Incredible. Just a couple month after I visited the ‘Holy of Holies’, that is, the tomb of Callixtus in the Calepodius catacomb, for the first time ever, this paper just came out. Despite the fact that I do research on Callixtus for more then a decade and I applied several times for permission, it was granted just very recently. Luckily, the visit does not change a bit of what I had to say in the contribution. In wise foresight, I simply skipped the problematic parts and saved the problems for another paper. That is, if I ever will have enough time to write it down.
In this paper, I argue that Damasus is not the first using the cult of martyrs to pursue his episcopal agenda, Julius surpasses him by a decade or so. Yet, Damasus is the one who made the promotion of martyr’s and their tombs to a winning concept. Thus, if we want to gain better understanding of the this concept, we need to go back to Julius and contrast his program to that of Damasus. And as a byproduct, I also provide the first comprehensive development of Callixtus’ tomb in English. Have a good read!
Despite all issues (which are solely mine), Robert, Bryan and Raymond did put together an excellent volume, which is a more than worthy conclusion of Bryan’s and Robert’s ERC funded research project on Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity. Though the journey was long, it was absolute worth waiting for the outcome. Many thanks to you for all of your efforts, remarks, and energy you investend in this publication.