Hippolytus of Rome was active in the city during the late second and early third centuries, as a presbyter and then as a bishop in competition with the bishop Pontianus. They were exiled to Sardinia by the imperial authorities in AD 235, where they were most probably martyred and then their relics were brought back to Rome. Damasus’ stress on Hippolytus’ change of heart and return to catholic faith probably overwrote the history of doctrinal conflict in the early third-century community with a tale of contrite reintegration. Damasus through his works tried not only to promote Hippolytus as an example of unity for his own troubled community, but also to provide a specific counterbalance to the nearby shrine of Novatian, which together with the cult of Hippolytus had emerged as a rallying point for his Ursinian and Luciferian opponents.
(by Katarzyna Wojtalik)