A Blue Guides handbook to the wonders of Christian Rome:


"Writing guides to the Christian sites of Rome began in the fourth century.  A.B. Barber has now produced the indispensable guide.  Packed with practical information, historical details, and charming anecdotes Pilgrim's Rome will inform, entertain, and inspire."

Professor Thomas F.X. Noble, President, American Catholic Historical Association



From Amazon:

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The St Agnes lambs

St Agnes’ Eve—Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold…

I have always loved Keats, and he is, of course, a poet with better claims than many others to a Roman association. But as a schoolchild, studying him, I disliked that poem. I sniggered at the line “Into her dream he melted.” I was irritated by the way, for the sake of a perfect jog-trot iambic pentameter, Keats writes “a-cold”, instead of just plain Anglo Saxon “cold”.

It was much later in life that I became acquainted with St Agnes herself, her legend and her beautiful basilica, on the Via Nomentana in Rome’s northeastern outskirts. On the eve of the saint’s feast day, January 21st, the Pope solemnly blesses two white lambs. But why?

The lambs of St Agnes and the pallium
Sigeric of Glastonbury, recently named Archbishop of Canterbury, journeyed to Rome in the year 989 to receive his stole of office, the pallium, from Pope John XV. During his time here, Sigeric visited three churches intimately connected with the manufacture of this vestment, a connection which is still maintained to this day.

Every year, two winter lambs are purchased from the Cistercian monks of Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio at Tre Fontane, south of the city centre (on the site of the martyrdom of St Paul). It is their wool that will be used to make the pallia. On the feast of St Agnes (21st January), the two lambs are taken to the basilica of Sant’Agnese fuori le Mura and solemnly blessed. The association of St Agnes with lambs comes from a play on the virgin martyr’s name (Agnes) and the Latin word for a lamb (agnus). If the pope is not personally present at the service, then the lambs are afterwards taken to the Vatican, decked in white roses, to receive his benediction. After this they are entrusted to the care of the Benedictine sisters of the convent of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, where they are raised with the utmost care until Holy Week, when they are shorn. The nuns weave their wool into the pallia which will be conferred on new metropolitan archbishops on the Feast of St Peter and St Paul (29th June). In the apse mosaic of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Pope Paschal I is shown wearing the pallium. His is pure white, adorned with two red crosses.

Each of these churches, SS Vincenzo e Anastasio, S. Agnese fuori le Mura with its attached catacomb, and S. Cecilia, is hugly rewarding to visit. You can read more about them in Pilgrim’s Rome: A Blue Guide Travel Monograph.

Slightly pixelated, but still recognisable: Pope Paschal I (left) wearing his pallium woven from the wool of St Agnes lambs (and with a square nimbus indicating that he was alive when this portrait was created), in the company of St Cecilia and St Paul. Detail of the apse mosaic in the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere.

Hadrian, Antinoüs and the Christian Fathers

Bust of Antinoüs, Centrale Montemartini
Bust of Hadrian, Vatican Museums

Hadrian is one of the most interesting and enigmatic of all the pagan emperors. He was a man of contrasts, described in the Historia Augusta as: “in the same person austere and genial, dignified and playful, dilatory and quick to act, niggardly and generous, deceitful and straightforward, cruel and merciful, and always in all things changeable.” He was a very cultured man, interested in art and architecture. Unlike his predecessor Trajan, his interest was not in extending the boundaries of his empire but in consolidating what he had, making sure that its borders held firm. But this does not mean he was inward-looking. The Roman civilisation spread peace through uniformity. All over their empire they built semi-identical cities, each with its temples, its baths, its forum, its theatre and amphitheatre, its circus, its mosaics of Dionysus and the Four Seasons, its public latrines. But Hadrian was not a conformist. He was exceptionally well-travelled and he was interested in the diversity of the peoples he ruled. His own architectural designs flouted the rules; they were almost baroque. In fact, the things that Hadrian admired most lay outside Rome, in Greece and Egypt. At his enormous, sprawling villa near Tivoli he created a little microcosm of his empire, with miniature versions of its beauty spots, from Athens to Thessaly to the Nile Delta to Asia Minor. Some of the statuary recovered from his recreation of the canal which linked Alexandria to the city of Canopus is displayed in the Vatican’s Egyptian Museum.

Hadrian built his Tivoli villa on land that belonged to his wife, the empress Sabina. Their marriage was loveless and childless. Though Hadrian deified his wife after her death, he must have known that she detested him. It is probable that Hadrian was homosexual. The image of his favourite, the beautiful Bithynian youth Antinoüs, haunts the museums of the world like a flitting ghost, portrayed in many a portrait bust or full-length statue, with drooping head, pouting lips and downcast eyes. Antinoüs died in mysterious circumstances, drowned in the Nile in ad 130, at the age of nineteen. Immediately the disconsolate emperor deified him and founded the city of Antinoöpolis on the river’s east bank. Many theories exist about this famous death: few believe that it was an accident. Perhaps the boy was getting beyond the age when it could be seemly for him to belong to Hadrian’s entourage. Or perhaps it was a ritual suicide. The cult of Antinoüs continued well beyond Hadrian’s day. The early Church fathers were in no two minds about it: Tertullian, Origen, St Athanasius and St Jerome are united in their opinion that Antinoüs was merely a man and that his worship was not worship, but idolatry—though they differ in how they express themselves. For St Athanasius, Antinoüs is a lascivious wretch. For Tertullian he is a hapless victim, a person who perhaps had little choice. From this distance, and with our utterly different social outlook, we can have no true idea. The Vatican Egyptian collection exhibits a statue of Antinoüs in the guise of the god of the underworld, Osiris, reborn from the Nile waters. It is a most extraordinary piece, offering a small glimpse into one of the ways in which people have attempted to make sense of death and immortality.

Text © Blue Guides. Pilgrim’s Rome. All rights reserved.

St Chrysogonus and his church in Rome

Not much is known of St Chrysogonus. According to his legend—though it may well be the truth—he was a Roman official beheaded for his faith c.304 in the town of Aquileia, which lies on the Amber Road near the Bay of Trieste. His body was flung into the sea, was retrieved and thence taken to Zadar, from where it was looted by the Venetians in 1202, their first act of ignominy at the outset of the Fourth Crusade. From Venice, the relics made their way to Rome.

The Roman church that bears Chrysogonus’s name and houses the relics stands in the district of Trastevere. Its interior is a pool of tenebrous quiet, sealed off like a thermos flask from the noisy road and tramline outside. Underneath it, accessed from the sacristy and vestry, are the fascinating, suggestive remains of the original Early Christian basilica, dating mainly from the fifth century. Fragments of floor and wall revetment survive. The layout of the apse is clear, along with the frescoed access corridor to the martyr’s former shrine. The best of the surviving wall paintings is in what would once have been the south aisle. St Benedict is depicted healing a leper, whose affliction is indicated by large dark spots.

The remains of St Chrysogonus have been transferred to the upper church, where they are enclosed in the high altar. Above it is a mosaic of the Madonna and Child flanked by St Chrysogonus and St James. It dates from the thirteenth century and is attributed by some to the great Roman master Pietro Cavallini, whose other works in this part of Rome include frescoes at Santa Cecilia and mosaics at Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Foundation myth of Aquileia: two bullocks plough the furrow that will mark the line of the colony's wall. Magistrates in togas accompany the procession. Stone tablet of the 1st century AD, in the archaeological museum of Aquileia
St Benedict healing a leper. Fresco fragment from the lower church of San Crisogono

Lovers' tokens removed from Milvian Bridge

According to a report in Il Messaggero, the padlocks that encrust the Milvian Bridge like lovers’ barnacles were condemned to revmoval: to be precise, they were taken away on Monday 10th September at 11 am. Officials from the Ministry of Public Works said they lower the tone of the area and were not suited to the historic nature of the bridge, scene of the historic battle between Constantine and Maxentius (which incidentally will celebrate its 1700th anniversary on 28th October). But lovers need not despair. Their padlocks will not be destroyed—even if the love that drove them to fix them to the bridge has died in the meantime. The locks are to be taken to a museum.

A museum?! I, for one, find this a sad decision. Nutty customs such as this are part of what life is all about. I used to love to come to the Milvian Bridge, look at the rusting padlocks with their inscriptions in fading “indelible” marker proclaiming “Together Forever”, meditate on the thrashing of men and horses in the water below as Constantine drove his rival to a watery grave, muse upon the comings and goings of men upon the earth, all that kind of thing…. Eheu!

But all is not lost. Apparently the tradition has now transferred itself to the Trevi Fountain. Find a convenient railing on which to affix your padlock and--flick!--toss the key into the fountain's frothing waters. Amor vincit.

Or maybe not. Now that the padlocks are down, the city authorities are at a loss where to put them and have solicited suggestions to their Facebook page. "Naturally we will not take into consideration ideas that involve natural beauty spots or sites of artistic interest," they say. "The removal of the padlocks from the bridge was aimed at curing precisely those ills."

The column with the sudarium

The famous angels on Ponte Sant'Angelo, by Bernini and his assistants, all hold an instrument of the Passion and bear an accompanying inscription on the plinth. All except for the angel that holds the sudarium, or veil of Veronica, whose inscription is damaged and unreadable. At least, so it had always seemed to me. Grateful thanks to David Lown for pointing out that the inscription IS still there--just--but that most of it was blown away in 1870 by a cannon ball, fired during the struggle for dominion of Rome between papal and Italian forces. Attached is a picture (not very good, but the best I could find, until I go back to Rome again and take another one), demonstrating the mark left by the cannon ball and the remains of the inscription, which once read: "Respice faciem Christi tui" (Look upon the face of thine anointed).

Two fingers on the angel's right hand are damaged. The angel next to this one, the angel holding the nails, is missing three. The appealingly named Umberto Broccoli, from the Sovrintendenza, has an attractively romantic attitude to the problem of time's depredations. "One can do all in one's power to stop the damage happening," he says, 'but once it has occurred, there is little to be done. The fragments get lost. One cannot stick them back on. And we can only restore such artworks with original pieces, not with copies. The beauty of these statues cannot be everlasting." Dust to dust. I like this. Two of the angels are copies already, the once with the Crown of Thorns and the one with the Titulus. The originals are in the little-visited church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte. Let the others remain.

NB: Thanks to the Mellor family for the image. You can see photos of all the angels on their blog at: A series of lovely sepia photos of each angel can be found here:

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus...

July 8th is the feast (in the Roman calendar) of Saints Aquila and Priscilla. Very little is known about these two characters, husband and wife and early converts to Christianity. They were friends of St Paul, most likely converted Jews like Paul himself, and—also like Paul—Aquila was by profession a tentmaker. We know that they were with Paul in Ephesus, and that Paul left them there to spread the word, which they did with diligence: “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” (Acts 18: 24–26). They are two of the earliest missionaries whose names we know.

It is clear that Paul valued them highly. After Ephesus, we find them in Rome. In his letter to the Romans, Paul says: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks…Likewise greet the church that is in their house.” It is unknown what heroic deed it was that they performed. It may have had something to do with the commotion raised in Ephesus by Demetrius the silversmith, whose little votive figurines of Diana Paul spoke out so vehemently against. This may also have been the reason why Aquila and Prisca went to Rome.

Their last scriptural appearance comes in Paul’s second letter to Timothy, where the Apostle writes: “Salute Prisca and Aquila”. Since Timothy at the time is thought to have been Bishop of Ephesus, it is probable that Prisca and Aquila had returned home.

There is a small church on Rome’s leafy Aventine Hill dedicated to Santa Prisca. For some time it was thought to stand on the site of Prisca and Aquila’s house, that very place mentioned by St Paul, where they had received the local Christian community for meetings and worship. The identification is unfortunately no longer accepted. We have no idea where the two lived while they were in the city. Nevertheless, the church merits a visit. It is dignified in its simplicity and underneath it are the remains of a Mithraic temple, dedicated to the cult that rivalled Christianity in popularity until Christianity became the official faith of the empire in the 4th century. (Mithraeum open by appointment on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month; T: +39 06 399 67700.) The superb inlaid head of Sol that was found here (pictured left) is on display in the Museo Nazionale Romano in Palazzo Massimo near the Baths of Diocletian (

Earliest-known image of a martyrdom

Under the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo on the Caelian Hill are the excavations known as the Case Romane (‘Roman houses’; What has been revealed is complex and fascinating and spans at least five centuries. Traces of a wealthy domus with a nymphaeum, a street and shops, an early Christian oratory. Many of the walls still preserve their painted decoration, some of it figurative, some in the form of faux marble cladding. The church takes its name from two mid-fourth-century courtiers of the emperor Constantine II. Under his successor Julian the Apostate, who attempted to reverse the Christianisation of the empire, Giovanni and Paolo were put to death for their faith. The so-called confessio, which is approached up an iron stairway, has a fragmentary fourth-century fresco showing three kneeling figures, apparently blindfolded and awaiting execution. They are identified as Saints Priscus, Priscillian and Benedicta, ‘priest, cleric and pious lady’, who are said to have attempted to locate the remains of Giovanni and Paolo and were arrested and executed, in about 362. According to tradition, they were beheaded. Their feast day in the Roman martyrology is January 4th. This is the earliest-known depiction of a martyrdom in Christian art.

Images of the Crucifixion: closed or open eyes?

Representations of the crucifixion, in the early days of Christianity, were symbolic rather than literal. A jewelled cross might be shown upon the hill of Golgotha, for example, but the cross did not have Christ fixed upon it. The shame and humiliation of this manner of execution, which the Romans reserved for slaves and traitors, carried a heavy social stigma, and artists shrank from representing the Son of God in such a way. The famous Alexamenos graffito, a second-century scrawl found on the Palatine Hill in Rome and now exhibited there in the Palatine Museum, makes fun of a Christian worshipping his ‘god’, who is depicted as a man with the head of a donkey.

Later, partly in response to the heresy of Arianism, which refused to accept the full divinity of Christ, literal images of the crucifixion began to emerge, with Christ shown triumphant over death: erect, often clad, and with his eyes open. Not a suffering human being, but a victorious divinity. The Volto Santo of Lucca, a cedarwood statuette of a robed Christ, is a famous example of the open-eyed type. According to legend, it was carved by Nicodemus himself. A memorable early 16th-century painting of the Volto Santo, by the eccentric Tuscan artist Piero di Cosimo, hangs in the Szépművészeti Múzeum in Budapest.

Later in the Middle Ages, after Arianism had been outlawed, crucifixion scenes began to concentrate on Christ’s humanity, emphasising his suffering and sacrifice. The former Roman town of Ferento, in Lazio, was destroyed by its powerful neighbour Viterbo in 1172, for harbouring an image of Christ on the cross with open eyes.

In Byzantine art, a different trend is seen. Christ crucified is shown in his agony, eyes closed, with mourners clustered around the cross. But alongside this, in deliberate juxtaposition, is placed a representation of Christ in Majesty. The example illustrated here, from the chapel of the Archangel Michael at Asomatos, Crete (note the soldiers quaintly dressed in 14th-century armour), shows the crucified Jesus with his eyes closed and the risen Jesus with his eyes wide open, emphasising the glorious victory of Christ the Lord after the suffering and death of Christ the man.

The earliest known image of the crucifixion in Western public art is on the wooden door of the basilica of Santa Sabina, on Rome’s Aventine Hill. It dates from around the year 430. Christ’s eyes are open.

The images at the top, from left to right, show: the Alexamenos graffito (2nd century); the crucifixion panel from the west door of Santa Sabina, Rome (5th century); Piero di Cosimo's Volto Santo (16th century, inspired by an 8th-century statue); wall-painting of the crucifixion from the Chapel of St Michael, Asomatos, with Christ in Majesty above (14th century); detail of the former, showing the closed eyes of the crucified Christ.

A memento of St Peter and St Paul and a superb museum: all under one roof

“We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.”

These words, from Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto, published in 1909, are well known (Tr. James Joll). Marinetti issued a call to arms that was at once forward-looking and narrow-minded; iconoclastic, revolutionary, progressive; but misogynistic, splenetic and tub-thumping; radical but deeply nationalistic; daring and bombastic but intolerant, elitist and hatred-fuelled, intoxicating and at the same time just plain silly. In many ways, it is amazing that we are still talking about him. But then, plenty of things are amazing. Not least the small plot of ground at no 106 Viale Ostiense in Rome.

On the site of the present building there once stood a small chapel, known as the Chapel of the Separation. According to legend it was on this spot that St Peter and St Paul took leave of each other on the eve of their martyrdom. St Paul was taken further southeast, to Tre Fontane; St Paul northwest to the Vatican hill. A little plaque showing the two apostles in a fraternal embrace commemorates this event.

Inside the gates, you find yourself within the precincts of the former Montemartini electrical plant. Now decomissioned, its vast turbine halls, with machinery still intact, are host to an overflow of ancient sculpture from the collections of the Capitoline Museums. Displayed against the beautifully crafted behemoths of the machine age, the chiselled statues and portrait busts from the days of imperial Rome bring Marinetti powerfully to mind. He hated museums.

“We today are founding Futurism,” he boasted, “because we want to deliver Italy from its gangrene of professors, archaeologists, tourist guides and antiquaries. Italy has been too long the great second-hand market. We want to get rid of the innumerable museums which cover it with innumerable cemeteries.”

He was mistaken. There is nothing gangrenous here (most of the statues’ limbs have already been amputated). A museum such as the Centrale Montemartini is nothing like a cemetery. It is a place which conjures the age of marble and the age of cast iron into symbiotic life.


To give a feel for the depth of information available in our books, we reproduce here in full the index pages of PILGRIM'S ROME.

Numbers in italics are picture references. References with a ‘c.’ afterwards denote information contained in a caption. Reference with an ‘n.’ indicate that the information appears in a footnote.



Abbazia delle Tre Fontane 42–44

Achilleus, St  24, 110, 173

Acts of Peter  15

Aesculapius  168

Agnes, St 154, 160–61; (relics of)

113, 162; (eulogy of) 163, 163

Agrippa, Roman general  219

Alaric, King of the Visigoths  199

Alberti, Leon Battista  76

Albertoni, Bl. Ludovica  147

Alexamenos graffito  97c., 97,


Alexander VI, pope  94

Alexis, St  120

Allegri, Gregorio  260

Alps  149, 149

Ambrose, St  152, 231

Anastasius IV, pope  188

Angelico, Fra’  240;

(tomb of) 189

Anterus, pope  112

Antinoüs  243–44

Antoninus Pius, emperor  239, 239

Apollo Belvedere  245

Apostles’ Creed  100, 273

Apotheosis of emperors  187,

239, 239

Appian Way (see Via Appia)

Aquila, friend of St Paul  122, 123

Ara Pacis  205, 206

Arch of Constantine 202–03, 202

Arch of Gallienus  166

Arch of Septimius Severus  126

Arch of Titus  211, 211

Arians, Arianism  183, 198

Asclepius  168

Athanasius, St  244

Audiences, papal  235

Augustine of Canterbury, St  127

Augustine, St  164, 165, 199,

222, 227, 230–31

Augustus 184, 186, 187

Augustus of Prima Porta  245

Aurea, St  229

Aventine Hill  10, 116ff

Avignon, popes in  58, 61

Balbina, St  124

Bartholomew, apostle 170;

(relics of) 169

Basilicas, general  54, 54c.

Basilica of Junius Bassus  203

Basilicas, papal  55ff

St John Lateran 56–68

S. Maria Maggiore 86–91

S. Paolo fuori le Mura 45–53

St Peter’s 70–85

Baths of Caracalla  126, 170

Becket, St Thomas  120

Benedict XIV, pope  214c.

Benedict XVI, pope  55, 84

Bernard, St  43, 44

Bernini, Gian Lorenzo  71, 72,

80, 82, 84, 102, 147, 162, 185;

(tomb of) 91

Blessing, papal  84

Bocca della Verità  7, 157

Boniface VIII, pope  60, 60, 73,

74–75, 261

Bonnie Prince Charlie (see Stuart)

Borghese, Cardinal Scipione

102, 141

Borgia, Rodrigo (see Alexander VI)

Borgo  150

Borromini, Francesco  58, 161,


Botticelli, Sandro  250

Bramante, Donato  76

Burial practices  105

Buses  252; (bus tickets) 254

Byron, Lord  245

Caelian Hill  126ff

Caligula, Circus of

(see Circus of Nero)

Calixtus, deacon  112

Campo Verano  98

Canova, Antonio  168

Capgrave, John  46

Capitoline Museums  210

Cappella della Separazione  42

Caracalla, emperor  126;

(Baths of) 126, 170

Caravaggio  32, 53, 164

Castel Sant’Angelo  71, 77, 206,

235–36, 245

Castra Peregrina  129, 134

Castrum Praetorium  36, 36c.

Catacombs, general  104–10,

108, 111, 204n.

of Domitilla  110

of Mark and Marcellian  184

of Praetextatus  112

of Priscilla 113, 115

of S. Agnese  113

of S. Callisto  106, 111–12, 144

of S. Cyriaca  101

of S. Sebastiano  27, 110

of S. Valentino  153

Catherine of Siena, St 61, 189

Cavallini, Pietro  143, 146

Cavour, Camillo  16

Cecilia, St  112, 144, 145

Cellini, Benvenuto  235

Centrale Montemartini  42

Cestius, Caius 224

Chapel of St Sylvester  134

Chapel of St Zeno  191

Charlemagne, King of the Franks

69, 76

Chateaubriand, François-René,

vicomte de  208

Chiesa Nuova 172–73, 173

Chi Rho  108, 108

Christ (see Jesus)

Christian and pagan art  30, 177,

178c. 178, 192, 203–08, 205,


Christina, Queen of Sweden  83

Chrysogonus, St  141

Cilo, Lucius Fabius  126

Circular building design  131–33

Circus of Nero  29, 73

Claudius, emperor 14n., 212,

215292  pilgrim’s rome

Clemens (see Flavius Clemens)

Clement I, pope and saint  138,


Clement VII, pope  235, 236, 247

Clement X, pope  214c.

Clement XI, pope  168, 178c.

Clement XIV, pope, monument to  168

Colosseum 213–17, 214

Comunità di Sant’Egidio  171

Constans, son of Constantine  15

Constantia, daughter of Constantine  176;

(sarcophagus of)

178c., 178, 246

Constantine, emperor  195, 198, 210;

(and Battle of Milvian Bridge) 56, 200, 202;

(and labarum) 56, 69;

(arch of) 202–03, 202;

(building of basilicas) 15, 45, 55, 57, 64, 98;

(abolishes crucifixion) 97;

(baptism of) 57, 64, 135, 136c., 137;

(Donation of) 136c., 137

Constantinople  95

Constantius, son of Constantine 197

Consular roads (see Via Appia etc)

Conversion of St Paul (in art) 49, 53

Corso, Via del  8, 40

Cosmas, St  174

Counter-Reformation  180

Crown of Thorns  95

Crucifixion  96–97;

(early attitudes to) 117–18

Crucifixion of St Peter (in art)

32–33, 77

Curia, in Roman Forum  58,

199, 210

Cyprian, St  222

Dalmata, Giovanni  126

Damasus I, pope  86, 101, 106,

182, 183, 198, 233c.; (verse

eulogies of) 111, 112, 163, 163,


Damian, St  174

Dante  57

Day Lewis, Cecil  11

Deakin, Richard  216

Della Porta, Giacomo  180

Di Fausto, Florestano  94

Diocletian, emperor  44, 141, 160, 196

Dionysius I, pope  112

Divino Amore, sanctuary of  92

Domine Quo Vadis 24–26

Dominic, St  24, 117, 146, 147

Domitian, emperor 110

Domitilla (see Flavia Domitilla)

Domitilla, catacombs of  110

Domus Aurea  131, 212–13, 216

Domus ecclesiae  122

Donatello, sculptor  186

Donation of Constantine  136c., 137

Dürer, Albrecht  246

Eleutherius, pope  196

Enchiridion of Indulgences  262

English-language church services 257

Ephesus, Council of  86, 89c., 142

Epistles of Peter  14

Esquiline Gate  166

Esquiline Hill  16, 86, 131, 203

Eucharist  114–15

Eudocia, empress  21

Eudoxia, empress  21

Eutychianus, pope  112

Evangelists, symbols of  17c.

Fabian, pope  112

Fausta, wife of Constantine  57,

63, 64, 200

Faustina, empress  239, 239

Feast days  268

Felicianus, St  132, 133

Felicity, St  196

Felix I, pope  112

Felix IV, pope  174

Ferrata, Ercole  161

Filarete (Antonio Averlino)  76

Filocalus, Furius Dionysius 163c.

Flavia Domitilla  110, 173

Flavius Clemens  140

Fonseca, Gabriele  185

Forum 208–12

Fountain of the Four Rivers  162

Fourth Crusade  83, 95

Francis of Assisi, St  146, 147

Francis Xavier (see Xavier)



Gabinius, St  196

Gammadia  18, 52, 67, 174, 175, 179

Garibaldi, Giuseppe  103, 190

Genesius, St  196

Gesù, church of 179–82

Geta, brother of Caracalla  126

Ghetto, Jewish  38

Giardino degli Aranci  116

Giorgetti, Antonio  102

Giotto  60, 60, 240

Giovanni and Paolo, martyrs  128

Gladiatorial games  215–16

Golden House (see Domus Aurea)

Goths  199

Gratian, emperor  152

Gregorovius, Ferdinand  206

Gregory the Great, pope and

saint  127, 195, 236

Gregory XI, pope  61

Gregory XIII, pope 64

Hadrian, emperor  218, 219,

242–43; (mausoleum of) 71,

235, 245; (sarcophagus of) 77,

236; (villa of) 243

Haghia Sophia  197

Helen, St  80, 93, 94, 95;

(mausoleum of) 246;

(relics of) 188;

(sarcophagus of) 246

Helena, daughter of Constantine

177, 178c.

Hepburn, Audrey  7

Herod Agrippa  21

Hilarius, pope  66, 67

Holy doors  88, 89

Holy Years  74

Honorius I, pope  43, 134, 153,

163, 190

Honorius III, pope  117

Hopkins, Gerard Manley  135

Horologium Augusti 184

Iconoclasm  118–19

Iconography, Christian and

pagan  30, 177, 178c. 178, 192,

203–08, 205, 241–42

Ignatius of Loyola, St  181, 182

Incorruptibility  100

Indulgences 260–64

Ine, King of Wessex  150

Innocent II, pope  43

Innocent III, pope  115, 222

Innocent X, pope 162

Innocent XI, pope  79

Isaia da Pisa  189

Isola Tiberina 168–69

James the Less, apostle  166, 167

Janiculum Hill  189

Jerome, St  183, 244

Jesuits  180

Jesus (alleged footprints of)  26,

26, 102; (crib of) 90; (in vision

of Augustus) 186; (St Peter’s

vision of) 25

Jews, Jewish community in Rome

8, 14n., 36, 106, 141, 211, 212;

(cuisine) 255–56; (ghetto) 38

John the Baptist, head of  195

John Chrysostom, St  83

John IV, pope  67

John XV, pope  148,  158

John Paul II, pope 79, 83, 92,

104, 151, 171, 223

Jude, St  82

Jugurtha, King of Numidia  18

Julian the Apostate, emperor 128, 178c.

Julius Caesar  19, 37

Julius II, pope  226, 245, 247;

(tomb of) 22

Junius Bassus, basilica of  203

Junius Bassus, sarcophagus of 203

Keats, John  225

Keyhole (Priorato di Malta)  121, 121

Knights of Malta 121

Labarum (see Constantine)

Laocoön  246

Lateran Council, Fourth  115

Lateran Palace  58, 62, 68, 69,

158, 238

Lateran Treaty  58

Lawrence, St  24, 98, 101, 184;

(relics of) 99; (relic of gridiron

of) 184; (martyrdom of) 159

Le Gros, Pierre  181

Leo I, pope  21

Leo III, pope  69, 76

Leonardo da Vinci  240

Leo X, pope 129, 206, 236, 247,


Liberius, pope  86, 91, 114

Liber Spectaculorum 216

Loyola (see Ignatius)

Lucina, Roman matron 122, 184

Lucius I, pope  112

Lucius Verus, emperor  98

Ludus Magnus  215

Luke, evangelist  40, 52; (icons

painted by) 69, 91

Luther, Martin  261, 263

Maderno, Carlo  195

Maderno, Stefano  144, 145

Madonna della Clemenza, icon 143

Madonna del Perpetuo Soccorso 166

Mamertine Prison 18–21, 19

Maraini, Antonio  48

Marcellinus, pope  113

Marcellus I, pope 113

Marcellus II, pope  260n.

Marcus Aurelius, emperor  31

Mark, evangelist  14

Mark and Marcellian, catacombs of  184

Martial, poet  216

Martin V, pope  61, 62

Martyrdom, earliest illustration of 128, 128

Mary, cult of  142

Masolino da Panicale  139

Matthias, apostle  12, 90

Maxentius, rival of Constantine

173–74, 200, 202, 210

Medici, Ferdinando de’  130

Mehmet II, Ottoman sultan  197

Meo, Antonietta  94

Metro  253; (Metro tickets) 254

Michelangelo 22, 33, 76, 79, 80,

170, 189, 250

Milvian Bridge, site  153,

199–200, 201

Milvian Bridge, battle of  56, 69c., 202

Mino da Fiesole  126

Mirabilia Urbis Romae  186

Miserere, psalm  260

Mithraea, cult of Mithras  123,

124, 134, 140, 229, 230

Monica, St  165, 227, 231;

(tombstone of) 227, 227

Mons Gaudii  10

Monte Mario  10

Morton, H.V.  148

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus  260

Museo Nazionale (Palazzo Massimo)

124, 203, 205c.

Mussolini, Benito  233

Napoleon  79, 190, 245

Nathanael, friend of St Philip 170

Nereus, St  24, 110, 173

Neri, St Philip  92, 172

Nero, emperor  12, 14, 39, 57,

77, 131; (revolving dining room

of) 212; (ghost of) 32

New York Times  104

Nicene Creed  100, 183, 272

Nicholas IV, pope  62

Nicholas V, pope 76, 179

Normans  134, 139

Obelisks  56, 73, 86, 184

Oratory of St Philip  173

Oratory of the Forty Martyrs  211

Origen, theologian  15, 244

Ostia 226–31

Pagan and Christian art  30, 177,

178c. 178, 192, 203–08, 205,


Palatine Hill  97c., 212

Palazzo della Cancelleria  182

Palazzo Massimo  124, 203, 205c.

Pallium 148n., 154

Pancrazio, St (St Pancras)  190

Pantheon  106, 217–22

Papal audiences 235

Papal basilicas  55ff

St John Lateran 56–68

S. Maria Maggiore 86–91

S. Paolo fuori le Mura 45–53

St Peter’s 70–85

Papal indulgences  260–64

Paschal I, pope  129, 144, 145,

154, 191; (monogram of) 192, 192

Paschal II, pope  32, 134, 139

Paul, apostle  19, 118, 122;

(appearance of) 35c., 51;

(life and character of) 34–37;

(conversion of, in art) 49, 53;

(Roman citizenship of) 29, 36;

(dwelling places of in Rome)

37–40; (imprisonment of) 20,

37, 44; (‘separation’) 40–42,

41; (martyrdom of) 42–43,

44; (martyrdom of, in art) 35,

39, 50; (burial of) 45; (and

Catacombs of S. Sebastiano) 28,

102; (sarcophagus of) 50

Paul III, pope  207

Paul V, pope  81, 90–91, 113, 185

Paul VI, pope  262

Peck, Gregory  7

Perugino, Pietro  250

Peter, Acts of  15

Peter, apostle 19, 179, 263;  (life

and character of) 12–16;

(at S. Pudenziana) 16;

(imprisonment of) 13, 20–21, 23;

(chains of) 21–22, 22;

(tries to flee Rome) 23;

(bandage of) 24; (‘separation’) 40–42, 41;

(and Catacombs of S. Sebastiano) 28,

102;  (crucifixion of) 15;

(crucifixion of, in art) 32–33, 77;

(tomb of) 29–32, 31, 80–81

Peter, epistles of  14

Philip, apostle  166, 167c., 167

Piazza della Bocca della Verità 218

Piazza dei Cavallieri di Malta 121

Piazza Navona  161, 162

Pietro da Cortona  40

Pilgrimage churches 92ff

S. Croce in Gerusalemme 93–95

St John Lateran 56–68

S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura 98–101

S. Maria Maggiore 86–91

S. Paolo fuori le Mura 45–53

St Peter’s 70–85

S. Sebastiano 101–03


P cont.

Pinturicchio, painter  186

Piranesi, Giovanni Battista  122

Pius V, pope and saint, 90–91

Pius IX, pope 90, 103–04, 233;

(mausoleum of) 99

Plautilla, Roman matron  39c., 39

Plautius Lateranus  57

Pliny the Younger  197

Ponte Cestio  169

Ponte Fabricio  169

Ponte Rotto  169

Ponte Sant’Angelo 6, 70–72

Pontianus, pope  112

Pontifex Maximus  233c.

Poussin, Nicolas, monument to

207–208, 209

Praetextatus, catacombs of  112

Praetorian Guard  36, 36c.

Praxedes, St  192, 194

Primus, St  132, 133

Priorato di Malta  121

Priscilla (or Prisca), friend of St

Paul  122, 123

Priscilla, catacombs of  113, 115

Protestant Cemetery  222–25, 224

Pudens, senator  16, 192

Pudentiana, St  192, 194

Quo Vadis, church

(see Domine Quo Vadis)

Quo Vadis, novel  26

Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio)

76, 79, 165, 221, 240, 241;

(rooms in Vatican) 246–47

Reni, Guido  185

Roman Holiday, film  7

Romulus Augustulus,

emperor 199

Rubens, Peter Paul  173

Ruskin, John  246, 247

S. Agnese in Agone 160–62

S. Agnese, catacombs of 113

S. Agnese fuori le Mura  154,


S. Agostino 164–65

S. Alessio  120

S. Alfonso 165–66

SS. Apostoli  166–68, 167

S. Aurea  226

S. Balbina  124–26, 125

S. Bartolomeo  168–71

S. Callisto, catacombs of  106,

111–12, 144

S. Cecilia 144–46, 145, 154

S. Clemente  138–40, 204

SS. Cosma e Damiano 173–74,


S. Costanza  176–79, 204, 205

S. Crisogono  141–42

S. Croce in Gerusalemme  93–95

S. Cyriaca, catacombs of 101

S. Francesco a Ripa  146

SS. Giovanni e Paolo 127–28,


S. Giuseppe dei Falegnami  18

S. Gregorio Magno  127

S. John Lateran  55, 56–68, 204,


S. Lorenzo in Damaso  182

S. Lorenzo in Lucina  151,

184–85, 207, 209

S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura  98–101

S. Lorenzo in Panisperna  159

S. Lorenzo in Piscibus  151

S. Maria Antiqua  211

S. Maria in Aracoeli  186–88

S. Maria in Cosmedin  7,

155–57, 156, 218

S. Maria in Domnica  129–31,


S. Maria Maggiore  86–91, 89,


S. Maria sopra Minerva  189

S. Maria del Popolo  32, 53

S. Maria Scala Coeli  44

S. Maria in Traspontina  28

S. Maria in Trastevere  142–43

S. Maria in Via Lata  39–40

SS. Nereo e Achilleo 23–24

S. Nicola in Carcere  218

S. Pancrazio  189–91

S. Paolo fuori le Mura  35, 45–53,

49, 50, 51

S. Paolo alla Regola 38

S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane  44

S. Peter’s 70–85; (crypt of) 81;

(view of) 121

S. Peter’s Square  72–73, 84

S. Pietro in Vincoli  21–22

S. Prassede  191–94, 194, 204,

205, 205c.

S. Prisca  123–24

S. Pudenziana  16–18, 17

SS. Quattro Coronati 134–38

S. Sabina  116–19, 119

S. Sebastiano, basilica of  101–03;

(catacombs of) 27, 110

S. Silvestro in Capite  195

S. Sisto Vecchio  24

S. Spirito in Sassia  150

S. Stefano Rotondo  131–34, 132

S. Susanna 195–96

S. Valentino, catacombs of  153;

(new church of) 153; (old

basilica of) 151, 153

SS. Vincenzo e Anastasio  43, 154

Sacchi, Andrea  65

Salus Populi Romani, icon  91

Sancta Sanctorum  68

Santen, Jan van  103

Santissimo Bambino  188, 188

Scala Santa  68

Sebastian, St  27, 102

Second Vatican Council  223

Sejanus, Lucius Aelius  19

Senate house (in Forum)  58,

198, 210

Seneca, Stoic philosopher  215

‘Separation’ of Peter and Paul

40–42, 41

Septimius Severus, emperor 126

Serapia, Christian slave  117

Shelley, Percy Bysshe  7, 126,

200, 255

Sibyl, Cumaean  187

Sibyl, Tiburtine  186

Sienkiewicz, Henryk  26

Sigeric, Archbishop of Canterbury

120, 148ff

Simon, St  82

Simon bar Giora  19, 211

Simplicius, pope  203

Sistine Chapel  248 –51, 260

Sixtus II, pope  24, 112

Sixtus III, pope  65

Sixtus IV, pope  248

Sixtus V, pope  86, 90–91

Spanish Steps  8

Stational churches  265

Stefaneschi Triptych  240

Stephen I, pope  112

Stuart, Charles

(Bonnie Prince Charlie) 83, 168

Stuart, James,

the Old Pretender 83

Suetonius  14n., 169, 212

Susanna, St  196

Swiss Guard  234

Sylvester I, pope  57, 93, 113,

136c., 137; (chapel of) 134

Symmachus, consul  198

Symmachus, pope  190

Synagogue (Ostia)  229, 230

Tarcisius, St  112

Taxis  252

Temple of Bacchus  178c.

Temple of Hercules Victor  218

Temple of Portunus  218

Tertullian, theologian  217, 244

Theodore I, pope  67

Theodosius I, emperor  151,

183, 198

Thomas, St, relic of  95

Thomas Aquinas, St  198

Tipping  256

Titulus, tituli  122

Titulus Clementis  122

Titulus Crucis  94, 95

Titulus Fasciolae  24

Titulus Lucinae  122

Titulus Priscae  123

Titus, emperor  19, 211, 216

Tombs of the Popes  81

Torriti, Jacopo  62

Trajan, emperor  197–98

Trastevere  8, 140ff

Tre Fontane 42–44, 154

Trevi Fountain  8

Tribune  69, 69

Tropaion of Gaius  81

True Cross  80, 93, 95

Tullianum, prison  18

Urban VIII, pope  80, 260

Ursinus, rival of Pope Damasus


Valentine, St  151, 152

Valerian, emperor  28, 98, 102,


Vasanzio, Giovanni  103

Vasari, Giorgio 60

Vassalletti family  52, 63

Vatican II (Second Vatican Council) 223

Vatican City  10, 103, 232ff

Vatican Gardens  234

Vatican Museums  236ff

Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls


Vernicle  6c.

Veroi, Guido  35, 47

Veronica, veil of  6c., 80

Vespasian, emperor  216

Via Appia  8, 23, 25, 36, 105;

(catacombs on) 110

Via Aurelia  190

Via Cavour 16

Via Crucis, Good Friday

ceremony  217

Via della Conciliazione  233

Via del Corso  8, 40

Via Flaminia  8, 151

Via Francigena  148

Via Nomentana  8, 105, 133,

162; (catacombs on) 113

Via Ostiense  8, 41, 45

Via Praenestina  8

Via Salaria  8, 105, 113

Via Tiburtina  8

Vigna Barberini  212

Vignola (Jacopo Barozzi)  180

Virgil, poet  187

Virgin Mary, cult of  142

Vittorio Emanuele II, tomb of

220, 221

Xavier, St Francis  182

Ye Solace of Pilgrims  46

Zeno, martyr  44

Zeno, St, chapel of  191

Zephyrinus, pope  112