Category:Catacombs of Rome
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Pages in category "Catacombs of Rome"
The following 16 pages are in this category, out of 16 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
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The following 16 pages are in this category, out of 16 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Catacombs of Rome – The Catacombs of Rome are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under Rome, Italy, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. The Etruscans, like many other European peoples, used to bury their dead in underground chambers, the original Roman custom was cremation, after which the burnt remains were kept in a pot, ash-chest or urn, often in a columbarium. From about the 2nd century AD, inhumation became more fashionable, in graves or sarcophagi, often elaborately carved, Christians also preferred burial to cremation because of their belief in bodily resurrection at the Second Coming. The Jewish catacombs are similarly important for the study of Jewish culture at this period, a number of dubious relics of catacomb saints were promoted after the rediscovery of the catacombs. The Etruscans, like many other European people, used to bury their dead in underground chambers, the original Roman custom was cremation, after which the burnt remains were kept in a pot, ash-chest or urn, often in a columbarium. From about the 2nd century AD, inhumation became more fashionable, in graves or sarcophagi, often elaborately carved, Christians also preferred burial to cremation because of their belief in bodily resurrection. The first large-scale catacombs in the vicinity of Rome were excavated from the 2nd century onwards and they were carved through tufo, a soft volcanic rock, outside the walls of the city, because Roman law forbade burial places within city limits. The pagan custom was to incinerate corpses, while early Christians, since most Christians and Jews at that time belonged to the lower classes or were slaves, they usually lacked the resources to buy land for burial purposes. Instead, networks of tunnels were dug in the layers of tufo which occurred naturally on the outskirts of Rome. There are sixty known subterranean burial chambers in Rome and they were built outside the walls along main Roman roads, like the Via Appia, the Via Ostiense, the Via Labicana, the Via Tiburtina, and the Via Nomentana. Names of the catacombs – like St Calixtus and St Sebastian, about 80% of the excavations used for Christian burials date to after the time of the persecutions. Excavators, no slaves, built vast systems of galleries and passages on top of each other. They lie 7–19 metres below the surface in an area of more than 2.4 square kilometres, narrow steps that descend as many as four stories join the levels. Passages are about 2.5 by 1 metre, burial niches were carved into walls. They are 40–60 centimetres high and 120–150 centimetres long, bodies were placed in chambers in stone sarcophagi in their clothes and bound in linen. Then the chamber was sealed with a slab bearing the name, age, the catacomb of Saint Agnes is a small church. Some families were able to construct cubicula which would house various loculi, another excellent place for artistic programs were the arcosolia. In 380, Christianity became a state religion, at first, many still desired to be buried in chambers alongside the martyrs
2. Catacomb of Callixtus – The Catacomb is believed to have been created by future Pope Callixtus I, then a deacon of Rome, under the direction of Pope Zephyrinus, enlarging pre-existing early Christian hypogea. Callixtus himself was entombed in the Catacomb of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way, the Catacomb and Crypt were rediscovered in 1854 by the pioneering Italian archaeologist Giovanni Battista de Rossi. The arcades form part of a graveyard that occupies 15 hectares and is almost 20km long. At its peak, the fifteen hectare site would have held the remains of sixteen popes, nine of those popes were buried in the Crypt of the Popes itself, to which Pope Damasus I built a staircase in the 4th century. Among the discovered Greek language inscriptions are associated with, Pope Pontian, Pope Anterus, Pope Fabian, Pope Lucius I. A more lengthy inscription to Pope Sixtus II by Furius Dionisius Filocalus has also been discovered, outside the Crypt of the Popes, the region of Saints Gaius and Eusebius is so named for the facing tombs of Pope Gaius and Pope Eusebius. In another region, there is a tomb attributed to Pope Cornelius, bearing the inscription CORNELIVS MARTYR, ISBN 0-7864-1527-4 Carragáin, Éamonn Ó, Neuman de Vegvar, Carol L. eds. Roma felix, formation and reflections of medieval Rome
3. Giovanni Battista de Rossi – Giovanni Battista de Rossi was an Italian archaeologist, famous even outside his field for rediscovering early Christian catacombs. These skills he brought to Early Christian sites and guided the development of a new field and he travelled widely, knew all the museum collections intimately and was at the center of a network of professional friendships with all the European scholars of his fields. In 1849 he rediscovered the lost Catacombs of Callixtus along the Via Appia Antica, the catacombs were opened in the early 3rd century, as the principal Christian cemetery in Rome, where nine 3rd-century popes were buried. He published illustrations by Gregorio Mariani, in 1877 he became foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1882, he was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society. In 1888 de Rossi discovered that the Codex Amiatinus, the earliest surviving manuscript of the complete Bible in the Latin Vulgate version, was related to the Bibles mentioned by Bede. It was also established that the Codex Amiatinus was related to the Greenleaf Bible fragment in the British Library, for a thousand years the Codex Amiatinus was believed to be Italian in origin. It was only at time that de Rossi discovered that the original inscription was that of Ceolfrith of the English. Inscriptiones christianae Urbis Romae septimo saeculo antiquiores and his original plan was for a compendium of Christian inscriptions in the city of Rome of the first seven centuries. The series was continued after his death, the plates for the fourth volume were already at the printer when De Rossi died. A Christian counterpart to a classic of archaeology, Antonio Bosios La Roma Sotterranea. Six series of monographs and communications, which appeared monthly, then quarterly, then annually, mosaici delle chiese di Roma anteriori al secolo XV, a series of coloured lithographs with text in French and Italian illustrating the Late Antique and medieval mosaics of Rome. Codicum latinorum bibliothecae Vaticanae Rossis manuscript indexes of the Latin codices are used as reference books in the Vatican Library, inscriptiones Urbis Romae latinae volume VI of Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum of which Rossi was one of the leading editors. Martyrologium Hieronymianum, edited with Louis Duchesne in vol,1, November, of the Bollandists Acta Sanctorum. De Rossi, other people named de Rossi, catholic Encyclopedia 1908, Giovanni Battista de Rossi Chris Nyborg, Catacombe di San Callisto
4. Fractio Panis – Fractio Panis is the name given to a fresco in the Greek Chapel in the Catacomb of Priscilla, situated on the Via Salaria Nova in Rome. The fresco depicts seven persons at a table, six men, like the whole of the decorations of the chapel, the fresco dates from the first half of the 2nd century. The painting is found upon the face of the arch immediately over the altar tomb, by chance this particular fresco, having been covered by a thick crust of stalactites, escaped the notice of the early explorers of the catacombs. Chemical reagents were used to remove the crust which covered the surface, de Rossi described it as the pearl of Catacomb discoveries. Wilpert published a monograph in 1895 giving an account of this discovery under the title Fractio Panis. This was translated into French the next year and it contains a collection of very carefully executed photogravures of the frescoes in the Capella Greca. The scene represented is a picture of seven persons at a table, six men and it seems clear that six of these are reclining as the ancients reclined at their meals. But the seventh personage, a bearded and impressive figure, sits somewhat apart at the extremity of the table. His head is thrown back, he has a small loaf or cake in his hands, upon the table immediately before him is a two-handled cup. Further along the table there are two plates, one containing two fishes, the other five loaves. At each extremity of the picture upon either side we notice baskets filled with loaves—four baskets at one end, for example, in 1 Corinthians,10,16, The cup of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ. And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord. So again in Acts,2,42, And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers. And particularly Acts,2,7, And on the first day of the week, when we were assembled to break bread, and on the Lords day come together and break bread and give thanks, having first confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. Further, in ch. xi of the same early treatise the consecrated Host is clearly designated by the term klasma, i. e. broken bread. It seems natural than that, in the earliest form of the liturgy and this Eucharistic significance of the picture is borne out by all the accessories. The loaves and the fishes upon the point directly to the Feeding the multitude twice performed by Jesus Christ. The association of this miracle with the Eucharist is familiar, not only in archaeological monuments
5. Catacombs of Generosa – The Catacomb of Generosa is a catacomb of Rome, located in Via delle Catacombe di Generosa, close to a big bight of river Tiber on the right bank, in the Portuense quarter. The name of the catacomb, as for most of Roman catacombs, the catacomb was also known with the suffix “ad sextum Philippi”, from the former name of the area where the catacomb now lies, it indicated the sixth mile of former Via Campana. “Philippus” probably refers to a rich laird in the area, the Catacomb of Generosa is part of an archeological complex, rich of remains not just Christian, but also pagan. The catacomb is situated inside a hill and occupies a single level, in the apse a fenestella confessionis allowed to see the main place of worship, while a side door gave access to the catacomb. The present entrance of the catacomb has been built and it is made of a tiny brick structure closed by an iron door. According to the tradition, the catacomb first served as place for martyrs Simplicius and Faustinus. The hypogeum graveyard served mainly for the entombment of the farmers of the surroundings and therefore it shows a sober, near 382 Pope Damasus built the semi-hypogeum basilica and the catacomb ceased being a graveyard and became a place of worship of the martyrs there buried. In 682 Pope Leo II moved the relics of the martyrs of Generosa in the church of Santa Bibiana on the Esquiline Hill, the catacomb was restored in the 1930s by Enrico Josi. The martyrs memorialized into the Catacomb of Generosa are four, nowadays called the portuenses saint martyrs, Simplicius, Faustinus, Beatrix. Of the last one absolutely nothing is known, later the same Beatrix was martyrized and buried next to her brothers. The most important place of all the catacomb is the martyrs crypt and it hosted a fresco with Byzantine features, called Coronatio Martyrum, dating back to 6th century. The fresco was seriously damaged when Giovanni Battista de Rossi, in the 19th century, attempted to tear it off, it was deteriorated again when it was carried on canvas, it has been restored in 1983. De Santis L. - G. Biamonte, Le catacombe di Roma, Newton & Compton Editori, Roma 1997, pp. 115–124 Comitato Catacombe di Generosa How to reach the Catacomb
6. Gold glass – Gold glass or gold sandwich glass is a luxury form of glass where a decorative design in gold leaf is fused between two layers of glass. About 500 pieces of glass used in this way have been recovered. Many show religious imagery from Christianity, traditional Greco-Roman religion and its various cultic developments, others show portraits of their owners, and the finest are among the most vivid portraits to survive from Early Christian times. They stare out at us with a stern and melancholy intensity. From the 1st century AD the technique was used for the gold colour in mosaics. Various different techniques may also be described as gold glass. Zwischengoldglas is very similar but the two layers of glass are cemented, not fused and it mostly comes from Germany and Bohemia from the 18th and 19th centuries. Verre églomisé properly covers a layer of glass which is gilded on the back, as used in 19th century shop signs. One process was revived by Jean-Baptise Glomy, hence the name, both of these processes were also used in ancient times, and the German and French languages often use their native terms for what is called gold glass in English. Gold ruby glass or cranberry glass is actually red, coloured by the addition of gold oxide, gold-band glass is another ancient technique covered below. The manufacturing process for gold glass was difficult and required great skill. For a Late Roman glass, first a round flat disc, typically about three to five inches across, was cut away from a blown sphere with a flattened bottom. A piece of leaf was then glued to this with gum arabic. The design was created by scraping away gold leaf, the main vessel, a cup or bowl, was formed by blowing and cutting, with a flat bottom the same size as the first disc. This was then heated again and carefully lowered onto the disc with the design, the complete vessel was then heated a final time to complete the fusing. Different accounts of different periods vary somewhat as to the sequence of stages and other details. The larger Hellenistic glass bowls are thought to have been formed using moulds rather than blown, as the bowl is doubled. Some of the finer later medallions seem to have made as such from the start
7. Catacomb of Pontian – The Catacomb of Pontian is one of the catacombs of Rome on the Via Portuensis, notable for containing the original tombs of Pope Anastasius I and his son Pope Innocent I. The Catacomb was discovered by famed Italian explorer Antonio Bosio in 1618, both Anastasius I and Innocent I were traditionally regarded as martyrs, but this is now regarded as dubious, due to the lack of a contemporaneous persecution. In the ninth century, Pope Sergius II moved both popes to San Martino ai Monti in an effort to save them from destruction during the Lombard invasion. The catacomb does not contain the tomb of Pope Pontian, who was interred in the Catacomb of Callixtus, nor is it named after him, rather it is named after an unknown third-century Christian martyr. Other notable remains in the Catacomb include, Saints Abdon and Sennen, martyrs Milix and Vincent, Saint Pollio, Saint Candida, Saint Pigmenius, and Saint Quirinus of Rome. The Catacomb contains a fresco of Saints Marcellinus and Peter along with Saint Pollio, as well as an ancient baptistry containing a painting of the crowning of Abdon
8. Catacomb of Priscilla – The Catacomb of Priscilla on the Via Salaria in Rome, Italy, are situated in what was a quarry in Roman times. This quarry was used for Christian burials from the late 2nd century through the 4th century. This catacomb, according to tradition, is named after the wife of the Consul Manius Acilius Glabrio, some of the walls and ceilings display fine decorations illustrating Biblical scenes. The modern entrance to the catacomb is on the Via Salaria through the cloister of the monastery of the Benedictines of Priscilla. Particularly notable is the Greek Chapel, a chamber with an arch which contains 3rd century frescoes generally interpreted to be Old and New Testament scenes. Above the apse is a Last Judgment, near this are figures of the Madonna and Child and the Prophet Isaiah, also dating from the early 3rd century. The Priscilla catacombs may contain the oldest known Marian paintings, from the third century. Mary is shown with Jesus on her lap, and the catacombs may have a depiction of the Annunciation, on account of the fact that seven early popes and many martyrs were buried in the cemetery, it was known as the Queen of the Catacombs in antiquity. Two popes were buried in the Catacomb of Priscilla, Pope Marcellinus, alleged relics of Popes Sylvester I, Stephen I, and Dionysius were exhumed and enshrined beneath the high altar of San Martino ai Monti, in the Esquiline area of Rome. Pope Sylvester I was likely buried in San Martino ai Monti. Other sources describe a combination of Sylvester I and Vigilius in an altar in St. Peters. The bones of Saints Praxedes and Pudentiana were contained in the catacomb until they were translated, in the 9th century and it is also in this catacomb that the relics of saint Philomena were found
9. Catacombs of Saint Agnes – The Catacomb of Saint Agnes is one of the catacombs of Rome, placed at the second mile of via Nomentana, inside the monumental complex of SantAgnese fuori le mura, in the Quartiere Trieste. The name of the catacomb derives from the virgin and martyr Saint Agnes, the “Passio sanctae Agnetis”, that blends the previous testimonies with doxologic and hagiographic purposes, was written in the 5th century. Agnes was buried in a hypogeum cemetery, that - according to ancient sources - was owned by the family of the martyr. The epigraphic sources and the kind of sepulture allow to gather that the dates back the second half of 3rd century. During the 4th century, the original nucleus was enlarged. Peters Basilica, the emperor Constantine ordere the destruction and the landfill of the former necropolis, the whole catacombal complex was then abandoned and forgotten. It was rediscovered and explored at the beginning of 16th century by a Dominican monk and it was later studied by Antonio Bosio in its Roma sotterranea, although the author mixed it up with the nearby Coemeterium maius. During the 18th century the Catacomb of St. Agnes and, in particular, finally in the years 1971-1972, the priest Umberto Maria Fasola studied the fourth region, reaching the above mentioned conclusions. The Catacomb of St. Agnes rises on three levels and is divided into four regions and it has no significant painting, but is rich in epigraphic testimonies. Regio I is the most ancient one, dating back to the 3rd century and it is placed under the present Via di Sant’Agnese, on the left of the basilica. Regio II grew starting from the 4th century and suffered, more than the other regions, regio III also dates back to the 4th century, and is the widest of the entire hypogeum complex. It extends principally under the monastery pertaining to the basilica and Via Nomentana, many plates with inscriptions, coming from the pagan cemetery, were used to built the steps giving access to the fourth region and so they have been preserved until now. This region contains the most ancient dated inscription of the whole catacomb, de Santis L. - Biamonte G. La « regio IV » del cimitero di S. Agnese sotto l’atrio della basilica costantiniana, in Rivista di Archeologia Cristiana 50 175-205 Frutaz A. P. Il complesso monumentale di SantAgnese, Roma 1992
10. Catacomb of San Pancrazio – The Catacomb of San Pancrazio is a catacomb of Rome, located in the Via Aurelia, within the modern Quartiere Gianicolense. His body was abandoned on the Via Aurelia and was picked up by a Christian matrona, Ottavilla, who buried him in the closest graveyard, that she probably owned. The cult of St. Pancras highly spread during the Middle Ages, the first notice about the martyrdom of Pancras comes from the Martyrologium Hieronymianum, that sets the date of the death at 12 May. The ancient sources, particularly the Medieval itineraries for pilgrims, mention other martyrs buried within the catacomb, Artemy, Paulinus, Sophia, the resting place of the last four martyrs can probably be identified with the so-called cubicle of St. Sophia. Between the end of the 4th century and the beginning of the 5th, Pope Symmachus built above the catacomb a basilica consecrated to the martyr, in 594 Gregory the Great provided the basilica with a cloister. In 625 Pope Honorius I rebuilt the basilica, with three naves, antonio Bosio thoroughly studied the cemetery, but he confused it with the cemetery of Calepodius, the two catacombs were distinguished by Giovanni Battista de Rossi in the 19th century. The catacomb has come down to us in not perfect conditions, the hypogeous cemerety can be divided into three main regions. The first region is placed below the left transept of the basilica and behind the apse and its access is still the former entrance and this region was explored in the first half of the 20th century by Father Fusciardi. In the right nave, a trapdoor gives access to the second region, finally, the third region is placed below the cloister. Within it there are widespread constantinian christograms, which lead the researchers to believe that part of the hypogaeus cemetery has been built in the 4th century. De Santis L. - Biamonte G, le catacombe di Roma, Newton & Compton Editori, Rome 1997, pp. 128–132 Cecchelli M. San Pancrazio, Rome, Marietti 1972 Verrando G. N. Le numerose recensioni della passio Pancratii, in Vetera Christianorum 19 105-129 Nestori A, la basilica di S. Pancrazio in Roma, in Rivista di Archeologia Cristiana 36 213-248 Official website of the church and catacomb
11. Catacombs of San Sebastiano – The Catacombs of San Sebastiano are a hypogeum cemetery in Rome, rising along Via Appia Antica, in the Ardeatino Quarter. They are one of the very few Christian burial places that have always been accessible, the first of the former four floors is now almost completely destroyed. In ancient times the catacombs were simply known with the name in catacumbas, actually, along the Appian Way, close to the cemetery, an evident dip in the ground is visible even now. The word catacumbas, through a process of extension and assimilation, was used to identify all the hypogeum burial sites. In effect, the Depositio Martyrum, at the date of 29 June, talks about the recurrence of Peter in catacumbas and Paul on Via Ostiensis. The Martyrologium Hieronymianum, at the date, cites the recurrence of Peter in Vatican, Paul on Via Ostiensis and utrumque in catacumbas. Ancient sources attest the presence of three martyrs within the cemetery on the Appian Way, Sebastian, Quirinus and Eutychius, as regards Sebastian, the Depositio Martyrum remembers his death and his entombment in catacumbas on 20 January. Quirinus was a bishop of Sescia, in Pannonia, whose relics were moved to Rome by pilgrims from that region between 4th and 5th century, beside the piazzola, the dig of the cemetery galleries was started in this period. Around the half of the 3rd century the whole piazzola was filled in, finally, in the first half of the 4th century also these spaces were buried, in order to build the embankment on which the constantinian basilica was erected. Here are gathered some sarcophagi, both entire and fragmentary, discovered during the excavations, the restored Crypt of Saint Sebastian houses an altar shelf replacing the former one and the bust of Saint Sebastian attributed to Bernini. Soon after there is the lay-by, under which lies a sandstone cavity that perhaps gave rise to the name ad catacumbas, given to this cemetery, in the lay-by rise three mausolea dating back to the second half of the 2nd century, later re-used. On the left there is the Mausoleum of the Adze, from the tool depicted on the exterior, de Santis L. - Biamonte G. Le catacombe di Roma, Newton & Compton Editori, Rome 1997 Ferrua A