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xyst, xystum

xyst, 1
1. In classical architecture, a roofed colonnade for exercise in bad weather.
2. In ancient Rome, a long, tree-shaded promenade.
3. A tree-lined walk.
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Apart from Christmas and the natale Petri de cathedra on 23 February, the days observed are all feasts of martyrs down to the persecution of Diocletian, most of them local Roman, running from Peter and Paul on 29 June (to them is attached the as yet not satisfactorily explained consular date for the year 258), and including two popes who had been omitted from the earlier list, Callistus on 14 October and Xystus on 6 August.
There are three significant lacunae in the early part of the list, but these do not affect the period 258-314; the short lacuna after the statement of Xystus II's martyrdom evidently explained that the see was vacant.
From Xystus II through to Miltiades the sequence as given by Duchesne and Mercati would run as follows:
Silvester 31 Jan 314 Marcus 18 Jan 336 Julius 6 Feb 337 Liberius 17 May 352(42) Damasus (*)1 Oct 366 Siricius (*)15, 22 or 29 Dec 384 Anastasius I (*)27 Nov 399 Innocentius (*)22 Dec 401(43) Zosimus 18 March 417 Boniface I 29 Dec 418 Celestine I (*)10 Sept 422 Xystus III 31 July 432 Leo I 29 Sept 440 Hilarus 19 Nov 461 Simplicius (*)3 March 468 Felix III (*)13 March 483(44) Gelasius (*)1 March 492 Anastasius II (*)24 Nov 496 Symmachus 22 Nov 498 Hormisdas (*)20 July 514 John I (*13 Aug 523 Felix IV 12 July 526
Pontian 21 July 230 (Wednesday) Anteros 21 Nov 235 (Saturday) Fabian 10 Jan 236 (Sunday) Lucius 25 June 253 (Saturday) Stephen 12 May 254 (Friday) Xystus II 30 Aug 257 (Sunday)
Fourth, the consular dates stated for the pontificates of Lucius (accession not given, death 255), Stephen (253-55), and Xystus II (256-58) not merely overlap in an impossible way, but the point at which they do not overlap (255/6) provides a historically impossible date either for the death of Lucius and accession of Stephen or for the latter's replacement by Xystus.
The starting point is the death on 6 Aug 258 of Xystus II, the most prominent victim at Rome of Valerian's persecution (even if his fame was later eclipsed by that of the archdeacon Laurence, martyred, according to the usual tradition, four days later).