Two questions are asked and still attract the interest of scholars:

1. The uniqueness of the title: is it one title under a double name, or two separate titles: that of St. Sylvester in the Roman house under the current basilica of St. Martino, and that of Equizio in another place, perhaps in "vicus suburanus" near the church of St. Lucia?

According to ancient tradition, confirmed by almost all scholars, this is one title with two names: Equizio, donor; Silvestro, the organizer and the best cult developed in the title to him.

According to the Loernetz the title, designated with the name of Equizio up to 499, was later said to St. Sylvester since Pope Symmachus has dedicated it to him, so punishing a popular canonization.

The canonization of spontaneous movement was born among the faithful who came to the title and was promoted by the same cleric.

2. The origins of the title: was the current Roman building, now commonly designed as a “title” built for the needs of worship, or is it a transformation of a former building for this purpose?

According to recent studies, the oldest parts of this Roman building can be dated to the second century, with strong expansion in the third.

The proof that supports the functions for Christian worship or for its use in this line at the end of the third and in the fourth century is insufficient for the purpose, and in contrast with the archaeological data.

In the beginning it was used for commercial purposes (a covered market or a stock).

Connected to this building, there was another one to the east built in the third century.

In the latter Pope Sylvester founded the Title, accommodating the needs of worship and meetings of the Christian community.

Then on this title the basilicas of Symmachus and Sergio II arose.

The title was enlarged in the sixth century by Pope Symmachus: the two above mentioned buildings were merged into a whole, and also including the land adjacent to north-west where an auditorium was opened in the third century, discovered in 1930.

With this transformation, the building, now known as the "Title", appeared in two floors: upstairs there were some rooms for dwelling, while downstairs there was a large hall or room with two aisles.

In this regard scholars suppose that first this room was as a vestibule to the title, or the church of St. Sylvester, related to the title.

However, the room has been set for worship since the sixth century and soon became the place of the same title.


Taken from elaborate:


edited by Emanuele Boaga

for Basilica Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti

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Parish of the Central Sector - Prefecture V – Rione Monti - 1˚Municipality

Presbyterial title: Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz

Entrusted to: Carmelites (O. Carm.)


Current Pastor: Fr. ADRIAN Ghiurca (O. CARM.)


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