The Martyrologium Hieronymianum or Martyrologium sancti Hieronymi (both meaning "martyrology of Jerome") is an ancient martyrology or list of Christian martyrs in calendar order, one of the most used and influential of the Middle Ages. It is the oldest surviving general or "universal" martyrology, and the precursor of all later Western martyrologies.
Pseudepigraphically attributed to Saint Jerome, the Martyrologium Hieronymianum contains a reference to him derived from the opening chapter of his Life of Malchus (392 AD) where Jerome states his intention to write a history of the saints and martyrs from the apostolic times: "I decided to write [a history, mentioned earlier] from the coming of the savior up to our age, that is, from the apostles, up to the dregs of our time".
The Martyrologium Hieronymianum appears to have drawn for its material on the existing calendar of Rome, on one from Africa, and on a compilation made in Greek around the year 362 A.D. and which used as a major source the details found regarding the martyrs in works of Eusebius of Caesarea. The contents of the 362 AD compilation are known to us from an untidy Syriac translation, the Martyrology of AD 411 .It is the geographical spread of the sources which gave this pioneering martyrology its general or "universal" character. Nevertheless, on account precisely of this non-local character and because the date of final compilation considerable postdates the end of the main anti-Christian persecutions, the antiquity of much of the information gathered is undermined by the inevitable errors caused by multiple compilers and by scribes to whom the persons mentioned could not have been personally unknown. It appears that the initial Latin text was fabricated in Northern Italy, probably within the Patriarchate of Aquileia, in the 430s or 440s. but then later reworked in Gaul, probably at Auxerre, about the year 600. It is from this line of transmission that the surviving manuscripts descend.
The three earliest manuscripts which do survive of the Latin Martyrologium Hieronymianum as such are all relatively late, from the 8th century, which means they have inevitably suffered interference in the course of transmission. The oldest of themcomes from the monastery of the Northumbrian missionary St Willibrord at Echternach and was written in England in the first years of the 8th century. Two other important manuscripts were written in the same century, one for the monastery of Saint Avoldus near Metz, and the other was copied by 772 AD for the monastery of Saint-Wandrille and then came to the monastery of St Peter in Wissembourg.
In 1894 the text of the three manuscripts were juxtaposed in a publication contributed by Giovanni Battista de Rossi and Louis Duchesne to the monumental Acta Sanctorum,which prepared the way for a critical edition published by Henri Quentin in 1931 along with a historical commentary by the Bollandist Hippolyte Delehaye, again in connection with the Acta Sanctorum,
Scholars generally assume that in the lists of martyrs that head each day's entry, newer additions were added at the bottom of the lists, and thus the first names are most likely to be those from the lost earliest versions of the Martyrologium Hieronymianum.
The material preserved in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum is such that highly specialist training is needed to evaluate it. Derived as the material often is from calendars, it is no surprise that the greater part of the entries contain only summary lists of names and places, for example: "On the third day before the Ides of January, at Rome, in the [catacomb] cemetery of Callixtus, on the Appian Way, was buried Miltiades, the bishop".
The first "historical" martyrologies, (containing narrative history of the life of a saint), would not flower until the Carolingian period, starting with the martyrology of Bede.
Synaxarion or Synexarion is the name given in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches to a compilation of hagiographies corresponding roughly to the martyrology of the Roman Church.
A martyrology is a catalogue or list of martyrs and other saints and beati arranged in the calendar order of their anniversaries or feasts. Local martyrologies record exclusively the custom of a particular Church. Local lists were enriched by names borrowed from neighbouring churches. Consolidation occurred, by the combination of several local martyrologies, with or without borrowings from literary sources.
Saint Alban is venerated as the first-recorded British Christian martyr, for which reason he is considered to be the British protomartyr. Along with fellow Saints Julius and Aaron, Alban is one of three named martyrs recorded at an early date from Roman Britain. He is traditionally believed to have been beheaded in the Roman city of Verulamium sometime during the 3rd or 4th century, and his cult has been celebrated there since ancient times.
Hippolyte Delehaye, S.J., was a Belgian Jesuit who was a hagiographical scholar and an outstanding member of the Society of Bollandists.
The Martyrology of Usuard is a work by Usuard, a monk of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The prologue is dedicated to Charles the Bald indicating that it was undertaken at that monarch's instigation. It was apparently written shortly before the author's death in 877.
Usuard was a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and a Carolingian scholar.
Acts of the Martyrs are accounts of the suffering and death of a Christian martyr or group of martyrs. These accounts were collected and used in church liturgies from early times, as attested by Saint Augustine.
Martinian and Processus were Christian martyrs of ancient Rome. Neither the years they lived nor the circumstances of their deaths are known. They are currently buried in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Saint Nicomedes was a Martyr of unknown era, whose feast is observed 15 September.
Saints Nereus and Achilleus are two Roman martyr saints.
Menologium, also written menology, and menologe, is a service-book used in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople.
There are several saints named Rufus, of which the Roman Martyrology records ten; historical mention is made of the following ones, which have liturgical feasts:
Saints Justa and Rufina (Ruffina) are venerated as martyrs. They are said to have been martyred at Hispalis (Seville) during the 3rd century.
Flavia Domitilla, daughter of Domitilla the Younger by an unknown father, perhaps Quintus Petillius Cerialis, had the same name as her mother and her grandmother Domitilla the Elder. She was thus a granddaughter of Emperor Vespasian and a niece of Emperors Titus and Domitian. She married her cousin, the consul Titus Flavius Clemens, a grand-nephew of Vespasian through his father Titus Flavius Sabinus.
Saint Hermagoras of Aquileia is considered the first bishop of Aquileia, northern Italy. Christian tradition states that he was chosen by Saint Mark to serve as the leader of the nascent Christian community in Aquileia, and that he was consecrated bishop by Saint Peter. Hermagoras and his deacon Fortunatus evangelized the area but were eventually arrested by Sebastius, a representative of Nero. They were tortured and beheaded.
Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius are saints of the Roman Catholic Church, mentioned in the Martyrology of Bede and earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology for 12 June as four Roman martyrs who suffered death under Diocletian.
Quirinus of Neuss, sometimes called Quirinus of Rome is venerated as a martyr and saint of the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. His cult was centered at Neuss in Germany, though he was a Roman martyr.
The Roman Martyrology records eleven saints named Rufinus:
Dom Henri Quentin was a French Benedictine monk. A philologist specializing in biblical texts and martyrologies, he was the creator of an original method of textual criticism. He pioneered techniques to compare texts and produce trees of relationships between version and editions in order to study their origins and variations.
The Martyrology of 411 is the oldest Eastern Christian martyrology, preserved in one of the oldest Syriac manuscripts, British Library, Add MS 12150, dated to November 411.