Stephen I of Hungary
Stephen I, known as King Saint Stephen, was the last Grand Prince of the Hungarians between 997 and 1000 or 1001, and the first King of Hungary from 1000 or 1001 until his death in 1038. The year of his birth is uncertain, but many details of his life suggest that he was born in or after 975 in Esztergom, at his birth, he was given the pagan name Vajk. The date of his baptism is unknown and he was the only son of Grand Prince Géza and his wife, who was descended from the prominent family of the gyulas. Although both of his parents were baptized, Stephen was the first member of his family to become a devout Christian and he married Gisela of Bavaria, a scion of the imperial Ottonian dynasty. After succeeding his father in 997, Stephen had to fight for the throne against his relative, Koppány and he defeated Koppány mainly with the assistance of foreign knights, including Vecelin, Hont and Pázmány, but with help from native lords. He was crowned on 25 December 1000 or 1 January 1001 with a crown sent by Pope Sylvester II, in a series of wars against semi-independent tribes and chieftains—including the Black Hungarians and his uncle, Gyula the Younger—he unified the Carpathian Basin.
He protected the independence of his kingdom by forcing the troops of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor. Stephen established at least one archbishopric, six bishoprics and three Benedictine monasteries, thus the Church in Hungary developed independently of the archbishops of the Holy Roman Empire and he encouraged the spread of Christianity with severe punishments for ignoring Christian customs. His system of administration was based on counties organized around fortresses. Hungary, which enjoyed a period of peace during his reign, became a preferred route for pilgrims. He survived all of his children and he died on 15 August 1038 and was buried in his new basilica, built in Székesfehérvár and dedicated to the Holy Virgin. His death caused civil wars which lasted for decades and he was canonized by Pope Gregory VII, together with his son and Bishop Gerard of Csanád, in 1083. Stephen is a saint in Hungary and the neighboring territories. In Hungary, his feast day is a holiday commemorating the foundation of the state.
Stephens birth date is uncertain because it was not recorded in contemporaneous documents and Polish chronicles written centuries give three different years,967,969 and 975. Géza promoted the spread of Christianity among his subjects by force, this identification is not unanimously accepted, historian György Györffy states that it was not Sarolts father, but his younger brother, who was baptized in the Byzantine capital. Stephen was born as Vajk, a derived from the Turkic word baj, meaning hero, master. Stephens Greater Legend narrates that he was baptized by the saintly Bishop Adalbert of Prague, Saint Adalberts nearly contemporaneous Legend, written by Bruno of Querfurt, does not mention this event
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the twentieth century. The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the coronation of the first king Stephen I at Esztergom in about the year 1000, by the 12th century, the kingdom became a European middle power within the Western world. The House of Habsburg held the Hungarian throne after the Battle of Mohács until 1918, from 1867 territories connected to the Hungarian crown were incorporated into Austria-Hungary under the name of Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen. The monarchy ended with the deposition of the last king Charles IV in 1918, the kingdom was nominally restored during the Regency of 1920–46, ending with the Soviet occupation in 1946. From 1102 it included Croatia, being in union with it. Today, the feast day of the first king Stephen I is a holiday in Hungary. The Latin forms Regnum Hungariae or Ungarie, Regnum Marianum, or simply Hungaria, were the used in official documents in Latin from the beginning of the kingdom to the 1840s.
The German name Königreich Ungarn was used officially from 1784 to 1790, the Hungarian name was used in the 1840s, and again from the 1860s to 1946. The non-official Hungarian name of the kingdom was Magyarország, which is still the colloquial, in Austria-Hungary, the unofficial name Transleithania was sometimes used to denote the regions of the Kingdom of Hungary. Officially, the term Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen was included for the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, the Hungarians led by Árpád settled the Carpathian Basin in 895, established Principality of Hungary. The Hungarians led several successful incursions to Western Europe, until they were stopped by Otto I, the principality was succeeded by the Christian Kingdom of Hungary with the coronation of St Stephen I at Esztergom on Christmas Day 1000. The first kings of the kingdom were from the Árpád dynasty and he fought against Koppány and in 998, with Bavarian help, defeated him near Veszprém. The Catholic Church received powerful support from Stephen I, who with Christian Hungarians, Stephen I of Hungary was canonized as a Catholic saint in 1083 and an Orthodox saint in 2000.
After his death, a period of revolts and conflict for supremacy ensued between the royalty and the nobles, in 1051 armies of the Holy Roman Empire tried to conquer Hungary, but they were defeated at Vértes Mountain. The armies of the Holy Roman Empire continued to suffer defeats, before 1052 Peter Orseolo, a supporter of the Holy Roman Empire, was overthrown by king Samuel Aba of Hungary. This period of revolts ended during the reign of Béla I, Hungarian chroniclers praised Béla I for introducing new currency, such as the silver denarius, and for his benevolence to the former followers of his nephew, Solomon. The second greatest Hungarian king, from the dynasty, was Ladislaus I of Hungary. He was canonized as a saint, kingship over all of Croatia would not be achieved until the reign of his successor Coloman
Sant'Anna dei Palafrenieri
The Church of Saint Anne in the Vatican, known as SantAnna de Parafrenieri, is a Roman Catholic parish church in Vatican City, dedicated to Saint Anne. By motu proprio of 20 November 1565, Pope Pius IV authorized the Archconfraternity of the Pontifical Grooms to build a church, close to the Apostolic Palace, the construction began that same year. With a design attributed to Renaissance architect Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, after a smooth start, the building of the church slowed down due to the financial difficulties of the Archconfraternity. After Vignolas death in 1573, the church was finished by his son Giacinto Barozzi, the church was consecrated in 1583 with a temporary roof. The facade attributed to Borromini and attached to the oval church prefigured the facade of the church of SantAgnese in Agone, the facade was completed between 1700 and 1721 by Alessandro Specchi while the dome was finally built in 1763 and completed in 1775. In 1603 the Archconfraternity commissioned Caravaggio to paint a picture of Saint Anne for the altar of the papal Grooms in the Basilica of Saint Peter.
Painted in 1605–1606, the painting Madonna and Child with St. Anne was briefly exhibited in the church of Saint Anne in the Vatican and it was subsequently sold to Cardinal Scipione Borghese, and now hangs in his palazzo, presently the museum of the Galleria Borghese. The church belonged to the Archconfraternity until the Lateran Treaties of 1929, Pope Pius XI erected the church into a parish, with the Apostolic Constitution Ex Lateranensi pacto of 30 May 1929. The pastoral care of the new parish was entrusted to the Augustinian Order, in return, Pope Pius XI granted the Archconfraternity the church of Santa Caterina della Rota as new headquarters. The interior, built to Vignolas design, is elliptical with eight side chapels, the main entrance is located at one end of the major axis of the ellipse. The minor axis ends with two chapels, four doors surmounted by a pediment and framed by travertine columns with Corinthian capitals are distributed between the main altar and the side chapels. Four large arches rise at the ends of the two axes, framing the areas of entry, the altar and the two chapels.
The sacred area of the altar is a square enclosed by four arches as a clear counterpoint to the oval part of the church. The dome itself rests on a plinth with a cornice with three strips, pierced at the base by eight windows, at the top of the dome stands the lantern, the only source of natural light onto the main altar. It is decorated with the dove of the Holy Spirit, from which golden rays radiate in circle, until the mid-18th century, the inner walls of the church were white and the columns showed the natural color of the travertine stone, typical of Renaissance churches. Influenced by the rise of the Baroque in Rome, the Archconfraternity started redecorating the church with more lavish decorations and plenty of gilt, the façade was re-decorated in the Baroque style by Alessandro Specchi who added the upper facade to Vignolas church. The dome was designed by Francesco Navole and they commissioned in 1746 the sculptor Giovan Battista de Rossi to redecorate the church with angels holding garlands in stucco above the doors.
Four windows were walled and replaced with four frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Saint Anne, Giovan Battista de Rossi made in stucco shells with festoons decorating the frescoes
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
Sigismund von Luxembourg was the leader of the last West European Crusade - the Crusade of Nicopolis of 1396. Afterwards he founded the Dragon Order to fight the Turks and he was regarded as highly educated, spoke several languages and was an outgoing person who took pleasure in the tournament. He was named after Saint Sigismund of Burgundy, the saint of Sigismunds father. From Sigismunds childhood he was nicknamed the fox in the Crown of Bohemia. King Louis named him as his heir and appointed him his successor as King of Hungary, King Wenceslaus gave him Neumark to facilitate communication between Brandenburg and Poland. Instead, the landlords of Lesser Poland gave it to Marys younger sister Jadwiga I of Poland, on the death of her father in 1382, his betrothed, became queen of Hungary and Sigismund married her in 1385 in Zólyom. The next year, he was accepted as Marys future co-ruler by the Treaty of Győr, Sigismunds mother-in-law was strangled, while Mary was liberated. Having secured the support of the nobility, Sigismund was crowned King of Hungary at Székesfehérvár on 31 March 1387.
Having raised money by pledging Brandenburg to his cousin Jobst, margrave of Moravia, the central power was finally weakened to such an extent that only Sigismunds alliance with the powerful Czillei-Garai League could ensure his position on the throne. The restoration of the authority of the administration took decades of work. Not until 1395 did Nicholas II Garay succeed in suppressing them, Mary died heavily pregnant in 1395. To ease the pressure from Hungarian nobles, Sigismud tried to employ foreign advisors, which was not popular, this was not applied to Stibor of Stiboricz, who was Sigismunds closest friend and advisor. On a number of occasions, Sigismund was imprisoned by nobles, in 1396 Sigismund led the combined armies of Christendom against the Turks, who had taken advantage of the temporary helplessness of Hungary to extend their dominion to the banks of the Danube. This crusade, preached by Pope Boniface IX, was popular in Hungary. Sigismund set out with 90,000 men and a flotilla of 70 galleys, after capturing Vidin, he camped with his Hungarian armies before the fortress of Nicopolis.
Sultan Bayezid I raised the siege of Constantinople and, at the head of 140,000 men, the disaster in Nicopolis angered several Hungarian lords, leading to instability in the kingdom. However, he was unable to support Wenceslaus when he was deposed in 1400, on his return to Hungary in 1401, Sigismund was imprisoned once and deposed twice. In 1401 Sigismund helped an uprising against Wenceslaus, during the course of which the Bohemian king was taken prisoner, and Sigismund ruled Bohemia for nineteen months
Old St. Peter's Basilica
Old St. Peters Basilica was the building that stood, from the 4th to 16th centuries, on the spot where the new St. Peters Basilica stands today in Vatican City. Construction of the basilica, built over the site of the Circus of Nero. The name old St. Peters Basilica has been used since the construction of the current basilica to distinguish the two buildings, construction began by orders of the Roman Emperor Constantine I between 318 and 322, and took about 30 years to complete. Over the next centuries, the church gradually gained importance. Papal coronations were held at the basilica, and in 800, in 846, Saracens sacked and damaged the basilica. The raiders seem to have known about Romes extraordinary treasures, some holy – and impressive – basilicas, such as St. Peters Basilica, were outside the Aurelian walls, and thus easy targets. They were filled to overflowing with rich liturgical vessels and with jeweled reliquaries housing all of the relics recently amassed, as a result, the raiders pillaged the holy shrine.
In response Pope Leo IV built the Leonine wall and rebuilt the parts of St. Peters that had been damaged, in 1099, Urban II convened a council including St Anselm. Among other topics, it repeated the bans on lay investiture, by the 15th century the church was falling into ruin. Discussions on repairing parts of the structure commenced upon the return from Avignon. The whole stretch of wall has been pierced by too many openings, as a result, the continual force of the wind has already displaced the wall more than six feet from the vertical, I have no doubt that eventually some. Slight movement will make it collapse, at first Pope Julius II had every intention of preserving the old building, but his attention soon turned toward tearing it down and building a new structure. Many people of the time were shocked by the proposal, as the building represented papal continuity going back to Peter, the original altar was to be preserved in the new structure that housed it. Constantine went to pains to build the basilica on the site of Saint Peters grave.
The Vatican Hill, on the west bank of the Tiber River, was leveled. Notably, since the site was outside the boundaries of the ancient city, the exterior however, unlike earlier pagan temples, was not lavishly decorated. The church was capable of housing from 3,000 to 4,000 worshipers at one time and it consisted of five aisles, a wide central nave and two smaller aisles to each side, which were each divided by 21 marble columns, taken from earlier pagan buildings. It was over 350 feet long, built in the shape of a Latin cross, and had a roof which was timbered on the interior
Hungarians, known as Magyars, are a nation and ethnic group who speak Hungarian and are primarily associated with Hungary. There are around 13. 1–14.7 million Hungarians, of whom 8. 5–9.8 million live in todays Hungary, the Hungarians own ethnonym to denote themselves in the Early Middle Ages is uncertain. The Magyars/Hungarians probably belonged to the Onogur tribal alliance, and it is possible that they became its ethnic majority, in the Early Middle Ages the Hungarians had many names, including Ungherese and Hungarus. The H- prefix is an addition of Medieval Latin, another possible explanation comes from the Old Russian Yugra. It may refer to the Hungarians during a time when they dwelt east of the Ural Mountains along the borders of Europe. The Hungarian people refer to themselves by the demonym Magyar rather than Hungarian, Magyar is Finno-Ugric from the Old Hungarian mogyër. Magyar possibly derived from the name of the most prominent Hungarian tribe, the tribal name Megyer became Magyar in reference to the Hungarian people as a whole.
Magyar may derive from the Hunnic Muageris or Mugel, the Greek cognate of Tourkia was used by the scholar and Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus in his De Administrando Imperio of c. AD950, though in his use, Turks always referred to Magyars, the historical Latin phrase Natio Hungarica had a wider meaning because it once referred to all nobles of the Kingdom of Hungary, regardless of their ethnicity. During the 4th millennium BC, the Uralic-speaking peoples who were living in the central, some dispersed towards the west and northwest and came into contact with Iranian speakers who were spreading northwards. From at least 2000 BC onwards, the Ugrian speakers became distinguished from the rest of the Uralic community, judging by evidence from burial mounds and settlement sites, they interacted with the Indo-Iranian Andronovo culture. In the 4th and 5th centuries AD, the Hungarians moved from the west of the Ural Mountains to the area between the southern Ural Mountains and the Volga River known as Bashkiria and Perm Krai.
In the early 8th century, some of the Hungarians moved to the Don River to an area between the Volga and the Seversky Donets rivers, the descendants of those Hungarians who stayed in Bashkiria remained there as late as 1241. The Hungarians around the Don River were subordinates of the Khazar khaganate and their neighbours were the archaeological Saltov Culture, i. e. Bulgars and the Alans, from whom they learned gardening, elements of cattle breeding and of agriculture. Tradition holds that the Hungarians were organized in a confederacy of seven tribes, the names of the seven tribes were, Jenő, Kér, Keszi, Kürt-Gyarmat, Megyer, Nyék, and Tarján. Around 830, a rebellion broke out in the Khazar khaganate, as a result, three Kabar tribes of the Khazars joined the Hungarians and moved to what the Hungarians call the Etelköz, the territory between the Carpathians and the Dnieper River. The Hungarians faced their first attack by the Pechenegs around 854, the new neighbours of the Hungarians were the Varangians and the eastern Slavs.
In 895/896, under the leadership of Árpád, some Hungarians crossed the Carpathians, the tribe called Magyar was the leading tribe of the Hungarian alliance that conquered the centre of the basin
San Pellegrino in Vaticano
The Church of San Pellegrino in Vaticano is an ancient Roman Catholic oratory in the Vatican City, located on the Via dei Pellegrini. The church is dedicated to Saint Peregrine of Auxerre, a Roman priest appointed by Pope Sixtus II who had suffered martyrdom in Gaul in the third century and it is one of the oldest churches in the Vatican City. Under the name of San Pellegrino degli Svizzeri, it became the church in Rome of Switzerland. The oratory fell into disrepair but was restored in the 19th century when evidence of the 9th-century frescoes were discovered. The church now serves as the chapel of the Pontifical Gendarmerie, the origins of the church are ancient, dating back to the eighth century. This is attested to by several passages in the Liber Pontificalis, another reason may have been the churchs service to pilgrims, since annexed to the church were the Hospitale Francorum, a hospital for French pilgrims, and a cemetery. The church was originally called San Pellegrino in Naumachia, a naumachia, literally naval combat, is an artificial lake where naval battles were reenacted for an audience.
The ruins of a structure were excavated in 1743, between via Alberico et via Cola di Rienzo. Hülsen suggested that this structure, built close to the Circus of Nero, and gave it the name of Naumachia Vaticana. Subsequent excavations have helped to identify its shape and orientation and it was a rectangular structure with round internal and external corners,120 metres wide and, estimating from the excavations, at least 300 metres long, oriented north-south. Esther Boise van Deman identified the style of the brickwork facing the naumachia as trajanic, in 1932 Jérôme Carcopino reported the discovery among Fasti Ostiensi of the dedication by Emperor Trajan on 11 November 109 of a naumachia. The Naumachia Traiani has been identified the Naumachia Vaticana, Pope Paschal I granted the church to the monastery of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, and Pope Leo IX passed it on to the monastery of Santo Stefano degli Abissini. From the thirteenth century onwards, the church belonged to the canons of St. Peters and they lost the use of their little chapel in the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà in Camposanto dei Teutonici.
In 1653, Johann Rudolf Pfyffer von Altishofen, commander of the Swiss Guard, von Pfyffer von Altishofen is buried in the church. In 1671, Pope Clement X gave it to the Swiss Guard and it was considered as the national church in Rome of Switzerland. The cemetery of the Swiss is behind the church, for centuries members of the Swiss Guard were buried in the crypt of the church. It was made the chapel of the Gendarmerie and the firefighters of Vatican City in 1977, the oldest parts of todays building date from the 15th century. The church received many new elements of decoration in the 12th and 18th century, between the 13th and 15th centuries, several Popes such as Innocent III, Gregory IX, Boniface IX and Nicholas V, had a special interest in the church of San Pellegrino
Pope Sylvester II
Pope Sylvester II or Silvester II was Pope from 2 April 999 to his death in 1003. Originally known as Gerbert of Aurillac, he was a prolific scholar and he is said to be the first to introduce in Europe the decimal numeral system using Arabic numerals. He was the first French Pope, Gerbert was born about 946 in the town of Belliac, near the present-day commune of Saint-Simon, France. Around 963, he entered the monastery of St. Gerald of Aurillac, in the following years, Gerbert studied under the direction of Atto, Bishop of Vic, some 60 km north of Barcelona, and probably at the nearby Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll. Neither place was under Islamic rule at the time, Borrell II of Barcelona was facing major defeat from the Andalusian powers so he sent a delegation to Córdoba to request a truce. Bishop Atto was part of the delegation met with Al-Hakam II of Cordoba. Atto was mesmerized by the palaces in Cordoba and returned with great respect for the Arabs, Gerbert insisted that Atto teach him more about these Arabic princes who seemed to him more interested in the sciences and literature than warfare.
This sparked Gerberts veneration for the Arabs and his passion for mathematics, in 969, Count Borrell II made a pilgrimage to Rome, taking Gerbert with him. There Gerbert met Pope John XIII and the Emperor Otto I, the Pope persuaded Otto I to employ Gerbert as a tutor for his young son, the future Emperor Otto II. Some years later, Otto I gave Gerbert leave to study at the school of Rheims where he was soon appointed a teacher by Archbishop Adalberon. After the death of Otto II in 983, Gerbert became involved in the politics of his time, in 985, with the support of his archbishop, he opposed Lothair of Frances attempt to take the Lorraine from Emperor Otto III by supporting Hugh Capet. Capet became King of France, ending the Carolingian line of Kings in 987, Adalberon died on 23 January 989. Gerbert was a candidate for his succession, but Hugh Capet appointed Arnulf. Arnulf was deposed in 991 for alleged treason against the King, there was so much opposition to Gerberts elevation to the See of Rheims, that Pope John XV sent a legate to France who temporarily suspended Gerbert from his episcopal office.
Gerbert sought to show that this decree was unlawful, but a further synod in 995 declared Arnulfs deposition invalid, Gerbert now became the teacher of Otto III, and Pope Gregory V, Otto IIIs cousin, appointed him Archbishop of Ravenna in 998. With the Emperors support, he was elected to succeed Gregory V as Pope in 999, Gerbert took the name of Sylvester II, alluding to Pope Sylvester I, the advisor to Emperor Constantine I. Soon after he was elected pope, Sylvester II confirmed the position of his former rival Arnulf as archbishop of Rheims, in 1001, the Roman populace revolted against the Emperor, forcing Otto III and Sylvester II to flee to Ravenna. Otto III led two expeditions to regain control of the city and died on a third expedition in 1002
This article discusses national churches in the ethnic sense. See state church for church organizations at a national level, for Catholic churches in Rome associated with various countries, see National churches in Rome. A national church is a Christian church associated with an ethnic group or nation state. The idea was discussed during the 19th century, during the emergence of modern nationalism. The concept of a national church remains alive in the Protestantism of England and the State National god Phyletism State religion William Reed Huntington, A national church, Bedell lectures, Scribners,1897
Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum
The Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum or simply Collegium Germanicum is a German-speaking seminary for Roman Catholic priests in Rome, founded in 1552. Since 1580 its full name has been Pontificium Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum de Urbe, the Collegium Germanicum was established on 31 August 1552 by Pope Julius III with the bull Dum sollicita. Cardinal Giovanni Morone and Saint Ignatius Loyola were instrumental in its establishment, the direction of the college was given to the Jesuits. After the Almo Collegio Capranica, this is the oldest college in Rome, the initiative towards its foundation was taken by Cardinal Giovanni Morone and Ignatius Loyola. Pope Julius III approved of the idea and promised his aid, the first students were received in November 1552. He drew up the first rules for the college, which served as models for similar institutions, during the pontificate of Pope Paul IV the financial conditions became such that the students had to be distributed among the various colleges of the Society in Italy.
In a short time 200 boarding students, all belonging to the flower of European nobility, were received and this state of affairs lasted till 1573. Under Pope Pius V, who had placed 20 of his nephews in the college, Pope Gregory XIII, may be considered the real founder of the college. The new rector P. Lauretano, drew up another set of regulations, the college had already changed its location five times. In 1574 Pope Gregory XIII assigned it the Palazzi di S. Apollinare, too much attention indeed was given to music under P. Lauretano, so that regulations had to be made at various times to prevent the academic work of the students from suffering. As a special mark of his favour, Gregory XIII ordered that year on the Feast of All Saints a student of the college should deliver a panegyric in presence of the pope. The students generally numbered about 100, however, there were but 54, during the seventeenth century several changes occurred, in particular the new form of oath exacted from all the students of foreign colleges.
Mention must be made of the work of P. Galeno, a country residence was acquired at Parioli. In the eighteenth century the college became more aristocratic. Pope Benedict XIV performed the ceremony of laying the cornerstone of the new church of S. Apollinare in 1742, at the suppression of the Society the direction was entrusted to secular priests, lectures were delivered in the college itself, and the professors were Dominicans. Moreover, Emperor Joseph II sequestrated the property situated in Lombardy, the buildings, were increased by the addition of the palace opposite to S. Agostino. After Emperor Joseph II in 1781 forbade all students of his realm to study in Rome, and the city was afterwards occupied by French troops. It was reopened under Pope Pius VII in 1818, and reorganised by Pope Leo XII, on the proclamation of the Roman Republic the property of the foreign national colleges was declared escheated to the Government and was sold for an absurdly small sum
Circus of Nero
Not to be confused with the older and larger Circus Maximus. The Circus of Nero or Circus of Caligula was a circus in ancient Rome, the accompanying plan shows an early interpretation of the relative locations of the circus and the medieval and current Basilicas of St. Peter. The plan suggests the dimensions of the relative to the Basilicas. The more modern interpretation shows the circus as being much longer, see plan, Outline of St. Peters, Old St. Peters, and Circus of Nero. In both interpretations the circus building is centred on the obelisk, is aligned on a similar east-west line to that of the Basilicas, the major differences are in the relocation of the starting gates to the eastern end, and the change in proportions of the circus itself. It was begun by Caligula on the property of his mother Agrippina on the Ager Vaticanus, the Via Cornelia ran parallel with the north side of the Circus, and its course can be traced with precision, for pagan tombs have been discovered at various times along its edges.
There was a medallion in the centre, with a figure in high relief, the door opened on the Via Cornelia, which was on the same level. This tomb is located under the step in front of the middle door of the church. I am told that the now used as a fountain, in the court of the Swiss Guards, was discovered at the time of Gregory XIII in the same place. The circus was the site of the first organized, state-sponsored martyrdoms of Christians in 65, tradition holds that two years later, Saint Peter and many other Christians shared their fate. The circumstances were described in detail by Tacitus in a passage of the Annals. The site for crucifixions in the Circus would have been along the spina and this identification is likely to be genuine given the trauma of the event for the Christian community. The obelisk at the centre of this circuss spina always remained standing, the obelisk was originally brought to Rome by Caligula. The traditional location of Saint Peters tomb is in area, in the cemetery mentioned above.
A basilica was erected by Constantine over the site, using some of the structure of the Circus of Nero. The basilica was sited so that its apse was centered on Peters tomb, however it seems most of the ruins of the Circus survived until 1450, when they were finally destroyed by the construction of the new St. Peters Basilica. Index of Vatican City-related articles stpetersbasilica. info - Largest online source of information on St. Peters Basilica, lacus Curtius website, Circus of Nero, plan superposed with the Basilicas, showing the tomb of Peter, and text by Rodolfo Lanciani describing the largely inadvertent archaeology