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Edited by Professor PERCY GARDNER, Litt.D., of the University 
of Oxford, and Professor FRANCIS W. KELSEY, of the University of 
Michigan. With Illustrations. Ex. crown 8vo. 

Greek Sculpture. By ERNEST A. GARDNER, M.A. New edition 
with Appendix. Part I. Part II. Complete in one volume. 
Appendix separately. 

Greek and Roman Coins. By G. F. HILL, of the Coins Depart- 
ment of the British Museum. 

The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic. By W. 

A Handbook of Greek Constitutional History. By A. H. J. 
GREENIDGE, M.A. With Map. 

The Destruction of Ancient Rome. A Sketch of the History of the 
Monuments. By Professor RODOLFO LANCIANI. 

Roman Public Life. By A. H. J. GREENIDGE, M.A. 

Christian Art and Archaeology. A Handbook to the Monuments 
of the Early Church. By W. LOWRIE, M.A. 

Grammar of Greek Art. By Professor PERCY GARDNER. 

Life in Ancient Athens. The Social and Public Life of a Classical 
Athenian from Day to Day. By Professor T. G. TUCKER, Litt.D. 










All rights reserved 


Set up and electrotyped. Published December, 1908. 


J. 8. Gushing Co. Berwick & Smith Co. 
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 

















BASILICAS ............ 155 


CLOISTERS ............ 195 




PAINTING ............ 254 

ROMAN ARTISTS . . . . . . . 343 



INDEX ... . . . . . . . . . . 385 




THE complexity of Rome is at once an allurement and a 
source of despair. As a growing modem capital it turns its 
back upon its past, and as a historic museum it bristles with 
periods and styles so varied they cannot be set forth with 
the lucidity that makes the art of Athens comparatively easy 
to grasp. 

The present epitome of one group of these phases reflects 
the artistic life of Koine as a Christian city and the general 
features of its history and culture from the day when the Em- 
peror Constantine stopped the era of persecution and raised 
the Christian Labarum as his standard, until that when the 
mediaeval Papacy, after a glorious history, was forced to ab- 
dicate its world-power and to leave Rome for Avignon, reduc- 
ing the city to the lowest ebb of desolation. 

When Rome rises again under the Popes of the Renaissance, 
it will not be by its own efforts or with its peculiar traits 
unchanged. The new Rome will be a composite picture reflect- 
ing the handiwork of Tuscans, of Lombards and of Umbrians : 
a Rome at war with itself, tearing frantically at its own his- 
toric vitals and every day making a mock and travesty of its 
past. Rome of the Romans is no more. 

This old Rome from Constantine to the Renaissance is 
itself a varied pageant. For nearly two centuries after his 
death it remained a decapitalized, unambitious Rome, pauper- 
ized by imperial bounty, drunk with corruption, hypnotized by 
vile plays, indifferent to apostles, occupied with a round of 
baths, games and gossip, clogged with a surfeit of villas, fine 
raiment and delicate eating, careless of the crumbling away 
of the ancient world about it under the blows of the bar- 


In this Rome primitive Christianity was trying to grasp 
the hearts of the people and the reins of power ; reaching out 
successfully when led by such men as Popes Sylvester, Darnasus 
and Leo the Great. And yet, while fighting indifference and 
depravity, the Church was itself becoming contaminated with 
luxury and worldliness. Pagan writers were able to jeer at 
ecclesiastical dandies and ladies' men; at papal wealth and 
worldly influence. This was the side of Christian Koine that 
formed the despair of S. Jerome and sent so many of its saints 
in flight to the mountains and monasteries of Palestine and 
the deserts of Egypt, so many of its earnest, ambitious men to 
Constantinople, so many of its literary lights to Southern 

But then, before the last echoes of paganism had ceased 
to reverberate, or asceticism had commenced to supersede the 
delights of the flesh, the hand of the Lord was stretched out, 
and there came a blank. For forty days Rome was silent in 
the wake of the Goths : Senate, Church, corporations, populace, 
were scattered to all quarters, Constantinople, Sicity, Gaul, 
Dalmatia, Egypt, Palestine, never to be reunited. 

When, during the latter half of the sixth century and after 
the horrors of a great plague had followed the long war, the 
walls of Rome began once more to shelter a small but motley 
population, it bore little resemblance in numbers or character 
to that of the past. There was no aristocracy ; there were 
no organized corporations of the people. The newcomers 
were mostly of humble birth. They called themselves no longer 
by the old high-sounding triple Roman names, no Junius 
Bassus or Flavius Maximus, but simple John and Paul. 
All were poor, but none were pauperized. They worked for 
their bread instead of receiving it from imperial or papal 
bounty. They knew of no public baths nor loitering places, 
no circus nor theatre. They were a Christian people dealing 
with stern and sad realities, for whom paganism and its delights 
were as an unreal dream, and the great deserted ghost-like 
city a weight and a nightmare. 

To this people the monks of the East soon came as familiar 
spirits, and found themselves as much at home on the seven 


deserted hills as in the deserts of Egypt and Syria. Asceti- 
cism was now as much in the eye of the people as self-indul- 
gence had been in that of the Rome of Constantine and 

This new Byzantine and monastic Rome, some two centuries 
in the making, was a stern school to retemper the spirit. It 
bred a people ready to leap forward to the opportunities of the 
Carlovingian era, a Papacy and a clergy ready to make of 
Rome once again a city with a mission. 

Mission of Rome. In the days of the Early and Middle 
Empire from Augustus to the Antonines its mission had been 
imperium with libertas and the pax romana : the universal 
pervasion of law and order. To this material and political 
mission, after a long vacation, the new Rome was about to 
substitute another imperium, equally universal, but less mate- 
rial, an imperium of ideas in which the relation of politics to 
religion was reversed. For the Roman Empire, the imperial 
worship that overspread all particular religions had been the 
necessary handmaid of political unity, as giving the ideal 
raison-d'e'tre of imperialism. With the Roman Church the 
moves on the political chess-board were subordinated to the 
supposed exigencies of a religious world-policy which aimed 
as stringently as the old order had at unity and centralization, 
at healthy / local development under the impulse of the Roman 
idea. Bishops and abbots took the place of imperial prefects 
and legates, and under them the local clergy and monks formed 
the army of occupation. Vaguely groped after as a general 
system and variously conceived, it was systematized in its 
religious and moral hegemony during the fifth century by 
Leo the Great, and afterward by S. Gregory ; it was given a 
basis of material power through the conception of the political 
States of the Church under the Carlovingian Popes Hadrian 
and Leo III ; and it was finally brilliantly perfected in all its 
aspects in the eleventh century by Gregory VII, the great 
Hildebrand, at a time when the mediaeval mind was both most 
clearly logical and most deeply religious, at the beginning of 
the age of scholasticism and the Crusades. Under this Roman 
banner of reform and Christian democracy, great ideas and 


impulses swept over Europe, altruism got the better of self- 
ishness, the great monastic orders redeemed the land and the 
people, and the arts of civilization took giant strides along 
national lines during this golden age of the twelfth and thir- 
teenth centuries. 

Roman People. What, then, of the people of Rome and the 
art of Rome ? What was their part in this long transforma- 

Ponte Nomentano, across Anio, near Rome. 

Ancient bridge, with mediaeval fortifications. 

tion ? What was their relation to the Papacy ? That is one 
fascination of the sphinx-like city. We think of mediaeval 
Rome, if we do not really know it, as identical with the Pa- 
pacy, as saying its dutiful amen to Church policy. How 
unexpected it is to know the people as they really were, tur- 
bulent and hot-headed, the first in Europe to establish a proud 
and powerful feudal nobility in the Carlovingian era, culmi- 
nating in their Alberics and their Crescentii ; the first to 
organize a great civilian army of militia in the eighth century, 
when they were also the first to build a mediaeval war fleet 
and defeat the Saracen invaders. 

Riddling their city with towers and fortresses, mostly reared 
on antique ruins ; scattering huge castles over every hilltop 


and crag in the province ; driving out Pope after Pope in jeal- 
ous defence of their civic rights, and yet so proud of the 
Papacy as to be unwilling to live without it. Ready to accept 
imperial aid against the Papacy, and yet rising, regardless of 
odds and unpreparedness, against any German Emperor who 
came, with trained armies, to be crowned Roman Emperors of 
the West, if they happened to offend the fierce and boundless 
Roman pride. Small wonder that, like any organism without 
a single aim, this secular Rome never attained to fulness of 

This is the heart of Rome : illogical, inconsecutive and pas- 
sion-tossed, an image of the frowning, rugged, jagged, ruined 
city, with its harsh contrasts, so different in its lack of unity 
from the purely mediaeval, well-ordered, single-eyed cities of 
Middle and Northern Italy. The spectre of the ancient world 
still loomed before the imagination, gigantic and irritating, 
spurring men on to things they did not themselves under- 
stand, as if all afflicted by what alienists call the mania of 
grandeur, from the days of the political reformer, Alberic, to 
those of the dreamer, Cola di Rienzo. 

Such men as these Romans became incomparable agents 
when they could subordinate their wills to a system, to an 
organism like the Papacy. Such a people did not lack imagi- 
nation. There were always those among them who could 
turn their peculiar gifts in the direction of art; who could 
understand how to wield art as an instrument of religion, as 
one of the greatest means for obtaining the universal dominion 
in the field of ideas, that always appealed to a Roman ; a do- 
minion which Rome alone could gain in those early mediaeval 
days when all Western culture was to be made anew and largely 
on a Teutonic groundwork. 

In fact the Roman clergy and people were in their very race 
and organization since the Gothic wars, ideally prepared for 
such a mission, for they were compounded of the antique race, 
of Byzantine settlers of Greek and Oriental origin, and of 
northerners of many tribes ; yet all, after long seething and 
attrition, fused into a characteristic and fascinating unit by the 
two powers of Roman tradition and of the living Papacy. So 


that it was by no means the Popes alone who were patrons of 
art in Koine : to the upper clergy and the nobility the majority, 
in fact, of the monuments was due, and, as we shall see, some 
of the most flourishing artistic decades were those when the 
Popes were exiles. 


Periods. In a scientific analysis Rome's epos from Con- 
stantine to Avignon falls naturally into three books. The 
first tells of the composite pagan-Christian city of the latter 
days of the Empire, the life in death of ancient culture, the 
new wine in old bottles full of sediment, with the after-glow 
of Theodoric the Goth temporarily galvanizing the effete 
organism until the final fall of the curtain during those famous 
forty days of the Gothic war when Rome is said to have been 
completely deserted. There are two centuries and a half in 
this first book (311-546). 

The second book deals with a new Rome hiding within the 
old, dimly steeped in its memories, but ignorant of the reali- 
ties of its ancient life and luxuries : an ascetic city weaving 
fables about a corrupt and decadent society of the past and 
drawing its real life from Byzantium and its guidance from 
the Papacy. Its first chapter shows us an almost purely 
Byzantine Rome ; while in its second chapter the Western 
elements reassert themselves with the Carlovingian dynasty 
in the lead and the converted northern nations all bursting 
into vigorous life. But this life was 7iot fused by a quicken- 
ing spirit ; it went out like the bursting of a rocket, and the 
second chapter of the epic closes, after a fin-al century of life- 
lessness, at an even more discouraging and lower level of 
achievement than the -first. It had lasted twice as long, for 
nearly five centuries (546-c. 1050). 

As the second stage had opened with a Gregory the Great, 
the third and final book of the epic was ushered in by the 
work of another Pope Gregory, the great Hildebrand, at first 
the motive power behind several Popes, then himself in the 
chair. We are now in the creative stage of the Middle Ages, 
the days of quick living, of self-sacrifice, of idealism, of con- 


centrated purpose. The contest for supremacy between the 
Imperial and Papal ideas, the movement of the Crusades, the 
all-pervading work of the monastic orders, the intellectual and 
moral resurrection of the Church and of society, are among the 
factors that raise these centuries above the petty policies of the 
material period that is to follow. Eome was then more than 
ever a centre of Western life, the main lever and leaven of 
Europe. What she would have done had not her career been 
cut short in the midst of strenuous achievement by the flight to 
Avignon, is one of the unsolved dreams of history ! 

Art of Christian Rome. While the supreme role of Eome 
and the Papacy has filled a large place in the scholarly 
thought that has given us pictures of these ten centuries, 
almost nothing has been written of her role in the sphere of 
art history. And yet, as the grip of the Papacy upon the 
Western world grew stronger, Rome was once more called 
upon to furnish art-types and models, and to give artistic 
education and direction, exactly as ancient Rome had 
done for so many of her provinces under the Early 

Why is it that what is so self-evident for the Roman 
Empire has not been recognized as true for the Middle Ages ? 
Perhaps because the Christian art of Rome was far from 
simple, being compounded with Hellenic and Oriental elements, 
so that its track is not so plain to the eye as that of its less 
complex pagan predecessor. Perhaps also because its artistic 
teaching was now so much more in the domain of the spirit 
than of matter, that its traces are the more subtle and the less 
demonstrable. But as the fundamental axiom of art criticism 
for the Christian period is the indissoluble union of art with 
theology and liturgy, and as it is a truism that all the nations 
of the Xorth owed their conversion directly or indirectly to 
Rome, and got from her the form, decoration and furniture, 
the music and liturgy of their churches and monasteries, and 
even the relics of their saints ; it is the inevitable conclusion 
that, whatever differences may have arisen through local 
peculiarities and with certain reservations as to decorative 
motifs, Rome was the ultimate source of the art of all Europe 


in the early Middle Ages, even of that of the Frank, the Anglo- 
Saxon and Germanic nations. 

As art had become the "bible of the poor," and its works 
were dedicated to " the people of God," the Church was now the 
one common and civilizing centre of the city. And of this art 
Rome held the double key, that of its technique and that of its 
ideas. Rome also had in the hollow of her hand, through the 
organization of the Papacy, the bishops and abbots of all Euro- 
pean churches, the men who guided the hands of all the artists 
of the time. 

To know the Christian art of Rome, then, means far more 
than it seems. It transcends the city and the land ; it joins 
hands with the East and the North throughout the ages of vital 
Christianity. Yet even now, in this advanced age of art criti- 
cism, the knowledge of the history of this Roman art is in a 
condition that can only be described as infantile. 

Problems in Architecture. Among the causes of this lacuna 
the first is the unique unity of the Roman style of church 
architecture and painting during a thousand years of history, a 
unity which has made critics despair of certainty in dating 
many of its buildings and their decoration. A second cause is 
the indiscriminate slaughter and disfigurement of the mediaeval 
records by the prelates and artists of the Renaissance and Ba- 
rocco periods. 

In other countries and other schools there always were, from 
century to century, such radical changes in style that it would 
require abnormal critical density to make in most cases an error 
of over half a century. For example, during this millennium of 
Roman uniformity France saw a succession of styles, Mero- 
vingian, Carlovingian, Romanesque, Gothic, not only each 
instinct with individuality, but each embracing distinct local 
and chronological variations. Under such conditions, to date a 
monument approximately without the aid of documents is easy. 
To give a concrete instance. In almost every province of France 
during this period we find the successive use of several kinds 
of covering : wooden roof, tunnel vault, groin vault or dome. 
And we can control these larger factors by the minor peculiari- 
ties of details ; such as the architectural mouldings so rich in 


the closing centuries of the Middle Ages ; such as the capitals 
where we find a great variety of design, some a more or less 
imperfect adaptation of the antique orders, some based on 
geometric forms, some on the imitation of nature human, 
animal and vegetable. 

Compare this richness with the uniformity of Rome, where 
no kind of vaulting ever found entrance (except sporadically), 
but where we are everlastingly confronted by the same wooden 
roofs ; where no system of capitals (except sporadically) ever 
contested the supremacy of the antique orders ; where the classic 
Roman system of ornament continued in almost unbroken use, 
hardly interrupted by the Byzantine centuries ; where the old 
thin brick walls, with their plain roundheaded openings for 
doors and windows, were never replaced by heavy moulded 
stonework ; where no problems in statics troubled the builders' 
minds and led to new developments. 

Such a school requires infinite patience for its decipherment. 
This patience is severely taxed by the present condition of the 
churches of Rome. As long as it was Christian Rome that re- 
stored its own, there was no incongruity between the new work 
and the old, but with the Renaissance, and still more with the 
Barocco period, the Roman Church showed as much destructive 
ruthlessness for its own past as it did for ancient pagan ruins. 
What it did not entirely destroy it aimed radically to transform. 
Not a single church entirely escaped. It was merely a question 
of scale : from complete destruction, like that of S. Peter, to 
the less radical transformation of the furniture and decoration, 
as at S. Maria Maggiore. 

We cannot enter any of the Roman churches as we can so 
many Romanesque and Gothic churches of Northern Europe 
and have the complete satisfaction of being taken back through 
the centuries, without a jar or a contradiction. Mutilated as 
they are, the monuments of classic Rome, in their sombre and 
ragged nudity, but without discordant additions of other ages, 
have less to contend with in their appeal to our reconstructive 
imagination than have the Christian basilicas where Barocco 
prelates have delighted to hide the lines of classic columns in- 
side hideous plaster piers ; to fling riotous and sprawling cupids 


and allegorical females of colossal size against every apse and 
chapel ; to spread over heavy coffered ceilings the most violent 
combinations of bright blues, reds and golds ; to rip out the 
wealth of chancel rails, choir screens, pulpits, paschal cande- 
labra, altar canopies that obstructed to their mind the view of 
the flaunting ceremonial of the age, and yet delighting to 411 up 
the vistas again with portentous altar tabernacles ; to cover with 
whitewash the old mosaics and frescos ; to tear down the an- 
cient porticos and plaster against the front one of those mean- 
ingless bescrolled and bumptious faqades that disfigure most of 
the streets of Rome. An eminent living prelate and writer has 
tartly said, " These men make us regret the Vandals." 

Yet while allowing the lover of the mediaeval Rome that was 
to voice this lament, it remains true that Rome still contains 
the most wonderful existing series of Christian works of art 
in unbroken continuity, and that their history has never been 
written with any scientific accuracy, though they are most of 
them familiar inmates of the pages of art histories. Their 
unity to which I have referred has made it possible to confuse 
a basilica of the time of a Liberius (352-366) or a Sixtus III 
(432-440) with one built eight hundred years later by an 
Innocent II (1130-1143) or a Honorius III (1216-1227). 
A fresco or mosaic of the tenth or eleventh may reproduce 
quite faithfully one of the fifth or sixth century. 

This confusion is enhanced by misleading documentary evi- 
dence. As most of the basilicas were early foundations and 
were often restored, redecorated and even reconstructed, there 
are many records of work done which, owing to the vagueness, 
inaccuracy and exaggeration of mediaeval phraseology, leave us 
in doubt as to the date of the building that now stands before 
us. The old chronicler's desire to magnify the work done by 
a contemporary would often lead him to call a mere restoration 
by the misleading name of reconstruction. 


Problems in Painting and Sculpture. All this applies merely 
to one section of Roman art to its architecture. If one turns 


to other branches, one meets with questions just as baffling and 
problems just as interesting, many of them raised by the recent 
discoveries which are, every day, emphasizing the importance 
of the Eoman school. 

Critics are now asking whether the revival of painting in 
the thirteenth century did not really take place in Rome. 
They are asking whether Giotto was not a pupil of Roman 
artists, especially of Pietro Cavallini, and not at all of Cimabue. 
The Vasari bubble of the Tuscan origin is being pricked ! But 
who was this mysterious Cavallini ? His works are now being 
identified and discovered, especially in Rome, Naples and 
Assisi, and he is being hailed as the greatest painter before 
Giotto and one of the foremost religious painters and decora- 
tors of all times, crowning Rome as the source of mediaeval 
and Renaissance painting. 

And again, who can say with certainty how much Arnolfo, 
celebrated as the great Florentine architect and sculptor, who 
shares with Niccola Pisano the honor of resuscitating sculp- 
ture, owed to Rome and her artists as we study his many 
works in Rome in which he shows himself too completely a 
leader of the Roman school itself to be classed as an outsider ? 

I have been convinced for twenty years that in the revival 
of art in the thirteenth century the Roman school took the 
foremost part in painting and a prominent share in sculpture. 
Recent discoveries are leading many foremost critics, such as 
Zimmerman, Thode, Venturi, Langton Douglas and Strzygow- 
ski, to conclusions that involve these results. But we are still 
struggling for our clews in the obscurity created by the cruel 
Barocco devastations ! The disjecta membra of the old basilica 
now scattered through the Vatican crypt are a symbol of the 
fate of most of the mediaeval sculpture. The absurd copies 
made before their destruction by unskilled Barocco humanists, 
such as the series at S. Paolo by Cavallini, and the mutilated 
fragments that are reappearing from beneath the Barocco 
whitewash, are a mere apology for the extensive series that 
rivalled the Assisi frescos in a dozen Roman churches. 

If the closing days of the School are full of such puzzles, 
what is one to say of its earlier work in sculpture and paint- 


ing ? Only during the past half-dozen years has it been pos- 
sible to even dream of following the history of fresco-painting 
in Rome during the earlier Middle Ages; but now, the discov- 
ery of numerous new works of the sixth to the ninth centuries 
and the more careful study of others of the tenth, eleventh and 
twelfth, have given an embarrassing quantity of material which 
no one has yet attempted to classify. How much in all this, 
if any, is by Byzantine artists, how much by Italian pupils, 
how much is purely Roman in style ? The burning Byzantine 
question is virulently reopened ! 

Even the entire system of carved decoration that ruled in 
Rome and nearly everywhere in Italy from the seventh to the 
eleventh century is cause for bitter controversy, and opposing 
critics battle for its Byzantine, its Lombard or its Classic 
origin ! In this I side emphatically with Byzantium. Every- 
where we uncover interesting mare's nests ! 

For all these reasons this handbook cannot, as such books 
usually do, give a summary of recognized facts, but must be 
itself often a pioneer and admit a large element of discussion 
and hypothesis, and, I may confess, also a modicum of parti- 
sanship. To create the right atmosphere I have found a larger 
element of history necessary than is at all customary, because 
my theory of historic art (not of contemporary art) is that it is 
as integral a part of civilization as politics, religion, sociology 
or literature. As I hope this book may serve in the class- 
room, I have also felt it necessary to include a considerable 
amount of detailed description of the more important works, 
so as to obviate reference to other books for these fundamental 
elements. Less serious students may pass this over. I only 
regret that I could not make these descriptions more vivid by 
a greater number of illustrations : those I have given have 
been selected so as to omit no single important type in any of 
the arts. 

Ever since joining, in 1879, at the age of nineteen, the Societci 
del Cultori di Archeologia Cristiana, of which De Rossi was 
the leading spirit, I have made Christian Rome and its art my 
special study. After living in Rome for seventeen years, I 
left in 1883, but have returned a number of times, gathering 


material and continuing to explore not only the mediaeval city 
but the small towns and monasteries in every part of the Roman 
province, many of them still gems of sequestered mediaeval life. 
I followed, along the highways throughout this territory, the 
footprints of Roman art and artists. Before long I expect to 
publish a history of mediaeval art in Rome on a large scale. 
Of course in this limited space only a part of this work can 
appear, but even in this handbook I shall include some small 
part of the 'material gathered outside of Rome, I wish it 
could be more, because it is a product of the same hands 
and brains that worked in the metropolis, and many a gap 
in Rome itself is filled by some work in a country town 
where Barocco devastation was less active. 





BEFORE Constantino's reign (312-337) it had been impossi- 
ble for Christianity to be adequately represented in works of 
public art. Whatever metamorphosis it had accomplished in a 
certain part of the population had been in the domain of the 
spirit only. Worship had been carried on in various unosten- 
tatious ways. At first it had been in the houses of wealthy 
converts, unchanged in their architecture by this passing use 
for the new cult. Then, there had commenced, in the third 
century, with the great increase in the numbers of converts, 
the custom of building not only special chapels in connection 
with houses, but even churches of small dimensions. Still, 
these chapels and churches were either swallowed up in the 
general splendor or were scattered without the walls at the 
entrances to the Catacombs, less conspicuous than the thousands 
of private mausoleums that lined the public highways. The 
certainty of their destruction or confiscation whenever a per- 
secution was proclaimed helped to determine the modesty of 
their aspect. 

Without the aid of these vanished works above ground the 
galleries and chambers of the subterranean Catacombs have 
supplied the only available information for the pre-Constan- 
tinian age. It may seem strange that a description of these 
Christian Catacombs should not form the first chapter of this 
history. But they really constitute quite " another story," less 
illustrative of Rome as a city than of the intimate texture of 
primitive Christian thought artd feeling in a form rather desul- 
c 17 


tory than systematic, in an art more private than public, and 
less an art than a language. 

It is only when, after the year of liberation, 312, official 
Christian art began to succeed official pagan art and to take its 
place by the side of official civil art, that the new thread in the 
weave of art history can be started on its way to accomplish its 
work of reconstruction. 

At the same time, while the new art of Constantine bloomed 
with undoubted and sudden originality in the fields of archi- 
tecture and mosaic painting, and the pent-up thought of the 
fathers of the Church found free expression in new artistic ideas 
for the conversion and edification of the people ; yet there were 
other branches, such as fresco-painting and carved sarcophagi, 
which, with an intense conservatism and roots sunk deeply in 
the two previous centuries, continued in close touch, both of 
technique and of theme, with what we may call the art of 
the Catacombs. In fact a considerable part of this subter- 
ranean art was actually produced during the course of the 
fourth centm-y, when the Catacombs were still used for burial 
as well as for the worship of the relics of the martyrs. 

The fourth century in Rome was thus characterized : 

(1) As transitional from private to public Christian art ; 

(2) As transitional from pagan to Christian public art ; 

(3) As an age of general mutual tolerance, religiously and 
socially, officially and privately. 

In a study of this and the following century it has been the 
illogical habit of art historians to limit themselves to the ecclesi- 
astical, to the exclusion of civil monuments. But the monu- 
mental situation is so completely a reflex of the political 
and religious duality of the age that the two phases of art, 
religious and civil, with even a sprinkling of the expiring 
pagan, must be -studied separately, for the same school of art 
produced them all. This will be done after a preliminary study 
of the exceptional years of Constantine himself. 

Constantine's Civil Monuments. In the early part of Con- 
stantine's reign the city was not denuded of imperial engineers 
and architects, even though some may have been called away 
to Milan by Maxentius to beautify the new temporary capital. 


The most impressive and colossal of existing monuments is 
the so-called basilica of Constantino; and the Emperor added 
another to the series of imperial thermae already erected by 
Titus and Trajan, Caracalla and Diocletian. 

The spectacular triumphal arch on the Via Sacra, the Janus 
Quadrifrons of the Forum Boarium, the colossal bronze eques- 
trian statue of Constantine in the middle of the Forum and 

Basilica of Constantine, restored. 

his seated statue in the basilica, show that Rome was still 
the main centre of the imperial school of art, such as it was, 
even though the city had ceased to have any political importance. 
The basilica is, with the Colosseum, the most impressive 
ruin in or near the Roman Forum. It had been begun by 
Constantine's rival, Maxentius (306-312), on a plan totally dif- 
ferent from all previous public basilicas, which had been long 
columnar structures with wooden roof. Here, on the contrary, 
the interior was on an enormous scale covered with a series of 



vaults rivalled only by those of the largest imperial thermae. 
The central nave has three high groin vaults supported on piers 
faced by enormous shafts, and to these corresponded, on a lower 
level, three tunnel vaults at right angles on either side, with 
central nave. The spacious interior was the largest in the his- 
tory of architecture up to that time, and surpasses even the 
largest Gothic cathedrals. Its architectural details were on so 

large a scale that their lack of 
finish and their heavy ornamenta- 
tion were not a glaring detriment. 
The curves of the vaults were 
covered with heavy coffering and 
the pavement with rich marbles. 
Owing to its size, it was impracti- 
cable for the Popes of the black 
century after the Gothic wars to 
convert it to any practical use, and 
the destruction begun by Honorius 
I, who used its bronze tiling for S. 
Peter's, was continued and assisted 
by earthquakes. Only the three 
lower tunnel vaults, of what we 
might term the rear aisle, remain. 
Constantino's predecessor, Dio- 
cletian, had but a few years before 
completed the most colossal of all 
imperial baths, one hall of which was converted by Michel- 
angelo into the church of S. Maria degli Angeli. We cannot 
say how far Constantino, in his own thermae, fell short of his 
great model, for its ruins, still of considerable extent in the 
sixteenth century, afford but a scant basis for reconstruction. 
It was, at all events, based on a similar scheme of extensive 
vaulted construction. This entire field of superb structural 
architecture I merely allude to, as it passes out of our field and 
has no connection with the future of architecture in Christian 

To the superficial observer the triple triumphal arch of 
Constantine, erected to commemorate his victory over Maxen- 

Marble Wall-incrustation, Basilica 
of Junius Bassus. 


tius, in 315, appears to surpass the earlier arch of Septimius 
Severus. This impression vanishes as we find, on analysis, 
that it lacks the unity of a single work and age ; that it is 
mainly composed of the spoils of a number of earlier struc- 
tures; and that it is these borrowed plumes, from the golden 
age of Trajan and the Antonines, that have given this first 
impression of artistic value. It wears, metaphorically speak- 
ing, bloody garments; for it a great destruction was wrought 

Arch of Constantino. 

and several memorial arches torn down. The great attic re- 
liefs are from an arch of Marcus Aurelius or Lucius Verus; 
the medallions from some other early arch; the great battle 
scenes are from Trajan's Forum. Even the lines of the archi- 
tectural framework, the main cornice and the columns that 
support it, are from some destroyed arch of the Antonines. 
The artists of Constantine contented themselves with the 
carving of the less prominent features of both figured and 
decorative ornament, and in both kinds of work they showed 
themselves below the standard of other Constantinian and 
even later work in Rome, such as the mausoleum of Constantia 


and the church of S. Pndentiana. Another of the imperial 
works, the Janus Quadrifrons, shorn of its marble columns, its 
niches despoiled of their statuary, stands now in its cold 
nudity, incapable of giving us a very definite impression of 
its original decorative value. Still, in its massive heaviness, it 
is unique as a survivor of what had been a popular and very 
early form of city arch, that with four equal sides and double 
passageway a form sometimes placed over the intersection 
of two highways. Some fragments of a civil hall or private 
basilica, built in 317 by Junius Bassus and preserved when 
the hall became a .church, show how during these earlier years 
of the emperor decorative artists of great value remained. Its 
marble incrustations formed a perfect scheme of pictures. 

If Constantino was guilty of looting earlier monuments, like 
the circus of Nero, to build S. Peter, he also restored some. 
It is probably to him that the reconstruction of the temple of 
Concord is due. But toward the close of his reign a more 
disastrous phase of looting was inaugurated, worse because 
another city than Rome profited by the spoils. After 325 the 
Emperor began to transport materials from Rome for the 
decoration of the public structures of his new capital, Con- 
stantinople, where he was gathering works of art from all parts 
of the Empire. He despoiled Hadrian's villa and accepted 
columns and marbles from private donors in Rome, so putting 
a premium on destruction. 

Constantine's Churches. Turning now to Christian as dis- 
tinguished from Civil and Pagan monuments, we find the 
Emperor assisting the Church in its work of providing build- 
ings for the increasing mass of worshippers and of suitably 
commemorating the graves and memories of martyrs and 

The Roman Church was as yet poor ; it was the Emperor, 
not the Pope, who built the first great basilicas. This fact 
found its record even in the lives of the Popes. Though com- 
piled two centuries later, the life of Constantine's contem- 
porary, Pope Sylvester, shows evidence of being based on 
contemporary documents in the Papal archives. In it the only 
structure directly attributed to the Pope is a parish church 


within the city, that of Equitius, afterwards called SS. Sil- 
vestro e Martino ai Monti. Below the present church, founded 
above that of Sylvester by Syminachus (498-514), there still 
exist considerable remains of this primitive church one of 
the most historic landmarks of the new free Christianity. 1 

But, aside from this one exception, the monuments of this 
first generation of Christian art in Rome were due to the per- 
sonal initiative of Constantine and to the funds of the imperial 
treasury. The circular letters which the Emperor sent to the 

Constantinian Marble Choir Screen at S. Martino ai Monti (Tit. Equitii). 

bishops and imperial officials throughout the Empire, the texts 
of which are given by Constantine's contemporary and biogra- 
pher Eusebius, show his system of procedure. 

Not only the imperial finances and the officials charged with 
the supervision of monuments, but the state corporations rep- 
resenting every branch of art, were placed at the service of the 
Church. To a certain extent there must have been limitations, 
for although in the time of Constantine a considerable propor- 
tion of the working classes in Rome were Christians, one may 
believe that the fact that only Christians could be employed in 
any works connected with worship would have then shut out 
many of the most skilled artists and artisans. 

In the Emperor's progratnme he was powerfully seconded by 
his mother Helena, who appears to have had a more vivid faith 
than her son. Princely gifts to the Roman Church were two 
palaces belonging to the imperial family the Lateran and the 

1 The basilica of Sylvester at the cemetery of Priscilla on the Via Salaria 
Nova, where the Pope was buried, may also be his work; to judge from the 
few remaining fragments it may have been of considerable importance. 


The Lateran. The palace of the Laterani had come to Con- 
stantine through his wife, Fausta. He gave it to the Roman 
Church, which gradually established in it its central adminis- 
tration ; he built in connection with it, the Cathedral church of 
Rome and of Christendom, the Lateran basilica, called also the 
Constantinian basilica, from its founder, and, later, the basilica 
of the Saviour, and still later of S. John. The large halls of 
the palace served for meetings of the councils, for the archives 
and libraries, for bureaus of charity and administration and for 
Papal residence. However often the Popes might temporarily 
transfer their residence elsewhere, the tradition that the Lateran 
was the permanent centre of the Papacy was never shattered 
until the Renaissance. Part of the ground-plan of the original 
Roman palace has been recently explored. 

The Lateran basilica was the most important church built by 
Constantine in Rome, but its numerous reconstructions have 
destroyed all vestiges of its Constantinian features. 

The Sessorian. The Sessorian palace, on the other hand, 
was not as a whole given to the Church. It was the favorite 
residence of the Empress Helena, and appears to have remained 
imperial property as late as the time of Theodoric, when the 
Council of 501 was held there. The main hall of the palace, 
however, was converted by Helena into a church, and called 
" Hierusalem." Here was preserved the principal relic of the 
True Cross brought from Jerusalem after its discovery ; hence 
the church received in time the name " Santa Croce in Gerusa- 
lemme," and became a sort of appendage to the neighboring 
Lateran. This basilica still exists, though much mutilated, 
the most perfect example of the adaptation of the basilical hall 
of a private palace to the uses of a church. 

But the Emperor's principal group of religious structures was 
that connected with the tombs of the apostles and martyrs 
outside the city walls. These are the basilica of S. Peter on 
the Vatican Hill, that of S. Paul on the Via Ostiensis, that of 
S. Lawrence on the Via Tiburtina, that of S. Agnes on the Via 
Komentana, and that of SS. Marcellinus and Peter on the Via 
Traenestina. These were all cemeterial basilicas, and were 
built by the Emperor on a larger scale and with more sumptu- 


ous decoration than was the case with most of the cemeterial 
basilicas erected subsequently by the Popes of this and the fol- 
lowing century.. Still, they were of very unequal importance. 
That of S. Peter was by far the largest and most artistic, almost 
equalling the Lateran basilica. That of S. Paul was compara- 
tively small, and was superseded by another of far greater size 
and magnificence at the close of the century. The even smaller 
basilica of S. Lawrence was so changed by Pope Pelagius in the 

S. Peter and its Annexes in the Middle Ages. 
Kestoration of Crostarosa. 

sixth century that it is difficult to attribute to the edifice of 
Constantine more than most of the columns of the smaller and 
lower church. Pope Honorius in the seventh century recon- 
structed S. Agnes, and of SS. Marcellinus and Peter nothing 

The Vatican ; S. Peter. Notwithstanding many restora- 
tions, the Vatican basilica remained, therefore, until its de- 
struction in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the best 
example of a Constantinian church, and may well be described 
here in its general features, following the plan drawn up in 
1590 by Alfarano, and the descriptions and sketches by writers 
and artists of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. When the 



apse was demolished, the proof of its Constantinian age was 
found in its stamped bricks, and the mosaic of Constantine pre- 
senting the model of the church to Christ, which, as I was able 
to prove, existed on the triumphal arch until the end, must 
have been original. 

The approach to the church was up a flight of thirty-five 
steps through a propylaeum into a large atrium with over forty 

columns enclosing all four sides 
of the court. In the centre was 
a large fountain. The church 
was entered by five doors, and 
was divided into five aisles sup- 
ported by eighty-eight columns 
and eight pilasters. The col- 
umns, of various marbles, and 
of granite, were taken from 
antique monuments, the two 
nearest the door being of African 
marble. The shafts, bases, and 
capitals varied in style, size, and 
period so radically that hardly 
any two were exactly alike, and 
we are reminded of the letter of 
Constantine, in which he asked 
a bishop to let him know as soon 
as the plans for a certain church 

Plan of S. Peter in the Middle Ages. were completed SO that he could 

order the columns for it to be 

collected from everywhere. The columns and architraves of 
S. Peter's are shown by their marks and inscriptions to have 
come from many quarries, and to have belonged to buildings 
erected by various Emperors from Titus to Gallienus. 

The columns of the main nave supported not arcades but 
architraves, and the side-aisles were of diminishing widths. 
These architraves were not uniform but varied in mouldings, 
ornamentation and proportions. At the end of the nave the 
arch of triumph, decorated with the mosaic already mentioned, 
opened into the transept which extended beyond the aisles. 


Here stood the confession and altar, above the tomb of S. 
Peter, and in front of it a double line of twelve superb spiral 
columns, supporting architraves with sculptures. 

In the apse was a mosaic of Christ and the two princes of 
the apostles Paul and Peter. Constantino's inscription on the 
arch read, addressing Christ : 



Not long after Constantino, changes and additions took place. 
A baptistery was added in the right arm of the transept ; the 

S. Peter (Old Basilica). 

atrium was paved, a mosaic was placed on the fagade at the 
expense of the ex-prefect Marinianus (c. 450) ; and two palaces 
were built to flank the atrium. At this early date the aisles 
were not, as later, filled with altars and chapels, but the ba- 
silica was surrounded by. subsidiary buildings, especially by 
monasteries built by Leo the Great and his successors and by 
sumptuous circular mausolea, of which two were of especial 
interest, that of the Anicii Probi, the imperial mausoleum, of 
the dynasty of Theodosius, afterwards called S. Petronilla, and 
its annex, S. Maria della Eebbre. Other buildings were toward 
the front of the atrium, such as the school for the training 





of singers. Later an entire suburb grew up around the 

When the group was supplemented in the century after Con- 
stantine and connected with the mausoleum and bridge of 
Hadrian by an arcaded boulevard, the general effect must have 
been imposing, even though the details of the interior may 
have been defective. 

To complete this Constantinian series the imperial mausolea 
must not be forgotten, connected with these basilicas and their 
cemeteries, especially those of the Empress Helena near 
SS. Marcellinus and Peter, and of Constantia, or, more prop- 
erly, Constantina, near S. Agnese. 

Like all such buildings they were 
circular in plan. Built with far greater 
solidity than the basilicas and with 
vaults instead of wooden roofs, they 
have suffered less from fire, restora- 
tion and time and have remained 
almost perfect representations of Con- 
stantinian structure and decoration, 

though unequally so, for of the mauso- 

i .CTJI i,-ij- .e it. Mausoleum of Constantia. 

leum of Helena, built on one of the great 

imperial estates, only the main part of the shell remains, 
with its dome of terracotta amphorae on a high drum pierced 
with large openings. 

S. Costanza. The mausoleum of Constantia was, either 
originally or shortly after its construction, used as the baptis- 
tery of the neighboring basilica of S. Agnese. The closed ves- 
tibule has the same oblong form with a hemicycle at each end 
as the Lateran baptistery, a certain sign of the special litur- 
gical ceremonies connected with baptism. It is also said that 
traces of the central baptismal font have been found. At the 
same time the niches in the outer wall were evidently intended 
for funerary purposes, and the porphyry tomb now near that of 
Helena in the Vatican was found here and is a proof that the 
building was actually used as a mausoleum. The apsidal 
niches are in four groups of three between the doors and the 
two larger apses. The heavy walls of the dome are too wide 


to be supported by single shafts, so the twelve arcades rest on 
twenty-four coupled shafts, whose capitals are surmounted by 
an architectural member which is equivalent to an interrupted 
frieze from which the arches spring. The whole arrangement 
is unique, a summary of Koman achievement up to that time 
in vaulted and domical construction on a small scale. The 

Interior of S. Constaiitia (S. Costanza). 

vertical thrust of the dome is partly received by the vaults 
and walls of the tunnel-vaulted ambulatory. 

We must imagine this mausoleum also as surrounded by a 
circular colonnade, of which only traces remain, and as front- 
ing on a portico. All around it were minor monuments of the 
large open-air cemetery attached to S. Agnese an example of 
the favorite mode of burial around the suburban basilica, dur- 
ing the fourth and fifth centuries. It was after the Gothic 
wars that the custom changed and open-air cemeteries became 
numerous within the walls, such as the one near S. Eusebio. 

Endowment. Constantine was not satisfied with building and 


decorating many churches. He did two other things: (1) 
filled their treasuries and sacristies with artistic and precious 
articles for the religious services ; and (2) provided for the 
adequate maintenance of the building and its personnel by 
gifts of income-producing real estate. We may conclude that 
most of the details of this sort given in the Liber Pontificalis 
with regard to S. Peter, for instance were drawn from 
the church archives and are not imaginary. 

This commencement of church endowment was the logical 
consequence of the religious revolution. At the close of an- 
other century the confiscation of the immense properties of 
the pagan temples, which reverted to the Emperors, was to 
give an almost inexhaustible source of supply for imperial 
gifts to the principal churches of Rome. 

The City. -By a curious coincidence the only documents that 
enumerate the monuments of the ancient city, quarter by 
quarter, belong to the very time of Constantine and his sons. 
This catalogue which, with the marble plan of Septimius Sev- 
erus, forms the main basis for its early topography, is drily 
pathetic, coming just as the curtain is about to be rung down 
on the imperial city. In the recapitulation which its author 
makes at the close, he classifies the monuments in categories 
and enumerates two circuses, two amphitheatres, three theatres, 
ten public civil basilicas, eleven public imperial baths or 
thermae, thirty-six triumphal marble arches, four hundred and 
twenty-three temples, seventeen hundred and ninety palaces 
and forty-six thousand, six hundred and two tenements or 
blocks. Not a single Christian Church is mentioned! The 
earlier edition of this document, called the Notitia, was edited 
in about .330, on the basis of an. earlier document : toward the 
middle of the century a revision was made called the Curi- 

In population the Rome of Constantine seems, until the 
latter part of his reign, to have been as large as ever. The 
area of the Circus Maximus was increased so as to seat nearly 
three hundred thousand people. The influence of the new 
faith did not seem to abate one whit the devotion of the people 
to the circus, the amphitheatre and the theatre. All the 


public buildings of these classes were kept in perfect running 
order. It was the same with the thermae and other public 
baths, with the basilicas and porticos. There was even one 
notable addition to the symmetry and beauty of the city be- 
fore the close of the century. It was the completion of the 
system of porticos by a new and far longer Via Sacra. This 
Christian " Sacred Way," destined to supersede the ancient one 
through the Forum, radiated in three directions, toward the 
suburban basilicas of the princes of the apostles Peter and 
Paul and the great martyr, Lawrence. To each of these 
centres of worship and pilgrimage there extended several miles 
of covered porticos flanking the road and giving shelter from 
sun and rain. Focussing toward the centre of the city, these 
three lines joined the older imperial porticos and were com- 
pleted by the Porticus Maximce which bisected the edge of the 
Campus Martius and ended at the Tiber in front of the mauso- 
leum of Hadrian. There were even subsidiary porticos lead- 
ing off to basilicas within the city, like that along the vicus 
patricius toward S. Maria Maggiore by way of S. Pudentiana. 
Triumphal arches were placed here and along the main Via 
Sacra by Valentinian and Honorius. 

The churches built during the fourth century within the 
city were not numerous nor conspicuous enough to affect its 
aspect ; in their exterior effect of plain brickwork they must 
have seemed inferior to the average private dwelling. Even 
their interiors, rich as they were with color, with hangings 
and furniture and sculpture in metal, fell in sumptuousness 
below the average of both public and private buildings. 

And yet Christianity was affecting art far more than this 
would indicate, for this reason, that most of the new work was 
done for the Church. Imperial legislation before the close of 
the century forbids city officials to put up new buildings while 
those already existing are in need of repair and unless funds 
are on hand sufficient for their completion. The decrease in 
the population that set in before the middle of the century 
made new work quite superfluous except in the service of the 
new religion. 

Successors of Constantine; Rome's Doom. After Constantino's 


death in 337 there was a lull in building activity. His three 
sons divided the Empire. Constantius had the East, Constan- 
tino and Constans divided Africa and the rest of the West. 
The hope that Rome would be chosen as the political capital 
of Constans was deluded. In fact as the fourth century pro- 
gressed it became evident that as a monumental city Rome was 

The aristocracy of Rome, as represented by the Senate, was 
not as a majority converted to the new faith. It remained 
bound to paganism through self-interest if not through convic- 
tion. The career of a Roman noble, his cursus honorum, so 
rigidly regulated in its progress through offices of increasing 
importance, involved more than one charge connected with the 
pagan religion. Consistent Christians could not rise so easily 
at first in public office or honors. So it happened that until 
the fifth century there were many more Christian women than 
men in the upper ranks. In Rome there was, therefore, great 
danger that worldly considerations would kill fervor of faith. 
In fact it was partly in order to be free from these and other 
trammels of paganism that Constantino founded Constanti- 
nople and endowed it with a Senate and with all the privileges 
which Rome alone had hitherto had as a capital. 

The establishment of a Christian state could not be directed 
from Rome. The Emperors turned their back on her perma- 
nently. That her problem was too hard for the intellects of 
Constantine's successors is shown by the potency of the spell 
she still exerted on their unwilling spirits ; when there they 
were once more unconscious pagans, a part of the tremendous 
past, and were even perhaps galled by an uncomfortable sense 
of humility as if belonging to a less heroic age. Their lares 
and penates were in another atmosphere. 

Understanding by the very failure of the persecution of 
Christianity by the earlier Roman Emperors, how dangerous 
coercion could become, the Christian Emperors therefore handed 
over the stronghold of paganism to the Church and the Papacy, 
so that its moral forces could leaven the lump and mould the 
masses. Meanwhile conciliation was the watchword of Im- 
perial and Papal policy alike. It was not till 391 that Theo- 



dosius issued and partially enforced a law forbidding the 
celebration of the public rites of pagan worship. 

It was only in 416, apparently as a consequence of the last 
pagan reaction of 409, that the law formally excluded profess- 
ing pagans from public office, both civil and military a law 
which remained largely a dead letter. This date of 416, while 
a fatal one for the future of the temples of Eome, was not 
immediately so. They always remained public monuments, 
in the care of the prefect of the city, still nearly always a 
pagan. It was only a few years before that Honorius had 
finally confiscated the possessions of the temples. 

It will be sufficient to mention a few of the civil buildings 

The Basilica ^Emilia, in the Fifth Century after Honorius's Restoration. 

restored or built at this time. The Grain Exchange (Statio 
Annonce) was rebuilt on the old site in the Forum Boarium, 
where the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin now stands, 
and in which some of its columns and even the beautiful stucco 
decoration in open-work of its arcades were utilized. Xot as 
a religious structure, but as the public treasure, the temple of 
Saturn in the Forum was rebuilt either in the fourth century 
or after the fire of Alaric. The present columns are no earlier 
and the inscription says : Senatus Populusque Romanus in- 
cendio consumptum restituit. After this fire, also, the basilica 
Emilia was rebuilt and decorated, and apparently also the 
basilica Julia. So were the Curia and Secretarium, where the 
Senat9 met. 


The year 367 itself was made memorable by the recon- 
struction of the Portions Deorum Consentium on the west 
edge of the Forum, by the famous pagan prefect Praetextatus. 
It was the last building erected in Koine for pagan cult ! 

Just before this the construction of the great Valentinian 
bridge and triumphal arch was commenced, which for years 
afforded a subject for correspondence between the Emperors 
and the famous Symmachus, who was prefect of the city and 
consequently superintendent of buildings, during the latter 
stages of their construction. In these letters he airs his 
troubles with the architects in charge or appointed to exam- 
ine into the constructive defects and the cost of the bridge. 
We learn something in this way about those court architects 
and engineers, such as Cyriades, men of senatorial rank 
and wealth, who had charge of building and financing such 
public structures. The restoration of another bridge, the 
Cestian, was being carried on at about the same time. 

Finally, under Honorius (395-423), came the restoration 
of the walls and gates of Aurelian, planned as a defence 
against the invasion of Alaric. Some of the new gates 
rise to the dignity of works of art. In the Forum statues 
were erected to Stilicho and Honorius to celebrate the 
triumph over Rhadagaisus ; and others in the Forum of 

The last triumphal arches in Koine belong to this time. 
That to Gratian, Valentinian and Theodosius (382) framed the 
north end of the Portions Maxima, near Hadrian's bridge, and 
was not destroyed until the middle of the fifteenth century. 
It was less triumphal than purely a work of civic decoration. 
Not so the arch of Arcadius, Honorius and Theodosius that was 
built in 405 to celebrate Stilicho's salvation of the Empire 
from the mixed hordes of Rhadagaisus. It stood not far from 
the other arch and no trace of it remains. 

We can judge of the artistic quality of these arches only 
from the fragments of a third arch, that of Valentinian and 
Valens, built at the entrance to their bridge, a few years 
earlier, of which a few fragments were recovered from the 
Tiber and are now in the museum of the baths of Diocletian, 


including parts of some of the triumphal bronze figures that 
crowned it. 

Exodus from Rome. The decreasing population hardly re- 
quired so many places of amusement ; so, while the theatre 
of Pompey was diligently restored by Honorius, and the 
Colosseum in 442 and 467-472, on the other hand, the prefect, 
Symmachus, in the time of Gratian used stones from the 
theatre of Marcellus in his reconstruction of one of the 

Stripped bare of its architects, with its artisan class im- 
poverished and oppressed by imperial officials, Rome was but 
poorly equipped either to preserve her old art or to inaugu- 
rate a new one. And yet this is what it proceeded to accom- 
plish, with a zeal that was pathetic if we remember its reduced 
circumstances, for the Romans remained devoted lovers of 
their monuments even until the Gothic wars, as Procopius 
then assures us. 

The exodus affected art radically because it struck at the 
roots of the two classes that had contributed the most to its 
development : the aristocracy and the corporations of artisans. 
The first blow to the homogeneity of the aristocracy had been 
dealt when, in the third century, Rome ceased to be the 
political capital of the Empire. Already during the reign of 
Diocletian and his colleagues many senatorial magnates had 
broken' up their great establishments in and about Rome. 
But until the foundation of Constantinople the absenteeism of 
the aristocracy had been largely temporary. After 325 a new 
Roman aristocracy was founded at Constantinople, drawn 
largely from that of old Rome. The Senate of the new capital 
had the advantage of being at the real centre of the Empire. 
The ambitious all left the old stranded ship of State. They 
carried away with them from Rome a large retinue of all 
classes, and with their departure a large source of Roman 
wealth ran dry. 

The departure was felt even more disastrously in the coun- 
try district around Rome than in the city itself. Many large 
estates were totally abandoned. There were none wealthy 
enough to take up their burden. At the close of this cen- 


tury, a document of the year 395 indicates that one of the 
results had been that five hundred square miles of arable 
land around Kome had become a morass, and that malaria, the 
new scourge of the Campagna, had made frightful progress. 

Enslavement of the Art Corporations. The withdrawal of so 
many of the wealthy affected the prosperity of the artists 
and artisans of Kome during the fourth century. The Greek 
artists who had contributed the element of aesthetic beauty 
in previous centuries had mostly left Rome in the third 
century, following imperial patronage. The cream of the 
remaining artists and artisans were called to Constantinople 
during the decade after 325 to build and decorate the new 
city. The bulk of those that remained in Koine were the 
poorer practitioners. 

It is a well-known fact that under Diocletian and his suc- 
cessors the imperial authority over the corporations of arti- 
sans was absolute, and that only by order of the Emperor 
could any of them pass from one city to another, so that it 
was perfectly possible for Constantino to draft as many as 
he chose of the Koman artisans to form a nucleus for the 
new corporations in Constantinople. The Theodosian code 
shows how seriously Constantine and his successors sought 
to increase the ranks and ameliorate the condition of the 
artisans and of the better class of artists, painters and 
architects, but it was in the provinces and in Constantinople, 
not in Kome, that these efforts were put forth. 

Their legislation and that of Diocletian show only too 
clearly how ground down and bound down these men had 
become. No man could follow an art unless he belonged to 
his union. Once a member of it, he could not leave it till he 
died. Nor could he leave the city where he had matriculated. 
His son was bound to follow the art of his father, who was 
also his teacher. Each corporation was a distinct wheel in 
the imperial organism, a State within a State, but subject 
absolutely to the control of the imperial administration. This 
went to the extent of forcing each corporation to give to the 
State as much free labor and free material as was required for 
the construction, decoration and repair of all public buildings. 


No wonder that, enervated by the forced hereditary nature 
of their occupation, without freedom of choice, without ade- 
quate remuneration, they fell more and more into the dis- 
astrous habit of scamping the quality and solidity of their 
work on public buildings. Neither can we blame them if, 
delivered from the eagle-eyed supervision of the skilled 
architects and superintendents, long since departed, they 
plundered the old buildings to build the new and abandoned 
the old traditions of the masters whose great masses of con- 
crete masonry seemed built for eternity. 

Corruption in Rome. The picture of Roman life drawn by 
the pagan historian, Ammianus Marcellinus, just after the 
middle of the fourth century, and during the next half cen- 
tury by men like Salvianus and S. Jerome, show a further 
cause for artistic decay, for this life was incurably corrupt 
and devitalized. The Church appeared to make but little 
impression on its lubricity and self-indulgence. In fact, nearly 
all the men of culture and refinement, including the aristoc- 
racy, were still pagans. 

It was to turn this current that we find the leaders of the 
Church organizing religious instruction by means of art, set- 
ting on the walls of the basilicas the landmarks of faith, with 
a feverish zeal that shows how crucial a moment in the his- 
tory of Christianity they felt it to be. The origin of mo- 
nasticism was due to the bitterness of the delusion of the 
really religious, who saw that, since fashion and authority 
had stamped Christianity with their approval, the Church as 
a unit had become infected with most of the soft vices of 
paganism. But the men with firmest fibre put up a stiff fight, 
helped by a cohort of the most wonderful women, many of 
whom were Jerome's friends. 

The biography of one of these women, Melania the younger, 
written by her secretary, has recently been published. She 
and her husband spent some twenty-seven years in realizing 
and distributing her immense possessions in the various coun- 
tries, which are said to have yielded her an income equivalent 
to $175,000,000 of modern money. She spent the capital in 
building and endowing churches, monasteries, nunneries and 


hospitals and in providing them with sacred and useful vest- 
ments, ornaments and utensils, as well as in various forms of 
charity. Unless greatly exaggerated, the money thus invested 
far surpassed the combined fortunes of the Rockefellers, Car- 
negie and the Astors, and the larger part was employed in 
the creation of monuments of Christian art in Rome and else- 
where. Others did the same on a smaller scale. 

Church Organization. In selecting sites for such monuments 
the Church was prudent. The political shrewdness shown by 
the Emperors was emulated by the Popes. As late as the fifth 
century the Church hesitated to wound pagan susceptibilities 
by planting the standard of the faith in the inner stronghold 
of the historic past, in the precincts of the Forums and the 
Palatine Hill bristling with the temples of the gods. The 
churches were set in inconspicuous and distant quarters, with- 
out the walls, on the outskirts, across the Tiber. 

The establishment of Christian festivals on the same dates 
as pagan ones, and with analogous ceremonies, made it easy for 
the populace to pass over to the new faith without the loss of 
the pomp and circumstance and play that were so necessary 
to these materialists, however reformed. 

For purposes of administration the city was then divided 
into fourteen civil districts or regions, " regiones." The Chris- 
tian church seems not to have followed this civil division, but 
for its own organization to have adopted seven divisions, each 
governed by a deacon. Within these divisions were the parish 
churches, of which the number finally adopted at this time 
was twenty-five. These churches were called tituli, and have 
continued, with a few additions, to modern times. They later 
gave their titles to the most important group of the college of 
cardinals. These tituli were the earliest churches within the 
walls of Rome. 

Parish Churches. These parish churches during the fifth 
century seem to have been the following : 

Reg. I (1) S. Xysti (= T. Crescentianae ?) 

Reg. II (2) Bizantior Pammachii (= mod. SS. Giovanni 
and Paolo); (3) ^Emilianae (= SS. Quattro Coronati?) 

Reg. Ill (4) dementis (= S. Clemente) ; (5) SS. Marcellini 


et Petri ; (6) Apostoloruin (= Eudoxiae = S. Pietro in Vin- 
coli) ; (7) Equitii (= Silvestri = S. Martino ai Monti). 

Keg. V (8) Praxedis (= S. Prassede) ; (9) Pudentis (= S. 
Pudenziana) ; (10) Eusebii (= S. Eusebio). 

Keg. VI (11) Vesting (= S. Vitale) ; (12) Gai (= S. Su- 
sanna) ; (13) Cyriaci. 

Reg. VIII (14) Marcelli (= S. Marcello). 

Keg. IX (15) Lucinae (= S. Lorenzo in Lucina) ; (16) Da- 
masi (= S. Lorenzo in Damaso) ; (17) Marci (= in Pallacinis 
= S. Marco) 

Keg. XI (18) Anastasise (= S. Anastasia). 

Keg. XII (19) Fasciolae (= SS. Nereo ed Achilleo) ; (20) Bal- 
binae (= S. Balbina). 

Keg. XIII (21) Sabinse (= S. Sabina) ; (22) Priscaa (= S. 

Reg. XIV (23) Julii (= Callixtus = S. Maria in Trastevere) ; 
(24) Caeciliae (=S. Cecilia) ; (25) Chrysogoni (= S. Crisogono). 

To each of these parish churches was attached a Catacomb 
outside the walls for the burial of its church-members, and above 
or in the bowels of this Catacomb were one or more basilicas 
dedicated to the principal martyrs buried there. The religious 
services in these suburban basilicas were at first in charge of 
the clergy of its parish church in the city, and only later was 
it found necessary to establish monasteries at the main sub- 
urban churches to relieve the parish priests of this duty. 
- It was an old Roman law that forbade burial within the city 
wall, and, as in everything else, Christianity never abruptly 
broke with Roman custom, so that throughout the fourth and fifth 
centuries burials continued outside the walls. The only known 
exception is that of SS. John and Paul, martyred under Julian 
the Apostate in their own house on the Coelian, whose bodies 
were left in the house itself and the church built there a half 
century later. ^ A number of the tituli were built on the site of 
the house of some wealthy convert which had been used for 
worship in the era of persecution. S. Cecilia was the house of 
the Caecilii; S. Lorenzo in Lucina was the house of Lucina. 
Or else the church was called from the person who gave the 
land ; thus the church built by Pope Sylvester was called the 


titulus Equitii, from a priest who gave the site, and those of 
Vestina under Innocent I, of Crescentiana under Anastasius 
and of Sabina under Celestine were named for the same reason. 
The city churches originally, then, were not called by the 
names of saints and martyrs ; this was a later transformation. 
The ecclesiastical organization of the Christian population 
very closely affected the distribution and number of the 

Basilica of SS. Nereo e Achilleo in the Catacombs of Domitilla. 

churches. "VVe can study it at the close of the fifth century, 
when its formative period was over, and documentary evidence 
is more exact. It was at these twenty-five parish churches in 
which services were regularly held that the poor were fed and 
clothed. Only later, after the Gothic wars (end VI c.), was 
the special class of diaconal churches organized for the distri- 
bution of charity, which the diminished civic and ecclesiastical 
wealth henceforth sadly reduced. 


There were, of coarse, many other churches in the city be- 
sides these parish churches, and an even larger number strung 
along all the main roads leading from the city. ""-In fact, these 
suburban basilicas, erected at the tombs of the apostles and 
martyrs, were ordinarily of greater magnificence than the par- 
ish churches ; such were the basilicas of S. Peter, S. Paul, 
S. Lorenzo, S. Agnese and others. To neither class belonged 
such superb monuments as the Lateran, the Cathedral of 
Christendom, and S. Maria Maggiore, the greatest church of 
the Virgin. 

Viewing the city in its monuments of all kinds, pagan, 
Christian and civil, it is certain that at any time before the 
sacks of Alaric (410) and Genseric (455) we may think of 
Kome as a great pleasure-seeking centre, surrounded by a won- 
derful garden of immense extent, not, as now, interrupted by 
a malarial Campagna, but extending far away to the hills and 
the sea in a bewildering labyrinth of beautiful villas, of 
Christian sanctuaries and rural shrines, filled with works of 
art, still cared for by a well-organized multitude of slaves and 
dependants, and enjoyed by a careless horde of masters or a 
tolerant class of ecclesiastics, quite unconscious of the rude 
awakening and the coming drop of the curtain upon all this 

Art under the Popes after Constantino. To study the details of 
the Christian art of the fourth century, we must return on our 
footsteps and follow the lives of the Popes after Constantine, 
chronicling the monuments under each one of them. 

There was no surcease of activity after the death of his 
contemporary, Pope Sylvester. Even the brief pontificate of 
about a year of his immediate successor, Marc, saw the con- 
struction of two basilicas: S. Balbina, a small cemeterial 
church near the Via Ardeatina, where this Pope was buried, 
and a larger church within the city, called, after him, the ba- 
silica of Marc as well as basilicam in Pallacinis, which became 
one of the twenty-five titular churches. 1 

In connection with S. Balbina was one of the earliest of those 

1 Hie fecit duas basilicas imam via Ardeatina ubi requiescit et aliam in 
urbe Roma iuxta Pallacinis. 


cemeteries for burial sub dio (above ground), which were used 
throughout the fourth century, besides the traditional burials in 
the subterranean galleries of the Catacombs, together with the 
others at S. Agnese, S. Peter, etc. 

Julius and Basilica of S. Valentinus. The longer pontificate 
of Julius (337-352) was artistically most active. Even the 
text of the Liber Pontificalia notes this fact, as it enumerates 
his principal structures. 1 He favored the extramural region 
of the Catacombs even more than the city itself. His greatest 
work seems to have been the basilica of Valentinus, the main 
centre of worship and pilgrimage on the Via Flaminia, two 
miles beyond the city gate, from which it got its name Porta S. 
Valentini. The keen policy of the church, in transmuting 
pagan into Christian anniversaries, was illustrated in this ba- 
silica. For the old procession along the Flaminian Way on 
April 25, called the Robigalia, by which all the people sought 
to propitiate the elements and secure good crops, was continued 
on that day, and the basilica of S. Valentinus was made its 
bourne. This church was apparently worthy of taking its 
place beside the now better-known suburban basilicas. Its ruins 
were excavated in 1888. The atrium, facing the Roman road, 
was immense, to receive the great crowd of processionists and 
pilgrims, but has not yet been excavated. The church itself, 
some forty m. long, had three aisles, the central one as much 
as twelve m. wide, with Ionic columns of gray granite. 
In one peculiarity the practice here was unique. In all other 
suburban basilicas, erected at the tombs of the principal mar- 
tyrs, everything was sacrificed in order to leave the remains of 
the martyr untouched and in situ. The disinclination to change 
was absolute. In order to set the altar in its right relation to 
the tomb of the martyr, several basilicas had to be sunk so deep 
into the ground as to become almost subterranean, as was the 
case at S. Agnese, S. Lorenzo, S. Petronilla and S. Alessandro. 2 

1 Hie mnltas fabricas fecit: basilicam in Via Portuense miliario III, basili- 
cam in Via Flaminia, mil. II, quae appelatur Valentini, basilicam Juliam quae 
est regione VII iuxta Forum divi Traiani, basilicam transtiberim, regione 
XIIII, iuxta Callistum, basilicam in Via Aurelia, mil. Ill, ad Callistum. 

2 Sometimes, even, the basilica was entirely subterranean, like that of 
S. Ippolito. 


But in the case of the Catacomb of S. Valentino the hill made 
such a scheme impossible, and the basilica was backed against 
the hill, between it and the road ; and the body of the saint 
was actually transferred from the Catacomb to the church. 
Around the new tomb an ambulacrum or corridor was con- 
structed, communicating with the side aisles, but below the level 
of the church, in imitation of the galleries of the Catacombs, 
probably the first example of a custom that became current 
many centuries later, at S. Prassede, for example, when the 
violation of the sacred remains in the Catacombs by Lombards 
and Saracens forced the Popes of the eighth and ninth centuries 
to remove the bodies of the martyrs to the churches within the 
walls. The arrangement had been copied even earlier, at S. 
Pancrazio, on the Via Aurelia, in the time of Pope Honorius 

Of the other basilicas built by Julius nothing remains of his 
time, though two are still famous the urban basilica of the 
Apostles (= bas. lulia) and that of S. Maria in Trastevere 
(= bas. Transtiberim, etc.), which have undergone many trans- 
formations. Of the other two suburban basilicas, that on the 
Via Portuensis seems to be the basilica of Felix, of which no 
trace has yet been found, while that on the Via Aurelia con- 
nected with the Catacomb of Callixtus was selected by Pope 
Julius as his burial place. 

Liberius and S. Maria Maggiore. The days of Pope Liberius 
(352-366) were rather dark for Rome and Orthodoxy. The 
Emperor Constantius had violently constituted himself the 
apostle of Arianism. The withdrawal of the financial help 
of the imperial Treasury combined with the exile of Liberius 
himself to reduce artistic activity in Rome, especially in the 
ecclesiastical field. The Pope's life merely tells us that he 
made a basilica that was called by his name next to the Macel- 
lum Liviae. 1 This basilica, rebuilt or restored by Sixtus III 
in the following eentury, is the famous church of S. Maria 
Maggiore. It is a matter of some doubt how much of the 
church structure and its mosaic decoration belong to the time 
of Liberius. It has been most improbably suggested that the 
1 Fecit basilicam nomine suo iuxta macellum Libise. 


main walls and windows are earlier, and belong to a hall of the 
second century, a basilica Sicinini, which formed part of a 
large private palace. The theory that attributes to the time 
of Liberius the original structure and the mosaic pictures of 
the nave, with their Old Testament histories, seems the more 
probable. 1 

Damasus and the Revival. The eighteen years of Pope 
Damasits (366-384) were not only remarkable for an increasing 
intensity in religious art and cult, but for the renewed interest 
taken by the Emperors themselves in the monumental welfare 
of the city. The immediate successors of Constantino, Con- 
stantius, Constans, Julian, far from adding new buildings, 
hardly provided for necessary repairs, and it was only after 
Gratian had become sole ruler (378) that the imperial ex- 
chequer was again opened for the benefit of the orthodox 
Church in Eome. 

The latest historian of the Papacy regards Damasus as the 
greatest Pope of the fourth century ; and this because he was 
no opportunist, but a man with clear and far-reaching aims in 
Church policy ; a successful opponent of heresy ; a promoter of 
unity and of the supremacy of Eome ; a standard-bearer of the 
Church's independence of imperial interference. But there is 
a phase of this Pope's career that is of vivid interest for the 
internal history of Rome as a city, if we bear in mind the fact 
that it seemed rapidly sinking into such a slough of spiritual 
decrepitude as to call forth cries of warning from the principal 
leaders of the Church. Like his great contemporaries, Augustine 
and Jerome, he was keenly sensitive to the growing worldliness 
of the Christian community of Rome and the contaminating in- 
fluence both of the superior culture of pagan society and of the 
very apathy due to Christian success. He seems to have felt 
that, besides the weapons of theological controversy, of monas- 
tic example, of moral exhortation, there was another of great 
power that of example of the past. 

1 Meanwhile the anti-pope Felix (355-358), during his period of possession, 
had built a basilica called after him basilica Felicis, on the Via Aurelia. It 
was a structure of considerable age and magnificence, restored by Hadrian I, 
but of which even the site is now unknown. 


To steep his flock in the blood of the martyrs, Damasus de- 
voted himself to the work of seeking out their tombs in the 
various Catacombs, of establishing their centres of pilgrimage 
and worship, setting up at each tomb superb metrical memorial 
inscriptions, with the history and praises of the dead. All the 
Catacombs seem to have been carefully searched and their most 
sacred centres thus fixed and commemorated. For several cen- 
turies they served as the finger-post to pilgrims who have left 
us' copies of some forty of these poetic inscriptions, copies that 
have enabled modern explorers to identify many a tomb through 
the discovery of a small fragment of one of them. We even 
know the name of the secretary of Damasus, Furius Dionysius 
Filocalus, to whom the peculiar beauty of the Damasian inscrip- 
tions is due. Damasus thus constituted himself, in a way, the 
historian of the martyrs, drawing his material largely from the 
archives of the Roman Church, of which he was librarian before 
being Pope. But for him the modern world would know far 
less of early Christian Rome. 

In fact, the basilica in Rome, which was called after him 
S. Lorenzo in Damaso, 1 was a building of peculiar interest, 
flanked on either side by porticos in which were lodged the 
archives and libraries of the Roman Church, and where they 
seem to have been kept until they were transferred, perhaps 
in the following century, to the palace of the Lateran. Noth- 
ing remains above ground of this unique building, but excava- 
tions in the Cancelleria Palace have made an interesting recon- 
struction of its arrangement possible. As for his basilica on 
the Via Ardeatina, where he was buried, with his mother and 
sister, near the Catacombs of Domitilla, it has completely dis- 

The basilica of S. Sebastiano, which Damasus built in con- 
nection with the famous Platonia, where the bodies of Peter 
and Paul had rested for a time in the era of persecution, has 

1 The life of Damasus thus describes his artistic activity: " Hie fecit ba- 
silicas duas: una beato Laurentio iuxta theatrum et alia Via Ardeatina ubi 
requiescit ; et in catacumbas ubi iacuerunt corpora SS. Apostolorum Petri et 
Pauli . . . platoniam . . . versibus exornavit. Hie multa corpora sanctorum 
requisivit et invenit, quod et versibus declaravit. Hie constituit titulum in 
urbe Rorna basilicam quam ipse construxit." 


for many centuries preserved but slight traces of its Damasian 
form. To Damasus other sources attribute the completion of 
the basilica of Kufina and Secunda on the Via Cornelia, begun 
by Pope Julius ; the building in .the Catacomb of Generosa of 
the basilica of SS. Simplicius, Faustinas and Beatrix, of the 
basilica of SS. Petronilla, Kerens and Achilleus in the cemetery 
of Domitilla. 

Perhaps to his pontificate belongs also the primitive basilica 
of S. Clemente. The fate of S. Clemente has been curious. 

S. Paul in the Middle Ages, before the Fire of 1823. 

The primitive church, redecorated early in the sixth century, 
subsisted until the fire of Guiscard in 1084, and when it was 
rebuilt, some thirty years later, its ruined decorations were 
used -in constructing and decorating the new basilica. The 
old church was left as the crypt of the new, and so 
we can see that, as was so often the case, the early 
Christian Church was considerably larger than the mediaeval. 
I will also mention here the house of the martyrs John and 
Paul, on the Coelian ; its unique frescos will be described 

Siricius and S. Paul's. A curious injustice was done to Pope 
Siricius (384-399) in the official annals. Not a single monu- 



ment is credited to his pontificate. The new basilica of S. 
Paul was, however, built at this time and dedicated by him. 
His name is still to be seen on a column saved from the fire of 
1823, Siricius episcopus tota mente devotus, while on the 
base the date of Nov. 18, 390, is given as that of the conse- 
cration of the church by the Pope. In the imperial letter 
addressed in 386 to the prefect of Rome, Sallust, ordering the 
construction of the church, the Emperors, while placing the 

Ruins of S. Paul, after the Fire of 1823. 

architect (probably Cyriades) at the orders of the prefect, 
according to immemorial custom, advised the prefect to 
consult the Pope in everything. The new basilica was faced 
in the opposite direction from the Constantinian building, and 
was so much larger that its transept alone was larger than the 
entire old church. 

To Siricius should also be given the credit of completing 
some of the buildings commenced by Damasus, for instance, 
the basilica of S. Petronilla. He doubtless also encouraged the 
wealthy proconsul and senator, Pammachius, the devout friend 


Plan of S. Paul. 

of S. Jerome, to build in 398 his famous hospital and basilica 

at Porto, and to erect a parish church over the house of the 

martyrs John and Paul on the Ccelian. 
The excavations on the site of the 

hospital at Porto have disclosed the plan 

and arrangements of this only building of 

its kind. It centres around a quadripor- 

tico or atrium and a basilica exactly like 

the contemporary churches, and it seems 

certain that this building was for religious 

and not civil purposes. The rooms and 

halls for the sick and poor were grouped 

around it. The only peculiarity about the 

basilica was that its aisles were separated 

not by columns, but by piers ; but as this 

peculiarity also appears at S. Sinforosa on 

the Via Tiburtina and S. Petronilla, which 

are certainly early churches, it is no 

argument against this building at Porto being a church. 
His most valuable remaining artistic record is the church 

of S. Pudentiana and its mosaic. This church is connected 
with the family of Pudens and with 
some of the earliest Christian tradi- 
tions of Rome. Its peculiar wide 
apse seems to indicate a pre-Con- 
stantinian hall church. It became 
as early; as the fourth century one of 
the parish churches with three aisles. 
Formerly it had mosaics and inscrip- 
tions of this time that have perished, 
and among these was one which read : 
Salvo Siricio episcopo ecclesice sanctai et 
Ilicio Leopardo et Maximo presbb. The 
three priests here mentioned had 
charge of the construction or dec- 
oration of the church, and two of 

them receive the credit in another lost inscription which 

gives the dates 387-398 for the work: 

r * X"~ "\ 1 Z 






m 9m 



' i 

* ,t 



L J 

Hospital and Basilica of 
Pammachius at Porto. 



Another suburban Constantinian basilica, that of S. Lorenzo, 
was restored by Leopardus, this time at his own expense 
and perhaps because the church, being sunk so deeply in the 
bowels of the Catacomb, was flooded with water. 

The cooperation of these same priests of the ecclesia Puden- 
tiana with the civil authorities, and especially with the pre- 
fect, is a most interesting instance of what we may conclude 
to have been quite a common occurrence. The Prefect Mes- 
sala embellished the long street on which the church stood, 
the Vicus Patricius, with a colonnade, doubtless to connect 
it with the general network of colonnades throughout the 
city. But it was not done entirely at the expense either of 
the Emperor's or the city's treasury. A certain section, ap- 
parently on either side of S. Pudentiana, and beginning at the 
oratory of S. Hippolytus, was done by the priest Ilicius at 
his own expense. He recorded this in an inscription: Omni a 
qnce videntur / a. memoria sancti martyris Yppoliti usque hue / 
surgere tecta Ilicius / presb. sumptu proprio fecit. 

These two priests, Leopardus and Ilicius, must have 
been extremely wealthy members of the clergy, for we shall 
find Leopardus engaged in extensive building operations at 
his own expense under the successors of Siricius, and they 
may also be regarded as superintending architects with 
technical knowledge. 

Anastasius. It is impossible to identify even the site of the 
one basilica the titulus Crescentianse ! attributed to the 
brief pontificate of Anastasius (399-401), who was buried on 
the Via Portuensis, not far from the great basilica of Abdon 
and Sennen, built at about this time, if not earlier, over the 
cemetery of Pontianus. 

1 Fecit . . . basilicam quse dicitur crescentiana, in regione II, via Mamur- 


Innocent. The sixteen years of Pope Innocent (401-417) 
were full of stress and pathos, of artistic production and de- 
struction. They saw the reconstruction of the walls and gates 
of Koine, to protect her against the expected invasions, and the 
erection of the last triumphal imperial monuments. They saw 
the flight of a large part of the population, both rich and poor, 
and the terrible blow of the capture of Rome in 410, which 
meant for all nations throughout the empire, East and West, the 
shattering of her inviolability, of the ideal of the Roma Dea. 
They witnessed the bitter controversy between pagans and 
Christians as to the responsibility for the catastrophe, and they 
also saw the courageous attempts to rebuild the ruined build- 
ings, bring back the exiles and restore public confidence. 



IF all the deterioration and decay thus far described hap- 
pened as early as the fourth century, when Rome was still 
prosperous and happy, what was to happen when the flood of 
barbarian invasion broke all barriers in the fifth century and 
Rome was sacked three times ? 

For some time before Alaric actually entered Rome in 410 
fear had driven away a large part of the population. Sicily, 
Africa, Constantinople, Sardinia, Dalmatia, Gaul and many 
other parts of the Empire received thousands of fugitives. 
They were of all classes, but we hear principally of the two 
that particularly interest the history of art the patricians 
and the artisans. 

When the scourge had passed, special legislation was found 
necessary to force the artisans of the corporations to return. 
They must have emigrated en masse. We can easily imagine 
that the hunt throughout the provinces for these unwilling 
fugitives from Rome, who mostly hated the yoke of their 
occupation, must have been largely futile. The majority of 
the aristocracy also never returned, but helped to make the 
Constantinople of Honorius several times as large as that of 
Constantino and to fill it with monuments that far surpassed 
those that had been built in Rome since the days of Diocletian. 

Now indeed the ruin of the great estates around Rome was 
almost consummated ; the backbone of public art in Rome 
finally broken. It is true that the efforts of the imperial 
police and the influx of refugees, mostly poor, from other 
parts of Italy, especially from the country districts that were 
more exposed to the ravages of barbarian hordes, again raised 
'the number of the inhabitants of Rome to such an extent that 
in 417 the prefect of the city asked for an increase in the 



amount of the imperial dole or largesse to the poor. But this 
\vas rather a source of weakness than of revival, a further step 
in the pauperization and degradation of the city, consummated 
by the sack of Genseric in 455. 

And it was not only Constantinople and other cities outside 
of Italy that acted as lodestars for aristocrats, artists and arti- 
sans. Ravenna, which rivalled and finally succeeded Milan 
as the centre of imperial power in Italy, was growing into a 
monumental city, the link between East and West. This 
growth, which began in the last decade of the fourth century, 
continued uninterrupted. Undoubtedly many corporation arti- 
sans who fled there from Rome in 410 never returned, and 
joined the local organizations, which were so largely Hellenic. 
Hence sprang up almost at once a fruitful composite art, an 
art specifically Christian. It has been noticed that with the 
year 410 there seems to have been an absolute break in the 
production of sculpture in Rome, particularly in the branch of 
sarcophagi with reliefs, of which the Roman school was so 
prolific in superb examples throughout the fourth century. 
Not a single example in Rome can be dated after 410. It 
would seem as if the whole Roman corporation of stone-carvers 
had left and never returned. Did many of them go to South- 
ern Gaul, that last and most brilliant refuge of Roman culture, 
where, especially at Aries, there was at this time a wealth of 
such sarcophagi ? Did they go to Spain, to Milan, to Trier, 
where such sarcophagi are found ? At all events it seems as 
if some of them went to Ravenna and bent their art to suit 
the spirit of the place, for suddenly, after complete sculptural 
silence, the Ravenna of the years immediately after Alaric 
blooms with a school of sculptured sarcophagi that continues 
to develop uninterruptedly for two centuries as the logical 
successor of the Roman school, though transformed by the 
special artistic spirit that was so potent in Ravenna from the 

But was there no reflex action, very soon, of Ravenna upon 
Rome ? When the Empress Galla Placidia and her son Valen- 
tinian, children of Byzantium, who turned their capital and 
residence, Ravenna, into a great centre of Christian art, began 


to devote large sums to the beautifying of Rome, they must 
have been forced to supply the better class of artists as well 
as the funds. That the imperial court at Ravenna had under 
its control a considerable body of artists is evident. Agnellus, 
the chronicler of Ravenna, says, for example, that Galla Pla- 
cidia placed thirteen builders at the disposal of the Princess 
Sigelgaita for the construction of a church. Honorius had a 
court architect, Lauricius, whom he sent to Ravenna to super- 
intend the building of S. Lorenzo in Caesarea. 

Between 420 and 450 we meet in Rome with a new art, in 
monuments of the greatest interest ; foremost of which are the 
wooden doors of S. Sabina and the mosaics of the triumphal arch 
of S. Maria Maggiore. We can hardly explain this art on the 
basis of the simple Catacomb frescos or the reliefs of the 
sarcophagi. It shows the mark of Ravenna on Rome, which 
preceded and prepared the mark of Constantinople. The 
winged angels; the white-robed apostles, prophets and saints, 
marked with the sign of the Lamb ; the abode of the blessed 
as a city, not a garden; the emphasis laid on the King- 
Christ instead of the Christ as miracle-worker and teacher : 
these are some of the elements that seem to have been intro- 
duced or fostered ,by the artists of Ravenna. We see the 
final act of this influence in the mosaic of SS. Cosma and 
Damiano and the frescos of the cemetery of Commodilla. 

Reviewing the various elements of the situation up to this 
time, the impression we gain is that there was no interruption 
in the monumental life of the city until the close of the reign of 
Honorius ; that even after the sack and fire of 410 the wcrk 
of reconstruction was resumed along the old lines as far as the 
limited financial and artistic means allowed. Ancient Rome 
was not yet completely fossilized. Its corporations still held 
to the old methods and orders and ornaments. The city pre- 
fects still had charge of public monuments, with the growing 
assistance of leading ecclesiastics such as Leopardus. For 
instance, Pope Innocent placed in charge of the ubiquitous 
Leopardus and his colleague Paulinus the basilica of S. 
Agnese, which had evidently suffered severely from Alaric's 
hordes, being outside the city. They were to roof it and 


decorate it (gubernari et tegi et ornarf) as well as administer it. 
As the same Leopardus was also put in charge of the con- 
struction of the new parish church of Vestina, it is natural 
that this basilica should use the cemetery of S. Agnese for the 
burial of its members. 

In fact, there is an interesting passage in the Liber Pontifi- 
calis, showing how churches were then sometimes built, relat- 
ing to this parish church called from its founder basilica or 
titulus Vestince. The Pope's life says that " he dedicated the 
basilica of SS. Gervasius and Protasius, built at the expense of 
an illustrious woman named Vestina, under the direction of 
the priests Ursicinus and Leopardus and the deacon Livianus." 
By a clause in her will this woman ordered that this basilica 
should be built from the proceeds of the sale of her ornaments 
and pearls, etc. It also appears that she specified that these 
two priests should have charge of the work. The Pope gave 
rich ornaments to the church, which corresponds to the present 
church of S. Vitale. 

Boniface and S. Felicitas. The next two pontificates, of 
Zozimus (417-418) and Boniface (418-422), were too short 
and agitated to have left monumental records of interest. 
The papal authority and prosperity were still temporarily un- 
dermined by the capture of Rome by Alaric, and hardly able 
to withstand the assaults of the Pelagian and Nestorian 

We may connect with Boniface a work of art not only in- 
teresting in itself, but as an artistic landmark the chapel of 
S. Felicitas with its frescos near the baths of Trajan. Boni- 
face, when opposed by the antipope Eulalius, had received an 
imperial order to leave Rome and had sought refuge in the 
buildings above the cemetery of Felicitas on the Via Salaria. 
He attributed to her protection his triumphant return to Rome, 
and built and decorated an oratory to her at the Catacomb, 1 
where he directed that he should be buried. There still 
exists in Rome an oratory of this saint, thought to have been 
built in her house and place of captivity, decorated with 

1 Hie fecit oratorium in cymeterio S. Felicitatis, iuxta corpus eius et 
ornavit sepulchrum S. martyris Felicitatis et Sancti Silvaui. 



frescos like those at the Catacomb, representing Felicitas and 
her seven sons, all martyred as in heaven, crowned by the 

S. Felicitas and her Children, Martyrs. 
Fresco in her chapel. 

hand of Christ. This painting is a last echo of the purely 
Latin style of Catacomb fresco, before the advent of the first 



breath of foreign influence, whether Hellenic or Oriental, that 
was to add spiritual and poetic elements to the art of Rome 
even before transforming it into its own image. The art of 
Boniface was still simply Roman ; that of Sixtus III was 
impregnated with a new spirit. 

Celestine and Galla Placidia. Shortly after Celestine (422- 
432) became Pope, the Emperor Honorius died (423), and the 
Empire was ridded of a worse than incapable incumbrance, 
of a futile and chicken-hearted fool to whom more than to any 

Incrusted Marble Decoration of Nave of S. Sabina. 

other man the downfall of the Western Empire was due. His 
much-tried sister Galla Placidia became Empress of the West 
as guardian of her young son Valentiriian III. Whatever her 
capacity as a ruler, she was a great patron of art. Established 
at Ravenna she helped to Byzantiriize its art with artists 
from Constantinople. A comparison of the earlier virile and 
realistic mosaics of the baptistery of the cathedral of "Ravenna 
with the more Hellenic and poetic mosaics of the mausoleum 
of Placidia illustrates the change wrought in little more than 
a decade. That Placidia had a large part in the activity 
among all branches of religious art that set in at Rome 



is proved by the famous inscription of the mosaic on the 
triumphal arch of S. Paul's, stating that it had been com- 
menced by Theodosius, finished by Honorius, and that under 
Pope Leo it was restored and decorated by Placidia. Then 
again, the construction of the larger basilica of S. Lorenzo, 
"basilica maior," under Sixtus, is attributed by the Liber 
Pontificalis to Valentinian ; but as he was then a mere youth of 
fifteen or twenty, he was certainly only his mother's puppet 
in these works. 

Once more, then, imperial gifts were poured into the coffers 
of the church at Rome, and the days of Constantine seemed 

Interior of S. Sabina. 
(Early fifth century.) 

renewed. The treasuries of the churches were again filled 
with superb works of the goldsmith's art. Though the politi- 
cal capital of the West continued to be Ravenna, the imperial 
family Placidia, Valentinian and then his wife Eudoxia 
lived for a large part of the time in Rome. The connection 
between the two cities became extremely intimate. 

In the life of Celestine we read one of the few distinct 


records of the damage done to Roman monuments by the sack 
of 410. He restored and enriched the basilica Julia, now 
S. Maria in Trastevere post ignem geticum, " after. the Gothic 
fire." The important series of paintings or mosaics which he 
placed on its walls are cited by Pope Hadrian more than three 
centuries and a half later in his letter to Charlemagne. 

Completely a monument of this age is the basilica of S. 
Sabina, commenced under Celestine and finished under Sixtus. 
The Liber Pontificals refers it entirely to the reign of Sixtus : 
" Et huius temporibus fecit Petrus episcopus basilicam in urbe 
Roma sanctce Savince ubi et fontem construxit." But from the 
dedicatory inscription it was founded under his predecessor, 
and its columns are supposed to have been taken from the 
near-by temple of Juno Regina ruined by Alaric. Its deco- 
ration in mosaic and opus sectile of rich marbles, its unique 
carved doors and the excellence of its design, are proofs of the 
persistence of a high quality of workmanship. 

Sixtus. The pontificate of Sixtus (432-440) is monumen- 
tally famous for the basilica of S. Maria Maggiore which the 
L. P. attributes to him : hie fecit basilicam 8. Marice quce ab 
antiquis Liberii cognominabatur, iuxta macellum Libiae ; though 
we suspect that he merely restored it and decorated it with 
some of its mosaics. More certainly his work was a basilica 
which he built to S. Lawrence next to that erected by Con- 
stantine and rebuilt by Leopardus over the martyr's tomb. 
The L. P. says : fecit basilicam sancto Laurent io quod Valen- 
tinus Augustus concessit. Evidently the Emperor supplied the 
funds.' The apse of this basilica backed against that of the 
earlier sanctuary and it was called maior, the larger, to distin- 
guish it from the earlier one, which was called ad corpus, i.e. 
built over the martyr's grave itself. He also enlarged the 
Lateran baptistery, placing there the eight porphyry columns 
still remaining : constftuit columnas in baptisterium basilica 
Constantiniante, quas a tempore Constantini August i fuerunt 
congregatas ex metallo purphyretico numero VIII, quas erexit 
cum epistolis suis et versibus exornavit. 

At S. Sebastiano he built a monastery, one of the earliest if 
not the earliest in Rome, the forerunner of the many that were 



soon to be established next to all the suburban basilicas in 
order to insure the continuous religious services which could 
not possibly be supplied by the parish clergy of the city church 
with which each basilica outside the walls was connected. 

This Pope was industrious in continuing to repair the damage 
done by Alaric, not only in restoring churches, but in replacing 
the sacred vessels and sculptures in metal that had been de- 

Pierced Marble Windows of the Fifth Century, 

stroyed. More such precious objects are enumerated as his 
gifts than are attributed to any Pope since Sylvester ; in this 
he was helped by imperial munificence. The confession and 
ciborium of S. Lorenzo ad corpus are described in detail, in- 
cluding a silver statue of the martyr, as well as numerous 
vessels. The Constantinian ciborium at the Lateran basilica, 
destroyed by Alaric, was replaced by the Emperor Valentinian : 
fecit autem Valentinianus Augustus ex rogatu Xysti Episcopi 
fastidium argenteum in basilica Constantiniana, quod a bar- 


bans sublatum fuerat. It was of silver, weighed two thousand 
pounds and was decorated with figures of Christ and the 

More plainly than any previous Pope did Sixtus III wield 
art and inscriptions in defence of dogma. He dedicated his 
mosaics at S. Maria Maggiore to the people : Sixtus Episcopus 

Interior of S. Pietro in Vincoli. 
(Fifth century, from antique materials, and Barocco.) 

plebi dei; and selected the themes of his mosaics so as to illus- 
trate the dogma of the divine motherhood of the Virgin, just 
proclaimed by the Council of Ephesus. His great inscription 
at the Lateran baptistery is so worded as officially to proclaim 
the orthodox doctrine of original sin against the dangerous 
heresy of Pelagianism, then current. 

Not mentioned in the Papal Chronicles is another church 
that of S. Pietro in Vincoli whose construction was due, accord- 
ing to tradition, to the munificence of another imperial lady, Eu- 
doxia, daughter of Theodosius II and wife of Valentinian, one 


of those tragic female figures of the last days of the struggle 
with the barbarians, so full of epic contrasts. Years before she 
was carried off to Africa as Genseric's prisoner, after the sack 
of Rome in 455, she had built this church in the time of Six- 
tus III, and it was later called, after her, basilica Eudoxiana. 
It contained the famous relic of the chains of S. Peter, and so 
its final name became S. Peter ad Vincula. Though often 
restored, it retains its original plan and columns, and is not 
only one of the most important remaining churches of the 
pre-Gothic age, but is unique in Rome in having columns of 
the Doric order, whose effect is almost obliterated by the 
barbarous Barocco superstructure. 

Leo. In Leo the Great (440-461) the Church found its 
greatest leader. His times were big with both glory and dis- 
aster : the glory of the deliverance from Attila and his Huns 
through Leo's personal genius in 452 ; the disaster of the sack 
of Rome by Genseric and his Vandals in 455. Leo's lament 
that, after the city had been saved from Attila, the citizens 
showed their joy by flocking not to the churches, but to the 
games of the circus, is a fit counterpart to the absolute lack of 
resistance to the Vandal raid in 455. Genseric carried off or 
destroyed not only the bulk of works of both pagan and Chris- 
tian art in bronze and the precious metals, but a large number of 
illustrious captives. Rome was depleted of most of its remain- 
ing wealthy families. Their great estates in various parts of 
Italy had been mostly destroyed. The theory of Rome's in- 
violability, already shattered by Alaric, was destroyed. The 
Roman Empire had been still represented at the beginning of 
Leo's reign by powerful individualities like the Empress Galla 
Placidia. The murder of ^Etius in 455 removed from the po- 
litical scene the last heroic figure ; the murder of Valentinian, 
shortly after, removed the last male representative of the dy- 
nasty of the great Theodosius. Then came Genseric. 

Artistic Atrophy. Civic art, even now, was not quite dead, 
though atrophied by the decay and flight of the art corporations. 
Statues in bronze and marble were still erected, especially in 
the Forum of Trajan. Maximus, before he became Emperor in 
455, had been honored by a bronze statue in this Forum ; so 



was the famous Gallic writer, Sidonius Apollinaris, in 456, by 
vote of the Senate. 

Majorian, himself, took vigorous steps to check the decay of 
the city's monuments, and issued a decree which was embodied 
in Justinian's code and is a real landmark. He says : 

" We, the rulers of the State, with a view to restoring the 
beauty of our venerable city, desire to put an end to the abuses 
which have already long excited our indignation. It is well 
known that in several instances public buildings, in which all 
the ornament of the city consisted, have been destroyed with the 
criminal permission of the authorities, on the pretext that the 
materials were necessary for public works, etc." 

This last effort to heal the wounds of the city by Majorian, 
who had been made Emperor in 457 by the will of the bar- 
barian leader of mercenaries, Ricimer, failed because Ricimer 
aimed at being the real ruler, like a Merovingian mayor of 
the palace. Finding Majorian lacking in subservience and 
filled with antique Roman pride, Ricimer assassinated him 
in 461. 

In the field of Christian art, Leo was extremely active, 
although his monuments have left but few traces. One of the 
bevy of pious Roman women, Deinetrias, of the house of the 
Anicii, pupil and 
friend of S. Au- 
gustine and S. 
Jerome, left her 
fortune for the 
construction of a 
basilica on the Via 
Latina, dedicated 
to S. Stephen. 
Leo, who was 
made her execu- Capitals at S. Stefano on the Via Latina. 

tor, made the priest Tigrinus building-superintendent of the 
new church. It was not built until the end of Leo's pontificate 
(460-461), and its ruins show the crude workmanship of the 
decades following the sack of Genseric. 

This was not the only work done by testamentary funds. 


The facade mosaic of S. Peter was given by the ex-pretorian 
prefect Marinianus and his wife Anastasia. 

The L. P. proves the extent of Leo's energy in repairing the 
damages of 455. He renewed the ceilings of all three of the 
greatest basilicas, ~ the Lateran, S. Peter and S. Paul, and 
he replaced by others all the stolen sacred utensils of the 
Roman churches : renovavit post cladem Wandalicam omnia 
ministeria sacrata argentea per omnes titulos. 

The only work that has survived is the mosaic of the tri- 
umphal arch of S. Paul, and that is so badly restored as to 
have hardly more than the form of the original. It was com- 
pleted in the early part of Leo's reign, with the help of the 
Empress Galla Placidia. 

Of his basilica to S. Cornelius over the cemetery of Callixtus 
nothing remains. He built the first monastery attached to the 
basilica of S. Peter (SS. John and Paul) to supply clergy for 
continuous service, thus popularizing a series that was being 
continually enlarged, which became indispensable in church 
organization, and an important source of art production. 

Hilary's Revival. It is almost inexplicable how the pontifi- 
cate of Hilary (461-468) could furnish such a mass of artistic 
matter. His group of annexes to the 
Constantinian baptistery was certainly 
one of the most interesting in Rome 
the oratory of the Cross with its court, 
and those of John the Baptist and John 
the Evangelist with their mosaics and 
bronze doors. 1 A part of them are 
Baptistry of the Lateran. among the few surviving relics of the 
primitive group of buildings at the 

Lateran, including the baptistery itself which he reconstructed. 
Its wooden roof contrasted with the dome of S. Costantia marks 
the decay of architecture since Constantine. 

His favorite basilica, however, seems to have been S. 
Lorenzo, where he was buried. He added to it a monastery, 

1 Fecit oraturia III in baptisterio basilicse Constantinianae, Sancti Johannis 
Baptistse et Sancti Johannis Evangelistae et S. Crucis, omnia ex argento et 
lapidibus pretiosis. 


and a Papal palace or villa with hot and cold baths, quarters 
for pilgrims and a library for both Greek and Latin books. 
He built a similar palace at S. Paul. 

The bare enumeration of his numerous gifts to the churches 
suggests the immense wealth of the Church, due partly to the 
successfiil policy of Leo the Great. We can only doubt 
whether the quality of their art equalled their number and 

Simplicius and Barbarian Rule. In the times of Pope Sim- 
plicius (468^83) the pale travesty of an Empire of the West 
ceased to be even a stage property. Eicimer, after allowing 
the incompetence of the puppet Emperor, Anthemius, whom he 
had grudgingly accepted from Byzantium, to become thoroughly 
evident in the futile expedition against the Vandals, made se- 
lection of Olybrius as his successor. When Anthemius dared 
to resist him in Borne, Eicimer besieged and captured it in 
472. Except that the city was given over to pillage, we are in 
the dark as to the extent of the disaster. Four years of anarchy 
followed, until, in 476, Odoacer, after obtaining the leadership 
of the barbarian mercenaries, abolished even the title of Em- 
peror of the West, and frankly assumed to rule in Italy as 
king. The Eastern Emperor, Zeno, was content to let him 
govern it under the sophism that he was a Byzantine official, 
a " patricius," and that Italy thus became a province of the 
Eastern Empire a figment at which Odoacer was well content 
to wink. 

The following thirteen years under Olybrius were politically 
peaceful. But what was their effect upon the art and monuments 
of Koine ? For the first time Eome was under the direct yoke 
of the barbarian. With the seat of government at Eavenna, 
with the financial aid of the Eastern Emperor withdrawn, with 
the cessation of the frumentatio for the people, Eome must 
have felt economically pinched and incapable of recuperating 
from the last pillage. There was also, for a time, at least, an 
interregnum in the upper magistracy, as the illiterate barbarian 
cared nothing for the irrechanism of civil administration. We 
must imagine that there was a complete lapse in the care of 
public monuments both in appropriations and officials and 


that in these years before the advent of Theodoric, great prog- 
ress in disintegration was made. 

The appropriation of several public buildings by the Church 
is not only a proof of this but also of the lapse of those strict 
imperial regulations that had guarded ancient monuments. 
We may well imagine that Pope Simplicius did not feel it 
necessary to ask permission of the Emperor Zeno, who had 
abandoned Koine and Italy to their fate, or qf the barbarian 
leader, who was probably entirely ignorant of the governmental 
ownership of public buildings. 

At all events, the Liber Pontificalis is authority for the fact, 
authenticated by a dedicatory inscription, that the Pope trans- 
formed the beautiful public hall of Junius Bassus, already 
described as one of the most interesting works of the time of 
Constantino, into a church of S. Andrew. An apse was added 
and decorated with a mosaic, but otherwise there was little 
change. The elliptical vestibule was used as a narthex, no 
colonnades were added in the interior to divide it into nave 
and aisles, and the superb marble in- 
crustations were left to decorate the 
walls. It was not directly, but through 
the munificence of the Gothic chieftain 
Valila, that the Pope obtained posses- 
sion of the building. 

Here enters also upon the scene the 
" sphynx of the Ccelian," the circular 
church of San Stefano Rotondo, dedi- 
cated, as the Liber Pontificalis tells 
S. Stefano Rotondo. i - v i -r. .LI 

us, by Dimplicms. It is the most 

peculiarly shaped church : an enormous central tower-like 
drum supported on 20 columns and surrounded by a second 
row of 28 columns intersected by four colonnaded wings. 

1 This is the passage in the life of Simplicius that concerns his buildings : 
" Hie dedicavit basilicam Sancti Stephani in Celio monte, in urbe Roma, 
et basilicam beati apostoli Andrese iuxta basilicam Sanctse Marise, et aliam 
basilicam Sancti Stefani iuxta basilicam Sancti Laurent! , et aliam basilicam 
intra urbe Roma, iuxta palatium Licinianum, beatae martyris Bibianse, ubi 
corpus eius reqniescit." . . . Hie fecit in ecclesia Romana scyphum aureum, 
pens. lib. V; canthara argentea ad beatum Petruin XVI, pens. sing. lib. XII. 


Though shorn of some of its size at the Renaissance, it is im- 
pressive and mysterious. . Some of its capitals are antique: 
most are contemporary. According to most modern critics 
this building would be another example of the ease with which 
public civil structures were then annexed by the Church, but 
no such secular building can be shown to have existed then 

Interior of S. Stefano Rotondo. 
(Fifth century.) 

nor can it be traced in the present church. Most of its decora- 
tion is posterior even to Simplicius. It was a religious struc- 
ture from the beginning. 

Two mosaics of this time, in the apses of S. Andrea in 
Catabarbara and S. Agata in Suburra, represented Christ among 
the apostles, and, though destroyed, the drawings made by 
Renaissance students show heavy realistic types of statuesque 
character. The artists who worked between 460 and 475 in 
painting were still of the same school, therefore, as the 
mosaicists of S. Sabina. 


The three ensuing reigns of Felix III (483-492), Gelasius 
(492-496) and Anastasius II (496-498) appear to have been 
artistically sterile. The confused and insecure political con- 
dition to which this was partly due came to an end with the 
advent of Theodoric the Goth. 


AFTER a brief surcease the influence of Ravenna 011 Roman 
art was once more intensified under Theodoric, who brought the 
two cities into the closest connection by placing the civil 
administration of Rome so completely in the hands of his own 
appointees and by overseeing so closely from Ravenna the de- 
tails of the restoration, care and construction of monuments. 
He even appointed the architects and engineers in charge of 
Roman monuments. It is during the forty years between his 

Corinthian Capitals of Sixth Century. 

(1) S. Martino ai Monti 
(c. 500). 

(2) Palatine 
(c. 500). 

(3) S. Lorenzo 

advent and the coming of Belisarius that Roman art was more 
generally affected than before in all its branches by the Ra- 
venna school. This is particularly evident in architecture, 
in the decorative details and the treatment of capitals. In 
the time of Popes Hilary and Simplicius, in the calamitous 
times after Genseric's sack, the handling of such work had been 
deplorably crude and helplessly inefficient. Only the intention 
remained classic. How can we explain, then, except by the 
advent of artists from Ravenna, the sudden change that is 
evident in all the works of Theodoric's age in Rome ? The 
church of S. Martino ai Monti, for example, has work that is 



superb, equal to the best of the age of Constantine, but of a 
totally different type, analogous to that in the churches of 
Ravenna itself, such as S. Apollinare Nuovo, S. Spirito and 
S. Agata, though even superior in handling. 

In one branch, however, Rome still held supremacy, that of 
surface revetments in various marbles cut into patterns, such 
as we have seen at the basilica of Junius Bassus and at S. 
Sabina. For there is a letter written c. 508 by Theodoric to 

Interior of S. Martino ai Monti, 
(c. 500 and Barocco.) 

the prefect of Eome, Agapitus, asking him to send to Ravenna 
skilled marmorarii, marble-workers, for the' decoration of the 
basilica of Hercules with " pictures in many-colored marble 

Among the interesting documents preserved in the collection 
of Theodoric's learned secretary Cassiodorus, we find a number 
bearing on the architecture of Rome, the restoration of the Cir- 


cus Maximus, the theatre of Pompey, the city walls, the palace 
of the Caesars, the public storehouse for grain, the aqueducts, 
etc. The Senate was sharply reproved by him for lack of vig- 
ilance, the prefect was reminded of his duties, Symmachus 
praised for his architectural enterprises. Officials were ap- 
pointed to oversee the aqueducts and sewers, the government 
manufactory of bricks, the restoration and care of the imperial 
palaces on the P. alatine, the preparation of cement and mortar. 
Most interesting is the oath of office taken before the prefect 
by whoever was made city inspecting architect. 

Symmachus. Notwithstanding his long and bloody contro- 
versy with the antipope Laurentius, Pope Symmachus (498- 
514) was fortunate in living under King Theodoric. The 
churches as well as the civil buildings of Rome were thoroughly 
repaired. Everywhere we find the bricks and tiles of Theodoric. 
Symmachus himself had the oversight of such work for eccle- 
siastical buildings, while profiting by the materials, such as 
bricks, supplied free by the manufactories of the State and 
probably also making use of stone-cutters and other artists from 
Ravenna. The most important of his early works were at S. 
Peter, while Laurentius, his rival, still had possession of the 
Lateran and of S. Paul. He was the first Pope to make a 
Papal residence at S. Peter, for he built a palace, symmetri- 
cally, on either side of the atrium in f rout of the basilica, deco- 
rating the centre of the square with the famous fountain of the 
bronze Pine-cone (Pigna), widening the staircase of approach 
to the basilica and decorating the atrium with mosaics. He 
also built or restored a number of other annexes to the basilica, 
including the beautiful circular church of S. Andrew, S. Peter's 
brother, to whom Simplicius had already built a small basilica. 

The ever increasing grasp of the Church in matters that in 
imperial times had been civil, as well as the development of the 
Christian idea of charity, so foreign to the old paganism, is 
shown by the group of hospitals and hospices which Symmachus 
built in connection with the great suburban basilicas at S. 
Peter, and S. Paul and S. Lorenzo, besides that at Portus, 
where the previous hospital of Pammachius was probably in- 
sufficient to provide for the seafaring population. 



For four years in the early part of the pontificate of 
Symmachus (501-505) the antipope Laurentius had practical 
possession of all the churches of Rome, with the exception of 
S. Peter, and an interesting memorial of his ephemeral rule is 
a part of the series of portrait busts of the Popes painted in 
medallions on the two walls of the main nave, one of the last 
works of painting in which the Roman school showed its in- 

Hormisdas and John. Under Hormisdas (514-523), the 
peaceful course of events continued, and was even accentuated 
by the reestablishment, in 519, amid universal rejoicing, of the 
union with the Eastern Church, which healed the schism of thirty- 
five years. But the good effects of this reconciliation were 
more than nullified by the sudden development of the enmity of 

Choir-screen of Hormisdas at S. Clemente (restored). 

Theodoric, which began under Pope John I (523-526), perhaps 
out of Arian jealousy of this very reconciliation with Constan- 
tinople, at a time when Justin issued his famous decree of per- 
secution against the Arians (523). Foreseeing, perhaps, the By- 
zantine attempt to wrest Italy from the Goths, the aging king 
enveloped in his fatal suspicions the last eminent Romans 
Boethius and Symmachus and his reign ended in acts of 
suspicious tyranny and violence recalling the days of Domitian. 
His plan was not only to extinguish any desire for political 
intrigues with Byzantium on the part of the Senate, but to 
make of the Papacy a political slave and tool. He obliged Pope 
John I to make the long journey to Constantinople to ask for 
the cessation of the Arian persecution and on his return threw 
him into prison at Ravenna, where he died. Theodoric then 



forced on the clergy his candidate for the Papacy, Felix IV 
(526-530). This led to a clearer definition between the two 
hostile currents in Koine the Gothic and the Byzantine 
which at once showed itself in the party of the Greek autipope, 

These two currents are evident, I believe, in contemporary 
art. Th most characteristic example of each are, on the 
Byzantine side, the decorations of S. Clemente by the Presbyter 

Apsidal Mosaic of SS. Cosma e Damiano. 

Mercurius, who afterwards became Pope John II (533-535) ; 
and on the Gothic side, the mosaics of SS. Cosma e Damiano, 
done under Felix IV, the Gothic partisan, while a middle 
ground is held by some of the recently discovered frescos in 
the cemetery of Commodilla, which seem to be those men- 
tioned in the Liber Pontificalis as being ordered by Pope John 
I (523-526). 

I am aware that, in the unanimous opinion of critics, the 
superb apsidal mosaic in SS. Cosma e Damiano is the last 



effort of pure Roman art, before the advent of Byzantinism ; 
but I cannot find in any other contemporary or previous work 
of the Roman school the element of barbaric intensity, of 
almost ferocious energy, so well embodied in thick-set bodies 
and harsh, heavy features. It stands alone, the work of a man 
who, if not himself a barbarian pupil of the school of Rome 
or Ravenna, represented the Gothic spirit violently divorced 
from Byzantium. Yet the elements already assimilated could 
not be thrown off. Hovering over these militant figures in 

the hemicycle are the 
angels with ideal faces 
and outspread wings on 
the face of the apse ! 

Without any admix- 
ture of Roman or bar- 
baric are the frescos of 
the subterranean chapel 
in the cemetery of Com- 
modilla, for which the 
closest analogies must 
be sought in Ravenna, at 
S. ApollinareNuovo and 
S. Vitale. 

The present scliola can- 
torum at S. Clemente, 
with its marble screen 
and pilasters and its am- 
bones, is reconstructed 
largely from those with 
which the presbyter of 
the basilica Mercurius 
decorated it under Pope Hormisdas,' completing it after he 
became Pope as John II in 533. Part of the epistyle and two 
of the columns of his ciborium are also preserved. Their 
basket-work capitals are purely Byzantine, of the type that 
was adopted also by the schools of Ravenna and the other 
cities on the Adriatic at this time, such as Parenzo, Pola 
and Grado. Equally foreign to classic Roman tradition is the 

Capital of Old Basilica of S. Clemente. 
(Early sixth century.) 


decoration in low relief of circles and crosses on the panels of 
the schola cantorum and the schematic vines of its pilasters, 
an importation direct from Constantinople rather than through 

Rome still the Antique City. The impression we receive of 
the Rome of Theodoric is precisely that expressed by the 
sentence laus Gothorum est civilitas custodita. Theodoric's 
preoccupation to keep intact the antique tradition was carried 
out in the most trivial details. All outward life moved in the 
old grooves. The Senate met; the consuls presided over the 
games ; the Circus, the public baths and the theatre were 
still the great resorts of the masses to whom panem et circenses, 
though with reduced munificence, were still freely offered; the 
Forum of Trajan still received honorary statues and was the 
resort of the literary. 

The city was still fundamentally antique in its appearance 
and in its daily life. The dissensions due to the aggressive 
Arianism and the bloody suppression of the national party in 
Rome in the last years of Theodoric prepared the way for the 
attempt to reunite Italy to the Empire under his weak suc- 
cessors, an attempt that was encouraged by the Byzantine 
party formed in Rome itself. Had the fatal result been fore- 
seen by the Italians they would have far preferred the some- 
what harmless friction with an alien race to the complete ruin 
that resulted from their blind appeal to Byzantium. 


No knight-errant was ever sent by his lady-love on an ap- 
parently more hopeless mission than Belisarius received from 
Justinian when he was charged with the recovery of Italy and 
Africa from the Goths and Vandals and its reunion to the 
Empire. What his weaker predecessors had acquiesced in 
seemed a weakness to Justinian, who, though far from a war- 
rior himself, planned a reconstruction of the Roman Empire 
religious, legal and political that involved extensive wars 
and conquests. 

In Belisarius he found a perfect instrument, a disinterested, 
unworldly, unambitious genius, whose exploits read like fan- 
tastic fairy tales. How this man, with a handful of hybrid 
soldiers, never over twenty-five thousand, first put an end to 
the Vandal kingdom in Africa, and then, landing in Sicily in 
532, marched northward, occupied Rome and fought the Goths 
repeatedly to a standstill, to leave their final subjugation to his 
successor, Narses, in 553, is a page of almost pure romance. 
But these wars of over a quarter of a century were more de- 
structive at the beginning of the Middle Ages in Italy than the 
plague was to be at its close in the fifteenth century. Two- 
thirds of the population is said to have perished in the life-and- 
death struggle of the heroic Goths. Procopius reckoned the 
loss at about fifteen millions. From one end of Italy to the 
other the waves of battle surged ; yet of all the districts, Rome 
and the Campagna were by far the severest sufferers. 

Depopulation of Rome. During and between its sieges 
Rome was left practically without inhabitants. Its aqueducts 
were cut; its country-side made desolate. Ancient and modern 
villas, up to this time retaining a shadow of the beauty of the 
days of Cicero and Horace, were thoroughly gutted. The rows 



of ancient statues cast down upon the enemy from the parapets 
of Hadrian's tomb are the symbol of the final descent of the 
gods and emperors even from being a harmless decoration to 
the city. 

When the war ended in the annihilation of the Goth, there 
was no vitality to repair damages. To make doubly sure a 
vindictive nemesis soon sent the plague stalking from one end 
of Italy to the other. And with it came the uncouth Lom- 
bards, who took possession of the entire north and of a large 
part of the central and southern sections of the peninsula, 
leaving Venice, Naples and the extreme south in the weak grasp 
of Byzantium. 

In Korne itself the population never reassembled ; personal 
ownership had largely ceased; property and prosperity had 
vanished ; all agriculture, trade and industry were brought to 
a standstill. It was a total disruption of society. Ancient and 
early Christian Rome had actually ceased to exist as an or- 
ganization. The few thousands whom we find within the walls 
at the close of the war were mainly a poverty-stricken herd 
of the lowest class of Italians or of barbarian immigrants, 
who huddled in hovels near the Tiber, getting their supply of 
water from the river or from wells, for there were no means in 
the impoverished city for restoring the aqueducts. There was 
no longer any pretence of restoring or respecting the ancient 
monuments. The Emperor Justinian in his Pragmatic Sanc- 
tion, evidently blind to the real squalid facts, amusingly accords 
permission to private persons in Rome to restore ancient monu- 
ments at their own expense. The real facts are hinted at in 
the letters of Pope Pelagius appealing for the bare necessities 
of life for the people. 

Under the circumstances, Justinian found that the one 
indigenous influence upon which he could rely to support 
imperial authority in that part of Italy which the Byzantine 
troops were able to retain, was the Church and the Papacy. 
With the fall of the Goths, the Arianism of which they were 
the champions had been definitely conquered by orthodoxy. 
At the same time the Popes, under tyrannical pressure at 
Constantinople, had been forced to agree to certain humiliating 


conditions in the recognition of the ecclesiastical and civil 
control of the Eastern Empire over Rome. In return the 
Church was granted extensive civil authority in Italy, and the 
Papacy grew very soon to be the rallying point for the public 
forces of social reconstruction. It is true that there grew up 
an elaborate system of Byzantine administration, with its 
centre at Ravenna in the person of an exarch, the viceroy 
of the Emperor in Italy ; that under him were dukes who 
were his representatives in Rome, in Gaeta, in Naples, in 
Sicily; that there was a pretence of financial control and of 
both political and military direction. But in the general dis- 
ruption this was largely nominal except in a few centres, 
because the old municipal organizations were dissolved. 

The only living institution, then, was the Church ; no longer 
as wealthy, to be sure, as in the time of Leo the Great, but 
now even more comparatively influential because it was the 
only refuge of the people. 

Gregory. Gregory the Great individualized this movement 
and led the reconstruction, not only in Rome, but in Italy. First 
a patrician, a worldling and an official of the Byzantine admin- 
istration who then became a self-sacrificing ecclesiastic, Gregory 
turned his father's palace into a monastery, and was the last 
of the Church Fathers. Under his administration the Roman 
Church grew wealthy, increased its possessions in all parts of 
Italy, becoming the largest holder of landed property, as the 
Emperors used to be. Gregory established his authority more 
effectually over provincial bishops, keeping constantly in touch 
with them, reformed the clergy, raised the people from misery, 
encouraged commerce, industry and art, established more dig- 
nified and independent relations with the Byzantine empire, 
organized a Pontifical court, elevated the ritual and music of 
the Church, and accustomed the people to look to the Papacy 
for whatever of good could be brought to pass. He laid the 
foundation for the renewed artistic influence of Rome. 

In order to carry out his work churches and monasteries 
were founded and endowed as well as libraries, hospitals and 
inns, schools for music and general teaching. Once more, in 
the first decade of the seventh century Rome began to reassert 


herself and Gregory, though fundamentally a Latin survival, 
ushered in the new era of Byzantine Rome. 

Reorganization of the City. The modest revival was centred 
in a very small quarter of the ancient city, close to the Tiber. 
The medley of Italians, Greeks and barbarians who gathered 
here viewed with a mixture of awe and contempt the deserted 
area of the Forums, the Palatine and the Campus Martins. 
They favored the low quarters, abandoning the hills, so that 
they could command the meagre trade of the city that came to 
them up the river, for the old ports of Portus and Ostia were 
disused, and the city quays were alone used for supplies from 
the coast towns, from Sicily and even from Greece and Africa. 

Rome becomes Byzantine. The majority of these newcom- 
ers were either of Greek blood or came from some part of the 
Byzantine domains, spoke Greek far more than Latin, and that 
part of the Tiber bank which was the centre of the settlement 
was afterwards always called Ripa Grceca. They clubbed to- 
gether in an association called Schola Grceca, which probably 
served as a model for the different scholoe, national associations, 
or guilds into which the city was soon divided, the predeces- 
sors of the organization of the mediaeval rioni or quarters. 

The Byzantine invasion was not confined to the lay part 
of the population. It took even more complete possession of 
both the regular and secular clergy, of the monasteries and of 
the Pontifical court and the episcopacy. This was of para- 
mount importance because in the new Rome the revival of art 
and literature was to be absolutely in the hands of the clergy, 
especially of the monks. 

Greek Monks. Thickly scattered over the Aventine and 
more sparsely elsewhere were numerous monasteries, the 
majority occupied by Greek monks who followed the rule of S. 
Basil. Singularly enough the great Western order of S. Bene- 
dict did not gain as strong a foothold in Rome for over two 
hundred years, until the Carlovingian Emperors became such 
sturdy patrons of Western monasticism. The Liber Ponti- 
Jicalis, or official Papal Chronicle, composed from the Papal 
archives at different intervals between c. 500 and 880 A.D., 
gives long lists of works of art produced at this time in Rome, 


and it is evident that the great majority were executed by 
artists in the Roman monasteries, especially by the Byzantine 
monks. Mosaic pictures and frescos, gold and silver altar 
canopies and altar-fronts as well as statues, embroidered and 
woven hangings with elaborate figured compositions, sacred vest- 
ments and vessels, are enumerated in such quantities and in 
such terms as to show not only the enormous productivity of 
these monastic schools but the Byzantine origin of a large pro- 
portion of the work. While all the objects in precious metals 
have disappeared, as well as the embroideries and tissues, 
there remains a large series of mosaics and wall paintings to 
show how thoroughly Byzantinized Roman art had become in 
the hands of Greek artists and their pupils. 

A number of these monastic establishments remain, though 
largely reconstructed. At the central church of the Greek 
community, S. Maria in Cosmedin, there were monks who 
were reenforced in 752 by newcomers fleeing from the icono- 
clastic persecutions of the Byzantine Emperors. The tendency 
to image worship in the Greek Church, which had increased 
alarmingly during the seventh century, had provoked the 
famous reaction against the making of sacred images which 
was headed by the emperors and resulted in the destruction 
of many works of art, the temporary substitution of decora- 
tive and secular themes, the harsh treatment of artists even 
to the cutting off of their right hands, and the consequent 
flight of many of them from the East to the freedom of Italy, 
especially of Rome, where their services were in demand. 

But while this emigration, which was almost continuous 
throughout the eighth century, added considerably to the Greek 
monastic colony in Rome, it would be a mistake to imagine that 
it had not flourished there for nearly two centuries before. 
For instance, the church and monastery of S. Saba on the Aven- 
tine were built for Greek monks who may have come from 
the monastery of the same name at Jerusalem at some time in 
the sixth century. At the same date the imperial chapel of 
S. Cesareo on the Palatine, where the images of the Byzantine 
Emperors were placed, was served by Greek monks, as was also 
the parish church of the Greeks, S. Anastasia. Several other 


Greek monasteries were then prominent. Those of Renas and 
Domus Arsicia were so important as to send delegates to the 
(Ecumenical Council held at Constantinople in 680-681. 

The most significant fact of all, however, is that after Pope 
Gregory the Great founded the monastery of S. Andrew in 
his paternal house on the Coelian, it contained Greek monks 
and was governed by Greek abbots. S. Erasmo and S. Maria 
Antiqua also belong to this early Byzantine group. To the 
later iconoclastic group belonged the large establishment of 
S. Silvestro in Capite. 

Greek Popes and Clergy. It was not long after the death of 
Gregory the Great that the effect of the influx of Greeks in 
every sphere became evident. As a majority of the Roman 
secular clergy seem to have been of Greek blood, it was natural 
that the majority of the Popes for over a century should be 
Greeks. This Greek series, begun with Pope Theodore in 642, 
is continued with Sergius (687), John VI (701), John VII 
(705), Sisinnius (708), Constantino (708), Gregory III (731) 
and finally Zacharias in 742. These Popes were not inter- 
lopers, but regular resident members of the Roman clergy. 

The Papal court became a faithful reflex of this general 
condition. After the Gothic wars the material basis and eccle- 
siastical machinery of the Papacy required radical reorganiza- 
tion. The visits of the Popes of the sixth and seventh cen- 
turies to Constantinople had given them a thorough familiarity 
with the elaborate civil and ecclesiastical organization of 
Byzantium. It was natural that the Papacy should model its 
new court upon the imperial pattern, especially as provision 
had to be made, not as before for a purely spiritual and eccle- 
siastical machinery, but also for the secular organization made 
necessary by the new civil powers delegated to or gradually 
assumed by the Popes, and which they needed to harmonize and 
interweave with the functions of the civil officials that repre- 
sented Byzantine power in Italy and Rome. For there was a 
Byzantine dux at Rome, residing in the Palace of the Caesars; 
and the duties of prefect of the city, of curator of the monu- 
ments, of commander of the Roman militia, were technically 
within the gift of the Emperor. 


The Greek language also invaded Rome. Religious services 
and music were held in both Greek and Latin ; the confession 
of faith,the ceremonies and anniversaries, were in both languages. 
The people's choirs that marched in procession at religious fes- 
tivals or went to meet Emperors, Popes or minor dignitaries 
outside the city gates sang both Greek and Latin hymns. 

Foreign Colonists. But to assist in the repeopling and resur- 
recting of Rome there were also distinct colonies of a different 
kind. Closest to the natives was the important colony from 
Ravenna. It was part Italian and part Greek, reflecting the 
cosmopolitanism of Ravenna. This colony was augmented by 
a multitude of refugees at the time of the capture of Ravenna 
by the Lombards in the eighth century, and the quarter where 
they settled, beyond the Tiber, was called Urbs Ravennatum, 
" the city of the Ravennates." It corresponds to the modern 

Another group of colonies was formed, principally of the 
nations of the North, such as Anglo-Saxons, Franks and Lom- 
bards. Each of these was established in a separate quarter, 
owned certain streets, churches, hospitals, and monasteries, 
and organized itself into a schola for mutual protection and 
cooperation. All pilgrims coming to Rome sought the hospi- 
tality of their own colony, which was a sort of guardian of 
national interests. They naturally grouped themselves around 
the centre and starting-point for all pilgrims, the Vatican 
basilica, thus forming a new suburb of the city which was for- 
tified later, in the Carlovingian age, and called the Leonine 
City from the Pope who built it, or the " Borgo " from " Bur- 
gus Saxonum," the Saxon Burgh. 

Monuments. The monumental history of Rome at the be- 
ginning of this period is both obscure and discouraging. 
Belisarius himself is said to have founded a church and a 
hospital, but they seem to have been of small importance. 
Narses put up pompous inscriptions on the insignificant bridge 
which he built over the Anio in 565. There was now no such 
thing as a civil and civic architecture or a restoration of the 
monuments. Only a portion of the Palace of the Caesars was 
kept in repair as the seat of the Byzantine governor and his staff. 


The public baths must have been abandoned, as their water 
supply was cut off. The only impediment to a wholesale con- 
version or destruction of temples and other public monuments 
was the fact that they were the property of the State, that is, 
of the Byzantine Emperor, and that it was necessary to obtain 
his permission to touch or use any of them. Not even the 
Pope had any right to them. There being no imperial funds 
for their repair, disintegration was not long in setting in. 

A poetic lament written at this time begins thus: 

" Oh, Rome ! built in past days by high-born masters, 
Thou fallest now to miserable ruin, subject to slaves. 
Long since thy kings have left thee. 
Thine honor and thy name are now a prey to Greeks." 

Previously it had been the custom to tear down ruinous struc- 
tures and to use their choicest parts in artistic fashion. But 
now, with practically the whole of the ancient city abandoned 
and at their disposal and paganism a thing of the past, a 
new fashion set in, of bodily adapting ancient buildings both 
religious and civil. Of course this had not been an unknown 
process even earlier, but it had been rare. 

At the same time it was the day of small churches, of small 
monasteries, of small ambitions and undertakings, of a poor 
Church and a poorer population, the day of no aristocracy, no 
plutocracy. We find a chapel of S. Maria in Cannapara hidden 
in an angle of the basilica Julia; a chapel of the Virgin in the 
Library of Augustus; the little church of S. Maria in Foro; 
on the Rostra the oratory of Sergius and Bacchus. Wherever 
possible the whole of a structure was used and in this way the 
majority of ancient structures have been preserved which still 
exist in Rome : we owe them to the Church. The Curia or 
larger Senate Hall became the church of S. Adriano; the Sec- 
retarmm or minor Senate Hall became S. Martina ; the temple of 
Romulus and the City Archives had already become SS. Cosma 
e Damiano shortly before the Gothic wars ; the temple of An- 
toninus and Faustina was turned into the church of S. Lorenzo 
in Miranda. The circular Temple of Honor near the Tiber 
and, above all, the magnificent Pantheon of Agrippa were pre- 
served intact by this transfer to the Church. 



From this time until the middle of the eighth century there 
appears to have been in Rome no school of architecture. The 
building done was of the most modest character when it did 
not consist in the transformation of an antique structure. The 
small church of S. Saba, still existing in part under the pres- 
ent basilica, the interior of S. Giorgio in Velabro, are perhaps 
the best instances. 

This age of small things was, it is true, slightly modified by 

Library of Augustus, converted into Church of S. Maria Antiqua. 

Pope Honorius I, the rebuilder of S. Agnese; but aside from 
this interlude it continued unbroken through the series of 
Greek Popes and until the new and vitalizing connection with 
the Frankish rulers, Pepinaud Charlemagne, helped the Papacy 
once more to a policy and an art that were worthy of the 
religious centre of the Western world. 

Two basilicas, S. Prassede and S. Maria in Cosmedin, illus- 
trate the mode of using ancient materials. In the first of 


these churches Pope Paschal (c. 817) framed the interior out of 
columns and architraves of the close of the fourth century, too 
poor and careless in workmanship even for a public building 
of that date, and apparently part of some street colonnade. We 
know that in the time of Honorius there were colonnades 
erected in this very region, particularly along the Vicus Pa- 
tricius. This material at S. Prassede was probably taken 
from these poorly built colonnades a suggestion confirmed 
by the very fragmentary bits of inscriptions of the period 
(c. 400) on the architraves. We can readily imagine that the 
numerous colonnades throughout the city had received no care 
since the Gothic wars and that those of the decadence were 
the first to fall. 

The history of S. Maria in Cosmedin illustrates, on the other 
hand, the utilization and destruction of two other classes of 
earlier monuments civic structures and temples. When 
this church was founded, probably toward the close of the sixth 
century, it was on a small scale and but an adaptation of the 
Grain Exchange. This ancient institution was now quite use- 
less, as the imperial largesse to the people, by the distribution 
of grain imported from beyond the seas, was a thing of the 
past. The poor of the much-reduced population were to be 
provided for henceforth by distribution on a very small scale 
at the diaconal churches now established in the various par- 
ishes of the city, and of which this very church of S. Maria in 
Cosmedin was one. The church, set up in the shell of one 
earlier building, was closely encircled by some others such 
as a temple of Ceres, another temple of " Hercules," both 
destroyed, and the other remaining circular temple of " Por- 
tumnus" or "Matuta." Not only columns and capitals but 
carved marble window screens and other details of the older 
structures were used. The Liber Pontificalis tells us that when 
Pope Hadrian lengthened the church beyond the precincts of 
the Grain Exchange, he was obliged to tear down a huge over- 
hanging ancient structure that threatened to fall and over- 
whelm it probably one of the temples. 

Artistic Vicissitudes after 550. What was the fate of the 
other arts can best be seen by a brief historic survey of the 



artistic activity of the Popes during the two centuries before 
the Carlovingian revival. 

Popes Pelagius I (556-561), John III (561-574) and Bene- 
dict I (575-579) have left no certain monumental traces. One 
great church, however, was put up by Narses and the first two 
of these Popes as a triumphal monument to the Pyrrhic vic- 
tory of Byzantium. It was the basilica of the Apostles, cele- 
brated by Pope Hadrian, two centuries later, as one of the 

Ancient Architraves, Capitals, and Shafts used in Reconstructing S. Lorenzo 

(Pelagius II). 

largest and most sumptuously decorated in the city. Built 
doubtless with imperial funds and before the Lombard invasion, 
it was probably the work of Byzantine engineers and artists 
from Kavenna. Perhaps to this time belong some of the 
earliest of the frescos in S. Maria Antiqua and S. Saba. 

Pelagius I made a beginning also of replacing the destroyed 
Church treasures, for his biographer says that he distributed 
to all the churches of Rome gold and silver vases and vest- 
ments. John's zeal was concentrated on the restoration of the 



Catacombs, where some of the early Byzantine frescos may 
be ascribed to him. 

Pelagius II (579-590) fell upon even more evil times, when 
the city was besieged by the Lombards and abandoned by the 
Byzantine Emperor to its fate ; when (589) it was flooded by 
the Tiber and many buildings were destroyed, and then over- 

A B 

Chair of S. Peter, in his Basilica, made partly of Antique Materials by Artist 
of Seventh or Eighth Century. 

run by a second pestilence (590) by which the Pope himself 
was carried off. 

Perhaps the building most characteristic of these conditions 
is the lower and smaller basilica of S. Lorenzo. The L. P. 
says, under Pelagius, that he built a basilica over the saint's 
tomb. As one had already been built by Constantino and 
renovated by Leopardus, after- the sack of Alaric, it is clear 


that the work of Pelagius must have been required by the de- 
struction of the older church, due to the Goths. Its columns 
were used and added to, and a gallery was erected above them, 
rising from a mass of architraves torn from ancient buildings 
that rested on the larger columns. Evidently there were no 
competent stone masons in Rome at this time, for these mag- 
nificent architraves are of all sizes and patterns and none of 
them match. There is no attempt to bring them into any sort 
of artistic relation. It is the acme of inartistic disorder. The 
Pope seems to have employed stone cutters from Ravenna to 
decorate the second story (gallery), for the basket capitals 

and the parapet slabs are 
thoroughly in the Byzan- 
tine manner of that school 
and of Parenzo and other 
places in the exarchate 
and on the Adriatic coast. 
To this Pope is attrib- 
uted a basilica at the 
cemetery of S. Hermes of 
which there are consider- 
able remains, and a hos- 
pital for the poor. He 
appears to have had 
artists capable of produc- 
ing bas-reliefs in silver gilt with which he decorated the con- 
fessions of the basilicas of S. Peter and S. Lorenzo, which 
had doubtless been despoiled of their earlier and more 
magnificent monuments of this sort. 

Gregory the Great (590-604) seems to have cared but little 
for monumental art. His energies were, as we have seen, bent 
on husbanding the scanty resources of the Church for more 
practical and more vital purposes. He is credited with noth- 
ing more than a silver ciborium with its columns for S. Peter, 
doubtless to replace the one destroyed ; with some decorations 
for the apostle's tomb ; with the transformation of his ances- 
tral house into a monastery ; and with the decoration of the 
church of S. Agata in Suburra. - His biographer describes some 

Classico-Byzantine Capital at S. Agnese 
(Honorius I). 


interesting frescos executed in the monastery in the lifetime 
of S. Gregory. 

Of Sabinianus (604-606) nothing is recorded except some 
lamps given to S. Peter; of Boniface III (607) absolutely 
nothing; of Boniface IV (608-615), in whose time Rome 
went through a terrible experience of famine, pestilence and 
inundation, it is said that he turned his house into a mon- 
astery and obtained from the Emperor Phocas the permis- 
sion to transform the great rotunda of the Pantheon into 
a church dedicated to the Virgin, to which the Emperor 
sent many rich gifts. Nothing is attributed to Deusdedit 
(615-618), under whom the popular misery continued. Boni- 
face V (619-625) completed a small rectangular basilica at 
the entrance to the catacomb of S. Nicomedes on the Via 

Honorius. A change came with the accession of Honorius 
I (625-638), a fervent lover of religious art. His biographer at- 
tributes to him the construction from their foundation of a num- 
ber of buildings, the majority of which it is more likely that 
he merely restored and decorated, so that he should be credited 
rather with a revival of painting and metal-work than with that 
of architecture, though his constructions also show good taste. 
I give his text as a sample of the extracts from the Papal 
inventories given in the Liber Pontifical is. 1 He contributed to 

1 Renovavit omnem cymiliam beati Petri apostoli et investivit confessionem 
beati Petri ex argento puro, qui pens. lib. CLXXXVII. Hie investivit regias 
in ingressn ecclesiae maiores, qui appellatur mediana, ex argento, qui pens. lib. 
DCCCCLXXV ; fecit et cereostatos maiores ex argento, paria duo, qui sunt 
ante corpus beati Petri apostoli, pens. sing. lib. LXII. Fecit et ad beatum 
Andream apostolum, ubi supra, ante confessionem, tabula ex argento, qui 
pens. lib. LXXIII. Huius temporibus levatae sunt trabes in ecclesia beati 
Petri numero XVI. Hie cooperuit omnem ecclesiam eius ex tegulis aereis 
quas levavit de templo qui appellatur Komae, ex concessu piissimi Heraclii 

Eodem tempore fecit ecclesiam beataa Agne martyris ... a solo . . . 
quern undique ornavit, exquisivit, ubi posuit dona multa. Ornavit autem se- 
pulcrum eius ex argento, qui pens. lib. CCLII; posuit desuper cyburium 
aereum deauratum mire magnitudinis; fecit et gavatas aureas III, pens, 
sing. lib. sing. ; fecit abside eiusdem basilicas ex musibo, ubi etiam et 
multa dona optulit. Item fecit basilicam beati Apollenaris ... in porticum 
beati Petri . . . ad Palmata, a solo, ubi dona multa largitus est. . . 


the ruin of the beautiful temple of Venus and Rome by remov- 
ing its ' bronze tiles and using them for his new roof of the 
Vatican basilica. The masterpiece of his time is thought 
to be the basilica of S. Agnese, which certainly has one 
of the most delicate and well-proportioned interiors in Rome, 
and even if the lower part of the nave should be of Con- 
stantinian materials, the rest, including the present apse, was 
put together and decorated by Honorius, including the apsidal 
mosaic. Above the high altar he placed a large gilt-bronze 
ciborium. The SS. Quattro Coronati. though ruined by Gnis- 
card's fire and rebuilt within the old shell on a smaller scale, 
still shows its original size and impressiveness. The other 
churches attributed to him are: S. Apollinare, near S. Peter; 
S. Ciriaco on the Via Ostiensis ; SS. Marcellinus and Peter 
on the Via Labicana ; S. Pancrazio on the Via Aurelia, which 
he decorated with a silver ciborium, gold candelabra and 
many other precious ornaments; S. Lucia near S. Silvestro. 
It was also he who turned the ancient Curia into the church 
of S. Adriano. The inlaid doors, confessions, candelabra and 
other works of this Pope seem to show the presence in Rome 
of skilful metal-workers and mosaicists, probably from the 
East and from Ravenna. 

Fecit ecclesiam beato Cyriaco martyri a solo, via Ostiense, miliario VII, ubi 
et donum optulit. 

Eodem tempore fecit ecclesiam beatorum martyrum Quattuor Coronatonmi, 
quern et dedicavit et donum optulit. Fecit ecclesiam beato Severino, a solo, 
iuxta civitate Tiburtina . . . quam ipse dedicavit, et dona multa optulit. Reno- 
vavit et cymiterium beatorum martyrum Marcellini et Petri, via Lavicana. 
Eodem tempore fecit basilicam beato Pancratio martyri via Aurelia, miliario 
secundo a solo et ornavit sepulchrum eius ex argento, qui pens. lib. 
CXX. [Et ibi constituit mola in murnm in loco Traiani iuxta murum 
civitatis, et formam qui deducit aqua in lacum Sabbatinum et sub se formam 
qui conducit aqua Tyberis.] Fecit et cyburium super altare ex argento, qui 
pens. lib. CLXXXVII. Fecit arcos argenteos V, qui pens. sing. lib. XV. 
Fecit et candelabra aurea III qui pens. sing, libras sing., ubi multa dona 
simul optulit. 

Fecit ecclesia beate Lucia? in urbe Roma, iuxta sanctum Silvestrum, quern 
et dedicavit, et dona multa optulit. Fecit ecclesiam beati Adriani in Tribus 
Fatis, quern et dedicavit, et dona multa optulit. [Fecit autem in domum 
suam iuxta Lateranis monasterium in honore beatorum apostolorum Andrea 
et Bartholomeo, qui appellatum Honorii, ubi pra?dia et dona simul obtulit.] 
Sed et multa alia fecit quas enumerare longum est. 



Other Popes of the Seventh Century. Severinus (640), in 
his one year, found time to complete the restoration of S. 
Peter by renovating the mosaic in its apse. John IV (640-642) 
will be remembered by the construction of a chapel annexed 


to the Lateran baptistery and dedicated to S. Venantius and 
to many other martyrs whose relics were brought from Dal- 
matia and Istria. The mosaic in the apse of this chapel 
is one of the best preserved in Rome, and characteristic 
of the prevailing Byzantinism. 

Under Theodore (642-649), a Greek from Jerusalem, one 
of the earliest recorded transfers of relics took place. The 
bodies of the martyrs Primus and Felicianus were taken 
from their tomb on the Via Nomentana and placed in the 
basilica of S. Stefano Eotondo, where the Pope decorated 
an apse with a mosaic of these saints and where he added 
a number of gifts. He completed the important basilica of 
S. Valentinus, begun by Honorius near Ponte Molle, and built 
two oratories, one to S. Euplus outside the Ostian gate and 
one to S. Sebastian at the Lateran, where he also built a large 
reception hall. 

To the heroic martyr and Pope, Martinus (649-653), who suf- 
fered severely from Byzantine oppression, was violently forced 
to go to Constantinople and then punished by exile to Cherson, 
the Byzantine Siberia, no works of art are credited in his life ; 
but we know from the frescos themselves that he celebrated 
the triumph of Orthodoxy against the Monothelite heresy by a 
series of frescos at S. Maria Antiqua, which he remodelled as 
a Papal chapel and decorated after the Roman synod had con- 
demned the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Eastern sup- 
porters of the heresy. The Papal painters selected the figures 
of a series of Church fathers representing Orthodoxy in two 
series to represent the East and the West, showing no desire 
to break with the Eastern church, but to purge it. 

Nothing is attributed to his successors, Eugenius (654-657) 
and Vitalianus (657-672), but under the latter came the ruinous 
visit to Rome of Constans II, in 663, the first visit of an Em- 
peror since the extinction of the Western Empire two centuries 
before. This Emperor came not to give but to take away : 
as an enemy of the Roman Church and Latin liberties. He 
stole the gilt-bronze tiles that covered the Pantheon, though it 
was now a church, and packed up all the bronze statues remain- 
ing in the city for shipment to Constantinople. Certainly the 


city must have looked to him, used to the orderly cities of the 
East, like a vast cemetery. 

Adeodatus (672-676), though a Eoman by birth, was a monk 
by profession and a Byzantine by education. He rebuilt, en- 
larged with many new buildings, endowed and filled with Greek 
monks the monastery of S. Erasmus on the Coelian, where he 
had himself lived. He rebuilt the church of S. Peter in the 
Campo di Merlo, about seven miles on the Via Portuensis. It 
was almost Byzantine in the squareness of its plan (25 m. long, 
24 m. wide), though it had the basilical columnar nave and 

Domnus was in the chair hardly more than a year (676-678), 
and is merely said to have paved the court of the inner atrium 
of S. Peter with marble slabs and to have restored and dedi- 
cated both the church of the Apostles (Peter and Paul), near 
S. Sebastiano, and that of S. Euphemia on the Via Appia. 

Under Agatho (678-681), the triumph of Koman ecclesiastical 
supremacy in the East as well as in the West, and the final de- 
feat of Monothelitism, was more than counterbalanced in the 
city by the fearful pestilence of 680. Its arrest, at the sup- 
posed intercession of S. Sebastian, was the occasion of the con- 
secration of a mosaic figure of the saint in the church of S. 
Martino ai Monti, where it now exists. 

In the ten months' pontificate of the Sicilian Leo II (682-683), 
the bodies of Simplicius, Faustinus, Beatrix and other martyrs 
were transferred from the Catacomb of Commodilla to a church 
which the Pope built and dedicated to S. Paul, near S. Bibiana. 
It seems almost certain that some of the recently discovered 
frescos in this cemetery were then painted to record the places 
where the saints' bodies had rested, while others were of earlier 
date. A marginal addition to the original text of this Pope's 
life attributes to hirn the construction of S. Giorgio in Velabro; 
he may be the author merely of a restoration. He is said to 
have dedicated it to S. Sebastian, and probably it was a thank- 
offering for the saint's help at the time of the pestilence of 
680. If the restoration of S. Teodoro is also by him, this may 
be the date of the mosaic of its apse, a pale adaptation of that 
of SS. Cosma e Damiano. 


After an inexplicable interregnum of about a year, Pope 
Benedict II (684-685), though a Roman, intensified the close- 
ness of the relations with the Eastern Empire by becoming god- 
father to Constantine Pogonatus's two sons. The Holy See 
seems now to be in somewhat more prosperous condition. The 
basilicas of S. Peter and S. Lorenzo in Lucina were restored. 
To S. Valentino, S. Maria ad Martyres and S. Lorenzo, the Pope 
gave superb textile altar covers, hangings and gold chalices. 

Diaconal Churches. He appears to have organized anew the 
church institutions of beneficence called diaconies. They had 
succeeded, on a far smaller scale, the imperial institutions for 
the distribution of free supplies of corn and oil to the poor of 
Koine, which had been discontinued by the Gothic wars. 
Already under Gregory the Great we hear of the church 
granaries (horrea) for this purpose. In the time of Pope 
Benedict II those charitable establishments were in charge of 
special monasteries quite distinct from the ordinary monas- 
teries attached to the basilicas for song and service. They 
were placed, necessarily, in the heart of the city, and prefer- 
ably near the Tiber. That of S. Maria in Cosmedin was on 
the very site of one of the imperial granaries. The large and 
growing estates of the Church furnished the stores, and the 
deacons of the church had the general supervision, while the 
personnel in charge of the details of the work consisted in 
this monastic age of Greek and native monks. There were, 
according to tradition, seven original diaconies. When, a 
century later, Hadrian I became Pope, he found sixteen of 
these establishments, and he about doubled this number. To 
each of them a church was, naturally, attached ; and these old 
structures often remain, if not among the larger, yet among 
the most interesting in Rome. Such were S. Maria Antiqua, 
S. Maria Rotonda (Pantheon), SS. Cosma e Damiano, S. 
Adriano, S. Giorgio in Valabro, S. Vitale, S. Bonifacio, S. 
Maria in Domnica, S. Lucia in Septisolio, SS. Sergio e Bacco, 
S. Maria in Cosmedin, S. Maria in Portion, S. Nicolo in Car- 
cere, S. Angelo in Pescheria, S. Eustachio, S. Maria in Aquiro, 
S. Maria in Via Lata, S. Agata, etc. 

One peculiarity is that they were usually built in or on 


ancient temples and other Boman structures, which was natu- 
ral Jy the case, owing to their position. They deserve much 
more careful study than has been given them. 

With the successor of Benedict II there commences a long 
series of Greek and Oriental Popes who, while remaining faith- 
ful to Roman ecclesiastical traditions, naturally strengthened 
the hold of Byzantine art upon Rome. Under John V (685- 
686) and Canon (686-687) there are no records of works of art, 
but quite a number under Sergius I (687-701), who restored 
and endowed S. Susanna, S. Euphemia and other churches. 

The Growth and Organization of People, Army and Clergy. It 
is at this time that the Papal Chronicle lays increased stress 
upon the division of the Romans -into three classes the 
clergy, the army and the people. The steady increase of the 
population corresponded to a more thorough organization. 

The Roman army was growing into an important factor ; 
Rome's new population was not effete but warlike. Its mili- 
tia was nominally under command of the Byzantine dux and 
his subordinate officers, but it soon outgrew any subserviency, 
and represented the city itself. Its leaders actually grew into 
a sort of primitive feudal lords. Together with the corre- 
sponding army or militia of Ravenna, it was to play a very im- 
portant role in the politics of the next two centuries. What- 
ever there was of civil rank should be counted in the same 
group as the army, in the way of imperial functionaries and 
men of family. 

The clergy also, in its two main branches, regular or 
monastic, and secular or parish and Papal, was thoroughly 
organized, and formed a large proportion of the population. 

The third class, the people, were again marshalled into 
guilds and xinder regions or new?', with their banners and 
their captains. Their organization was sufficiently close to 
include scholce or meeting-houses and to involve common 
marching and singing on all great civil and religious occasions. 
The people were again partitioning out the city, assigning 
streets to each guild, and evolving some order out of the 

In so far as art is concerned, it is probable that during these 


apparently fallow years there was, in any case, a continued 
activity of the fresco-painters, probably from Ravenna, .who 
had long since introduced the Byzantine style of the age of 
Justinian into Rome and whose school continued so exactly in 
the same traditions that the S. Luke in the Catacomb of Com- 
modilla, dated from the reign of Constantino Pogonatus, can 
hardly be distinguished from frescos and mosaics that are 
over a century earlier. 

How in these years of which we know so little there had 
been incubating in the Italian territories, still governed nomi- 
nally by Byzantium, a spirit of national independence and a 
renewal of virility, is shown by the defence of Pope Sergius 
against the Emperor's plot by the armies of Ravenna and of 
the Pentapolis (Marches of Ancona). 

Architecturally, nothing is recorded of Sergius except an 
oratory to S. Andrew on the Via Labicana, but he placed in- 
numerable precious objects in the churches and was the author 
of at least one mosaic that of the apse of S. Euphemia. 
Metal-work was extremely popular, but not entirely to the 
exclusion of work in marble, as is shown by the inscription 
describing the tomb to Leo the Great, which Sergius erected 
in S. Peter. Still, gold and silver work, enamel work and 
precious stones, characterized the gifts to the basilicas ; they 
were works on a smaller scale and with greater preciosity of 
detail than the ciboria, tabernacles and sacred vessels of the 
earlier periods. 

John VII. The Greek series was continued in Popes John 
VI (701-705) and John VII (705-707), Sisinnius (708) and 
Constantine (708-715). In architecture it still remained the 
day of small things ; in painting there was continued and even 
increased activity, though there came a certain decadence in 
style, and a loss of the. classic beauty of the school of Jus- 
tinian. The two most famous works of this time are due to 
John VII ; the more complete decoration in fresco and restora- 
tion of S. Maria Antiqua, which became more specifically the 
Papal chapel, under the shadow of the imperial palace on the 
Palatine ; and, secondly, the chapel of, the Virgin, or of Veron- 
ica, at S. Peter, which was filled with mosaics of peculiar 


originality. On the other hand, a centre of Lombard influence 
was established at the very gates of Rome, in the monastery 
of Farfa. But, though governed by Lombard law, it undoubt- 
edly served to mediate Roman culture and art to the still bar- 
barous Lombards. An even more important agent for the 
Roman idea outside of the city was the monastery of Subiaco 
which John VII rebuilt and reorganized as a Benedictine 

To Pope Constantine is ascribed the restoration of S. Croce 
in Gerusalemme, and its transformation from a hall-church, 
which was substantially the unchanged hall of a Roman pal- 
ace, into a typical basilica, by the addition of two lines of 
columns. A curious controversy now centred about a work 
of art, a painting representing the different Councils of the 
Church set up in S. Peter.. Philippicus Bardanes, the hereti- 
cal Emperor, undertook to change the picture in a Monothelite 
sense, and the Roman people rose in revolt and refused to 
accept or recognize his title, his coinage, his decrees or his 
portrait. They set up the orthodox painting of the synods 
in opposition to the imperial will. 

The father of John VII was a Greek magnate, of the name 
of Plato, who held the Byzantine office of Curator of the im- 
perial palaces in Rome, and attended to their repair and main- 
tenance. He restored its main stairway, ascending from the 
Forum, and his sepulchral inscription at S. Anastasia is one 
of the most interesting records of Byzantine pseudo-adminis- 
tration. It was probably the fact that Plato lived on the Pala- 
tine which induced his son, on becoming Pope, to build a palace 
for himself on the edge of the Palatine near S. Maria Antiqua, 
thus temporarily supplanting the Lateran as the seat of the 

Gregory II and the Iconoclasts. Gregory II (715-731) was 
the first Roman Pope after this series of Greeks, and reestab- 
lishes the tradition of practical territorial extension. For some 
thirty years before him, it is true, the missionary spirit that 
had led Gregory the Great to send missionaries to England 
had borne practical fruit in the establishment and strengthen- 
ing of the Anglo-Saxon Church and in the coming to Rome 


itself of Anglo-Saxon kings and princes anxious to lay them- 
selves and their treasures at the feet of the successors of S. 
Peter. The Anglo-Saxon quarter, with its hospice and its 
church, was established near the Vatican and endowed by 
King Ina in 728, who built both a church and a hospice. 
The focussing and strengthening of these Northern energies 
by Rome just before and after 700 resulted in the great mis- 
. sion of the Anglo-Saxon Boniface to the wilds of Germany, 
there to organize what was to become one of the most powerful 
branches of the Western Church. He was sent by Gregory II. 
Boniface founded Fulda, which became the greatest centre for 
theology and art in the northeast of Europe. This Pope re- 
stored several churches, such as S. Agata, and decorated with 
mosaics an oratory in the Lateran. 

It was also under Gregory II that the greatest crisis in the 
history of Christian art occurred. The declaration of war 
against images by the Emperor Leo the Isaurian was formally 
issued in his edict of 726, which he attempted to enforce in 
Italy as well as throughout the East. The result was a general 
insurrection in Italy and the ending of all Byzantine authority 
in Rome with the slaying of the last imperial duke. The 
Emperor had threatened to have his emissaries go to Rome to 
destroy the famous image of S. Peter in his basilica. This 
has been erroneously referred to as the bronze statue, which 
still exists there, but the Pope's letter expressly refers to it 
as a painting. 

The ensuing convulsion the only revolution which ever 
raged about an artistic controversy had an indelible effect 
upon art. In the East it radically stunted realism in the repre- 
sentation of the human figure in religious art. In Italy it 
increased the strength of the Greek element at a time 
when Byzantine art was entering on a period of ebb-tide. 
The danger to life and limb for the practising painter 
drove a multitude of them to Rome, which upheld the mission 
of art, and this not only filled to overflowing the Greek 
monasteries already established, but made new foundations 

After having thwarted an almost successful attempt of 


the Lombard king, Liutprand, to conquer Rome and make of 
all Italy a Lombard kingdom, Gregory II died and was suc- 
ceeded by a Greek, Gregory III (731-741), who showed unusual 
activity in the field of art. He commenced by causing the 
Roman synod to excommunicate the iconoclasts, and then gave 
a practical illustration of his belief in the decoration of the 
Roman basilicas. He supplemented the large iconostasis in 
S. Peter by a smaller one, consisting of six onyx columns 
supporting an architrave, on which were figures in silver of 
Christ and the Apostles. 

Among his works were the basilica of S. Maria in Aquiro, 
the monastery of S. Crisogono, the oratory of S. Maria de can- 
cellis at S. Peter. He undertook a complete restoration of 
the city walls as a defence against the Lombards. 

Zacharias and the Lombard Danger. The last Greek Pope, 
Zacharias (741-752), is an example of the fact that even in the 
Benedictine monasteries at Rome (Lateran) there were Greek 
monks. He also gave proof of the most extraordinary politi- 
cal sagacity and magnetism in building up the Roman State 
and protecting the Byzantine provinces at the expense of the 
Lombards, and takes his place by the side of Leo the Great 
and S. Gregory. In his time the third great monastery in the 
Roman province was founded (after Subiaco and Farfa), that 
of S. Silvestro on Mt. Soracte, where Pope Sylvester is said by 
tradition to have sought refuge in an early persecution be- 
fore Constantino's miraculous conversion and baptism. It 
was founded by a royal Frankish convert to monasticisrn, Carlo- 
man, son of Charles Martel. 

Under Zacharias the Papal Chronicle records the lavish use 
of hangings and altar covers throughout the Roman churches, 
and enters into great detail as to their manufacture and the 
subjects represented on them. These details are evidently 
copied textiially from contemporary inventories. They were 
probably due largely to the skilled monastic workmen from 
Constantinople and Syria, who fled to Rome from the per- 
secution of Leo the Isaurian ; perhaps also to Greek nuns, such 
as those established in 750 at the nunnery of S. Maria in 
Campo Marzo. 


The additions which Zacharias made to the Lateran palace 
were for centuries among its greatest glories. Partly for 
defence, partly for ornament, he constructed a monumental ap- 
proach, guarded by a tower, beneath which was a broad painted 
portico, and beyond it a large hall or throne-room all filled 
with frescos, harmonizing with the world-wide ambitions and 
paternal charity of the Pope. 

S. Maria Antiqua continued to furnish records of the pictorial 
activity in Rome, in both new and restored compositions. 

The five years of Stephen II (752-757) were busy with the 
momentous political issues raised by the final success of the 
Lombards under Astolf in conquering Ravenna and putting an 
end to Byzantine dominion in Northern and Central Italy. The 
next logical step was their conquest of Rome, and it was to avoid 
this that the alliance between Stephen and King Pipin the 
Frank was established, which was to develop the Western Carlo- 
vingian Empire and the Papal temporal power, raising all those 
questions of the relations between the spiritual and temporal 
spheres which had remained largely in the background as long 
as the temporal overlord was the distant and powerless Byzan- 
tine Emperor. 

Still, the Pope found time for the erection of some monu- 
ments. He will always be associated with the earliest known 
bell-tower or campanile in Rome, which he built in front of 
S. Peter, on the right side of the atrium. He also added 
considerably to the buildings around S. Peter, such as the 
monastery of S. Thecla making the fourth of the Vatican 
monasteries ; he redecorated the rotunda, at S. Petronilla, 
transforming it from a mausoleum of the dynasty of Theodoric 
into one of the new Prankish dynasty of Pipin. Stephen also 
restored the basilica of S. Lorenzo, after the Lombard ravages, 
and built several xenodocliia or hospices for pilgrims. 

Destruction of the Catacombs. We must here note a momen- 
tous and irretrievable loss to art in consequence of Astolf's long 
siege of Rome in 756. Though the Lombards did not capture 
Rome, they completely devastated its neighborhood, including 
all the suburban churches and monasteries except the apostolic 
basilicas of S. Peter and S. Paul In this way all that had 


been done for over a century, since the days of Honorius I, to 
bring back prosperity to the Campagna, was obliterated, includ- 
ing the recently founded colonies of Zacharias. The keenest 
blow was, perhaps, the violation of the Catacombs, the spoiling 
of their tombs and the destruction of their churches and ora- 
tories. Still, an impetus was given to church-building and 
decoration within the city by the wholesale transfer of relics 
from the Catacombs by Pope Paul, after the Lombards had 
shown their disregard for their sanctity in the time of Astolf's 

Paul I. With Paul I (757-767) the political relations with 
Byzantium were definitely severed. This had perhaps an effect 
on Roman art or rather on Roman painting in that it 
stopped the influx of Greeks to Rome and turned the Roman 
school into a local institution trained by Greek teachers, but 
consisting more and more of native practitioners. This is 
illustrated by the series of frescos in the apse, chapels and 
presbytery of S. Maria Antiqua, with which the painters 
of the time of Paul I seem to have overlaid the series of 
John VII. 

His brother, Pope Stephen, had founded a monastery in his 
own house to SS. Stephen and Sylvester, which became the 
famous S. Silvestro in Capite. It was completed by Paul I and 
given to Greek monks. Its mosaics and frescos, its rich gifts 
and large possessions, placed it at once among the most impor- 
tant Roman monuments. 

Stephen III (768-772) came to the throne in the midst of 
atrocious scenes of confusion, barbarism and murder. The dan- 
ger from the Lombards continued ; the help of Pipin and his 
Franks had been desultory and ineffective ; the disorders at the 
Papal election necessitated changes in its method, including 
the exclusion of the laity from participation. Among the few 
architectural works of his time was the reconstruction of the 
diaconal church of S. Angelo in Pescheria by Theodotus, uncle 
of the coming Pope Hadrian, who had already decorated S. 
Maria Antiqua. 

We now reach the time when Rome is to meet new issues, and 
to be pitted against the Northern races instead of against the 


East in questions of religious and artistic supremacy as well as 
in politics and diplomacy. Will she bring these new races 
within her orbit ? Will she show the elasticity, fertility of 
resource and psychological insight required to understand and 
dominate these formidable factors ? 



Hadrian, Temporal Power and the Western Empire. Pope 
Hadrian I (772-795) marks a new era, through the new church 
policy which he developed and which resulted in the establish- 
ment of the patrimony of the states of the Church, in the alliance 
with Charlemagne and the foundation by Papal initiative of the 
new Prankish Empire of the West. The Lombard kingdom, 
always a menace at the door of Rome, was destroyed; the dan- 
gers of the overlordship of Byzantium, fatal to the life and 
honor of more than one Pope, were abolished. The territorial 
influence of the Papacy in Italy, its material wealth and oppor- 
tunities, backed by the resources of the new Empire, were im- 
mensely increased. New fields of missionary work in Northern 
and Eastern Europe were opened up, and the episcopal and mo- 
nastic hierarchies, largely on the increase, were brought into 
closer connection with Rome. In music, literature, liturgy, art, 
the Roman school found itself called upon to plough in virgin, 
or semi-fertilized fields, and this acted as a stimulus on Rome 
itself, which entered upon almost a century of extremely active 
production, though of diminishing artistic skill. 

Under this stimulus, art became more national. While the 
Byzantine element was still strong, a much smaller percentage 
of actual production can be credited to Greek hands, and more 
to Romans, who still felt the spell of their antique traditions. 

Restoration of Monuments. The twenty-four years of the 
pontificate of Hadrian were artistically the most fruitful since 
the fourth century. He was the greatest restorer and lover of 
Early Christian Rome since Pope Damasus, and he accom- 
plished a more extensive work than Damasus, for he had far 
deeper wounds to heal, a far longer stretch of centuries to re- 
construct. He was a man intensely of his age, so that we 




must not expect of him the work of an archaeologist seeking to 
give back the exact physiognomy of the past. With the artists 
at his command, quite alien to the earliest stage of Christian 
art, such an attempt, had it been made, would have been an 
impossible feat. 

But Hadrian was, at all events, a thorough master of the ar- 
tistic traditions and history of Rome, and a thorough believer 
in the great mission of art. He showed it in his defence of the 
use of images, in his vindication of the right of the Church to 

Iconostasis Choir-screen of S. Maria in Cosmedin, restored, il.ustrating 
Marble Decoration of Age of Hadrian I. 

teach the truth through art. His famous letter to Charlemagne 
gives a list of the principal mosaics and frescos placed by the 
Popes in Roman churches from the time of Constantine and 

Hadrian's work was not confined to any one part of the city 
or any one class of monument. He restored the aqueducts, 
strengthened and rebuilt the city walls and towers ; was impar- 
tial in the restoration of churches and monasteries both within 
and without the walls. 


It was largely through the financial aid of Charlemagne that 
Hadrian must have been able to spend such enormous sums in 
Eome. The imperial cooperation is attested, somewhat later, 
for instance, in the church of S. Susanna, where Hadrian's 
successor, Leo III, is represented in the apse mosaic on one side 
and Charlemagne on the other. Immense crowds of laborers 
were called in from every part of the Koman province for work 
on the walls and the aqueducts, of which the four restored 
were the Traiana, Claudia, Jovia and Virgo. Equally exten- 
sive and carried out largely by the help of the same unskilled 
labor was the restoration of the many miles of colonnaded 
streets that connected the city proper with the settlements that 
had grown about the great suburban shrines S. Peter, S. 
Paul and S. Lorenzo. The chronicler reports that twelve 
thousand blocks of stone were used in the foundations alone 
of the colonnades to S. Peter. 

The principal architect of Hadrian .was Jauuarius, and prob- 
ably to him is due the work at S. Maria in Cosmedin, which in- 
cluded the dangerous engineering feat of tearing down an 
immense ancient ruin before extending the church. The triple 
apse which Hadrian added to the church is the earliest depar- 
ture in Eome from the single apse termination, and was not 
popular. It is probable that the Greek frescos recently un- 
covered are of his time. The church itself was not fundamen- 
tally modified in the twelfth century, except for the changes 
required by the closing of its galleries. 

The Liber Pontificalis allows us to follow the trace of his 
healing hand among the Catacombs and the early cemeterial 
basilicas that encircled the city, restoring, rebuilding, redeco- 
rating, effacing the ravages of time and of the Goths and 
Lombards. On the Via Portuensis the large basilica of Abdon 
and Sennen, and those of Candida and Felix ; on the Aurelia, 
those of S. Pancratius and S. Victor, etc. 

Among the monasteries he restored was that of SS. Vincenzo 
ed Anastasio at the Tre Fontane. He found it in a state of 
decay and rebuilt from the foundations the basilica, baptistery, 
monastic structures and annexes, decorating them with frescos, 
of which faint remnants appear in the ancient gateway, while 


the decadent masonry of this age is still seen in parts of church 
and monastery. 

Leo III (795-816) had an even greater political genius than 
Hadrian ; it was more concrete. The imperial support was 
pledged to him even more thoroughly. He continued the work 
of restoring the basilicas and monasteries of Home. While 
Hadrian had extended his activity to the Catacombs and ceme- 
terial basilicas, Leo III went further and. restored the churches 
of neighboring towns, especially those in the Alban Hills and 
on the coast line Palestrina and Velletri, Ostia, etc. He con- 
tinued to improve the two greatest groups of Papal buildings, 
adding a triclinium or throne room, and a chapel to the Lateran ; 
a triclinium, a palace and a hospice for pilgrims at S. Peter. 

Marble Decoration. In decoration the eighth century was 
in some ways a turning-point. Until then the precious metals 
and bronze had had all the honors, but since the previous 
two centuries marble had begun to compete, particularly in 
such classes as choir-screens and parapets. Under Leo III 
this tendency became quite general, coinciding with the develop- 
ment of the decorative designs in low relief, elsewhere de- 
scribed. When we reach the reign of Paschal I (817-824), it 
is evident, from the Liber Pontificalis, that the art of casting 
and hammering metal was a thing of the past, and that marble 
had definitely taken possession of the fields of altar-ciboria 
and altar-fronts, pulpits and candelabra, confessions and their 
varied forms of decoration and accessories. Leo III still had 
paschal candlesticks made of silver. Leo IV ordered a marble 
ciborium. This style of design was to rule in art until the 
beginning of the twelfth century in Home and a large part of 
Italy. It was based largely on classic patterns, as we shall 
see, handled in a way foreshadowed by some Byzantine work 
of the sixth century. The effect is partly due to the shallow 
and unskilful style of marble cutting, and is the least artistic 
of all mediaeval styles of ornament except certain forms of 
Anglo-Saxon and Lombard animal creations. 

Not entirely without influence on this universal use of the 
same ornamental system may have been the fact that in con- 
sequence of the donations of Pipin and Charlemagne, between 


754 and 784 a large part of Italy, especially in the eastern 
and central sections, was handed over to the Popes as a terri- 
torial possession. In most of the cities of Emilia and the Pen- 
tapolis, the chiefs of the civil and military administration were 
sent from Rome. The Pope's permission was asked by Charle- 
magne, even, when he wished to dismantle the palace of Theo- 
doric at Ravenna to use its material in the construction and 
decoration of his imperial church at Aix-la-Chapelle. It is in 
this region, including Bologna and Ravenna and their subordi- 
nate cities, far more than in Lombardy that we find this orna- 
mentation in use, and we are forced to attribute its origin to 
either Byzantium or Rome. 

Finding it in Byzantine Greece, in Byzantine Egypt, in 
Dalmatia and in other parts of the Eastern Empire, it seems 
natural to conclude that it carne straight to Rome from the 
East and thence spread over the parts of Italy most subject to 
Roman influence. 

It has been quite commonly said of late that the new 
and strong Caiiovingian culture of the North revivified effete 
Rome ; that it was inspired in part directly from Byzantium, 
through Marseilles. This contention is on its face illogical 
and strained. The great and only sources of Carlovingian cul- 
ture, besides the small imperial school, were the large monas- 
teries. I will select two of the most important and early of 
these northern monasteries Centula and Fontanella. An 
examination of the original documents illustrating their early 
history shows that at Fontanella (S. Wandrille) the best models 
for the manuscripts in its superb library either came from 
Rome or were written and illuminated in the Roman style. 
Codexes written romana litera are twice mentioned in the 
eighth century. Of a gospel codex it is said: codicem ilium 
evangelicum ut scriptura eius insinerat in Romulea urbe scriptnm 
constat (Chron. Fontan.). One of its most famous monks, Harduin 
(811), went to Rome and wrote a manuscript of the gospels 
romana litera, probably also teaching it to his fellow-monks, 
for we find that the great Abbot Ansegisius ordered one of 
those superb manuscripts in purple and gold to be executed 
romana litera, of which only three of the four gospels were 



finished. The same Roman origin is attributed to several of 
the finest textiles in these monastic sacristies. That Rome 
was and had been for over a century a great centre for the 
manufacture of sacred textiles, hangings, altar-fronts and 
vestments, covered with religious themes, is shown by the 
Papal Chronicle. The church music of both the Anglo- 
Saxon and the Frankish churches of Pipin and Charlemagne 
was of Roman origin and taught by Roman masters. If these 
great Carlovingian monasteries were then free to acknowledge 

their debt to Rome, 
why should we, at 
this distance of time, 
pretend to dispute it ? 
Paschal I (817-824) 
was almost as active 
artistically as his two 
more glorious prede- 
cessors, though his 
artists were inferior 
to theirs. He patron- 
ized both the native 
and the Byzantine 
types of art in mosaic, 
painting and textiles. 
As he increased the 
number of Greek 
monasteries, it is evi- 
dent that he did 
everything to encour- 
age the production of 

works of art in these establishments, so that we may conclude 
that until the very downfall of art, toward the close of the 
ninth century, the Roman churches were supplied with these 
products of their native looms and needles after the time- 
honored Byzantine models (cf. p. 380). 

The most important work of Paschal has always been con- 
sidered to be S. Prassede. An amusing error has attributed 
to his age the great transverse arches of the interior, instead of 

Dalmatic of "Charlemagne " at S. Peter. 
Example of Byzantine models for Roman textile-makers. 


to the restorations of the late Renaissance. Also the colon- 
nade, aside from these transverse arches and their piers, has 
little to do with the age of Pope Paschal, perhaps put together 
out of fourth-century material at some period after the Gothic 
wars, and merely remodelled by him. This church was deco- 
rated, however, by Paschal with mosaics, and received also 
the addition of the chapel of S. Zeno. We are reminded in 
these colonnades of the hasty methods of Pelagius at S. 
Lorenzo, while the mosaics are a travesty, rich but lifeless, of 
the purer Greek works of Leo III. 

S. Maria in Domnica is the only building of Pope Paschal I 
which clearly shows the handiwork of his workmen in the 
treatment of capitals. In fact its series of capitals is the most 
interesting in Rome for the Carlovingian period. At the same 
time one must be careful to distinguish between Paschal's 
capitals and those of the earlier church which he restored. 
The Liber Pontificalia says that Paschal rebuilt, enlarged and 
decorated a church which was here olim constructa. The in- 
scription under the mosaic in the apse begins also : ista domus 
pridem fuerat confracta ruinis mine rutilat . . . metallis. 

In the restoration or reconstruction the old columns and 
some of the former capitals were used. These are of a design 
very similar to that of the capitals at S. Martino ai Monti and 
probably also belong to the age of King Theodoric. 

Gradual Artistic Decay. Notwithstanding the wealth lav- 
ished on art by these three Popes, Hadrian, Leo and Paschal, 
it must be confessed that the results were not correspondingly 
important. It was a fictitious revival, due to a material pros- 
perity, which multiplied the mediocre products of a decaying 
art. Not a single basilica of artistic beauty or of imposing 
dimensions belongs to this age, which was one of greater 
luxury than taste and skill. The ever decreasing strength of 
the Byzantine element weakened the Roman school and left it 
represented by third-rate practitioners. 

Under Gregory IV (827-844) the abyss of ineptitude, into 
which art and culture had been gradually sinking during half 
a century, is exemplified by the mosaic in the apse of S. Marco, 
with its bloodless and vapid silhouettes of meagre and lifeless 


puppets, the perpetrator of which we cannot call him artist 
succeeded, as a French critic has keenly said, in showing 
himself an innovator in the science of petrifaction. Frag- 
ments of the sculptured decoration of pulpits, choir-screens 
and ciboria, scattered in Roman churches, show the same 
inanity in decorative sculpture. 

It is well that Rome should allow dead silence to brood 
henceforth over its churches and its streets and should wait 
for nearly two centuries for a new dawn in the field of art. 

This silence could not, of course, be absolute ; yet it was 
almost so. And by a curious fatality hardly one of the few 
monuments of this period remains to contradict the sentence 
of decadence. Stephen V (885-891) rebuilt the basilica of 
the Apostles; Formosus (891-896) restored and filled with 
frescos the basilica of S. Peter; Sergius III (904-911) rebuilt 
from its foundations the Lateran basilica. We are also told 
that the famous and infamous men and women of the house of 
Alberic, Marozia and their brood were prominent benefactors 
of churches and monasteries. 

There were, however, some fine works of military engineer- 
ing. One of the last great enterprises of the Carlovingian 
Papacy was the construction and fortification of the Leonine 
City, the new quarter (Borgo) across the Tiber, between Hadri- 
an's mausoleum and S. Peter. This had been for some time 
needed in order to prevent any repetition of the pillaging of 
the basilica, such as had happened not long before. Pope 
Leo IV wrote in 848 to the Emperor Lothair that he wished 
for his help and advice in the construction of this city which 
had not only been planned, but begun by his predecessor Leo 
III. The Emperor immediately sent a liberal sum and the 
new suburb was dedicated June 27, 852. The engineer who 
planned and built the fortifications was Agatho, presumably 
a Greek versed in the advanced methods of Byzantine mili- 
tary science. 

Political Decay and Poverty. The disintegration of the Car- 
lovingian dynasty had brought back the old political chaos, gen- 
eral insecurity and impoverishment. The climax of Rome's sad 
plight was reached under Pope John VIII (872-882). In a let- 


ter to the Emperor Charles the Bald in 877 he paints the situa- 
tion and urgently asks for help : " for the (Roman) Campagna is 
entirely depopulated ; we have nothing, nor does there remain 
anything wherewithal either we, or the venerable monasteries 
and other sacred places, or the Roman Senate, can find bodily 
sustenance. All the suburban district of Rome has been so 
pillaged that it no longer seems to contain a single inhabitant." 

When the bare necessities of life were lacking, the arts 
could not flourish. The same Pope John VIII wrote to King 
Louis of Germany to send him an organ with a skilled artist 
(artifex) to work it and to give instruction in it. We are far 
indeed from the time, a century before, when Rome gave reli- 
gious music to the national churches of the North ! 

Still, the very year of the Pope's letter to Charles the Bald 
(877) there happened the famous battle of Cape Circeii in 
which the Papal militia and the imperial troops saved Rome 
from capture by the Saracen invaders, who completed the de- 
struction of Avhatever had been left about Rome by the Lom- 
bard raiders of the two previous centuries. It was probably 
with the financial help of Charles the Bald that the Pope 
did on a smaller scale for the basilica of S. Paul outside the 
walls what Leo IV had done for the protection of S. Peter. 
He surrounded with a circuit of walls, with battlements and 
towers, the basilica and the suburb that had grown up 
around it, calling the new annex to Rome by his own name, 

Then was inaugurated the era of fortification that was to 
.characterize the rest of the Middle Ages in Rome and its 

The material and artistic prosperity, so rapidly on the wane, 
was destroyed by the final success of the Saracen raids in 
the latter part of the ninth century. For some thirty years, 
until their final defeat in 916 by John X, these Mohammedan 
invaders northernmost representatives of the conquerors of 
Sicily had terrorized the entire territory about Rome, burn- 
ing the principal monasteries such as Farfa, Subiaco, S. Elia, 
Cassino, Soracte. 

In this general devastation the domus cidtce, the colony 



farms established by the Popes, had also disappeared, and all 
villages in the plains had been abandoned for new fortified 
towns on rocky hills. This cut off a large source of revenue 
for the maintenance, restoration and decoration of the churches 
in Rome itself. 

Nothing better shows the completeness of the decadence than 
the fact that when the greatest of all basilicas, the Lateran, had 

Interior of Basilica of S. Elia, near Nepi. 
(Tenth century.) 

fallen in 897 from old age and decay, it was allowed to lie, a 
shapeless mass of ruins, for seven years, though it was the 
cathedral church of the Papacy. When Sergius III (904-911) 
and John X (914-928) began and completed the reconstruction, 
it was, however, on a large scale, and the interior was covered 
with mosaics and frescos. 

Some of the monasteries ruined by the Saracens were rebuilt. 
One of these, S. Elia near Nepi, was given in 939 to Abbot Odo, 


famous head of the Benedictine order of Cluny, then the fore- 
most monastic body in the world, and the present church with 
its frescos, appears to date from the reconstruction that shortly 
followed. It is almost unique as dating from an age that 
produced so little and that little so poorly calculated to endure. 

Still, it must be confessed that there was a certain vigorous 
recrudescence among the monasteries, even though art flourished 
but little in Papal circles. A passage in the interesting contem- 
porary chronicle of Benedict of Mt. Soracte is very suggestive. 
He says : " The glorious prince Alberic . . . built the monastery 
of S. Lorenzo in Agro Verano and that of S. Paul (both in Rome), 
and restored to the monasteries the property that had been 
taken from them by evil men. He heard of the desolate con- 
dition of the monasteries of S. Andrea (in Flumine,near Soracte) 
and of S. Silvestro on Mt. Soracte, which had been captured 
by the Saracens, etc." Alberic then restored them under the 
direction of Abbot Leo and gave them property and gifts. At 
S. Andrea were then built three towers to defend the gate of 
the monastery and a castle on each side of it, and later a church, 
which is probably the one still existing, with frescos so similar 
to those of S. Elia. 

Darkest Age. One might call the period from the death of 
Pope Formosus in 896 to the accession of Pope Leo IX in 1049 
the dark interregnum. Thirty-nine popes in only a century and 
a half ! Most of them were incapable or ignorant, some of them 
were mere tools ; one of them a depraved youth ; one a mere 
layman. The destructive raids of Saracen and Hungarian 
hordes, the disruption of the political forces, the decay of edu- 
cation, morality and spiritual force, sapped both the material 
and intellectual patrimony of Rome so seriously that it was 
bankrupted almost as completely as after the Gothic wars. The 
clergy had become hopelessly corrupt and barbarous ; there 
was no longer any learning, even in the monasteries, but here 
at least morality was not as lax, and art found a last refuge. 

Our ignorance of the historic and monumental facts of the 
tenth century is increased by the lacuna at this point in the 
Papal Chronicles. Only in the twelfth century was the thread 
dropped in the ninth century worthily picked up again. 


Artistically we miss but little. The fragments that can be 
approximately dated between c. 875 and 1050, like some orna- 
mental pieces at S. Lorenzo and the Lateran, or at Soracte ; the 
well-head at S. Marco and S. Giovanni a Porta Latiua and other 
similar pieces show a complete lack of taste and technique. 

It seems difficult to attribute to Roman artists the only mosaic 
of this age, that which surmounted the tomb of the Emperor 
Otho III (983) at S. Peter's. But the two branches of painting 

Interior of S. Maria in Capitolio or Aracoeli. 

appear to have remained in far better condition than either 
architecture or decoration, and Rome's supremacy in this art 
was not interrupted. 

Latest remaining monument of this decadence before the 
dawn is the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli. Standing on 
the highest of the two Capitoline peaks, on the site of the an- 
cient arx or citadel of the Capitol, its ancient name was S. 
Maria in Capitolio. It belonged in the tenth century to a 
monastery called monasterium Capitolii. This church inherited 


the aureole of the ancient Capitol, became the principal meeting- 
place of the mediaeval Senate of Home, the courthouse from 
which its laws were proclaimed, the national church of the 
Roman oligarchy, whose numerous tombs made of it their West- 
minster Abbey. Though Pius IV and other Renaissance van- 
dals did their best to obliterate its interest by destroying most 
of the mediaeval monuments and church furniture, its shell and 
colonnades remain. 

Now begins the golden age of frowning feudal architecture. 
The older peaceful palaces, inherited from classic and luxu- 
rious Rome are no longer in harmony with the furious feuds of 
the storm-tossed city. They are either transformed, like Al- 
beric's palace, into monasteries, or into fortresses with heavy 
towers. A new use is thus found for the ancient ruins : a 
tower rises on the foundation of a triumphal arch (Circus Maxi- 
mus and Septimius Severus) ; soon entire quarters of the city 
will be recognized as the camping-ground of one of the great 
feudal families. 

The mention of Alberic recalls many other proofs that this 
extraordinary man, " tyrant " of Rome, and other members of 
his family, like the famous woman Marozia, were liberal bene- 
factors and builders of monasteries in and around Rome. That 
of S. Maria in Pallara on the Palatine, with its still remaining 
frescos, belongs to this time. Another feudal magnate, Cre- 
scentius, built and endowed a basilica of considerable size, S. 
Tripho. There still exists in Rome a part of an immense for- 
tified palace and castle, variously called house of Pilate, 
house of Crescentius, or of Rienzi. Originally it was of great 
extent and centred around a tower which is partly preserved. 
It stood near the entrance to the Quattro Capi bridge. It is 
like nothing else in Rome and the only relic of its earliest 



WE now approach the time when the face of almost the 
entire city is to be first obliterated, through the fire kindled by 
the Norman army of Robert Guiscard in 1084, and then trans- 
formed by the Popes, prelates and nobles of the twelfth 
century. Let us imagine what it looked like before this catas- 
trophe which changed the levels and the lines of the streets so 
radically as to necessitate the complete reconstruction of many 

The City before 1084. Until then we have no record of any 
considerable fire sweeping the city in Christian times, none 
equal to the two or three greater ones of imperial times. The 
lines of the city's streets were still practically those of the 
Rome of Constantiue and Honoring. This is hardly too daring 
a conclusion to draw from the interesting topographical docu- 
ment of the age of Charlemagne called the Einsiedeln Itiner- 
ary. Its author enumerates the monuments, both pagan and 
Christian, according to some map which he had before him. 
He follows the principal streets and sets down the buildings 
on both sides, proceeding as far as the city walls, and even 
beyond. He reads the inscriptions on the monuments and 
identifies them ; he also enumerates the churches. 

He is far from following the erroneous identifications of 
ancient buildings that were current in the later Middle Ages, 
and his work shows a scholarly acquaintance with the Con- 
stantinian Notitia. The main street of Rome, the T'^'a Lain, 
still had its colonnades ; he knows the names of the Circus 
Maximus and Flaminius, the theatre of Pompey, the Septi- 
zonium, etc. The walls of Aurelian were still intact. Benedict 
of Soracte, somewhat later (c. 860), enumerates fifteen gates, 
six thousand eight hundred battlements, forty-six castles or 
bastions and three hundred and eighty-one towers. 



The main change in the conformation of the city had been 
caused by the new fortified suburb around S. Peter the 
Leo'nine City. The colony of Jews was settled in the region 
of the Ponte Quattro Capi ; the larger Greek colony still occu- 
pied the quarter near the church of S. Maria in Cosmedin, 
further along the river up to the foot of the Palatine. The 
foreign colonies, especially of the northerners, occupied the 
" Borgo " ; and the Trastevere was still filled with the de- 
scendants of the emigrants from Ravenna. The Ccelian and 
Aventine hills were owned mainly by the large monastic 
establishments, with an occasional palace or fortress. The 
Palatine itself was too thickly crowded with the ponderous 
ruins of the imperial palaces to do more than give room for an 
occasional monastery or church, such as S. Maria in Pallara 
and S. Cesareo. In the same way the Roman Forum was only 
sparsely populated and given over mainly to religious estab- 
lishments and to lime-kilns and workshops established in some 
of the principal ruins, while others were turned into fortresses 
and surmounted by towers and battlements. 

The great mass of the population was grouped in the Cam- 
pus Marti us and along the river banks, breaking away up the 
Quirinal slope. The lack of water continued to prevent a 
denser population on the heights. 

The city was, therefore, characterized by the following 
groups of buildings : (1) the prominent antique structures, 
overlooking a mass of Roman monuments which still formed 
the main groundwork of the city; (2) the larger monasteries, 
often fortified and forming, with their annexes and grounds, 
quite a prominent feature ; (3) the fortresses and palaces of 
the recently arisen nobility, either entirely mediaeval, like the 
palaces of Alberic, of Marozia and of Crescentius ; or formed 
by the adaptation of Roman buildings, such as the theatre of 
Marcellus, the Circus Maximus, Hadrian's mausoleum, the 
mausoleum of Augustus ; (4) the principal basilicas with their 
annexes, hospitals, small monasteries, courts and towers. 

Connecting these groups, partly hiding the gaping rents 
in the antique structures, were the lines of colonnades and 
arcades, the best of which were a classic heritage renovated by 


Pope Hadrian and supplemented in every century, so that 
practically every street was flanked by them on both sides. 
One thing certainly did not yet exist: a mediaeval domestic 
form of architecture of artistic character, except in the case of 
the larger feudal palaces. 

The historic events that led up to the great fire are well- 
known. The degradation of the Papacy, become the mere 
puppet of warring feudal factions of the Crescentii or the 
Counts of Tusculum, the licentiousness of a Benedict IX, the 
loss of public order and safety, the simony and immorality of 
the clergy, which characterized the first half of the eleventh 
century, had led the people and the clergy to place themselves 
unreservedly in the power of the German Emperors. Though 
the ensuing peace made it possible to initiate the much-needed 
religious and moral reform of the clergy, the rights over the 
Church and over Rome, that Emperor Henry III arrogated to 
himself, inevitably led to the conflict that broke out when 
Gregory VII, Hildebrand, became Pope. The struggle is 

Struggle between Hildebrand and the German Emperors. 
Already in the preliminary contest of 1063 between the Hil- 
debrand party under Alexander II and the German Feudal 
party under the antipope Cadalus, the fortress and basilica 
of S. Paul, the Lateran palace, and S. Peter had all suffered 
from the continuous street fights. The city saw more feudal 
towers rising at every point of vantage, at the entrances of 
the bridges, on the triumphal arches. 

The excommunication of the Emperor Henry IV by Gregory 
in 1076 their mutual dethronements cleared the ground for a 
death-struggle that ended temporarily at Canossa with a Papal 
victory. When the struggle was renewed in 1080, the Pope 
had the Norman, Robert Guiscard, as his ally. The Normans 
had been for half a century establishing a great kingdom in 
Southern Italy and Sicily, and by trading on their piety and 
astuteness the Papacy had legalized their conquest by receiving 
their allegiance as temporal sovereign, thus storing up a claim 
to these provinces for the States of the Church. But for three 
successive years the German Emperor besieged Rome unsuccess- 


fully and laid the country waste without the Norman's moving 
to Gregory's assistance. Henry's final capture of the Leonine 
City and S. Peter, the siege of Gregory in the castle of S. 
Angelo, the successive capture of the fortresses in the city 
held by Papal followers the Septizonium, the Island of the 
Tiber, the Capitol did immense damage in 1083 and 1084. 
This finally brought Robert Guiscard to relieve the Pope, who 
still resisted in S. Angelo. 

Ruin of the City. His soldiery entered through the Flamin- 
ian gate. Their barbarous sacking of the city led to a revolt of 
the Romans, to quell which the Normans set fire to the city at 
several points. The flames swept everything away, from the 
Lateran to the Flaminian gate ; the city was a mass of black- 
ened walls. The inhabitants were sold into slavery by the 
thousands, even the most illustrious, and many were car- 
ried off to Southern Italy. 

A few years after, a French visitor, lamenting its ruin, says 
of it : Roma fait. Truly, this must have seemed the end. As 
this prelate says : " So much still stands, so much has fallen, 
that what stands cannot be levelled and what has fallen can- 
not be rebuilt." To rebuild the impoverished city, with empty 
treasury, seemed impossible. Rome was now hardly habitable. 
The great arteries of colonnades framing the highways as far 
as S. Paul, S. Peter and S. Lawrence were in ruins and block- 
ing the roads. The Lateran palace, the basilicas of S. Cle- 
mente, SS. Quattro Coronati and all the other churches between 
the Lateran and the Forum, were badly injured or destroyed. 
The Island of the Tiber, the Trastevere and Borgo, the Campus 
Martins were almost wiped out. Certain regions, such as the 
Coelian and Aventine hills, have never recovered to the present 
day and remain largely even now in picturesque ruin, a curi- 
ous pendant to the modern city. 

The condition of the city may be imagined from the fact 
that the Vatican basilica and its enclosure was used as a for- 
tress and regularly besieged in the years following Gregory's 
death, when there was a conflict between his successor, Victor 
III (1086-1087) and the antipope Clement III. This Pope 
dreaded the ruined city and fled from it three times. Greatest 



patron of art of his age, establisher of a school of art in Monte 
Cassino, partly trained by Byzantine and partly by Lombard 
artists, as abbot of this great monastery before he became 
Pope, he Exercised an imperishable influence on the aesthetics 
of his age in architecture, painting, mosaics but so far as 
Rome herself is concerned he is known only to have profited 
by her ruin to the extent of carrying off her columns and mar- 
bles for his new buildings at Monte Cassino. 

Urban II (1088-1099) began his reign as possessor of merely 
a small section of the city, and the street fights were wild and 

S. Saba, on the Aventine, in Process of Excavation. 
Below, single-nave church of sixth century. 
Above, basilica of twelfth century, built after Guiscard fire. 

bitter. Life in Rome was one of hellish disorder and extreme 
poverty. This Pope, the preacher of the first crusade and a 
Frenchman, never had a moment's peace in the city, and 
only toward the close of his life was able even to enter the 
palace of the Lateran. It was so ruinous that he did not live 
there but in one of the fortified palaces of the Pierleone family, 
then one of the greatest among the rough feudal nobles. At 


this time contemporary writers lay especial stress on the un- 
healthiness and poverty of the city, ravaged by malarial fevers. 
Still, S. Maria in Cappella was due to him (1090). 

Paschal II and Reconstruction. In 1099 there came to the 
Papal throne Paschal II (1099-1118), a monk of the order of 
Cluny, who, after a long fight, like that of a secular lord, suc- 
ceeded in subduing the barons who infested Rome and the 
Campagna. For years the city was still ravaged by street 
fights. The Corsi, the Normanni, the Baruncii, the Pierleoni, 
the Frangipani, were among the Roman nobles prominent in 
this warring. Paschal was to commence the work of recon- 
structing Rome, but not until after 1112, when he made peace 
within the Church by repudiating his concession to Emperor 
Henry V. It was in 1111 that the Pope, captured and ill-treated 
by the Emperor, had given up the struggle of Gregory VII 
and had granted to the Emperors the right of investiture by 
which the bishops and abbots were made subject in their selec- 
tion to the Emperor and not to the Pope. But Paschal abjured 
the concession wrung from him before a council of the Church 
the following year. Then followed about five peaceful years 
before the last two years of martyrdom, when he was finally 
hounded to his death by the imperialists. 

It was during these five years that Paschal made the first 
efforts to rebuild the city that had been made since the fire 
of 1084 nearly thirty years before. Modern researches 
are continually enlarging the scope of this brief activity. S. 
Lorenzo in Lucina, S. Maria in Monticelli, S. Bartolommeo 
all' isola, S. Clemente, S. Maria in Cosmedin, were then re- 
built and partly decorated. 

But before discussing these works and their style, a few 
words must be said of the brief art movement in the genera- 
tion before the fire, under Hildebrand, because it explains how 
Paschal found artists to carry out his plans. Even before 
Hildebrand's time there had been a beginning of artistic 
activity, shown in the rebuilding of S. Valentino on the Via Fla- 
minia, with frescos, porticos, campanile and monastic build- 
ings. While the Papal treasury was then at a low ebb, it seems 
as if in certain branches art began to show improvement, 



especially painting. The frescos of S. Clemente are certainly 
the foundation stone of the revival of painting, and they date 
from Hildebrand's time; so do those in S. Pudentiana, which 
he restored, and those in the Cappella del Martirologio at S. 
Paul. In fact, Hildebrand undertook a radical restoration of 
this basilica and its annexes, of which he was titular cardi- 
nal; and its famous bronze doors were made in Constantinople 
by his orders. His great friend was Desiderius, Abbot of 
Monte Cassino, the famous importer of Byzantine artists and 
artisans from Constantinople for the decoration of his new 

Capitals of Propylon of S. Maria in Cosmedin (capital on r. antique; 
crude capital on 1. c. 1121). 

monastic buildings, then the greatest in Italy. It is even 
thought that the present monastic buildings and cloister at 
S. Prassede are the work of Hildebrand. 

There were, therefore, artists of a kind at the disposal of 
Paschal II when he began to attack his problem of renovation, 
to tear down the half-ruined buildings, establish new levels 
and new lines of streets and lay the foundations of modern 
Home as it was until its dismemberment by the Renaissance 
Popes and its disruption by the Italians after the annexation 
in 1870. We know the names of a few of these artists : 
Paulus, chief among his architects and decorators ; Guido and 
Petrolinus among his painters. 


The new style arose through a direct study of the antique 
combined with an infusion of Oriental color sense. The de- 
based decorative work in low relief sculpture was abandoned 
for plain moulded marbles and simple classic details. Grad- 
ually there was added to this simplicity an ever increasing ele- 
ment of color through the insetting of disks and slabs of rich 
antique marbles, porphyry, serpentine, rosso antico, granite, 

Slab of Choir-screen at S. Maria in Cosmedin, discarded in Twelfth 
Century (c. 780). 

cippolino ; also by geometric patterns of small cubes of these 
and other marbles. Sparingly used at first, the whole century 
elapsed before full richness was attained and the splendor of 
perfect mastery of moulded arid carved detail. In this the 
Roman school marched side by side with that of Campania 
and Sicily. Applied to architecture and to all manner of 
church furniture and detail, this style has commonly been 
dubbed " Cosmati " or " Cosmatesque," from the name of one 
of its prominent exponents. 
In carrying out their new ideas these artists of Paschal II 


and his successors in the twelfth century showed themselves 
pitiless toward the work of the previous five centuries. Every 
few years, in the course of restorations in the churches in and 
near Rome, some slabs are found covered with the low relief 
work of the Byzantine period, which were at this time turned 
around and either used as mere building material and paving 
slabs, or decorated on the other side with the new style of in- 
laid mosaic work. The choir-screens, altar-fronts, pulpits and 
ciboria were torn away to make room for their successors. 
Not a single Roman church has preserved its internal decora- 
tion in this style. It must be reconstructed out of fragments 
by the special student, as has been done so interestingly by 
the late architect, Professor Mazzanti. 

Political circumstances hardly gave a fair opportunity to 
the Popes and to Rome to develop this art, after the death of 
Paschal II. One of the great voids to fill was due to the sack- 
ing of the churches by the Normans, who looted the works 
in precious metals which had been accumulated during the 
Byzantine and early Carlovingian periods. Of these confes- 
sions, choir-rails, groups of statuary, ciboria, altar-fronts, of 
gold and silver gilt, it is hardly probable that a single one re- 
mained. What the fire spared the soldiers stole. It took two 
centuries to recoup the treasuries and churches. 

A figure now looms up even larger in death than in life, 
that of the great Countess Matilda. She had inherited enor- 

T., . , mously extensive fiefs and estates, 

<C "^L ip 5J extending through a part of Lom- 

K E ; |~"" ~j pep bardy, nearly the whole of Emilia 

ff~ ' t\4~ =- jj and Tuscany, large sections of 

Umbria and the Abruzzo. Her 
territory comprised about a third 

of the entire peninsula. During her lifetime she was the 
stanch supporter of the Church and especially the friend 
of Hildebrand, who persuaded her to will all her possessions 
to the Church. She died in 1115. Her donation was the 
most epoch-making in the history of the temporal power. 
It is true that the flourishing communes already organized in 
these regions, such as Pisa, Siena, Florence, Lucca and Brescia, 


paid no attention to the Papal claims, and that the Emper- 
ors as well as the free cities disputed the right of Matilda 
to dispose of the territory in this way ; but it is also true that 
the bequest not only gave a basis of law for the organization 
of the States of the Church, but proved to be an increasing 
source of revenue as the estates were occupied by the succes- 
sors of Pope Paschal. It has a distinct bearing upon the artis- 
tic fortunes of the city, for it was partly in this way that the 
means were provided for its reconstruction. 

Still, no immediate improvement followed the accession of 
Pope Gelasius (1118-1119), who was forced to leave Rome for 
France by the bloody fights of the Frangipani and the Pier- 
leoni and the strength of Antipope Burdinus. His successor, 
Calixtus II (1119-1124), a Frenchman, was elected in France, 
at Cluny, and in 1120 came to Rome, which he was able to 
occupy entirely. His triumphal entrance foreshadowed the 
yielding of the Empire to the Papal claims which culminated 
in the Concordat of Worms, in 1122. 

This date marks a distinct advance. We find that for 
some years the Roman population had been recovering. The 
twelve regions into which the city was administratively di- 
vided were all on the north bank, and were supplemented by 
the Island and by the Trastevere (Urbs Rav&nnatum), as well 
as by the purely Papal district of the Borgo, between S. Peter 
and Hadrian's mausoleum. The twelve regions had their sena- 
tors, their captains and their militia. The entire organization 
was under the Senate and the prefect of the city, whose ap- 
pointment rested with the Pope, though for a long time the 
Emperor dictated or approved it. Gradually Rome began 
once again to take shape and slightly to resemble a city 
rather than a series of fortified oases in the desert of crum- 
bling ruins. The display of the people in receiving Calixtus 
in 1120 already shows a certain return of well-being. 

An important step taken at once by Calixtus was to forbid 
the fortification of churches ; but that he did not deprive S. 
Peter of its defences is shown by subsequent events. The 
Lateran had been uninhabitable ever since the fire ; he began 
to restore it both church and palace. He also repaired the 



aqueducts and brought water to the Lateran. In the palace 
he built a Papal chapel, dedicated to S. Nicholas, and two halls, 
a dining and a throne room, though he was not able to com- 

S. Clemente, restored as it was in the Twelfth Century. 

plete their decoration. Under him was completed the recon- 
struction of S. Clemente, S. Maria in Cosmedin and other 

The days of Honorius II (1124-1130) were passed in an ab- 
solute tranquillity that gave the best opportunity for artistic 


activity. The Roman school of art was now constituting itself 
anew. Hand in hand with the Pope it was even beginning to 
reach out to conquer the neighboring cities aesthetically, as 
he was temporally. S. Clemente was completed and dedicated ; 
S. Niccolo in Carcere and S. Crisogono were completed. 

Artistic Revival. The schism between Innocent II (1130- 
1143) and Anaclete did not check the growing prosperity. Both 
men were Trasteverines and during their joint ride jthe Tras- 
tevere arose to great magnificence. Anaclete, of the famous 
and wealthy Pierleone family, was previously cardinal of S. 
Maria in Trastevere, while John of Crema, the wealthy and 

Bird's-eye View of the Lateran Basilica, Palace and Annexes, restored 
as it was in the Middle Ages. 

able leader of the Innocent II faction, was cardinal of S. 
Crisogono in Trastevere. So we find a galaxy of large and 
small new buildings : S. Crisogono, S. Cecilia, S. Maria in 
Trastevere, S. Cosimato, S. Tommaso in Parione, etc. There 
were not only churches built, but usually monastic buildings 
attached to them. 

In such a superb structure as S. Maria in Trastevere we 
hail once more a perfect art, as perfect as that which created 
S. Maria Maggiore in the fourth and fifth centuries. There is 
no more patchwork, no " crazy quilts " of undigested antique 
fragments. The buildings are on a large scale and of an art 
harmonious and complete, with its system of decoration and 


Innocent II. In fact under Innocent II greater strides were 
made in reconstructing and adorning the city and in forming a 
style of architecture and decoration than under any Pope since 
Paschal. The crudeness still evident at S. Lorenzo in Lucina, 
finished in the year of his accession, has quite disappeared in 
the great basilicas that now arose, especially S. Calixtus and 
S. Maria in Trastevere. He continued work at the Lateran, 
reroofing. the basilica, rebuilding the campanile, completing 
certain halls in the Papal palace arid decorating them with 
historic and other frescos, such as the scene of the coronation 
of Lothair. 

Lucius II in the single year of his pontificate (1144-1145) is 
said to have rebuilt S. Croce in Gerusalemme. As he gave to 
the Lateran the church of S. Giovanni a Porta Latina, it is to 
this time that we may attribute its early Cosmatesque details. 

Great Monasteries. With Eugenius III (1146), a great friend 
and pupil of S. Bernard, a member of the Cistercian order and 
abbot of its monastery of SS. Vincenzo and Anastasio, outside 
the walls, the monastic movement in the Papacy reached its 
climax. He completed the work of Lucius II at S. Croce. 
The Popes were leaning more and more on the monasteries, 
and the multiplication of cloisters recalls the similar wave 
that passed over Rome in the seventh and eighth centuries. 

The City. The movement to rebuild and beautify was by 
no means confined to sacred structures. The entire city arose 
from its ashes ; burghers and nobles created a new civic archi- 
tecture which seems to have been more important in relation 
to the religious structures than had been previously the case 
since early Christian times. 

We infer this not only from remaining houses but from an 
amusing and interesting diatribe of a contemporary German 
ecclesiastic, Gerol of Reichersperg, who, writing to Eugenius 
III, is especially indignant at the building of the new com- 
munal palace or senate house on the Capitol, as a sign of the 
civic and antipapal pride of the Roman republic. " For 
behold," he says, " some are now daring to rebuild the accursed 
city . . . out of which only the house of Rahab, that is the 
Church, had been saved. Its civil structures destroyed, it had 


grown up both in morals and in structures to be a holy temple 
to the Lord. A plain spectacle to all ... its imperial palaces 
and many other wonderful buildings in sad ruin represent 
Jericho, while the religious structures, every day increasing 
and shining with brilliant images, prove clearly through the 
daily increase and beautifying of morals and structures that 
this is indeed the saved house of Eahab. Thus in our own 
days the church of the Lateran, and the church of .S. Croce, 

Interior of S. Maria in Trastevere (c. 1140). 

and the church of S. Maria Nova were amplified both in reli- 
gious use and in size of walls. The house also of the blessed 
apostle Paul, repaired by Gregory VII, shines now with 
monastic fervor, which also has been made to flourish at the 
monasteries of SS. Quattro Coronati and S. Anastasio, as well 
as in the other churches and monasteries in the city of Rome 
belonging to the regular clergy. 

" Hence we are not unduly afflicted to see that the abom- 
ination of desolation still remains in the house of S. Peter, 



prince of the apostles, where battlements and warlike apparatus 
are placed in the upper part of the church, above the body of 
the blessed Peter. . . . 

" If these rebels were more shrewdly attacked by the Church 
. . . they would not be able to rebuild Jericho or Babylon, as 
they are doing in Rome, where the Capitoline, once destroyed, 
is now rebuilt over against* the house of. God, the house of 

The bitterness of these words can be understood only after 
studying the movement by which the Roman people showed 
the growing consciousness of its power and sought to become 
a free city, as the majority of the other great cities of Italy 
had already done or were preparing to do. They succeeded, 
in the teeth of both Popes and Emperors, in establishing a 
Senate, a republic ruled under a constitution, and in wresting 
almost complete autonomy. For forty-four years the Popes 
suffered every imaginable ill from this revolutionary move- 
ment before the Papacy returned in 1188 with Clement III. 
Meanwhile five popes Eugenius III, Alexander III, Lucius 
III, Urban III and Gregory VIII lived in exile from Rome. 

Necessarily, during this half century the Popes themselves 
had but a small part in directing the artistic destinies of the 
city, which were left to the wealthy clergy, burghers and 
nobles. The building activity of the new Republic showed 
itself in the restoration of the city walls. An inscription on 
the Porta Metrovia of 1157 reads, after the date, S.P.Q.E. haec 
memo, reinstate dilapsa restauravit (!), senatores, followed by 
the names of the senators then ruling. 

With the name of Anastasius (1153), who occupied the chair 
for only a few months, we associate the completion of that 
series of political anti-imperial frescos in the Lateran, begun 
by Calixtus, that created such a sensation in Europe. His 
equally short-lived successor, Hadrian IV, built a fortress at 
Radicofani and the fine porch and campanile were added to 
SS. Giovanni e Paolo in the city. 

Alexander III. During the long and heroic pontificate of 
Alexander III (1159-1181) the chronicler Boso records only 
the consecration of the church of S. Maria Nova (1161) in the 


Forum, probably marking the completion of its apse mosaic 
and of the destroyed mosaic and porch of its facade, begun 
under Lucius II or Eugenius III. But it was really under 
this great Pope, the strenuous adversary of Emperor Frederick 
II, that the Roman school attained to complete mastery in 
the handling of its peculiar style. The little city of Ninfa, 
where he was consecrated, contains numerous structures of 
about his time and was abandoned in the following century, its 

Ninfa, Ruins of the Mediaeval Town and Monasteries. 

mined towers and churches with faded and crumbling frescos 
still rising among the head waters of the stream at the foot of 
Norba mountain. Everywhere in the Eoman territory con- 
struction and decoration on a large scale was commenced. 
The superb cathedral of Terracina was built, that of Anagni 
was completed (1179) and that of Civita Castellana partly 
constructed, entirely or in part by artists of the Roman 

We cannot associate his successors, Lucius III (1181-1185), 
Urban III (1185-1187) or Gregory VIII (1187), very closely 


with Roman monuments, for the Romans kept them in exile, 
and the war of the Romans with Tusculum and the raids of 
the imperialists prevented any close artistic relations between 
Rome and the Campagna, where these Popes largely resided. 
Spread of Roman Art. Still, the very political vicissitudes 
of the Papacy really helped to spread Roman art. During a 
great part of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the Popes 
were absent from Rome, in an exile voluntary or forced. Ex- 
cept for their journeys to France, they spent the greater part 
of this time in Ihe various cities of the province, such as 
Viterbo, Orvieto, Sutri, Kepi, Civita Castellana, Perugia, on 
the north ; Palestrina, Tivoli, Tusculum, Albano, on the east ; 
Velletri, Terracina, Gaeta, Segni, Anagni, Veroli, on the south. 
Of all these cities the two favored by the longest sojourns 
were also the most important, Viterbo and Anagni. In these 
peregrinations they were -accompanied by the bulk of the col- 
lege of cardinals and the rest of the Curia. Whether there 
were also artists included in their following we cannot be cer- 
tain, but we can in some cases trace a connection between 
Papal visits and the activity of Roman art in the same place. 
I shall describe in special chapters how this took place. 


IT is, therefore, in the second half of the twelfth century 
that a consistent artistic expansion brings the cities of the 
province into close connection with Rome. The continuous 
wars made the work sporadic, it is true, but gradually the 
new mosaic decorative system became almost as much the 
prevalent and only style in the churches of these cities as in 
the metropolis, superseding the old system of low relief 
sculpture. In such epoch-making buildings as S. Maria di 
Castello at Corneto (1143-1166), the cathedrals of Sutri (1170) 
and Nepi, the monastery of Falleri, the cathedrals of Civita 
Castellana, Terracina, Fondi, Anagni and Segni, practically 
the entire decorative work, the church furniture and even 
parts of the structure were placed in the hands of artists from 

As for Rome itself, the common notion that attributes to the 
personal initiative and financial aid of the Popes the produc- 
tion of the works of art is evidently to a certain extent an error. 
There is plenty of negative evidence in the prolonged absence 
of so many Popes ; in the fact that several of them never set 
foot in Rome ; in the extreme poverty under which several of 
them labored. There is also plenty of positive evidence in 
inscriptions that the works were due largely to the wealthy 
clergy and nobles. This was in line with Roman traditions 
from the very first. In the fifth century Severus and his wife 
Cassia had decorated S. Anastasia with mosaics, and Leopardus, 
the deacon, had restored S. Lorenzo at his own expense. This 
custom had never been discontinued, and had been exempli- 
fied even in the darkest ages by Alberic, Crescentius and 
their ilk. Among typical noble benefactors were the Papa- 
rone family, shortly before and after 1200. An inscription of 




1201 at S. Pantaleo attributes its reconstruction to Aldruda, 
widow of Scotto Paparone. This Scotto was consul and sena- 
tor of Home in 1198 when Innocent III on ascending the 
throne persuaded him to abdicate. He and his son Giovanni 
Paparone gave its magnificent mosaic pavement to the basilica 
of S. Maria Maggiore, where these two were represented on 
the central slab as knights in full armor, carrying bannered 
lances and shields and sitting on caparisoned horses. They, 

Detail of Main Portal, Cathedral of Civita Castellana, with Mosaic Inlay. 
(Signed by Laurentius, c. 1180, and one of the most artistic works of the school.) 

or two knights exactly like them, appear again in the 'pave- 
ment of S. Lorenzo-fuori-le-mnra, which apparently was also 
made at their expense. To give 'a list of patrons of art dur- 
ing these two centuries would practically mean the enumera- 
tion of members of the principal historic families Colonna, 
Orsini, Conti, Savelli, etc. 

Sometimes the expense was divided between the different 
wealthy families of the parish, who were buried in the church. 


and each one paid for one or more bays of the interior, or for a 
section of the pavement. 

But the majority of church benefactors were the members of 
the upper clergy. The right-hand man of Paschal II in his 
reconstruction of the city was the famous Papal chamberlain 
Alphanus, whose tomb is at S. Maria in Cosmedin. John of 
Crema under Innocent II bore all the cost of the erection, dec- 
oration and endowment of the church and monastery of S. 
Crisogono. Cardinal Raniero Capocci and later in the thirteenth 
century Senator Bertoldo, his brother Cardinal Stefaneschi and 
Cardinal Colonna were energetic and generous patrons of art 
and artists, and for them such men as Giotto, Cavallini, Gaddi, 
Rusutti and the latest of the Cosmati did some of their best 

But once again the Popes seriously concerned themselves 
with the city. To Clement III (1188-1191), who was able to 
return to Rome in peace, is assigned the construction of the 
cloister of S. Lorenzo and a further section of the Lateran 
palace ; to Celestin III (1191-1198), a papal residence near S. 
Peter ; and to Innocent III (1198-1216), the hospital of S. Spir- 
ito in Sassia, the reconstruction of the church of S. Sisto, 
with its cloister and charming campanile, and the completion 
of the decorative work at S. Maria in Trastevere. But, as 
usual, the art records are absurdly incomplete in the Papal 
chronicles, for Innocent III was extremely active, artisti- 
cally. He renewed the apse mosaic at S. Peter, by the hand 
of mosaicists from Venice, enlarged SS. Sergius and Bacchus, 
adding its portico, and built the porch and bell-tower of S. 
Silvestro in Capite. In his gifts of sacred vestments and 
objects in precious metals and manuscripts he was supremely 

Innocent III was in every way one of the greatest of medi- 
aeval popes. The fact that he belonged to the ancient Conti 
family, the greatest in Latium, with preponderating interest in 
its principal cities Segni, Anagni and Ferentino helped to 
fuse the art of this region with that of Rome ; helped him also 
to coerce the city with his famous family fortress, the Torre 
de Conti, then reputed the highest in the world. Curtailing the 



republican liberties of Rome to almost a shadow and establish- 
ing his authority firmly over an extensive part of Latiuin, 
Sabina and Tuscany, he inaugurated an era of powerf ul Popes 
in the same way as Hildebrand had previously done, and with 
far greater results in the domain of art and monuments. Not 
the least of these triumphs was the peaceful one over the 
Emperor Otho, by which earlier conditions were reversed and 

S. Lorenzo, Main Basilica. 

the Empire acknowledged itself the vassal of the Papacy. 
Rome was then truly the arbiter of the world. 

To Honorius III (1216-1226) his life attributes the recon- 
struction of S. Lorenzo and of the Papal chapel of the Sancta 
Sanctorum at the Lateran, the restoration and decoration of 
the apse and faqade of S. Paul and the reconstruction of S. 
Bibiana. The greater basilica of S. Lorenzo will always be 
associated with him as one of the foremost achievements of 
mediaeval Rome, though its decoration of frescos and inlaid 


furniture was not completed until the middle of the century. 
It was under this Pope that the two new orders of S. Francis 
and S. Dominic, which were to become the mainstays of religion 
and the Papacy and the great sources of religious art, began 
to emerge. They had been founded under Innocent III, and 
their value, as suited to the democratic spirit, the emotionalism 
and the intellectual curiosity of the age, was recognized at 
once. Perhaps Eome itself was the latest of any great Italian 
city to be affected by them, owing to the force of its historic 

The greatest artistic gems of this generation were the cloisters 
of S. Paul and the Lateran, in which the Roman school reached 
the most perfect known combination of architecture and color, 
between 1205 and 1230. In their awakened color-sense, show- 
ing itself in decorative work, in mosaics and frescos, the Ro- 
man artists were now to anticipate the Venetians, and for the 
same reason, for they also acted as mediators between Western 
art and the Byzantine schools of the East whence they derived 
the love and knowledge of color. To this they added the plas- 
tic sense due to their constant contact with the remains of 
classic art, whose forms they were reproducing with ever in- 
creasing purity. 

Gregory IX. The Roman Commune and the Germans. Under 
Gregory IX (1227-1241) the fierce conflict in which this inflexi- 
ble old man passed his reign raged alternately with the Roman 
Commune and the Emperor Frederick II. The Commune was 
seeking again not only to establish its independence of both 
Pope and Emperor, but its suzerainty over the States of the 
Church from Tuscany to the Neapolitan border. The Romans 
fought against Viterbo, Anagni and the smaller cities. The 
Pope successfully invoked the aid of the Emperor to preserve 
his temporal domains, but this temporary alliance was broken 
by the attempt of the Emperor to subjugate the whole of Italy. 
In their fear of a greater enemy the Romans themselves 
changed their policy, and by defending the Pope caused the 
failure of Frederick's attempt at annexation. 

The Romans had just cause for hating the Emperor, because 
in their defeat by the imperialists before Viterbo, in 1234, they 



had lost over ten thousand men. In the midst of this great 
struggle of Guelfs and Ghibellines, Roman art continued to 
grow and be diffused over the territory claimed both by Pope 
and Commune. The Pope himself was of the noble Conti 


family of Anagni, whose palace was in that city. He resided 
there quite as much as in Home ; and the completion of the dec- 
oration of the cathedral of Anagni by Eoman artists at this 
time is but another indication that some of these artists were 
likely to -follow in the train of Pope and Curia in their travels. 
It is Cosmas who in 1231 directed the work in the crypt, which 
he paved and decorated, with the assistance of his sons Luke 
and James. 1 

The last days of Gregory IX and the interregnum of nearly 
two years that followed were not, owing to raids and wars, auspi- 
cious for art either in Rome or the province. The greatest dis- 
aster was the destruction by the Emperor Frederick's Saracens 
of the city of Albano in 1243. With Innocent IV (1243-1254) 
came a truce and better times. He had personally but little 
to do with the rapid and splendid development of art in the 
city unless we attribute to him though he was a Genoese, not 
a Frenchman the introduction of what has been regarded 
as a French specialty : the charming engraved tombstones, in 
which the figure of the deceased is given in incised outline. 
He lived at Lyons for a considerable part of his reign, helping 
to build its cathedral and the great bridge over the Rhone. He 
added many and influential Frenchmen to the ranks of the 
Roman clergy, and his Francophile tendencies may have affected 
the Roman school to the extent also of introducing the pointed 
arch in its decorative system, in place of the architrave ; an 
innovation which certainly did not occur much later. 

Dying shortly after he had in a few weeks won and then 
partly lost the kingdom of Southern Italy, Innocent IV was 
succeeded by another Pope of the Conti family Alexander IV 
(1254-1261). It was at this time that the Roman Commune, 
under the government of the Bolognese dictator, Senator Bran- 
caleone, was truly governed as a democratic republic, and well 
governed until the conflict between the clergy and nobility on 
one side inimical to Brancaleone and the guilds of the 
people on the other, after leading to the temporary downfall of 
Brancaleone and to the old anarchy, ended by his recall and 

1 It was from the prominence of the work of this artist and his family that 
all this Roman style of artistic work was called " Cosmatesque." 


Detail of Choir Seats, Cathedral of Ciyita Castellana, by Jacobus and Drudus. 
Examples of Roman mosaic inlay. 


the initiation by him of a campaign of vengeance against his 
and the people's enemies, the great Guelf nobles. To them be- 
longed the majority of the great strongholds in the city, usually 
based on some ancient monument, supplemented by one or more 
towers. These Brancaleone ordered to be destroyed, and a 
chronicler states that about one hundred and forty of these 
towered fortresses were razed to the ground, with great de^ 
struction, both of the finest buildings of antiquity and of the 
most palatial examples of mediaeval civil architecture. 

Charles of Anjou and French Influence. For several years the 
Papacy was, willingly or not, strongly tinctured with French 

Sacred Vestment, by Roman Artist at Cathedral of Anagni. 
(Middle thirteenth century.) 

influence, by the combined action of the election of several 
French Popes and the successful expedition of the adventurous 
French prince Charles of Anjou, who was called by the Papacy 
to oppose the German Emperor Henry and who founded the 
Angevin dynasty in Southern Italy. Alexander's successor, the 
Frenchman, Urban IV (1261-1264), never was in Borne and 
called in Charles of Anjou to offset the selection of the Ger- 
manic Manfred as Senator of Rome ; but he died before seeing 
the success of his scheme, which was carried forward by the elec- 
tion of a devotee of Charles, the Provencal Frenchman, Pope 
Clement IV (1265-1268). 


The next few Popes were more closely connected with Viterbo 
and the province than with Rome. Clement IV, Hadrian V and 
John XXI died at Viterbo, and magnificent tombs were built 
there for them by Eoman artists ; the episcopal palace there 
was rebuilt to house the Popes and their court. 

Fortunately for Rome, there came a change in 1277, when a 
great Roman was elected pope, brought back the court and once 
more gave to Rome its natural place. The seven years of this 
pontificate of Nicholas III (1277-1284) were tremendously pro- 
ductive of artistic works, especially in painting. Some idea of 
this is given by his contemporary historian, Ptolemy of Lucca. 
After describing the large fortified palace and garden which 
he made at S. Peter, as if in anticipation of the transfer of 
the Papal residence from the Laterau, Ptolemy says that he 
almost entirely restored the basilica of S. Peter. An interest- 
ing confirmation of this somewhat startling statement is a re- 
port on the dangerous condition of the building made by the 
master-builders to the Pope, showing how far the walls were 
cracked and out of plumb. He continued the restoration of the 
Lateran and there built the exquisite Papal chapel of the Sancta 
Sanctorum. He died of apoplexy at Soriano near Viterbo, 
where he had built a superb residence, a fortified palace and 

As a city, Rome had now reached quite a different stage from 
that of the previous century. The main masses of ruined col- 
onnades and buildings, tottering since the Guiscard fire, had 
been levelled ; new grades and new arteries established ; the 
new houses with their continuous colonnades formed consecu- 
tive lines ; the disiecta membra of antiquity had been put to 
use in the new structures ; from the revetments and pavements 
of decaying buildings had been fashioned the pavements of 
choice marbles and the furniture of the new churches, whose 
interiors and porticos were reared with the antique columns 
and finished with details borrowed or imitated from Roman 
works. No longer concealed behind courts, the churches 
helped to decorate the street fronts, and their bell-towers in 
large numbers served to give picturesqueness to the city land- 
scape, while the same purpose was more ruggedly served by 


the innumerable feudal towers and fortresses, no longer mere 
appendages to classic ruins, but often like the Conti, Anguil- 
lara, and Milizie fortresses, works of purely mediaeval design. 
At last Rome had acquired some artistic homogeneity and the 
triumphal arches and temples of antiquity reared themselves 
amid surroundings not too 

Rome, the Source and 
Seat of the Revival of 
Painting. It was now 
that Rome became the 
centre for the revival of 
Italian painting. First 
Cimabue came to Rome, 
in 1272 ; then Giotto and 
GaddoGaddi. The leader 
of the Roman school, Cav- 
allini, became the greatest 
painter of the age and 
Giotto's teacher. When 
the Franciscan order in- 
trusted the decoration of 
their mother church at 
Assisi to a large body of 
painters, who were to 
make of it the greatest 
museum of late mediaeval 
painting, the lion's share 
fell to the Roman school, 
and the Florentines and Umbrians who came there fell under 
their influence. Here Giotto took his first steps as an inde- 
pendent artist, on emerging from his Roman apprenticeship. 

Honorius IV (1285-1287), though his pontificate was but brief, 
is closely associated with several works of art. He belonged to 
the great Savelli family, munificent patrons of art, who lorded 
it over the Aventine, where their great feudal fortress stood, 

1 The statue is antique ; i the head and hands mediaeval. It stood in front 
of the old basilica, and is tfow in the crypt. 

Marble Statue of S. Peter. 
Example of adaptation of the antique. 1 

X I\J 


near the older fortress-palaces of the Emperor Otho and of the 
Pierleoni. He immediately built, near the church of S. Sa- 
bina, in the midst of the family estate, a superb palace, 
where he lived. It formed the centre of numerous other resi- 
dences of the court and family. His monument, placed next 
to that of Nicholas III at S. Peter, was dismantled, and its 
statue transferred by Paul III to the mausoleum of his mother 
at S. Maria in Aracoeli. 

Under Nicholas IV (1288-1292) the two noble families of 
Colonna and Orsini were paramount, not only politically, but 
as art patrons, as we see from their works at S. Maria in Ara- 
coeli, S. Maria Maggiore, and other churches. The favorite 
church of this Pope was S. Maria Maggiore, where he built a 
palace for his residence, and built the portico, campanile and 
other annexes, beginning also a superb decoration in fresco and 
mosaic, which was carried out by such artists as Torriti, 
Cavallini and Rusutti. The equally exquisite remodelling and 
supplementing of the mosaics at the Lateran and S. Maria in 
Trastevere was due to this Pope and these artists. 

Boniface VIII (1294-1303) was more active politically than 
monumentally, and his works at the Lateran and Vatican were 
connected with his Jubilee and Papal glorification. Still, there 
was no interruption, as yet, in the activity of the school, though 
it seems to show diminished artistic skill in architecture and 
sculpture as clearly as it does a great advance in painting and 
mosaic work. It was under this Pope, however, that the crisis 
came which was to put an end to the artistic, as well as the 
political, activities of Rome as a Christian city. 


THE transfer of the seat of the Papacy from Rome to France 
on the election of a Frenchman, Clement V, as Pope in 1305, 
is commonly considered to have been the signal of the downfall 
of mediaeval Rome. This clutching at a spectacular historic 
fact, as a peg for a dramatic exit, is somewhat fallacious. The 
absenteeism of the Popes for about a century merely set the seal 
to a catastrophe that had been for some time brewing, which at 
this most critical period in the revival was to eliminate Rome 
as an artistic as well as a political factor. 

The first material sign of the beginning of the downfall had 
been the embitterment of the strife between Commons and 
Barons which led to the destruction of the towers and palaces 
of the nobility in 1257. Larger causes had their effect. The 
second half of the thirteenth century saw a pitiable descent 
from the inspiring and altruistic world-policy of the great Popes 
who had fought the Empire for freedom until the death of Fred- 
erick II. They had stood for the cause of democracy and of 
Italy, and the people were behind them. But now there was a 
change. First came the short-sighted bartering of Innocent IV, 
who gave away kingdoms to the highest bidder ; then the un- 
fortunate Papal subservience to France and Charles of Anjou, 
through whom the Popes sought to rule Italy ; and finally the 
narrow nepotism of Nicholas III paving the way to its even 
more irritating form under Boniface VIII. The Popes' influ- 
ence weakened in proportion as the people of Italy saw them 
abandon the championship of national interests and of the free 
cities, whenever a policy of expediency seemed to dictate it. 

And so, when Boniface VIII was elected in 1294, the pas- 
sionate spirit of this last great mediaeval Pope found itself sur- 
rounded by egotistical time-servers, and beat its wings against 
the meshes of a net it had helped to set. The famous Jubilee 
celebration of 1300, when Rome saw some two million of 
L 145 


pilgrims, was a final effort to conceal the real growing weakness. 
All Italy and many leaders of the rest of Europe were there ; 
and on them Rome made an unforgettable impression, which we 
see reflected in Dante, who was himself one of these pilgrims. 
But if the pathos and grandeur of Eome still bound the spirits 
of men, the nearer view of the Papacy failed to rivet them. 
Spiritual weapons without a spiritual force and a conviction of 
right to back them were but weapons of straw against sceptical 
flesh and blood. Even France turned against the Pope ; and the 
scene at Anagni of the final humiliation of Boniface at the 
mercy of a low-minded notary of Philip le Bel and of a leader 
of a band of mercenaries, is one of the unforgettable facts of 
history. Its date, September, 1303, is the antithesis of the 
triumph of the great Hildebrand over the Empire at Canossa. 

Exodus of 1305. The withdrawal of the Papacy in 1305 
from Rome, to become a tool of French politics, was therefore 
not by any means the beginning of the decadence of Roman 
art. The prosperity of the city between 1257 and 1303 had 
been periodically endangered by anarchy, by the open warfare 
between Commons and nobles, by the opposition between the 
Popes and the Roman republic which was constantly seeking to 
limit the local authority of the Popes, and by bloody feuds be- 
tween rival noble families, especially those of the Colonna and 
Orsiiii factions. But even the Papal departure in 1305, and the 
announcement of its definite character in 1306, did not cause an 
absolute and immediate catastrophe. The Romans were slow to 
recognize the fundamental difference between the previous tem- 
porary Papal absences and the present withdrawal, and that the 
vitality of the city as well as of the Papacy had been fatally 

Destruction of the Lateran. The difference, however, soon 
became apparent as a consequence of the transfer of the immense 
funds of the Papacy and of the wealthy college of cardinals, who 
were the principal private patrons of art. The noble families 
themselves, owing to their exhausting feuds, no longer possessed 
the wealth of their ancestors of the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
turies. But the most obvious sign of the times, one to terrify 
popular imagination, came almost at once. It was the confla- 


gration which in 1308 destroyed almost completely the historic 
seat and centre of the Papacy, the palace of the Lateran, and 
its church of S. John, " head and mother of all churches." As 
the people were just then beginning to realize the reality of 
the establishment of the Papal capital at Avignon, this destruc- 
tion seemed like the finger of God. The city was full of pro- 
cessions of mourners. 

Destruction of Monuments. The impression of desolation and 
ruin which it was beginning then to give was increased in 1312. 
Then the German Emperor Henry VII, trying in vain to imi- 
tate his heroic ancestors, the Othos and Fredericks, and to attain 
to the Roman Empire of the West, entered Rome with his Ger- 
man followers, seconded by the Ghibelline party in the city. 
A fierce struggle with the Guelfs ensued. Every street, pal- 
ace and monument was fortified and defended, and every inch 
of ground was contested. The Emperor sought in turn to force 
his way to S. Peter, to the Capitol and to S. John Lateran as 
a last resort, to carry out the historic ceremony of a corona- 
tion in Rome that should consecrate his claim. Whole quar- 
ters of the city were gutted by fire, towers and monuments 
razed to the ground as soon as captured. When the imperial 
whirlwind had departed peace did not follow, for the democ- 
racy of the exhausted city rose against the nobles who were the 
cause of the disaster and in their rage completed the work of 
the mob of 1257 in destroying the feudal strongholds, palaces 
and towers. When one realizes that almost every ancient mon- 
ument was used by the nobles as a fortress, the effect on the 
ruins may be imagined. And almost as much to be regretted 
was the loss of the siiperb civil architecture of mediaeval 
Rome. If we can judge by the miserable remnant of the pal- 
ace which once guarded the approaches to the Ponte Rotto, 
with its Imge tower, by the towers of the Conti and the Mili- 
zie, this civil architecture must have been one of the most 
original and impressive in Italy. This catastrophe of 1308 
well-nigh wiped it out. There followed now a period of unre- 
strained disorder: assassination and robbery were unchecked 
by any authority. Even the younger clergy gave way to law- 



In limited fashion the Popes, though absent, sought to heal 
these wounds. A restoration of the basilica of the Lateran 
was commenced, with the help of contributions from the Ro- 
mans themselves only to be partly nullified by a second fire 
in 1348. Work was carried on at the other great basilicas : at 

S. Paul the mosaic of 
the fagade was made 
over by John XXII 
in 1324, and shortly 
afterward the roof of 
S. Peter was repaired. 
But only driblets from 
the Papal purse found 
their way to Rome 
in the fourteenth cen- 
tury. The bulk of the 
funds was applied to 
the erection of that 
pile of feudal gran- 
deur, the immense for- 
tress-palace at Avi- 
gnon, which was to be 
a shield against the 
raids of freebooting 
condottieri and sym- 
bol of the temporal 
power. When Italian 
artists were called to 
Avignon to decorate 
the palace and other Papal buildings, it is significant that 
they did not come from Rome, but from Siena and Umbria. 

Tuscans and Umbrians were superseding the native school 
in Rome itself. It was to the Tuscan painters, Giottino, 
Giovanni da Milano and the sons of Taddeo Gaddi, that 
the Pope turned when he ordered an important series of 
frescos. It was partly of Umbrian artists that the shrine 
and tabernacle of the restored Lateran were ordered, and 
later it was to a Sienese architect that Pope Urban V con- 

Corner of Tabernacle of Main Altar at Lateran 

(Middle fourteenth century and later.) 


iided the direction of the restoration of the Lateran after the 
second fire. 

Evidently, then, by the middle of the fourteenth century 
there was no school of Roman artists upon which the Popes 
could depend. Yet it was some time in dying and in its very 
dispersal scattered quite broadly the peculiar perfume of a 
style that was to have no morrow. 

A few names of these children of exile have survived. The 
sculptor, Marcus Romanus, went to Venice, which in 1317 he 
made a remarkably dignified and impressive reclining statue 
of the prophet Simeon for the church of S. Simeon Grande. 
Ruskin was quite right in admiring it. A last scion of the 
family of Cosmas, the Deodatus who had done so many things 
for the Lateran basilica, perhaps after the fire of 1308, went 
in his old age as far as Teramo on the Adriatic, where he 
made a charming portal for the cathedral in the Roman style 
in 1332. Stray traces of this Roman decorative work in 
mosaic are to be found as far as Germany and France, prob- 
ably by itinerant craftsmen. 

A group of Romans appears to have entered the service of 
the Angevin dynasty in Naples, then one of the principal 
patrons of art in Italy. Here came together Tuscans and 
Lombards as well, to direct or cooperate with the provincial 
school. These Roman decorators appear to have strongly af- 
fected the style of sepulchral monuments in the South. For 
while the figured sculpture of the numerous royal and feudal 
tombs of the fourteenth century in Neapolitan churches 
remained largely in the hands of Tuscan artists and their 
pupils, the decorative scheme included in many cases col- 
umns and friezes inlaid with mosaic work evidently accord- 
ing to Roman models, such as we find in the Papal tombs at 
Viterbo and in those by Giovanni Cosmati and his contempo- 
raries in Rome. But the most important accession was the 
leader of Italian painting, Pietro Cavallini, who was employed 
on a yearly salary of thirty gold ounces in 1308 and successive 
years by the Angevin King Charles II, and left in Naples, 
among other works, the frescos of S. Maria Donna Regina, 
executed before 1320. 


Next in prominence among Roman painters had been 
Filippo Rusutti, part author of the m.osaic on the faqade of 
S. Maria Maggiore. French documents show that the court 
painter of Philippe le Bel had been in Eome in 1297 and 
secured the services of Rusutti, his son Giovanni and his other 
pupil Nicola di Marzo, who went to France and remained 
court painters until their deaths many years later, on a regular 
stipend. It would be interesting to trace their work in France 
and its effect. 1 

What would the Roman school have accomplished had the 
Papacy and Rome retained a leading part in Italy's changing 
life during the curious transitional period of the fourteenth 
century ? What share would she have had in the Renaissance 
of the fifteenth century ? If her artists had held the reins 
and had thrown off the passing Gothic incubus, it is likely 
that we should have had from them a more restrained and 
purer form of Renaissance and that the Barocco would not 
have afflicted the world with its monstrosities. 

But it died not only too early to complete its work, but 
too early to insure the appreciation by posterity of its glorious 
accomplishments, because the literary creators of the fame of 
Italian art, the Vasaris, the Albertis and the Ghibertis, were 
sons of other centuries and ideals who despised or ignored 
what they could not understand or in which they had no 
hereditary pride, and who were also richly endowed with the 
local fanaticism that could easily dispose of the just claims of 
other Schools than the Tuscan. Only now do we see that the 
very leaders among these Tuscans, such as Cimabue, Arnolfo 
and Giotto, were pupils of Rome, that the sculptors and 
decorators of the Pisan school, beginning with Niccola and 
Giovanni, were immensely influenced. Rome handed on the 

When the Papacy returned to Rome with full purpose of 
devotion, a process beginning really in the year 1377 and cul- 
minating in Pope Martin's entrance in 1420, an overwhelming 

1 The French documents spell the name with a B in place of an R, and I am 
inclined to accept this spelling, as the artist's signature on the mosaic has been 
entirely restored: his name would really be, then, Filippo Bisutti. 


combination of circumstances conspired to prevent the contin- 
uation of Koine's individual monumental career, the recovery of 
her grasp on the reins of artistic influence. For over a century 
the mediaeval city had been going unchecked to ruin. In 
many cases, as at the Lateran and the SS. Apostoli, the ruin 
was so complete as to seem irreparable, and for the inevitably 
radical renovation the Papacy had but a shadow of a Roman 
school to call to its aid; mostly mere practitioners without a 
spark of originality. The foreigners who were called in de- 
spised the mediaeval art of the city and felt that they were 
doing missionary work in helping to obliterate rather than per- 
petuate it. On these Renaissance artists of Tuscany and Lom- 
bardy, and on Italy as a whole, through the Barocco age, the 
influence of Rome was henceforth to be that of the antique 
city alone, whom these men helped both to perpetuate and 
destroy ; for while theoretically idolizing it and codifying its 
models, they fashioned out of its ruins their new palaces and 
churches, the gigantic bronze columns and canopies of their 
high altars, and even the lime of their kilns, from the fine 
marble of antique statues. The churches of Christian Rome 
did not go down alone to their dissolution. 





THE vicissitudes of Christian architecture in Rome are more 
determined by relative amounts of artistic skill than by 
changes in style. We assign a building to a certain time 
according to the good or poor workmanship in the making and 
laying of the bricks, in the carving of the capitals or cornices, 
in the handling of the decorative details. This is because the 
same materials, the same architectural forms, the same con- 
structive system were substantially in continuous use from 
beginning to end, and the .variations were primarily in the 
amount of skill shown in their use and only secondarily in the 
variations of the decorative themes and manner. Conse- 
quently the historic divisions hold good for architecture. The 
first period is from Constantine to the Gothic wars ; the second 
lasts until the close of the eleventh century ; the third ends 
with the fourteenth. 

I have enumerated the principal buildings in Eome in their 
chronological order in the course of my historic narrative and 
will here give a brief systematic classification. I do not treat 
of that superb latter-day effulgence of vaulted architecture 
that closed in the early years of Constantino's reign, after pro- 
ducing the Baths of Diocletian and Constantine and the Basil- 
ica Nova. Though it was echoed in a few structures that are 
counted as Christian, such as the Mausoleums of Helena and 
Constantia, it had no further effect upon the fortunes of Chris- 
tian Rome. The few other circular or polygonal buildings, 



such as the Lateran Baptistery, S. Stef ano Rotondo and S. 
Petronilla, have been already sufficiently referred to, so that 
nothing need here concern us but basilical architecture, which 
has no connection with the static or constructive forms that 
were the main theme of builders in the East and North. 

An index-list of Roman churches will be found at the end 
of this volume. 

Materials. Christian architecture in Rome not being called 
upon to attempt any such heavy constructions as were required 
by the use of vaulting on a large scale, and not needing heavy 
walls for its wooden-roofed churches, did not patronize con- 
crete construction. Stone was used but seldom, in the regular 
courses of the opus quadratum, in such works of engineering as 
the bridges of Gratian and Valentinian and in the restoration 
of such monuments as the Coliseum and the theatres. But 
even this was abandoned after the Gothic wars : its latest 
use being possibly in the bridge by Narses over the Anio. 

In religious architecture brickwork was the rule in the 
body of the structure, for the walls were not heavy enough to 
allow of a brick facing and a concrete core. The quality of the 
brickwork varied at different periods. As long as the govern- 
ment factories continued the manufacture of bricks, up to the 
time of the Gothic wars, they were of excellent quality, the 
main change between the brick of the Antonines (second cen- 
tury) and those of the fifth century being a diminution in size, 
a change which is found early in the fourth century, though 
there were also variations in color and texture. 

Mediaeval brickwork was less perfect during the middle 
period. Heavy beds of mortar and careless laying, which we 
find as early as the fifth century, with an interlude of excel- 
lent work under Theodoric, became the rule between the 
seventh and eleventh centuries. But in the course of the 
twelfth century there was a return to better brick-making, 
more careful laying and thinner bedding, which helped to give 
a similar effect to that of the age of Constantine. 

In classic architecture it had not usually been permissible to 
let the brickwork be seen except in works of pure utility ; with 
Christian architecture the treatment was different. The ex- 
teriors were carelessly treated, for they were spiritually of no 


interest ; and their brickwork was covered only sporadically, 
as by a mosaic on the facade. The trimmings of doorways 
and porches were also of stonework. It was only in the 
interiors that the brickwork was as absolutely concealed as 
in classic buildings either by facings of thin marble veneering 
slabs or by mosaic work. 

Two other methods were occasionally used : the opus mix- 
turn and the opus saracinescum or a tufelli. The former con- 
sisted of alternate layers of small stone blocks, usually tufa, 
and brickwork, there being at times two rows of the bricks to 
one course of stone. This method became popular in the time 
of Constantino and during the rest of the period before the 
Gothic war, and again came into vogue during the tenth 
century. The opus saracinescum was a "petit appareil" of 
small tufa blocks which is found as early as the seventh 
and remained popular until the eleventh century. 

It was only outside of the city that local stone was sub- 
stituted for brick, and here the stone was often used in so 
plain a fashion as to lose its natural advantages over brick, 
as in the basilica of S. Eli at Nepi, or the tower of S. Scholas- 
tica at Subiaco. 

The Basilica. The plan of the basilica and its annexes is too 
well known to require much analysis, and an important con- 
crete example S. Peter has already been described under 
Constantino's works. 

An ante-porch usually opened on the street in a long stretch 
of otherwise solid wall. Passing through it, one stood in one 
long arcade or colonnade out of four which formed a cloistered 
court or atrium in front of the church itself, partly screening 
its faqade. I shall describe each part in turn. 

Atrium, Porch and Portico. These three forms of approach 
to the basilical churches were in use throughout the history of 
the Roman school and are inseparable. No other Italian 
school made such use of them, as this early Christian form did 
not appeal to the Lombard architects except occasionally. 

Ante-porch. The atrium itself was entered through a door- 
way that was often overhung by a propylon, or ante-porch, a 
narrow porch which had normally the form of a single pro- 



jecting arch supported on a pair of columns standing free from 
the wall and supporting a pair of architraves which rested at 
their wall end on pilasters or wall-columns. The face was 
in the form of an arch surmounted by a gable. The small 
vault was either groined or a short barrel-vault. The existing 
examples date between the eighth and the twelfth centuries. 

Propylon of S. Prassede. 
(Ninth century.) 

Propylon of S. Clemen te. 
(c. 1100.) 

The finest are at S. Prassede (ninth), S. Clemente (c. 1120) 
and S. Cosimato (c. 1200). In the latter case the propylon 
was double, projecting as far within from the enclosure 
as without, because the court at that time had no encircling 
porticos : just a plain wall. At S. Prassede it ushers into a 
long vaulted passage through the monastic buildings. It had 
even, as at S. Peter, been sometimes attached to the atrium 


When for the early atrium a simple portico on the street was 
substituted, as was especially the case in some of the diaconal 
churches set on the busy streets, the propylon was attached 
directly in front of the centre of the portico, as at S. Maria in 
Cosmedin. It was the prototype of that finest of all porticos 

Atrium and Facade of S. Clemen te (c. 1100). 

that of the cathedral of Civita Castellana, where a large 
central arch breaks the line of the architrave. 

Atrium. The use of the quadrangular atrium intervening 
between the church and the street, surrounded by a high wall 
and insuring quiet, was quite general before the eleventh 
century, not only in the suburban but in the city churches, 
except where pressure of space forbade it. Though not re- 
quired for liturgical purposes after the seventh century, when 



the old divisions of catechumens and penitents had fallen into 
disuse, tradition maintained them in most cases. 

We even see in S. Clemente a case of the reconstruction of 
the atrium on a higher level as late as the beginning of the 


twelfth century. Many old atria vanished in the Guiscard fire, 
and in the reconstruction that followed only the faqade porti- 
cos were rebuilt, as at S. Lorenzo in Lucina and S. Giorgio in 
Velabro. In fact S. Clemente has the only atrium that re- 
mains. In several other cases, it is true, the quadrangular 
area or court surrounded by walls remains, but the porticos 
have vanished ; this has happened at S. Quattro Coronati, S. 
Cosimato, S. Saba, S. Cecilia, S. Prassede, S. Martino ai Monti, 
S. Silvestro and others. Still there are old prints and drawings 
to show us the appearance of such immense arcaded or colon- 
naded atria as those of S. Peter, S. Paul, the Lateran (p. 47). 

These atria were used for meetings, recreation, fairs, feasts, 
ablutions and were decorated with sepulchral monuments, 
fountains, frescos and inscriptions. Spaces in them were 
hired out to venders of sacred images, relics and other religious 
emblems, and their walls often supplemented the contents of 
the interiors. 

Portico. There were two types of both atria and facade 
porticos, the arcaded and the architraved; the former prevailed 
in the earlier period, the latter after the eleventh century. 
S. Clemente at present has architraves on three sides and 
arches against the faqade. Except for the short side porch at 
S. Sabina, the restored closed porch at S. Maria in Cosmedin 
and the crude ruinous porch at S. Giovanni a Porta Latina all 
arched examples have disappeared, but the cuts of 1588 show 
that even then such porches had survived at S. Balbina, S. 
Eusebio and S. Vitale, which may all be dated tentatively, on 
historic grounds, before the ninth century. That of the Vati- 
can basilica was also arcaded. 

The type of architraved portico seems to have been estab- 
lished at the very outset of the revival, for it appears in the time 
of Paschal II (c. 1100) at S. Lorenzo in Lucina, where the crude 
form of the Ionic capitals with volutes cut into the surface 
instead of projecting from it betray the infantile stage of the 
school of stone-cutters and designers who were to produce, 
later in the century, the classic porches of S. Giorgio in Vela- 
bro, S. Crisogono, S. Maria in Trastevere, S. Cecilia, f S. John 
Lateran, f S. Croce, f S. Maria Maggiore, f S. Maria Nuova, 


f S. Sebastiano, SS. Giovanni e Paolo, etc. The series closes 
in Rome with the finest remaining example, that of Honorius 
III at S. Lorenzo by Vassallettus. 1 

The same artists built similar porches in some of the cities 
of the province ; in fact those of the cathedrals of Civita 
Castellana and Terracina the latter sadly mutilated sur- 
passed in rich beauty the existing examples in Rome itself. 
That of Civita Castellana is signed with the date 1210 by two 
Roman artists, father and son, the famous members of the 
" Cosmati " family, in the following mosaic inscription on the 
central arch : 


Giacomo and his son Cosma were son and grandson of 
Lorenzo who had designed and built the body of the church 
and its facade. In default of the Lateran porch, now destroyed, 
where its designer Niccolad' Angelo had introduced an elaborate 
mosaic frieze, the Civita Castellana porch and the faqade portals 
show the marks of the best workmanship of the Roman school, 
both in design and in details. The reproduction of the antique 
in capitals, bases and mouldings is so perfect as to produce the 
illusion of the originals ; and yet the elements that are entirely 
mediaeval, such as the mosaic ornamentation, are combined 
with the antique in charming harmony (see pp. 134, 166). 

Fa9ade. The facades were exceedingly simple in their up- 
per surface. There were but two types: the central gable, 
following usually the outline of the structure behind it, and 
the screen faqade, with square top, usually made to overhang, 
for purposes of protection, by a gradual projection of the 
courses of brick both forward and sideways. 

The surface was decorated with none of the architectural 
memberment so common in most other Italian schools ; none 
of the false or real galleries of arcades, none of the vari-colored 
marble facings. Architecturally speaking, the plain brickwork 
which was invariably used was sometimes varied by the addition, 

1 The porches here marked t have been destroyed and are known only 
from drawings and cuts. 



along the edge and across the base of the gable, of the usual 
line of cuneiform bricks placed diagonally and by a slight 
stone cornice. But in the more important churches the entire 
surface was concealed by a mosaic composition extending from 
summit to portico, several of which are described elsewhere. 
They were found at S. John Lateran, S. Peter, S. Paul, S. Maria 
Maggiore, S. Maria in Trastevere, S. Maria Nuova, S. Celso, 
etc. This converted the faqade above the porch into one blaze 

Portico of S. Saba, by Jacobo di Loreuzo. 

(c. 1200.) 

of color. Still, toward the close of the Middle Ages more win- 
dows were sometimes opened in the faqade. At S. Peter in 
the thirteenth century, beside the wheel-window in the gable, 
there were two rows of three tall mullioned windows, the lower 
row being flanked by two more. Only in such an exceptional 
case as S. Saba was a second story, concealing the, 
added to the porch, arid this was due to monastic influence. 

The lower part of the faqade was always covered by a pro- 
jecting portico, which is elsewhere described, consisting either 


of one side of the quadrangular atrium or of an independent 
arcade or colonnade. The wall space underneath was usually 
broken by as many doors as there were aisles to the .church, 
normally three, sometimes five. In the minor basilicas there 
was but a single door, and in exceptional cases, as at S. Peter's, 
there was a supplementary door for special occasions. 

These doors were flat-topped, their architraves and jambs 

Monastic Church of SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio. 
(c. 1140 and seventh century.) 

being carved in the early Middle Ages, and decorated with 
mosaics after the twelfth century, though the richest doors 
are those made up of antique carved fragments. Among re- 
maining doors the earliest examples are those of the tenth 
century at S. Elia (Nepi) and S. Stef ano, near the apse of S. Peter. 
Quite monumental is that of S. Silvestro in Capite ; and the early 
use of mosaic decoration appears during the twelfth century at S. 
Giovanni a Porta Latina and SS. Giovanni e Paolo. Compared 



with the Romanesque and Gothic doorways of other schools 
these Roman doors seem extremely simple and classic, except 
where there is quite an exceptionally rich combination of 
mosaics and classic decoration, as in the main portal of Civita 
Castellana cathedral. Only in a few cases in Rome itself, at S. 
Pudentiana and S. Marta, was the scheme of northern decora- 
tive sculpture adopted, between the eleventh and thirteenth 

Doorway at Church of S. Elia, 

near Nepi. 
(Ninth and tenth centuries.) 

Doorway at S. Marta. 
(Twelfth century.) 

centuries. Sometimes, as at S. Elia for the early mediaeval 
period and Civita Castellana for the middle period, the 
architrave was surmounted by an arch. 

Interior. The interior of a typical basilica consisted of a 
very wide central nave flanked usually by one aisle on each 
side and terminating in a semicircular apse. There were 
three ways in which this plan was varied. In the larger 
basilicas there were sometimes two aisles on each side instead 
of one, and there was interposed sometimes also a cross-nave 



between nave and apse, called transept. This was entered from 
the nave under a great spanning arcli called the triumphal 
arch. The third variation did not occur until late, when, 
in the eighth century, the apse was flanked by two apses oppo- 
site the aisles (S. Maria in Cosmedin). They seem to have 

been a develop- 
ment out of the 
sacristies that 
often stood here, 
but it never be- 
came as popular 
in Rome as else- 

So much for the 
plan. The eleva- 
tion was quite as 
simple. The wall 
separating nave 
from aisles was 
upheld by a row 
of monolithic col- 
umns connected 
either by an ar- 
cade or a colon- 
nade. This wall 
was absolutely 
flat and merely 

Main Doorway of Cathedral, Civita Castellana. 

pierced by a sin- 
gle line of round- 
headed windows forming a plain clerestory. No heavy cornices 
gave any horizontal play of light and shade. 

It was only very exceptionally, as at S. Marco and S. 
Lorenzo, that the high choir, which became so common in the 
north during the Carlovingian era, was adopted in Roman 
churches. Even when confessions and crypts of some size 
were built under transept and apse, the rise at the apse was 
only of a few steps above the level of the nave, so that the 
sweep of the entire pavement was hardly interrupted. Neither 


were there in the nave any vertical interruptions in the form 
of piers or engaged shafts or pilasters, such as would have 
occurred had the school adopted vaulting, which it only 
occasionally used in the side-aisles. The most interesting 
crypt in Home is the post-Carlovingian one at S. Alessio. 

Neither was there any relief to the flatness of effect above 
the main arcades or colonnades through the use of galleries, so 
common in nearly all other Italian Schools. The exceptional 
galleries of the sixth and seventh centuries at S. Lorenzo and 
S. Agnese were due, we found, to the low level to which it 
was necessary in these cases to sink the church in order to 
place it in the right relation to the cemeterial tomb of the 
titular martyr. In the later (c. 1100) gallery at the SS. Quattro 
Coronati there was an equally special reason, for the three 
aisles of the new church, being crowded into the central nave 
of the older structure, the galleries were required so that the 
old outer walls could be used, with their windows. 

In view, then, of this plain flatness of the Roman interior, a 
pictorial decoration was absolutely necessary. Under Frescos 
and Mosaics this is described. It was arranged so as to cover 
the entire surface. Immediately under the roof, and between 
the windows, were single figures of angels, prophets or saints. 
Then below was usually a double line of oblong scenes, like 
those still remaining in mosaic at S. Maria Maggiore, forming 
an uninterrupted series from faqade to transept and apse. In 
the larger basilicas there was sometimes added, beneath them 
and immediately over the columns, a series of medallion por- 
traits. This was the case at S. Peter, S. Paul and S. John 

The richness of the color scheme was increased by the lavish 
use of large hangings woven with religious scenes or heraldic 
animals, emblems and ornaments. They were hung between 
the columns on rods and were among the most sumptuous 
Papal gifts to the churches, supplemented by numerous lamps. 

This decoration in color was supplemented by a rich cycle 
of church furniture and accessories. Sometimes a line of 
superb columns marked the transept or confession. Always 
the upper part of the interior was partly filled by an elaborate 



group of structural furniture : an enclosing rail, about the 
width of the central nave and of considerably greater length ; 
within it the choir-seats, the ambones or pulpits and the 
paschal candlestick ; at its further end the altar, often at the 
top of a low line of steps, with its confession, its canopy or 
ciborium and its decorative accessories ; beyond, in the apse, 
the seats for the higher clergy. 

The columns were, as a rule, placed very close, far closer 
than was the case in other mediaeval schools that used the 

Interior of S. Maria Maggiore. 
(Fourth and fifth centuries, with Renaissance ceiling.) 

column. The shafts were monoliths, of course ; not constructed 
in courses, as had been the Greek custom and as was to be the 
mediaeval custom in other schools. The aisles were so much 
lower and narrower than the nave and so much less brilliantly 
lighted as to concentrate all the effects in the central section 
which was alone richly decorated. 


In the use of the orders we notice certain peculiarities. 
The Tuscan-Doric is found but once, in S. Pietro in Vincoli. 
The rich Corinthian and Composite ruled almost exclusively, 
with occasional use of the Ionic (e.g. S. Maria Maggiore), 
from the time of Constantino to the eleventh century ; but with 
the neo-antique revival of the twelfth century the palm went 
to the Ionic order. There are a number of forms that cannot 

Rear Basilica of S. Lorenzo. 
(Sixth century with Ciljorium of c. 1150.) 

be strictly reckoned into these orders, such as the Egyptian- 
izing capitals at S. Pudentiana and the pseudo-Ionic cubes at 
S. Stefano. 

This is hardly the place to discuss the question of how far at 
different times the ancient capitals and bases were used, how 
far they were imitated. In a majority of cases there is a mix- 
ture of antique and contemporary work, and the imitations 
vary from the crude work in the porches of S. Maria in 


Cosmedin and S. Lorenzo in Lucina, to the superb work at 
Civita Castellana and S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura. There was no 
period, from the fourth to the fourteenth centuries, when antique 
material ceased to be used, but it was done with greater or less 
artistic skill, in the same way as the imitations themselves 
varied. At S. Sabina, for example, the entire series seems 
taken from a single monument, giving unity to the effect ; but 

Interior of S. Clemente. 

(Showing choir-precinct, ainbones and ciborium of twelfth century, incorporating sixth- 
century fragments.) 

what was possible then, at the beginning of the spoliation of 
antique buildings, was later impossible, and capitals of all 
sizes, styles and workmanship were combined and eked out 
by contemporary works. 

The columns were surmounted more frequently by arcades 
than by a continuous architrave. Where the architrave 
appears, it is sometimes, as at S. Lorenzo (rear basilica) and S. 
Prassede, antique material used without much change. But 



the influence of the large architraved interior of S. Maria 
Maggiore (fourth century) seems to have been very strong 
with the artists of the revival and to have inspired such 
interiors as S. Maria in Trastevere (twelfth century) and the 
even earlier charming, though small, S. Maria ad Pineam 
(1090). The ceilings were flat and coffered, hiding the beams. 
Pavements- In no school of Christian art are the pavements 
of such importance as in the Eoman. Nowhere else in an 

From Architrave of S. Maria in Trastevere. 
(Showing use in twelfth century of antique fragments for corbels.) 

early Christian or mediaeval church does the eye instinctively 
seek the ground for a design and material that shall harmonize 
with and enrich the effect of the interior. The exceptions 
that come to mind instinctively at Venice (San Marco, 
Murano, Torcello), Florence (Baptistery), Siena (Cathedral), 
and in Southern Italy and Sicily (Salerno, Palermo, etc.), only 
serve to accentuate the richness of the Eoman school, which 
can furnish a list of over a hundred churches with character- 
istic mosaic pavements in geometric patterns. 

The type with which we are familiar appears fully formed 



as early as the eleventh century and was used henceforth 
without radical change until the sixteenth century. But how 
was the type created? Some years ago I expressed the 
opinion that it was adopted bodily by the Roman school from 
Byzantine art. Recent discoveries and studies have led nie 
to modify this view and to see in the Byzantine influence a 
less radical element acting upon a native substratum that was 
by no means obliterated. In fact there is in Roman designs 
room for a common origin, and pavements of the age of Con- 

Mosaic Pavement of Nave, S. Clemeiite. 

stantine probably served as a point of departure for both the 
eastern and western schools. Among the more gifted artists 
of Byzantium progress was made in two directions : in the man- 
agement of colors ; and in the adjustment and harmony of the 
design. The descriptions of the pavements in the imperial 
palaces and in S. Sophia, at Constantinople, make it quite clear 
that the exquisitely fine gradations of color and symmetry of 
composition in the Venetian pavements are qualities derived 
from the Byzantine school, even if not due to the direct work 
of Byzantine hands. If in these works we can trace the in- 
fluence of the Oriental color sense in the central school at Con- 


stantinople, we can see that not all Byzantine work was so 
rich in color, but that the more western branches (such as 
the school of Mt. Athos), which were the principal source of 
the Byzantine element in Sicilian art, used less color and more 
line, very much after the fashion of the Roman school. There 
is far greater similarity between the Roman pavements and 
those of Sicily and Mt. Athos, than between those of Rome 
and Venice. 

If, then, Byzantine artists were called to the Roman prov- 
ince in the eleventh century to make such pavements as 
those of Monte Cassino and Grottaferrata, and if the earli- 
est pavements of Roman churches in this style cannot be 
dated before the close of this century, it would seem natural 
to conclude that in their final form the Roman pavements 
were a Byzantine derivative. 

Still, the difference is not fundamental between this type 
and that of the chapel of San Zeno at Santa Prassede, which 
appears to be of the late Caiiovingiaii age (Paschal I). Even 
earlier work in the choirs of S. Giorgio in Velabro and S. Maria 
Antiqua appears to be a connecting link, with patterns more 
broken up and less elaborate, materials less carefully prepared 
and less varied. 

In their final form the pavements consist of a succession of 
large porphyry or serpentine slabs, either cimilar or quadran- 
gular, framed by small marble cubes of various colors set in a 
white marble ground and arranged in geometrical patterns. 
These big central disks had a symbolic meaning and were 
named in some of the Papal ceremonial documents describing 
such great affairs as the imperial coronations at S. Peter. 

These pavements appear to have been the source for the later 
development of similar geometric ornamentation in church 
furniture and on vertical surfaces, where it was possible to 
use frailer materials than solid marble and so produce more 
delicate and varied effects. 

The most exquisite of all is that of the Papal chapel of the 
Lateran, the Sancta /Sanctorum, which is as delicate as the 
best vertical ornamentation. 

The Renaissance period saw at first no change in this method 



of paving churches, as is proved by the work at S. John Lateran 
and the Sistine chapel in the Vatican. It was the last branch 
of art belonging to the mediaeval Roman school to be discarded. 

No description of a Koman basilica would be complete with- 
out that of its stable furniture or furnishings. Of the sepul- 
chral monuments I shall speak under Sculpture ; the rest are 
more completely a part of architectural decoration. 

Pulpit or Ambone and Choir-screen. Rome has preserved 
no examples of the ambones or pulpits of the early Christian 

Carved Pulpit of Cathedral of Ferentino (reconstruction), 
(c. 1110.) 

or early mediaeval periods, though a few fragments remain, such 
as that at S. Maria Antiqua (John VII). Only in Ravenna 
and Thessalonica can this early type be studied. In Rome 
and its neighborhood there is nothing intact earlier than the 
eleventh century. 

After the time of Paschal II they are numerous and increas- 
ingly decorative. Liturgy seems to have required two in every 
church, placed in the upper part of the main nave on opposite 
sides, and in connection with the choir-screen. Often the seats 
for the choir-singers were run along at the foot of the ambones, 
forming their basement and bringing them into the general 
design. The Popes and prelates of the Renaissance bore a 


particular grudge against this part of the mediaeval liturgical 
scheme and ruthlessly destroyed the entire choral structure 
including the ainbones, so that it can now be seen only in S. 
Clemente in its original state and in a modern restoration from 
the old material at S. Maria in Cosmedin, both of the twelfth 
century, with earlier fragments. 

The front of the choir-screen often had a second story or 

Amboue at S. Maria in Cosmedin. 

(c. 1120.) 

iconostasic screen, like the English wood screens, formed of 
colonnettes supporting an architrave which extended across 
the entire nave. It served to support the hangings that 
screened the altar during part of the service. It has been 
charmingly reconstructed at S. Maria in Cosmedin. An earlier 
example, in the style not of mosaic inlay but of Byzantine 
relief work, can still be seen at Leprignano (tenth century) near 
Rome, but none so early exist in the city itself. 



The main type of ambone or pulpit consisted of two stair- 
cases leading to a central raised platform. Where a different, 
boxlike, form appears, as at S. Maria in Aracoeli and S. 
Cesareo, the old pulpits have been reconstructed in the Kenais- 
sauce. Those of S. Clemente, S. Lorenzo and Alba Fucense 
represent three successive stages of increasing richness from 
c. 1120 to c. 1225. The second pulpit, standing directly op- 

Ambone in S. Pietro at Alba Fucense, by two Roman Artists 
(Pietro and Andrica.) 

posite the first, was often of the simpler type with a single 
staircase, of which an early form appears in the restored am- 
bone of Ferentino. At S. Lorenzo they are transposed. 

Paschal Candlestick. The earlier paschal candlesticks which 
stood beside an ambone were probably of metal, and shared 
the fate of the rest of this class of church furniture. Of ex- 
isting examples none antedate the marmorarii of the twelfth 

They were placed near the right-hand amboiie in the schola 



cantorum or choir, and there was only one in each church, used 
mainly for the Easter ceremonies ; hence its name. 

The normal type was a large twisted column, its spirals 
filled with mosaic patterns. Sole remnant of a foreign influ- 
ence on the school is the candlestick at S. Paolo, which two 
Roman sculptors, Nicole di Angelo and Pietro 
Vassaletto, carved in marble in the second half 
of the twelfth century, and which may be com- 
pared to some of those by the south Italian 
schools, at Gaeta, Palermo, Capua, etc. 

None of those remaining in Roman churches 
are among the most conspicuous of their class, 
probably because those of the larger basilicas 
have all perished. It is to the cities of the 
province that we must turn for the largest 
examples, standing from fifteen to twenty-five 
feet high. Such are those of the cathedrals of 
Ferentino, Terracina andAnagni. The earliest 
of all seems also to be in the province, at Cori. 

The Anagni candelabrum is crowned by a 
fascinating boy caryatid and is signed by one 
of the Vassaletti. That of Ferentino, most 
colossal of all, has a bewildering variety of 
mosaic patterns; its twelve ascending spirals, 
each of different design, all change their 
patterns at short intervals as they ascend. 

Several of those in the churches of Rome 
itself are remarkable for beauty if not for 
size. Such are those at S. Cecilia, probably 
by Arnolfo, at S. Lorenzo and S. Clemente, 
all of the thirteenth century. 

The base is often formed of a plinth resting 
on a couple of sphinxes, crouching side by side, or of a similar 
couple of lions ; at other times the base is simply architectural. 

The Southern school, especially in Campania, produced can- 
dlesticks of very similar type, except that they used the 
straight more frequently than the spiral shaft, and married 
the mosaic work usually to a certain amount of carving. 

Mosaic Paschal 
Candlestick of 
Cathedral, Ter- 

(Twelfth century.) 



There are superb examples in the cathedrals of Salerno, Sessa 
and Palermo. 

Altar Canopies or Ciboria. The Liber Pontificalis describes 
some of the early ciboria of gold or silver so specifically that 
it is possible to reproduce them, even though none survive. 
Those given by the Emperors from Constantine to Honorius 

to the great, basilicas were par- 
ticularly superb, and were re- 
ferred to in the historical survey. 
When metal work was aban- 
doned for marble in the seventh 
century, the more modest works 
of this age of poor art followed 
the style of surface geometrical 
decoration in low relief, and the 
ciborium was usually a low pyra- 
mid with four arcades supported 
on as many colonnettes. Early 
Roman examples can be recon- 
structed from such fragments 
as those of S. Alessio and the 
Lateran Museum ; a late one, 
that of S. Giovanni in Argen- 
tella (eleventh century) is by 
some Roman artist. 

Then, in the eleventh century, 
with the adoption of the more 
classic architrave in place of the 
arch, there came a change in the 
design of the ciborium, whose corner columns upheld four 
architraves. The simplest form appears at S. Gregorio in 
Rome ; the next stage at the Benedictine church of Nepi, both 
earlier than 1100 and with a gable roof. The type of the 
early twelfth century, with retreating stories and pyramid 
above the lower architrave, was crystallized in the ciboria made 
by the family school of Paulus and his sons, of which that in 
S. Lorenzo in Rome survives, and the later one of Ponzano. In 
these there was at first no decorative work on the surface of 

Ciborium of High Altar, Cathedral 
Ferentino, by Drudo. 



the white marble except an occasional cross or simple band; 
but the ornamentation was constantly on the increase, until in 
the thirteenth century it blossomed into such superb works 
as the ciboria at Anagni by the Cosmati and that of Ferentino 
by Drudo, their associate. 

The designers of the early thirteenth century also planned 
for the larger churches an altar canopy of heavier design, which 

Angle of Ciborium at Cathedral, Ferentino, by Drudo. 

served as a transition to the still more elaborate Gothic taber- 
nacles. The architrave is made far wider and more elaborate, 
including a central frieze, and it supports, not a row of slender 
shafts on which rests another architrave, but a series of round- 
headed arcades from which rise an octagonal roof and lantern 
similar to the earlier pattern. 

The final type was evolved by Arnolfo and continued by 



his pupil Adeodato, and in its substitution of the pointed trefoil 
arch strikes a note foreign to the genuine character of the 
Roman school, although it is of exquisite beauty. Its best 
remaining examples are described elsewhere (" Sculpture"). 

Altar. The form, accessories and material of the altar in 
the church were fundamentally modified by the cult of saints' 
relics, by the theory that no church could be duly consecrated 

Inside of Choir Precinct of S. Maria in Cosmedin, reconstructed, with 

Ambones and Inconostasis and the Ciborium of Adeodato. 

(Twelfth to thirteenth centuries.) 

unless it was provided with such relics. They were always 
connected with the altar and were placed either inside or im- 
mediately beneath it. This led to the change from an open 
to a solid altar, from a table to a box-like structure. It was 
necessary to have access to the relics by means of an opening 
in the side of the altar facing the church ; this was called the 
fenestrella confessionis, and became the decorative centre of 



this face which, often extended downward toward the confes- 
sion or merely broke the line of steps leading to the apse. In 
the later Roman school the altar, which had earlier been a plain 
structure hung with woven frontals or ante-pendia of gold 
or silver gilt, became decorated structurally with the mosaic 
patterns that were lavished everywhere. 

Apse. The apse remained extremely simple, both within 
and without, more consistently so than in any other school. 

Ciborium of High Altar at S. Elia, near Nepi. 
(Tenth or eleventh century.) 

The single termination was the rule until the eighth century, 
when the sacristies on either side were first changed into side 
apses. The earliest triple apse recorded is that of S. Maria 
in Cosmedin, probably due to Hadrian I (c. 790). But the in- 
novation never became popular. At Ravenna, the outside wall 
of the apse had become polygonal; in Rome it never varied 



from the simple curved outline. Neither was there any inva- 
sion from Lombardy or Tuscany of the use of real or false 
galleries and arcades. The one exception is SS. Giovanni 
e Paolo, where the twelfth-century apse has a Lombard gallery 
to which there originally corresponded one on the inside 

The only variation from this type was an early one, and all 
traces of it have now disappeared. This was the open apse : 
a form in which the lower part was opened up by a line of 

Altar and Confessio of Relics at S. Alessandro. 
(Fourth century.) 

arcades into a surrounding portico or adjoining structure, in 
which it was often the custom to place the matrons of the 
congregation, who thus were at the opposite end of the church 
from the rest of the congregation, beyond the clergy in the apse 
and transept This arrangement existed at S. John Lateran, 
S. Maria Maggiore, SS. Cosma e Damiano, S. Sebastiano and 
perhaps at S. Lorenzo to connect with the second basilica. 
There were never any radiating chapels from the apse; nor 



was there ever any prolongation of the apsidal wall beyond 
the semicircle. 

The only relief to the plain, unadorned brick surface was 
the frieze of bricks in the form of pointed ovoids and the row 
of consols or brackets of stone often carved, as at S. Martino 
(sixth century) and S. Bartolommeo (eleventh century). 

One sporadic attempt at least was made to relieve this 
monotony. It was at S. Maria Maggiore, where a series of 
mosaic pictures were placed on the outside of the apse when 
the mosaics of faqade and inner apse were executed, c. 1300. 
They were destroyed during the Renaissance. 

Altar and Confessio of S. Giorgio iu Velabro. 
(Seventh to twelfth centuries.) 

Principal Existing Basilicas. The churches have been in 
nearly every case mentioned in their chronological order in 
Part I. The finest early group is that of S. Maria Maggiore 
(fourth century), S. Sabina (fifth century), S. Pietro in Vincoli 
and S. Martino (V-VI centuries). The lesser counterpart to, 
this for the twelfth and thirteenth centuries is S. Clemente, S. 
Lorenzo, S. Maria in Trastevere and S. Crisogono. Nearly all 
those which preserve mediaeval features are enumerated at 
the end of this volume. 

Their interiors must not be judged by their modern condi- 
tion, even where they have been least changed, because the 


destruction of their rich furniture has afflicted them with 
unnatural nudity. 

At the same time it may be as well frankly to acknowledge 
what may be considered the shortcomings of the building as 
a work of art, especially as regards the exterior, which lacks 

SS. Giovanni e Paolo (apse) with Roman House and Street on Caelian. 

picturesqueness and impressive height. The use of brick with- 
out even the help of moulded terra-cotta bars out the rich effects 
of heavy mouldings in windows and doors. The church is 
low and plain in outline, without those central and grouped 
towers, without the lofty vaulting, that make such churches 


as the Rhenish cathedrals and those of Central and Northern 
France so striking. 

Architectural Puzzles. An interesting and intricate archi- 
tectural puzzle is S. Maria in Cosmedin. Originally a hall 
church in the ancient Statio Annonce, or grain market, trans- 
formed for that purpose, with many columns and considerable 
late Roman decoration untouched ; it was changed by Hadrian 

I (771-795) into a three-aisled church with three apses. As 
a concession to its Greek congregation a matroneum or women's 
gallery was built over the side-aisles, for with the Greeks it 
was not the custom to place the women below with the men. 
The columns then supported architraves. But when Calixtus 

II (1119-1124) remodelled the church, the Greek congregation 
with its special needs had vanished, so the gallery was closed 
up and the mechanical feat was performed of substituting 
arcades for the architraves of the nave. The irregularities of 
the arcade spacings and the piers are part of the penalty for 
the use of an old building. The choir precinct has recently 
been reconstructed as it was in the twelfth century, and is 
extremely rich and charming, as our illustration shows (p. 180). 

An even more interesting puzzle is the double basilica of 
S. Lorenzo. It is too intricate to unravel here. I shall merely 
mention the great probability that the supposedly early archi- 
traves of the nave are not of the fifth century, nor yet of the 
thirteenth century, but were substituted for mediaeval arcades, 
by a Barocco prelate. Its capitals are not antique, but are 
works of the thirteenth century, as is the cornice with its 
corbels, all by Vassallettus, who built the porch. The sub- 
ject of the mosaic on the triumphal arch, reproduced on p. 280, 
is one that is invariably confined to the apse, and its unique 
presence here proves that the two basilicas were thrown to- 
gether, not as has been universally believed, in the thirteenth 
century by Honorius III, but 650 years before under Pelagius II. 

At S. Prassede the great arcades spanning the nave and 
their piers, instead of being, as generally supposed, a part of 
the ninth-century church, were not added until the seventeenth 
or eighteenth century. 

Another class of peculiarities is that relating to irregulari- 



ties of plan and structure. Quite often the two side-aisles 
vary very considerably in width and the lines of columns are 
not parallel, giving a greater width at one end than the other. 
It is difficult to say whether this is ever done by design or 
always through carelessness. 

Architectural Anomalies. There are also in Borne a few 
architectural anomalies. Some of these are due, quite natu- 

Interior of SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio. 
(Seventh to twelfth centuries.) 

rally, to the use of ancient buildings. At S. Croce in Gerusa- 
lemme the very wide apse is due to the fact that it was origi- 
nally a hall, and that the two rows of columns were late additions. 
S. Balbina has always remained quite unique as a hall church. 
More interesting, because free and intentional, are the few 



cases of the use of square piers instead of columns as internal 
supports. They appear in three very early buildings, the 
basilicas of Paramachius at Porto (c. 398 A.D.), of S. Petronilla 
and of S. Sinforosa on the Via Tiburtina, of about the same 
period. But the only important use of the pier is at SS. Vin- 
cenzo ed Anastasio. It was built by Honorius I, c. 625; re- 
stored or rebuilt by Hadrian I and Leo III in 782-796 ; again 

Interior of S. Maria sopra Minerva. 

rebuilt by Innocent II in 1128 for S. Bernard and decorated 
and consecrated by Honorius III in 1221. I should attribute 
the use of the piers and the severe simplicity of the interior 
to the influence of S. Bernard's Burgundian Cistercian monks, 
who were placed in charge of the monastery. This would 
account for its un-Roman character. 

A final anomaly appears at the very close of the Middle 
Ages, when Gothic design was breaking into Rome. The 
charming chapel at the Lateran, the Saiicta Sanctorum, I have 

Campanile of S. Maria in Cosmedin. 

(Beginning of twelfth century.) 


already referred to, but the only church which shows a per- 
fectly consistent interior of pointed architecture, is S. Maria 
sopra Minerva. Here are the high pointed arches, the grouped 
piers, the ribbed pointed vaults, such as we see at this time 
throughout Italy. So we are not surprised to find that it was 
not built by Bom an artists, but by two Tuscan Dominican 
monks who came down from Florence to supervise its construc- 
tion for their monastic order, beginning it in 1280. The way 
in which it was built is a striking instance of the generosity of 
the great Roman families to whom I have alluded as patrons 
of art. The Savelli built the choir; the Gaetani, the great 
arch; Cardinal Torrecremata, the nave; the Orsini, the faqade; 
and others divided up the transept and aisles. 

The rival order of St. Francis introduced quite timidly some 
Gothic features in their main sanctuary of S. Maria in Aracoeli 
and other minor structures, but they were not fundamental. 

Until the close of the Middle Ages, Koine retained, there- 
fore, her basilical style for church architecture, almost totally 
unaffected by the changes that were being introduced every- 
where else, even in her own province. 


EACH Italian school of art affixed its particular seal to its 
church towers, and Rome stands in the front rank, by the side 
of the Lombard and the Tuscan schools, for the number and 
beauty of its towers. It is not derived from either. 

Roman towers have the usual Italian peculiarity of position. 
They are independent structures, not woven into the general 
design of the church, as in the architecture of Central and 
Northern Europe, but standing aloof or resting against the 
outer wall of the church. They follow no rule. Sometimes 
they are planted squarely in front of the facade, as at the 
cathedral of Anagni and SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Rome. 
They more ordinarily stand against the wall of the nave, flush 
with the facade ; either on the left, as at S. Giorgio in Vela- 
bro, or on the right, as at S. Cecilia, S. Maria in Cosmedin and 
S. Alessio. In one case, at the SS. Quattro Coronati, the tower 
even surmounted the centre of the portal leading into the 
atrium in front of the church, while in S. Maria ad Pineam it 
forms part of the right side of the facade. 

There was never more than a single tower. Such exceptions 
as the two towers flanking the transept of S. John Lateran 
seem the work of foreign architects and mere accidents. 

This Roman single tower has something compelling and 
attractive in its symmetry and simplicity. It has not the 
rugged heaviness of Lombard campanili. As a rule it is of 
brick and only occasionally and outside of Rome itself is 
stone substituted. It is not surmounted by battlements as in 
Tuscany, nor by spires as in some parts of Lombardy, but 
by a low peaked roof hardly apparent from below. When an 
occasional spire appears, as at S. Maria Maggiore and S. John 
Lateran, it is late and due to foreign influence. Slenderer in 
its proportions than those of these two schools, it has neither 



the sombre and heavy impressiveness of Lombardy nor the 
brilliant coloring of Tuscany. 

There are critics who date some of the existing campanili 
to a period before the revival of the eleventh century. There 
were certainly towers during the Carlovingian era and even 
earlier ; witness that built by Pope Stephen in the eighth 
century in the atrium of S. Peter's. But, in my opinion, no 
campanile is earlier than the middle of the eleventh century. 

One of the earliest of which there is an authentic record is 
not in Rome itself, but at the monastery of Subiaco, where all 
the art was that of the Roman school. Here both a contem- 
porary inscription and an early chronicle attribute to Abbot 
Humbert (1052) the building of the campanile at S. Scolastica, 
which while in stone is of the orthodox Roman type, and was 
doubtless by no means the earliest example of it. A number 
of the Roman campanili can be dated with certainty or prob- 
ability, and I will here give a partial list of them : 

S. Prassede c. 1080 

S. Maria ad Pineam c. 1090 

SS. Quattro Coronati, Paschal II . . c. 1113 

S. Maria in Cosmedin, Calixtus II . . . c. 1123 

S. Crisogono, Calixtus II . . . . c. 1125 

S. Giorgio in Velabro (?) .... early XII 

S. Maria in Trastevere, Innocent II . . c. 1139 

S. Croce in Gerusalemme, Lucius II . . c. 1144 

SS. Giovanni e Paolo, Hadrian IV . . . c. 1157 

S. Francesca Romana, (= S. Maria Nuova) . c. 1140-1160 

S. Pudentiana ....... mid. XII 

S. Eustachio c. 1190 

S. Lorenzo f. le m. Clement III . . c. 1190 

S. Silvestro in Capite, Celestine III . . c. 1195 
S. Maria Maggiore c. 1125 and 1376 

S. John Laterau ...... c. 1360 

The most symmetrical and slender of early Roman cam- 
panili are those of S. Pudentiana and S. Maria in Cosmedin, 
both perfect examples of brick construction. Close to 



them in point of beauty are those of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, 
S. Cecilia, S. Croce in Gerusalemme, S. Alessio and S. Fran- 
cesca Koraana. Particularly heavy in its proportions is 
S. Giorgio in Velabro. The crudest workmanship is shown 
in SS. Quattro Coronati. 

S. Giorgio in Velabro. 
(Twelfth century.) 

In the matter of openings there was not much difference 
between this school and those of other Italian provinces except 
in the greater proportion of voids to solids which helped the 
effect of lightness. The lower story or two had a one-light 
opening ; the next a two-light window usually divided by a 
square brick pier ; then followed stories of either one three- 
light window or two two-light windows, with marble shafts. 



The capitals of these shafts do not ordinarily belong to any 
order, but are of simple cubic form mere plinths. The divi- 
sion between the stories is made by a cornice of simple mould- 
ings above a row of the customary diagonal cuneiform bricks 
and with sometimes a row of dentils. In a few cases the 
trimmings and mouldings are of 
stone, as at S. Cosimato, where 
there is a moulded travertine 

An attempt at further decora- 
tive effects is often made by the 
insertion in the masonry, at in- 
tervals, above the windows, of 
disks of porphyry or serpentine 
such as were used in the pave- 
ments and church furniture, 
and occasionally, even, of the 
brilliantly glazed Moorish 
plates, which were more com- 
mon farther East and on the 
Adriatic. Such disks are used 
at SS. Giovanni e Paolo very 
effectively. It is a custom 
found in other schools, e.g. in 
Romagna (Pomposa). 

The area of diffusion of this 

style of campanili was less ~ 

r Campanili of Cathedral, lerracma. 

wide and general than that of 

the internal decorative work. It was a peculiarity common, 
as we have seen, to most of the architectural features of the 
school which were based on brick construction and which were 
consequently modified in those parts of the Roman province 
where brick was replaced by stone. In towns as near as 
Tivoli, Albano and Velletri, the resemblance is maintained 
well-nigh intact. The campanile of S. Maria del Trivio at 
Velletri is a superb example of a late date. But already at 
Anagni considerable independence is shown, and at the 
southernmost boundary, Terracina, while the porch and furni- 


ture of the cathedral are strictly Roman, the tower is of a 
special type, which I have not seen duplicated elsewhere, with 
a rich facing of false pointed arches. Plain early examples are 
at S. Elia, Nepi, and the cathedral of Civita Castellana. In 
the Sabina are the campanili of S. Giovanni in Argentella at 
Palombara, and S. Pietro at Montebono, of pure Roman type. 
Among these out-of-town works the campanile of S. Maria del 
Trivio is isolated, and was finished in 1353. It is 35 m. high, 
and is built in alternate courses of tufa, of selce and of bricks, 
giving it a polychromatic effect. The windows are round- 
headed below and pointed above. 

The even higher cathedral tower of Viterbo (40 in.) is also 
polychromatic, but by different means, by alternate light and 
dark courses of travertine and peperino stone. The Gothic de- 
tails of this part are of the thirteenth century, but the lower 
part of the tower, entirely of peperino, is earlier. 

Of the campanili in Rome itself, one typical of the average 
sort is that of S. Maria in Trastevere. It is 36 m. high, and 
built entirely of brick, even to the cornices. Only the coupled 
columns and their plinths and the cornice brackets are of white 

The tower of the cathedral of Gaeta (1158) is a signed 
masterpiece by the Roman Niccolo d' Angelo. 


THE school showed even greater originality in the develop- 
ment of a new type of cloister. This was natural because its 
strong point was not construction, but outline, proportion and 
decorative effectiveness ; and these qualities can be made to 
shine nowhere more brilliantly than in such a structure as the 

Beginning with examples that are not radically different 
from those in other parts of Italy, the type was fully evolved 
in Rome before the middle of the thirteenth century, and was 
recognized in other parts of Italy as a Roman invention. 
When such a cloister was erected in 1229 at Sassovivo, in 
Umbria, it was called an opus romanum. Travel as we will 
over Italy, we can find none like them, even though some 
points of similarity seem to appear in such cloisters as that 
of Monreale near Palermo. 

The characteristics of the cloisters of the developed type 
were : the retention of the round arch, when the pointed arch 
was invading architecture quite generally ; the use of an ex- 
ceeding variety of design in the coupled shafts that sustained 
the arcades and in their capitals; the assimilation of classic 
details in the sculptured ornament and the mouldings ; the ap- 
plication of stuccoed ornament and of mosaic inlay to friezes, 
cornices, architraves, arches and colonnettes. The result was 
brilliant in color and delicate in design. 

This exquisite type was a gradual growth. The earliest 
cloisters in Rome to which we can assign an approximate date 
stand really at the opposite pole of artistic expression, in a 
heavy simplicity characteristic of early Romanesque. No 
class of works of art in Rome is as little known as the cloisters 
earlier than the two spectacular examples of the Lateran and 
S. Paolo, though nowhere else in the world does such a group 




of cloisters exist. The universal ignorance has a good reason. 
Some belong to nuns and require the special permit of the tit- 
ular cardinal. This is so at S. Cecilia. I believe myself to 
have been the first archaeologist to know of its existence. 
The same was until recently the case at S. Cosimato, before 
its restoration. The difficulty connected with S. Sabina is 
that it is now part of a hospital for incurable diseases. 
Here follows a list : 

S. Prassede c. 1080 (?) 

SS. Quattro Coronati c. 1113 

SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio alle Tre Fontane . 1130-1140 

S. Francesca Romana (S. = Maria N.) . . c. 1140-1160 

S. Cecilia in Trastevere c. 1150-1160 

S. Lorenzo fuori le mura ..... 1188-1191 

S. Cosimato in Trastevere . . . . c. 1190-1200 

S. Paolo Early part by Pietrodi Capua . c. 1205-1210 

S. Sisto 1198-1222 

S. Sabina 1216-1218 

S. Giovanni in Laterano c. 1220-1228 

S. Paolo Later part by Magister Petrus . c. 1230 

S. Maria in Aracceli . . c. 1200-1260 

Cloisters by Roman Artists Elsewhere 

Subiaco Early part by Jacobus . . . c. 1200 
Sassovivo ........ c. 1228 

Subiaco Later part by Cosmas . . . c. 1229 

The earliest of all the extant cloisters is the one at S. Pras- 
sede, where an inscription once existed stating it to be built by 
Cardinal Benedict under Gregory VII (1073-1086). It is small 
and primitive. Of greater importance is that of the SS. 
Quattro Coronati, which we may consider to be part of the total 
reconstruction begun by Paschal II in 1112. It has all the 
earmarks of the style of Paulus, the probable head decorator 
for this Pope. It is built of marble arid is far in advance of 
its age. Notwithstanding Renaissance restorations that have 
affected the basement, added retaining piers and enlarged some 
openings, its condition is substantially original. The plan 



is quite oblong and the sides all curve toward the centre in 
plan, giving an appearance of increased length and grace. 
The heavy cornice is characteristic of Paschal II, and between 
the corbels are mosaics in the simple patterns of white and 
verde antique marble, without any admixture of artificial cubes. 
This is like all the work of Paulus. 

The only breaks in the stretch of arcades is' by means of a 
marble pier with pilaster strips in the centre of each short side; 

Cloister of S. Lorenzo. 
(Late twelfth century.) 

and by a doorway framed by two marble piers with pilasters 
in the centre of each long side. The tunnel vaults over the 
galleries are Renaissance additions. What is especially re- 
markable is that the columns are coupled, a peculiarity that 
does not recur again until c. 1200 at S. Cosimato. Of 
course this gives a greater lightness of effect. It shows 
Paulus as an originator. 

Not long after, Innocent II (1130-1143) rebuilt the monastery 
of SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio for S. Bernard's Cistercians, 
and the cloister seems of this period, except the north side, 


where the columns are slenderer and uniform with Ionic 
bases. On the east side, where the second story is of mixed 
brick and stone, the arcades are more primitive and irregular, 
with the bases all different, shafts heavier and not uniform, 
the capitals roughly cubic with heavy oblong plinths. On 
all sides the columns are single, not coupled. It is barely 
possible that this part is considerably older, perhaps Carlo- 
viugian. The constructive scheme is to divide each group 
of four arcades by a heavy square pier, from which springs 
a high blind arcade which takes the weight of the second- 
story wall off of the small arcades that it encloses. There 
were six of these groups on each of the three sides ; the 
fourth side of the quadrangle was formed by the church 
wall and was not arcaded. This alone shows a very primi- 
tive scheme. The west corridor is covered by a tunnel 
vault; the others by groin vaults corresponding to the piers. 
Nothing could be plainer and heavier than this cloister, 
stylistically, if not chronologically, the earliest in Rome. It 
is quite impressive from its size. 

Attached to S. Cecilia in Trastevere is an almost unknown 
cloister of moderate size, which has recently undergone a 
painful whitewashing and restoration, but is structurally in 
fair preservation, and apparently contemporary with the 
church porch, some time after the middle of the twelfth 
century. The columns of white marble are not coupled, and 
rest directly, without bases, on a common basement or stylo- 
bate. The brick arches are narrow and low, but less heavy, 
and the walls are less thick than at the Tre Fontane. There 
is no ornamentation. The capitals are plinth-like and uncut 
except along the edges. 

More interesting and somewhat more advanced is the large 
cloister attached to S. Lorenzo fuori le mura. One sign of prog- 
ress is the use of coupled in place of single shafts to flank 
the central arches or doorways in each bay of the four gal- 
leries. The walls are still of plain brickwork, the arches still 
merely varied by plain projecting archivolts, the capitals still 
plain plinths, and the baseless shafts still rest directly on the 
continuous basement. The shape is oblong, the longer sides 


having three groups of arcades divided by piers ; the shorter 
sides only two. Where not broken by doors or large arcades, 
each division has five supports with six arches. The long sides 
measure 20.45 in., the short sides 13.60 m., and the width of 
the corridor is 3.75. This is a fair average size. The columns 
are 1.65 m. high, and the intercolumniation is .71^ m. Part 
of the second story, with brickwork and windows in the same 
style as the lower story, is preserved. This is particularly 
valuable ; practically a unique case in Rome, where the question 
of the second story of the different cloisters is one of contro- 
versy. The restoration of this second story might partly 
counterbalance the horrible vandalism that almost ruined the 
basilica under Pius IX, in a so-called restoration, almost as 
barbarous as that which under Leo XIII completed the destruc- 
tion of S. John Lateran. 

In about 1200 the school seems to have felt the influence of 
the French architects from Burgundy who had come in as 
members of the Cistercian order, settling in the great monas- 
teries of the order near Rome at SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio, 
Fossanuova, Casamari, Valvisciolo and elsewhere. It was 
natural that in so important a feature of monastic architecture 
as the cloister, these French monks, with their knowledge of 
the beautiful examples in their own country and their compe- 
tence as specialists, should teach something to the Roman 
artists. The Cistercian cloisters in all these monasteries, as 
well as at Viterbo and elsewhere, show what their artistic type 
was between about 1175 and 1225, and how they themselves 
developed from Romanesque simplicity to Gothic splendor and 
variety. But, though Roman artists are seen to have worked 
with them, as when they decorated with mosaic work the 
portal of Fossanova, and though these Romans appear to have 
borrowed from the Cistercians some types of Gothic capitals, 
the chief debt they owe is a greater firmness of outline, an 
improved sense of proportion and a greater delicacy in the 
handling of sculptural details. They assimilated methods and 
principles, but did not copy. This is quite clear from a com- 
parison of Cistercian and Roman cloisters. 

A second influence was introduced from the Campanian 


school by Pietro di Capua, who was both abbot of the monas- 
tery of S. Paul and first architect of its cloister, who applied 
some mosaic ornamentation to its surfaces and began a veri- 
table revolution. 

The first results of the advance appear in the cloisters of S. 
Sabina and S. Cosimato in Koine and of the monastery at 
Subiaco. In these works of the two decades before and after 
1200, we find a return of the use of the coupled shafts under 

Cloister of S. Cosimato. 
(End of twelfth century.) 

a single plinth, which was to be henceforth the rule throughout 
Italy. They were far slenderer than the early shafts at SS. 
Quattro Coronati and of quite a different style. 

S. Cosimato had the largest cloisters in Rome, but the work- 
manship is careless and uneven. It marks the transition from 
the older style, and may still be earlier than 1200 except on 
the north side, which shows more careful work of the early 
thirteenth century. Its columns number not far from two 
hundred and fifty, as there are thirty-two coupled shafts on 


each side. On the N. and on part of the W. side the capitals 
are of delicate loftiform shape, the forerunners of those at S. 
Sabina. Inartistic restoration, both ancient and modern, has 
injured this cloister as much as it has that of S. Cecilia. 

The monastery of S. Sabina was given by Honorius to S. 
Dominic as the home of his order in Eome, soon after the Papal 
authorization. This was in 1216. This is about the date of 
the cloister. Its arcades are in groups of four, separated by 

Cloister at Monastery of S. Scolastica, Subiaco. 

piers, the arcades being supported by shafts grouped in an un- 
usual way, the central support in each bay being formed by two 
shafts flanked on each side by a single colonnette. The foli- 
ated capitals of a type similar to those at S. Cosimato, but 
better handled, are varied by a simpler, broader type. He also 
substituted marble for brick, which had still been used at S. 
Cosimato in the arcades and entire outsides of the galleries. 
The cloister at Subiaco epitomizes the changes during this 


short period that ushers in the golden age. It was the work of 
three generations of artists of the family of Cosmas. One side 
was the work of the second head of this family school, Jacobus, 
son of Laurentius, before the close of the twelfth century, and 
in careful workmanship was far superior to anything the school 
had yet done. He went farther than the architect of S. Lo- 
renzo in his use of coupled shafts, alternating them with single 
ones, and giving each one a base. He signed himself here : 


The three other sides of the cloister were completed, evi- 
dently many years later, c. 1225-1235, by his son and grand- 
sons, who sign themselves: 




In completing the work, these artists followed the paternal 
scheme, but in the substitution of twisted for plain colonnettes, 
in the slenderer proportions, the cleaner outlines, the skilful 
workmanship and the freer ornament we see the influence of 
the change going on in the school. 

The structure is oblong ; the long galleries measuring 
21.50 m., the short galleries 11 m. ; or, including the pas- 
sageways, 27.85 m. and 15.90 m. Notwithstanding the accu- 
racy of the masonry, there is an extraordinary irregularity 
in the measurements. The width of the corridors varies from 
2.60 m. to 4.50 m. ; the same corridor measuring 3.35 m. at one 
end and 4.50 at the other. The arcades on the oldest side 
vary in their opening from .49 to .61 m. The height of the 
columns varies but little, from 1.22 m. to 1.25 m. on all sides. 

Hardly had these cloisters just described been completed 
when the climax came by force of logic. Some artist of genius 
belonging to the school conceived the idea of applying to the 
details of cloistral architecture the decoration of inlaid marble 
and composition cubes already for a century the main decora- 
tion of church furniture, but which had been applied only in 



the scantiest way thus far to the broad architectural masses 
themselves. It had already been used, for example, on the 
frieze of church porticos, and in one or two cases a narrow 
band of the mosaic had been inserted in the frieze of a cloister. 
It seems really inexplicable how the Roman school could have 
left the cloisters so long bare and cold when they were so 
familiar with the decorative value of the colored cubes. Now, 
with a perfect burst of color mosaic-work was applied to every 
part of the cloister, combined with a careful and rich use of 

Detail of Lateran Cloister. 

relief work, both figured and ornamental, filling the arch span- 
drels and the under face of arches, and punctuating the richly 
carved cornices. 

Possibly the initiator of the scheme was the foreigner, Peter 
of Capua, who, according to its long mosaic inscription, began, 
both as architect and as abbot, the cloister of S. Paul, though 
he did not complete it. But the credit for producing the most 
exquisite type should be given to Vassallettus, the architect 
of the cloister of the Lateran, which he built between 1220 
and 1230. 

These two cloisters are so much alike as to be almost in- 


distinguishable, especially so in the case of the more advanced 
part of S. Paul. Both are large, the latter a trifle the larger. 
The inscription proving the authorship of the Lateran 
cloister by Vassallettus reads : 


He began the work as his father's associate and finished it 
alone, perhaps after his father's death, before 1230. His 
father's name, judging from his signature in 1186 at Segni, 
was Petrus Vassallectus. 

The plan is square, measuring 36 in. each way. Each gallery 
is formed of 25 arcades supported by coupled colonnettes 
arranged in groups of five, separated by projecting piers, with 
separate bases resting on a continuous basement, broken only 
by a single entrance in the centre of each side with an opening 
of 0.78 m. 

The galleries are covered with their original groin vaulting 
corresponding to each group of arcades and supported not 
merely by the piers but by a group of three columns at each 
corner and by single columns opposite the piers with corre- 
sponding pilaster piers against the wall. All have good Ionic 
capitals. The columns have the greatest variety of design 
and of capitals. Some shafts are plain, others twisted, others 
spiral. Many are inlaid with mosaic patterns, especially 
those in the centre of each group, while the plain shafts are 
set near the piers, each of which has two plain engaged 
shafts. The columns measure 1.66 m. and the span of the 
arches is .66 or .67 m. 

The common plinth is richly carved. It had been still 
plain at S. Cosimato ; there it was cut out of the same slab as 
the double capital beneath. The capitals also are far more 
deeply carved, and separated by a space ; and while they vary, 
the type is nearly always frankly Corinthian or a derivative. 

The exterior face of the gallery is crowned by a heavy 
carved cornice which is 1.80 m. above the capitals. The 
design of this cornice is exactly like the contemporary cor- 
nice of the portico of S. Lorenzo, which would therefore 


seem to be also by Vassallettus. But here the cornice is 
broken at intervals by the piers which gave the artist an 
opportunity for those fascinating masks and heads described 
under Sculpture, to which chapter I refer also for the sphinxes 
and lions at the entrances and the reliefs in the spandrels, 
which, we learn from the long mosaic inscription of the minor 
frieze, were intended to impress on the monks the tempta- 
tions and vanities of the flesh. Under the line of brackets 
is the main frieze, consisting of alternate square and cir- 
cular slabs of porphyry, serpentine, granite and other marbles, 
set in a framework of mosaic patterns and themselves varied 
by inset designs. Its splendor is dimmed by many vacant spaces 
and by the disgusting drippings of mortar of recent workmen. 

At S. Paul the scheme is exactly the same, but there is not 
the same unity of detail owing to the length of time con- 
sumed in the work and the change of artists. The three 
earlier sides are simpler; the later south side is even richer 
than the Lateran work. For instance, in the indrados or 
under surface of its arcades, the plain lines of torus mouldings 
are replaced by a double row of resetted coffers, and the inner 
as well as the outer spandrels are carved. 

The greater simplicity of the earlier part includes : the use 
of plain shafts throughout, as at S. Cosimato ; the absence of 
carving in the spandrels, which appears, as in the Lateran, 
on the fourth side ; the absence of carved corner heads, except 
lions, and the poor workmanship on the cornice, which, but for 
the lion heads, is plain. Neither are the bracket consols carved. 

The mosaic inscriptions on the narrow frieze states that the 
cloister was commenced by Abbot Peter II of Capua (1193- 
1208), who also personally planned it, and was completed by 
Abbot John V (1208-1241). This Peter of Capua is credited, 
in a contemporary chronicle, with some artistic work at 
Salerno, and might be a connecting link between the Eoman 
and Campanian schools. The inscription supposed to give 
the author of the fourth and latest side reads : 


but was cut on a small slab set into the vaulting of the gallery. 


The greatest piece of vandalism perpetrated recently on a 
mediaeval monument in Koine is the tearing down of the vaults 
covering the galleries of this cloister. The pilaster responds, 
projecting both from the piers and the walls opposite them, 
show that the original plan provided for vaulting; and that 
the destroyed vaulting was mediaeval, even if not exactly co- 
eval, has been proved by its demolition, which showed the use 
of hollow vases, as well as by this signature of Petrus. The 
present modern pitch roof with its wooden ceiling injures 
the dignity and diminishes the charm of the cloister. 

In the fourth side at S. Paul's the Roman school reached the 
climax of its cloistral architecture between 1230 and 1240. 
Whatever else it may have produced later, as the upper story 
which crowns the earlier cloister at S. Maria in Aracoeli, is in 
the nature of an anticlimax. 

Among the many reasons for the charm of these Roman 
cloisters is one that has only recently been discovered. It is 
that here, as in so many Greek temples, there were variations 
from the straight line, especially in horizontals, in such a way 
as to give sweeps of beauty in place of purely mechanical 
stretches, and an illusion of greater length. This is evident to 
any one standing at the corner of one of the inner faces of a 
cloister, as he lets his eye follow the sweep of the cornice 
above the arcade surrounding the cloistral court. The regu- 
larity of this curve and its constant repetition show that it 
was not accidental, but deliberately planned. I have already 
noticed it in the early work at SS. Quattro Coronati, and it 
reappears in every later cloister that I have tested. 

It is from one of the cloisters outside of Rome that we learn 
that this type was considered even by contemporaries as the 
" Roman Style." This is remarkable, because it is generally 
only posterity, with its historical perspective, that labels a style 
and provides it with a proper niche. 

It is in the inscriptions of the cloister of Sassovivo that this 
occurs. It states that the cloister was built romano opere et 
mcestria, "in Roman workmanship and style," in 1229, by the 
artist Petrus de Maria. The connection between this cloister 
and the contemporary group by other Roman artists is perfectly 


evident. It is also evident why the artist took pride in stating 
that it was done in the Roman style: it was because Sassovivo 
was in Umbria, beyond the regular sphere of activity of the 
Roman artists. In their own province it would have been 
quite superfluous to use such an expression. 

These are not by any means the only cloisters in the Roman 
province. But those of the Cistercian order at Fossanova, 
Casamari and Valvisciolo belong to this special monastic 
school, and not to Roman art. There was certainly some 
reciprocal influence. The other most important group is at 
Viterbo, where the Cistercian and the new Dominican and 
Franciscan orders met. 


IT was several centuries before any change took place in the 
civil and private architecture of Rome. The patrician families 
of the fourth and fifth centuries continued to live in their 
ancestral city palaces and suburban villas. Early in the fifth 
century the palace on the Coelian, belonging to S. Melania, the 
wealthiest woman of her time, included, besides the main resi- 
dential quarters, a number of porticoed courts, a circus and a 
hippodrome set in extensive grounds. A contemporary de- 
scribes the mosaics, rich marbles, frescos and statues with 
which both buildings and grounds were decorated. This is 
typical of the general condition, as we see it in the correspond- 
ence of Symmachus, Paulinus and other notables of the time. 
If there were any changes, it was by decay or destruction. 
Alaric (410), Genseric (455) and the Gothic wars were succes- 
sive agents in the process of elimination. Sixty palaces on the 
Aventine, which was the favorite aristocratic quarter, were 
sacked and burned by Genseric's Vandals. 

The fragments remaining from the decoration in marble 
slabs of the private basilica of Junius Bassus is about all the 
clew to what the decorative artists were then doing. But the 
house of John and Paul on the Coelian embodied in a church 
in c. 400, while shorn of nearly all its decorative features, 
shows the internal arrangements, structure and a good part 
of the pictorial decoration of a house in which wealthy Chris- 
tians of the fourth century lived. One of the few changes 
that we notice, besides the introduction of distinctively Chris- 
tian subjects in the frescos, is the private chapel or oratory, 
which became so fashionable as to interfere with the public 
church services, so that their use was finally prohibited. 

Very few of the palaces that survived the calamities of the 
Gothic wars remained in the hands of their original owners 
or were kept restored. Pope Gregory the Great, as an excep- 



tion, lived at first in his family mansion, that of the Anicii, 
but even he finally transformed it into a monastery. In the 
course of the seventh and eighth centuries we must imagine 
that the numerous monasteries which we know to have estab- 
lished themselves on the Coelian and Aventine hills where the 
abandoned and ruined palaces were mostly placed, settled there 
because they could use the broad spaces and the buildings. 

A few buildings were kept in condition. The Byzantine 
Emperors inherited the ownership of the public civil buildings 
of the city, and their representatives lived in the palace of the 
Caesars, a part of which was kept in repair. 

The new civil and domestic architecture that arose after 
the seventh century was exceedingly modest and restricted. 
The population being concentrated on the low ground near the 
river, it is there that we find traces of their houses ; in only 
one section, the Roman Forum, has anything come to light 
that belongs to this age. The rest of the city was too fre- 
quently built over. Such modest Byzantine residences were 
hidden, like the contemporary chapels, in the recesses and 
corners of the great monuments of antiquity, and were built 
of stones taken from their ruins. A number have been dis- 
covered, always to be destroyed by the excavators as of no 
interest until the very recent intelligent excavations under 
Boni. They are found in the Atrium Vestae, the palace of 
Tiberius, the Regia, the Basilica ^Emilia. Of these, the best 
preserved is the one occupying the east end of the basilica 
^Emilia. It is, however, hardly architecture ; mere building. 

Whatever art there was outside the churches, was illustrated 
in the annexes to these churches, in the hospitals, poorhouses, 
dining and reception halls, hotels for pilgrims, etc. These also 
have been swept away by the changes in fashion. Every large 
basilica was the centre of such a group of buildings. That 
of the Lateran, including the palace, was the most important. 

Only as the Carlovingian era advanced was there a change. 
Now there emerged from the ruck an aristocracy of wealth and 
position which soon established itself upon the firm founda- 
tion of feudal possessions throughout the Roman province. 
They built palaces in the city and castles in the country. 



Judging from literary sources, some of the palaces were based 
on the scheme of the antique courts, with halls between and 
around them. The life that these feudal nobles led was not 
wanting in a crude magnificence and pomp. 

The wild feuds of the tenth century and the absolute neces- 
sity of a fortified residence for self-protection definitely elimi- 
nated all remaining traces of the type of the antique house. 

When the great Alberic gave his house for a monastery, 
it was probably because he wished to replace it by one of 
the new fortified type. The counts of Tusculum had an exten- 
sive palace near the SS. Apostoli, where they held court of 
justice; in 1191 it passed to the Colonnas. The Emperor 

Detail of Palace of Crescentius. 
(Tenth and eleventh centuries.) 

Otho III built himself such a palace between S. Alessio and S. 
Maria Aventina, of which traces still remain. But the only 
considerable remnant of this age is the so-called House of 
Crescentius, a palace built by a noble named Nicholas for him- 
self and his son. It is an elaborate brick structure with trim- 
mings of terra-cotta and marble, friezes and cornices that are 
partly classic, partly debased imitations. Even now there is 


enough to show that it was far in advance of the residences of 
the Byzantine age, and may readily have been the scene of the 
merry and luxurious life which the Roman nobility and clergy 
are accused of living in the tenth century. 

The poverty of the eleventh century and the Guiscard fire 
proved a serious setback to civil architecture, and over a 
century elapsed before it recovered. 

In connection with the reconstruction of the city the leaders 
of the Church appear to have wanted to take a sort of general 
" account of stock." A number of documents show that this 
applied not only to mediaeval monuments, both religious and 
civil, but to the ruins of the ancient city. A guide-book to the 
city was drawn up which, under the name of Mirabilia, the 
Marvels of the City of Rome, had a general diffusion over 
Europe. It has been shown by Duchesne to have been writ- 
ten, c. 1130, by the monk Benedict, author of the public cere- 
monial book, the Ordo. To supplement this there was appar- 
ently perhaps not till later a bird's-eye-view plan drawn, 
showing the position of the principal buildings, ancient and 
recent. This general study was supplemented by monographs 
on the principal basilicas, of which the two most important, 
those of the Lateran and Vatican basilicas, have been preserved. 
Careful lists of the churches and monasteries were drawn up, 
with the amounts due to each from the Papal treasury, and the 
organization of the Roman priesthood in the general associa- 
tion of the Fraternitas Romana, with its four subdivisions, 
was recognized as an offset to the careful organization of 
the mass of citizens under their guilds and in their rioni or 

Once more the unions, or guilds, which had never ceased to 
exist in Rome, became of importance in the artistic develop- 
ment of the city. Elsewhere I shall speak of this in con- 
nection with the schools of artists, and merely call attention 
here to the grouping of the guilds in the city. Each occupied 
a street or group of streets, where they lived and kept shop : 
here they had their guild-church or churches, where they were 
buried, and which they decorated and kept in repair. 

Stray buildings like the old inn near the Tiber, the Albergo 


delV Orso, famous even in Dante's time, or the Hospital of 
S. John Lateran, are types of a once numerous class. 

The centre of the late mediaeval city was the Capitol. At 
its feet, from the Aracoeli steps to S. Venanzio, was the main 
market ; that of the clothiers was in Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 
between the arches of the Circus Flaminius; that of the 
fishmongers between the columns of the portico of Octavia, 
by S. Angelo in Pescheria. The thickly peopled section, along 
both banks of the river, extended from the Ponte Rotto to the 
Ponte Sisto. How much of this is left since the Italians began 
to gut the old city after 1870? The Ghetto, which, before 
being given over to the Jews by the Popes of the Renaissance, 
had been one of the main quarters of the city, has been entirely 
demolished. The works for the rectification of the banks of 
the Tiber, in which so many millions were sunk with little 
visible result, swept away nearly all the old city on both banks. 
A few pitiful fragments remain, between Ponte Eotto and 
Ponte Quattro Capi, keeping company with the house of Cres- 
centius, and especially in the short tract in the Campo Marzo, 
at the Trinita de Pellegrini, at the foot of the Aracceli and be- 
tween Via di San Bartolommeo de' Vaccinari and S. Paolino 
alia Regola. This also is threatened by the extension of the 
piano regolatore. A portico of arches supported by heavy 
granite shafts, crowned by Ionic capitals, remains at No. 29 of 
Via San Bartolommeo, and it was originally connected with a 
cross-street by a covered passage similar to the so-called arco 
de Ginnasi and arco de CencL Farther along a larger house 
forms a small square on the corner of the Via de Strengari. It 
is built of brick with tufo trim, and is entirely surrounded by 
a colonnaded portico. Its fenestration is fairly elaborate, with 
double lights separated by twisted colonnettes. 

It is difficult to realize that the streets of the mediaeval city 
were usually flanked with a double row of porticos. It was 
an antique tradition which we see followed in various mediaeval 
and modern cities of Italy, such as Bologna, Padua and Turin 
an arrangement both artistic and salutary, a protection from 
rain and sun. We have seen how the Rome of early Christian 
days had been provided with its long lines of porticos, under 



which the pilgrims, for instance, could walk without a break 
the miles between the basilicas of S. Peter and S. Paul. 
We must imagine that many of the arcades and porticos 
were destroyed at the time of the fire of Robert Guiscard, es- 
pecially where the level of the city was raised, and that those 

Gothic Window of House in Piazza Capranica. 

that were rebuilt were of less monumental character. Doubtless 
they were extremely irregular, and were composed largely of 
ancient materials, unmatched shafts and capitals, bits of archi- 
traves and cornices. In less artistic fashion they reminded of 
the church porticos, and were seldom arched, almost always 
with the pseudo-classic architrave. 



With the return of the Papacy and the Renaissance, all 
these porticos were destroyed or closed up as occupying valu- 
able room. Not a single one remains open. 

To the same style of the thirteenth century belongs a house 
in the Piazza S. Cecilia. To the more advanced Middle Ages 

Court of Vitelleschi Palace at Corneto. 

and the Gothic invasion belong such typical palaces as that 
which has been turned into a theatre in the Piazza Capranica, 
with rather charming windows and on a large scale probably 
a rich cardinal's house, quite similar to the better-preserved 
Anguillara palace which will be described under Military Ar- 
chitecture. But the fourteenth century was more concerned 
with tearing down than building up civil structures, which 



were then almost inextricably interwoven with that feudal 
military architecture, which the popular uprisings of this age 
sought to destroy. 

It is not easy to dissociate the civil buildings in Borne itself 
with those in the province, where so many of the Roman nobility 
and clergy had palaces and castles, but the limits of this volume 
forbid more than an allusion to this rich field. Perhaps the 
two main distinctions are of material and style ; for stone was 
substituted for brick nearly always in the provincial cities, and 
the classic influence was largely wanting, so that the porticoed 

Late Gothic Windows in Vitelleschi Palace at Corneto. 

streets either did not exist, or were in the Romanesque and 
Gothic styles. The towns both north and south of Rome are 
particularly rich in material of this period. Alatri, Ferentino, 
Anagni and Veroli, to the south; Civita-Castellana, Corneto, 
Viterbo, Orvieto, to the north, are still largely mediaeval in 
their street architecture, and among the most picturesque cities 
of Italy. The palace of Cardinal Vitelleschi at Corneto, with 
its grandiose court and rich gothic fenestration, probably 
had counterparts in Rome. 


IN a history of the military architecture of the Middle Ages, 
or even in a general history of the subject, neither of which 
has yet been written, the monuments of Rome and her prov- 
ince would take an unexpectedly important place, not so much 
for their fine preservation or intrinsic interest, as because 
they form in their early examples the connecting link with 

Specialists are aware of the fact that Roman military science 
in the sphere of fortifications was quite rudimentary in com- 
parison with that of the Oriental nations. The Oriental tradi- 
tion of curved lines, and of concentric parallel defences on 
different levels, handed down from Hittites and Syrians to 
Assyrians and Persians and transmitted by the Byzantines 
to the Mohammedans, seems to have been a closed book to 
purely Roman strategists, and was brought to the West only 
by the crusading leaders, who had learned of the excellence of 
these Eastern methods in the hard field of bitter experience. 

But before this transformation was thoroughly completed 
in Europe, at the opening of the thirteenth century, a unique 
place was held by the mediaeval fortresses of the Roman prov- 
ince. Elsewhere, in France, England and Germany, there is 
a slow and painful evolution from the earthworks of the Mero- 
vingian age, through the square keep within a circuit at first of 
earth and palisades and finally of stone, of which the best 
type is the Norman a type which does not entirely replace 
the outer earthworks by stone until the beginning of the 
twelfth century. 

In the Roman province, on the contrary, there is no such 
long lacuna and violent difference during the early Middle 
Ages. In this as in so many other branches antiquity and the 
Middle Ages clasp hands. But, curiously enough, nothing, 




absolutely nothing, has been done to illustrate the numerous 
examples of mediaeval Eoman military architecture and en- 
gineering. Here they can be but lightly touched upon, as they 
do not belong, by strict construction, to the field of pure art. 

Two conditions gave birth to the great development of mili- 
tary structures in this region, and these conditions arose almost 
simultaneously, in the ninth century : the establishment of the 

Castle of Celano. 
(Thirteenth century.) 

feudal system ; and the great Saracenic raid. Both of these 
conditions were largely local. In the history of feudalism it is 
not generally understood that the feudal nobility of Rome was 
the earliest to acquire importance in mediaeval society. A 
curious blow at the theory of its strictly Germanic and northern 
character ! The chaotic social and political condition result- 
ing from the enfeeblement and extinction of the Carlovingian 


dynasty and the decay at the same time of the spiritual power 
of the Papacy, made it necessary for every strong man to fend 
for himself and opened the way to private ambition in a manner 
previously impossible when there was a strong central power. 
The great secular officers, such as the chiefs of the Roman 
ai'my, the head officials of the Papal court, carved out for them- 
selves important fiefs. Large estates and their towns, the 
property of the Church, were for a financial consideration 
turned over for life by the Popes to some prominent family, and 
what was intended as merely a life tenure became a hereditary 
possession. Such families as that of Alberic and Crescentius 
had at an early time both their palaces in the city and their 
fortresses in the country. The Frangipani, Orsini, Colonna, 
Anguillara and others soon followed, for the terrible condition 
of the Papacy in the tenth century, at the mercy of ambitious 
and dissolute women and nobles, gave free scope to the parti- 
tion of the province among the ambitious magnates. 

But an even more precise and far-reaching cause for the 
spread of military engineering was the Saracen invasion. It 
turned the Popes into generals and admirals, led again to the 
creation of a Roman fleet and to Roman naval victories. The 
permanent establishment of the Saracens in many military 
centres throughout the Roman and Neapolitan provinces, with 
their centre in a city on the river Garigliano, laid the whole 
country at their mercy for thirty years. Even now the eyrie- 
town of Saracinesca is peopled by their descendants. All 
country life ceased ; all monasteries, even when fortified, were 
destroyed; no open town was safe. Far more than even the 
previous invasions of Vandals, Goths or Lombards, this raid, 
so little noticed in history amid the other more spectacular 
events of the Arab conquests, radically changed the aspect of 
the land in this part of Italy. 

Cities were provided with strong battlemented walls and 
towers and defended by trained militia. The monasteries 
were turned into fortresses and the abbots into feudal mili- 
tary lords with a swarm of vassal soldiery. Every peak was 
fortified. At every point of vantage, at every proper interval 
between towns, were built watch-towers to guard the roads, 


and to give warning of raids. The chronicle of the great Bene- 
dictine monastery of Subiaco, which held sway over so many 
towns and built so many fortresses, is typical of the whole 

This defensive military engineering as a feudal institution 
seems to have been developed in the province for some time 
before it was introduced into Rome itself ; and when this 

Castle and Fortifications of Nepi. 

happened it was largely because of rivalry between the great 
feudal families. But there was one field that of general 
public defence in which we must picture Home and the 
Papacy as at once taking the lead and showing the way. 
There was, for about a century, a tremendous activity and 
lavish expenditure in this field : the creation and fortification 
of the Leonine city around S. Peter ; of the suburb of Johan- 
nipolis, around S. Paul ; of the later fort of S. Lorenzo ; of the 
fortified ports of Ostia, Portus and Civitavecchia, as well 



as the extensive repairing of the walls and gates of Rome 
itself. One stands arnazed at the millions that must have 
come out of the Papal and imperial treasuries for this work 
of defence. 

One of the most conspicuous of the feudal castles of this 
primitive period seems to be that crowning a rise overlooking 

Palace of the Anguillara, in Trastevere. 

the Campagna on the edge of the Alban hills near Grottafer- 
rata. It is called Borghetto or Castel Savelli, but was called 
in the tenth century Civitella and may have been the primitive 
seats of the counts of Tusculum. 


It is an oblong rectangle about 134 by 55 metres, with six 
squarish towers on each long side. Inside the walls, besides 
the main keep, a church and several other buildings, there 
were two inner bastions on either side of the main gate, facing 
Home. The plan remained that of the ninth-tenth century, 
and the lower part of the walls is of the large blocks of Alban 
stone or tufa then commonly used. But the fortress was 
changed at two periods. In the thirteenth century, when it 
passed to the Savelli, they built the parts in small blocks of 
peperino, as well in the castle proper as in the bastion in front 
of it. Then in the fifteenth century it was changed, but not 
fundamentally, by Cardinal della Rovere. It is now totally 
abandoned, and worthy of careful study. 

In the city itself the fortresses of the Frangipani and 
Pierleone and other great nobles were so strong in the twelfth 
century as to defy assault even when the city itself was cap- 
tured. So in the Trastevere were the towers of the Tebaldi 
and near S. Martino those of the Capocci. The most promi- 
nent present ruins of such city fortresses belong to the follow- 
ing century and are the great towers of the Conti and the 
Milizie which still stand in only part of their original enor- 
mous bulk as part of great enclosures ; that of the Conti 
included all the Forum of Nerva. Both could hold large 
garrisons and outdid the older fortresses of the Frangipani and 
Pierleone. Latest and best preserved is the fortress-palace of 
the Anguillara family in the Trastevere, where the Middle 
Ages join hands with the early Renaissance. It has for- 
tunately been preserved from the fate of most civil structures 
in Kome by a careful restoration and use as a civic museum. 
Its halls are built around two sides of a court, while the third 
is occupied by vestibules and the keep, and the fourth side is 
protected by a high battlemented wall. This was a common 


THE decadence in technical ability that afflicted Italian art 
during the fourth century was offset by no redeeming traits 

in the sphere of Sculp- 
ture. In the new Chris- 
tian dispensation it was 
the only art for which 
no mission was found ; 
so that for it there was 
no rebirth on the plane 
of the new idealism such 
as transformed painting 
and architecture. More 
and more sculpture fell 
into the hands of mere 
practitioners and sur- 
vived as an unoriginal 
product until the extinc- 
tion of the art guilds 
in the fifth and sixth 

In one way it has a pe- 
culiar interest, because, 
unlike sectarian paint- 
ing, it was a common 
meeting ground. Pagan, 
non-sectarian (civil), and 

distinctly Christian 
Statue of Hippolytus, Bishop of Porto. formg all existed side by 

side. Triumphal arches, imperial statues and busts, consular, 
and other secular figures, continued the traditions of pagan 
public monuments with practically no change except from the 




natural evolution of style. Even in the Christian field it was 
only in the reliefs that sculpture showed a dogmatic tendency. 
It was inherent in the nature of statuary that it should 
be the least affected by a change of faith, as its very sim- 
plicity makes it a form, of art but ill adapted to the expres- 
sion of religious dogma. The most precious and early example 

Bronze Statue of S. Peter. 

Statue of Constantiiie, Lateran. 

of Christian statuary, the more than life-size seated figure of 
Bishop Hippolytus of Porto, author of the reform in the ec- 
clesiastical calendar for Easter, is almost an absolute counter- 
part of contemporary seated statues of philosophers and poets. 
While partly restored, it is true, it is a work of the age of 
Septimius Severus that challenges comparison with the classic 
works of the period ; nothing about it suggests a religious 
creed of any sort. It was found at Porto itself and is now in 
the Lateran Museum. 


Even more fata cms is the life-size seated bronze figure of 
S. Peter, still existing in his basilica and an object of great 
veneration. Tradition has attributed it to the middle of the 
fifth century and the time of Pope Leo the Great. Some 
recent critics have denied that so good a work could have been 
produced at that time and have assigned it to one of the mas- 
ters of the early revival of sculpture in the thirteenth century 
(Arnolfo). I am still inclined to feel that it belongs to the 
flourishing age of Theodoric and Symmachus. There is every 
reason to believe that ability to produce good works of bronze 
casting lasted much longer than that of carving in marble. 
It is possible that while the corporation of marble cutters 
was dispersed in 410, that of the metal workers remained to a 
large extent in Rome, probably because it was far more gener- 
ally patronized by the Church, while the marble cutter's de- 
pended more on the favor of the defunct imperial court. The 
numerous and varied forms in which gold, silver and bronze 
were used for the decoration of the basilicas from Constantino 
to Theodoric is proved by the extracts from the papal inven- 
tories given in the Liber Pontificalis. Among these there are 
many figures in relief and in the round, including statues of 
Christ arid of the Apostles. Such an art was more traditional 
and conservative than that of marble carving, depended less on 
the actual handling of the practitioner, which had so sadly 
deteriorated, and more on a skilful use and adaptation of an- 
cient moulds, which had been handed down from previous 
generations of good artists. 

We may consider, therefore, this sacred statue of S. Peter as 
the solitary survivor of a large class of works whose mate- 
rial always made them a prey to the spoiler. Here also there 
is but little to distinguish the work of Christian art : only the 
symbolism of the keys, analogous to the emblems held by so 
many pagan divinities, and the gesture of blessing that suits 
the air of alertness and authority. 

Constantinian Works. It is comparatively easy, even with 
the few remaining examples found in Rome, to illustrate the 
decadence in marble statuary under Constantine and his suc- 
cessors. Perhaps the two most famous statues of Constantine 


were those in the square of the Forum, the Basilica and Ther- 
mae, none of which have been preserved. But there is one, 
also colossal, which now stands in the atrium of the Lateran 
basilica and another in the Capitoline museum. 

It seems quite impossible to attribute to the same age the 
very high reliefs on the porphyry sarcophagus of the Empress 
Helena, mother of Constantine, found in her mausoleum. The 
high finish and good action of the figures indicate unusual 
artistic ability and a far earlier date. One of his most 
striking busts, with summary treatment in broad planes and a 
return to archaic frontal pose, is in the Conservatori museum, 
probably from the colossal statue in the apse of the New Basilica, 
Less numerous and even more inartistic are the statues and 
busts of his sons and successors, of whom Julian the Apostate 
is the latest to be represented in busts whose authenticity is 
more than doubtful. There is still some ability at reproducing 
individual traits, but the technique is so faulty as to make de- 
tailed examination disappointing. The colossal statue on the 
balustrade of the Capitol Square is thought to represent Con- 
stantine II and to be from the Thermae of Constantine. These 
works probably all antedate the time of the removal of the 
imperial school of sculpture from Rome to Constantinople, 
shortly before 330. They are superior to contemporary re- 

The far greater strength and character shown in the colossal 
bronze statue of Baiietta, thought to represent Theodosius, is 
another proof of the superiority of metal over marble sculpture 
in the last days of antique art. This statue with the Emperor 
holding the historic Christian standard, the labarum, is prob- 
ably typical of such colossal imperial statues in the fourth and 
early fifth centuries. 

This secular imperial art was exemplified in a number of 
later spectacular monuments. The memorial arch of Valen- 
tinian and Theodosius at the entrance to their bridge was sur- 
mounted by bronze statuary which was precipitated into the 
river when the arch fell in the Middle Ages, and the fragments 
that have been recovered are now in the Museo delle Terme. 
A solitary base with sacrifice and soldiers belonging to a trium- 



phal monument of Diocletiam in the Forum, is similar, except 
for greater barbarism, to the corresponding bases of the arch 
of Constantine a few years later. 

Of works in relief the best known are those on the arch of 
Constantine. In theme they reproduce the same subjects com- 
monly given on the arches for over two centuries : the imperial 
gifts to the people (congiarium) ; the imperial victories; the em- 
blems of the four seasons ; the groups of captives ; the river 
gods ; the victories. Even the scenes taken from earlier monu- 
ments and set into the new arch are sometimes crudely con- 

Sculptures on Arch of Constantine, by Constantine's Sculptors, with Victory 
of Mulvian Bridge over Maxentius. 

nected with Constantine by substituting his head for that of 
the various original emperors ! 

One of the narrow reliefs of the time of Constantine him- 
self is of special interest, as it gives us the architecture of the 
Forum at that time in its background. 

The recently discovered small statues of consuls, which 
stood on pedestals in the Eoman Forum, have at least furnished 
the material for an interesting study on the development of 
the ecclesiastical costume from the civil official costumes of 
the day. They are on about the same low level as the reliefs 
on the arch of Constantine. 

Still, life-size or colossal marble statues were carved and 


set up until the close of the fifth century. None are more 
interesting for the annals of the last days of paganism than 
those placed in 364 and 380 in the atrium of the House of 
the Vestals and representing the head vestal, recently de- 
ceased. This shows that until the very end the institution 
continued to function. 

Before complete extinction some stray works seem to have 
been produced between the times of Leo the Great and Justin- 
ian; for instance, the head of the statue of an empress or lady 
of the imperial family, found in Rome a few years ago. The 
precision of the rich coiffure, the ivory-like finish of the tech- 
nique, place it rather among the early products of Byzantine 
art than among those of the last Roman sculptors. There is 
also a male head in the Capitoline, of an unknown personage 
of the fifth century, with characteristics that faintly remind of 
archaic Greek or Etruscan treatment, perhaps a development 
of the characteristics noticed in the bust of Constantine. 

Sarcophagi. The main bulk, however, of the surviving 
sculpture of the fourth, fifth and sixth centuries is in the form 
of sarcophagi. Until recently it had been taken for granted 
that hardly a half-dozen of these sarcophagi antedated the 
reign of Constantine. The numerous instances of the use 
of pagan sarcophagi for Christian burial and of early 
Christian sarcophagi during the dark ages, as at S. Maria 
Antiqua, make it highly probable that a large number of the 
finest of the sarcophagi should be assigned to the third century 
instead of to a later date. Otherwise we should be forced to 
recognize the absurd anomaly that the sarcophagi produced by 
mere artisans were far superior artistically to the contempo- 
rary works executed by the best artists for imperial monuments, 
such as the Arch of Constantine! 

This use of earlier sarcophagi was made doubly possible by 
the conditions which we found to exist after the beginning 
of the third century in the guilds, by which hereditary occupa- 
tion and family workshops were made obligatory. The tradi- 
tional teaching not only transmitted methods and mannerisms 
from father to son, but helped to establish a permanent stock 
in trade a collection of "old masters." 



The great majority of the sarcophagus reliefs consist of scenes 
from the Old Testament and from the life and miracles of 
Christ, with a predominance of the latter. In the Old Testa- 
ment themes the symbolism is the prominent characteristic. 
The correspondences between the two series are not informed 
by the same historic sense that governs the later series in the 
basilicas. It is only toward the close of the period of the 
sarcophagi, after the middle of the fourth century, that we see 
the infusion of some themes inspired by the official art of tri- 
umphant Christianity, not by the symbolic and simple spirit 
of the era of persecution. 

It is when the sarcophagus carver begins to represent Christ 
as the king and lawgiver, as triumphing in a supersensual 

Sarcophagus in Lateran Museum. 

(Fourth century.) 

sphere, that he enters the field we are concerned with. But 
the perfection of this late development must not be sought in 
Koine itself ; it is to be found in Eavenna and in the south of 
France, especially at Aries, a favorite metropolis of Coristan- 
tine. Here sculpture flourished long after the guilds had fled 
from Rome in the days of Alaric (410) and Genseric (455). 

There are two sarcophagi in the crypt of S. Peter which 
illustrate this tendency of the school just before and after 400. 
One was utilized as the tomb of Pope Pius II and has the 
bearded Christ on the rock with the four rivers in the scene of 
the Mission of the Apostles. The same scene is repeated in 
another sarcophagus of a slightly later date, used in 979 as the 



Carved Wooden Doors, S. Sabina. 



tomb of Gregory V. In both cases there are scenes from the 
life of Christ to supplement the central subject of Clirist 
flanked by Peter and Paul. 

Doors at S. Sabina. In a place by itself stands the double 
door of carved cedarwood at S. Sabina, now generally ascribed to 

the time of Sixtus 
III (432-440), when 
the church was 
founded. A number 
of its panels have 
disappeared, but the 
majority remain in 
good preservation, 
though not in their 
original order. The 
panels are of two 
very different sizes 
as well as by at least 
two hands. The 
more perfect artist 
is characterized by 
slender figures full 
of action and life, 
and he also shows 
greater poetry and 
idealism in the 
choice and treat- 
ment of his themes. 
Characteristic of his 
style is the Adora- 
tion of Christ and 
the Ascent of Elijah. 
To the other artist 
should be credited 
scenes such as the 
Ascension and the greater part of the life and miracles of 
Christ, with heavier figures and a historic and material con- 
ception of the themes. 

Panel of Doors, S. Sabina. 
"Adoration of Christ." 


Originally the doors presented a parallel of Old and New 
Testament scenes far more elaborate than any on the sar- 
cophagi and comparable to those that were being created at 
about this time in the frescos and mosaics of the basilicas. 
The Crucifixion scene is famous as the earliest known. It is 
symbolic ; the three figures simply stand with arms out- 
stretched, but unfastened, for there are no crosses behind them. 
One peculiarity is the grouping of two, three, or even four 
scenes above each other on the same panel, or the treatment of 
a single scene in superposed stories in the panel. There is 
the greatest similarity in this work to certain ivory carvings 
of the same century and to one sarcophagus in the Lateran. 
Certainly this art is not purely Roman. 

Metal Sculpture. If it is possible to point almost with cer- 
tainty to a time when marble figure-carving ceased in Rome, 
we have found it impossible to be as positive about the sister 
branch of metal sculpture. The records used in the Liber 
Pontificalis describe a multitude of statues and reliefs of 
bronze, silver and gold executed for the churches during the 
more than five centuries between Constantine and the succes- 
sors of Charlemagne, but we cannot judge of their artistic 
quality because none of them have survived; the metal was 
too tempting a spoils and was all turned into minted 

These works were concentrated ordinarily around the high 
altar and were usually combined with metal ciboria, parapets, 
etc., to form a brilliant metallic combination. There were 
statues of Christ, angels, apostles and saints erected on rail- 
ings or bases ; cast or beaten reliefs on rails or altar fronts or 
gables. Occasionally there was a secondary group in connec- 
tion with the baptistery. Combined with them to give effec- 
tiveness to the -interior decoration of the churches were the 
richly colored hangings and the heavy metal hanging lamps. 

The following is a contemporary description of the ciborium 
and its accessories given by Coustantine to the Lateran ba- 
silica which will serve as a clue to the series : 

" Afastidium (i.e. ciborium) of hammered silver, having on 
its main front the enthroned figure of the Saviour, 5 feet high, 


weighing 120 pounds, and the twelve apostles, 5 feet high, 
weighing 90 pounds, holding crowns of pure silver. Also on 
the side facing the apse, the Saviour enthroned, 5 feet high, 
of pure silver, weighing 140 pounds, and four archangels of 
silver, 5 feet high, each weighing 105 pounds, with lapis lazuli 
gems set in their eyes and holding staffs. The fastidium it- 
self weighed 2025 pounds, of ductile silver. Its ceiling is of 
pure gold and the lamp of pure gold which hangs from it 
with 50 dolphin lights, weighs 50 pounds and is held by chains 
weighing 25. (Under the centre of the architraves) hang four 
circular lamps of pure gold, each with twenty dolphin lights, 
each weighing 15 pounds." 

To the same group around the altar belonged seven silver 
gilt candelabra, 10 feet high, each weighing 300 pounds and 
decorated with reliefs of the prophets. To the Lateran bap- 
tistery the Emperor gave for the decoration of the font a figure 
of the Saviour, of pure silver, 5 feet high and weighing 170 
pounds, next to which stood a figure in silver, also 5 feet high, 
of John the Baptist, weighing 125 pounds, while between them 
was a Lamb, of pure gold, weighing 30 pounds, from which the 
baptismal waters flowed, and all around was a line of seven 
stags of silver, each weighing 80 pounds, from which the water 
also flowed. 

There were never any but temporary interruptions in the 
flow of such gifts as these ; the annals of Popes Sixtus (432- 
440), Hilary (461-468) and Symmachus (498-514) are particu- 
larly rich. When the above Lateran ciborium and all its acces- 
sories had been carried off by the soldiers of Alaric (410), the 
Emperor Valentinian replaced it by another of almost equal 
splendor, also of silver, and weighing 2000 pounds. That it 
must have been decorated with reliefs and statues is shown by 
the description of the ciborium which Valentinian gave at the 
same time to the Vatican basilica, which had the figures of the 
Saviour and the twelve apostles in gold, framed in precious 
stones, under arcades. 

This tradition was continued by Pope Symmachus, who 
erected over the high altar at S. Paul's a relief in silver, weigh- 
ing 120 pounds, with figures of the Saviour and the twelve 


apostles. Apparently reliefs were then taking the place of 

The Gothic Wars. Even the Gothic wars did not put 
an end to metal sculpture though it may be considered 
now as inferior in splendor and workmanship. Pelagius I 
(556-561) replenished as best he could the church furniture. 
Pelagius II (579-590) decorated with silver reliefs the confes- 
sions of S. Peter and S. Lawrence. Gregory the Great (590- 
604) placed a silver ciborium in S. Peter. Honorius I (625- 
638) made silver reliefs for the confession of S. Peter and 
silvered doors ; a silvered bronze ciborium of great size and 
silver confession reliefs for S. Agnes. 

The life of Sergius I (687-700) not only credits to him the 
making of a gold statue of S. Peter, for his basilica, but 
mentions three gold statues of the apostle as existing there. 
It is under this Pope that we see the first traces of a substitu- 
tion of marble for metal in ciboria as well as ambones, a 
substitution that militated against figured sculpture, because 
marble carving was purely decorative, and marked, perhaps, the 
downfall of the old school of metal workers on a large scale. 

Carlovingian Works. With the eighth century the text of 
the Liber Pontificals begins once more to give greater details 
of art works, and we can see that if the Carlovingian popes, 
especially Hadrian I and Leo III, were thus able to give to 
the churches such a quantity of works in precious metals, there 
must still have existed a school of metal workers with some 
proficiency in figured reliefs ; perhaps even there was a 
revival in this as in other branches. Still, it probably applied 
mainly to works of small size, such as may still be studied 
in the unique papal treasury of the Sancta Sanctorum chapel 
at the Lateran, recently made known after centuries of con- 
cealment. An example of these Carlovingian -works is a gift 
of Leo IV to the Vatican basilica, where he placed a silver 
image of Christ enthroned, flanked by two angels and with 
the figures of the twelve apostles and the twenty-four elders 
on either side of the throne. 

Between works of metal sculpture that have been destroyed, 
and marble sculptures that are merely decorative, there is 


therefore a hiatus in our knowledge of figured sculpture at 
Rome between the sixth and the eleventh centuries, except in 
the case of a few works of small size. 

Revival in Twelfth Century. The revival in sculpture that 
swept Europe during the latter part of the eleventh and the 
beginning of the twelfth centuries did not affect Rome per- 
ceptibly. While the Lombard and Tuscan schools were mul- 
tiplying sculptures, barbarous, it is true, but showing constant 
effort at improvement, and adding materially to decorative effect 
in connection with architecture, Roman artists did not allow 
it to enter into their new scheme. It is a fact that the farther 
one goes southward in Italy during the Middle Ages the less 
does sculpture play its part and the more is its place taken by 
color. 1 The large strain of Byzantinism in Rome also helped 
to delay the plastic development. And yet there were some 
curious and original sporadic efforts, leading up to a half century 
of successful and artistic work just before the end of the school's 
career, a half-century when the Roman sculptors were rivals 
and collaborators of the Pisans in certain branches of the art. 

One general fact is characteristic : the school never once 
attempted to coordinate figured sculpture with the structure 
of its churches. There were no carved lintels or archivolts ; 
no galleries or arcades filled with statuary, no porches with 
columnar figures, no fagade reliefs. These features, so 
common in Lombardy, Tuscany and Apulia, were taboo in 
Rome. There were not even any figured capitals. 

In church furniture the prevailing fashion of mosaic inlay 
shut the door against sculptured decoration in more than one 
direction. For instance, it was in the form of pulpits that 
Niccola Pisano gave his main masterpieces ; that of the Pisan 
baptistery (1260) and that of Siena cathedral (1268), which his 
son Giovanni followed in those of Pisa cathedral and Pistoia 
(S. Andrea), not to mention many others by the Pisan school. 
The Roman love for color and for complete unity of design in 
interior decoration prevented their adoption of sculpture in a 
single pulpit. 

1 The exceptional use of decorative sculpture in the province of Apulia is 
probably due to Northern emigration. 



Architectural figured sculpture and the decoration of church 
furniture being excluded, let us see what use the Roman school 
did make of figured sculpture. 

The earliest piece is a baptismal font in the abbey church at 
Grottaferrata, near Rome. Its circular surface is covered with 
a scene symbolic of the sacrament of baptism and its effects. 
Upon a high rock on which is carved a gateway are seated two 
nude figures, catching fish that swim in the encircling seas and 
drawing them upward. 
On the left side a column 
rises high above the 
waters, and from it a nude 
figure is casting himself 
headlong into the water. 
The sea is the world, into 
which Christ descended 
to lose His life, so that 
He might become the 
great Fisher of men and 
keep them from drifting 
through the gates of hell. 
The extreme symbolism 
and the use of the nude, 
clumsy as it is, are both 
characteristics, not of 
Lombard or other North- 
ern artists, but of some 
Byzantine school. This 
is historically confirmed 
by the fact that the mon- 
astery of Grottaferrata 
was built and inhabited by Greek monks, and that its mosaics 
and early decoration are purely Byzantine. 

To this Byzantine font of the eleventh century, which served 
as first model to the Roman school, we can compare a curious 
somewhat later work of purely Roman art, the sacred well- 
head of S. Bartolommeo all' Isola, which probably dates after 
the time of Paschal II (1113). Its circular surface is covered 

Well of Relics at S. Bartolommeo all' Isola. 
(Twelfth century.) 


with the large figures of Christ and of the martyrs whose 
relics were placed below, Bishops Adalbert and Paulinas and 
S. Bartholomew. They stand under arcades and gables. The 
composition is in every way an evident copy of Roman sar- 
cophagi, especially of those early Christian examples with 
single figures standing under such arcades separated by 

Equally a copy from antique models is a somewhat later, 
though cruder work, the paschal candlestick in the basilica 
of S. Paul. It is signed by two Roman artists 
who worked after the middle of the twelfth 
century: Ego Niconaus de Angela cum Petro 
Bassaletto hoc opus complevi. The entire sur- 
face of the column is covered with small 
figures in relief, in superposed rows, repro- 
ducing incidents of the life of Christ, includ- 
ing the Passion and Christ in glory. It seems 
a far-away miniature echo of Roman memorial 
columns, like other larger works, of substan- 
^"^ tially the same age, beginning with the bronze 

column of Bern ward at Hildesheim (c. 1000) 
and ending with the marble column in the 
cathedral square at Gaeta (c. 1330). In style 
the figures are no better and no worse than 
contemporary work everywhere else in Italy, 
if we except certain charming and delicate 
Byzantine reliefs, such as those at the Pisan 
baptistery. The finish is crude and the pro- 
portions heavy, with enormous heads, though 
the general design is felicitous. 
Paschal Candlestick Statuary. But where the Roman sculptor 
at S. Paolo. began to show unusual originality as the 
By Niccoio di An^eio thirteenth century advanced is in the revival 

andPietro Vassaletto. Qf gculpture in the roun(L The Roman artist 

had at this time acquired a great facility and firmness in han- 
dling marble, and after he had successfully reproduced the 
antique methods and styles in decorative work, in capitals, 
mouldings and cornices, it seemed a natural transition for him 


to imitate also the numerous draped statues that might easily 
serve as models for apostles and saints. Natural, perhaps, 
and yet a leap into the unknown, for had not some seven 
centuries elapsed since the chisel had fallen from the impotent 
hands of the last carver of an image in the round in Home 
and the entire West ? 

The great leader in the revival of Italian sculpture, Niccola 
Pisano himself, cannot be said to have produced such a work 
unless we attribute to him the seated statue of the Emperor 
Frederic II on the triumphal arch at Capua ; and the success in 
this style of work of his colleague Arnolfo was due to his resi- 
dence in Rome. That the Roman artists of this age were alive 
to the influence of Roman statuary is shown by the statue of 
Aesculapius, with the signature of one of the Vassalletti, found 
in the school's workshop, and evidently used as a model. 

There are two statues of SS. Peter and Paul, about life-size, 
which originally stood in front of the faqade of S. John Lateran. 
They present the traditional types, such as we find in mosaics 
and frescos of the twelfth century. Though heavy and clumsy 
in proportions, they yet have all the interest of pioneer work, 
and are frankly classic in their aspirations. The treatment of 
details in the Lateran statues is excellent ; the hair and beard 
have as much finish as in Cavallini's frescos. The simple 
tunic and toga have broad and natural folds. While the effect 
is that of pure statuary, these figures were set against a marble 
ground decorated with mosaic bands and circles ; and this 
makes it logical to connect with them, as forming a single 
group, the kneeling statue (or very high relief) of a Pope, with 
exactly similar background, which has been commonly called a 
figure of Pope Nicholas IV (1288-1292), simply because of its 
single tiara, which points to a predecessor of Boniface VIII, 
who was the first to adopt the triple 'tiara. The difference in 
treatment between apostles and Pope is due to the contrast 
between the free use of types and classic costume in one case, 
and the attempt at portraiture and ecclesiastical costume on 
the other. While it is difficult to be positive in face of such 
unusual works, I am inclined to regard this group as earlier 
than Arnolfo and earlier even than the middle of the thirteenth 



century. It was perhaps the most important work of sculpture 
in Rome, holding the place of honor in the atrium of the 
Lateran basilica. 

Similar statues existed at S. Peter, where they can be seen 
in the crypt, and S. Croce in Gerusalemme. The latter are 
much smaller and much later, showing a refinement of form 
and a polish of surface treatment that savor of foreign in- 
fluence, but far from being an improvement on the burly but 

Statue of S. Peter at S. John 

Statue of S. Peter at S. Croce 
in Gerusalemme. 

impressive Lateran figures. In fact, they may be part of a 
ciborium attributable to the time of Urban V (c. 1370). 

There is some work nearly or wholly in the round at the 
Lateran cloister which helps to assign a date to the Lateran 
statues. The cloister was erected between 1220 and 1230 by 
one of the greatest masters of the Roman school, Vassallettus 
or Vassalletto. His feeling for the round is shown not only in 
the sphinxes that flank the entrances, and are clear reproduc- 
tions of the antique, but in some heads that project from the 



outer cornice of the court. They are so full of vigorous char- 
acter and spiritual life that they can stand in the same class as 
similar contemporary works of the sort in some French cathe- 

Detail of frieze of Lateran Cloister by Vassaletto. 

drals (e.g. Eeims) and others by Niccola Pisano and in the pul- 
pit at Ravello. They are mostly youthful heads, types of 
pages and young aristocrats, with an occasional monk and old 
woman. Delicately silhouetted in firm and well-marked planes, 



they produce an effect more sparkling than anything of this 
class in Italian art. One suspects an infusion of Gallic salt. 
A recent writer, finding some spirited heads on the tomb of 
Hadrian V and comparing them with others by Arnolfo and 
Niccola Pisano, has used them as an -argument for the attribu- 
tion of this tomb to Arnolfo, and has ascribed to Niccola, whose 
early work does not antedate 1250, the merit of 
conceiving this class of delicate creations a 
merit which these Lateran heads prove to belong 
to the Roman Vassalletto, in about 1225. The 
quality of vitality, so absolutely lacking hitherto 
in Italian sculpture, appears therefore for the 
first time in Vassalletto. Either the Lateran 
statues precede him, or are by a master of less 
power. The son of this Vassalletto inherited 
his father's talent; witness the spirited little 
kneeling figure on his paschal candlestick at 

While the works I have just mentioned are 
almost unnoticed by historians of art, there is 
one statue which has not been overlooked, 
partly because of its historic interest. It is 
the seated statue of King Charles of Anjou, 
which the Roman Senate ordered set up in 

op o sc a ^e Capitol in his honor when the king became 
Candlestick at r 

Cathedral, civic ruler of the city in 1268, and was inaugu- 

by rated as senator. As a portrait, the head is 
characteristic and interesting ; as a work of art, 
the statue is stiff and awkward, decidedly inferior to its more 
classic immediate predecessor, the statue of the Emperor 
Frederic at Capua. The king wears a crown and. holds a 
sceptre, but this medisevalism is tempered by a Roman cos- 
tume and the curule chair. The stern face, with its prominent 
features, and the large head form a carefully studied portrait. 
The extreme shortness of the upper limbs indicates that the 
statue originally stood on a high pedestal. It is a grim 
record of this tamer of Popes and destroyer of the imperial 
power in Italy. 




This statue, the second of its class in Italy, has been attrib- 
uted to Arnolfo, the Florentine architect and sculptor, and has 
been used as an argument for assigning to the same artist the 
bronze statue of S. Peter, for which I have adhered to the tra- 
ditional date of the fifth century. I can trace as little resem- 
blance in style as in material. 

Tombs. During this same decade (1260-1270) the Roman 
school, after having thus attempted to revive statuary, perfected 
a type of sepulchral monu- 
ment by combining the 
three arts of architecture, 
sculpture and painting in 
a form that was to affect 
Italian art even as late 
as the Renaissance. Until 
recently there had been no 
fixed type of funeral monu- 
ment, no purely mediaeval 
creation. In the majority 
of cases the body was placed 
in some pagan or early 
Christian sarcophagus, of 
which so many were always 
coming to light. In the 
twelfth century we find for 
the first time a homogene- 
ous type of which there 
are examples in the atria 
of S. Maria in Cosmedin 
(tomb of Alfauus) and S. 
Lorenzo.- Here a plain sarcophagus is surmounted by a gable 
resting on columns and the recess is filled with a fresco; or 
else four columns support a plain low canopy over the sarcoph- 
agus : but there was no sculpture, either figured or decorative. 

This type was developed and culminated in the middle of 
the thirteenth century in the tomb of Cardinal Fieschi at S. 
Lorenzo (1256), where a finely carved classic sarcophagus is 
surrounded by a large architraved and gabled canopy which 

Tomb of Cardinal Fieschi at S. Lorenzi 



encloses a fresco of the Virgin and Child accompanied by saints 
and adored by the defunct. 

Soon after this, a leader of the Eoman school, Peter, son of 
Oderisius, made the first attempt to introduce both sculpture 
and mosaic decoration in sepulchral art, in his tomb of Pope 
Clement IV at Viterbo in 1268. At least, if there were any 

earlier examples of this 
type, they have perished : 
the monument of Cardi- 
nal Bernardo Caraccioli 
(t 1261) at the Lateran, 
of which only the statue 
remains, may have been 
such an example. In 
doing this he also for the 
first time substituted for 
the antique architrave and 
classic orders, the Gothic 
trefoil arch and foliated 
capitals. It was quite a 
revolution. The accom- 
panying illustration of the 
tomb of Hadrian V, made 
only a few years later, also 
at Viterbo, is of a similar 
type, but by an artist of 
greater plastic skill, who 

gave more charming lines and more delicate ornamentation to 
his design, and showed himself a masterly sculptor in the 
reclining figure and the carved details, probably Arnolfo. 

The tomb of Clement IV is unusual in having as its annex 
that of his nephew, Pierre le Gros. The Pope's effigy is tilted 
forward to meet the eye ; that of Pierre, being below, lies per- 
fectly flat. They are not by the same hand. The Pope's is a 
painstaking portrait, even to the heavily marked lines of chin 
and neck, and the heavy folds of drapery are both effective 
and artistic. The two defunct were French ; the man charged 
by the cardinals with ordering the monument was a French- 

Tomb of the Savelli at S. Maria in Aracoeli. 

(With use of ancient sarcophagus.) 

:^,.. v 



man, Peter, archbishop of Narbonne. Why is it not natural 
to suppose that the Roman artist's adoption of both sculpture 
and Gothic design were due to French influence, since reclin- 
ing figures were then a commonplace of French sculpture, 
whereas they were yet unknown in Italy ? The monument as 
it stands gives but little idea of the original, and is due to a 
reconstruction from existing frag- 
ments. Originally the canopy was 
far loftier and enclosed a group of 
statuary, the Virgin and Child and 
probably some saints and the Pope, 
as in the later monument of Cardi- 
nal de Braye. Most of the mosaic 
decoration, also, has disappeared. 

Even more drastic has been the 
damage suffered by the tomb of 
the famous prefect of Rome, Peter 
de Vico, executed in the same year 
(1268), in the same design, for the 
same church at Viterbo (S. Maria 
ai Gradi), evidently by the same 
artist. Even its statue has dis- 

Arnolfo. The master who dom- 
inated the school for the last 
quarter of the century now ap- 
pears on the scene, Arnolfo di 
Lapo. He is the famous Floren- 
tine architect and sculptor, a con- 
temporary and early coadjutor of 

Niccola Pisano, whose artistic activity centred in Rome during 
the best part of his career. He assimilated so much of the 
spirit of the Roman school, especially from the Vassalletti, 
that it is difficult not to regard him as part of it. At the 
same time he added to its patrimony a distinct element 
through his greater plastic sense, which led to the increased 
use of sculpture in church furniture, especially in ciboria and 
sepulchral monuments. 

Tomb of Pope Hadrian V, 
S. Francesco, Viterbo. 



Arnolfo's career cannot yet be clearly traced. He had a 
share in the pulpit at Siena, assisting Niccola Pisano in 1268. 
When, in 1277, Charles of Anjou released him to complete this 
sculptor's beautiful fountain at Perugia, Arnolfo had probably 
been working in or near Rome, though at what we cannot tell 
unless it was on the destroyed monument of Innocent V. The 

monument to Cardi- 
nal Riceardo Anni- 
baldi, done at this 
time (1276-1277), 
of which many frag- 
ments remain at the 
Lateran, has been 
recently attributed 
to him on account of 
its plastic beauty. 
The frieze in high 
relief which origin- 
ally stood under the 
canopy, over the re- 
clining figure, and is 
now in the Cloister, 
strikes a very indi- 
vidual note. It is a 
procession of figures 
of clerics in high 
relief, bearing an in- 
cense-burner, book, 
candles and mitre 
for the celebration of the funeral service. The ease of move- 
ment, variety and naturalness of action, perfection of workman- 
ship, make of this little-known work one of the most charming 
pieces of the early Renaissance of Italian sculpture. Or he 
may have been engaged on the monument of Hadrian V at 
Viterbo (S. Francesco), a superb masterpiece which Venturi 
attributes to him instead of to Vassallettus II, as I had 
suggested. The face of Hadrian certainly has the softness 
of texture and the smooth gradations that we shall later find 

Ciborium at S. Cecilia, by Arnolfo. 


in authentic works of Arnolfo, though the slender proportions 
are quite different from his usual massive norm. 

After 1282 we find him erecting the monument of Cardinal 
de Braye in S. Dornenico at Perugia. His signature is at the 
bottom of the memorial metrical inscription : Hoc opus fecit 
Arnolfus. It is distinctly an amplification of the type inaugu- 
rated fourteen years before by Pietro Oderisi in the tomb of 
Clement IV, and more of its sculptures have been preserved, 
though its effect is destroyed by the loss of the trefoil taber- 
nacle that formed its original framework. When still perfect, 
it was the most sumptuous combination of mosaic work and 
sculpture saved from the ravages of the Renaissance, surpass- 
ing even all known monuments of the Popes. The lower base- 
ment supported the two shafts of the canopy, now destroyed. 
The second section is a cenotaph on which rests the body of 
the deceased on a draped bier. Above it projects a pitch roof 
from which curtains hang, drawn away from the front by two 
angels. Over the canopy on a flaring base is a symmetrical 
composition. In the centre the dedicatory inscription ; above, 
in a pointed niche, the enthroned Virgin and Child ; on one 
side the kneeling cardinal, presented by S. Paul, and on the 
other S. Dominick all gazing toward the divine Child. 

There are qualities here that do not reappear in the other 
known works by Arnolfo : a slenderness of proportion, a pro- 
jection in the draperies, a delicacy of type, an almost over- 
refinement and asceticism. The feeling of life culminates in 
overaction in the angels, perhaps a relic of the influence of 
Giovanni's furia, which will wear off after more protracted 
contact with the calm classic masterpieces of Rome, whose 
influence is also to give greater solidity to Arnolfo's figures. 

Arnolfo's next signed and dated work is the ciboriurn of S. 
Paul in Rome, in which he was assisted by an artist named 
Pietro, who has been without proof identified with the painter 
Pietro Cavallini. There are but too many Roman artists 
named Pietro in the thirteenth century ! This work is both 
signed and dated, 1285. Hoc opus fecit Arnolfus cum suo socio 
Petro. The Gothic design is here first applied to the altar canopy 
transforming it as the tomb had been transformed twenty years 



before. Its four superb columns of rosso antico have capitals 
of almost purely French Gothic design. The pointed structure 
they support, with its pinnacles and gables, is a harmonious 
combination of mosaic and sculpture. 

The sculpture on this ciborium is unusually interesting 
because it is probably the earliest of its class and therefore an 
epoch-making creation, which was to set the fashion for the 

Monument of Cardinal Ancher at S. Prassede, by Arnolfo. 

next generation. At each corner is a statuette ; those on the 
front are S. Peter and S. Paul. In the pendentives is a scene 
in relief, divided into two parts by the arch ; e.g. the abbot 
Bartholomew offering the model of the ciborium to S. Paul. 
The gable is filled with a wheel-window supported by two 
flying angels, one of the peculiarities in which Arnolfo 
betrays the growing influence of the antique, for they are 
neither more nor less than Roman Victories. 

To the following year (1286) I am disposed to attribute the 
superb statue of an otherwise destroyed monument: that of 



Cardinal Ancher in S. Prassede. Here we see the soft pastoso 
treatment of the face so characteristic of Arnolfo, used in so 
masterly a manner as to be by none but the master. It is, in 
fact, superior to the authenticated statue of Boniface VIII. 
The handling of the drapery is equally masterly in its feeling 
for textures. This tomb should be restored with basement and 
canopy and probably with votive sculptures. This work had 
not been as yet attributed to Arnolfo. 

Shortly after (1287) Arnolfo executed the monument of 
Honorius IV in S. Peter's, a work that suffered the fate of 

Detail of Opening to Chapel of the Presepe, S. Maria Maggiore. 
A Prophet, by Arnolfo. 

nearly all the works of art in the old basilica when it was torn 
down. Only the recumbent statue was saved and transferred 
to decorate the tomb of the Savelli family (to which the Pope 
belonged) in the church of Aracoeli. 

To Arnolfo is to be credited another conspicuous novelty, in 
another of the great basilicas, S. Maria Maggiore. This 
basilica was called ad prcesepe, from containing the relic of the 
Manger of Bethlehem. To provide a fitting shrine for it, Pope 
Nicholas IV (1288-1292) erected a chapel which is the prototype 
of the sacred tableaux in the round, of marble, terracotta or 
wood carving, so numerous in Northern Italian, such as those 
of Modena and Varallo. This little chapel, now moved under- 
ground and transformed, is occupied by a life-size group of 


the Magi adoring the Infant Christ in the arms of the Virgin. 
At its entrance, over the door, two small figures of prophets 
in high relief occupy the pendentives. They are full of alert 
awkwardness and sharpness of line, and their counterparts by 
Niccola Pisano and Giovanni may be seen in their pulpits. 
The group of statues within the shrine is less successful. In 

it there is an attempt 
to transpose into 
statuary the pictorial 
scheme of composi- 
tion. In the centre 
are the Virgin and 
Child on a throne, 
restored. On their 
right is the bearded 
figure of Joseph, 
leaning forward on 
his staff. From their 
left the Magi are ap- 
proaching, in order of 
age. The oldest, with 
flowing beard, is kneel- 
ing, while the other 
two are conversing. 
The composition is 
easy, but the figures 
are clumsy, though 
the drapery is flow- 
ing and classic. The 
heaviness of the figure is unexpected when one remembers the 
slenderness of those on the De Braye monument. But it has 
been rightly ascribed to Arnolfo for several centuries. 

The design of the ciborium of S. Cecilia in 1292 is an im- 
provement on that of S. Paul's in harmony. There was no 
dedicatory tablet to break up the architectural lines, and the 
simpler arrangement of the corner statuettes does away with the 
awkward juxtaposition of overhanging niche and column. The 
sculpture is entirely by the hand of Arnolfo. The statuettes are 

Angle of Ciborium at S. Cecilia, by Arnolfo. 


connected with the legend of S. Cecilia and represent the con- 
temporary Pope Urban, her brother, Tiburtius, her husband, 
Valerian and herself. In the pendentives are the Evangelists 
and their symbols, the apostles Peter and Paul and two female 
saints. Angels of classic type hold the wheel-windows in the 
gables. All the figures stand out from a mosaic ground and are 
richly colored. The effect is even more pictorial than at S. 
Paolo, and there is far greater suppleness and skill in the 
handling. Of course Arnolfo *vvas assisted by a mosaicist and 

Probably Arnolfo's last work in Rome was the chapel and 
monument of Boniface VIII (1294-1303). Some critics have 
been sceptical as to his authorship of it because the artist died 
about two years before the pope, but their scruples were unnec- 
essary for it is well ascertained that the Pope had Arnolfo 
make in S. Peter the chapel dedicated to his namesake Boni- 
face IV during his own lifetime and had his own monument 
prepared at the same time. If further proof were needed, there 
was the signature of Arnolfo, reported before its destruction 
by several writers of the Renaissance : Hoc opus fecit Arndplius 
architectus, alone sufficient, also, to prove the identity of Arnolfo 
the sculptor with Arnolfo the architect. The statue was orig- 
inally surmounted by a mosaic of the Virgin and Child in a 
medallion, to whom the kneeling Pope is being presented by S. 
Peter, while S. Paul stands on the other side. The mosaic 
was by Giovanni Cosmati. The whole was framed by a very 
rich ciborium in which Arnolfo combined the old architraved 
style with an elaborate grouping of Gothic pinnacles and niches. 
The statue itself is full of repose, and is in Arnolfo's later 
pastoso manner, even softer than that of Ancher and more 
easy in pose than that of Honorius IV. A bust of Boni- 
face VIII, also in the crypt, probably belonged to the same 

There exist at S. Peter's and in its crypt a number of 
statues that are torn from their original monuments, from 
tombs and ciboria. We can only conjecture that two beautiful 
angels in the crypt, still holding back folds of drapery, may 
have belonged to Arnolfo's tomb of Boniface VIII. Another 


angel, now flanking the seated marble statue of S. Peter, is 
also in his later style (see p. 143). 

The marble statue of S. Peter, now in the crypt, which has 
just been alluded to, was once in great veneration in the old 
basilica. It is an extremely rare example of mediaeval adapta- 
tion of antique work. The statue itself is certainly Roman ; 
the head and hands are the work of some good sculptor of the 
age of Arnolfo, for such soft treatment of flesh and hair can- 
not be earlier. 

Meanwhile other sculptors of less developed art were pro- 
ducing works in Rome of considerable interest. In the Lateran 
basilica is a fragment from the chapel of S. Mary Magdalen, 
where the figures of Christ and of the Cardinal of Milan pre- 
sented by John the Baptist, and offering the model of the 
chapel, are careful studies in portraiture and type, but rather 
labored and not rising to beauty of line and form. They are 
set against the same mosaic ground that has appeared in 
Arnolfo's work. It seems characteristic of the Roman school. 
Polychromy played a greater part in sculpture than was the 
case with any other school. First of all, the marble figures 
were placed usually in a colored setting and often against a 
mosaic background. This was brilliantly successful in Arnolfo's 
ciboria at S. Paolo and S. Cecilia, and in the procession of clerics 
at the Lateran. The color scheme is continued in the inlaid 
surfaces of colonnettes and slabs and in the compositions in 
mosaic and fresco that surmount the sarcophagi in the sepul- 
chral monuments. But, more than this, the carving itself was 
strongly colored both in drapery and flesh ; witness the same 
ciboria, the statues of Clement IV, Boniface VIII and Hono- 
rius IV. The angels' wings are solidly gilt; the details of 
garment-patterns, of architectural and other accessories, are 
minutely picked out in color. Of course a great deal of this 
is restoration, but probably on the original lines. 

The family of Cosmatus furnished two sculptors whose work 
is contemporary with the last years of Arnolfo. Their names 
are Deodato and Giovanni, two of the four known sons of Cos- 
matus. Of the two, Deodato was the more subtle and able 
artist and fertile designer. He was the true successor of 



Arnolfo. We see his hand in the reclining statue of Cardinal 
Pietro da Piperno (f 1302) in the Lateran basilica, where the 
artist has mastered Arnolfo's later soft pastoso manner. 

Deodato was also a decorator. Part of a ciborium, with 
his signature attached, is in the Lateran Cloister, and the 
superb but fragmentary papal throne from the old apse is also 
probably his. He did not, 
however, follow Arnolfo's 
lead in applying sculpture to 
ciboria, as we see by his work 
in S. Maria in Cosmedm. 

Giovanni Cosmati. His 
brother, Giovanni, was pro- 
ductive but not a genius. His 
known works are sepulchral 
monuments executed during 
the decade just before and 
after 1300, at the same time 
as Deodato's work. He 
signed the tombs of Cardinal 
Consalvo (f 1299) in S. 
Maria Maggiore, of Cardinal 
de Surdis (f 1302) at S. Bal- 
bina and of Bishop Durand 
(t 1304) at S. Maria in 
Aracosli. Evidently by him, 
though without signature, is 
the tomb of Cardinal Acqua- 
sparta (f 1302) also in the 
Aracoeli. The De Surdis 
tomb is mutilated. All the others show the same type of a 
double base surmounted by the reclining figure, with an angel 
at head and foot handling the hangings that encircle the figure 
at back and sides. The whole is surrounded by a tabernacle, 
formed by a trefoil gable resting on columns or pilasters. 

In these works the design is meagre and both less artistic 
and less monumental than that of the tombs of the previous 
generation. The sculpture is rather stiff and lifeless, and the 

Tomb of Cardinal d'Acquasparta, 
S. Maria in Aracoeli. 
By Giovanni Costnati. 


transitions between planes are rather sharp and awkward 
both in drapery and flesh. In the monument of Cardinal de 
Surdis at S. Balbina (1302), Giovanni is at his best : the face 
is perfectly expressive of sleep and the body is really resting, 
not uncomfortably perched sideways. If the statue of Bishop 
Durand at S. Maria sopra Minerva were restored to its proper 
position by the removal of the stone blocks under its head, it 
would probably have a similar restful effect. Both give the 
impression of good portraits, though the handling is lacking 

Figure from De Surdis Tomb at S. Balbina. 
By Giovanni Cosmati. 

in suppleness. The angels holding up the ends of the drapery 
that surrounds the cenotaph are graceful and quite a contrast 
to the restless angels of the De Braye tomb. 

Of almost precisely the same design is the unsigned monu- 
ment of Cardinal Acquasparta, and yet the figure, tipped for- 
ward according to the older type of the Hadrian V statue, and 
the greater realism of the face, would suggest another hand 
than Giovanni's that of an older artist, were it not for the 
tomb of Cardinal Consalvo, the exact duplicate of Durand's, 
which Giovanni executed and signed in 1299, and which leaves 
no doubt that all these works are by the same hand. Evi- 



dently some influence was brought to bear upon Giovanni 
toward 1301 or 1302 which gave greater naturalness to his 

A specialty of the Roman school were statuettes, either 
entirely in the round or in three-quarter relief. From the 
many destroyed ciboria and tombs of 
this period (c. 1250-1300) there were 
saved a number of such statuettes 
that are hidden away in churches, 
crowning doorways or perched on 
faqades. They can be seen at 
S. Maria in Trastevere, S. Alessio, 
S. Saba, etc. 

A smaller class of monument that 
was built on similar lines to the altar 
ciboria and gave some scope to 
the sculptor were the tabernacles or 
ciboria holding the Eucharist, placed 
ordinarily near the a"pse. The most 
graceful and well-preserved is that 
in S. Clemente, dated 1299, and 
given by Cardinal Giovanni Gaetani. 

The unnatural ending of the school 
came with the Avignon exile. So 
thoroughly was it depleted that when, 
toward the middle of the fourteenth 
century and later, the Popes ordered 
an occasional monument or ciborium, 
it was found necessary to call sculptors to Eome, especially 
from Umbria and Tuscan/. Such works as the ciborium of 
the Lateran, the tombs of Benedict XII (t 1342) and 
Urban VI (f 1389), and the monument of Cardinal d'Alenqon 
at S. Maria in Trastevere, date from this period and illustrate 
the death of the school. 

Tabernacle at S. Clemente. 


IT is neither practical nor logical to separate, as many 
writers have done, the two main branches of Christian mural 
decoration mosaics and wall paintings. Much as they 
differ in technique, they stand together in all matters impor- 
tant for the history of mediaeval painting. Together they 
embody the mission of the Roman school of art as long as the 
Christian Church had something to teach the classes and the 
masses through the medium of the eye as well as the ear. 
Rome was the centre and source of the Western school of pic- 
torial theology ; as theological views changed, so did artistic 
themes vary and keep in touch with prevailing thought. That 
artists were not free to represent their personal fancies gave 
to their works the stamp of the leading minds of the Church 
whose ideas they embodied. Elsewhere than in Rome and its 
immediate circle there were innumerable variations, because the 
principles that governed were less clearly perceived. But in 
Rome and her school we may hope to surprise in their purity 
the pictorial forms of the mediaeval West. The history of 
ideas and of themes must then be studied simultaneously with 
that of style and technique. 

Use by the Church. There is hardly a single man among 
the great writers and fathers of the Church who cannot be 
appealed to if necessary to prove the importance attributed 
to and the close supervision exercised on painting. S. John 
Chrysostom confessed the inferiority of language to art in 
urging the painters of Antioch to depict the acts of the 
martyrs. S. Jerome wrote of painting, that one can under- 
stand far better what is perceived by the eye than by the ear. 
The appeal to the emotions and the understanding to which 
these men allude is along the broadest lines, though it applies 
more particularly to persons of the highest education and 



But there were other forms of appeal to other classes. The 
first was the combined effect of the picture and of the explan- 
atory inscription usually placed under it, thus making the 
literary and pictorial arts unite in presenting a single idea. 
When S. Augustine delivered his famous sermon on S. Stephen 
in the new chapel then consecrated, he ended : " Why should 
I further enlarge ? Read the four lines inscribed on these 
walls. They are here in this public place so that all may 

Interior of S. Angelo in Formis. 
(Showing arrangement of frescos in basilica of eleventh century.) 

read; they are few so that they may be memorized by all. 
There is no need of a book on the matter : this apse is your 

The explanatory lines that accompanied paintings as a rule 
made it therefore possible for the great middle class of mod- 
erately educated persons who could read and write to under- 
stand the scenes without help and to explain them to others. 

Descending farther in the social and educational scale to the 
masses who could neither read nor write, a proportion of the 
population which increased tremendously after the sixth cen- 
tury, we find that the Church considered painting as mak- 
ing an unparalleled appeal to them. Even as early as about 


400 Bishop Paulinus of Nola, in explaining why he depicted 
in his churches the scenes of the Old and New Testaments, the 
sufferings of the martyrs and the triumphant reign of Christ, 
says that it was for the instruction of the crowds of ignorant 
peasants and other poor and illiterate people who congregated 
in crowds to the churches on all great feasts and holidays and 
whose minds would thus be instructed and their religious feel- 
ings stimulated. S. Gregory, with his usual happy terseness, 
says, "What writing is for those who can read, painting is 
for the uneducated who can only look." At the other end of 
the Middle Ages the continuity of the Catholic tradition is 
confirmed by the French prelate Durand, in the thirteenth 
century, who says, " In churches we pay less reverence to 
books than to images and pictures ; pictures and ornaments in 
churches are the teachings and scriptures of the laity." In 
this way painting was made to enforce its appeal on each and 
every class in the community from the most highly educated 
to the poor and illiterate. 

Even the Councils of the Church took a hand in guiding the 
development of painting. In 692, when the old symbolic 
thought, so well exemplified in the art of the Catacombs, had 
become thoroughly obsolete and out of harmony with the more 
psychological trend of current theology, the Quiuisext Council 
ordered that the old types and figures and shadows under 
which the truth had been presented should be superseded and 
that Christ should henceforth be given by artists in his human 
form and not in the shape of the Lamb. The second Council 
of Nice was held in 787 largely to decide as to the use of 
religious compositions and whether to stop the iconoclastic 
crusade against them. Painters were not held responsible for 
what they produced, for it says, " The composition is not an 
invention of the painter but a product of the legislation and 
tradition of the Catholic Church; . . . the art alone is the 
painter's ; the choice and arrangement are of the fathers who 
build the churches." 

It was the zealous defence of religious art by the Eoman 
pontiffs that at this time turned the tide and put an end to 
the war against images which had almost destroyed religious 


art in the East, after the Emperor Leo the Isaurian had in- 
augurated his anti-artistic crusade in 726, decreeing the destruc- 
tion of images and death or mutilation for artists who disobeyed. 
Characteristic documents at this time were Pope Hadrian's 
message to the Council through his legates, and his letter to 
Charlemagne at the time of the Council of Frankfort (794) 
in defence of the acts of the Council. He here reviews the 
history of painting in Rome from the time of Constantine, 
enumerating the principal extant works and implying that 
the Popes made themselves personally responsible for the 
paintings in the churches of Eome. 

" From their time until the present," he writes, " the 
large churches built by Popes Sylvester, Marc and Julius 
have remained decorated with sacred subjects in mosaic and 
wall painting. The same thing was done, at the time of the 
second council, by S. Damasus for his own Church . . . 
which is still full of religious paintings. . . . Then, at the time 
of the third council, Pope Celestin decorated his cemeterial 
basilica with paintings. But especially did his successor, Pope 
Sixtus, when he built the basilica of S. Maria Maggiore, called 
ad prcesepe, decorate it with religious compositions both in 
mosaic and in wall painting. ... At the time of the fourth 
council . . . Pope Leo built several churches which he decorated 
with both mosaics and frescos. Especially did he make, in 
the basilica of S. Paul, and attach to it his name in verse, 
the great arch with its mosaic representing our Saviour 
Jesus Christ and the twenty-four elders." Hadrian contin- 
ues, enumerating the paintings by Pope Vigilius at the Lat- 
eran, the very extensive series by Pelagius in the Church 
of the Apostles, etc. 

The case was really stated in a nutshell, centuries before, by 
Pope Sixtus, when he dedicated his mosaics at S. Maria Mag- 
giore to the Christian people in the simple inscription, Six- 
tus episcopus plebi Dei. 

But painting served these purposes not merely in the old es- 
tablished communities, in which the great majority had long 
since become Christians : it was also called upon to do mission- 
ary work in new lands, to assist in converting the nations 


that were successively brought into the fold, Lombards, An- 
glo-Saxons, Germans, Bulgarians, Kussians. Eome furnished 
the pictorial scheme, as well as the artists themselves, in the 
majority of the historic constructive labors out of which the 
Christian civilization of the North was to grow. The balance 
came from Byzantium. 

When Gregory the Great sent S. Augustine to evangelize 
England he gave him model pictures one group of which still 
exists. When the second and even greater evangelizing effort 
was made, over half a century later, under Theodore of Tarsus 
and Benedict Biscop, several more series of pictures were sent 
over, systematically grouped, for the decoration of the new 

We will now study the monuments historically : not without 
hesitation, because there has hardly yet been time to digest 
the mass of interesting but fragmentary wall paintings which 
recent discoveries force us, to assign to their place in a field 
yet wrapped in obscurity and not yet treated adequately by 
any writer on the history of art. 

Catacomb Frescos. The Catacombs contain quite a number 
of paintings with which the principal crypts were decorated 
for centuries after they ceased to be used for burial. The 
Popes, especially Damasus, took great care to identify the 
tombs of the principal martyrs in the Catacombs, to mark them 
with monumental inscriptions and decorate the crypt in which 
they were with appropriate pictures. Until the ninth century 
the majority of the Catacombs were kept open for occasional 
worship and the visits of pilgrims; the basilicas built above 
ground, over the graves of the principal martyrs, were the 
centre of the cult. The graves in the Catacomb crypts were 
kept in good condition, guarded and continually redecorated 
with new wall-paintings. The main stairways were kept 
open for pilgrims. Thousands of names scratched on the 
walls and tombs attest the popularity of these shrines that 
encircled Rome with an added odor of sanctity. The writ- 
ten itineraries or reports of several of these pilgrims have 
been preserved and help to identify many of the monuments. 
Not until the Lombard and Saracen invasions of the ninth 


century made it necessary to abandon all the monuments out- 
side the walls, did the Popes cease to beautify these subter- 
ranean crypts with paintings, to be, therefore, studied side 
by side with the frescos and mosaics of the basilicas and 
oratories. But the bulk of the catacomb frescos of the 
second, third and early fourth centuries will not be dis- 
cussed, as they represent the pre-Constantinian stage that is 
excluded from the scope of this handbook. 

Mosaics. In one field, at least, early Christian art can lay 
a claim to distinct originality and progress beyond the attain- 
ments of classic art : the field of mosaic painting. It would 
seem as if classic art had not gauged its possibilities, for the 
decorative vertical mosaics of fountains and lararia, such as we 
see at Pompeii, are quite inferior both in technique and purely 
ornamental value to the decorative wall mosaics of the early 
Christian Church. What Christian art did at once, both in the 
East and West, was to sublimate the art of mosaic work by 
consecrating its almost imperishable technique, its wealth 
of deep and brilliant color, to the service of the most sacred 
themes on church walls. In doing this it took a step that 
influenced the development of religious art most radically for 
over a thousand years ; and one of the greatest centres where 
this can be studied during the whole period is Eome. These 
scenes are found in every part of the principal churches; on 
the exterior walls of faqade and even of apse, on the interior 
surface of the walls of apse, transept, triumphal arch, nave and 

Some modern critics relegate mosaic painting to the domain 
of the mechanical industrial arts ; but they make the mistake 
of applying to an earlier period a judgment which is correct 
only for mosaic painting since the Renaissance. It is true 
that for the last four hundred years mosaicists have contented 
themselves with being mere copyists of the great masters of 
oil-painting, tempera and wall-painting, and that their work has 
been mechanical. But in the early Christian period and the 
better part of the Middle Ages the actual execution of the 
mosaics was the work, not of artisans, but of the most noted 
master painters. The same men who made the preliminary 


sketches and cartoons, squared off the wall surfaces, transferred 
the cartoons in outline to the wet plaster, and then, with the 
help of assistants, set in the cubes. 

Constantino and the Fourth Century. The assets of Christian 
painting in Rome in the fourth century, beginning with Con- 
stantino's time, are very numerous in the field of wall-paint- 
ing, while the mosaics are quite scarce. But such mosaics as 
there are far exceed the paintings in importance because they 
were executed by a higher class of artists, those of the imperial 
school, whereas we may consider the Catacomb painters to belong 
more to the class of artisans, and not usually to represent the 
standards of the new official basilical art, but to be belated echoes 
of the art of preceding generations of simpler thought. The 
mosaics are those of the mausoleum of S. Costanza, the nave 
of S. Maria Maggiore, the apses of S. Rufina and of S. Puden- 
tiana. Some of the contemporary Catacomb wall-paintings 
that may be compared with them are those attributable to 
Pope Damasus in the Catacombs of Domitilla, S. Sebastian and 
S. Callixtus, and the somewhat later works at SS. Marcellinus 
and Peter, S. Domitilla and S. Agnes. 

S. Costanza. The mosaics which originally filled S. Costanza 
(or S. Constantia) are typical of two phases : of the passage 
from decorative to didactic art, of the indefinite phase of art 
and culture that was non-sectarian, so that it was possible to 
discuss whether the art were pagan or Christian. It was typi- 
cal of the border-land between the poetic imagery of the Cata- 
combs, the historic narrative of Bible scenes, and the didactic 
tendencies beginning to take shape in theological forms. 

The principal part of the ornamentation was that of the central 
dome. It was divided into twelve compartments correspond- 
ing to the number of arcades and columns below. The main 
scheme for dividing and framing them was by twelve pictu- 
resque caryatid figures in mosaic with raised arms, whose feet 
rested on rocks rising from the sea of the world that flowed 
uninterruptedly around the base, peopled with playful genii in 
boats and on shore, fishing and playing with swans and other 
aquatic birds. Above and between the caryatids were framed 
scenes of both Old and New Testament and also of Allegory, 



the selection being based not on historic sequence, as was later 
the case in the basilical series, but on symbolism and analogy, 
after the fashion of the Catacomb frescos and sarcophagi, 
with even greater resources of fancy. All this, the most sig- 
nificant part of the decoration of this building, was destroyed 
centuries ago, leaving only the more purely decorative mosaics 
of the annular vault. 

To any one familiar with Roman imperial pavements, with 
the stuccoed vaults of the tombs on the Via Latina, with their 

Drawing of Sixteenth Century of Lost Mosaics in Dome of S. Constantia. 

architectural compartments, with the frescos in the houses 
and tombs of Rome and Pompeii, with the scenes on the Chris- 
tian sarcophagi and in, the Catacombs, it will be quite clear 
from what mixed sources the mosaicists of the mausoleum of 
Constantia derived their art. It is a matter of superficial 
decoration, with no attempt at pictorial illusion. There was 
more breadth and unity, of course, in the destroyed composi- 
tions of the central vault, but in the annular vault that forms 
a continuous aisle around this central section, there is, in per- 
fect preservation, an uninterrupted line of the earliest Chris- 


tian mosaics in existence, cut up into a series of eleven dis- 
connected compositions, not only separately framed, but each 
one sometimes subdivided into many sections. 

The most interesting and the freest in design is the compart- 
ment almost entirely filled with wandering grape-vines that 
spread from the four corners toward the centre where a charm- 
ing youthful bust, almost a portrait, picturesquely impression- 

Mosaic of Annular Vault at S. Constantia. 

istic, looks down from an aureole of the grape a spiritualized 
god of the vine. For the scene is the only one to which a 
meaning can be attached, a scene with unity. Among the 
vines, where birds are pecking, the naked genii, such as we see 
on the contemporary sarcophagus of Junius Bassus and many 
others, are picking the grapes and letting down the filled 
baskets. Along the edges of the scene are four-wheeled carts 
drawn by two oxen, guided by a genius, carrying their load of 
grapes from the vineyard. And then, under a gabled roof, sup- 



ported by four piers, is the great vat in which three genii, with 
much gesticulation and glee, are dancing as they tread the 

The charming freedom of the rambling vine carries one back 
to the fresco of the Catacomb of Domitilla, which is attributed 
to the second century, far more than it reminds of other works 
of the fourth century. This is quite paralleled by the resem- 

Mosaic of Annular Vault at S. Constantia. 

blance of another compartment to the stuccoes of the Augustan 
and Flavian periods. Evidently the artist of S. Costanza was 
a thorough eclectic and took his motifs from any period as well 
as from any art. He was a good imitator. 

Even more exactly a replica of the classic stucco-work is 
another compartment, in which the ornamental motifs are en- 
closed not in rows of medallions of equal size, but in a series of 
interlaced large medallions connected by smaller circles and 
with concave hexagons between them. The larger medallions 
each contain a figure flying cupid, psyche or genius of some 


sort while the hexagons enclose an animal or a bird and the 
connecting circlet has a floral pattern. There is a great deal 
of animation and irregularity of design to relieve the geometric 
patterns. A little farther in the series this design is almost 
duplicated, though no single detail is the same, and the greatest 
ingenuity is used in securing variations. In fact, there are 
several quasi repetitions of this sort, and only seven out of the 
eleven compartments are of perfectly distinct types. 

There is no solid background in these mosaics. The patterns 
and figures are in color against white, so that the outlines are 
clear, and everything seems detached, separate, unreal, without 
atmosphere. The mosaicist here is not a painter : he is not 
even a great decorator, though technically his art is excellent, 
and every now and then in his side-scenes of country life and 
his fantastic vegetable and floral scrollwork, he shows that 
he can unbend and cast aside the trammels of set figures. 

S. Maria Maggiore : Nave. Of quite another caliber are the 
mosaics of S. Maria Maggiore. Here is something of a mys- 
tery. Both walls of the nave above the architrave have a series 
of oblong compositions' from the Old Testament. Around the 
Triumphal Arch is a corresponding series from the New Testa- 
ment. In the apse, beneath mediaeval accretions, are remains 
of a further scene. Now, this series is certainly one of the 
brightest stars in the constellation of early Christian monu- 
ments, for its beauty, its early date and its comprehensiveness. 
It gives for the first time some general scheme of subjects 
selected by the leaders of the Church and her artists for the 
teaching of the masses when the somewhat desultory symbol- 
ism of the Catacombs had been abandoned for the more system- 
atic methods of an official Church in charge of the world's 
spiritual welfare. 

The question is complicated by ciirious differences of opinion 
among critics. According to Blchter, all the mosaics belong to 
the second century, a revolutionary theory which will hardly 
find a following ; the majority of critics assign them all to the 
time of Sixtus I in the fifth century (432-440), to whom the 
dedicatory inscription on the arch belongs ; some of the best 
judges are inclined to see two periods and styles, attributing 


the mosaics of the triumphal arch to Sixtus I, and those of the 
nave to the earlier date of Pope Liberius (352-366). I feel in- 
clined to agree with the latter critics, for reasons that affect 
fundamentally both the spirit and technique of these mosaics, 
though the fact that the inscription cuts into the feet of Peter 
and Paul would connect it with a restoration and give equality 
but not priority of date to these arch mosaics. Those of the 
nave are material in conception ; they are far more originally 
impressionistic and Roman in their technique, as compared to 
the more clearly articulated, more orientally poetic and ideal- 
ized compositions above the arch. The main difficulty in a 
study of these mosaics has been their distance from the 
ground, their small size and the confusion of their compo- 
sition, so that, however we may disagree with Dr. Richter, 
his careful tracings and colored drawings have for the first 
time given us a true idea of the wonderful, in fact, unique, 
technique of the nave mosaics. 1 They are the only instances 
of true impressionism in mosaic painting. The cubes are of 
large size and of varied shapes ; they are not set close together, 
but widely spaced in their bed, so that the artist could turn 
and twist them to his taste. It is extraordinary how the 
brilliantly gleaming eye, so characteristic of many of the 
figures, is produced by the juxtaposition of just two sharply 
contrasting mosaic cubes. Closely examined, the design seems 
coarse, rough, ineffective, aimless ; as one draws off to a dis- 
tance, everything takes shape and springs startlingly into life. 
For mosaics such as these the conventional long, squared sticks, 
chopped off into regular rectangular cubes, were quite insuf- 
ficient. For the features, extremities and even draperies, there 
were required irregular cubes of all shapes and sizes, that had 
to be made for their particular places. Such work as this was 
as far removed as brush work from anything mechanical, and 
required even more artistic imagination to secure the right 

The compartments number twenty-eight. Those on the left 
are episodes taken from the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob 

i We may hope to know them still better when Dr. Wilpert's photographs 
and drawings, now being made, shall have been published. 



and Esau ; those on the right from those of Moses and Joshua. 
Undoubtedly there were more in the original series, perhaps 
a second row. The scenes are natural and full of life and ani- 
mation. It has seemed to many critics that there was a strik- 
ing analogy between the battle scenes from the story of Joshua 
and the Roman battle scenes in the reliefs of the Columns of 
Trajan and Marcus Aurelius. The art is still antique in its 

S. Pudentiana. Equally removed from the mechanical pre- 
cision of S. Costanza and the impressionism and poetry of S. 
Maria Maggiore is the apsidal mosaic of S. Pudentiana, an 
example of solid sincere brush-work effect in mosaic, and of 
plain unimaginative Roman realism. It is the earliest and 
most beautiful apsidal mosaic in existence, made in the last 
decade of the fourth century by the priest Leopardus by order 
of Pope Siricius (384-^399). 

Mutilated as it is both above and below by Barocco vandals, 
the scene represents the Spiritual Church, in all its main ele- 
ments, in the Heavenly Jerusalem. Christ, enthroned, sur- 
rounded by the figures of the twelve apostles, seated in a 
hemicycle like Roman senators, forms the exact spiritual coun- 
terpart of the scene daily enacted in the lower part of the apse 
of the churches, where the bishop's throne and the seats for the 
presbyters around the hemicycle were occupied in the same 
fashion by the officers of the earthly Church. The rest of the 
composition, in more abstract form, completes the idea. The 
Universal Church, in early symbolism, was formed of two main 
sections : the Jewish, or Church of the Circumcision, and the 
Gentile, or Church of the iSTations. They were represented in 
the form of allegorical female figures in varied types that were 
popular in art even as late as the Gothic period. Here we 
see them, standing behind the row of seated apostles, placing 
a wreath on the head of the two who represented these two 
elements : S. Paul, apostle of the Gentiles, and S. Peter, the 
apostle of the Church of the Circumcision. Above, in the 
clouds, are the symbols of the four great witnesses, the evan- 
gelists, the earliest remaining examples of these emblems: the 
Angel, the Lion, the Ox and the Eagle. They flank the great 


central jewelled cross, standing on the sacred mount from 
which the four rivers of paradise flow. Between the upper 
and lower elements of this scene is an elaborate series of 
buildings behind a continuous arched portico, which forms the 

Figure of Christ in Apsidal Mosaic of S. Pudentiana. 

background and gives the artist's idea of the structures of 
the Heavenly Jerusalem in which the scene is laid. In the 
sixteenth century the two end apostles were destroyed, as well 
as the lower part of all the figures with whatever was below 



To supplement this mosaic, there must have been two other 
scenes : a narrow band immediately below, in the hemicycle of 
the apse, and a composition covering the face of the apse above 
the hemicycle. Of the first of these, enough remains, in the 
Lamb of God standing on a rock, to show that here was the 
theme so frequent in later apses, of the twelve sheep on either 
side of the Lamb. 

To reconstruct the destroyed scene on the face of the apse, 

Apse Mosaic of S. Pudentiana (Apostles on left). 

we can turn to an even earlier replica of the same scene (c. 
330-360) in a church at Naples, described by its early church 
chronicler, where, beside the twelve seated apostles were the 
four greater prophets : Tsaiah, with an olive crown, Jeremiah, 
Daniel and Ezekiel. At S. Pudentiana the prophets doubtless 
occupied the spandrels of the arch. 

To restore the aspect of even the main scene of the seated 
convention of apostles we must turn to a Catacomb fresco, to 
the mosaic of S. Aquilino in Milan, and to some sarcophagi of 


about the same age, for later art and most contemporary monu- 
ments give the apostles as standing. Even so, one must be- 
ware of the enormous percentage of restoration, particularly on 
the right side, where the heads of all the apostles, except of 
Peter, seem to be largely Barocco restorations, especially those 
in the extreme right and left. Above, the angel of S. Matthew, 
on the left, is a Barocco creation, and the right lower side of 
the head of Christ is badly deformed. 

Yet, for all these mutilations, there breathes from this 
mosaic a unique air of power and beauty. The realism of the 
heavy Koman types is redeemed by the spirituality of the 
Christ, and is lighted up by the glint of the sunlit gold on his 
throne and his garments, in those of the two Allegories of the 
Church, and in the buildings of the Heavenly Jerusalem, 
whose roofs and window traceries gleam brilliantly, while 
above them the clouds with their golden lining almost hide the 
blue sky. 

The technical characteristics of this mosaic that make it 
preeminent in its class, are particularly the realistic solidity of 
the figures, with their deeply lined drapery, their varied and 
lifelike attitudes, their portrait-like heads. The eye sinks 
into the picture ; it has perspective, has different planes. The 
artist makes of his figures more than abstract types for pur- 
poses of religious instruction : he gives them the real life that 
was characteristic of the simple art of the Catacombs and 
which was to disappear very soon from art under the influence 
of more abstract theoretical thought. 

Something of the breadth and strength in the heads also can. 
be understood from the almost contemporary heads of apostles 
in the baptistery of the cathedral at Ravenna. 

Lateran Baptistery. At about the same time the apsidal 
ends of the porch of the Lateran baptistery received their 
mosaic decoration. That on the right, dedicated to SS. Kufina e 
Seconda, has preserved the mosaic, and while it may at first 
sight appear merely decorative, it is a straight piece of symbol- 
ism suited to the place where the chrism of confirmation was 
administered after baptism the promise of the new life of 
the Vine. The entire field is occupied by rich volutes spring- 


ing from a common centre. The fan-shaped crown contains 
the Lamb (Christ) and four doves (the evangelists) under 
arches and between flowers. Beneath the vine is the world of 
sea and shore, as at S. Costanza, with its sportive scenes. 
Further symbolism in the border includes twelve crosses 
(Apostles) and doves at vases (water of life). 

Here, as at S. Costanza, is the Catacomb art spiritualized. 
Technically, the work is superb, though it is badly restored. 
The destroyed companion scene in the opposite hemicycle 
represented the shepherding of the sheep of the Church. 

S. Maria Maggiore : Arch and Apse. The next work is the 
triumphal arch at S. Maria Maggiore, as well as the original 
apsidal mosaic. From a description of c. 1100 A.D. the compo- 
sition in the apse mast have been almost the counterpart of 
S. Rufina with more details : a vine with a sea scene below, 
with birds and animals and fishes. But on the triumphal arch 
we see the advent of a new art and thought derived from the 
Hellenic Orient. 

How explain the effect, as of soft and mellow Persian carpets, 
in the decorative framework under the triumphal arch ? Only 
a colorist from the East could have done it for Pope Sixtus. 
How explain the poetic use of oriental apocryphal legends in 
these same mosaics by any artist schooled in the simple sym- 
bolism and historic parallels of the Roman school ? 

Critics disagree as to whether any part of the present apsi- 
dal mosaic can be dated in its actual workmanship to the time 
of Liberius or Sixtus. I believe that all the volutes of the 
vine, except where they are twisted, in the lower part, away 
from their original lines to admit of the inserted mediaeval 
figures, are actually part of the original mosaic. The plastic 
beauty and depth of color, the skilful interweaving of the 
birds, are indications of early date. Of the water scene below, 
part seems original, part mediaeval reproduction in which the 
playful, graceful air of the scene has not been lost. 

The mosaic on the face of the triumphal arch has preserved 
its original character far better than those of apse or nave. 
Its scenes are of the New Testament, partly symbolic, partly 
historic. In the centre, in a band above the summit of the 


arch, is an apocalyptic scene, the Adoration of the Throne. 
The throne is cushioned and jewelled, surmounted by a cross 
and surrounded by a double glory. Under it is the dedica- 
tory inscription of Pope Sixtus Xystus Episcopus Plebi Dei. 
On either side, hovering in the air, ate the four Beasts or 
symbols of the Evangelists ; and between and below them two 
figures holding books, two prophets or " witnesses," usually 
called erroneously SS. Peter and Paul. Connected theoreti- 
cally with this composition, though separated materially by all 
the evangelical subjects, are the scenes at the very bottom of 
the arch on each side, representing the sacred cities of Jeru- 
salem and Bethlehem, and below them the twelve sheep or 
apostles in two picturesque groups. 

There are three tiers of scenes between these groups just 
described, interrupted by the curve of the arch. They relate 
to the Birth of Christ, and are more closely related to early 
apocryphal legends of the Infancy of Christ than any other 
known works of art. I. (a) Annunciation ; (6) Message to 
Joseph ; (c) Presentation in the Temple ; (d) Flight into 
Egypt (?). II. (a) Adoration of the Magi; (&) Triumphal 
Reception in Egypt. III. (a) Murder of the Innocents ; 
(6) The Magi before Herod. In these scenes the presence of 
many angels as attendants is a Hellenic trait. In this unique 
way of treating the Annunciation, the Virgin is enthroned be- 
tween angels, while Gabriel hovers above. The scene of the 
angel bringing the message to Joseph is also unusual. The 
Adoration of the Magi is lifted above the commonplace by the 
fact that the Child is not held, but sits alone on an immense 
throne behind which four angels stand, while on either side 
are seated the attendant symbolic figures of the two Churches, 
of the Circumcision and the Gentiles. The next scene is 
supposed to be from one of the apocryphal narratives of the 
Infancy of Christ (pseudo-Matthew) and to represent one of 
the kinglets of Egypt issuing forth to do homage to the Child. 
The art of these mosaics seems to vary from those of the nave 
in the richer tonality of the coloring, in a lesser amount of im- 
pressionistic handling, and a greater precision in the composi- 
tion ; though these differences must not be unduly emphasized. 



S. Sabina. Not many years after, the church of S. Sabina 
received a superb mosaic decoration, of which the little that 
remains is quite closely connected with part of the scene at 
S. Pudentiana, as it consists of the two allegorical figures we 

The Church of the Circumcision, Mosaic at S. Sabina. 
(Early fifth century.) 

have already seen there and at S. Maria Maggiore, which are 
clearly identified at S. Sabina by inscriptions as Ecclesia ex 
Circumcisione and Ecclesia ex Gentibus. As at S. Pudentiana, 
these figures are each associated with a prince of the apostles, 


S. Peter being placed above the one, S. Paul above the other. 
If we compare the same figures in the two mosaics, it would 
appear as if a quarter of a century had led to some decrease 
of realistic ability. The female figures at S. Sabina still have 
the grave and stately matronly type ; but their coloring is not 
only deeper, but more monotonous, unrelieved by high lights, 
and the effect is flatter and less rounded. This scene was 
placed on the inside wall of the facade of the church and was 
completed above by the Christ and the symbols of the four 
evangelists. Originally it was a small part of a general mosaic 
ornamentation that covered the apse, the triumphal arch, and 
perhaps the walls of the nave, as at S. Maria Maggiore. 

S. Paul. The original mosaic of the triumphal arch at 
S. Paul followed closely after S. Sabina. It was famous in 
Church annals, being praised by Pope Hadrian in his letter 
to Charlemagne. In the centre is the half-figure of Christ in 
a luminous circle, like a rainbow, and with a nimbus radiat- 
ing long rays of light, according to the description in Reve- 
lation. Above, on either side, are the four symbols of the 
Evangelists, the Beasts of Revelation. Near the lower 
part of Christ's aureole are two angels. Farther off, on both 
sides, are the twenty-four Elders. In the lower part of the 
pendentives are the figures of the princes of the apostles : Paul 
on the right, Peter on the left. This mosaic is entirely modern 
and is valuable merely as preserving the design of the original, 
badly damaged in the fire of 1823. The mistake of regarding 
it as genuine is common in handbooks of art history. The 
hard, flat, severe head of Christ on the arch at S. Paul is 
often used as giving the type of the fifth-century Christ 
which is distinctly a libel on the century and as far as pos- 
sible from the truth. The Christ of the fifth and sixth cen- 
turies is far 'from ascetic : works that retain the actual handiwork 
of the time show softness, morbidezza of handling, mildness of 
expression ; the type, in fact, of the so-called Veronica head. 

Lateran Baptistery. The continuation of the symbolic semi- 
decorative style even after the middle of the fifth century is 
illustrated by the little mosaic in the chapel of S. John the 
Evangelist added to the Lateran Baptistery by Pope Hilary. 



This groin vault has a very schematic decoration on a gold 
ground. The centre is occupied by the Lamb within a rich 
wreath of flowers, which is itself enclosed in an ornamental 
square frame. From the corners arid centres of this radiate 

Figure of Christ in Apsidal Mosaic of SS. Cosma e Damiano. 

frame-like ornamental bands and triple candelabra forming 
eight compartments and intersected by four large garlands of 
flowers festooned from the central frame ; the flowers represent 
the four seasons. 

In each of the eight compartments is a similar group of a 


central vase full of fruit and on either side a bird pointed toward 
it. Each of the four sections of the vault has a particular kind 
of bird of which there are four. They are : ducks, partridges, 
doves, parrots. These birds are supposed to symbolize the 
four elements : water, earth, air and fire. Some decoration re- 
mains in two lunettes. 

Had the two apsidal mosaics of S. Andrea in Catabarbara (c. 
471) and S. Agata in Suburra (c. 461) been preserved we should 

Paiuted Decoration of House ol John and Paul (SS. Giovanni e Paolo). 

undoubtedly have found in them the connecting links between S. 
Pudentiana and SS. Cosma e Damiano strong-featured, heav- 
ily modelled, realistic apostles, richly shadowed in flesh and 
drapery. The names were attached to each apostle at S. Agata 
and with their loss we have missed the chance of seeing what 
the earlier Western tradition held to be the type of each one. 

SS. Cosma e Damiano. It was under Felix IV (526-530) that 
the apse of SS. Cosma e Damiano received its mosaic (ill. on 
p. 73). The theme is that of the typical apsidal mosaic of the 



Koman school : on the face of the apse the apocalyptic scene of 
the Lamb, the Angels and the twenty-four Elders and, in the 
semi-dome, Christ, Peter, and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, Theo- 
dore and Pope Felix ; while below are the Lamb and the twelve 
sheep. Compared with earlier treatments of the same scene, 
such as S. Pu- 
dentiana, there 
is here an elimi- 
nation of all ac- 
cessories, such as 
the buildings of 
the Heavenly 
Jerusalem. This 
step had already 
been taken in 
the fifth century. 
But, further, the 
figure of Christ 
does not stand on 
the solid level on 
which the saints 
are placed, but in 
the midst of 
clouds on a higher 
plane. Here and 
in the angels 
above we trace the 
Orient, but in the 
heavy types of 
the heads rather 

a modification of antique Roman by the Gothic art of Eavenna. 
The substitution here of the statuesque for the early pictorial 
type has been noticed by keen critics as an important innova- 
tion, and this mosaic has also the glory of being the prototype 
of subsequent Roman compositions for over five centuries. 

Frescos : House of John and Paul. The frescos that belong 
to the same century and a half as all these mosaics throw an 
interesting side-light. 

Orante, Fresco in House of John and Paul. 


The series may be opened with the most remarkable frescos 
outside of the Catacombs, those in the house of John and Paul 
on the Ccelian, turned into a church by Pammachius in c. 400. 
Several rooms, preserved below the present church, have a 
decoration sometimes religions in character, sometimes purely 
decorative. The most beautiful is a series of wreath-carrying 
figures encircling one room, so beautiful as to make an earlier 
date probable. In another room the orante is more highly 
finished and lifelike than any in the Catacombs. But most re- 
markable if not as beautiful is the scene of martyrdom in the 
chapel improvised in the very room of the house where the 
saints were killed John, Paul and their friend Gorgonius. 
We see one of them on his knees, his eyes bandaged, while the 
executioner stands back to swing the sword to his neck. The 
other martyrs stand waiting in the background. It is a unique 
scene, painted shortly after the event. 

S. Felicitas, etc. To the fifth century belongs theapsidal fresco 
of the chapel of S. Felicitas, with this martyr in large size sur- 
rounded by her sons. It is illustrated on p. 56. It helps to 
bridge the distance between the easy familiar art of the cata- 
combs and that of the basilicas. The composition of Christ 
surrounded by saints and the two apostles is repeated in the 
catacombs : twice, for instance, in the cemetery of S. Maria 
della Stella at Albano, in the pure Koman style of the fifth 
century. The three broadly treated saints (Policamus, Sebas- 
tian, Quirinus) in the cubiculum of S. Cecilia at S. Callixtus, 
in graceful tunic and pallium, are about contemporary with 
Sixtus III (432-440). 

Perhaps even earlier and decidedly more interesting is a com- 
position in the main crypt of the cemetery of SS. Peter and 
Marcellinus. It is a fresco with large figures in two tiers. In 
the upper and larger tier is Christ enthroned; 011 his right 
S. Paul and on his left S. Peter, neither with any emblem or 
nimbus. In the lower tier the Lamb is in the centre with cru- 
ciform nimbus, the Constantinian monogram and A-13, on the 
mount from which flow the four rivers. Two saints on either 
side are acclaiming the Lamb with raised arm as they approach. 
They are inscribed ; on the right Petrus and Gorgonius and on 


the left Marcellinus and Tiburtius. These saints were buried 
in the crypt. 

Papal Portraits. A decided novelty, however, is the series 
of portraits of the popes in medallions, which were originally 
placed in a row above the arcades of the nave at S. Paul. 
These portraits were added to at different periods. The first 
series seems to have been painted either in the time of 
Pope Leo the Great (440-465) or in the time of the Antipope 
Laurentius (501-505). Those that were saved from the fire of 
1823 were detached and can be studied in the gallery. About 
fifteen years ago I had a series of photographs made. The 
earlier heads, while in no sense exact portraits, are excel- 
lent examples of the treatment of artists of the fifth century, 
with broad effects of light and shade, easy transitions in planes, 
and without the heaviness that soon appears at SS. Cosma e 
Damiano. The latter have the ascetic type and linear tech- 
nique of the eighth century. 

Commodilla. The principal painting among those recently 
discovered at the Catacombs of Commodilla confirms, by its 
style, the attribution to John I (523-526) which may be in- 
ferred from the text of the Liber Pontijicalis, for it stands mid- 
way between the mosaics of the time of Theodoric and those of 
Justinian at Ravenna. Christ, youthful and beardless, is seated 
on a globe, the exact counterpart in type and position of the 
Christ in the apse of S. Vitale at Eavenna (c. 530-540). On 
the right is S. Peter, on the left S. Paul, and beyond, on either 
side, the martyrs to whom the chapel is dedicated, SS. Felix and 
Adauctus. These four figures do not stand facing the audience, 
but are looking tovvard Christ and moving toward him with 
that bending rush so characteristic of the Magi approaching the 
Infant Christ in S. Apollinare Nuovo at Ravenna (c. 540). Fram- 
ing the scene at either end, but not strictly part of it, are two 
other saints, Emerita, who was also buried here and shared the 
local honors with Felix and Adauctus, and Stephen. These 
two figures are immobile and face the spectator ; yet they are 
not lifeless, ascetic and attenuated as such figures became in 
the following seventh century, but stand in graceful dignity, like 
youthful oranti, or like Theodoric's prophets between the win- 



dows at S. Apol- 
linare, or some of 
the figures in the 
galleries at S. Vitale. 
In every fibre they 
breathe the air of 
Ravenna in its most 
Hellenic proto-By- 

Other paintings in 
the same crypt are 
in the same style, 
but may be later, 
especially the single 
figure of S. Luke, 
which seems to be 
dated in the seventh 
century by the in- 
scription sub tem- 
pora Constantini 
Augusti nostri, prob- 
ably Constantino 

Another large 
painting in this 
crypt is a votive 
picture over the 
tomb of a lady 
named " Turtura. " 
Here the Virgin and 
Child are enthroned 
in the centre, with 
the young Felix on 
the right and the old 
bearded A dauctus on 
the left, who is pre- 
senting the woman 
in rich dark robes 


whose tomb was below. In all these works the technique is 
quite distinct from the thin sketchy work of the catacomb 
frescos heretofore. The rich solidity of the coloring shows 
the reaction of mosaics on fresco painting. It is not a 
development, however, of the Roman school. Technique, 
style, composition all are an importation from Ravenna. 

The Gothic wars now come to interrupt the course of ar- 
tistic events, and the rest of the sixth century is comparatively 
barren, unless we place here the earliest frescos at S. Maria 
Antiqua and S. "Saba. But while Rome suffered almost com- 
plete artistic eclipse, Ravenna continued to flourish artistically, 
so that it is not surprising to find that the next products of the 
art in Rome are somewhat ineffective echoes of Ravenna; in- 
effective, because the school of Ravenna was itself declining. 

Mosaics : S. Lorenzo and S. Teodoro. Pope Pelagius (578- 
590) placed a mosaic on the face of the triumphal arch 
of the older basilica of S. Lorenzo (ad corpus) when he 
enlarged the Church. Christ is seated on the globe of the 
world, blessing with his right and holding the long cross in his 
left. On either side are. three figures, each with his name in- 
scribed above his head. On the right of Christ, S. Peter with 
cross and keys and S. Lawrence with cross and open book, pre- 
senting Pope Pelagius (who carries a model of the basilica 
ad corpus). On the left of Christ, S. Paul with two scrolls, 
S. Stephen with open book and S. Hippolytus carrying his mar- 
tyr's crown. Under two highly decorated windows, which 
frame the composition at either end, are the two sacred cities, 
Jerusalem and Bethlehem, in the peridentives. SS. Stephen 
and Hippolytus were introduced because their bodies were 
buried in this church, as well as that of the titular saint, Law- 
rence. Nearly the whole of the body of Pelagius is modern, 
also unimportant parts of SS. Lawrence and Hippolytus. 

Earmarks of the Byzantine traditions of Ravenna are the 
seating of Christ on the globe and the placing of S. Peter on 
the right instead of the left side of Christ. In the interesting 
and necessarily theological discussion as to the meaning of the 
position of the apostles, in which Catholic critics show a 
somewhat natural susceptibility, it appears not to have been 


noticed that the constant and invariable Roman tradition from 
the fourth to the thirteenth century places S. Peter on Christ's 
left side, while the Byzantine tradition, with equal persistency, 
places him on Christ's right side. In several cases the posi- 
tion on the right is sufficient to prove Byzantine influence. 

Perhaps a little later is the semi-dome of the little circular 
church of S. Teodoro, where the presence of S. Paul on the 
right of Christ shows that Roman tradition was beginning to 
reassert itself, though the seating of Christ on the globe is a 
sign of the imitation of Ravenna models. The restoration of 
it in the fifteenth century under Nicholas V was so funda- 
mental as almost to obliterate the original style. 

Increased Influence of Ravenna and Constantinople. When 
Pope Pelagius and his successors set about their work of artis- 
tic restoration of the city, their problem was extremely difficult, 
almost insoluble. We have seen how pitifully they failed in 
ai'chitecture. The situation was perhaps not so desperate in 
the field of painting. But certainly Rome herself had not 
preserved any painters or mosaicists. Once more we must 
believe that she turned to Ravenna, where art had continued 
its uninterrupted course, though beginning a decline that was 
to become a landslide in the second part of the seventh century. 
But now, before the close of the sixth century, mosaic and 
wall painting were still cultivated with at least sufficient vigor 
to account for the source of the works produced in Rome. In 
fact, no other origin seems possible, as we must exclude a 
direct influence from Constantinople, and no other city in 
Italy then possessed an important school of art. There is one 
possible exception. The great church of the Apostles, built 
with the aid of the Byzantine general Narses himself, was 
decorated with a series of mosaics mentioned by Pope Hadrian. 
In a work that was a sort of consecration of the Byzantine 
triumph it is possible that Constantinople furnished the 
artists ; we cannot say. But certainly the mosaics at S. 
Lorenzo and S. Teodoro cannot be attributed to artists from 
the capital. They combine the traditions of Ravenna and 
Rome. To Ravenna belongs the type of Christ seated on the 
globe of the world instead of enthroned or standing in the 


clouds. Foreign to Boman tradition is the placing of S. Paul 
on the left instead of the right of Christ, and the placing of a 
cross in the hands of Christ and S. Peter. While the technique 
of these works is still excellent, the figures have no life or 
substance ; they are flat and expressionless manikins. 

It seems to have been quite different in the field of wall- 
painting. We are forced to attribute to the period shortly 
before or after 600 a number of the recently discovered 
frescos at S. Maria Antiqua and S. Saba, and to find in them 
the charm and beauty of a masterly art. In fact with the 
opening of the seventh century the invasion of the field of 
fresco painting by Byzantine art becomes most pronounced. 
So much so that it is not easy to say whether the thread of 
Roman tradition was not altogether broken. There has been 
until now an entire misconception of the character of painting 
during this century because the judgment of critics was based 
on mosaics, which were then undeniably stiff and lifeless. 
But, thanks to recent discoveries, it appears that the contem- 
porary painters possessed far greater suppleness and life. 

S. Agnese and S. Venanzio. But, to begin with the better 
known mosaics. These are : the semi-domes of S. Agnese and 
of S. Stef ano Rotondo ; the apse of S. Venanzio ; the altar-piece 
at S. Pietro in Vincoli. 

At S. Agnese only the hemicycle of the apse is preserved, 
dating from Honorius I (625-638). It contains but three 
figures, standing stiffly against a gold ground. In the centre 
S. Agnes, in rich court costume, diadem and jewelled pectoral, 
is flanked by the figures of two Popes, one holding the model 
of the basilica (Honorius I ?), the other, with modern head 
and holding a book (Sylvester or Symmachus). Though there 
is not much relief to the figures, the stiff costume of S. Agnes 
has led to a somewhat unfair estimate of the painting of this 
period, and of Byzantine art in general. 

Any rich and heavy costume that conceals the figure is apt 
to be called Byzantine and as proving the influence of Byzan- 
tine art, commencing with this S. Agnes in her apse, and 
continuing until the revival of the thirteenth century. 
Nothing could be more fallacious. The courtly and ecclesias- 



tical costumes since the time of Constantino had taken on that 
richness, whether in East or West, and, later, the use even of 
specifically Eastern styles does not prove that .Byzantine art 
was the cause, but rather that, as we know it to have been a 
fact in the Rome of the seventh and eighth centuries and in the 
Venice of the tenth and eleventh centuries, Byzantine costume 

Mosaics of Chapel S. Venanzio (left side), Lateran. 

prevailed among the wealthy and upper classes, and this style 
was, therefore, not foreign but national and naturally reproduced 
by native artists from life. 

In the same fashion that all such heavy and bejewelled 
costumes have been foisted upon Byzantine art, it has been 
supposed that this art had lost the ability to use simple 
classic draperies. So that when such draperies are found in 
the Koman frescos or elsewhere, they are adduced as a return 
to early Christian models, as a proof of the absence of Byzan- 
tine influence. A study of Byzantine illuminations where 
larger works fail us show on the contrary that the mastery 


of classic Greek and Roman drapery remained an undying 
heritage in the Orient, even when eclipsed in the West. For 
figures of ideal character, except in the case of warrior saints 
and the like, for apostles and prophets and even for the com- 
mon multitudes in many biblical scenes, the costume was 
thoroughly antique. This is of incalculable influence over the 
form of artistic expression. 

In another mosaic of this time, that of S. Venanzio, the 
prevalence of figures of saints in ecclesiastical costume gives 
a general effect of stiffness that is contradicted by the Christ 
and angels in the upper part of the composition. Pope 
John IV (640-642) began and Pope Theodore (642-649) com- 
pleted this decoration of S. Venanzio. 

In the upper part of the semi-dome a half-figure of Christ 
emerges from clouds and blesses in Greek fashion. On either 
side, also half-hidden in clouds, is an adoring angel. Below, 
representing the Church on earth, is the Virgin in the centre 
as orans, with arms raised. On her right, S. Paul, John the 
Evangelist, S. Venantius and Pope John IV, founder of the 
oratory. He carries the model ; all the rest books. On 
the left are S. Peter and John the Baptist with the crosses, S. 
Domnio of Salona in Dalmatia whence came the relics of the 
saints for which the oratory was built, and finally Pope 
Theodore, who completed the decoration of the chapel. At 
the base is the dedicatory inscription in two lines. 

The decoration of the face of the arch is in two tiers. The 
upper tier is broken by three windows which interfered, un- 
doubtedly, with the completeness of the theme. On either 
side of the central window (where the Lamb, the Cross or 
the bust of Christ should have been) are the symbols of the 
evangelists. Beyond the two other windows are the two 
sacred cities. The lower tier consists of eight figures four 
in each spandrel representing the principal martyrs and saints 
of Istria and Dalmatia whose relics were brought here by Pope 
John IV. They are, beginning on our left, SS. Paulinianus, 
Telius, Asterius, Anastasius, Maurus, Septimius, Antiochianus, 
Gaianus. The principal and titular saint, Venantius, had 
already been represented in the apse itself. Each figure is 


inscribed above its head. This is a work not without character 
and life. The court costume of some of the saints gives some 
relief from the stiffer ecclesiastical robes of the bishops and 
deacons ; and there is some attempt at relief and shading, 
especially in the whites. It is the best mosaic of the century. 

To the same Pope Theodore is due a much weaker and 
badly restored apsidal mosaic at S. Stefano Rotondo. In the 
centre a jewelled cross stands in the garden of Paradise. On 
its summit rests a medallion enclosing the bust of Christ, 
above which, within a starry firmament, is the hand of the 
Father, holding the wreath. A saint stands on either side, 
identified by his inscribed name ; S. Primus on the right and 
S. Felicianus on the left of Christ. The restorations are very 
considerable, but not sufficient to undermine the general 
character and soft coloring, which is not nearly as abounding in 
contrasts of light and shade as S. Venauzio. 

At S. Pietro in Vincoli the single figure of S. Sebastian 
formed an ancient altar-piece, probably erected in 680 by 
Pope Agatho at the time of the plague. The saint is a 
middle-aged, bearded man in the military costume of short 
tunic and chlamys, that prevailed in Constantinople at this 
time. The type is the absolute opposite of the effeminate 
youth popularized by the Renaissance. 

With this work the series of seventh-century mosaics closes. 

Pope John VII. At the opening of the eighth century only 
a few fragments show the style of a precious series of mosaics 
at the Vatican basilica in the chapel of the Virgin erected by 
Pope John VII. They strike a new note ; new in technique, 
in composition, in ideas. There is nothing like them before or 
after. They are a stray visitor from the Orient. 

Though merely the decoration of a chapel these mosaics 
formed an elaborate series. On the outside faqade were eight 
scenes from the life of S. Peter, mostly from apocryphal 
sources, beginning with his preaching in Jerusalem and end- 
ing with his martyrdom. Inside the chapel was a series from 
the life of Christ. Though there are but seven framed com- 
partments, the subjects are sixteen. Two, three and even four 
scenes are picturesquely thrown together in a manner that we 


are apt to associate only with such Renaissance artists as 
Ghiberti in his bronze gates or Botticelli in his Sistine fres- 
cos. The themes begin with the Annunciation and Visita- 
tion and end with the Crucifixion and Descent into Limbo. 
On a larger scale, framed by these scenes on both sides, is 
the Virgin as orans, to whom the Pope is offering the chapel. 

Of the apse mosaic, where the Virgin and Child were flanked 
by Peter and Paul, nothing remains ; but the colossal Virgin 
as orans is in S. Marco at Florence, the Adoration of the 
Magi (part) at S. Maria in Cosmedin, and smaller fragments 
in the Vatican crypts, the Lateran Museum and at Orte. 

The color scheme is very light and unusual, with a predomi- 
nance of whites, yellows and greens. The effect is flat, coarse 
when examined closely, but unconventional and at a distance 
picturesque and effective. The white draperies are lined with 
thin blue shadows, the flesh has red shadows. It is a return, 
in another way, to an impressionism corresponding to that of 
S. Maria Maggiore's nave. There is a movement and variety 
of pose quite different from the statuesque front-view method 
of the rest of Roman mosaics ; profiles and three-quarter views 
are not avoided. The most interesting of the themes is the 
Crucifixion, which here appears for the first time in an official 
and dated Roman monument, though that painted in the cata- 
comb of S. Valentinus is probably earlier (642-649). 

Frescos of the Seventh Century and of John VII. But before 
proceeding further we must review the works of fresco-paint- 
ing for the century and a half between the mosaic of Pelagius 
II at S. Lorenzo (578-590) and that of John VII (705-707) at 
S. Peter. 

Aside from the frescos in the Catacomb of Commodilla, al- 
ready described, there is a fresco in that of Pontianus, which 
is of about the time of the mosaics of S. Venanzio (c. 625-650), 
and illustrates the greater suppleness of fresco technique. In 
a composition with five figures. Christ, as a half-figure, appears 
above on the clouds, with cruciform nimbus. He is crowning, 
with far-extended arms, S. Abdon on his right and S. Sennen 
on his left. These noble Persian martyrs wear their national 
costume a hooded (pileus) short mantle fastened in front over 



a short fringed tunic and anaxarydes which leave the legs 
entirely exposed. Further on the right is S. Milix in short 
tunic and chlamys fastened on the right shoulder. The 
corresponding figure on the left is S. Vincent in ecclesiastical 
costume. Both these saints have their arms extended in the 
attitude of oranti, while the Persian martyrs are pointing 
toward Christ. The site is marked as Paradise by the flowers. 

Head from Apse of Lower Church, S. Saba. 
(Sixth to seventh centuries.) 

Of the same period is a scene in the baptistery. It is the 
Baptism of Christ, who stands in the Jordan up to his waist. 
His head has the nimbus, and to it, through clouds, descends 
the dove of the Holy Ghost; over the right bank a ministering 
angel hovers, holding Christ's garments, and in front a stag is 
drinking. On the left bank stands John the Baptist in a scanty 
skin garment, carrying a crook and leaning forward to lay his 
hand on Christ's head. There are here also two famous por- 
trait-busts of Christ. The first, at the foot of the main stair- 
way, with simple cruciform nimbus, broad and oval face with 
short beard and low-growing hair; the second, with jewelled 
cruciform nimbus, heavy long hair and chin-beard. The for- 
mer is earlier and better ; the latter is debased and crude. 



In the cemetery of Callixtus a figure of S. Cecilia, as an orans, 
with arms extended, painted in the crypt sacred to her, is inter- 
esting to compare with the figure of S. Agnes in that saint's 
basilica, of about the same time. S. Cecilia is in rich jewelled 
costume, embroidered 
with lines of pearls and 
with heavy bracelets, 
her head decorated 
with a nimbus and a 
pearl frontlet. 

The finest fresco of 
the time in a Catacomb, 
and a good Byzantine 
work of the early 
seventh century, is one 
in the cubiculum of the 
four saints in the ceme- 
tery of Generosa, where 
Christ is surrounded by 
four martyrs carrying 
their crowns and in 
typical Byzantine cos- 
tume, SS. Simplicius 
and Viatrix on his right 
and SS. Faustinianus 
and Rufinianus on his 

There was certainly 
a continuous interac- 
tion between the two 
arts during this period. 
The mosaicists of John VII borrowed from wall-painting their 
light tones and sketchiness. In turn the heavy outlines which 
they were obliged to use in consequence in order to accentuate 
their rather substanceless figures, were afterward adopted by 
the painters themselves when they became, in the following 
century, unable to handle softly graded body colors. The later 
works at S. Saba show this, especially the group of heads of 

Saint from Apse of Lower Church, S. Saba. 
(Sixth to seventh centuries.) 



Oriental eremites. At the same time the advantage is entirely 
with the fresco-painter. 

For a real understanding of the possibilities of fresco-paint- 
ing at this time we must study those at S. Saba and S. Maria 

Frescos of S. Saba. The primitive small single-naved church 
attached to the Greek monastery of S. Saba on the Aven- 
tine has been recently unearthed in its lower part, under the 

Greek Eremites in Fresco of Lower Church, S. Saba. 
(Seventh to eighth centuries.) 

larger basilica of the twelfth century. Injured, probably, by 
the fire of Robert Guiscard, it was demolished to within less 
than two metres of its pavement, this space filled with dirt and 
the new church built on the higher level. Its walls were en- 
tirely covered with frescos. There appear not to be as many 
successive strata as we shall find at S. Maria Antiqua, though 
all the scenes were not painted at the same time those in and 
near the apse being the earlier and a second stratum being evi- 
dent in parts. The eighteen large figures of saints occupying 
the lower part of the circuit of the apse, after the fashion of S. 
Venanzio, with their purity and sureuess of outline, and the 



early classic Byzantinism of their physiognomy, seem by the 
same early hand as the exquisite head of Christ with its softly 
graded flesh tints and its round contours. The eyes are open 
and mild, the mouth is sweet and rather small, with full lips. 
These are traits impossible much after c. 600 in Italy, so that 
we must suppose an early colony of Greek monks to have 
decorated the church just before or after that date. Perhaps 
the group of heads of 
Eastern monks, with 
their ungraded flat sur- 
faces and broad brush- 
work, belongs to some 
cruder, more sketchy com- 
positions of the seventh 
or early eighth century. 
There are also some 
small-sized scenes which 
correspond perfectly with 
the frescos of John VII 
at S. Maria Antiqua and 
were, with these, the pro- 
totypes of later similar 
scenes ot the eighth 
century in the older S. 
Clemente, by the hand of 
inferior native Roman 
imitators. This minia- 
ture series is from the 
life of Christ. 

There can be no doubt in the mind of an unprejudiced student 
that these frescos are all by Byzantine artists, probably by 
Greek monks of the monastery itself, such as the Martinus 
Monachus mag(ister\ who is represented on the left wall. 

Frescos of S. Maria Antiqua. Although the church of S. 
Maria Antiqua in the Forum was a far more important building 
than S. Saba, none of its frescos are quite equal to the 
earliest there, except a few fragments of the two earliest strata, 
especially the head of an angel, among those that are in adora- 

Head of Christ, S. Saba. 
(Sixth to seventh centuries.) 



tion of the enthroned Virgin and Child. This three-quarter 
head is of the same beautiful early Byzantine type as the fa- 
mous archangel of the British Museum diptych (c. 500), and 
gives a high idea of what these first frescos at S. Maria Antiqua 
may have been. 

When the Library of the temple of Augustus, between the 
Palatine and the Forum, was transformed, toward the close of 

Miracles of Christ : Frescos in Lower Church of S. Saha. 

(Seventh century.) 

the sixth century, into a Christian church under the name of 
S. Maria Antiqua, it received a wall decoration in fresco which 
was supplemented and renewed at short intervals during the 
following two centuries, especially under Popes Martin I 
(649-653), John VII (705-708), Paul I (757-767) and Hadrian I 
(772-793). As the church was abandoned under Leo IV (845- 
850) none of its frescos can be later. 

There is a general scheme of decoration. The left-hand 
wall was covered with scenes from the Old, the right wall 


with those of the New Testament. Both series overflow into 
the presbytery and choir-screen. This is supplemented by 
others in the two rooms on either side of the apse, by those in 
the apse and adjacent presbytery walls, and finally the others 
near the entrance to the church in the Chapel of the Forty 
Martyrs. The history of fresco-painting in Kome during the 
two centuries, between the age of Justinian and that of Charle- 
magne, is epitomized in this one building. It represents official 
Roman art because the church was the Papal chapel and John 
VII established his residence in a palace next to it, and the 
frescos bear evidence of being official attempts to glorify the 
Papacy and its policy. 

The apse best illustrates the history of this pictorial decora- 
tion. When the building was first turned into a chapel, it was 
not provided with an apse. At this time it received the first 
stratum of frescos. To this belongs a bejewelled Madonna, 
with adoring angels, of the Odegetria type. When the apse was 
cut, this stratum was overlaid by another and the same scene 
was repeated; the head of one of the adoring angels is the 
masterpiece already referred to. As this second stratum is 
connected with Pope Martin I (649-653), it may be supposed 
that the earlier stratum is not later than the time of Gregory 
the Great, just before or after 600, and may well be even 
earlier. After another half-century the church was again 
enlarged, and Pope John VII (705-708) superposed a third 
series in which the former theme was concealed by a row 
of single figures of saints with their names, among which are 
Gregory Nazianzen and Basil. Christ flanked by tetramorphs 
filled the semi-dome. Other fragments of the second stratum 
represent Church fathers with names and inscribed scrolls. 
The apostles are also placed as busts in medallions. The entire 
presbytery was devoted to the Life of Christ culminating in the 

With each renovation the frescos appear to have spread 
further from the apse and presbytery, and, under John VII, to 
have covered the walls of the nave. With few exceptions all 
the inscriptions of these three earlier strata are in Greek, and 
this confirms the stylistic evidence of the paintings themselves. 


The scheme of the decoration was to place the scenes from the 
Old Testament on the left, as one faces the apse ; the New 
Testament scene on the right, not only on the walls of the nave, 
but on the piers at the entrance to the presbytery. The New 
Testament scenes are less thoroughly destroyed. The Annun- 
ciation, in its repetition of the scene on two strata, shows the 
two periods (John VII and Paul I ?). Other subjects are 
Judith with the head of Holophernes and the Mother of the 
Maccabees with her seven sons, which are extremely effective. 

The original arrangement appears almost perfectly in the 
left side-aisle. Below is a tasteful dado painted to imitate a 
rich hanging. Then, a line of large figures, three-quarter size. 
Here the scene is Christ enthroned with nine Greek saints and 
Church fathers on his left and eleven Latin saints and fathers 
on his right. All the names are in Greek, so this picture is 
not later than John VII. Above this are two rows of oblong 
compositions with Old Testament scenes. The upper row be- 
gan with the Creation, and ended with the Flood. The lower 
row are from the stories of Jacob and Joseph. The different 
style and the Latin inscriptions show that these rows are a 
little later than John VII, probably as late as Zachariah and 
Paul I. The heavier oxitlines and lack of moulded shadows 
betray an artist inferior to the author of the other Old Testa- 
ment scenes at the entrance to the presbytery, such as the 
scene of King Hezechiah and Isaiah. 

The best preserved scenes of the New Testament are inside 
the presbytery. The Adoration of the Magi recalls the scene 
at Ravenna in the mosaic at S. Apollinare and the tomb of 
the Exarch Isaac. An unusual scene is the Carrying of the 
Cross by Simon of Cyrene, a scene which leads up to the 
great Crucifixion in the centre. Another one is S. Anne en- 
throned, holding the Virgin as a child. 

In studying these series of Bible history on so small a scale, 
framed in their decorative patterns, one is reminded of the 
theory that such series originated in the early illuminated 

S. Valentinus. To confirm the date of these frescos of S. 
Maria Antiqua and S. Saba, and their Greek origin, come the 



frescos of a crypt in the cemetery of S. Valentinus, which 
have been proved to belong to the time of Pope Theodore 
(642-648). The style is crude in comparison. The artist is 
not an originator, but a native copyist. The series is in four 
parts. Its condition is almost too bad to allow of criticism. 
Its importance, however, is increased by the fact that its 
Crucifixion scene is 
probably the earliest 

In the Crucifixion 
Christ is robed in 
the long sleeveless 
colobium ; his feet 
rest, side by side, 
on the suppedaneum. 
His eyes are wide 
open. Above his 
nimbed head is the 
title Jesus. Rex. 
ludeorum. On either 
side are the sun and 
moon. Below, on 
the right, the Virgin ; 
on the left, S. John, 
holding a book. 
There also are 
single figures of S. 
Lawrence, and of 
another martyr, per- 
haps S. Valentinus, and a scene of the Virgin holding the 
Child straight in front in the centre, in the position of the 
sacred pictures of Constantinople such as the Odegetria. 
Finally there are three episodes in the life of the Virgin, 
(a) The Visitation; (&) the washing of the Child; (c) the 
miraculous cure of the incredulous midwife (apocryphal 
legends). These frescos at S. Valentino presuppose the 
earliest at S. Saba and S. Maria. 

I will add here another example of the Crucifixion, in the 

The Crucifixion, Fresco at S. Maria Antiqua. 


house of SS. John and Paul under their church, of similar type 
to both the Crucifixions just described. 

Mosaics and Frescos of the Eighth Century. To return, 
now, to mosaic-painting, there is a gap in the continuity of 
existing mosaics in Koine between those of the first decade 
of the eighth century and those of c. 800, when the face 
of the apse of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo was done by the 

Apsidal Mosaic of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo (c. 800). 

hand of Greek artists under Leo III (795-816). The semi- 
dome of the apse was decorated, of course, at the same time, 
but has not survived. The composition consists of three 
scenes, not at all germane to the Roman tradition, but be- 
longing to Byzantine art. In the centre is the Transfiguration. 
Christ in an oval aureole is robed in pallium and white tunic 
trimmed with purple and gold. Outside the aureole, on the 
mountain, stand Moses and Elias. while below them kneel, 
on the right Peter and on the left John and James, who veil 
themselves from the glory. All are in white. At the right 
end is the Annunciation, in which the Angel approaches the 


seated Virgin, who has laid aside her spinning. At the left 
end are the Virgin and Child adored by an angel, in the atti- 
tude of the famous miraculous " Theotocos " (Mother of God), 
pictures so popular after the Council of Ephesus. 

The principal part of the mosaic, that on the semidome of 
the apse, was destroyed during the Eenaissance, but it is 
known to have included, in the centre, a large cross in front 
of a large pavilion, while sheep are approaching on both 
sides. This is merely a symbolic representation of the same 
theme the Transfiguration. Compare the Transfiguration in 
the apse of S. Apollinare in Classe at Ravenna. 

The mosaic of the Mission of the Apostles and the scene 
with Leo III and Charlemagne from the Lateran triclinium 
hardly requires mention, as it is merely a Renaissance re- 

Before describing the mosaics of Pope Paschal I and his 
successors later in the ninth century, the frescos painted 
between c. 710 and 816 must be studied. 

The eighth century saw no abating in the activity of Roman 
painters. Gregory III (731-741) in particular, the opponent of 
the Iconoclasts, patronized them, and his letter on the subjects 
painted in. Roman churches shows his intelligent interest. 
Under Zacharias the frescos of S. Maria Antiqua were supple- 
mented by new ones in the chapel of Quiricus and Julitta, which 
are in especially good condition. They have recently been as- 
cribed in part to an earlier date, and to have been merely sup- 
plemented and restored by Zacharias. The apsidal niche has 
the best-preserved early Crucifixion scene in existence. The 
figure of Christ occupies nearly the entire width ; beneath the 
arms of the cross are the Virgin and S. John ; between them and 
Christ are Longinus, piercing His side, and a second soldier with 
sponge and vinegar. Above are the sun and moon. In the back- 
ground is a rocky landscape on the right. A peculiarity is the 
classification of individual figures by their size, which corre- 
sponds to their relative importance. Here there are three very 
distinct categories. Christ is of the usual early type with wide- 
open eyes, without any trace of suffering or weakness, as He 
seems to rest against the Cross, not to hang from it. The 


long blue colobium covers Him entirely in soft fine folds. In 
the figures of the Virgin and S. John we see no longer the 
Hellenic beauty so clear in the works of the previous cen- 
tury; and the type of the two soldiers, lank and awkward, is 
one that will continue in Rome until the eleventh century and 
be repeated at S. Urbano alia Caffarella and S. Paul (Martiro- 
logio Chapel). 

Underneath is a line of figures centred around the en- 
throned Virgin and Child. SS. Peter and Paul stand on either 
side. Beyond them are the persons to whom the chapel is 
dedicated, SS. Quiricus and Julitta, and at the ends Pope 
Zacharias and the donor Theodotus, uncle of Pope Hadrian. 
They have the square nimbus, showing them to have been 
living. These two heads were added over those of the original 
donors. Each figure is inscribed. A long inscription identifies 
Theodotus : Theodotus primicerio defensorum et dfspensatore 
sanctce Dei genetricis semperque Virginis Marias quce appellatur 
Antiqua. It is this inscription which made the identification 
of this church certain. 

The history of the two titular martyrs is developed on the 
side-walls in eight compositions, which are described in Latin 
inscriptions and are among the most precious and earliest of 
preserved lives of the saints. The scenes relate to the trial 
and martyrdom of mother and son in Tarsus of Cilicia. Of 
peculiar interest is another scene, near the door, which is 
unique as giving the portrait-figures of the founder of the 
chapel, Theodotus and his two children. It is true that there 
are different opinions as to whether these portraits were not 
later substitutions for earlier originals. 

It is not certain that these frescos may not be by Greek 
hands, but the balance of probability is that they are by local 
artists trained by Greeks in their solid color-system. 

In the apse and presbytery of the church the confusing 
super-position of frescos and their scaling off in certain parts 
more than others make it difficult to distinguish always what 
belongs to the latest series probably that of Pope Paul I 
(757-767). This Pope appears in the apse worshipping an 
enthroned Christ, who is attended by six-winged cherubim. 


I am inclined to attribute to this series some scenes of the 
Old and New Testaments in and near the presbytery to which 
Latin inscriptions are attached. One suspects, from the deli- 
cacy and miniature-like quality of such scenes as the sickness 
of King Hezechiah, that there had been a new influx of Greek 
artists under Paul I, if we do not ascribe them to John VII. 

There was a second and probably earlier Crucifixion scene 
on the wall above the main apse, so badly injured that only 
the upper part of the Christ, parts of adoring angels and of 
S. John can be distinguished. It was probably originally the 
grandest scene of its kind in Eome, and more an ideal inter- 
pretation than the others. This we gather from the very long 
Greek inscriptions underneath it composed of quotations from 
the Song of Solomon (iii, 2), Zachariah (ix, 11 ; xiv, 6-7), Amos 
(viii, 9-10), Jeremiah (Baruch iii, 36) and John (xix, 37). It is 
a glorification of the Crucifixion, placed on this most prom- 
inent position ; and suggests a connection with the Quinisext 
Council of 696, which ordered Christ to be represented cruci- 
fied in human shape, not as the Lamb. This and the Greek 
inscription relates this painting to the series of John VII, 
not to the later ones. 

Perhaps here should be mentioned two damaged scenes in 
the subterranean church of S. Martino ai Monti (VII cent. ?), 
of similar effect to others of the type of S. Venanzio. In the 
first Christ stands in the centre blessing in the Greek manner 
and holding a scroll. S. Paul on right and S. Peter on left 
hold books. SS. Processus and Martinianus, one on either 
side, hold martyrs' crowns and small crosses. Each figure 
had his name inscribed above his head. In the second scene 
the Virgin stands holding the Child. Four female martyrs 
accompany her, two on each side, each carrying a ring and a 
martyr's crown. They are in embroidered and jewelled robes, 
similar to the S. Agnes type and only one saint, " Agnes," has 
preserved her name. 

It is curious that the great artistic activity of Pope Ha- 
drian I, Charlemagne's contemporary, should have left so few 
certain traces in Rome. His care for the Catacombs and their 
decoration resulted in an abundance of frescos, and some 


scattered fragments may remain. Such are the four single 
figures in the crypt of S. Cornelius at S. Callixtus (Cornelius, 
Cyprian, Sixtus II and Optatus), also attributed to his suc- 
cessor Leo III. 

There still seem to have remained some Greek painters in 
Rome in connection with the Schola Grseca of S. Maria in 
Cosmedin, for the frescos in the church restored by Hadrian 
which were recently uncovered appear to belong to this time 
rather than to the twelfth century. Those on the face of the 
apse represent a scene thoroughly Byzantine, the Trisagion. 
The colossal Christ is surrounded by choirs of worshipping, 
singing angels. 

The Ninth Century : S. Prassede, etc. As an instance of 
the manner of the Roman school of this time, still following 
the Byzantine scheme but in quite a different style, is a 
group of four small scenes in the lower church of S. Clemeute. 
The first, a Crucifixion, is a derivative of the type of John 
VII, but the earmarks of the Western, or rather Northern Car- 
lovingiaii energy, is shown in the gesticulating attitude of the 
Virgin and S. John. The other scenes are : the Maries at the 
tomb; the Descent into Hades; and the Marriage at Cana. 
The rather vulgar and crude style and the coarse outlines show 
how the school had lost ground since even the days of Paul I. 

The decadence in fresco is reflected in mosaic. The fall 
from SS. Nereo ed Achilleo, where Greek refinement was joined 
to some solidity and depth of color, to the lifelessness of the 
mosaics of Paschal I is rapid. It is not so extreme at S. Pras- 
sede as in other and slightly later works. In sheer bulk and 
mass of color the S. Prassede mosaics are very impressive, for 
it is the largest series in Rome except that of S. Maria Mag- 
giore and was entirely the work of Pope Paschal I. There 
are two groups : those of the semi-dome and face of the apse 
and of the triumphal arch ; those of the exterior and interior 
of the chapel of S. Zeno. 

On the face of the apse, within a circle in the centre, is a 
Lamb on a cushioned throne with the cross rising behind and 
the seven-sealed book (scroll) on a stand below. On either side 
are the seven candlesticks, the four archangels and the four 


symbols of the Evangelists, in the midst of clouds. Below, in 
the pendentives, the twenty-four elders are offering up their 

Within the apse is Christ, standing in clouds, right hand 
raised in teaching, scroll in left. Slightly in front of him, and 
standing on the ground of Paradise, are six figures. On the 
right S. Paul with his right arm over the shoulder of S. Prax- 
edis, whom he is presenting ; beyond, the much-restored figure 
of the builder, Pope Paschal I. On the left S. Peter similarly 
presenting S. Pudentiana (sister of Praxedis), while beyond her 
is S. Zeno. At each end is the usual palm-tree, with the nimbed 
phoenix of the resurrection in that on the right. Beneath the 
feet of the figures runs the sacred river Jordan, signifying that 
the scene is beyond the present world. In the predella below 
is the usual procession of the twelve sheep issuing from Je- 
rusalem and Bethlehem, toward the central Lamb from whose 
sacred mount issue the four rivers of Paradise. 

On the triumphal arch is a unique presentation of the Heav- 
enly Jerusalem, not at all according to the specification in 
Revelation xxi., except that the walls seem decorated with pre- 
cious stones and the gates guarded by angels. In the hosts of 
the saved that fill the two pendentives, robed in white and with 
palms in their hands, we can also see the echo of Revelation 
viii. 9, " a great multitude ... of all nations and kindreds 
and people and tongues . . . clothed with white robes and 
with palms in their hands." The heavenly city does not 
contain as yet the hosts of the saved. In the centre is Christ 
flanked by two archangels. On a lower level the two female 
figures nearest Christ are the Church of the Circumcision and 
the Church of the Gentiles followed by John the Baptist and 
the twelve apostles, all carrying crowns, extending in a line on 
each side as far as the gates. Above them are three figures 
that are pointing toward Christ : the beardless Moses, with the 
book of the law (lege), and the bearded Elias, the two prophets 
of the Transfiguration, probably thought to be the two witnesses 
of Revelation (xi. 3). The angel is the Angel of the Procla- 
mation of the Gospel (xiv. 6). Outside the gates of the Heav- 
enly Jerusalem, a group of the elect approach on either side. 





Taking restorations into account, which are more destructive 
at these ends than anywhere else, it would seem as if the ap- 
proaching cohorts on the right consisted originally of women 
and those on the left of men. The former are being received 
only by two angels, the latter by S. Paul and S. Peter, to whom 
an angel is pointing as to the doorkeeper. 

The chapel of S. Zeno projects from the body of the church 
with is connected by a sort of facade centring around 

Mosaic Vault in Chapel of S. Zeno, at S. Prassede. 

a doorway, whose window is encircled by a double row of me- 
dallion busts : Christ and the apostles in the outer, the Virgin 
and Child and saints in the inner row. The entire interior is 
covered with mosaics. The chapel is in the form of a Greek 
cross with a central cross-vault. There are mosaics on (1) 
central vault ; (2) four drums of vault ; (3) arcades forming 
cross ; (4) end walls of arcades. 

The central vault is occupied by the half-figure of Christ in 
a medallion supported by four angels with arms raised and feet 
resting on globes. The drums are filled by the Virgin and S. 
John the Baptist; by SS. Peter and Paul ; by SS. John, An- 



drew and James ; by SS. Agnes, Pudentiana and Praxedis. 
The curves of the arcades forming the short tunnel vaults of 
the cross have simply decorative patterns of geometric design. 
The end walls had two compositions except on the entrance 
side one in the lunette, the other below. One of these rep- 
resents the Mother of Paschal, Theodora, who is called " Epis- 
copa ! " and has a square nimbus. She accompanies the Virgin 

Apsidal Mosaic of S. Maria in Domnica (Ninth Century). 

and SS. Praxedis and Pudentiana. Above is the Lamb on a 
rock accompanied by four stags. On the right Christ is between 
S. Zeno and S. Valentinus. An tinusual scene is Christ de- 
scending into Hades. 

Even more Byzantine in their general scheme are the face 
and semi-dome of S. Maria in Domnica. These rigidly ordered, 
heavily framed mosaics contain the unusual multitude of figures 
characteristic of the mosaics of Pope Paschal. But the com- 
positions are not stereotyped. On the face of the arch Christ 
is seated on the curved arch of heaven inside the oval aureole, 


with an archangel on each side. Then come the twelve apos- 
tles, six on each side, headed by Paul and Peter. They all 
carry in veiled hands either books or scrolls, except S. Peter, 
who has the keys. All are robed in white and stand on the 
flowery ground of Paradise. In each pendentive is a prophet, 
with his scroll pointing upward, one bearded and long-haired, 
(Elias ?) of the more usual prophetic type ; the other younger 
and beardless, like the type of Moses at SS. Nereo ed Achilleo 
and S. Prassede. 

In the semi-dome of the apse the scene is the veneration by 
the heavenly hosts of Mary as the Mother of God. The Virgin, 
holding the Child, sits on a splendid throne. On either side 
are innumerable angels in white who bend forward in adora- 
tion, their heads encircled with a nimbus. It is impossible to 
decide whether any distinct number of angelic classes is 
intended such as the nine of pseudo-Dionysius or the six 
or seven of earlier writers. They are probably represented as 
singing the Trisagion. Pope Paschal is kneeling before the 
Virgin, one of whose feet he holds. 

At S. Cecilia we find the third and least successful of the 
mosaics of Pope Paschal I. On the face is the Adoration of 
the Virgin and Child (or of Mary, as Theotokos). The rich 
arched-back throne is guarded by two archangels. From either 
side approaches an adoring procession of female martyrs, both 
crowned and bearing on veiled hands their martyr's crown. 
That the scene, is laid in heaven is shown by the buildings 
of the two heavenly cities at either end and by the figures of 
the twenty-four elders offering up their crowns, in the penden- 
tives below. The ten female saints five on each side are 
certainly those whose bodies (including those of SS. Cecilia 
and Agatha) were transferred to this church from the Catacombs 
by Pope Paschal. 

In the semi-dome is the usual stereotyped scene, almost 
identical with those of S. Prassede and S. Marco: Christ, 
surrounded by clouds and surmounted by the hand of God 
holding the wreath ; on His right S. Paul and S. Cecilia, who 
presents Pope Paschal holding the model of the church. On 
the other side S. Peter, a young beardless martyr and a 


female martyr, probably S. Agatha, who was venerated here 
immediately after S. Cecilia. The usual palm-tree at each 
end (a phoenix on the right-hand tree), and the flowers that 
carpet the ground, are intended to give the local color of 
Paradise. Below this is the dedicatory inscription of Paschal 
in three lines. The scene is completed below by the usual 
predella of the Larnb, the twelve sheep, the two cities and 
the rivers of Paradise. 

Paschal's successor, Gregory IV, was the author of the 
mosaic of S. Marco, which is both the last and the worst of 
the Roman mosaics of the early Middle Ages. As usual, they 
occupy the semi-dome and the face of the apse. The color- 
ing is defective, the tints blurred, the types quite effete and 
lifeless, without even the illusion of humanity. 

There are seven figures in each composition. Those on the 
face are framed in a heavy double band of jewels and scroll- 
work. Busts of Christ and the four symbols of the Evangelists 
enclosed within medallions form an upper row below which 
S. Paul on the right and S. Peter on the left occupy the 
pendentives, in vigorous attitudes pointing toward Christ. 

The figures of the semi-dome stand upon separate inscribed 
bases, like inanimate statues. Christ has on His right S. 
Felicissimus and S. Mark the Evangelist who presents Pope 
Gregory IV (828-844), holding a model of the church ; on his 
left Pope S. Mark, S. Agapitus and S. Agnes. Beneath 
Christ is the symbolic phoenix, while the usual predella band 
'occurs below, the garden of Paradise with the twelve sheep 
issuing from the two sacred cities toward the central Lamb 
standing on the mount with the four rivers. 

Carlovingian Frescos. In painting, however, we find be- 
fore 850 an attempt to relieve the lifelessness that had settled 
upon art, by the introduction of the element of vivacity of 
gesture and attitude so characteristic of the Carlovingian art 
of the North. It was not found, to be sure, in the purely 
hieratic sacred scenes where the figures retained the immo- 
bility that was regarded as their essential superhuman quality, 
but in the more human element of the compositions. 

It is worth citing a fresco in the old S. Clemente as illustrat- 



ing these two rather disregarded facts. It is an Ascension, 
in which Christ rises in an aureole carried by four angels, while 
below are the Virgin and the Apostles. Included in the com- 
position, though foreign to the scene, are two figures that frame 
it on either side : one is S. Vitus, the other Pope Leo IV, whose 
square nimbus shows him to be the donor of the fresco. The 

Ascension of Christ. Fresco at S. Clemente. 

contrast between the extreme vivacity and varied attitudes of 
all the participants in the Ascension scene and the absolute 
immobility and frontality of the two end figures is typical of 
a general fact : that for several centuries (VII-XII) there were 
two canons, one of immobility and frontality for the divine 
sphere and for juxtaposed or single saints, and one of relative 
action and variety of pose in historic and other narrative 
scenes. Ordinarily the two styles are not mixed, so that crit- 
ics are apt to think that a period that produces the one is iu- 


capable of the other. It needs a scene such as this, where by 
exception the two manners are combined, to prove that even a 
single artist was a master of both manners. A similarly 
treated scene had been painted as early as the sixth century in 
the Catacomb of Commodilla. 

Even during the two centuries of decadence from the close 
of the ninth to that of the eleventh century, painting was not 
only practised in Rome, but was called upon to produce some 
of the most extensive works in the history of the school. It 
is true that mosaic painting was no longer in use. The knowl- 
edge of it seems to have been lost. Neither can it be denied 
that the fresco-paintings show less of artistic quality than at 
any other time. Still, even now the Roman school seems to 
have been preeminent in Europe. 

Handbook of Painting. Curiously enough there appeared at 
this time a handbook or practical guide for painters with all 
necessary receipts and directions for mixing and using colors 
and for making mosaics. It was written by a painter named 
Heraclius, who called it " De Colonbus et artibus Romanov-urn." 
Internal evidence points to the post-Carlovingian age, certainly 
before the revival. That Heraclius belongs to the Roman 
school seems clear from the preface, where a passage reminds 
one of the well-known lament on the decay of Rome which I 
have already cited. He says, of the city : 

" Jam decus ingenii quod plebs Romano, probatur 
Decidit, ut periit sapientum cum Senatum 
Quis nunc has artes investigare valebit 
Quas isti artifices, immensa mente potentes 
Invenire sibi, potens est ostendere nobis.^ 

Heraclius expressly says that he is himself a painter: "I 
am not writing of anything that I have not previous^ tested." 
A study of the text of this practical manual would show ex- 
actly how painters then worked. 

Great Cycles of Frescos. Until the destruction of the old S. 
Peter in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there remained 
on the two walls of its nave the partly obliterated frescos of 
the Old and New Testament, painted by order of Pope For- 


mosus in 897. The bulging walls, slanting outward on one 
side, accumulated so much dust as practically to conceal most 
of the scenes from the New Testament, and while those of the 
Old Testament on the opposite wall were clearer, the drawings 
and descriptions of them give no idea of their style. We must 
merely admit that in sheer extent these works surpassed all 
their known predecessors. 

About ten years later the school, perhaps the same artists, 
were obliged to repeat the same feat by covering with similar 
subjects the walls of the nave of the newly reconstructed Lat- 
eran basilica. These were destroyed in 1310. 

There are, however, five works of this school still wholly or 
partly extant, produced within the same half century or more, 
which will give a fair clew to the style of these greater works : 
in a chapel on the Coelian ; in S. Maria in Pallara on the Pala- 
tine ; in S. Silvestro at Tivoli ; in S. Abbondio at Rignano ; 
and, especially, in S. Elia near Nepi. 

The defaced scene in the chapel of S. Lorenzo near SS. 
Giovanni e Paolo on the Coelian, is interesting mainly as a 
record of the successful attempt of Methodius and Pope Formo- 
sus to convert the Bulgarians whose king is here represented 
as doing homage to Christ under the patronage of the Pope. 

The apsidal fresco in S. Silvestro at Tivoli is more impor- 
tant and shows that painters were reverting, after the Byzan- 
tine epoch had closed, to the models of the early Christian 
period, for the composition here is clearly modelled on the apse 
of SS. Cosma e Damiano, though it contains fewer figures. 
Christ is standing on clouds, above the Jordan, with S. Paul on 
His right and S. Peter on His left, to whom He is handing a 

S. Elia, Nepi, and Other Monasteries. Almost the same can be 
said of part of the extensive series in the ruined monastic church 
of S. Maria in Pallara on the Palatine, which was one of the 
foremost monuments of the tenth and eleventh centuries, the 
residence and fortress of several popes. The frescos were 
ordered, in about the middle of the tenth century, by a wealthy 
physician named Peter, who also endowed the monastery. 

In the centre of the apse is the figure of Christ standing on 


the clouds with hand raised and open book: on either side 
are two saints ; S. Sebastian and S. Zoticus, S. Stephen and S. 
Lawrence. Underneath is the narrow zone of the Lamb on 
the rock and the twelve sheep. Farther below is a line of 
figures adopted from the Byzantine school : the Virgin between 
two archangels and four female saints, two of whom are S. 
Agnes and S. Lucia. It is only in this lower zone that we find 
the painters of this century innovating on the early Christian 
composition. This part of the frescos has been preserved, 
though in very poor condition ; but originally the series was 
much more extensive : on either side of the nave were scenes 
from the Old and New Testaments, and in or near the porch the 
lives of the martyrs buried in the church and represented in the 
apse. Even the donor, Peter, and his wife were depicted on 
either side of the apse. 

If none of the works in Rome itself are sufficiently well pre- 
served to allow of a clear opinion as to their style, it is not 
so with the frescos in a monastic church not far to the north, 
S. Elia near Nepi. This large series fill the apse and tran- 
sept, are fairly well preserved and are important not only in 
themselves, but because they are signed by their authors, three 
painters from Rome two brothers Johannes and Stephanus, 
and their nephew Nicholas. It has been assumed that their 
date is the eleventh century, but the church was rebuilt after 
939 and there is no reason to doubt that the frescos are between 
c. 950 and 975. The main scene in the hemicycle of the apse 
is a frank imitation of that of SS. Cosma e Damiano. 

Christ stands in the centre on the mystic mount with the 
four rivers, with S. Peter on His left and S. Paul on His right, 
beyond whom, on either side, is a saint, one of them probably 
S. Elias, in Byzantine costume. At each end is a palm-tree, 
in one of which is a phoenix. Below is the traditional frieze 
of the twelve sheep on either side of the Lamb, whose blood 
is pouring into a chalice. Still lower is a line of figures, as 
at S. Maria in Pallara, of Christ enthroned, flanked by two 
archangels, beyond whom on either side are four Virgins 
with crowns, recalling those of S. Apollinare Nuovo at Ra- 
venna of the sixth century, and those of S. Maria in Pallara. 


On the face of the apse are the long ascetic figures of the 
twenty- four elders in two rows, as at Kignano; only here 
twelve of them raise crowns and twelve chalices, a transi- 
tion between the early mediaeval type where all have crowns, 
and the later where they are entirely replaced by chalices. 
Below the elders and beyond them on the transept walls 

Female Saints and Archangel, Fresco in Apse of S. Elia, near Nepi. 
(Tenth century.) 

was a series of oblong compositions in three tiers ; those on 
the right, which alone are preserved, are mostly scenes of great 
originality and rarity taken from the Apocalypse. The series 
appears to have illustrated this book in the greatest detail. 
Doubtless the nave was filled with scenes from the Old and 
New Testaments. The entire series may be attributed to 
the three artists of the apse. 

The dependence of these works on earlier mosaics is indicated 
by the yellow ground for the row of sheep, to imitate the gold 


cubes ; by the strong contrasts of color and sharp outlines. 
The extreme flatness reminds one of the last mosaics in Rome, 
at S. Marco. There is a single yellowish flesh tone, rouged, and 
a single verdigris body color, heightened by white streaks and 
broken by black lines with which the slight reddish and gray 
shadings fail absolutely to unite. As a result the bodies are 
almost flat outlined transparencies. There is absolutely noth- 
ing Byzantine in the technique, which is far removed from the 
works of the seventh and eight centuries at S. Saba and S. 
Maria Antiqua. 

The apocalyptic scenes that have been identified are on the 
right : (1) John having the vision of the enthroned Lord ; (2) 
the four angels having dominion over the four seas ; (3) the 
angel chaining the dragon ; (4) the four riders ; (5) a dragon 
episode. On the left side : (6) conflict of angels with the dragon ; 
(7) the dragon pursuing the woman. These are the earliest 
known examples of such scenes on church walls.' 

The deserted monastic church of S. Abbondio near Rignano, 
close to the Tiber and to Mt. Soracte, is of the same school and 
period as the frescos at S. Elia, though less careful in draw- 
ing. The connection with mosaic compositions and with earlier 
traditions is evident, but there are interesting variations. The 
remaining frescos cover only the face of the apse, those in 
the hemicycle having been destroyed. The upper row has the 
Lamb in the centre of the symbols of the four evangelists ; 
below, in a second row and on a larger scale, is a half-figure of 
Christ in a circular medallion flanked by two seven-branched 
candlesticks, two seraphim with six wings and two groups of 
angels. Below, on either side of the hemicycle, are the twenty- 
four elders in two rows. The type of both the seraphim and 
the half-figure of Christ may be traced to the Byzantine school, 
for they do not belong to Western and Roman tradition. Such 
medallion busts of Christ are very common in the centre of 
Byzantine domes of every age. The rest of the scene belongs 
to the native stock. 

It was especially in the large monasteries throughout the 
province of Rome that art found a haven from the religious 
indifference, penury and ignorance of the Papal Rome of the 


tenth and eleventh centuries. Farfa, Subiaco, Soracte, Monte 
Araiata helped to stay the ebb tide in painting, though not en- 
deavoring to revive the art of mosaic, a task reserved to the 
other great monastery of Monte Cassino, which, in order to do 
so, was obliged to import artists from Constantinople, for the 
Byzantine rnosaicists had not yet gone to Venice to decorate S. 
Marco. The works I have just described in the minor monas- 
teries of S. Elia and S. Abbondio are merely fragments saved 
out of the ruined multitude. 

In an indirect way a German Emperor was also the means of 
encouraging Roman painting. The monument of the Emperor 
Otho III contained the only work of mosaic painting extant 
in Rome for a stretch of over two centuries, so that it is as 
historically interesting as it is little known. The burial of 
this Italo-phile in Rome, where he died, near the east door in 
the vestibule of S. Peter, gave him a congruous resting-place. 
Here, as Thietmar's chronicle relates, the figure of Christ stood, 
blessing all who approach. This figure in mosaic, flanked by 
the princes of the apostles, still remains in the Vatican crypt, 
in fair preservation, though the mosaic picture is severed from 
the immense sarcophagus over which it stood. 

Otho III himself gives a proof of the high esteem in which 
the Roman school of painting was held, for his chief court 
painter was the Italian artist John, almost certainly a Roman, 
whom he took back with him in c. 990 to fresco the imperial 
palace at Aix-la-Chapelle. His works there were so much ad- 
mired that the Emperor appointed him to an Italian bishopric. 
John, after a brief visit to his native land, returned to Ger- 
many and then settled at Liege, where he painted for the' 
bishops a series of frescos. It is impossible to say what in- 
fluence he had on the German school. 

Not much later comes a series of frescos in Rome itself, in 
one of the pagan temples turned into a hall-church and dubbed 
S. Urbano alia Caffarella. Its deserted, isolated position out- 
side the city saved these frescos from destruction, but not 
from much repainting. The date of 1011 under the Crucifix- 
ion scene may be accurate. In the apse is Christ enthroned 
between two angels and SS. Peter and Paul. At the opposite 



end, on the inside of the faqade, is the Crucifixion. On the side 
walls are lines of oblong compositions taken both from the 
New Testament and from the lives of S. Urban, S. Cecilia, 
S. Lawrence and other saints whose relics were here. 

The Crucifixion is rather notable from the presence of the 
two crucified thieves, the angels above, and the two donors 

Crucifixion, Fresco in S. Urbano alia Caffarella (Eleventh Century). 

below reverently approaching with cloths the suppedaneum on 
which Christ's feet rest, to catch some of the sacred blood. 
The Virgin and S. John, Longinus and the soldier with the 
spear complete the scene. The two donors seem especially in- 
teresting because they herald in their types the style of S. 
Clemente. Through the repainting it seems possible to detect 
a change from the style of S. Elia : greater solidity and natu- 
ralness as well as more action. 

Revival at S. Clemente. Shortly after the middle of the 
eleventh century some unknown painters decorated a large part 


of what is now the subterranean basilica of S. Clemente, to- 
gether with its porch, with a series of fresco compositions 
larger in size and fuller of figures than any we have previously 

The art of these frescos at S. Clemente is on a higher level 
than that of anything produced in Koine for many centuries. 
It distinctly raises the banner of an epoch-making revival in 
painting. There were other works of the same age and style, 
but this series is the only important remaining example. It 
illustrates still further what we have recognized as a new fact 
for the seventh, eighth and ninth centuries, that for these 
centuries, at least, the highest achievement is to be sought here 
and not in the stiffer field of mosaic painting. 

It would seem as if once more the artist kindled to the feel- 
ing of pure beauty and looked beyond his task of purveyor of 
mere ecclesiastical information. And this feeling for beauty 
was not restricted. It shows itself in rhythm of composition, 
in simplicity and directness of narrative, in variety of attitude, 
in beauty of pose, as well as in purity of outline, symmetry of 
drapery, softness of shading and lightness of coloring. These 
qualities are to a certain extent offset by the lack of life and 
dramatic force that were to come in the more psychologic age 
of Giotto. Yet, even here, several of the faces are expressive 
of varied emotions, such as the pall-bearers in the funeral pro- 
cession of the unknown saint, the father of Alexius and his 
bride in the death-scene. The action of the mother as she 
gathers up and carries the child, in the scene of his rescue 
from the Black Sea, are full of naturalness, even if awkward. 

Of the four scenes belonging to this series two relate to the 
life and legend of S. Clement and one each to that of S. 
Alexius and an unknown saint. Two were given by Beno de 
Eapiza and his wife; one by Mary, the wife of a butcher! 
The first couple are themselves given in small size approach- 
ing the saint in the scene of the miracle by which Clement 
restores the sight of the blind Sisinnius. The scene is laid in 
a church interior and Clement stands in attitude of adoration 
beside the altar. Theodora, the Christian wife of the pagan 
Sisinnius, has come to divine service and has been followed by 


her wrathful husband, who, as he enters, is struck by blind- 
ness, to be led forward and healed by Clement. The figure of 
Theodora is soft and graceful in its antique costume and fil- 
leted head, standing foremost in the group of worshippers. 

The two donors are repeated, by themselves with two chil- 
dren and nurse, below their other painting, the rescue of the 
child Clement, and these are far removed from the previously 
prevalent stiffness of such single figures. The gracefully poised 
head of the wife, with its turban-like headdress, is more modern 
iu its appeal even than anything Giottesque. 

There is no uniformity in the method of composition. In 
the scene where Clement is celebrating mass, the frame en- 
closes but the one theme, except for the intruding donors. The 
same unity appears in the funeral procession with its reception 
at S. Clemente. In the Rescue of the Child there are two suc- 
cessive stages : one where the mother is taking the child from 
the water ; the other where she is bringing him to the local 
clergy assembled to honor the miracle. 

Then, in the life of Alexius there are three successive scenes 
in the same picture. The saint presents himself in the garb 
of a pilgrim before his father, who fails to recognize him, and 
he serves in his father's house without being recognized. In 
the centre, he reappears, mortally sick and visited by the 
Pope, who gives him absolution and receives from him the 
written story of his life. On the right, the truth has been pub- 
lished; the father and mother of Alexius are lamenting his 
death and his bride is embracing him. 

There is a curious small composition under the Sisinnius 
picture, which has a more homely and everyday aspect. It 
is the explanation of the blindness of Sisinnius and portrays 
the episode when Sisinnius, then Roman prefect, having sought 
out Clement in the Catacombs and brought his slaves to seize 
him, is directing and cursing them, because they are so slow in 
roping and hauling a column which in their common miracu- 
lous blindness they have all taken to be S. Clement ! The 
objurgatory remarks of Sisinnius are among the earliest and 
choicest specimens of the early Italian dialect of the people. 

How are we to account for the artist or artists of S. Clemente ? 



Frescos in Lower Church, S. Clemente. 
Miracle of 8. Clement (above) . Donors of Frescos (below). 


What were their antecedents ? It has been suggested that they 
are to be found largely in the frescos of the Catacombs and 
other works of early Christian art. I do not believe so. At 
the same time they cannot be linked to the decadent art that 
immediately preceded. For the careful student of the newly 
discovered frescos at S. Maria Antiqua and S. Saba, the prob- 
lem is solved by the recognition in them, or such as they, of the 
inspiration for the artist of S. Clemente. So, after all, it is, 
though Roman, another tribute to Byzantium not to the as- 
cetic and anaesthetic Byzantinismof the time in which the Roman 
painter lived, but to the Hellenic school that still interpreted 
the beautiful. Light coloring, pure outline, clear story-telling 
these qualities are especially evident in the earlier frescos 
at S. Saba. These works were visible in good preservation 
before the fire of Guiscard which involved S. Clemente and 
S. Saba in a common ruin. 

The restoration of the basilica and monastery of S. Paul 
undertaken by Hildebrand perhaps even before he became 
Pope Gregory VII, gives, I believe, the date of some frescos 
in the CappeUa del Martirologio, between the basilica and the 
cloister, which escaped the fire of 1823. Here, as at S. Urbano, 
the Crucifixion occupies the end wall, treated in almost iden- 
tical fashion, and in direct descent from that of S. Maria Anti- 
qua. It is flanked by figures of Peter and Paul. The rest of 
the apostles, supplemented by saints, form a continuous frieze 
of large-sized immobile figures along the side-walls, separated 
by palm-trees and carrying inscribed scrolls and emblems. 
Though much repainted, they show enough of their original 
character to prove their distinctly local and non-Byzantine 
style ; they act as a connecting link between the S. Urbano 
and S. Clemente frescos. 

There are still in Rome other traces of the school just before 
the fire of 1084. In one case the chapel of S. Gabriel the 
donor is the same Beno de Rapiza of S. Clemente. 

Byzantine Artists. It was not from ignorance that the con- 
temporary Byzantine style had so little influence on Roman 
artists, for works of pure Byzantine art were being executed 
now at the very gates of Rome by artists themselves evidently 


Greeks, whether brought over by Desiderius of Monte Cassino 
or mosaicists of the Greek Basilian order. The main doorway 
and the triumphal arch of the church of the Greek monastery 
at Grottaferrata each have a mosaic in excellent preservation 
by Greek hands ; that over the door has in the centre Christ 
enthroned, and on one side John the Baptist, on the other S. 
Basil, propedeutical to the true faith. The workmanship is 
excellent and the style free from excessive asceticism. There 
is depth and reality to the figures. 

The mosaic of the arch represents the adoration of the 
Throne, in a form common in the East, but unknown to West- 

Pentecost (Etimasia), Apsidal Mosaic in Monastic Church, Grottaferrata. 
(Twelfth century.) 

ern art. On either side of the vacant throne of the apocalyptic 
vision are seated the twelve apostles, upon whom are descending 
the Pentecostal rays. 

It was at this time that the Monte Cassino school frescoed 
the basilica of S. Angelo in Formis, of which I give a view 
(p. 255), both because it is a good example of a basilica built 
with materials from Rome and because it is the best-preserved 
example of an interior completely frescoed, even though the 
work was not done by the Roman school. It gives, in a 
modest way, the same effect that must have been given 
by so many interiors in Rome before the Renaissance devasta- 

New Roman School. When Paschal II called artists about 
him to rebuild and decorate the churches, it was not, therefore, 
necessary for him to re-create a monumental school of painting, 
as it was found necessary to do in architecture and church fur- 
niture and ornament. At the same time there was a difference 


in the two branches fresco and mosaic. The Roman school 
had certainly omitted mosaic work from its repertoire for over 
two centuries ; at first for lack of funds, later from ignorance 
also. ' Where did Paschal II find the mosaicists whom he em- 
ployed ? One can only guess. He could draw from Venice, as 
his successors did, for S. Marco's decoration was then begun ; 
or from Sicily, where Cefalu had already been decorated ; or, 
perhaps, from Monte Cassino, of which school we know but 
little. At all events from somewhere mosaicists came to Rome 

Apse Mosaic of S. Clemen te. 

and decorated the facade of S. Bartolommeo all' Isola with a 
work of which only the central half-figure of Christ remains ; 
and the apse of S. Maria in Monticelli. The former Christ has 
a flatness of effect and an inexperience of handling that argue 
native talent. 

And yet, in a few years, still under Paschal II, the apse of 
S. Clemente was produced, a work which in its essentials is 
based on old Roman traditions, arid in its technique is almost 
perfect. In its general design it figures the vine, representing 
the redeemed Church, whose spirals cover the apse, and Christ 
the Redeemer on the Cross in the centre ; the main difference 
between this and the early Christian interpretation of the 
scene being the substitution of the human figure for the lamb 



on the cross. The earthly Paradise and the river Jordan at 
the base, with their abundance of animal and symbolic life, are 
purely classic in idea and even in technique, whereas the little 
figures of mediaeval creation that are interwoven in the spirals 
are of heavy Eomanesque type. Only on the face of the apse, 
where the large figures of SS. Peter and Paul, SS. Lawrence 

Apse Mosaic of S. Maria Nuova (S. Francesca Romana). 

and Clement, loom up in distinct contrast, do we see a touch of 
Byzantine influence in their being seated instead of standing. 

On the other hand the group of foreign artists produced one 
apsidal mosaic in Rome in the years immediately after Paschal 
II, in the newly rebuilt S. Maria Nuova (S. Francesca Romana) 
in the Forum. It is unique in design and style and far from 
a success ; its authors were not at home in their medium. As 
the Rhenish and other sculptors of the North (even the Tus- 
cans) reproduced at this time the motif of early Christian 
sarcophagi, where arcades frame single or coupled figures, so 



here each figure is placed under an arcade, with archivolts and 
shafts imitated from illuminated manuscripts, which also in- 
spired the patterns of the fan-shaped top. The tormented lines 
of the drapery show the descent from the Carlovingian type, a 
style common among Northern artists of this time. 

There are but five figures. In the centre the enthroned, 
richly robed and bejewelled Virgin, holding the Child not in 
the Byzantine fashion, straight before her in her lap, but 

Apsidal Mosaics of S. Maria in Trastevere. 

standing and turning toward her almost in profile. On her 
right are S. James and S. John ; on her left S. Peter and S. 
Andrew in costumes that ape the classic. There is a curious 
attempt to imitate solid masonry above the arcades that en- 
circle the figures. 

S. Maria in Trastevere. As the twelfth century advances 
Byzantine influences penetrate beyond mere superficialities, in 
mosaics if not in frescos, probably because Koman artists were 
learning again to handle the cubes, after long disuse, under the 
instruction of Byzantine masters. The apse and faqade of 
S. Maria in Trastevere are both attributed to about 1140, and 
bear no connection with the contemporary work at S. Maria 
Nuova. The facade mosaic is badly restored. In the centre 


are the Virgin and Child enthroned ; at their feet two small 
kneeling figures, probably the Popes who built and restored the 
church. A line of ten female figures stands, five on either 
side of the centre. They are richly robed and carry lamps. 
Their nimbus proclaims them saints. They probably represent 
the female saints whose relics were placed here. They have 
been mistakenly interpreted as the wise and foolish virgins, 
and two of the figures have been erroneously restored with 
lamps reversed, on this supposition. The rest preserve their 
lighted lamps. 

The mosaic of the apse is in far better preservation. In 
the centre is Christ enthroned, with book in left hand, while 
with His right arm He embraces the shoulder of the Virgin 
seated on His right. He is saying, in the words inscribed on 
the book, Veni electa mea et jjonam in te thronum meum. 
Further to the right are S. Callixtus, S. Lawrence and Pope 
Innocent II, holding the model of the church. On the left are 
S. Peter, Popes Cornelius and Julius and S. Calepodius. In 
most cases these figures were selected because their relics are 
in the church. They are identified by inscriptions between 
their feet. Below is the usual predella band of the central 
lamb and the twelve sheep issuing from the two sacred cities. 

On the face of the apse, in the centre, is the cross in a 
luminous circle ; on either side the seven candlesticks, and 
beyond the four Beasts with the inscribed names of the evan- 
gelists. Below are the two prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah with 
inscribed scrolls. Under them an exquisite decorative panel 
of classic taste. It is particularly in the prophets that we see 
some analogy to the earlier mosaic at S. Clemente. The 
figures in the apse remind one of those in the Cappella del 
Martirologio at S. Paul. 

Toscanella, S. Pietro. There is at S. Pietro at Toscanella a 
fresco that seems one of the finest products of the Byzantine 
section of the Roman school and to date not after the middle 
of the twelfth century. It is the last great product of the old 
ideas of apocalyptic character that were soon to be superseded, 
and in that respect is the lineal descendant of S. Elia and Rig- 
nano. At S. Pietro the frescos cover the semi-dome and face 


of the apse. In the semi-dome is a colossal standing figure of 
Christ in the centre, robed in white, holding a globe in His right 
and an open book in His left hand. On either side of Him a 
long-robed angel withdraws from Him with gestures of amaze- 
ment. Below are two flying angels and four half-figures of 
angels with inscriptions. Further below a line of the twelve 
apostles, separated by palm-trees, not in hieratic stiff attitudes, 
but conversing animatedly or gazing upward in truly Carlovin- 
gian style. Under this is a line of busts of saints in medallions. 

On the face of the apse the encircling band has the Lamb 
in the centre and three half-figures of angels on each side. 
On the centre of the wall-face is a half-figure of Christ in a 
medallion. He blesses in the Greek manner. On either side 
are the seven candlesticks, two seraphs and the symbols of 
the four evangelists. Below, on either side of the arch, the 
twenty-four elders are offering up their crowns. 

Several series in the Roman province seem to show the 
presence here of other artists than those trained in the Roman 
school itself, though it may be an error to exclude them from 
it when we understand how catholic in its tastes the school 
was. In the cathedral of Anagni, for example, where the pave- 
ments and all the sacred furniture, such as canopies, altars, 
paschal candlesticks, tombs, were the work of Roman decora- 
tors, the crypt is covered on walls and vaults with frescos, 
the majority of Avhich belong to the twelfth century. Ignored 
by critics until very recently, they now appear as among the 
best preserved and most interesting examples of this period, 
full of force and originality. Some of the themes, especially 
those from the Apocalypse, are unique. The scene of the 
Elders offering up their chalices and the doctors, Galen, etc., 
are by a lineal descendant of the artists of S. Elia. 

Subiaco. At Subiaco, in the churches of the famous Bene- 
dictine monastery, there is even closer connection with Rome. 
These much-neglected frescos of the vaults and walls of the 
subterranean church of the Sacro Speco are now being carefully 
studied. Those on the vaults seem to me slightly earlier than 
the rest. Instead, of dating them from Abbot John VI, after 
1217, which is the correct date for most of the decoration of 



the walls, they might be attributed to the years succeeding 
1165, when some Greek Basilian monks, fleeing from their own 
monastery of Grottaf errata, sought refuge at the . Sacro Speco, 
bringing precious objects with them. We have seen that Grot- 
taferrata possessed a school of mosaic and fresco painting, and 
some Byzantine elements of these Subiaco frescos would be 
reasonably ex- 
plained by this 
hypothesis. The 
three vaults and the 
walls are covered 
with them. But, 
through the veil of 
restorations we seem 
to trace a date rather 
later than this for 
the conception of 
these scenes, one 
that would connect 
them with the 
Roman art that 
afterward produced 
the Cosmatus work 
at the Sancta Sanc- 
torum. The vaults 
have a central figure 
in a heavily bor- 
dered medallion sur- 
rounded by eight 
figures ; those in the 
pendentives being 
entire, the intermediate being three-quarter figures. In the 
central vault the medallion has the three-quarter figure of 
Christ; in the pendentives are four archangels and between 
them four apostles, Peter, Paul, John and Andrew. In the 
second vault S. Benedict occupies the centre. The third vault 
contains, in the centre, the Lamb, and in four fields the four 
evangelists. The later similar compositions by Cosmatus in 

Painting of Vault in Lower Church of Sacro 

Speco at Subiaco. 
(Early thirteenth century.) 


the Sancta Sanctorum at Rome make the connection quite plain. 
The scenes on the walls, by Conxolus, are better preserved. 

The lower chapel of S. Gregory, beneath the subterranean 
church at Subiaco, has some unusual frescos dated by a con- 
temporary inscription in 1228, painted perhaps by a monk 
named Oddo. The principal scene is that of the consecra- 
tion of the chapel by Pope Gregory IX, in the preceding year, 
1227, the Pope bending over at the altar, assisted by two 
clerics. Another scene is a S. Gregory the Great in company 
with the ulcerous Job. The artist is of the purely native 
Roman school without a trace of Byzantinism. On the con- 
trary the vault of the chapel shows a different and earlier 
hand, as Byzantine as that of the subterranean church, who 
has placed the four signs of the evangelists in as many me- 
dallions separated by six-winged seraphirns. > Besides a Cruci- 
fixion and a Christ between Peter and Paul the Roman artist's 
most remarkable product is a portrait of S. Francis, which is con- 
jectured to be the most authentic in existence, a contemporary 
study made by Friar Oddo when S. Francis visited the Sacro 
Speco in 1223. This, however, is doubtful. 

Varied Art of the Thirteenth Century. Whatever compara- 
tive unity there may have been in Roman painting gave way 
in the thirteenth century to variety and individualism. The 
city became the main stamping-ground, the inspiring foster- 
mother of the painter, stimulating in its themes and opportuni- 
ties. It is true that nothing is produced that breathes such 
pure classicism as the S. Clemente frescos, but the old Roman 
traditions are unbroken; they appear clearly in the series at S. 
Lorenzo-f uori-le-mura. At the same time there were produced 
in Rome, in the first decade of the century, some mosaics of 
pure Byzantine workmanship, the apses of S. Peter and S. 
Paul, by the mosaicists sent from Venice to Innocent III and 
Honorius III. 

The apse of S. Peter has, of course, entirely disappeared, 
but can be studied in drawings. It stands alone in the use of 
a few colossal figures : Christ and SS. Peter and Paul. 

At S. Paolo the apse mosaic still exists, but so thoroughly 
renovated after the fire that criticism can bear only on the 


composition. Christ has Paid and Luke on His right ; Peter 
and Andrew on His left. In the frieze below, the rest of the 
apostles (ten) are adoring the throne flanked by angels. This 
scene we have seen at Grottaferrata. It is a purely Byzan- 
tine conception. 

The native Roman artists, commonly called the Cosmati, at 
this time seem not to have gone beyond the creation of small 
mosaic pictures. Perhaps it was their inability to produce the 
more colossal works that led to the calling of the Greeks from 
Venice. In 1218 a small work of this sort was made by 
Jacobus Cosmati for the hospital of S. Tommaso in Formis. 
It is a circular mosaic in a medallion with gold ground. Christ 
is seated, and on either side of him is a released captive, one 
white, the other black. The white carries a cross and his feet 
are shackled ; the negro is manacled. While unpretentious, it 
is a work in excellent taste and free style. A few years before 
the same artist had made a figure of Christ in mosaic over the 
side door of the facade of the Cathedral of Civita Castellana, 
also a pure product of Latin art. 

S. Lorenzo. The most considerable work now remaining in 
Rome itself by the painters of the first half of the thirteenth 
century, whose active productivity is incontestable, is the 
series painted in the porch and inner facade of S. Lorenzo in 
the time of Honorius III or shortly after. There are about 
forty small compositions in regular rows, telling the stories of 
saints whose relics are preserved in the church : Lawrence, 
Stephen, Hippolytus, Sixtus, as well as scenes connected with 
the foundation and history of the Church, ending with the 
coronation of Peter de Courtenay as king of Jerusalem by 
Honorius III. The wholesale repainting leaves it possible 
merely to see that while the peculiar charm and delicacy of S. 
Clemente are lacking, the same school has continued to exist in 
Rome. The compositions are simpler and with fewer figures; 
the attitudes more natural and easy, without the awkward 
grace and flowing lines of the older artists. A certain bravura 
of attitude and gesture reminds one of French miniatures. 

In better preservation is the fresco over the tomb of Car- 
dinal Fieschi in the same church, dated 1250. It is a votive 


picture with the scene that was to become so common: the 
Virgin and Child with a few saints and the donor and Pope ; 
here it is SS. Lawrence and Stephen, Pope Innocent IV and 
Cardinal Fieschi. 

Naturalism. In the second half of the thirteenth century 
artists attempt in quite distinct ways to attain to the natural- 
ness of style that was to be their goal. The two styles 
Byzantine and Eoman continue to exist side by side. An 
almost farcical parody of the former is in the chapel of S. Sil- 
vestro annexed to the church of the SS. Quattro Coronati. 
The central composition is a peculiar interpretation of the 
Last Judgment, in abbreviated form. This is surrounded by 
eight scenes from the legend of Pope Sylvester and Constan- 
tine. Accessories and costume are unduly accentuated, and 
the figures are awkward and lifeless. Neither before nor 
after was so poor a work produced in Rome. 

At the same time the native school was producing works at 
S. Agnese and S. Cecilia that show progress. In the former 
church the scenes from the life of S. Catherine and S. Agatha 
have the solid treatment of drapery and forms, the massing of 
shadows and 'the sculptural effects that reach their climax later 
in the masterly art of Cavallini. S. Agnese was, two centuries 
ago, a large picture-gallery for this period ; the surviving frag- 
ments are now mainly in the Lateran museum. Compared 
with earlier work (S. Clemente) there is loss of delicacy and 
grace, but gain in life and reality. 

At about this time there were painted in the churches of 
Toscanella, especially at S. Maria Maggiore, an extensive 
series, supplemented by some of earlier and some of later 
date. It is probable that the Byzantine section, of the Roman 
school was responsible for most of this work. 

Toscanella, S. Maria. At S. Maria Maggiore in the apse is 
the colossal standing figure of Christ with an adoring angel on 
either side. Below, a line of the twelve apostles quietly dig- 
nified and not full of action, as at S. Pietro, considerably re- 
stored. It is a work of the twelfth century. 

On the face of the apse is a grandiose composition of the 
Last Judgment, covering the entire wall to roof. At the sum- 


mit, within an iridescent 'aureole, is the enthroned Christ sur- 
rounded by a multitude of angels. On either side are seated 
the apostles. Below, on the right, is the army of the elect, 
headed by the Virgin, who is presenting her mother, S. Anne. 
Adam and Eve are followed by the groups of patriarchs, kings, 
prophets, popes, bishops, priests and monks. Below Christ 
stands the cross surrounded by the instruments of the Passion, 
near which kneels the small figure of the donor, Secundianus. 
To the right, under the elect, is the scene of the resurrection 
from the dead, who are leaving their tombs to the sound of the 
angels' trumps. 

From the throne of Christ proceeds toward the left a river 
of fire forming the boundary of the infernal regions, into which 
angels with long tridents are thrusting the damned, received 
and tormented by numerous demons who pass them along to a 
colossal Lucifer with snake-mouths above and exits below. 
He devours them with his snake mouths and spues them out 
into the enormous maw of hell. This seems to be later than 
the composition in the semi-dome and to date from the third 
quarter of the thirteenth century. It is a most important 

In the right aisle, the Virgin and Child enthroned between 
two female saints, and the Flagellation of Christ, are of the 
same date and style as the apse. Another Virgin and Child 
enthroned with four flying angels and two saints, where the 
throne has a Roman mosaic decoration, is a work of the pre- 
Giottesque Roman school, in a free and humanistic style. 

Sancta Sanctorum. In order to find in Rome an echo of the 
epic compositions at Toscanella, we must turn to its greatest 
painter of the early revival, Pietro Cavallini. The work that 
immediately precedes him, besides the series at S. Agnese and 
S. Cecilia, already mentioned, is the decoration of the Sancta 
Sanctorum chapel in 1277 and 1278 by Cosmatus. Was 
Cosmatus the master of Cavalliui ? No answer deduced from 
the style seems possible on account of the serious restoration 
of the Sancta Sanctorum frescos and the difficulty of studying 
its mosaics. The chapel is closed to students, on account of 
its sanctity, and has been closed for about three centuries. It 


is reached through a vestibule whose vault is covered with a 
Virgin and Child in mosaic. Another mosaic in the apse 
represents S. Lawrence and S. Stephen with two angels, on 
either side of the enthroned Virgin and Child, before whom 
two Popes are kneeling. Below is a line of figures of Popes 
including Leo the Great, Gelasius and Paschal II. In the 
ellipsoidal vault of the apse is a mosaic of Christ in a medal- 
lion supported by angels with outspread wings. The vault and 
walls of the chapel itself are frescoed. In the vaulting com- 
partments are the evangelists and their symbols on a blue 
ground, two of which are sufficiently well preserved to remind 
us distinctly of Cavallini's work and to connect Cosmatus 
with him. Below, on either side of the pointed windows, is a 
shell-crowned framework enclosing a composition. There are 
eight scenes, relating to the saints whose relics are in the 
chapel : (1) Decapitation of S. Paul ; (2) Crucifixion of S. 
Peter; (3) (4) Miracles of S. Nicholas; (5) S. Lawrence on 
the gridiron; (6) Stoning of S. Stephen ; (7) Christ enthroned; 
(8) S. Nicholas offering the Chapel to S. Peter. Beneath the 
windows in a series of twenty-eight trefoil arches are as many 
single figures: prophets, apostles, saints, bishops, monks, framed 
in twisted columns, a design that Cavallini seems to have 
reproduced in the next decade at S. Cecilia. 

The whole scheme of decoration is charmingly symmetrical 
and complete, and places Cosmatus in the front rank of his 
contemporaries. The restoration of the frescos by Nanni 
under Sixtus V has, however, deprived the frescos of their 
stylistic value. Still, one fact is certain : they are a prod- 
uct of direct Roman tradition with scarcely a trace of Byzan- 
tinism, and foreshadow the work of Cavallini. 

Rome: S. Maria Maggiore. A few years ago some fragments 
were found, between the present Renaissance coffered ceiling 
and the roof of the transept of S. Maria Maggiore at Rome, of 
a series of frescos which once must have entirely covered the 
walls above the mosaics of the nave. In the left transept 
there were eight large medallion-circles, enclosing busts of 
which four remain. Fragmentary as they are, their preserva- 
tion is sufficiently good to show that they must belong to the 


time of Pope Nicholas IV, who built the palace next to the 
church (c. 1288), restored the apse-mosaic and added those on 
the facade. The heads of S. Peter and S. Paul, so familiar in 
many variations of the traditional features, may serve as touch- 
stones of comparison : they are not ascetic Byzantine ; they do 
not have the hardness of Cimabue. The sense of life comes 
from a combination of portrait-study with adherence to type, 
and a method akin to impressionism in the use of color. The 
technique, with its hatched lines, is far from that of Giotto, as 
well as from that of the author of the decorative Roman Old 
Testament scenes at Assisi. There is a breadth, swing and 
vigor that bespeak a master then in the first fulness of his 
powers, who must be reckoned with as a " great unknown " 
preceding Giotto and greater than either Cimabue or Duccio. 
As this is not an example of the earlier manner of Cavallini, 
before his S. Cecilia work, then we must acknowledge the exist- 
ence of another almost equally great Roman master at this 
time, whose intense vigor and vitality show as plainly the new 
life as does the more sculpturesque calm and breadth of Caval- 
lini. From his hand, perhaps, are some of the Assisi scenes, 
such as the sacrifice of Isaac, and from his workshop proceeded, 
perhaps, a Virgin and Child with saints at S. Saba, and some 
of the Assisi compositions with heavy architectural frame- 
works. By a different master, more addicted to broad masses 
than to linear methods, is a unique Virgin and Child uncovered 
at S. Bartolommeo all' Isola. 

Assisi. Some time before this the .work of decorating the 
double church of S. Francis at Assisi had begun. The theme 
of the succession of artists and schools who had a share in it 
is too complicated to be discussed here. Tuscans, TJmbrians 
and Romans rubbed elbows there for over forty years. The 
relative shares of Cimabue and Giotto are still heatedly dis- 
puted. The hand of several Roman artists has been traced by 
recent writers, and names have been attributed to some of them : 
Cavallini, Gaddi, Rusutti, Torriti. 

Cavallini. The personality of Pietro Cavallini has been 
looming up very prominently during the last decade as a 
partner even a predecessor of Giotto in the revival of paint- 



ing. We were familiar with Vasari's fables which made of him 
Giotto's pupil and his assistant in the "Navicella" mosaic at 
S. Peter, and assigned to him frescos at S. Maria and S. Cecilia 
in Trastevere, S. Maria in Aracoeli, in Rome, and others in 
Florentine churches and at S. Francis in Assisi. The only 
two facts of which we were certain are : (1) that he completed 
in 1291 a series of six mosaic compositions in the apse of S. 

Maria in Trastevere 
and (2) that in 1308 
he was in the service 
of the court of 
Naples, having left 
Rome after the de- 
parture of the Popes 
for Avignon. Ghi- 
berti admired him as 
one of the greatest 
of masters and was 
Vasari's source for 
most of his list of 
works. Ghiberti's 
judgment is now 
being confirmed. 

At S. Maria in 
Trastevere it was a 

narrow frieze of six 
Mosaic by Cavallini in S. Maria, in Trastevere. . . 

"Birth of the Virgin." Compositions that 

Cavallini added 

below the main mosaics in the curve and face of the apse, all 
illustrating the Life of the Virgin. They are: the Nativity, 
Annunciation, Vision of the Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, 
Presentation and Death of the Virgin. Below this frieze is a 
single scene on a larger scale : the bust of the Virgin and 
Child in a medallion flanked by Peter and Paul and the 
kneeling donor, Bertoldo Stefaneschi. Cavallini completed 
the work in 1291, according to an inscription now lost. 

No artist can be as free in his handling when he uses the 
medium of mosaic cubes, and yet Cavallini almost approaches 


the untrammelled realism of the early Christian mosaicists in 
his handling of tones and masses in these frieze compositions. 
No sane critic can now call them " Byzantine." When we 
say that the composition is well balanced, the action often 
dramatic, the story well told, the accessories decorative but not 
overloaded, the figures graceful, natural and well draped, we 
will yet have missed the keynote, which is the sense of life 
and reality. 

The art which Cavallini embodied in these Trastevere 
mosaics is that of a mature master, sure of his style and not an 
eclectic. At that time, in 1291, Giotto was only twenty-five 
years old ; not old enough to have founded a school. As a 
matter of fact Giotto was then forming himself in Rome. So 
astonishing is the resemblance between these mosaics and the 
works assigned to Giotto's youth that one is forced to the alter- 
native of either depriving Giotto of the honor of being the 
re-creator of painting, and conferring it on Cavallini ; or of sup- 
posing that Giotto was the real author of these mosaics, Caval- 
lini merely carrying out his cartoons. Now, it is certain that 
Cavallini signed and dated these mosaics ; the words Petrus 
fecit hoc opus having existed in part until recently. Besides, 
the analogies are not identities. They are instinct with a 
calm and dignity that is less akin to Giotto than to the Roman 
tradition of S. Clemente, . where Cavallini also found the 
Hellenic classicism of some of his female heads. 

Bat where Cavallini shows himself in perfect freedom of 
technique and stylistic development is in the recently dis- 
covered frescos at S. Cecilia, which he executed in about 1290. 
What is left of them covers the inside wall of the apse and 
laps over the adjacent walls of the nave. Originally the entire 
nave was decorated with Old Testament scenes on one side and 
New Testament scenes on the other. 

The composition of the Last Judgment occupied the whole 
interior of the facade. The figure of Christ in the centre, in an 
aureole surrounded by seraphs and angels, is flanked by the 
Virgin and John the Baptist, standing, and by the seated apos- 
tles, statuesque figures, with a strong play of light and shade 
to emphasize the antique drapery. They are as if consciously 


reproduced from Roman statues. The heads, especially that 
of Christ and the younger apostles, have a dignified sweetness 
that is new in art. In them the more physical strength and 
energy embodied by the artist of the frescos of S. Maria Mag- 
giore has become transformed by a new spiritual grace. In the 
bead and even the attitude of John the Baptist there is an ex- 
pression of deepest reverence and faith. Below the throne of 
Christ is the altar with the emblems of the Passion. Further 
below is a part of the scene that has been nearly destroyed : 
the elect on the right being led by archangels into Paradise ; 
the damned on the left being thrust into hell-fire. The angels, 
in the wonderful variety of the coloring of their wings, their 
foreshortening, the realism of their trumpeting, the ideality 
of their type, are an extraordinary creation. The entire 
composition has a new harmony, richness and boldness of 
coloring that is missed by all Cavallini's successors, including 
Giotto, and is reconquered only by the Renaissance. Nothing 
at Assisi can be classed with such works as these. The mo- 
saic of the Virgin and Child at S. Crisogono is rather weak 
for him, and his frescos there have disappeared, as have also 
those with which he covered the nave of S. Paul. 

From the activity of Cavallini's school we can infer that of 
the master during the last decade of the thirteenth century, 
but nothing has been saved or recovered that can be safely 
ascribed to him. The fresco in the apse of S. Giorgio in 
Velabro, painted at this time, may have been his, but it is 
repainted, and even in the composition there is little to mark 
it as Cavallini's, because the artist Avas probably obliged to 
follow the traditional composition of Roman apses that places 
here Christ flanked by the patrons and martyrs of the Church. 

The only other incontestable work is one belonging to his 
old age : the frescos of S. Maria Donna Regina at Naples. 
When the school dispersed with the departure for Avignon, 
Cavallini went to Naples, and in 1308 and the subsequent 
years we find him receiving an annual pension of thirty ounces 
of gold from King Charles II of Anjou. In all probability he 
was not alone but at the head of a large workshop, if not as 
large as the one in Rome. Since the recovery of the S. Cecilia 



frescos, it has become clear that in the decoration of S. Maria 

Donna Regina we have three hands : Cavallini's for the 

great scene of the Last Judgment on the inner wall of the 

facade and the scenes from the Passion in the upper part of 

the nave ; Cavalliui's pupils in the choirs of angels on the 

triumphal arch ; a 

Sienese master's in 

the scenes from the 

lives of the saints 

(e.g. S. Elizabeth of 

Hungary) in the 

lower part of the 

nave. It seems 

doubtful, as we 

study the almost 


effect of the tones 

of terracotta with 

which the four 

superposed tiers of 

Cavallini's scenes 

are treated, whether 

this work was ever 


These two epic 
pages of the Last 
Judgment scene in 
Kome and Naples 
make it unusually 
easy, from the unity 
of their theme, to 
trace the change in Cavallini's style in the course of about 
twenty-five years. The milder, more delicate types at Naples 
are due to broader expanses of unbroken tone, a greater use of 
whites and less brush and line work. It is a natural develop- 
ment and one that lessened the divergences between him and 
Giotto, whose work by this time at Rome, Assisi, Florence and 
Padua had given him the popular primacy in painting. 

Giottesque Crucifixion at S. Saba. 


Giotto. Giotto's work in Rome need only be referred to, 
because though he received his artistic education in Rome his 
style was so much his own as to place him outside the Roman 
school. He lived and worked there at intervals between 
c. 1285 and 1303, alternating with his work at Assisi and 
in Tuscany. The altar-piece at S. Peter's is thought by most 
critics to be one of his early Roman productions, though a 
critic has recently disputed his authorship. The " Navicella," 
a mosaic representing the Bark of the Church weathering the 
storms and Christ saving Peter from the waves, entirely made 
over during the Renaissance, is a tribute to the popularity of 
mosaic work in Rome in Giotto's younger days. He was 
probably engaged to refresco part of the ancient basilica of 
S. Peter, but made only a small beginning. His last work 
was also one of the very last works of art executed in Rome 
before the departure for Avignon. It was a colossal historic 
fresco representation of the proclamation of the Papal Jubilee 
of 1303 from the Lateran Loggia by Pope Boniface VIII, of 
which a small fragment remains. 

Torriti. Even while Cavallini was resuscitating the art of 
fresco-painting, there were other artists in Rome who were more 
mosaicists than frescoists, and who connected themselves rather 
with the Byzantine than with the antique element in the 
Roman school. It was this group of artists that influenced 
Cimabue. They were magnificent decorators and colorists, but 
poor story-tellers and not yet touched with the life, the sense 
of reality and dramatic power that seethe in Cavallini. The 
foremost of these artists was Torriti. 

The mosaic in the apse of S. John Lateran is the earlier of 
the two Roman masterpieces of Jacopo Torriti, and was com- 
pleted in 1291 with the assistance of Jacopo da Camerino, the 
year before Cavallini had completed his Life of the Virgin at 
S. Maria in Trastevere. The mosaic that we see is modern in 
its execution, as the present apse is a modern construction, 
when its position was moved back at the time of the recent 
restoration. But it is a faithful facsimile, and from it and 
from early photographs I feel certain that Torriti was by no 
means the creator but only the restorer of this mosaic, which 



in some parts, notably the bust of Christ, retained the work of 
the early Christian era (fourth to fifth century). Above is a 
heavenly sphere, in which the bust of Christ, overhung by a 
seraph and accompanied by eight angels, floats in the clouds. 
Below is the church on earth. In the centre, on the sacred 
mount, rises the Cross, on which the Holy Spirit is descending 
from the Divine Christ. The four rivers flow from it, and 
deer and lambs drink at their sources, while in and about their 

Apse Mosaic of S. John Latcran (Reconstructed). 
(Fourth to thirteenth centuries.) 

united waters play a multitude of fishes, birds, animals and 
genii. On the flowery background stand the saints ; on the 
right the Virgin, S. Peter and S. Paul ; on the left John the 
Baptist, John the Evangelist and S. Andrew. These figures 
are regularly spaced, so that an awkward effect is produced by 
the insertion, on one side of S. Francis of Assisi, between the 
Virgin and S. Peter, and on the other of S. Antony of Padua 
on a far smaller scale. In the same fashion the small figure 
of Pope Nicholas IV is placed, kneeling, at the feet of the 
Virgin. A peremptory proof that these three small figures 
were added to a previously existing mosaic is given by the 
figure of the Virgin. Her right hand was originally raised, 


like that of the other figures, as is shown by the folds of 
drapery, but Torriti when he placed the Pope at her feet, 
brought her right arm down so as to rest her hand on his head, 
though leaving the telltale drapery. Undoubtedly Torriti 
restored the larger figures, but they belong to a far earlier 
master, a Byzantine artist (Andrew is entirely modern). The 
angels above are Torriti's. The charming scene of the 
terrestrial paradise goes back, like the bust of Christ, to 

Apse Mosaic of S. Maria Maggiore. 
(Fourth to thirteenth centuries.) 

the early Christian age. Below this large scene, between the 
windows, are the figures of nine apostles, standing between 
palm-trees. All this work at the Lateran has been so mod- 
ernized that we must turn to Torriti's later activity at S. 
Maria Maggiore for an appreciation of his style. 

Planned by Nicholas IV and the two Colonna cardinals, the 
mosaics of the facade and apse of S. Maria Maggiore were 
carried out by several artists: Jacopo Torriti, Filippo Ru- 
sutti and Gaddo Gaddi, and are important works of unequal 
merit and charm. The work commenced in the apse under 
the direction of Torriti, by whom it was completed in 1295. 
I agree with Muntz in regarding the main composition as by 


no means entirely of the time of Torriti. This artist retained 
the old fourth (or fifth) century mosaic that still existed as a 
framework for his work. The decoration was then purely 
ornamental, without figures, an immense scroll-pattern of the 
Vine, unwinding its symbolic spirals over the entire semi- 
dome. Cutting out the centre and the lower section of these 
spirals, Torriti placed there : above, a large starry sphere al- 
most rilled by a cushioned throne on which are seated, side 
by side, Christ and the Virgin whom He is crowning. On 
either side and below, are choirs of adoring angels on a much 
smaller scale. Beneath, midway in size, is a line of figures 
stretching across the apse. On the right S. Peter, S. Paul 
and S. Francis, with the kneeling Pope, Nicholas IV; on the 
left, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and S. Antony, 
with the kneeling figure of Cardinal Giacomo Colonna, who 
paid for the work. It is easy to see how unnaturally Torriti 
was obliged to twist and terminate the antique spirals in order 
to insert his figures. 

Below, between the windows, are five small compositions 
from the Life of the Virgin, similar to those at S. Maria in 
Trastevere. They are : Annunciation, Nativity, Adoration of 
the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, Death of the Virgin (in 
the centre).' A comparison between this and the similar frieze 
at S. Maria in Trastevere is interesting as demonstrating bet- 
ter than anything how Torriti represented the fine flower of 
Byzantine color-sense and skill in decorative design, trans- 
fused by the influence of the antique decorative elements in 
the Roman school, while Cavallini, disdaining the less funda- 
mental elements of art, reached out for the expression of life, 
character and thought in the figures. Torriti charms our 
aesthetic sense; Cavallini grips our dramatic and religious 
sense. Torriti stands at the summit of the receding wave of 
art, delicate but lifeless; Cavallini leads the charge of the 
new-born breakers, instinct with life. 

On the facade of S. Maria Maggiore the mosaics are both 
badly restored and by artists inferior to Torriti. The main 
central scene, on a large scale, has the figure of the enthroned 
Christ in an aureole accompanied by angels and evangelists; 


below is a row of eight saints. This work is signed by a 
Koman artist named Filippo Rusutti. The scenes below refer 
to the legends of the founding of the basilica : the visions of 
Pope Liberius and of the Patricias, the miracle of the summer 
fall of snow that gave its mediaeval name to the basilica of S. 
Maria ad nives, and the miraculous indication of the site for 
the new church. A number of small works have escaped the 
fate of the more extensive wall-paintings. This is especially 
the case with the frescos and mosaics protected by the cano- 
pies of the tombs. To Torriti and Giovanni Cosmati are 
assigned those of the tombs of Matteo d' Acquasparta, Gon- 
zalvo, Durand, etc., dating c. 1300. Of similar style is a 
lunette over the side door of S. Maria in Aracceli, and a 
somewhat larger mosaic of the Colonna chapel. These are 
all school pieces. 

Until the very close of its history Roman painting reflects, 
therefore, the two currents classic and Byzantine. At the 
close the classic element, led by Cavallini, became paramount 
because of the newly awakened national spirit of Italy, which 
was showing itself in painting after having been embodied in 
every other form of culture. The painters who drifted from 
Rome to Naples, to Avignon and France, to Umbria and Tus- 
cany, became more and more subjugated by the Giottesque ver- 
sion of the parent school. Rome itself has a number of such 
works that have been only slightly studied ; some seem even 
to be unknown, like the superb scene in the monastery of S. 
Sisto. Thus, in the hour of the dispersal of the school, as its 
members moved north and south, they helped to spread the 
new Rornano-Giottesque style. 

I cannot close this chapter without referring again to the As- 
sisi frescos, because they not only epitomize the activity of the 
Roman school during its last half-century, but also illustrate 
this passing on of the torch to the Tuscan artists of Florence 
and Siena. The Upper Church was undoubtedly not only the 
first to have its pictorial decoration planned, but the more 
important in regard to its subjects. The decoration com- 
menced in the apse and transepts. This part is in such deplor- 
able condition that no judgment can be given of its color scheme 


or technique; of anything, in fact, but the themes, composition 
and line effects. The Roman scheme was followed of giving 
here the dogmatic subjects and those taken from the Apoca- 
lypse, as illustrating the Spiritual Church. In both transepts 
the series culminates in an idealized Crucifixion, the basis and 
foundation for the church on earth, which is to be illustrated 
in the nave. There is a wealth of ideas in these compositions 
with their numerous figures and occasional dramatic force, 
which points to a master like Cavallini, whose earliest known 
works they would be. But here, as in the nave, we would 
recognize undoubtedly the hands of several artists if the fres- 
cos were less damaged. 

In the nave the usual Roman scheme was followed. The 
Old Testament is illustrated by sixteen scenes on one side, 
covering the upper part of the wall, under the vaults ; and the 
same number illustrate the New Testament on the opposite side. 
Evangelists, prophets and Fathers of the Church fill the vaults ; 
one figure in each vaulting compartment. This part was ap- 
parently planned by the same master who directed the work 
in choir and transept, though it would be too bold to affirm 
this positively. What is perfectly clear is that as many as 
five or six, if not more, painters were actually engaged in carry- 
ing out the master's designs, at about the same time. Of these 
men at least three show absolutely distinct, almost diametri- 
cally opposed manners : (a) the dramatic author of the Sacri- 
fice of Abraham, a master of linear power; (6) the quiet but 
intense painter of the Blessing of Isaac, with his mastery of 
drapery and story-telling; (c) the decorative master of the 
vault of the four evangelists, lacking in the sense of life and 
over-fond of clumsy accessories. These and the rest were Ro- 
man masters, all of whom betray the desire to attain to natu- 
ralness, each in his own way. Such scenes as those of the 
Passion on the opposite (left) wall show that one of these ways 
was through the reproduction of the ugliness of the types 
of the common people. The individuality shown by these 
various painters belonging to the school of Cavallini is quite 
remarkable ; it is greater than will be the case during the two 
succeeding generations of the followers of Giotto. 


An effect of greater unity is produced by the line of twenty- 
eight scenes from the life of S. Francis, which were placed 
beneath these Bible scenes on both walls. They are usually 
attributed to Giotto who, after having served his apprentice- 
ship among the painters of the Bible scenes, was given full 
direction of the later series below. It may be doubted, how- 
ever, whether the compositions nearest the transept are not 
maturer works of Cavallini himself, the series being completed 
by his greatest pupil, Giotto. 1 

It is through this Bible series that it is possible to connect 
still closer the Koman and Tuscan schools in Florence itself. 
At the Baptistery the mosaic decoration commenced in 1225, 
in the apse, by a Roman painter named Jacobus, was later 
extended to the dome in a most elaborate series of Bible stories 
culminating in the Last Judgment, the execution of which was 
continued into the fourteenth century. While Byzantine mo- 
saicists apparently were put in charge of the colossal composi 
tion of the Last Judgment, we are able to see, by comparison 
with the frescos in the nave at Assisi, that the Roman mosaicists 
of the close of the thirteenth century were responsible for a 
considerable portion of the Bible stories. Perhaps it was in 
Florence, therefore, that the Roman school of mosaic-painting 
ended its days, in the home of Cimabue and Giotto. 

1 The decoration of the Lower Church was at first sporadic. This is shown 
by the famous Madonna fresco by Cimabue, which was painted previous to any 
general scheme, and afterwards worked into the design of the Giottesque age. 


CAN anything be said of the personality, social condition 
and methods of the artists who worked in Home during these 
centuries ? I have already described their condition during the 
Roman decadence, when individuality was killed by the tyranny 
of imperial guilds and labor unions. The guilds were then 
supplemented or succeeded by the monasteries, and only a few 
individuals, such as Agatho and Januarius, emerge. 

There is a striking contrast between Byzantine and medi- 
aeval Rome in the personality of its artists. Between the 
sixth and the eleventh centuries hardly a single lay artist can 
be mentioned, while numerous indications lead us to infer that 
it was in the monasteries that we must look for artists of all 
kinds. When the revival commenced at the close of the 
eleventh century, Rome was not an exception in Italy, but 
joined the other provinces in wresting art from the hands of 
the Benedictine and Greek monks and in establishing lay 
guilds and ateliers after the Lombard fashion. 

The twelfth and thirteenth centuries saw the development 
of art under the auspices of these local schools throughout 
Italy. It was only after the middle of the thirteenth century 
that the monks, represented by the new orders of S. Francis 
and S. Dominic, succeeded in partly reestablishing their hold 
on the Fine Arts and in working side by side with the lay 

Guilds. In most Italian cities the artists joined a guild, 
such as that of the masons or stone-cutters, or of the painters, 
and the character of their unions is shown by many mediaeval 
documents in which their constitution and organization, their 
membership and history are illustrated. This was the case in 
Siena, Florence, Bologna and many other cities. In Rome the 
case is not quite so clear ; yet it would seem as if there were a 



guild of marmorarii which included all artists whether archi- 
tects, decorators, stone-cutters or mosaicists. Guilds had 
always existed in the eternal city. The monopolistic unions 
of the imperial age had never been wiped out, even by 
the Gothic wars. Under the denomination of Scholce the 
population of Rome had been, as we have seen, carefully 
divided and organized according to occupations and nationali- 
ties in the early Middle Ages. As in other mediaeval cities 
each industry was assigned to a street or quarter and there 
lived and worked in compact homogeneous groups, each with 
its church and its guild-hall or Schola. 

But in Rome there was an even closer bond between certain 
smaller groups of artists. It is known how the unions of the 
late Empire had been tyrannically dealt with by the govern- 
ment: their occupation and membership made forcibly heredi- 
tary, so that the son could have no other occupation than that 
of his father ; their residence in a single city also obligatory, 
so that if an artisan went to work in another city, he could be 
brought back by force ; the association itself, in return for the 
privilege of monopoly, obliged to give free service to the 
State for all public works. Of course, with the decay and 
obliteration of imperial authority the enforcement of these 
conditions ceased. Service to the State remained in force, it 
is true, in Northern Italy and Venice, where centralized civil 
authority had never suffered an eclipse, but in Rome it could 
not be enforced by the Papacy. Gregory the Great sought to 
enforce the law of residence, but even that was a dead letter. 

Families of Artists. As for the third condition, that of 
hereditary occupation, it is curious to see how it survived even 
though the fact that the arts were monopolized from the sixth 
to the eleventh centuries by the celibate monks would seem to 
have given a death-blow to the hereditary habit in art. The 
reason is that in connection with the great monasteries were 
art schools and villages of artisans, where the people were the 
serfs or liegemen of the monasteries, from father to son, and 
from these obscure artisans, who preserved the hereditary habit, 
sprang, in many cases, the material from which the labor and 
art guilds were formed after the eleventh century. 


At all events the Roman school of lay artists, from the time 
of its reorganization in c. 1100 A.D., appears to consist of a few 
family groups, constituting special art-schools whose traditions 
and clientele were handed down through several generations. 
They worked not only in Rome itself, but throughout the prov- 
ince, in cities, towns and monasteries, but having probably one 
central workshop in Rome. Among the many signed works 
there is a large proportion where father and son worked to- 
gether and take joint credit, and quite a number signed by 
brothers. When the work of completely constructing and dec- 
orating a single one of the churches of this period in the char- 
acteristic mediaeval Roman style, with its various accessories of 
tower, cloister, monastery, church furniture and monuments, is 
reckoned up, and this activity is multiplied by the hundreds of 
such churches built or decorated in Rome and its province dur- 
ing these two centuries, it is evident that we must look upon 
the Roman school as .an exceedingly active and aggressive ag- 
glomeration of a few large workshops each under a head master, 
swarming with younger artists and apprentices, all under the 
direction of the head of the family and his sons. 

Workshops and Studios. These workshops were often estab- 
lished in or near important ruinous buildings of the ancient 
city where there was a large supply of the fine marbles, the 
columns, pavements, revetments, sculptured details that' were 
required for materials and models and where lime-kilns could 
be established conveniently. We may be allowed to conclude 
that there were several departments to these large establish- 
ments. The Roman master artist was usually a man of even 
broader artistic education and technical ability than the aver- 
age always broadly educated mediaeval artist. He was obliged 
to be a designer of buildings and of details, a sculptor and a 
practical decorator. He designed also the church furniture 
and monuments, and executed the mosaic inlay with which 
they were usually decorated. In his workshop there must 
have been a section for mosaic work with furnaces for melting 
the glass, making the plaster, sorting the cubes and preparing 
the gold. There must have been offices for the preparation of 
sketches, cartoons, models or other preliminary work ; and of 


course the stone-cutters' department and that for figure carving. 
It is quite possible that there was also a department for wall- 
painting, as all the churches of this period were more or less 
thoroughly frescoed, and we know that in more than one case a 
mosaicist and decorator was also a painter. 

Often in quite small monuments nearly all these sections 
were called upon to take a hand. In a ciboriurn. or a sepulchral 
monument, the sculptor, the mosaicist, the decorator and some- 
times the painter collaborated. In connection with the sculp- 
tor's workshop there were often collections of models, including 
even antique statues. A statue of ^Esculapius, for instance, was 
copied and signed by one of the Vassalletti and found in the 
ruins of his family workshop. At the Laterau Cloister, Vas- 
sallettus copied sphinxes, probably from the Isseum. The work 
at S. Lorenzo and at the cathedral of Civita Castellana is ac- 
curately classic. The finest capitals, cornices and friezes from 
the ancient buildings were set up for study, and the work of 
the school shows that its artists knew how to select good 
models, rejecting the products of the later Empire. 

It is to this universal talent, this aggregation collected under 
one roof and one master-hand, that we owe the unity and har- 
mony of the school's work, which, had it not been so almost 
universally and hideously marred by the barbarous church- 
men of the Barocco period, would have given us in its way as 
wonderful a picture as that of some of the untouched French 
Gothic cathedrals. 

It must not be supposed that the high grade of organization 
and workmanship was easily attained. Almost the entire 
twelfth century was consumed in a steady, slow advance: 
Neither did the existence of the family schools exclude the 
collaboration of artists not belonging to the same family. 
Drudus de Trivio, for example, was an apprentice and junior 
member in the school of Laurentius. 

Work for the Province. In these workshops were prepared 
not only the woi'ks destined for the churches of Rome itself, 
but part of those executed for the churches throughout the 
province. It was comparatively easy to forward -them to their 
destination on wagons over the excellent Roman roads. It is 


interesting in this connection to note that the works of the 
school are far more numerous in the towns that are easily ac- 
cessible from the Roman roads or directly on them than in 
the remoter towns, showing that it was not easy to execute 
works of importance on the spot without the transfer of a 
large force. 

It was not only small articles of church furniture, ciboriums, 
sepulchral monuments and the like, that were executed in 
Rome for the province, but even large architectural works, such 
as the doorways or rose windows of church facades and even 
entire cloisters. The parts were all carefully marked so that 
the work could be set up without difficulty either by the artist 
himself accompanying his material or by local craftsmen. This 
was, for instance, the case with part at least of the cloister at 
Subiaco, the earlier part executed by Jacobus, son of Lauren- 
tius, in about 1200. I noted there that not only each base, 
shaft and capital, but all the stones of the piers and arcades 
were carefully numbered or marked. 

Were they Architects ? It is a matter of dispute whether the 
Roman marmorarii were also architects in the strict sense ; that 
is, whether they also planned and constructed the buildings 
they decorated. 

Now, in Rome itself the construction of churches was not a 
matter of much consequence or artistic interest. None of the 
mathematical knowledge, none of the traditional technique, 
none of the trained handling of materials were required that 
raised the builders of the North to a high pinnacle of artistry. 
The walls of the churches were a thin and plain brick screen 
perforated with perfectly plain unmoulded apertures for win- 
dows. We may grant, as we examine the body of a Roman 
church, that there was no art in this business of brick-laying, 
and that it was outside the province of the marmorarii. So 
plain was the brick-work that the apses, for instance, were not 
decorated even with the lines of false arcades so common else- 
where as the simplest form of ornament. To diversify this 
meagreness came the mosaicists who covered the upper part of 
the facade and sometimes the outer face of the apse with mo- 
saic pictures. Then came especially the marmorarii to fill the 


windows with thin slabs of marble and alabaster cut in open- 
work patterns; to set in marble doors with their columns, 
resting often on lions; and to cover the lower part of % the 
faqade with the long portico. 

Probably the mechanical work of building belonged in Rome 
to a different art guild, and not to that to which our artists, the 
marmorarii, belonged. Whatever the name of the builder's 
guild may have been in Rome, its members appear to have 
been called muratores, the ancestor of the common modern 
Italian term for them (muratorf). Thus we find one of them 
as a witness to a deed in 1200 : Magister Rainucius, murator, 
evidently a master-builder, not a common laborer. Whereas 
in a contemporary deed of 1193 we read Alexius, marmorarius, 
an ordinary member of the guild of marmorarii, not a master 
in it such as the men whose names we see on the monuments. 

Another class of artist who may also have belonged to the 
same guild as the muratores, are the fabricatores, who were 
possibly the magistri of the guild of masons. There is one 
case of the signature of an architect-stone-mason, where the 
genealogy is given to the fourth generation, presumably from 
generations of artists. It is the inscription recording the 
construction of the great Capitoline stairway, unique in the 
Middle Ages, leading up to S. Maria in Aracoeli, built in 1348, 
after the great plague, by order of Cola di Rienzo. Its archi- 
tect was Lorenzo, of whom the inscription says : 


It is when we turn from the church itself, an inheritance 
from earlier days, to the more characteristically mediaeval struc- 
ture of bell-towers and cloisters, described in previous chapters, 
that we see how intimately the work of the bricklayer was in- 
terwoven with that of the other arts, and to feel that probably 
the master of the works, magister fabrics, was to be found 


among the mamiorani; and that in such cases the artists we 
are to study had complete control. One might be tempted to 
attribute this position to the Lombard architects who were so 
prominent throughout Italy, both north and south, if it were 
not that not a single inscription records such an architect in 
Koine itself and none undoubtedly of this character even in the 

Who were some of the artists who presided over the large 
workshops that supplied Koine and the province with all its 
art ? A large number of artists, known to have worked in 
Kome between 1000 and 1300 A.D., could be named, but instead 
of a catalogue, useful merely to a specialist, only the men who 
stood in the front rank need be mentioned here. Earliest of 
all the sculptors was Christianus, who erected a cardinal's 
tomb in S. Prassede just before 1000. 

Early Painters. But the most prominent Roman artists of 
this and the next century were probably the fresco-painters, 
who developed a grand style. 

Such were the two brothers John and Stephen, and their 
nephew Nicholas, who decorated S. Elia near Nepi ; Heraclius, 
who wrote a handbook of painting that has been preserved ; 
John, who accompanied Otho III to Germany. More than a 
century later we hear of Guido and Petrolinus as painters for 
Paschal II at the SS. Quattro Coronati and other churches, and 
a little later, of the painters who signed the martyrdom 
scenes at S. Agnese. One of the painters, Bentivenga, was even 
honored by the senatorship, in 1148, showing that it was not 
then impossible for artists to reach social and political distinc- 
tion in Kome. 

Foreign Artists. All of them are not of Roman parentage. 
Several artists of the eleventh and twelfth centuries have 
names that are evidently Lombard, such as Gislebertus, who 
worked at S. Cecilia and three other churches ; Obertus, who 
made the enamelled shrine for the confession of S. Peter, and 
the door at the Lateran basilica ; Azo, who also worked in the 
Vatican basilica. Johannes, a Venetian sculptor, carved the 
doorway at S. Maria in Cosmedin. Certain branches of art in- 
dustry were so much the specialty of a certain school that their 


works went everywhere. Bell-casting, for example, was such 
a specialty of the Pisan school ; and the oldest bells in the 
Roman campanili were cast by Pisans, such as that of S. Maria 
Maggiore by Guidoctus Pisanus and his son Andreas. But 
these foreigners did not in the least affect the characteristics 
of the school, which was a product of the native soil, and owed 
but little to any but Byzantine and Campanian sources. 

School of Paulus. It was under Pope Paschal II that the 
school began, under his guidance, the work of reconstructing 
and redecorating the city after Guiscard's fire. The main glory 
of leadership must be given to an artist who signs himself 
Paulus, and who founded the first of these schools of combined 
architects, sculptors, decorators, and mosaicists of which we 
have any record. It was continued unto the fourth generation 
for three-quarters of a century. He had charge of making the 
pavement and choir-seats of the Vatican basilica, of which only 
insignificant fragments remain in the crypt. His earliest dated 
decorative work and that of which most remains is the pave- 
ment, and choir-screen, choir-seats and ambone in the cathedral 
of Ferentino, which he executed between 1106 and 1110, and 
will be described elsewhere. 

Immediately after came the reconstruction, in 1112, of SS. 
Quattro Coronati in Eome, where, though his signature has 
perished, his hand is unmistakable in the scattered decoration 
of the interior and in the interesting cloister. Equally clear is 
it that he had charge, under the direction of Alfanus, ten years 
later, of the work at S. Maria in Cosmedin. Paulus died before 
the middle of the century, leaving four sons who had long been 
trained to continue his style. Johannes was the elder ; the 
others were Petrus, Angelus and Sasso. 

It was to this family school that was confided the decora- 
tion of S. Lorenzo-fuori-le-mura, with its ciborium, pulpits, 
choir-screen, etc., which was partly destroyed by Honorius III 
in c. 1217. The inscription on the ciborium gives the date 
1147 and their names: 



The next year the same brothers except Petrus were 
given similar work at S. Croce in Gerusalemme, where they 
signed the ciborium Johannes de Paulo cum fratribus suis An- 
gela et Sasso huius operis magistri fuerunt. A few years 
later they repeated these works at S. Marco and SS. Cosma e 
Damiano (1153-1154). 

The son of one of these brothers, Mcolaus, son of Angelas, 
rose to as great eminence as his grandfather, between 1160 and 
1180, advancing far beyond the level of his father and uncles 
and employing glass and paste mosaic cubes very largely in 
place of the larger marble cubes, thus gaining a delicacy and 
brilliancy for his work and increasing very considerably the 
proportion of decorative design over the plain sin-faces. In 
this he was helped by Jacobus, son of Laurentius of whom 
more later who revolutionized the art of mosaic decoration 
in the school. It is, in fact, interesting to note that Nicolaus 
took as his associates the principal members of the two other 
leading artist-families in Rome. He had the son of Lauren- 
tius help him make the choir-screen at S. Bartolommeo all' 
Isola in 1180, that artist's share being the nineteen columns 
with their capitals Ifhat formed the open second story of the 
iconostasis stretching across the church. This is expressed 
in the signature : Nicolaus de Angela fecit hoc opus. Jaco- 
bus Laurentii fecit lias XIX columnas cum capitell\s suis. 
Two of these columns have been saved and are now at S. Ales- 
sio the most exquisite of their class ever done. Then, in 
the very different work of the carved paschal candlestick of 
S. Paolo, he was assisted by Petrns Vassallettus, whose family 
school was always more skilful in sculpture than the others. 

The most considerable work by Nicolaus was probably the 
great portico of the Lateran basilica, due to him alone. Part 
of its columns and architrave were incorporated in the pres- 
ent Barocco porch, where they are lost. The original porch 
had an elaborate mosaic frieze and was signed : Nicolaus An- 
(jeli fecit hoc opus. The mosaic compositions decorating 
the frieze were traced before their destruction and these I 
have published. 1 

l American Journal of Archseology, 1887. 


Signatures. The fashion of signing their works was even 
more popular with these Roman artists than with any other 
Italian school. It is fortunate, for their names do not occur 
at all in contemporary literature and very seldom even in ac- 
counts and registers. If it were not for the inscriptions, hardly 
one of these artists could have been identified with his work. 
Yet, modest artisans though they may have been considered 
by their contemporaries, they had a pleasing consciousness not 
only of their own personal merit, but of their exceptional posi- 
tion as Romans. From the very beginning they "were not 
troubled with modesty. Paulus, in signing his work at Feren- 
tino, calls himself a great artist: hoc opifex magnus, fecit 
vir nomine Paulus. A little later, when their art was more 
fully developed and they were more sure of their skill and style, 
they would call themselves "most learned Roman masters," 
magistri doctissimi Romani, and "Roman citizens," cives 
Romani, especially when signing their works outside of Rome, 
where they were not so well known and where they could 
more fitly vaunt themselves of their Roman birth. 

School of Rainerius or Ranucius. A second school arose in 
the wake of that of Paulus. It was rounded by an artist 
whose name seems to be variously given as Rainerius and 
Ranucius, though it is not absolutely certain that these were 
not two distinct men. It would seem too strange a coincidence 
that two men should each have two sons with the same names 
and also artists in the same special branch. For in Rome, in 
the first half of the twelfth century, we find that the decorative 
work of the interior of S. Silvestro in Capite was given to 
Rainerius and his two sons, Nicolaus and Petrus. He signed 


Then, toward the middle of the century, when we would ex- 
pect the sons to have succeeded their father at the head of the 
workshop, we find Nicolaus and Petrus, called sons of Ranu- 
cius and Romans, artists of the decorative work on the faqade 
at Corneto, which I describe under "Roman Province," where I 


also mention some of the subsequent work of this family 
school, as far as its fourth and apparently final generation. 

School of Laurentius. In about the middle of the twelfth 
century two other family schools were founded that were to 
be generous rivals in local leadership for almost a century, 
and to whom it is probable that the originality and greatness 
of the school were largely due. These are the family of 
Laurentius, commonly called the "Cosmati," and that of 

Laurentius, the son of Thebaldus, founded the family school 
to which Roman art owed the greatest progress. It struck 
very soon a new note. Joined to a greater technical perfec- 
tion in the handling of line and surface was a deeper study 
and feeling of the antique, and a more exquisite sense of color 
and proportion. Until now the carving of capitals and cor- 
nices had been slack, outlines were blurred and classic forms 
rather parodied than reproduced. But Laurentius and his son 
Jacobus effected a transformation. 

We do not know any of the early work by Laurentius, only 
what he did with his son's assistance. The refrain recurs 
again and again : Laurentius cum Jacobo, sometimes just these 
words, as in the decoration of the cathedral of Segni ; sometimes 
with the added filio suo and hoc opus fecit or fecerunt or huius 
operis magister fait. A more poetic inscription in verse occurred 
on their pulpit in the old basilica of S. Peter : 


Father and son worked indiscriminately throughout the nor- 
mal sphere of Eoman influence, having charge of important 
architectural and decorative work north of Rome at Civita 
Castellana and Falleri, to the east at the monastery of Subiaco, 
to the south at the cathedral of Segni. Most of their work in 
Rome is destroyed, and the two pulpits at S. Maria in Aracoeli, 
though remodelled, could be reconstructed. 

Laurentius seems to have died before 1205, leaving his son 
to complete their unfinished work on the cathedral of Civita 
Castellana and Subiaco. That Laurentius commenced his 




artistic career earlier than is commonly imagined, perhaps in 
about 1160, is shown by the fact that already in 1180 his son 
Jacobus is a sufficiently experienced artist to be associated 
with Nicolaus or Niccolo di Angelo in the work at S. Bartolom- 
meo and to produce the wonderful nineteen colonnettes I have 
mentioned. In the year 1205, Jacobus signs his name alone, 
without his father's, to the doorway at S. Saba in Rome, of 

Mosaic Choir-stalls and Throne at S. Lorenzo (c. 1250). 

whose two-storied portico and faqade he seems to have been 
the architect. At the same time he executed the pavement 
and decoration of S. Ambrogio in Pescheria. Perhaps now, 
certainly before 1209, he built the first section of the cloister 
at Subiaco. Then in 1210 Jacobus associated his own son 
Cosmas in his work at Civita Castellana, to which he evidently 
returned after completing these other undertakings, beginning 
work there on the fagade in 1208 or 1209 without his son's 
assistance and then calling him in when he commenced the 
great porch. Henceforth the name of his son Cosmas is 
coupled with his ; once it is with a date, 1218, when he built 


the doorway of the hospital of S. Tommaso in Formis with the 
mosaic medallion above it. 

Meanwhile Cosmas himself was training his sons, and the 
family school was flourishing and expanding. Its popularity 
was warranted by its skill, and drew other artists to it. Shortly 
after 1220 his father Jacobus had retired or died and Cosmas 
alone is responsible for several works in the decade before 
1230, as the ciborium and altar at SS. Giovanni e Paolo in 
Rome and the pavement of the cathedral at Anagni. It was to 
this cathedral that he appears to have devoted himself up to the 
year 1231, first alone and then with his two sons, old enough to 
join him. I shall describe elsewhere the extensive work they 
accomplished in the furnishing of this cathedral and its im- 
mense crypt with pavements, altars, choir-screens, ciboria, etc. 

Hardly was this work finished when they were called to 
Subiaco to continue the work on the cloister which Jacobus 
had been obliged to discontinue in order to complete the 
cathedral of Civita Castellana and other unfinished work. 
This work done, before 1235, Lucas, the elder son, was sent 
back to Civita Castellana with Drudus, another member of the 
school, though not, apparently, a member of the family, to deco- 
rate the interior. They signed the superb choir-seats. 

After this we lose sight of the school of Laurentius. 

School of Vassallettus. A couple of decades, perhaps, after 
Laurentius founded his school, another artist commenced a 
career and a family school that still remains obscure in its de- 
tails and chronology, though exceedingly brilliant in its results. 
His name was variously spelled Bassallectus, Vassallettus or 
Vassallectus. There are rumors of a father before him ; but 
what is certain is that in about 1170 Petrus Vassallectus was 
associated with Nicolaus de Angelo in the oft-mentioned carved 
paschal candlestick at S. Paul, and that in 1186 he worked at 
the cathedral of Segni. Perhaps we would not attach much 
importance to his name, were it not that he commenced the 
cloister of the Lateran completed by his more brilliant son, 
whose name was also Vassallettus without the prefixed "Pe- 
trus," between 1120 and 1230. Then follows a series of brilliant 

/ I 

works, including the basilica and porch of S. Lorenzo, lasting 


till about 1270, whether all by this second Vassallettus or by 
a third generation is yet uncertain. There is an early work, by 
the father, at SS. Apostoli, the lion of a portal ; then an epis- 
copal throne at S. Croce in Gerusalemme, probably part of a 
large choir decoration and an undetermined work at the Vatican 
basilica all in Rome. He also worked in the small towns of 
the province, as at Civita Laviuia (Cathedral). It is by his 
episcopal throne and paschal candlestick at the cathedral of 
Anagni that we can still admire the special talent he displayed 
as a sculptor. While brilliant as mosaicist and decorator, it is 
in the chapter on Sculpture that I will show how important a 
place Vassallettus takes in the revival of art. 

All these family schools of the twelfth century had died out 
or intermingled before or shortly after the middle of the thir- 
teenth century. The extension of the art had favored indepen- 
dent artists. Men like the two Andreas, father and son, who 
decorated S. Maria in Monticelli at Rome (1215) ; like Pietro 
at Alba ; like Ivo at Vicovaro ; like Petrus Oderisi at Viterbo, 
perhaps the same Petrus who was called -by King Henry III 
to decorate Westminster Abbey all these brilliant men had, 
so far as we know, no family connections as a reason for their 
artistic career. 

Family of Cosmatus. But before the close of the school's 
history, one more family emerges and after a brilliant and 
fruitful career dies out with Roman art itself ; it is the school 
of Cosmatus. 

This artist is known at present only by the chapel of the 
Sancta Sanctorum, a masterpiece described elsewhere and exe- 
cuted in 1277-1278. His four sons are known by works rang- 
ing between c. 1295 and 1332. These four sons were Jacobus, 
Petrus, Johannes and Adeodatus. Of the two latter only do we 
need describe the works, as they were particularly productive. 

The specialty of Johannes, or as he is commonly called, Gio- 
vanni Cosmati, was sepulchral monuments, including mosaic 
paintings and frescos, showing that he, more than any other 
member of the school, had felt the influence of the new pictorial 
revival. His work is noticed elsewhere in detail. Nothing 
of his dates later than 1301. As a sculptor and decorator his 


work is hardly equal to the great masters who preceded him. 
He is a Kleinmeister. 

Deodatus, probably the youngest of the brothers, had more 
originality and a better technique, as designer, decorator and 
sculptor. Under Boniface VIII he probably had charge of the 
artistic work done at the Laterari in anticipation of the Jubilee 
of 1300. Though he felt the influence of Arnolfo, he shows in 
his ciborium at S. Maria in Cosmedin that he was less inclined 
to abandon the use of mosaics for that of sculpture in church 
furniture, and also shows his. exquisite taste as a designer, 
equal if not superior to the great Arnolfo's. His work for 
Boniface must be credited to his youth, as he lived and worked 
for thirty years longer, though not in Rome, for he was one of 
those who emigrated when the School disintegrated on the 
departure of the Popes. 

c. 1100 Paulus 

1148-1154 f~ ~T~ ~T~ 

ii i j 

Petrus Joannes Angelus Sasso 

1160-1180 Nico'laus 

a son 
(name unknown) 

c. 1135 Ranucius (= Rainerius ?) 

1143 Petrus 1145-1150 Nicolaus 

1168 Johannes 1168 Guitto 

1209 Johannes 




c. 1160-1200 Laurentius 

c. 1180-1218 Jacobus I 

c. 1210-1231 Cosinas I 

1231-1235 Lucas .1231-1235 Jacobus II 

c. 1150 Bassallectus I (?) 

c. 1180-1225 Petrus Bassallectus II 
c. 1225-1260 Vassallectus III 



Jacobus Petrus Johannes Deodatus 

1296 1296-1303 1295-1332 


Geographical Limits. Many of the small towns and cities of 
the Roman province preserve mediaeval works of art that com- 
plete the contemporary series in Rome itself. It is merely by 
accident that they happen to be elsewhere than in Rome. The 
same artists of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries whose 
names are found in Roman churches also claim the authorship 
of many of these provincial monuments, and other artists whose 
works in Rome itself are now destroyed are known only from 
the records of their artistic work in the province. The limits 
of the activity of the Roman school were practically determined 
by political conditions. They extend southward a little farther 
than the Pontine marshes, to Fondi and Gaeta, being bounded 
on the south by the province of Naples. From the coast the line 
runs northeast and northwest through Sora, Celano and Rieti, 
leaving the Abruzzi to the northeast except a fringe of it which 
comes within Roman influence, as at Alba and Rocca di Botte. 
Continuing northward, the southwest part of Umbria is found 
to be partly invaded by the Roman school, so that the line 
runs above Spoleto and Foligno, crosses westward to Orvieto 
and ends on the seaboard at Grosseto, near the Tuscan border. 

Within these boundaries the role of the Roman school of art 
was quite similar to that of the Papacy itself. The sturdy 
municipalities of the province only grudgingly and occasionally 
recognized the temporal power of the Popes or the suzerainty 
of the Roman Republic. They had their independent com- 
munal organization, as Rome itself had, and spelled over again 
the relations of Rome and the same Volscian cities in the primi- 
tive days of antiquity. At the same time the local bishop and 
the feudal families strengthened the tie with Rome. Three 
of the Popes belonged to the great feudal family of the Conti, 
Lords of Segni and of a large part of the Campagna. The Savelli 



of Rome were lords of the greater part of Sabina. The Colon- 
nas, Orsinis, Vicos, Anguillaras and a dozen more of the great 
Roman families held immense feudal domains throughout the 
province. The art of the country-seats could not vary far from 
that of the metropolis. 

Finally, the fact that so many of the Popes of the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries travelled and lived with their court in 
the principal cities, both north and south, was an important 

Roman artists were, therefore, called by bishops, abbots, 
nobles and by the Popes themselves to supersede local artists. 
But they often found themselves face to face with novel con- 
ditions. In the architecture they usually found that local stone 
was used and had to be used in place of the brick they were 
accustomed to. The builders with whom they associated were 
often men with quite different artistic traditions, who em- 
ployed vaulting, rose-windows, figured sculpture, in harmony 
with Lombard and Apulian ideas. To this they were obliged 
to adapt themselves. 

Corneto. The most complete and consecutive example of 
the connection of a school of Roman artists with a monument 
in the Roman province is that of the family of Ranucius with 
the church of S. Maria di Castello at Corneto. This church 
is perhaps the most considerable unspoiled work of vaulted 
construction of the Lombard type in the whole Roman province. 
It was founded in 1121 and its construction appears to have 
lasted about forty years. 

The rather thin simplicity of its exterior hardly prepares 
one for the grand lines of its vaulted interior, with the im- 
mense span of the groin-vaulting and high heavy piers. Cer- 
tainly no artist of the Roman school designed it ; the structure 
stands at the opposite pole to a Roman basilica. But if we 
examine the faqade, we will notice that the main portal arid 
the large two-light window above it produce quite a different 
effect from the rest of the work. They are of white marble 
decorated with mosaic inlay and designed with that fine sense 
of proportion and surface that are henceforth to characterize 
the school. The architrave of thfe door is inscribed : 



It is dated 1143. Pietro, son of Kanucius, was, then, its 
author. The window above is inscribed : 


This second artist, Nicolo, was the other's brother. Both 
were Romans of the family school of Ranucius. 

The greater part of the mosaic work has disappeared. 
Originally it filled the planes of the pilastered archivolts, in 
delicate patterns, the lines of which were uninterrupted in 
the window, but in the door were made to encircle disks 
in designs borrowed from the pavements, as was the case with 
all the primitive essays at vertical decoration of the sort. 
The delicate columns of the doorway are of breccia corallhia. 
Their capitals, which support a torus archivolt, are a thor- 
oughly mediaeval adaptation of the classic type, not at all the 
exact reproduction that we shall see later in the school of 

This by no means ended the school's activity in the church. 
The pavement was their work, though it is not signed; but 
they did attach their names both to the ciborium over the 
altar and to the ambone or pulpit. The ciborium is dated 
1166 and inscribed : 


That these two artists were brothers, sons of the author of 
the window in this church, Niccolo di Ranuccio, is shown 
by the signature on another ciborium, that in the church of 
S. Andrea in Flumine near Ponzano, where we read : 


As the Corneto ciborium has been almost entirely modern- 
ized, its original form must be sought in the unspoiled one at 
Ponzano, which is a trifle earlier, being the work of the two 
brothers while their father was still living and directing them. 
It has the same general design as that of S. Giorgio in Velabro 


and as those of the other contemporary family of Paulus at 
S. Lorenzo and elsewhere. Only in such details as the capitals 
we seem to see less of antique influence and none that is 
archaistically medissval. 

Still later is the ambone at Corneto. It was not done until 
1209 ; and yet it is by one of the same family, by John, son 
of the Guitto of the ciborium ! 


This ambone is a peculiar work, for it shows how a style of 
design could persist in a family school for over sixty years, 
while other family schools were making history. There is no 
perceptible change in the scheme for the arrangement of the 
mosaic patterns, and the lines and grotesque carvings of the 
colonnette-corbels are as barbarous as the worst work of 
the tenth and eleventh centuries. 

For this reason I hesitate to attribute to the John, the uncle 
of this artist and joint author of the ciborium, a highly 
decorated ambone at the other end of the province, in the 
cathedral of Fondi, though it is certainly a work of the twelfth 
century. It is inscribed with one of the most discursive and 
descriptive of such dedications : 




" This marble slab picked out with designs in marble and 
glass cubes is erected by the art of the learned John born of a 
Roman father named Niccolo." The mosaic inlay is here 
extremely rich and in the style affected in the neighboring 
Terraciua, under the influence of the early Campanian school 
of decorators of Sessa, Salerno, Amalfi, Kavello and Cava. 
Whether we can identify this author of the Fondi pulpit with 
the artist of the same name at Corneto depends on how much 
allowance we are willing to make for a change in a man's style 
under the influence of a new environment. The inscription 
would seem to indicate that this use of mosaic work was a 



Toscanella. About halfway between Corneto and Viterbo, 
in the northernmost part of the Roman province, is Toscanella, 
with a most interesting group of churches and civil and mili- 
tary structures standing in untouched and picturesque desola- 
tion. The churches are quite sui generis: wooden-roofed 
basilicas, yet not of the Roman type. Neither are they like 

Fa9ade of S. Pietro, Toscanella. 
(With main doorway by Iloman artists.) 

anything in Tuscany or Lombardy, or even in the nearest 
cities, Vetralla or Viterbo. The most interesting of the 
churches are S. Pietro and S. Maria Maggiore. The immense 
span of their arcades, the stone seats separating nave and 
aisles at S. Pietro, the type of the heavy and crude capitals, 
the thick-set columns, are all features of immense character. 
Equally striking are the faqades: symmetrical, with their 
quadruple division of portal, gallery, rose- window and gable; 
yet barbaric in the colossal carved figures representing the 
forces of nature (dragons, bulls, etc.) and the forces of the 


spirit (symbols of evangelists, etc.). The hand of Apulian 
artists is betrayed iu these monsters and in the Byzantine 
line of reversed foliage that forms some of the portal archi- 

Without denying other traces of their presence there is one 
feature, the main portal of S. Pietro, which is indubitably by 
the hand of a Roman artist, contemporary with the brothers 
of the Corneto faqade, Pietro and Niccolo, if he be not earlier 
and of the time of Paschal II. If anything, the style is a trifle 
more beautiful. The greater recessing, marked by the three 
shafts instead of the single one, is due to the projection of the 
central section of the faqade. This doorway, though certainly 
contemporary with the rest of the faqade, is not only different 
in its texture, a white marble that contrasts with the loose- 
textured peperino of the rest, but in the principles of design. 
At the same time, while no Roman artist was responsible for 
the rest of the design of the facade, the Roman handiwork is 
evident in the mosaic inlay of the bands of the rose-window 
and its frame and around the two-light windows, also in the 
colonnettes of windows and gallery. Inside the church there 
can be no doubt that the pavement is of the regular Roman 
type well preserved in the choir. The date of 1093, given as 
that of the consecration of the high altar, is indicative of the 
time of construction. The ciborium on which it is cut is not, 
however, by the hand of a Roman artist; it is rather Apulian. 

Viterbo is architecturally one of the most surprising of the 
small mediaeval cities of Italy. Its basilical churches, its episco- 
pal palace, its picturesque and highly finished private palaces, 
its beautiful fountains and the cathedral with its campanile, 
form a varied group of structures of the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries when Viterbo lived a full and strenuous life in the 
closest connection with Rome and the Popes, many of whom 
passed here a large part of their pontificate. Of its works of 
art I shall speak only as they connect with Rome and her art. 
Studied as a whole Viterbo has a distinct school of architecture. 
Its cathedral campanile in its polychromy and with its low 
spire is not in the least Roman. And yet we must allow that 
in the construction of its churches the artists of Viterbo not 


only adopted the Roman basilical type, but also exported from 
Rome the columns used in them. They went even further, 
for in details like the rose-window of S. Giovanni in Zoccoli 
(similar to that of S. Pietro, Toscanella, which it resembles in 
its interior) we see the hand of a Roman mosaicist ; and the 
pavement of the cathedral is also by a Roman. 

It was during the years following the middle of the thir- 
teenth century, that Viterbo saw the most numerous works by 
Roman artists, works which are mostly described elsewhere : 
the tombs of Popes Clement IV and Hadrian V, of Prefect 
de Vico, the tabernacle by Vassalletto, the description of which 
comes more properly in the historic review of Roman sculp- 

Orvieto. Even further north is Orvieto. which though on 
the Tuscan border was regarded as an outpost of the Roman 
province. From its proximity to the Tiber Orvieto could 
easily obtain antique materials from Rome, and there are 
here even more traces of Rome than at Viterbo, which it 
almost equals in the interest of its mediaeval architecture. 
Its civil structures and its basilicas are not, it is true, on as 
high a level of workmanship and are careless in detail, but its 
two superb public palaces and its incomparable cathedral are 
superior to anything in Viterbo. Orvietan architecture also 
is characteristically local. 

The earliest Roman work here is the mosaic pavement of 
the monastic church of SS. Silvestro e Martirio, outside the 
city a real architectural enigma of the twelfth century. 
Almost as early is the city church of S. Andrea, rebuilt in 
the twelfth century with a mosaic pavement and several pieces 
of Roman church furniture of the close of the thirteenth cen- 
tury : a memorial tabernacle with twisted columns supporting 
a trefoil arch and framing an altar picture of the Virgin and 
Child with two saints; and a pulpit. The pulpit is a good 
piece of Roman mosaic decoration. It has not the Roman 
shape, but that affected by the preachers of the Franciscan 
and Dominican orders. It is a five-sided structure set up 
against the right-hand pier at the transept. 

The fagade of the cathedral of Orvieto, a piece of poly- 


chromy and sculpture, is an instance of how Roman materials 
and artists could be made to subserve a design that was abso- 
lutely anti-classic. Several Roman artists are known to have 
worked upon it and for it, especially in the mosaic inlay, and 
the materials for it came from Rome. 

Only one other relic of Rome remains in Orvieto, the tomb 
of Cardinal de Braye, by Arnolfo, an early masterpiece which 
is described among his works. 

Umbria. Crossing the Tiber just below Orvieto, we find a 
unique example of a provincial form of the Roman style in the 
church of S. Maria Assunta at Lugnano in southwest Umbria. 
The porch extending across the facade is not far different 
from the heavier early Roman porticos such as that of S. 
Giorgio in Yelabro, and the architrave is relieved of excessive 
weight in the same way by low arches, only the effect is far 
different, for instead of being of brick and concealed in the 
brickwork, they are free-standing. The Roman imosaic inlay, 
which decorates porch and faqade, appears also in the con- 
fession at the high altar. It is a very complete little church, 
unspoiled except in its vaulting and apse. There is no trace 
of antique materials ; everything was executed on the site. 

Further north in Umbria, near Foligno, is the Cloister of 
Sassovivo, built by an artist named Pietro de Maria in 1229, " in 
the Roman manner" (see "Cloisters"). In Foligno itself there 
are traces of Roman workmanship in 1201 in the doorway of 
the cathedral ; also at Spoleto and elsewhere. 

But Narni, being more within the Roman orbit, is especially 
rich. The cathedral, S. Maria in Pensole, S. Domenico, are 
basilical churches with the purely Roman type of mosaic 
pavements. The cathedral is of early foundation, partly re- 
constructed in about the twelfth century. Of this date is the 
campanile, which is exactly of the Roman type, even to the 
material, which is not stone but brick. Here and at S. Maria 
in Pensole a weird, ungraceful effect is given to the interior 
by the use for spanning the space between the columns of the 
nave, not of eithe^" arches or architraves, but of the low form 
of segmental arch used in Rome to break the pressure on the 
architrave by concentrating it over the columns, a form that 


was always concealed or at least never used without the archi- 
trave and without filling in the intervals. There is also a 
piece of decorative mosaic work in the Cathedral that is 
among the earliest products of the Bornan school in vertical 
decoration the shrine of S. Cassius. 

Sabina. The province of Sabina, below Umbria, on the 
east bank of the Tiber, was a favorite camping-ground for the 
Roman artists, for it had always been a fief of some Roman 
noble with occasional sections belonging to some large monas- 
tery. The ruined Foronovo cathedral near Torri preserves its 
ancient crypt, pavement and campanile ; its ambone is deco- 
rated with mosaics and so was its confession. Its frescos are 
of the last period of the Roman school. At Catino, both parish 
and ruined castle church were Roman. 

Most important of all were the monuments of Palombara, a 
fief of the great Savelli family of Rome which gave to the 
Papacy Honorius III and Honorius IV. The parish church 
and the churches of S. Biagio and S. Giovanni in Argentella 
were founded in or about the time of Paschal II. That of 
S. Biagio was restored by Honorius III and was the family 
church of the Savelli, containing several monuments of the 
family. An inscription of 1101 gives this date for its conse- 
cration and the name of its architect Joannes Blasius. 

Other Roman works of the thirteenth century are at Monte- 
bono, where S. Pietro has a fine campanile and some frescos 
of 1204, and Toffia, where S. Lorenzo has an interesting facade. 
The early Gothic style, especially the form in which it was 
imported from Burgundy by the Cistercians, found lodgement 
in this province during the thirteenth century, partly expelling 
the basilical plan and construction. But in painting the Sabina 
remained dependent on Rome. 

Near Soracte. Crossing the Tiber once more westward, above 
Soracte, we come on a group of towns and monasteries that 
were from their closeness to Rome more generally subject to 
its artistic supremacy. They are especially the cities of 
Civita Castellana, Nepi and Sutri ; the monasteries of S. Elia, of 
Soracte, of S. Andrea near Ponzano and S. Maria di Falleri ; and, 
finally, the villages of Rignano, Leprignano and Fiano ; they 


are full of works illustrating especially the earlier days of the 
later Middle Ages, from the middle of the tenth to the close of 
'the twelfth century, though there is also some decorative wprk 
of the early thirteenth at Civita Castellana. Leprignano pro- 
vides the only remaining iconostasis screen of the pre-Cosmati 
style ; S. Elia and S. Andrea the most extensive frescos of 
the tenth century and the best dated basilicas of that period. 

Porch of Cathedral, Civita Castellana. 
(By Laurentius and his son Jacobus, 1'210.) 

The cathedrals of Nepi and Sutri, while their interiors are 
ruined, have preserved extensive crypts of the eleventh or 
twelfth centuries of a size unknown to Rome itself. The shafts 
and some of the capitals in these crypts are from the ruins of 
Eome, taken during the days subsequent to the fire. At Sutri 
especially the cathedral must have equalled that of Civita 
Castellana. Its large crypt has four radiating chapels and 
sixteen niches. The interior had originally columns with Co- 
rinthian capitals. The superb mosaic pavement is now restored 
with pieces of the choir-seats, ambones and choir-screen of 
beautiful mosaic work by Roman artists of the close of the 
twelfth century. To the same period belongs the fine main 


doorway and the campanile on the right of the facade. Other 
churches have retained some parts of their Roman work ; the 
pavement at S. Giacomo ; the altar and pavement at S. Angelo 
(S. Francesco). 

The cathedral at Nepi, on a somewhat smaller scale, is of the 
same age and style, also built of peperino and partly of antique 
materials, as shown by the crypt, which has three aisles running 
across the entire width of the church. Heavy projecting abaci 
support well-built groin vaults, and, like the church above, 
there are three apses. There seem to be no two capitals alike; 
some are pseudo-corinthian, some have interlaced animals, one 
is cubic. 

Near ISTepi is the monastery of S. Elia, famous for its frescos 
described elsewhere, and for its church, first built in the ninth 
century, burned by the Saracens and then rebuilt after 939 when 
it was given to Monte Cassino. Both this church and those of 
the other monasteries belong strictly to the Eoman school. 

Civita Castellana, the ancient Falerii, Avas the first mediaeval 
town of importance north of Rome. The little church of S. 
Andrea, with its elegant brick campanile, shows that even in 
its minor monuments, it was an integral part of the Roman 
school. Somewhat more important is S. Gregorio, with a 
heavier campanile of stone. But preeminent among all the 
monuments of the Roman province is its cathedral, where the 
parts we admire are by two artists of the Roman family school 
of Laurentius : the chief himself and his son James (Jacobus), 
who decorated and superintended the construction shortly before 
and after 1200, while the interior decoration was completed in 
about 1225 or 1230 by a grandson of Laurentius, Luke (Lucas), 
who, with his fellow-artist Brudus, signed the beautiful choir- 
seats now removed to the sacristy. 

At the same time Laurentius and Jacobus built and dec- 
orated the near-by monastic church of S. Maria di Falleri, 
which rises alone, itself a ruin, inside the deserted walls of 
the ancient city of Falerii. Here the great vaults of the 
church, which show the hand of the Cistercian monastic de- 
signer, emphasize the fact that the actual construction 
whether* in stone, as here, or in brick, as in Rome was 


foreign to the work of the Roman marmorarii, to whom we 
can here attribute only such parts as the portal \vhich is 
signed by them : 


It is a simple structure of white marble, moderately deco- 
rated and far from being on the scale of their work in Civita 

Abruzzi. There were apparently local artists in Umbria 
and the Abruzzi who imitated Koman work. For example, at 
Rocca di Botte in the latter province, the pulpit and ciborium 
of the church have the general Roman design and mosaic 
decoration, but the crudeness of handiwork and the clumsiness 
of proportion betray the local imitator. 

But elsewhere in the Abruzzi, Roman artists were them- 
selves present. The church at Alba near Lake Fucino was 
decorated early in the thirteenth century by two Romans, 
Andreas and Johannes, with works that rival the best in 
Rome. The church itself is extremely interesting, being the 
result of the successive metamorphosis of a Pelasgic place of 
worship into a Roman temple of the early Empire whose 
immense Corinthian columns were used for the interior of a 
Christian church built on the same site. In c. 1225 the two 
Roman artists were called to decorate it with an ambone and 
an iconostasis screen. The iconostasis is signed by Andreas 
alone : 


The ambone has a more elaborate inscription, showing that 
here Andreas was only the assistant of Johannes, who calls 
himself a " Roman Citizen, most skilful in art." 


One does not wonder that Abbot Oderisius called in these 
Romans when one examines some of the terribly crude work 
he had to put up with at the hands of local artists. 



Alban Hills. East of Rome, in the Alban Hills, lies a group 
of towns, many of which were of ancient renown, and some of 
mediaeval importance. Tusculum was punished by the Eomans 
with total destruction, in 1191, for daring to be its rival. 
Albano was also wiped out. Marino, Albano, Grottaferrata, 
Genzano, Civita Lavinia, Ariccia, should be supplemented by 

Mosaic Frieze of Porch, Cathedral of Terracina. 

Velletri, Palestrina, Tivoli and Subiaco. Most of these towns 
became too popular as summer resorts, during the Renaissance 
and after, to have preserved as much of their mediseval art as 
the less frequented towns of the rest of the province. There 
is hardly enough to show that they actually did form an in- 
tegral part of the school, except, of course, the Greek monas- 
tery of Grottaferrata, which was an oasis of Byzantine art. 
Even here, however, the Roman decorator penetrated in the 
thirteenth century, to erect monuments to members of the 
famous counts of Tusculum, who at one time ruled Rome. 


These works are of the usual type with tabernacles, columns 
and mosaic work, but only fragments remain. 

At Palestrina the cathedral has traces of its reconstruction 
under Paschal II (c. 1112) ; at Velletri is the crypt of the 
cathedral with its frescos (XII c.) and the campanile of S. 
Maria del Trivio; at Tivoli the ninth-century fresco of the 
apse of S. Silvestro, the campanile of the cathedral, the 
basilical interior and pavement of S. Pietro, etc.; at Albano 
the campanile of S. Pietro; at the monasteries of Subiaco, 
the remains of mediaeval art are really of transcendent 
importance, and are elsewhere referred to. They form the 
subject of a sumptuous publication which is now being 

South of Rome, leading toward the Neapolitan border, were 
two main routes : one, the ancient Appian Way through the 
Pontine marshes as far as Terracina, on the coast, turning 
inland to Fondi and continuing to Gaeta ; the other, following 
the inland valley of the Sacco (present railroad to Naples), 
with hill towns on both sides and entering the Neapolitan 
province near Ceprano, where the river Liris forms the historic 

Towns of the Pontine Region. Along the first of these routes 
the hills to the north are crowded by the cities of Cori, Ser- 
moneta, Sezze and Piperno, before Terracina is reached, and 
the road passes through the fever-stricken and deserted site of 
Ninfa, at the foot of the ancient Norba. Although this dis- 
trict was a recognized dependency of Rome in the later Middle 
Ages, there are very few artistic traces of it. These towns 
seem to have been slow to rise. Not till the latter part of the 
twelfth century do we find monuments of .importance such 
as the cathedral of Piperno, built by the architect Antonio di 
Rabotto. Its porch is a fine example of the type created by 
the monastic architects of the Benedictine order, as we see it 
at S. Clemente di Casauria. In fact, when these towns are 
built up, mainly in the thirteenth century, they do not patron- 
ize Roman artists of any class, but rather put themselves 
under the direction of the monastic school established by the 
French Cistercians from Burgundy settled at Fossanova, near 


Piperno, with still another establishment at Valvisciolo near 
Sermoneta and, across the hills, at Casamari. The cathedrals 
of Sezze and Sermoneta, the parish church at Amaseno', are de- 
rived from these monastic types. So are the minor churches, 
such as S. Michele and S. Nicola at Sermoneta. They are 
quite the opposite to the columnar basilical type, and on the 
basis of groin or ribbed vaulting and piers. In the absence 
in this region, also, of any of the works of decorative church 
furniture in the Roman style, we are forced to conclude that 
this route was not travelled by our artists, and that they 
reached Terracina by the sea route. 

It is, however, true that so far as Ninfa the land route was 
frequented. At Cori, on the way, there remains, in the parish 
church of S. Maria, an interesting and early paschal candle- 
stick of the Roman school ; and Ninfa itself is famous in 
the Papal documents of the early Middle Ages, as early as 
the ninth century. In the twelfth century it belonged to the 
Frangipani. It had the honor, in 1159, of being the place 
of the cardinals' conclave that elected Alexander III. Most of 
its churches are of this time, though S. Marco was built as 
late as 1216 by Cardinal Ugolino, who afterward became 
Gregory IX. These churches, whose walls are covered with 
decaying frescos, are all in ruins, as it has not been inhabited 
since the fourteenth century on account of malaria. 

Region of the Sacco. The other group of southern towns, 
that flanking the valley of the Sacco, is, when taken collec- 
tively, as important as any in the province of the history of 
Roman art, for its artists were as consistently active here as 
they were in the region immediately to the north. These cities 
are Anagni, Ferentino, Alatri and Veroli on the north side of 
the valley ; and Segni on the south side. 

Destruction has overcome the cathedral of Segni, completed 
in 1185. Only from its inscriptions and archives do we know 
that it possessed six signed works of the Roman artists of this 
time, which show that its architectural details and furniture 
were executed by the most famous living members of the 
school, by Laurentius and his son Jacobus, by Petrus Vassal- 
lettus (1186) and others. 


Ferentino. But at Ferentino we can still trace, better even 
than in Rome itself, the beginnings of the school. The cathe- 
dral is entirely, in construction and decoration, a work of the 
time of Paschal II (1106-1110) when the Roman school of 
magistri marmorarii was founded. And an inscription shows 
not only the date, but that its artist is the very founder of the 
school, Paulus. Its construction is of the simplest. The ma- 
terial is large travertine blocks. The facade follows the out- 
line of nave and aisles with nothing to relieve it besides the 
three doorways but a round-headed window in the gable. The 
side walls are equally plain, the windows being without mould- 
ings. The triple apse is a trifle less simple, its windows having 
flanking colonnettes. Still, the revival of classic design shows 
clearly, even in the few existing details, in the dentils, the egg- 
and-dart and the pearl ornament of the archivolts of the doors. 
The corbels of the apsidal arcading with their sculptured masks 
and patterns may be compared with the contemporary work at 
S. Bartolommeo all' I sola in Rome. 

In the interior the old granite columns have been submerged 
in barocco piers, but it is possible to reconstitute even its dec- 
oration by means of the multitude of fragments now stored in 
an annex, as well as the altar-fronts and other slabs still in use 
in the renovated church. On one of these, at the altar of S. 
Ambrose, is the artist's signature : 


From an examination of the pieces in the museum, which 
were used as material by the barocco " restorer " of 1693, we 
can see that Paulus, or whoever directed the building in 1106, 
made similar use as material of the ornamentation of an earlier 
church of the eighth-ninth century. He took the marble slabs 
that formed the choir-screen, the pulpits, the altar and confes- 
sion of this probably ruined building and by reversing them 
utilized the smooth surfaces for his own decorative work, in- 
laying them with the mosaic patterns and slabs which Paulus 
himself was apparently the first to bring into fashion. Even 
one arch of the primitive ciborium has been preserved in a sub- 
terranean room under the cathedral and turned into an altar. 


Xow the choir-screens, pulpits, altar, confession, ciborium of 
Paulus himself have in turn been dispersed and utilized. 
Some of the present altars were made up of this material in 
1693. In one chapel, a relief with Jonah and the whale formed 
originally the stairway rail of his ambone, which was supported 
by twisted columns inlaid with mosaic, three of which rested 
on lions. Either this work is not by Paulus, or this founder 
of the Roman school was himself an offshoot of the Campanian 
school, where, as well as in the Abruzzi, this form of the box 
pulpit on columns was in vogue. 

Later Roman artists than Paulus worked here in the thir- 
teenth century, as is clear from the delicate vitreous inlay of 
some of the present altar-fronts, different from the primitive 
marble cubes of Paulus , They seem, together with some twisted 
colonnettes, to recompose a supplementary choir-screen added 
to that of Paulus. The master who then came to Ferentino 
produced in the paschal candlestick one of the finest works of 
the school. Perhaps he is the Drudus who then (c. 1230-1240) 
made the superb ciborium for the same cathedral, finer than 
anything of its type remaining in Rome itself. 

Anagni. The metropolis of Campania, Anagni, has nothing 
as old as the work of Paulus, but it was a Mecca for Roman 
artists during nearly the whole of the thirteenth century. Its 
cathedral, like that at Ferentino, took the place of an earlier 
structure decorated with the same pre-Cosmati sculpture. The 
new building was commenced at the same time as Ferentino's, 
under Paschal II. But if the immense crypt was soon finished, 
the upper church was not dedicated until 1179, and the deco- 
ration of both upper and lower churches was continued until 
about 1230. 

This decoration except for the wall-paintings was con- 
fided to the then head of the most famous Roman school, 
Cosmas, son of Jacobus, of the family of Laurentius. His 
name appears first in the pavement of the upper church : 


He then, some years later, began work on the crypt, where he 
Avas assisted by his two sons and signed the main altar thus: 



His long labors were completed by his setting in place in 1231 
the altar of S. Magnus. 

In reckoning the part that Cosmas took in the work of the 
cathedral I think we may eliminate any part of its architecture, 
though perhaps the design of the campanile is Roman. The 
ciborium remains in place over high altar and confession. Its 
style and close connection with the pavement plan make it 
quite certainly the work of Cosinas, c. 1220; the primitive 
handling of the capitals excludes a later date. This work is 
certainly the prototype of that by Drudus at Ferentino, an 
artist who was a pupil of Cosmas and associated with his son 
Lucas at Civita Castellana. The choir-screen and choir-seats, 
which extended into the nave from the high altar, and the 
ambones, were also probably by Cosinas. They were long 
since destroyed and only fragments remain in the sacristy. 

Another artist, however, was called in to execute the paschal 
candlestick and the episcopal throne in the apse. He was 
Vassallettus, and his work came some years after that of Cos- 
mas and his sons. These still remain in the sacristy, though 
the throne is mutilated. Which of the Vassalletti was he ? 
From the type of sculpture of the lions flanking the throne 
and the piquant caryatid surmounting the candlestick, I 
think these must be mature works of the Vassallettus who 
built and carved the Lateran cloister more than thirty years 
before the year 1260, the decade to which they have been 
attributed. The candlestick is signed, on the plinth above 
the sphinxes : 


The signature on the throne is under the circular disk that 
formed the centre of the back : 


Another inscription says that the throne was ordered by Bishop 
Landus. The inlay in both these works is not of the minute 


and varied* character which is shown in the works posterior 
to c. 1230, when glass paste had quite superseded natural 

Here I will close the tour of the Roman province in the 
footsteps of the artists of the metropolis. Though I have 
omitted numerous minor places and works, it is evident 
that they brought great influence to bear on the decorative art 
of almost the entire region, with an occasional inroad beyond 
the regular Roman orbit. To the south they joined hands 
with the contemporary decorative school in Campania, to 
which they were so closely allied that it is not easy to dis- 
tinguish sometimes the works of the two schools. On the 
north they overlapped the Tuscan school and undoubtedly 
encouraged its work in marble inlay such as we see at S. 
Miniato in Florence and the baptistery at Pisa. 

It is even possible to conjecture that the Jacobus, f rater S. 
Francisci, who in 1225 signed the mosaics and decorative work 
of the apse of the Florentine baptistery, was a Roman artist, 
perhaps the very famous Jacobus, son of Laurentius, who 
though still in his prime disappeared from the field of lay art 
in about 1220. He may have become a monk of the new Fran- 
ciscan order and been placed in charge of the decoration of the 
baptistery, where the cornices, columns and sculptured details 
are so purely classic as to betray almost certainly the hand of 
a master from Rome, whose mosaics are of the minute descrip- 
tion affected by the " Cosmati." 


THIS influence has been already referred to, and naturally 
falls into two main divisions : that of the ancient city, and that 
of the Christian city. In both cases, there is a material in- 
fluence, but only in the latter a spiritual influence as well. In 
fact it would seem as if the ruin wrought by the fire of Robert 
Guiscard in 1084 caused renewed activity in the pillage, and 
that many Italian cities then entering on a building era profited 

Influence of the Ancient City. There was a twofold effect of 
ancient Rome, according as to whether use was made of mate- 
rials actually taken from classic monuments, or whether ancient 
models were imitated. 

Some critics have fallen into the error of concluding that the 
supply of columns and marbles from the ruins of Rome had 
become exhausted as early as the Carlovingian period. On the 
contrary, it lasted, in abundance, until the close of the Middle 
Ages, as the monuments of the city itself abundantly show. 
I will give a few cases for each period. 

King Theodoric had allowed some ancient material to be 
sent to him at Ravenna from the Domus Pinciana, much as he 
discountenanced the practice in general. But certainly there 
was little wholesale exportation of material until the Lombards 
began to build churches and monasteries. In 725 columns and 
marbles were brought from Rome for the construction of the 
church of S. Anastasia at Olonna by King Luitprand, a practice 
repeated during the eighth century. 

Under Charlemagne and his successors material from Rome 
was carried even beyond the Alps to Gaul and Germany. In 
building S. Riquier, Abbot Angilbert, pupil of Alcuin, is said, 
by the monastic chronicler, to have used columns and other 
marbles from Rome. Charlemagne himself used material from 



both Rome and Ravenna in his constructions at Aix-la-Chapelle. 
The early German Emperors, especially the Othos, did the 
same. In 962 considerable material for the new Magdeburg 
cathedral came from Rome. 

The abbots of northern monasteries in their pilgrimage to 
Rome, which was often the great object of their career, some- 
times secured antique materials as well as relics for their new 
churches. A monastic chronicle gives a picture of a German 
abbot hauling these marbles with infinite trouble by mule-back 
across the mountains. Even as late as the twelfth, the French 
primate Suger, when he was preparing to build his epoch-mak- 
ing church at S. Denis, tells us that he planned to send to 
Rome for columns and marbles. 

Lanciani tells us that it was mostly with marbles from Rome 
and Ostia that the cathedral of Pisa was built and that an in- 
scription in the transept Genio. Colonies. Ostiensis leaves no 
doubt of the fact, as well as a sarcophagus of Proculus, a nota- 
ble of Ostia. The cathedral and most of the other churches of 
Lucca were built out of Roman materials ; so were the churches 
of Monte Cassino, S. Angelo in Formis, Salerno, Amalfi and 
many others, especially in the towns near Rome. 

Last of all comes the cathedral of Orvieto, and the daily offi- 
cial records of its construction and decoration, especially be- 
tween 1321 and 1360, are full of details about the way marbles 
were procured from the ancient city. Local. Roman stone- 
cutters, familiar with the resources of the ruins, were engaged 
to pilot the emissaries from. Orvieto, and a regular gang of 
stone-cutters was established near Rome to receive and prepare 
the ancient material and then ship it to Orvieto ready for 

Though much of the ancient material was reworked, much 
again was not. Columns, bases and capitals were transferred 
bodily, and often served partly to determine the character of 
the new building. The spread of the columnar basilical style 
throughout Italy and even beyond the Alps would hardly have 
been realized otherwise. The classic orders would hardly have 
been so widely perpetuated. So, in a way, vandalism profited 


That observant eyes also imitated specific works is quite 
clear. The pine cone of the Vatican and the wolf of the 
Lateran were reproduced on the fountain at Aix-la-Chapelle. 
The bronze column at Hildesheim faintly echoes the great 
memorial columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius ; so does the 
marble column at Gaeta. The sarcophagi at Pisa furnish 
models for Niccola Pisano. 

Influence of the Christian City. This is far more complex 
and hard to measure. Let us commence by the more material 
aspect : the artists and the works of art. 

The earliest instances are in the century of Gregory the 
Great. The illuminated codex called the Cambridge Gospels 
contain a series of pictures by a Roman artist that were to serve 
S. Augustine and the other missionaries to the Anglo-Saxons 
as models for church frescos. When the hierarchy of the 
Anglo-Saxon church had been established directly from Home 
by the mission of Theodore, made first archbishop of Canterbury, 
the promulgation of a Roman code of laws, the adoption of 
Roman music and liturgy, were followed by the importation of 
works of art and artists from Rome by the two most prominent 
Anglo-Saxon prelates. Benedict Biscop, says Bede, on the 
occasion of two of his visits to Rome took back collections of 
paintings. Wilfrid of York brought over masons and artificers 
from Rome to build and decorate churches at York, Ripon and 
Hexham (709). It would seem fair to conclude that the Anglo- 
Saxons, who had been quite innocent of any artistic endeavors 
before their conversion, owed mainly to Roman models, with 
some Gallic assistance, the style of their best early works. 

Some instances of the sort occur in the Carlo vingian and 
Othonian eras for France and Germany. Pipin gets from Rome 
its church music. The great monasteries supply themselves 
with the sacred vestments made in Rome : S. Wandrille (Fon- 
tanella), in c. 822, receives some cappas Romanas and some 
cingula Romano opere facta. S. Riquier (Centula), in c. 820, 
receives albas Romanas cum amictis. More important still, 
Odo, one of the architects of Charlemagne's cathedral of Aix-la- 
Chapelle, seems to have been a Roman. 

Under Pope Leo IV Rome returned the compliment to Ra- 


venna, who had in other days (fifth to sixth centuries) sent her 
artists, by sending an architect and workmen to restore S. 
Apollinare in Classe. 

The diffusion of the practical handbook of painting by the 
Eoman Heraclius undoubtedly spread the methods of the 
Roman school. The Italian painter John, whom the Emperor 
Otho II took to Germany, is possibly the same John who had 
decorated with his brother the basilica of S. Elia near Nepi 
(middle tenth century). In so far as the painter Methodius 
(ninth century) is concerned, who painted the terrifying Last 
Judgment for the Bulgarians, he is claimed by both Rome and 
Byzantinism, though Rome certainly ended by possessing him 
and some of his works. 

There must have been numerous cases of a close imitation in 
other places of works in Rome. I will cite a very clear in- 
stance, the frescos of the church of S. Piero a Grado near Pisa, 
executed c. 1300. On the walls of its nave are three series of 
paintings : above a row of angels in architectural framework ; 
then the main body of the decoration in oblong compositions, 
representing the lives and martyrdoms of SS. Peter and Paul ; 
finally, just above the columns, a series of portraits of the 
Popes. It has recently been proved that these scenes from the 
lives of the apostles were copied literally from frescos in the 
atrium of S. Peter. The portraits of the Popes were taken 
from those in the same church or at the Lateran or S. Paul. 

The cycles at S. Francis of Assisi seem planned by Cavallini. 

In the opinion of Crowe and Cavalcaselle the frescos that 
fill the baptistery at Parma, the most important of their time 
(c. 1250) in Northern Italy, are by a master trained in the 
Roman school. These two are examples of the way Umbria, 
Tuscany, Emilia and Lombardy were invaded. 

During this, its most flourishing period, the Roman school 
even made an occasional inroad with its own artists into the 
very central strongholds of other provincial schools. Of this 
the church of S. Frediano at Lucca is an instance. No Ital- 
ian city had a more characteristic mediaeval art than Lucca. 
It is a Tuscan art, of course, the twin brother of that of Pisa. 
Of its churches none has been more studied than S. Frediano ; 


around it for over a half-century fought the battalions, of whom 
one faction asserted that it was a shining example of the Lom- 
bard art of the seventh century, while the other consigned it 
with all the rest of such so-called early Lombard churches to 
the less rare but far more civilized atmosphere of the twelfth 
century and the latter have been proved correct. In fact, 
the present church is now shown to have been built between 
1112 and 1147 or shortly after. The great peculiarity of its ex- 
terior is the large mosaic picture that fills the upper part of its 
facade, representing the Resurrection of Christ, who is seated 
on a throne and is being carried up by two angels, while the 
twelve apostles stand below and gaze. To what school does this 
work belong ? A reckless restoration in 1829 has made it some- 
what difficult to do more than to assign it to the latter part of 
the twelfth century or later. The choice is practically between 
the Venetian and the Roman schools. The preference for Rome, 
where the custom of decorating the facades was then so common, 
becomes a practical certainty when one examines the remains 
of the mosaic pavement in the choir. Barbarously as it was 
transformed by the Barocco period, it is a Roman pavement. 
No one can mistake the subtle or graded designs and colors of 
the Venetian pavements for the strong contrasts and heavy out- 
lines and uniform coloring of the Romans which here appear. 
No other church at Lucca or in this region has any pavement 
like it. It is an accident, an accident which makes us con- 
clude that the figured mosaics of the fagade were also Roman. 
Pope Paschal II, when he came to Lucca in 1105, established 
close connections between S. Frediano and the Lateran. . Pope 
Eugenius III consecrated the church in 1147. Perhaps in the 
latter's train came the Roman inosaicists who helped complete 
the decoration of the church. We cannot say whether to them 
also was due the choir-screen and pulpits which the Barocco 
prelates destroyed, or the connection may be due to Pope 
Lucius III (1181-1185), who was a native of Lucca. 

There was another and more general connection with Rome. 
The churches of Lucca are in several cases built with antique 
columns and capitals ; no Tuscan city shows such aprofuseness 
of antique material. Where did it come from ? It has been 


supposed from the antique buildings of the city itself, especially 
from the amphitheatre a purely imaginary and unsupported 
supposition. S. Giovanni, the old cathedral, S. Frediano itself, 
S. Alessandro, S. Maria forisportam, are all built with Eoman 
columns largely topped with Roman capitals. Why should 
they not have been all brought from Eome ? When cities on 
all sides, including Pisa itself, were allowed by the Popes to use 
Rome as a quarrying-ground, there is every reason to suppose 
that Lucca, the favorite residence of the Countess Matilda, the 
greatest benefactor of the Papacy, would long continue to feel 
the benefits of Papal favor. 

No Roman artist, however, travelled as far as did the Pietro 
who went to England in company with Archbishop Ware to 
decorate Westminster Abbey. It was a most important com- 
mission. Ware went several times to Rome ; in 1258-1259, in 
1267 and in 1276. The decoration of Westminster choir, and 
the placing there of the body of Edward the Confessor in a 
magnificent shrine, had been planned as early as 1265. Ware 
probably brought back Pietro from Rome or Viterbo in 1267. 
The work was completed and the relics of the Confessor trans- 
ferred on October 13, 1269. The inscription read: 




A Roman citizen had the honor to execute the most sacred, 
the national shrine of England! He also did the tomb of King 
Henry III himself, and of others in the Abbey, the mosaic 
pavement of the choir, and probably also that in the same 
style at Canterbury, where the shrine of the martyred primate 
seems to be by the same hand. The inscription of the West- 
minster pavement read : 


1 It is generally supposed that the Petrus of the first inscription and the 
Odericus of the second were two distinct Roman artists, but as the man who 


A third inscription, placed in 1283 on the tomb of Ware him- 
self, shows that all the marbles used for the pavement and the 
monuments were brought from Rome, for it expressly states 
that Ware rests under the stones which he himself brought 
from the city, " Urbs " : Me portat lapides quos hue portavit ab 
urbe. To this evidently alludes also the " Urbs" of the previous 
inscription, expressing Rome's share in the work. 

There are traces both in Germany and France of the presence 
of Roman artists, though nothing nearly as important as the 
Westminster work. There is, for instance, the mosaic tomb of 
Archbishop Gero of Cologne (f 976), and the mosaic pavement 
of a church in Cologne ; some details of " Cosmati " work from 
Vilseck (Oberpfalz), now in the Industrial Museum at Munich ; 
and a fragment in the Cluny Museum in Paris. 

These examples, of indifferent periods, will be sufficient. 
The Roman artist was an easy traveller. In another chapter 
I have traced his normal peripatetic orbit in Central Italy. 
Elsewhere I also refer to his final achievements in France and 
Italy, when the departure of the Popes from Rome entailed the 
dispersal of the school to wherever they could find patrons. 
Under Painting it has appeared how predominant not only in 
the sphere of thought, but in style and technique, was the in- 
fluence of the Roman school led by Cavallini and his contem- 
poraries. / 

Aside from the actual work of Roman artists, the mark of 
the school was stamped even more widely if we study the 
marble incrustations of Tuscany in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries, and the spread through Central Italy of the imitation 
of antique ornament and orders. It is too broad a subject to 
be treated here. It is even more impossible to express fully 
the internal or spiritual influence of Roman artistic ideals, but 
no one can, I think, read this book without understanding that 
they reach down to the roots of all Italian mediaeval art when 
it sought to express religious and symbolic thought. 

worked at Viterbo called himself Petrus Oderici and as it was sometimes the 
habit to call a man by his patronymic, I am inclined to consider them one and 
the same. 


SS. Abdon and Sennen, basilica, 50, 

Acquasparta, Card., tomb, 251, 252. 

Adeodatus, 92. 

Adeodatus, son of Cosmatus, artist ; 
see Deodatus. 

Administration of Rome : ecclesi- 
astical, 39; civic, 4, 95, 125, 128, 
130, 137, 139. 

S. Adriano, basilica, 83, 90, 94. 

^Emilia, basilica, 34. 

^Emilianse, titulus, 39. 

S. Agata in Suburra, basilica, 67, 
94, 98. 

Agatho, engineer, 110. 

S. Agnese, basilica, 24, 54, 90, 167; 
mosaics, 283 ; frescos, 328 ; metal 
work, 233; cemetery, 43. 

Alaric's sack of Rome, 42, 52, 54, 
59, 60. 

Alba Fucense, 176, 370. 

Albano, S. Maria della Stella, frescos, 

Alberic and his palace, 113, 115, 209. 

Alenon, Card., tomb, 253. 

S. Alessandro, basilica, 43. 

S. Alessio, basilica, crypt, 167; bell- 
tower, 189. 

Alexander III, Pope, 130. 

Alexius, artist, 345. 

Alphanus, Papal chamberlain, 135. 

Altar, 180. 

Ambone, see Pulpit. 

S. Ambragio in Pescheria, basilica, 

Ammianus Marcellinus, 38. 

Anaclete, antipope, 127. 

Anagni, cathedral, 131, 139, 355, 
375; frescos, 324; decoration, 
324, 376; ciboria, 179; paschal 
candlestick, 177, 240, 376; bell- 
tower, 189. 

S. Anastasia, basilica, 40, 80. 

Anastasius, Pope, 50. 

Ancher, Card., tomb, 246. 

S. Andrea, churches, 71 ; monastery, 

81 ; oratory, 96. 
S. Andrea in Catabarbara, basilica, 

66, 67, 276. 

S. Andrea in Flumine, see Ponzano. 
Andreas, artist, 356, 370. 
S. Angelo in Formis, basilica, 319. 
S. Angelo in Pescheria, basilica, 94, 

Angels in art, 54, 74, 292, 299, 300, 

305, 312, 324, 329, sqq. 
Angelus, son of Paulus, artist, 350. 
Anglo-Saxons in Rome, 82, 98; 

their art, 380. 
Anguillara Palace, 221. 
Annibaldi, Riccardo, tomb, 244. 
Anthemius, Emperor, 65. 
Antoninus and Faustina, temple, 

see S. Lorenzo in Miranda. 
Antonio di Rabotto, architect, 372. 
Apocalypse in art, 267, 277, 300, 

311, 312, 323, 324. 
S. Apollinare, basilica, 90. 
Apostles, the twelve, in art, 267- 

270, 276, 293, 318, 319, 324, 327, 

333, 338. 
Apostles, basilica of the, 44, 86, 110, 

Appropriation of ancient monuments 

by the Church, 34, 66, 83, 85, 89. 
Arcades and architraves, 26, 170. 
Architects, 36, 38, 48, 50, 105, 110, 

122, 347; see also under Lauren- 

tius, Paulus, Vassallettus, etc. 
Architecture in Rome, 8, 155-221, 

and passim. 
Aries, 53; its school of sculpture, 

Army of Rome, 95. 





Arnolfo, artist, 11, 237, 241, 243 sqq. 
Artists, see Roman artists. 
Ascension in art, 307. 
Assisi, S. Francis, basilica, frescos, 

143, 331, 340-342, 381. 
Atrium, 26, 43, 157 sqq. 
Attila, 62. 
Avignon, 147, 148. 
Azo, artist. 349. 

S. Balbina, 42, 161, 186. 

Baptistery : Lateran, 59 ; Vatican, 27. 

Barocco destruction of churches, 9, 1 1. 

S. Bartolommeo all' Isola, 121, 320, 
331, 351 ; well-head, 235. 

Basilicas, 24 sqq., 155 sqq., passim 
and Index List. 

Bassus, Junius, basilica, 22, 66, 
70, 207. 

Belisarius, 76. 

Bell-casting, 350. 

Bell-towers, 100, 189 sqq. 

Benedict II, 93. 

Benedict XII, tomb, 253. 

Bentivenga, painter, 349. 

S. Bibiana, 136. 

Biscop, Bishop Benedict, 380. 

Bizanti titulus, 39 ; see Pammachius. 

Boniface I, 55. 

Boniface IV and V, 89, 249. 

Boniface VIII, 144-145; chapel and 
tomb, 249. 

S. Bonifacio, 94. 

Borghetto Castle, 220. 

Borgo (Burgus Saxonum), 82, 110, 

Brancaleone, 139. 

Brave, Card, de, tomb, 245. 

Brickwork, 156. 

Bronze sculpture, 224 ; see Metal 

Burial, 30, 40. 

Burning of Rome by Guiscard, 116 

Byzantine Rome, 3, 6, 79-81 ; art, 
80, 88, 93, 98, 99, 103, 281-300, 
304, 318, 322, 326, 328, 336; cos- 
tume, 283 ; influence at court, 81 ; 
suzerainty, 76-81 ; monasteries, 
79-81, 99, 101, 108, pass. ; head of 
empress, 227. 

S. Calixtus, catacomb frescos, 278, 
289, 300. 

Calixtus II, 125. 

Cambridge Gospels, 380. 

Campanile, see Bell-tower. 

S. Candida, basilica, 105. 

Capitals, 9, 26, 63, 67, 69, 74, 88, 109, 
122, 161, 169. 

Capocci fortress, 221. 

Caraccioli, Card., tomb, 242. 

Carlovingian culture, 107. 

Casamari monastery, 373. 

Cassiodorus, 70. 

Catacombs, 17, 40; violation of, 
101 ; restoration, 105 ; frescos, 
258, 278, 279, 287, 289, 295, 300. 

Catalogue (ancient) of buildings in 
Rome, see Notitia, Einsiedeln, 

Catino, churches, 367. 

Cavallini, Pietro, painter, 11, 143, 
149, 331 sqq., 339. 

S. Cecilia, basilica, 40, 127; frescos, 
328, 333 ; portico, 161 ; bell-tower, 
189; cloister, 197; paschal candle- 
stick, 177; ciborium, 248. 

Celestine, 57, 58. 

Cemeterial basilicas, 24. 

Cemeteries, open-air, 30, 43. 

S. Cesareo, 80, 176. 

Charities, 41, 94. 

Charles of Anjou, 141; statue, 240. 

Choir, 166; screen, 174 sqq. 

Christianus, artist, 349. 

Church of Circumcision and of Gen- 
tiles in art, 267, 272-273. 

Churches and chapels (earliest), 17, 
32, 42. 

Ciboria, 60, 178. 

Cimabue, 143, 331. 

Circus Maximus, 31. 

S. Ciriaco, basilica, 90. 

Civil architecture, 207 sqq. 

Civita Castellana, cathedral, 131, 
354-355; portico, 159, 162, 170; 
mosaic, 327; choir seats, 355, 369; 
bell-tower, 193. 

Clement IV, tomb, 242. 

S. Clemente, 39, 47, 121, 126, 127; 
choir-screen, 73, 74; atrium, 158- 
160, 161; pulpit, 176; paschal 



candlestick, 177; tabernacle, 253; 

frescos, 300, 306, 314 sqq., 320. 
Clergy, 81, 95, 113, 118; patrons of 

art, 127, 135. 
Cloisters, 194 sqq. 
Cologne, Roman artists in, 384. 
Colonies, foreign, in Rome, 82. 
Columns, antique, use in churches, 

26, 59, 168-169, 378 sqq. 
Commodilla, catacomb, 73, 74, 93, 

96, 279. 
Commune of Rome, 130, 136, 137, 

139, 141, 144. 

Consalvo, Card., tomb, 251-252. 
Constans II, 92. 

Constantia, Constantina, mauso- 
leum and sarcophagus, 29, 30, 

64, 260 sqq. 
Constantine, 17; his basilica, 19; 

arch, 20, 226; Janus, 19, 22; 

therniw, 19; statues and busts, 

19, 225; looting of Rome, 22; 

church building, 22-31 ; restora- 
tions, 22. 

Constantine, Pope, 97. 
Constantinian art, 18. 
Constantinian baptistery, 64 ; see 

Constantinople, 22, 36, 37, 53; 

church pavements, 172. 
Constantius, 44. 
Consuls, statues of, 226. 
Conti, Torre dei, 135, 221. 
Conxolus, painter, 326. 
Cori, paschal candlestick, 373. 
S. Cornelius, basilica, 64. 
Corneto, S. Maria di Castello, 133, 

Corporations of artisans, 23, 37, 52, 

54, 62, 71, 343 sqq. ; see Guilds and 

Corruption in early Christian Rome, 

33, 38. 

S. Cosimato, 127, 158, 199, 279. 
SS. Cosma e Damiano, 73, 94, 276, 


Cosmas, artist, 139, 201, 354, 375. 
Cosmati, artists, so called, 325, 356; 

see Cosmas, Cosmatus, etc. 
Cosmatus, artist, 325, 356. 
Costanza, see Constantia. 

Councils, oecumenical, painting of, 

97; on painting, 256. 
Crescentiance titulus, 39, 50. 
Crescentius, 115; so-called house of, 

209 ; see Nicholas. 
S. Crisogono, 40, 127, 161. 
S. Croce in Gerusalemme, 24, 97, 128, 

161, 186, 351. 
Cross in art, 268, 271, 272, 281, 286, 

294, 300, 320, 323, 337. 
Crucifixion in art, 231, 287, 294, 295, 

296, 299, 314, 318. 
Curia, 34, 83 ; see S. Adriano. 
Curiosum, see Notitia. 
Cyriaci titulus, 40. 
Cyriades, architect, 35. 

S. Damasus, 40, 45, 46. 

Deacons, 39. 

Decay of monuments, 63, 83, 85. 

Demetrias, 63. 

Deodatus, Deodato, artist, 149, 250, 

Devastation of Rome by Huns and 

Vandals, 51 sqq., 62; Lombards, 


Diaconal churches, 41, 94. 
Diocletian : baths, 20 ; legislation, 

37; sculpture, 226. 
Dominican order, 137. 
Domnus, 93. 

Doors and doorways, 164. 
Drudus, artist, 164, 355, 375-376. 
Durand, Bishop, tomb, 251-252. 

Einsiedeln Itinerary, 116. 

Elders, twenty-four, 277, 301, 305, 

S. Elia (near Nepi), basilica and 

frescos, 112, 164, 310; ciborium, 

178; bell-tower, 193. 
Emigration from, Rome, 36, 52, 62, 

77, 78. 

Endowment of churches, 30. 
Equitii titulus, 40-41, 70; see S. 

Martino di Monti. 
S. Erasmo, 81, 93. 
Estates near Rome, 52, 76. 
Eudoxia, 58, 61, 62. 
Eudoxiae titidus, 40, 62 ; see S. Pietro 

in Vincoli. 



Eugenius III, 128. 
S. Euphemia, 93, 95-96. 
S. Euplus, oratory, 92. 
S. Eusebio, 40, 161. 
S. Eustachio, 94. 

Evangelists and their symbols in 
art, 267, 272, 278-307, 312 sqq. 

Fagades of churches, 162 sqq. 
Falleri, S. Maria di, 133, 369. 
Families of Roman artists, 344 sqq., 


Farfa, monastery, 97. 
Fasciolce titulus, 40. 
Fathers of the Church, on painting, 

254 sqq. 

S. Felicita, basilica, 55, 56, 278. 
S. Felix, basilica, 105. 
Felix IV, 73. 

Felix, antipope, basilica, 45. 
Ferentino : cathedral, pulpit, 176; 

paschal candlestick, 177; cibo- 

rium, 179; Roman artists at, 350, 


Festivals, pagan and Christian, 39. 
Feudal nobility, 4, 95, 115, 209, 


Fieschi, Card., tomb, 241. 
Florence, Roman art in baptistery, 


Foligno, Roman artists in, 366. 
Fondi, cathedral, ciborium, 362. 
Foreign artists in Rome, 349. 
Formosus, Pope, 110. 
Foronovo, cathedral, 367. 
Fortresses, 4, 110-113, 115, 117, 
. 216 sqq. 

Fossanova monastery, 372. 
S. Francesca Romana, see S. Maria 


Franciscan order, 37. 
Frangipani fortresses, 221. 
Frankish alliance, 100. 
Franks in Rome, 82. 
French influence in Rome, 139, 141. 
Frescos, 55, 72, 73, 87, 89, 92, 93, 

96, 100, 101, 105, 110, 112, 130, 

137, 143, 144, 254-342. 
Fulda monastery, 98. 
Furniture of basilicas, 168, 174 sqq. ; 

see Ciboria, Pulpit, etc. 

Gaeta, sculptured column, 236. 

Galla Placidia, 53, 57-58. 

Galleries in churches, 88, 167. 

Generosa, Catacomb, 47, 289. 

Genseric, 62. 

SS. Gervasius and Protasius, 55. - 

S. Giorgio in Velabro, 93, 94, 161, 
173, 334; bell-tower, 189-191. 

Giotto, 143, 331, 333, 336, 342. 

SS. Giovanni e Paolo : house and fres- 
cos, 47, 209, 277, 296 ; basilica, 40, 
130, 162, 164, 182; bell-tower, 189. 

S. Giovanni a Porta Latina, 128, 
161, 164. 

Giovanni (Cosmati, etc.), artist, see 

Gislebertus, artist, 349. 

Goldsmith work, see Metal Sculpture. 

Gonsalvo, see Consalvo. 

Gothic war, 76-77. 

Goths as preservers of Rome, 71, 75. 

Grain Exchange, 34, 85. 

Granaries of the Church, 85, 94. 

Gratian, arch of, 35. 

Greek monks, 79-81, 93, 98; clergy 
and Popes, 81, 95; language, 82. 

S. Gregorio, ciborium, 178. 

Gregory the Great, 78, 88, 97. 

Gregory II, 97. 

Gregory III, 99, 297. 

Gregory IV, 109. 

Gregory IX, 137. 

Grottaferrata monastery, 319, 371; 
pavement, 173; font, 235. 

Guido, painter, 122, 349. 

Guilds, 37, 52-53, 62, 211, 343. 

Guiscard, Robert, 116, 118. 

Guitto, son of Nicolaus, artist, 361. 

Hadrian I, 103 sqq., 299. 
Hadrian V, tomb, 242, 244. 
Helena, 23; sarcophagus, 29. 
Hell in art, 329, 334, 335, 342. 
Heraclius, painter, 308, 349, 381. 
S. Hermes, basilica, 88. 
Hilary, 64. 

Hildebrand, 6, 118 sqq. 
Hildesheim, bronze column, 236. 
Hippolytus, 43. 

Honorius, 57; walls and gates of 
Rome, and arch, 35. 



Honorius I, 89. 

Honorius II, 126. 

Honorius III, 136. 

Honorius IV, 143; tomb, 247. 

Hormizdas, 72, 74. 

Hospices and hospitals, 71. 

Iconoclastic persecution, 80, 98, 256. 
Ilicius, 49-50. 

Impressionism in painting, 265, 287. 
Influence of Roman art, 7, 132, 346, 

378 sqq. 
Innocent I, 51. 
Innocent II, 127. 
Innocent III, 134-136. 
Interior of basilicas, 165. 
S. Ippolito, see Hippolytus. 
Ivo, artist, 356. 

Jacobus, Franciscan artist, 342. 
Jacobus, son of Cosmatus, artist, 201, 

356, 376. 
Jacobus, son of Laurentius, artist, 

201, 327, 351, 353, 355, 369, 373. 
Januarius, architect, 105. 
S. Jerome, 38. 
Johannes, see John. 
Johannipolis, suburb of Rome, 111, 


John I, 72. 
John VII, 96, 286. 
John VIII, 110. 

John, artist, 370; sculptor, 349. 
John of Crema, 135. 
John, painter, 313, 349, 381. 
John, son of Blasius, artist, 367. 
John, son of Cosmatus, artist, 249, 

251, 356. 

John, son of Guitto, artist, 362. 
John, son of Nicolaus, artist, 361, 


John, son of Paulus, artist, 350. 
SS. John and Paul, see SS. Giovanni e 

S. John Lateran, 24, 64, 100, 106, 

110, 112, 125, 128, 130, 135, 146, 

148; baptistery, 59, 270, 274; 

S. Venanzio, 91, 285; bell-towers, 

190; Sancta Sanctorum, 136, 142, 

173, 187, 329; portico, 351; 

cloister, 137, 202 sqq., 238, 355; 

ciborium, 231, 232, 253; frescos 
and mosaics, 112, 336-338; sculp- 
tures, 250; triclinium, 297; medi- 
seval description, 210; frescos 

Julia, basilica, 34, 59. 

Julius, Pope, 43. 

Justinian, 76, 77 

Last Judgment, 328, 329, 333, 335, 


Lateran, see S. John L. 
Laurentius, antipope, 72. 
Laurentius, artist, 162, 346, 353, 369, 


Laurentius, architect, 348. 
S. Lawrence, see S. Lorenzo. 
S. Leo, 62-64. 
Leo III, 106. 
Leonine City, see Borgo. 
Leopardus, 49, 50, 54. 
Leprignano, choir-screen, 175, 368. 
Liberius, 44. 
Liber Pontificates, 22, 31, 43, 46, 55, 

59, 78'. 

Location of churches, 39. 
Lombards in Rome, 82; siege of 

Rome, 100, 103. 
S. Lorenzo, chapel, 309. 
S. Lorenzo in Damaso, basilica, 40, 

S. Lorenzo in Agro Verano (=fuori 

le Mura), basilica, 24, 25, 32, 43, 

50, 58, 59, 60, 64, 87, 88, 100, 113, 

136, 167, 170, 185; porch, 162; 

ciborium, 178, 350; pulpits, 176; 

cloister, 135, 198; tomb, 241; 

mosaics and frescos, 281, 327. 
S. Lorenzo in Lucina, 40, 94, 121, 

128, 161, 170. 
S. Lorenzo in Miranda, 83. 
Lucas, son of Cosmas, artist, 201, 

355, 376. 

Lucca, churches, 381. 
S. Lucia, basilica, 90, 94. 
Lucince titulus, 40. 
Lucius II, 128. 
Lugnano, S. Maria Assunta, 366. 

Majorian, 63. 
Manuscripts, 107, 380. 



Marble sculpture, see Sculpture. 

S. Marc, 42. 

S. Marcello, 40. 

SS. Marcellinus and Peter, 24, 25, 

39, 90; frescos, 278. 
S. Marco, basilica, 306, 351. 
Marcus Romanus, sculptor, 149. 
S. Maria Antiqua, 81, 86, 92, 94, 96, 

97, 100, 101, 173, 174, 291 sqq , 

297 sqq., 318. 
S. Maria in Aquiro, 94. 
S. Maria in Aracceli, 114, 176, 189, 

205, 353. 

S. Maria in Cannapara, 83. 
S. Maria in Capitolio, see S. Maria in 

S. Maria in Cosmedin, 34, 80, 85, 94, 

105, 121, 126, 159, 161, 169, 181, 

185, 300, 350; choir-screen, 175; 

bell-tower, 189-191; tomb, 241. 
S. Maria in Domnica, 94, 304. 
S. Maria in Foro, 83. 
S. Maria Maggiore, 32, 44, 59, 144, 

161, 171 ; mosaics and frescos, 

264, 271, 330, 338; presepe, 247; 

bell-tower, 190. 

S. Maria ad Martyres, 83, 89, 94. 
S. Maria sopra Minerva, 189. 
S. Maria in Monticelli, 121, 320, 356. 
S. Maria Nuova, 129, 130, 161, 320. 
S. Maria in Pallara, 115. 
S. Maria ad Pineam, 171. 
S. Maria in Porticu, 94. 
S. Maria Rotonda, see S. Maria ad 

S. Maria in Trastevere, 40, 44, 59, 

127, 135, 161, 171, 322, 332; bell- 
tower, 193. 

S. Maria in Via Lata, 94. 
Marinianus, 64. 
Marmorarii, 344, 347 sqq. 
S. Marta, portal, 165. 
Martin I, 92. 

S. Martino ai Monti, 23, 69, 93, 299. 
Martyrs, female, in art, 310, 311, 


Masonry, 157. 

Materials in architecture, 156. 
Matilda, Countess, 124. 
Mausoleum, of Anicius Probus, 27; 

of Constantia, 28-30; of Helena, 

29; of Theodosian dynasty, 27, 


Maximus, 49. 

Melania, 38; her palace, 207. 
Metal work, 58, 60, 62, 86, 90, 96, 

99, 106, 224, 231 sqq. 
Methodius, painter, 381. 
Military architecture, 115, 216-221. 
Milizie, Torre delle, 221. 
Mirabilia, 210. 
Missionaries, 103. 
Monasteries : at S. Peter, 27, 64, 100 ; 

at S. Sebastiano, 59; at S. Paul, 

113; at S. Lorenzo, 64; Carlo vin- 

gian, 107 ; see Byzantine, Subiaco, 

SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio, etc. 
Monastic artists, 79-81, 99, 312, 343, 

Monastic Rome, 2, 3, 59, 60, 79, 80, 

81, 113, 128. 

Montebono, S. Pietro, 193, 367. 
Monte Cassino, monastery, 122 ; 

pavement, 173. 
Mosaics, 27, 44, 54, 57-59, 64, 66. 

67, 73, 93, 96, 101, 109, 135, 259- 

Music, 108. 

Naples, Roman artists in, 149; S. 

Maria Donna Regina, frescos, 334. 
Narni, Roman art in, 366. 
Nepi, cathedral, 133, 369. 
SS. Nereo ed Achilleo, basilica and 

cemetery, 40, 47, 296. 
S. Niccolo in Carcere, 94, 127. 
Nicholas III, 142. 

Nicholas IV, 144; his statue (?), 237. 
Nicholas, palace of, 115, 209. 
Nicholas, artist, see Nicolaus. 
Nicolaus, painter, 349. 
Nicolaus, son of Angelus, artist, 236, 

Nicolaus, son of Ranucius, artist, 352, 


S. Nicomedes, basilica, 89. 
Ninfa, ruins, 131, 373. 
Noble families, patrons of art, 133, 

Northern nations civilized by Rome, 

Notitia, 31. 



Obertus, goldsmith, 349. 

Odo, architect, 380. 

Odoacer, 65. 

Orders of architecture, 169. 

Ordo, 210. 

Organization of Roman people, 95, 

125, 139. 
Orsini, 144. 

Orvieto, Roman artists in, 365, 379. 
Otho III, his palace and tomb, 114, 

144, 209, 313. 

Pagan art, as influencing Christian 
art, 260. 

Pagan temples not destroyed, 32, 33. 

Paganism in Christian Rome, 2, 3, 6, 
18, 23, 33, 51. 

Painting, 11, 55, 143, 254-342; 
see Mosaic, Fresco. 

Palestrina, cathedral, 372. 

Pallacinis, titulus in, 40, 42. 

Palombara, churches, 367; S. Gio- 
vanni in Argentella, 178, 193. 

Pammachius, Pammachi titidus, 39, 
48, 49 ; see SS. Giovanni e Paolo. 

S. Pancrazio, basilica, 90, 105. 

Pantheon, see S. Maria ad Martyres. 

Paparone family, 134. 

Paradise in art, 321, 337. 

Paris, Cosmati work in Cluny mu- 
seum, 384. 

Parish churches, 39-41. 

Paschal I, 106, 108-109. 

Paschal II, 121 sqq., 319. 

Paschal candlestick, 176. 

Paul I, 101. 

S. Paul, basilica and annexes, 24, 
25, 32, 47, 48, 58, 64, 65, 71, 111, 
113, 122, 129, 136, 148; mosaics 
and frescos, 274, 298, 318, 326; 
sculpture, 232; ciborium, 245; 
paschal candlestick, 177, 236, 351 ; 
cloister, 137, 204. 

S. Paul, church, 93. 

Paulinus, 54. 

Paulus, artist, 122, 350, 352, 374. 

Pavements of basilicas, 171 sqq. 

Pelagius I, 86. 

Pelagius II, 87. 

S. Peter, basilica and annexes, 25, 
32, 64, 71, 88, 93, 94, 96, 100, 106, 

110, 119, 129, 135, 142, 148, 158; 

mosaics and frescos, 26, 64, 91, 

97, 135, 286, 308, 326, 336, 350; 

bell-tower, 190; ciborium, 232; 

pulpit, 353; sculpture, 99, 143, 

224, 233; mediaeval description, 

S. Peter, bronze statue, 224 ; marble 

statue, 143, 250. 
SS. Peter and Paul, statues, 237, 238 ; 

in art, 267, 272, 274, 279, 281, 

303, etc. 

Peter, artist, see Petrus. 
Petrolinus, painter, 122, 349. 
S. Petronilla, basilica, 43, 47, 48, 49 ; 

see SS. Nereo ed Achilleo. 
Petrus, artist, see Cavallini, and 

Vassallettus; also, 204, 245, 356, 


Petrus de Capua, 199, 202. 
Petrus, son of Cosmatus, artist, 356. 
Petrus de Maria, architect, 366. 
Petrus Oderisi, artist, 242, 356, 384. 
Petrus, son of Paulus, artist, 350. 
Petrus, son of Ranucius, artist, 

352, 361. 

Pierleone fortresses, 221. 
Pietro, artist, see Petrus. 
Pietro da Piperno, Card., tomb, 251. 
S. Pietro in Campo di Merlo, basilica, 

S. Pietro in Vincoli, basilica, 40, 61, 

62, 286. 

Pillage of Rome, 62. 
Piperno, cathedral, 372. 
Pipin, 100, 101. 
Pisa, S. Pietro a Grado, frescos, 381 ; 

ancient material for cathedral, 379. 
Placidia, see Galla. 
Plato, Byzantine curator, 97. 
Polychromy in sculpture, 250. 
Pontianus, cemetery, 50, 287. 
Ponzano, S. Andrea in Flumine, 113, 

361 ; ciborium, 178. 
Popes, portraits, 72, 279; on paint- 
ing, 256, 257. 
Population of Rome, 31, 32, 36, 52, 


Porch, 157 sqq. 

Portico, 157 sqq. ; colonnaded por- 
ticos, 29, 32, 105, 211. 



Portions deorum consentium, 35. 

Porto, see Pammachius. 

S. Prassede, basilica and annexes, 40, 
84, 108, 123, 170, 185; mosaics, 
300 sqq. ; porch, 158; pavement, 
173; cloister, 195. 

S. Praxedis, see S. Prassede. 

Priests, as architects and superin- 
tendents, 50-51, 55, 63. 

S. Prisca, basilica, 40. 

Prophets in art, 248, 269, 272, 296, 
299, 301, 305, 323. 

Propylon, see Porch. 

Province, work of Roman artists in, 
346, 359 sqq. 

S. Pudentiana, basilica, 49, 122, 165; 
mosaics, 267; campanile, 191. 

Pudentis titulus, 40 ; see S. Puden- 

S. Pudenziana, see S. Pudentiana. 

Pulpit, 174 sqq. 

SS. Quattro Coronati, basilica, 90, 
129, 167, 350; frescos chapel of 
S. Silvestro, 328; bell-tower, 189; 
cloister, 195. 

Rainerius, builder, 348; see Ranu- 


Ranucius, artist, 352. 
Ravenna, its influence on Rome, 53, 

54, 57, 69, 82, 280-282; sculpture 

at, 228. 

Relics, transfer of, 43-44, 101. 
Restoration : of ancient buildings, 22, 

32, 34, 45, 71, 75, 77, 82, 83; of 

Christian Rome, 46, 103. 
Rhadagaisus, 35. 
Ricimer, 63, 65. 
Rignano, S. Abbondio, 312. 
Robigalia, 43. 
Rocca di Botte, 370. 
Roma Dea, 51. 
Roman artists, see Guilds, Province, 

Naples, Westminster, Families, 

etc. ; also special names, and 21- 

23, 37, 343-358. 
Rome : the city in IV-V centuries, 

31, 42, 53; in VII century, 207- 

208; in XI century, 116 sqq., 209; 

in XII century, 121, 125, 128, 210; | 

in XIII century, 142, 211; in XIV 

century, 146 sqq., 213. 
Romulus, temple, 83 ; see SS. Cosma 

e Damiano. 
SS. Rufina e Secunda, basilica, 47; 

chapel, 270. 
Rusutti, Filippo, artist, 150, 331, 340. 

S. Saba, church and frescos, 80, 84, 

86, 289, 290, 318; porch, 163, 354. 
S. Sabina, church and mosaics, 40, 

59, 161, 170, 273; carved doors, 

230; cloister, 200. 
Sancta Sanctorum Chapel (see Lat- 

eran), 325, 329. 
Saracen raid, 111. 
Sarcop'hagi, Christian, 53, 227 sqq. 
Sasso, son of Paulus, artist, 350. 
Sassovivo, Roman cloister, 205, 366. 
Saturn, temple, 34. 
Schola, 74, 79, 82, 95, 344. 
Schola Graeca, 79, 300. 
Sculpture, 53, 222-253; decorative, 

12, 63, 69, 74, 106, 107, 123, 124, 

199, 346, 353. 

S. Sebastiano, 46, 59, 93, 162; ora- 
tory, 92. 
Secretarium Senatus, 35, 83 ; see S. 


Segni, cathedral, 373. 
Septimius Severus, marble plan of 

Rome, 31. 
Sepulchral monuments, 241 sqq., 


Sergius I, 95, 96. 
Sergius III, 110. 

SS. Sergius and Bacchus, 83, 94, 135. 
Sermoneta, cathedral and churches, 

Sessorian Palace and basilica, see 

S. Croce in Gerusalemme. 
Severinus, 90. 
Sezze, cathedral, 373. 
Sicinini, basilica, 45. 
Signatures of Roman artists, 352. 
SS. Silvestro e Martino, see S. Mar- 

tino ai Monti. 
S. Silvestro in Capite, 81, 101, 135, 

SS. Simplicius, Faustina, and Beatrix, 

basilica and relics, 47, 93. 



Simplicius, 65, 66. 

S. Sinforosa, basilica, 49, 187. 

Siricius, Pope, 47. 

S. Sisto, 135. 

Sixtus IV, 59-62. 

Soracte, Mt., monastery of S. Silves- 
tro, 99, 113. 

Soriano, palace of Nicholas III, 142. 

S. Spirito in Sassia, 135. 

Spoliation of ancient monuments, 
117, 142, 169, 345, 366, 378-379. 

Stefaneschi, 135. 

S. Stefano, 164. 

S. Stefano Rotondo, 66, 92, 286. 

S. Stefano in Via Latina, 63. 

Stephen II, 100. 

Stephen III, 101. 

Stephen V, 110. 

Stephen, painter, 349. 

Stilicho, 35. 

Subiaco, monastery and frescos, 97, 
219, 324 sqq., 354-355; bell- 
tower, 190; cloister, 200. 

Surdis, Card, de, tomb, 251-252. 

Sutri, cathedral, 133, 368. 

Sylvester, basilica, 23. 

Symmachus, Pope, 71. 

Symmachus, Prefect, 35. 

Tebaldi fortress, 221. 
Temples, not destroyed, 34, 75, 83. 
Temporal power, 3, 100, 107, 124. 
S. Teodoro, 93, 282. 
Terracina, cathedral, 131, 162; bell- 
tower, 193. 
Textiles, 99, 108, 380. 
Theodore of Canterbury, 380. 
Thoodoric, 6, 68-75. 
Theodosius, bronze statue, 225. 
Tlu-odotus, 101. 
Tigrinus, 63. 

Tituli, see Parish churches. 
Tivoli, churches, 309, 372. 
Toffia, S. Lorenzo, 367. 
S. Tommaso in Formis, 327, 355. 
S. Tommaso in Parione, 127. 
Torriti, Jacopo, artist, 331, 336 sqq. 
Toscanella, churches, 323, 328, 363. 
Transfiguration in art, 296. 
S. Tripho, basilica, 115. 

Triumphal arches, 20, 32, 35, 226; 

in basilicas, 26. 
Tusculum, counts of, their palace, 


Urban II, 120. 

Urban VI, tomb, 253. 

S. Urbano alia Caffarella, frescos, 

298, 313. 
Ursicinus, 55. 

Valentinian, 53, 57-59. 

Valentinian bridge and arch, 35, 

S. Valentinus, basilica, 43, 92, 121 ; 

cemetery, 295. 
Valvisciolo, monastery, 373. 
Vandalism, 10, 21, 85, 142, 379. 
Vassallettus, family of artists, 202, 

236, 238-240, 351, 355, 373, 376. 
Vatican, see S. Peter. 
Velletri, cathedral, 372; S. Maria del 

Trivio, 192-193, 372. 
S. Venanzio, chapel, 91, 285. 
Venice, mediaeval church pavements, 


S. Veronica, chapel, 96, 286. 
Versatility of artists, 345. 
Vestals, statues, 227. 
Vestina, 40, 41, 55; Vestirue titulus, 

see SS. Gervasius and Protasius. 
Vico, Peter de, tomb, 243. 
Victor III, 119. 
S. Victor, basilica, 105. 
Vicus Patricius portico, 50. 
Vilseck, Cosmati work, 384. 
SS. Vincenzo e Anastasio, monastery, 

105, 128-129, 187; cloister, 196. 
Vine, 262, 270, 271, 320, 339. 
S. Vitale, 40, 94, 161. 
Viterbo, Roman artists in, 193, 364. 

Walls, 105, 110, 111. 
Ware, Bishop, 383. 
Westminster Abbey, Roman artists 
at, 383-384. 

Xystus, 39. 
Zacharias, 99. 



Ponte Nomentano, near Rome (Photo. Anderson) .... 4 

Basilica of Constantino, restored ....... 19 

Basilica of Junius Bassus, wall incrustations ..... 20 

Arch of Constantino .......... 21 

Marble choir-screen of S. Martino ai Monti ..... 23 

S. Peter, restored .......... 25 

S. Peter, plan of old basilica ........ 26 

S. Peter, section of old basilica ........ 27 

S. Costanza (mausoleum of Constantia), section .... 28 

S. Costanza, plan ........... 29 

S. Costanza. interior ......... 30 

Basilica ^Emilia, restored ......... 34 

SS. Nereo ed Achilleo 41 

S. Paul before the fire ......... 47 

S. Paul after the fire (Photo. Anderson) 48 

S. Paul, plan 49 

Hospital of Pammachius at Porto, plan ...... 49 

S. Felicita, fresco .......... 56 

S. Sabina, marble incrustation . ....... 57 

S. Sabina, interior .......... 58 

Pierced marble windows of V century ...... 60 

S. Pietro in Vincoli, interior ........ 61 

S. Stefano, capitals .......... 63 

Lateran baptistery .......... 64 

S. Stefano Rotondo, plan ......... 66 

S. Stefano Rotondo, interior ........ 67 

Capitals of S. Martino, the Palatine and S. Lorenzo .... 69 

S. Martino ai Monti, interior ........ 70 

S. Clemente, choir-screen restored ....... 72 

SS. Cosma e Damiano, mosaic (Photo. Anderson) .... 73 

S. Clemente, capital of VI century (Photo. Moscioni) .... 74 

S. Maria Antiqua, interior (Photo. Anderson) ..... 84 

S. Lorenzo, architrave (Photo. Moscioni) ...... 86 

S. Peter, Papal throne ......... 87 

S. Agnese, capital .......... 88 

S. Agnese, interior (Photo. Anderson) ...... 91 

S. Maria in Cosmedin, choir-screen, restored ..... 104 

Dalmatic of "Charlemagne" at S. Peter . . . . ' . . 108 

S. Elia (near Nepi), interior (Photo. Moscioni) . . . . .112 

S. Maria in Aracceli, interior (Photo. Moscioni) . ... . .114 

S. Saba, interior, in process of excavation ...... 120 




S. Maria in Cosmedin, capitals of propylon (Photo. Moscioni) . . 122 
S. Maria in Cosmedin, slab of choir-screen (Photo. Moscioni) . . 123 
S. Clemente, plan .......... 124 

S. Clemente, interior restored . . . . . . . .126 

Lateran, bird's-eye view restored . . . . . . .127 

S. Maria in Trastevere, interior ........ 129 

Ninfa, ruins of mediaeval town (Photo. Maldura") .... 131 

CivitaCastellana, detail of main portal of cathedral (Photo. Moscioni) 134 
S. Lorenzo, interior of main basilica (Photo. Anderson) . . . 135 
Cloister of S. Paul outside the walls (Photo. Alinar ) . . .133 

Civita Castellana, choir-seats of cathedral (Photo. Moscioni) . . 14J 
Sacred vestment at Cathedral of Anagni . . . . . .141 

Marble statue of S. Peter 143 

Tabernacle of main altar, Lateran basilica (Photo. Moscioni) . . 148 
S. Prassede, propylon . . . . . . . . .158 

S. Clemente, propylon . . . . . . . . .158 

S. Clemente, atrium and facade (Photo. Moscioni) .... 159 

S. Lorenzo, porch and fagade (Photo. Moscioni) . . . .160 

S. Saba, portico and fagade . . . . . . . .163 

S. Elia (near Nepi), doorway of monastic church (Photo. Moscioni) . 165 
S. Marta, doorway (Photo. Moscioni) ...... 165 

SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio, exterior . . . . . . .164 

Civita Castellana, main portal of cathedral (Photo. Moscioni) . . 166 
S. Maria Maggiore, interior ........ 168 

S. Lorenzo, interior of smaller, rear basilica ..... 169 

S. Clemente, interior, present condition (Photo. Anderson) . .170 

S. Maria in Trastevere, section of architrave (Photo. Moscioni) . . 171 
S. Clemente, pavement of nave (Photo. Moscioni) .... 172 

Ferentino, pulpit of cathedral restored . . . . . .174 

S. Maria in Cosmedin, ambone (Photo. Moscioni) .... 175 

Alba Fucense, ambone at S. Pietro (Photo. Muldura) . . .176 

Terracina, paschal candlestick of cathedral (Photo. Moscioni) . .177 
Ferentino, ciborium of high altar of cathedral (Photo. Moscioni) . 178 

Ferentino, detail of ciborium (Photo. Moscioni) . . . .179 

S. Maria in Cosmedin, inside of choir-precinct ..... 180 

S. Elia (near Nepi), ciborium of high altar (Photo. Moscioni) . . 181 
S. Alessandro, altar and confession ....... 182 

S. Giorgio in Velabro, altar and confession (Photo. Moscioni) . . .183 
SS. Giovanni e Paolo, apse and street (Photo. Alinari) . . . 184 
SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio, interior (Photo. Maldura) . . . 186 

S. Maria sopra Minerva, interior (Photo. Anderson) .... 187 

Maria in Cosmedin, bell-tower or campanile (Photo. Moscioni) . . 188 
S. Giorgio in Velabro, exterior . . . . . ... . 192 

Terracina, bell-tower or campanile of cathedral (Photo. Moscioni) . 193 
S. Lorenzo, cloister (Photo. Moscioni) ...... 197 

S. Cosimato, cloister (Photo. Anderson) . . . . . . 200 
Subiaco, cloister of S. Scolastica (Photo. Moscioni) .... 201 

S. John Lateran, detail of cloister (Photo. Moscioni) .... 203 

Palace of Crescentius (Photo. Anderson) ...... 210 

Window in house of Piazza Capranica (Photo. Moscioni) . . . 213 
Corneto, court of Vitelleschi Palace (Photo. Anderson) . . . 214 



Corneto, Gothic windows in Vitelleschi Palace (Photo. Anderson) . 215 

Celano, castle (Photo. Moscioni) . 217 

Nepi, castle and fortifications (Photo. Anderson) . . 219 

Palace of the Anguillara, in Trastevere (Photo. Anderson) . 220 

Statue of Hippolytus, Bishop of Porto .... 222 

Bronze statue of S. Peter ....... 223 

Statue of Constantino, Lateran (Photo. Alinari) 

Sculptures on Arch o Constantino (Photo. Anderson) . . 226 

Sarcophagus in Lateran Museum ...... 228 

S. Sabina, carved wooden doors (Photo. Alinar ) . . . 229 

S. Sabina, panel of wooden doors ...... 230 

S. Bartolommeo all' Isola, well of relics (Photo. Maldura) . . . 235 

S. Paul, paschal candlestick ........ 236 

Statue of S. Peter at S. John Lateran (Photo. Maldura) . . 238 

Statue of S. Peter at S. Croce in Gerusalemme (Photo. Maldura) . 238 

S. John Lateran, frieze of cloister (Photo. Moscioni) .... 239 

Anagni, top of paschal candlestick of cathedral (Photo. Moscioni) . 240 

Tomb of Card. Fieschi, S. Lorenzo (Photo. Alinari) .... 241 

Tomb of the Savelli, S. Maria in Aracoeli ...... 242 

Tomb of Pope Hadrian V, S. Francesco, Viterbo .... 243 

Ciborium at S. Cecilia by Arnolfo ....... 244 

Tomb of Card. Ancher at S. Prassede, by Arnolfo (Photo. Alinari) . 246 
S. Maria Maggiore, detail of chapel of presepe, by Arnolfo (Photo. 

Maldura) . 247 

S. Cecilia, angle of ciborium by Arnolfo (Photo. Maldura) . . 248 

Tomb of Card. d'Acquasparta, at S. Maria in Aracoeli, by G. Cosmati . 251 

Figure from De Surdis tomb at S. Balbina 252 

Tabernacle at S. Clemente (Photo. Moscioni) ..... 253 

S. Angelo in Formis, interior (Photo. Moscioni) .... 255 

S. Costanza (Constantia), detail of lost mosaics of dome . . . 261 

S. Costanza (Constantia), mosaics of annular vault . . . 262, 263 

S. Pudentiana, apse mosaic ........ 266 

S. Pudentiana, Christ in apsidal mosaic (Photo. Anderson) . . 268 

S. Pudentiana, apostles in apsidal mosaic (Photo. Anderson) . . 269 

S. Sabina, mosaic of Church of the Circumcision (Photo. Anderson) . 273 

SS. Cosma e Damiano, Christ in apsidal mosaic (Photo. Anderson) . 275 

House of John and Paul, painted decoration (Photo. Moscioni) . 276 

House of John and Paul, fresco of Orante (Photo. Moscioni) . . 277 

S. Lorenzo, mosaic of triumphal arch ...... 280 

S. Venanzio (Lateran), mosaic ........ 284 

S. Saba, head from apse of lower church 288 

S. Saba, saint from apse of lower church 289 

S. Saba, Greek eremites ......... 290 

S. Saba, head of Christ 291 

S. Saba, miracles of Christ ...... 292 

S. Maria Antiqua, the Crucifixion (Photo. Anderson) . . . 295 

SS. Nereo ed Achilleo, mosaic on face of apse (Photo. Alinari) . . 296 

S. Prassede, mosaics of triumphal arch and apse (Photo. Anderson) . 302 

S. Prassede, mosaic vault of chapel S. Zeno (Photo. Alinari) . . 303 

S. Maria in Domnica, apsidal mosaic ...... 304 

S. Clemente, fresco of Ascension of Christ ...... 307 



S. Elia (near Nepi), female saints and archangel (Photo. Moscioni) . 311 

S. Urbano alia Caffarella, fresco of Crucifixion (Photo. Moscioni) . 314 
S. Clemente, frescos in lower church . . . . . .317 

Grottaferrata, apsidal mosaic in. monastic church .... 319 

S. Clemente, apse mosaic ......... 320 

S. Maria Nuova, apse mosaic (Photo. Anderson) ". 321 
S. Maria in Trastevere, apsidal mosaics (Photo. Anderson) . . 322 
Subiaco, frescoed vault of lower church of Sacro Speco (Photo. Mos- 
cioni) ............ 325 

S. Maria in Trastevere, mosaic of birth of Virgin by Cavallini . . 332 

S. Saba, Giottesque Crucifixion in upper church .... 335 

S. John Lateran, apse mosaic . ....... 337 

S. Maria Maggiore, apse mosaic ....... 338 

S. Lorenzo, mosaic choir-stalls and throne (Photo. Moscioni) . . 354 

Toscanella, facade of S. Pietro (Photo. Anderson) . ... 363 

Civita Castellana, fagade of cathedral (Photo. Moscioni) . . , 368 

Terracina, mosaic frieze of porch of cathedral (Photo. Moscioni) . 371 


Acquasparta, tomb of Card. . 

yEmilia, basilica, restored ......... 

S. Agnese, interior .....'..... 

capital ............ 

Alba Fucense, ambone ......... 

S. Alessandro, altar .......... 

Anagni, cathedral, candlestick ........ 

sacred vestment . . . . . . . . . 

Ancher, tomb of Card. ......... 

S. Angelo in Formis, interior ........ 

Anguillara Palace ......... 

S. Bartolommeo, well of relics ........ 235 

Bassus (Junius), basilica 20 

Capranica, house in Piazza ........ 213 

capitals ............ 69 

S. Cecilia, ciborium 244, 248 

Celano, Castle 217 

Civita Castellana, portal ........ 134, 166 

choir-seats ........... 140 

facade 368 

S. Clemente, choir-screen ......... 72 

capital ............ 74 

plan 124 

interior 126, 170 

propylon ........... 158 

atrium ............ 159 

pavement ............ 172 

tabernacle ........... 253 

frescos 307, 317 

apse mosaic ........... 320 



S. Constantia, mausoleum ........ 28, 29 30 

mosaics 201, 262, 263 

Constantine, arch of ....... 21 226 

basilica of ......... jg 

statue of _ 223 

Corneto, Vitelleschi Palace . ....... 214 215 

S. Cosimato, cloister ......... 200 

SS. Cosrna e Damiano, mosaic ....... 73 275 

S. Costanza, see S. Constantia. 

Crescentius, palace of . . . . . . . . ,210 

Dalmatic of Charlemagne ......... 108 

S. Elia (Nepi), interior . . . . . . . . .112 

doorway ............ 165 

ciborium ............ 181 

frescos ............ 311 

S. Felicita, fresco . . . . . . . . . . 56 

Fereiitino, cathedral, pulpit . . . . . . . .174 

ciborium . . . 178, 179 

Fieschi, tomb ........... 241 

S. Giorgio in Velabro, altar 183 

exterior ............ 192 

SS. Giovanni e Paolo, exterior ........ 184 

Grottaferrata, mosaic ......... 319 

Hadrian V, tomb of 243 

Hippolytus, statue of . . . . ... . . . . 222 

SS. John and Paul, house, frescos 276, 277 

S. John Lateran, baptistery ........ 64 

general view ........... 127 

tabernacle ........... 148 

cloister 203, 239 

mosaic ............ 337 

Lateran, see S. John Lateran. 

S. Lorenzo, architrave ......... 86 

interior ........... 136, 169 

exterior ............ 160 

cloister . . . . . . . . . . . . 197 

Fieschi, tomb 241 

mosaic ............ 280 

choir-stalls ........... 354 

S. Maria Antiqua, interior ......... 84 

frescos ........ 295 

S. Maria in Aracoeli, interior . . . . . . . .114 



S. Maria in Cosmedin, choir ........ 104 

capitals . . . . . . . . . . .112 

carved slab ........... 123 

ambone ............ 175 

interior ............ 180 

campanile ........... 188 

S. Maria in Domnica, mosaic ........ 304 

S. Maria Maggiore, interior . . . . . . 168 

presepe sculptures . . . . . . . . . 252 

mosaic ............ 338 

S. Maria sopra Minerva, interior ....... 187 

S. Maria Nuova, mosaic ......... 321 

S. Maria in Trastevere, interior ........ 129 

mosaic 322, 332 

S. Marta, doorway .......... 165 

S. Martino, choir-screeu ......... 23 

interior ............ 70 

Nepi, fortifications .......... 219 

SS. Nereo ed Achilleo 41 

mosaic 296 

Ninfa, mediaeval ruins ......... 131 

Pammachius, hospital of, at Porto ....... 49 

S. Paul, basilica 40, 48, 49 

cloister ........... 138 

candlestick 236 

S. Peter, basilica . 25, 26, 27 

throne 87 

statues 143, 223, 238 

S. Pietro in Vincoli, interior ........ 61 

Ponte Nomentano .......... 4 

S. Prassede, pro pylon . . . . . . . . .158 

mosaics 302, 303 

S. Pudentiana, mosaics 261, 268, 269 

S. Saba, interior 120 

portico ............ 163 

frescos 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 335 

S. Sabina, marble incrustation ........ 57 

interior ............ 58 

carved doors 229, 230 

mosaic ............ 273 

Sarcophagus in Lateran Museum ....... 228 

Savelli, tomb of 242 

S. Stefano, capitals .......... 63 

S. Stefano Rotondo 66, 67 

Subiaco, cloister ........... 201 

fresco ........... 325 

Surdis (de), tomb, at S. Balbina 252 



Terracina, cathedral, candlestick ...... 177 

campanile ...... 193 

mosaic frieze ........... 371 

Toscanella, S. Pietro, exterior ........ 363 

S. Urbano alia Caffarella, fresco ....... 314 

S. Venanzio, mosaic .......... 284 

SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio, exterior . . . , . . .164 
interior . . . . . . . . . . . .186 

Viterbo, tomb of Hadrian V ........ 243 

Windows 60 


(To supplement Text) 

unknown, but early. Its apse was 
decorated in 460-467 by mosaic of 
Christ and apostles, a gift of the 
barbarian general, Ricimer. It 
then became the cathedral or 
national church of the colony of 
Arian Goths in Rome. It was 
given back to Catholic worship 
and redecorated by Gregory the 
Great, who made it a diaconal 
church. In the eighth century 
a monastery was annexed to it by 
Gregory II. In the eleventh cen- 
tury it was restored by Leo IX. 

Church and monastery were re- 
modernized at close of sixteenth 
century, but the ancient walls and 
the twelve widely spaced granite 
columns remain. 

S. AGNESE. Built by Constantine 
over the tomb of the martyr at 
the third mile on Via Nomentana; 
decorated by Constantina. It was 
restored by Pope Symmachus and 
rebuilt by Honorius I. 

Placed at so low a level, it is 
reached by a long, wide stairway, 
descending at right angles. Un- 
able to have an atrium, this is 
replaced by a closed narthex. The 
nave has 14 columns beside the 
pilasters at apse and narthex. It 
is 9.42 m. wide and 21.10 m. long, 
with an apse 7.80 m. in diameter. 

The aisles are extremely narrow, 
2.60 m. Above them and the nar- 
thex is a high, open gallery, with 
an equal number of columns and 



It is uncertain how much belongs 
to Constantine; how much to 
Honorius I. The present apse was 
undoubtedly the work of Hono- 
rius, who utilized for the rest 
much Constantinian material. 

While the apsidal decoration 
of veined marble and porphyry is 
also of Honorius, the greater part 
of the furniture and decoration 
was renovated between 1225 and 
1250, when the galleries and aisles 
were filled with important frescos, 
and the schola cantorum decorated 
with screens and pulpits. 

In the twelfth century a monas- 
tery was added, of which some 
fragments remained until 1905. 

ALESSIO. Original connected 
with S. Boniface. Alberic trans- 
formed his palace in this part of 
the Aventine into a monastery. 
In 977 Pope Benedict gave it to 
the Greek clergy and monks, and 
the monasteries here became very 
important. To this time a con- 
siderable part of the present struc- 
tures belong, including the crypt, 
which is the most important in 
Rome, where so few exist. 

To the revival of the close of the 
twelfth century belong the fine 
central doorway with mosaic inlay 
and the campanile. 
ANASTASIA. One of the largest 
and earliest churches; third in 
rank, immediately after the Lat- 
eran and S. Maria Maggiore. 
There were 30 columns in the nave. 
In 403 a baptistery was attached to 



it. It became the principal church 
of the Byzantine officials. It was 
partly ruined by the earthquake of 
1638 ; and the interior was modern- 
ized with the use of the antique 
columns, now set against the Ba- 
rocco piers. The ancient brick 
walls remain in great part. 

S. BALBINA. Especially interest- 
ing as a hall church of pagan origin 
of the Constantinian age, never 
transformed by the addition of 
columns. Its apse is remarkable 
for the niche in the thickness of 
the wall to receive the bishop's 
seat. The lower walls, with their 
alternation of tufa and brick, are 

Also originally called S. Adalbert. 
Rebuilt by Paschal II (c. 1113); 
damaged by the earthquake of 1557, 
which destroyed the facade. The 
nave has 14 columns of unequal 
heights and sizes, with different 
bases, but with capitals made to fit 
the shafts. The level of the pave- 
ment has been raised. The cornice 
of the roof of choir and nave is ex- 
tremely interesting, with stone 
consols elaborately carved with 
Byzantine designs. It seems not 
later than Paschal II. 

S. CECILIA. Recent excavations 
and restorations have increased 
the interest of this church and its 
site. At a much lower level than 
the present was found the lower 
part of a large Roman house, 
variously surmised to be that of 
the Csecilii or that of Caecilia's 
husband, Valerianf whom she con- 
verted; more probably the latter. 
Pope Urban, says the legend, 
turned the house into a church. A 
regular basilica was built here in 
the fourth or fifth century. Pas- 
chal I found the church and the 
neighboring monastery in ruins, 
and rebuilt it. The ground-plan 
of the earlier church has been dis- 

covered, a little to the left of the 
present and on a smaller scale. 
Under Gregory VII a restoration 
was commenced which continued 
into the twelfth century. At that 
time the porch and the campanile 
were built. Later, at the close of 
the thirteenth century, an even 
more radical beautifying took 
place under the direction of Ar- 
nolfo and Pietro Cavallini, ending 
in about 1283. This involved 
covering the walls with a series of 
grandiose frescos, erecting a ci- 
borium, altar, confession, paschal 
candlestick, choir seats, taber- 
nacle for holy oils, etc. Mean- 
while the monastery had also been 
rebuilt. Its cloister remains. The 
mosaic frieze of the porch does not 
belong to the ninth century but 
to the twelfth to thirteenth centu- 
ries. In the recent fearsome resto- 
ration of the interior it was found 
that the Barocco vandals had so 
disfigured the ancient columns 
when they built the piers around 
them that it would be impossible 
to free them. 

S. CLEMENTE. The present inte- 
rior of c. 1100 has 16 Ionic columns 
divided by an oblong pier into two 
almost equal sections. The archi- 
volts of the arcades are modernized ; 
so are the capitals. The side aisles 
are of unequal width (N. c. 14 ft. ; 
S. c. 19 ft.), as are also those of S. 
Sabina, S. Anastasia, and others. 
The interior is 40.28 m. long and 
the nave is 10.88 m. wide. Por- 
tions of the monastic buildings of 
the twelfth century remain. The 
entire group, including atrium 
and propylon, is the most complete 
in Rome. 

S. CRISOGONO. An early basilica 
existed here at a lower level in the 
fourth or fifth century, as it is 
mentioned in the time of Sym- 
machus (499). It is now being 



In 731 it was restored by Greg- 
ory III, who covered the walls 
with frescos, renewed the roof and 
the apse, and donated a ciborium 
of silver. He added a large and 
important monastery. 

Having fallen into ruin, both 
church and monastery were re- 
built at the expense of the famous 
John of Crema, apostolic legate 
and cardinal priest of this church. 
The work was executed between 
c. 1120 and 1130. An inscription 
of 1123 speaks of the dedication of 
an oratory and the construction 
of all the monastic buildings in- 
chiding the cloisters.* The church 
was consecrated in 1129. 

The Benedictines had charge 
until 1200, when it was transferred 
by Innocent III to the secular 

The church is preceded by a 
porch and has, on the right, a very 
heavy campanile, of the twelfth 
century, but plastered. 

The interior, with superb an- 
tique columns, has been partially 
renovated. In Ugonio's time it 
preserved its "Cosmati" details: 
ciborium, altar, confession, choir 
seats, and throne. The capitals 
of the superb antique columns 
appear to have all been stuccoed 
by Cardinal Borghese in 1633 ! 
The pavement is one of the most 
superb examples of mosaic work 
in Rome, probably by Paulus and 
his school. 

Originally the large hall of the 
Sessorian palace belonging to the 
Empress Helena. The palace re- 
mained imperial property until the 
Gothic war. Helena transformed 
the hall into a church; hence it 
was called Basilica Hcleniana in 
the fifth century. It was also 
called "Hierusalem." The Em- 
press Placidia and her children 
were its benefactors in 425. 

It was made a regular titular 
church by Gregory the Great. Its 
roof fell c. 720, and Gregory II, in 
restoring it, added two rows of 
columns. Its wide apse proves 
that originally it was a hall church 
without colonnades. 

In 975 Benedict VII built a large 
monastery next to it, which was 
given in c. 1050 by Leo IX to the 
Benedictines of Monte Cassino. 

The necessary work of renova- 
tion after the Gregorian revival 
was accomplished by Popes Lucius 
II and Eugenius III, 1144-1148, 
to whom were due the facade, the 
bell-tower, the large cloister, all 
the monastic buildings, and a large 
part of the church furniture. 

They retained their medieval 
form, as shown by a number of 
old prints, until Benedict XIV, 
who destroyed the old portico in 
1744, and concealed the old facade, 
which is erroneously considered to 
have been destroyed, behind a 
Barocco structure. 

The present interior is of c. 1744, 
but all the outer walls are classic 
or mediaeval, and show that the 
basilica never had the usual low 
side-aisles. In fact its exact medi- 
aeval form has not yet been de- 
monstrated and its original form is 
also somewhat of a puzzle. It de- 
serves careful study. 
is one of the most characteristic 
and untouched of the smaller medi- 
aeval churches of Rome, with parts 
belonging to both the Byzantine 
and the later eras. It was a di- 
aconal church c. 600; was prob- 
ably restored by Leo II (682-683), 
who added the cult of S. Sebastian 
to that of S. George. Zacharias 
rebuilt it. Gregory IV decorated 
the apse with mosaics. The archi- 
traved portico and the sturdy 
campanile were added to the plan 
in the twelfth century. This is 



evident from the fact that the 
foundations of the campanile fill 
the first bay of the left aisle. 

The interior is of the sixth or 
seventh century. There are six- 
teen shafts, all ancient, of various 
sizes and sources. All the capitals 
on the left are ancient and Corin- 
thian : of those on the right two are 
ancient Corinthian and four an- 
cient Ionic. The two required to 
complete the series are crude imi- 
tations of Ionic with uncarved 
volutes (eleventh century). 

An interesting doorway opening 
out of the right aisle is the best 
preserved detail of the primitive 

Only the apse has preserved in 
part its original features in its 
marble revetment and mosaic 
pavement of the seventh century. 

Here and there are scattered 
fragments of the choir-screen and 
ciborium which belonged to the 
pre-Cosmati decoration of the 
seventh to eighth centuries. The 
present confession, altar, and ci- 
borium belong, like the atrium and 
campanile, to the twelfth century 
and are among the best preserved 
groups of their class. 

A considerable number of Byz- 
antine funerary inscriptions show 
that this was a favorite church 
of the Greek colony in the seventh 
to eighth centuries. 
c. 400 by Pammachius inside the 
walls of the private palace of the 
martyrs themselves, its lower floor 
being left beneath the church, and 
one of its rooms, where the mar- 
tyrdom took place, being turned 
into an oratory. The basilica was 
restored, a century later, by Sym- 
machus, then by Leo III. The 
interior has been modernized, 
but most of the twenty antique 
columns, with their capitals, have 
been left in place, though piers 

have been inserted between them 
and a few columns have been re- 
moved to make room for the 
heaviest piers. 

The fine porch and bell-tower 
belong to the twelfth century, as 
also does the pavement. 
Its origins are obscure. Restora- 
tions are connected with the names 
of Leo II and Hadrian I, when it 
belonged to the Lateran. Lucius 

II gave it to the Benedictine nuns, 
and it was restored under Celestine 

III (1190), who dedicated it. 

It is in poor condition. The 
porch was an early arcaded struc- 
ture, badly restored, but probably 
of the seventh to eighth centuries; 
while the campanile is a fine 
twelfth-century structure, to which 
date the good square doorway, 
similar to that of SS. Giovanni e 
Paolo, also belongs. The interior 
has interesting elements of all 
three periods of its early history; 
the fifth(?), the eighth, and the 
twelfth. The ten fine antique 
columns of the nave, with their 
well-shaped arcades, evidently be- 
long to the primitive church. 
Then, to the middle period, of say 
Hadrian I, are some remarkably 
good pieces of the usual low-relief 
decoration, some of it in situ, 
some of it used as material by 
later restorers. Such are two 
pilasters at the entrance to the 
apse and a carved frieze now form- 
ing a step of the main altar. To 
the twelfth century belong the 
mosaic pavement and the fine 
mosaic altar. 

S. JOHN LATERAN. The present 
basilica of S. John Lateran ap- 
pears to have retained but little 
that is early Christian or mediaeval 
since its modernization by the 
architect Borromini, and it is dif- 
ficult to say how much of what 
remains belongs to the original 



church of Constantine and how 
much to the two great reconstruc- 
tions, that of 904 and that of the 
fourteenth century, after the two 
fires. Before the sixteenth cen- 
tury the basilica had five aisles. 
The nave was supported by 36 
large columns with both Ionic and 
Corinthian capitals, all from an- 
cient buildings. Their irregular- 
ity would point, not to the time of 
Constantine, but to that of Sergius. 
These columns are incorporated 
in the present piers. The archi- 
trave of the twelfth-century porch 
is also incorporated in that of 

early basilica was at first called, 
in the fourth century, titulus Lu- 
cince, from the matron on whose 
property it was built. It was 
associated with S. Lawrence as 
early as the fifth century, when it 
was an important stational church. 
It was restored by Benedict II 
(685) and again by Hadrian I. It 
had an important cemetery in 
connection with its atrium, many 
inscriptions of which have been 

The usual reconstruction took 
place after the Guiscard fire. It 
must have begun early in the reign 
of Paschal II, as the church was 
again in use in 1112. This recon- 
struction was fundamental. The 
church was consecrated by the 
anti-pope Anacletus in 1130, but 
reconsecrated by Celestine III in 
1196 with the greatest concourse 
of clergy and people seen in that 

Only the campanile and the 
parch remain of the age of Paschal 
II. The rest of the facade and 
the whole interior were trans- 
formed in 1650. 

Ugonio has described the in- 
terior before the restoration : with 
ancient frescos on the apse, prob- 

ably of the time of Paschal; with 
the throne and choir seats below, 
the altar and confession, and the 
two-storied choir-screen or ico- 
nostasis, with the inscription of 
Paschal II. 

I expect to prove, from an old 
drawing of the apse-fresco, that 
this basilica was built by Pope 
Sixtus III, and is really the basilica 
maim- of S. Lorenzo, mentioned in 
the Liber Pontificalis. This the- 
ory was suggested by Sig. Santi 
Pesarini, though he was unaware 
of the apse-fresco, with its figure 
of Pope Sixtus III, holding the 
model of the church, and proving 
his connection with its founda- 

church seems, in its present form, 
to date from the ninth century, be- 
fore 882. It became the national 
church of the Roman nobility and 

Its interior has 22 ancient col- 
umns ; some crowned by classic cap- 
itals, others by mediaeval capitals of 
the ninth century, which is also 
the date of part of the pavement. 

When the church and monas- 
tery were given to the Franciscans 
in the middle of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, a renovation on a large scale 
was begun but never completed. 
The artists Laurentius and Jaco- 
bus had charge of the decorative 
work done some time previously, 
and Cavallini of the pictorial deco- 
ration at the close of the thirteenth 

The transformation into a semi- 
Gothic church, which was then 
planned, was to include a pointed 
clerestory and a facade with wheel- 
window and mosaics, of which 
traces remain. 

The mediaeval interior was 
gutted by Pope Paul IV, and its 
unrivalled wealth of monuments 
nearly destroyed. 



PINEAM. I expect to publish a 
monograph on this unknown 
church. It is very small, but in 
such good preservation as to be 
one of the most interesting of the 
mediaeval buildings in Rome. 

An inscription gives the date of 
its dedication as 1090. The simple 
facade has a central gable with a 
round-headed window over a 
single round-headed doorway; and 
with a small bell-tower rising 011 
the right side, flush with the fagade, 
and, extraordinary to say, form- 
ing part of it. Another peculiar- 
ity is the inner porch. 

The nave is separated from the 
aisles by 10 columns, supporting, 
not arcades, but architraves of 
good construction. It is the mod- 
est precursor of S. Maria in Tras- 
tevere. The shafts are ancient, 
but the capitals are mediaeval, and 
seem to me not of the eleventh 
century, but rather to be contem- 
porary with some at S. Maria in 
Domnica, and of the ninth cen- 

the least spoiled churches. Re- 
cently restored with great intelli- 
gence and its mediaeval furniture 
reconstructed. Its history and 
decoration have been already dis- 
cussed. Early in the twelfth cen- 
tury it ranked among the impor- 
tant churches, being one of the 
first restored after the Guiscard 
fire. Several Popes were then 
elected here. It is about 80 ft. 
long and 67 ft. wide. It has both 
an outer porch and an inner nar- 
thex, a Byzantine characteristic. 
Two oblong piers divide the in- 
terior into three sections of four 
arcades. Before the twelfth cen- 
tury the columns supported archi- 
traves, and above was a gallery 
for the women of the congrega- 
tion, for this was the parish church 

of the Greek quarter and their 
liturgy did not allow of the placing 
of the women below. When the 
church was restored, in c. 1112, 
this ancient peculiarity was done 
away with, the galleries closed and 
the arcades substituted for the 

The mosaic pavement, choir- 
screen and parapet, ambones and 
paschal candlestick are now approxi- 
mately as they were in the twelfth 
century and rival in interest the 
group at S. Clemente. 
also called detta Navicella. Time 
of foundation unknown, but prob/- 
ably early because it is the only 
church which has retained in its 
name the word dominicum, which 
was' the primitive name for a 
church. It stood at the head of the 
diaconal churches, in the time of 
Leo III, and was the residence of 
the archdeacon. 

The L. P. states that Paschal I 
found the basilica of ancient struc- 
ture and ruinous, and that he re- 
built it from its foundations on a 
larger scale. 

The exterior has been entirely 
modernized and the campanile 
destroyed. The interior remains 
in good condition and has a col- 
lection of capitals unique for a 
study of the technique of the ninth 
century. A few remain from the 
church of the sixth century when 
it was probably founded or rebuilt 
as a diaconal church. There are 
18 columns of granite of varying 
sizes, and 4 wall piers. The apse 
is framed by 2 smaller porphyry 
shafts with good Ionic capitals 
that cannot be later than the fifth 
century. There is one technical 
peculiarity of especial interest. 
Capital No. 3 on the right is un- 
finished, the heavy foliage on the 
bell being merely blocked out ; and 
No. 2 is finished toward the nave 



but left unfinished toward the 

the basilicas of S. Peter, S. Paul, 
ami S. John Lateran, the largest 
church in Rome; and in conse- 
quence of the complete destruc- 
tion of their interiors it is alone in 
giving an idea of their colonnaded 

Its interior had 44 antique Ionic 
columns crowned by an architrave. 
Its length is 77.60 m. without the 
apse, which has a diameter of 13.80 
m. Its width is 31. (55 in. Roughly 
speaking, its nave is 16 in. wide 
and its aisles 6 m. wide. Its apse 
was originally open in the lower 
part of its semicircle and con- 
nected with an ambulacrum. 

The usual reconstruction of the 
twelfth century took place here 
under Eugonius III and his suc- 
cessors, shortly after 1150. The 
porch, the pavement, the bell- 
tower, the closing of the open 
apse, date from this time ; also the 
pulpits and, probably, the rest 
of the choir and its furniture. 

Sixtus V, in 1587, made the 
usual clean sweep of the mediaeval 
choir and church furniture, cut 
into the nave for two great chapels, 
especially that of the presepe, 
thus damaging the full majesty 
of its long architraves. 
First built by Pope Julius I, c. 340, 
under the name of titulus Callixti 
or titulus hdii, it was restored by 
Pope Celestine early in the fifth 
century, after the capture by 
Alaric. In the first years of the 
eighth century, Pope John VII 
decorated it with frescos, and soon 
after other improvements were due 
to Gregory II and Gregory III. It 
was enlarged by Hadrian I, and 
soon after fundamentally trans- 
formed by Gregory IV, c. 828, who 
built a chapel of the Prcescpe, as 

at S. Maria Maggiore, and raised 
the pavement of the choir in order 
to build under it a crypt for the 
relics of SS. Calixtus, Cornelius, 
and Calepodius. He added a 
large altar and ciborium. Next 
to the church he built a monas- 
tery dedicated to Pope Cornelius. 

Further restorations were due 
to Leo IV and Benedict III, who 
rebuilt the crumbling atrium, with 
portico, baptistery, and sacristies. 

At the revival this church and 
its dependencies were rebuilt on 
a higher level and on a larger scale. 
This was done under Innocent II 
and Innocent III. This is the 
present building, completed in 

Its 24 columns of brown granite 
of the interior and the 4 of the 
porch are supposed to have been 
taken from the Isomni. The 
corbels of the cornice of the archi- 
traves of the nave are interesting 
examples of the use of antique 
fragments in systematic fashion by 
artists of the twelfth century. 

Under the porch is the most 
interesting collection in any Ro- 
man church of fragments of the 
interior sculptured decoration of 
the basilica at different periods 
from the fourth to the twelfth 
centuries, besides two tombs of the 
thirteenth century. The doors to 
the side aisles are unusually fine 
in thoir foliated decoration, 

As a whole the church is the 
finest remaining example of the 
art of the middle of the twelfth 
century. This applies to the mo- 
saics of facade and apse, to the 
pavement and church furniture, 
as well as to the construction. 
The restorations under Pius IX 
brought to light remains of the 
choir of the early church, pave- 
ment, tribunal, apse, frescos, 
between Julius I and Gregory IV. 



King Theodoric, Pope Sym- 
rnachus built this large basilica 
above the Constantinian tiiuLus 
Equitii. Its nave has 24 antique 
columns of one size and type. 
The Corinthian capitals, how- 
ever, are of the period of Sym- 
machus. The columns support 
architraves, whether original or 
not cannot be seen, owing to the 
Renaissance stuccos. The 8 col- 
umns near the facade are more 
modern. The barbarous moderni- 
zation took place just before 1700. 
The exterior, especially at the 
apse and in the monastic build- 
ings, has interesting brickwork of 
the times of Theodoric and the 
Carlovingian Popes. 

built in the Forum olitorium in 
the ruins of two temples and was 
one of the early diaconal churches 
built perhaps by Felix IV or Boni- 
face IV. It underwent the usual 
remodelling in the twelfth century, 
being rededicated under Honorius 
II in 1128. As usual, also, the 
thirteenth century added its quota. 
Nicholas III, before he became 
Pope, was Giovanni Orsini, its 
cardinal deacon and benefactor 
(1277). It received its present 
form in 1599. 

The interior preserves its early 
plan. Its nave has seven columns 
on each side and ends in a trium- 
phal arch and a transept which is 
supposed to be an addition of the 
twelfth century. The 14 shafts 
are antique, but only a few of the 
capitals seem classic. Four are 
Ionic; the rest Corinthian and 
composite. With one antique ex- 
ception they belong to the fifth 
and twelfth centuries. 

Some frescos taken from here 
to the Christian museum of the 
Lateran are unique specimens of 
a school of the twelfth century. 


foundation of this church, in the 
fifth century, by Eudoxia is de- 
scribed on pp. 61-62. Its nave is 
divided by 22 heavy antique fluted 
columns with Doric capitals; the 
interesting archivolts are original. 
The transept, also, is original, but 
the brick work of the apse is me- 
diaeval (eighth century). All the 
columns appear to have been 
taken from a single antique build- 
ing. Nothing is left of the old 
facade, campanile, portico, crypt, 
mosaics, frescos, church furniture, 
etc., owing to the usual barbarous 
destruction of the Renaissance, due 
in this case to Sixtus IV and Julius 

S. PRASSEDE. On pp. 84-85 and 
108-109 the origin and the trans- 
formation of this church under 
Paschal I are discussed. The 
fallacy of attributing to this Pope 
the transverse arches is shown by 
the fact that in order to build 
one of the piers which support 
them, a tomb-slab of the thirteenth 
to fourteenth centuries was cut into. 
The real date of piers and arches 
is the Barocco period, and the 
reason may have been the perilous 
state of the poorly built archi- 
traves of the nave. 

Before the seventeenth century 
the interior was like that of S. 
Maria Maggiore or S. Maria in 

S. PUDENZIANA. The church .of 
the titulus Pudentis, called in the 
fourth century Ecclesia Puden- 
tifma, is one of the earliest and 
most interesting foundations in 
Rome. It was changed from a 
hall church into a three-aisled 
basilica in the Constantinian age, 
or under Siricius. When this 
change was made, the annexed 
structures of the Baths of Novatus 
and others led to irregularities in 
plan, especially in the curved line 
given to the columns on the left, 



near the facade. There are six 
columns on each side, with capital 
of an Egyptianizing type common 
in the fourth century and of ex- 
cellent workmanship. These col- 
umns have been barbarously set 
into Barocco piers. The fagade 
was reconstructed, many frescos 
added, the campanile built under 
Innocent III, who renovated the 
work done nearly a century and a 
half before by Gregory VII. The 
work of mediaeval artists affected 
the facade more than the interior, 
except, of course, for the church 

basilica has been already described. 
It was an early foundation, rebuilt 
and restored by Honorius I and 
Leo IV. Its monastery is ancient 
and unusually imposing, with 
foundations as early as Leo IV. 
Together with the church it was 
rebuilt by Paschal II. The col- 
umns of the original larger and 
wider nave appear in the refectory 
of the monastery, in the outside 
walls, and in the atrium. The 
8 granite columns of the present 
nave were placed there by Paschal 
II, who built the gallery also. 

The plan is remarkable for the 
double atrium in front of the 
church with the campanile in front 
of them, and a double portico 
against the facade of the church. 

The mosaic pavement is good ; 
beautiful pieces of the old ambones 
and choir-screen are worked into 
the pavement of the apse. The 
columns of the gallery are Ionic ; 
those of the nave Corinthian and 
composite. A central pier divides 
the galleries into two groups of 
three arcades each. 

The monastery was combined 
with a papal palace by Paschal 
II. The chapel of S. Silvester, 
opening out of the atrium, is an 
interesting annex of the group, 

with original pavement and frescos 
of the thirteenth century. 
S. SABINA. One of the least 
changed of Roman churches. 
After its construction in 425-432 
it was restored by Leo III and 
Eugenius II. It was then that 
a monastery was added, whose 
cloister even then took the place 
of the primitive atrium, and 
turned the open porch into a closed 
passage, which was entered from 
the short end, which alone re- 
mained open and was approached 
through an arched portico. This 
portico is attributed to the elev- 
enth century, but it is either later, 
or, more probably, much earlier 
and built in the ninth century, 
under Eugenius II, whose artists 
renovated the choir and furniture 
and used the columns of the altar 
canopy of the fifth century in the 
reconstruction of the porch. 

The interior has 24 Corinthian 
columns. Though its structure is 
unchanged it has lost nearly all 
the marble incrustations and fig- 
ured mosaics of the fifth century 
that together covered its walls, 
all the choir precinct and furni- 
ture of the ninth century, destroyed 
in 1G83, together with the mosaic 
pavement. The style of this decora- 
tion is indicated by the few rescued 
fragments that have been pieced to- 
gether and restored on the left wall. 
It was one of the stational and 
baptismal basilicas, after Gregory 
the Great, and among the most 
important churches of Rome. 
This importance was emphasized 
under the Popes of the Savelli 
family who dominated the Aven- 
tine. Honorius III and Hono- 
rius IV had their palatial resi- 
dences here ; the former gave it 
to S. Dominic in 1216 and he made 
it the Roman centre of his new 
order, building the still existing 
beautiful cloister. 



S. SINFOROSA. This suburban 
basilica, at the ninth mile on the 
Via Tiburtina, abandoned, prob- 
ably, at the time 6f the Lombard 
raids, under Stephen III, is a rare 
example for two reasons : it con- 
sists of two structures, an oratory 
and a basilica, arranged back to 
back; and its basilica has piers 
in place of columns. 

The oratory is square, with a 
large apse. Against this apse is 
placed that of the basilica, which 
is about 40 in. long and almost 
20 m. wide, and is divided into 
3 aisles by 6 piers. It is prob- 
ably of later construction than 
the oratory. 

The group is a modest form of 
the arrangement at Nola, described 
by S. Paulinus. 

are three churches within one 
general precinct of the monastery. 
The largest, though not the earli- 
est, is that of SS. Vinccnzo ed 
Anastasio, which gives its name 
to the entire group. According 
to an unverified tradition both 
basilica and monastery were built 
by Honorius I, c. 625. They were 
restored by Hadrian I, arid rebuilt 
from the foundation by Leo III in 

798, and at this time Charlemagne 
conferred on the monastery large 

In 112S Pope Innocent II 'began 
to renovate the monastery and in 
1140 induced S. Bernard to oc- 
cupy it with Cistercian monks. 
Its first abbot, Pietro Pisano, be- 
came in 1145 Pope Eugenius III. 
Most of the present buildings were 
then constructed. Honorius III 
decorated with frescos and con- 
secrated the church in 1221. 

No part of the buildings can be 
assigned to as early a date as the 
seventh century (Honorius I). 
At most that part of the walls of 
the monastery, cloister, and church 
(as well as entrance) where there 
is a mixture of stones and bricks 
can be attributed to the time of 

The reconstruction under Inno- 
cent II left only one side of the 
old cloister and a section of the 
wall of the church, which was en- 
tirely reconstructed. The unus- 
ual church, with its piers in place of 
columns, its attempted vaulting, 
its porch and window-panes, are 
described under "Architecture." 
Also its chapter-house and cloister. 
The refectory is modern. 


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