reliability of the Acta through the similarly novelesque Historia Augusta are unconvincing. Therefore the Acta are of no importance for the determination of the facts about the life and death of Bishop Callistus. However, they provide insights on the development of the tradition of Callistus in Trastevere, the Catacombs of Calepodius as well as the topography of Rome at the end of the 5th century.

About the article

Published Online: 2015-05-12

Published in Print: 2014-12-19

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum / Journal of Ancient Christianity, Volume 18, Issue 3, Pages 390–419, ISSN (Online) 1612-961X, ISSN (Print) 0949-9571, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zac-2014-0019.

Export Citation

© 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in