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The Churches and Catacombs of Early Christian Rome

A Comprehensive Guide

Author Text to Follow

The Church of Santa Maria Antiqua, featured in the book, is now reopened. Visit the Church at:

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-902210-58-2
Paperback Price: £35.00 / $49.50
Release Date: October 2001
Page Extent / Format: 332 pp. / 246 x 171 mm
Illustrated: Throughout


Preface vii
How to Use This Book viii
Historical Introduction to Early Christian Rome xi

Itinerary 1 1
St. Peter’s 5
The Treasury 12
The Necropolis and St. Peter’s Shrine 14
The Necropolis 15
Section through the Necropolis 16
The Vatican Grottoes 19
The Vatican Palace and Museums 23
The Pio Christian Museum 24
The Pio Clementine Museum 25
The Vatican Library 25
The Vatican City 32
San Pellegrino 34
Santo Stefano degli Abissini 36

Itinerary 2 39
San Giovanni in Laterano 41
San Giovanni in Fonte 45
Scala Santa and the Lateran Palace 49
Santa Croce in Gerusalemme 52

Itinerary 3 57
Santa Maria Maggiore 59
Santa Pudenziana 65
Santa Prassede 68
San Martino ai Monti 72
San Pietro in Vincoli 75
Sant’Agata dei Goti 78
San Vitale 80
Santa Susanna 82

Itinerary 4 85
San Clemente 87
Upper Church 88
Lower Church 90
Santi Quattro Coronati 93
Santo Stefano Rotondo 96
Santa Maria in Domnica 99
Santi Giovanni e Paolo 101
San Gregorio Magno 105

Itinerary 5 109
Santa Maria Antiqua 112
Oratory of The Forty Martyrs 123
Santi Cosma e Damiano 126
Santa Francesca Romana (Santa Maria Nova) 130
Santi Quirico e Giulitta 133
The Mamertine Prison 136
The Colosseum 138

Itinerary 6 143
San Marco 145
Santa Maria ad Martyres (The Pantheon) 149
Santa Maria in Via Lata 152
The Diaconia
Santi Apostoli 154
San Marcello in Corso 156
San Silvestro in Capite 158
San Lorenzo in Lucina 161
Sant’Agnese in Agone 163
Sant’Angelo in Pescheria 165

Itinerary 7 167
Santa Sabina 169
Santa Maria in Cosmedin 175
Santa Maria Egiziaca (The Temple of Fortuna Virilis) 178
San Giorgio in Velabro 182
San Teodoro 185
Sant’Anastasia 188

Itinerary 8 191
San Saba 193
Santa Balbina 196
Santi Nereo ed Achilleo 198
San Giovanni a Porta Latina 201
San Sisto Vecchio 203

Itinerary 9 205
San Paolo Fuori le Mura 207
Santa Passera 214
Abbazia delle Tre Fontane 217
Santa Maria Scala Coeli 218
San Paolo alle Tre Fontane 219

Itinerary 10 221
San Sebastiano and Catacomb 224
Catacomb of San Callisto 229
Catacomb of Domitilla 232

Itinerary 11 237
San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura and Catacomb 240
Sant’Agnese Fuori le Mura and Catacomb 246
Santa Costanza 249
San Valentino and Catacomb 253
Catacomb of Priscilla 257
The Cistern 257
The Arenario 259
The Greek Chapel 259

Itinerary 12 261
San Crisogono 263
Santa Cecilia 266
Santa Maria in Trastevere 270
San Pancrazio and Catacomb 273

Itinerary 13 277
Santi Marcellino e Pietro and Catacomb 279
Villa Gordiani 283
Santo Stefano in Via Latina 285

List of Emperors 289
List of Popes 291
Chronology 294
Compendium of the most important catacombs and other Early Christian funerary monuments in Rome 296
Seeing the Pope 298
Glossary 300
Bibliography 304
Index 308

In the best tradition of well-researched archaeological guides, this volume offers a brief history, a diagram, and description of all the early Christian churches and catacombs as well as suggested itineraries… Recommended not only for the traveller but also for libraries as a good entrée into the early Christian archaeology of Rome.
Religious Studies Review

The early churches and catacombs of early Christian Rome not only comprise a material heart for the world’s Christians but are a quintessential heritage for modern Europe. They deserve to be far better known and this should be the book to do the job. This book will delight anyone, be they archaeologist or holiday maker, who loves Rome, its people and their historical treasures.
Professor Martin Carver, The University of York

With clear, no-nonsense descriptions, useful plans and a range of other valuable information, the author makes it possible for the interested traveller to tour the city’s churches and find an intimate peace alongside serene beauty. In so doing, Webb has written a book for the modern traveller to rival the medieval guides that pilgrims from all over Europe took on their journey of a lifetime.
Professor Richard Hodges, School of World Art, University of East Anglia

A very welcome addition to the literature.
Amanda Claridge, author of Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide

Brings together an immense body of learning.
The Catholic Herald

An admirably informative and practical guidebook.
Church Times

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