tioned as an excellent febrifuge in the sixteenth century, and is still used as a cure for snake-bites in Brazil, and for calving cows in Thuringia and elsewhere. It is mentioned by Cardinal Angelo Mai in his Scriptorum Veterum Nova Collectio e Vaticanis codicibus edita, Tomus v., p. 5 (Romæ, 1831). He takes his description from Notizie Storichi delle Chiese di Verona raccolte da Giambatista Biancolini (Tomus iii., p. 72, in Verona, MDCCL), who describes it as existing in the parlour of a monastery there, probably from the fourteenth century; and declares the meaning to be certainly most obscure. The letters run thus :



The Greek scribe of the Paris MS. interprets it thus: ὁ σπείρων ἄροτρον κρατεῖ ἔργα τροχούς; and learned men in modern times have asked what arepo could mean. Let my readers peruse the lines alternately from left to right, and right to left, upside down, lying on the side, in whatever position, repeating tenet, and they will find that the puzzle is simply the iterated words, "Sator opera tenet" (The Lord possesses (His) works). In the logic of witchcraft this formula, said in the usual way, would propitiate the good powers, and when said the reverse way, it would, of course, propitiate the evil. Written and pronounced as above, it cannot but be pleasing to both.



Requiescat, or Requiescit in pace.1

THE earliest Christian epitaph is that on the first martyr, St. Stephen-koμnon," He fell asleep (Acts vii. 60). This simple phrase has been often engraved on Christian sepulchres, but usually there have been added to it the words in Domino, or in pace. The use of this latter addition became so common, the words in pace so nearly by themselves expressed the idea of calm and peaceful sleep, that the preceding verb came to be habitually omitted, and the great majority of the earliest Christian epitaphs have only the simple words in pace, or, in


1 The chief authorities used in writing this article are-Inscriptiones Hispaniæ Christianæ, edidit Æmilius Hübner, Berolini, apud Georgium Reimerum. (MDCCCLXXI.)

Nouveau Recueil des Inscriptions Chrétiennes de la Gaule antérieures au VIII Siècle, par Edmond le Blant, Membre de l'Institut. Imprimerie Nationale. (Paris, MDCCCXCII.)

Manuel d'Epigraphie Chrétienne, d'après les marbres de la Gaule, par Edmond le Blant. (Didier, Paris, 1869.)

Dictionnaire des Antiquites Chrétiennes, par M. l'Abbé Martigny. 3o edit. (Hachette, Paris, 1889.)

Dictionnaire d Epigraphie, publié par M. l'Abbé Migne. 2 vols. (Paris, 1852.)

A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, by W. Smith and W. Cheetham. 2 vols. (J. Murray, 1875.)

Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia. 38 vols. (Fortanet, Madrid, 1877-1901.)

Greek, év eipývn, without any verb attached. This use of the words in pace is considered by archeologists as indubitable proof of Christian sepulture, it being unknown on Pagan tombs. But the phrase, or its equivalent, had been used by the Jews before the time of our Lord, and was adopted by Christians, following the example of their Lord, who raised and consecrated the words to a higher signification when He said, “Peace be unto you,” "My peace I give unto you."

If we inquire what was the meaning of this phrase in pace on the tombs of the early Christians, following the Abbé Martigny1 and others, we find that it was used (1) sometimes as a prayer for the dead; (2) sometimes as an affirmation or acclamation of their happiness; (3) sometimes as a testimony of the orthodoxy of their faith.

In the following remarks only (1) and (2) will be dealt with, and we shall try to ascertain which is the more common form in the earliest ages of Christianity. It is evident that, within the limits of a magazine article, the investigation can only be imperfect-it cannot be complete: it suffices if it be only fair and impartial. There are some writers of the Roman Catholic Church who decide the question at once by supplying everywhere requiescat, or requiescant, used as a prayer, " may he," or "may they rest in peace." 2 It is almost needless to say that this is not done by the betterinformed writers. It is conceded, too, that these

1 Dictionnaire des Antiquités Chrétiennes, par M. l'Abbé Martigny. 3 edit. (Hachette, Paris, 1889.)

2 Dictionnaire d'Epigraphie Chrétienne, publié par M. l'Abbé Migne, vol. ii. col. 763. (Paris, 1852).

simpler sepulchral formulæ are not precisely alike in all parts of the Christian world. They express generally the same ideas, but the wording is often slightly different, with a difference which does not seem to touch doctrine at all (at least, not intentionally), but which depends solely on the fact that in the countries of the Western Church the ordinary provincial Latin differed somewhat from the Latin of the capital.

If we inquire, then, what is the verb (if any) to be supplied before the phrase in pace, we cannot do better than ascertain first what are the verbs used in the cases where they are supplied. On the earliest Christian tombs, and especially in the Catacombs, symbolism and symbolical pictures are much employed. Thus the signification of the term in pace is strengthened by the representation of a dove with an olive-leaf in its mouth, by that of a palm-branch, or by a fish, the Greek name of which forms the anagram Jesus Christ, of God the Son, the Saviour. Thus we find in pace ixlúos, or ixovos eipývn, "in the peace of the fish." It is granted on all hands that on the tombs of martyrs and confessors the words in pace, often accompanied with a palm-branch, cannot have a precatory meaning. The Abbé Martigny quotes St. Augustine, Sermon 159: "To pray for a martyr would be an insult to him." We will now collect some of the phrases in which a verb is used with the words in pace or in pacem. The same forms are used over and over again, and the list, even of the different ones, which could be greatly multiplied, will, we fear, be not a little tedious to the reader. But it is

only by collecting the various epitaphs in which either the affirmative or the precatory (the indicative or the optative) forms are used, that we can come to any opinion on the matter.

(1) of the simple form in pace, the Abbé Martigny remarks: "We believe that it is most generally used as a prayer for the dead," but he puts the evidence to the contrary fairly and fully before us. Mr. Arthur Loth, in the Revue AngloRomaine (vol. i. p. 247, 1895), in an article entitled La prière pour les morts dans l'antiquité chrétienne, writes: "The formula so frequent in Christian inscriptions of the first ages, Recessit in pace, or præcessit in pace, or simply in pace, after the name of the deceased, with this later variation, in somno pacis, is an evident allusion to the prayer which accompanied Christian funerals, and by which peace was demanded of God for the deceased. This," he adds, "is the conclusion of M. Edmond le Blant, who expresses himself with reference to the phrase, Quæ precessit in pace, engraved on an epitaph at Trèves, and of another in somno pacis: 'Found at the same time in Gaul, in Africa, and in several places of Italy, this double trace of the liturgical formula appears to me to bear witness to the existence of one fixed form of prayer adopted by the whole Christian world in the first ages of the Church.'" The form of prayer would then have been not dissimilar to that of our own Church, if the epitaphs answered to it, for, as we shall see, the Abbé Martigny says: "Nothing can be more affirmative than these formula."

The Abbé would supply requiescas in all cases

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