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Santa Maria Antiqua is per ruined but restored 6th century church per the Roman Forum

Santa Maria Antiqua is per ruined but restored 6th century church per the Roman Forum

Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons are here. There is an English Wikipedia article with photos and plan here.

Stato [ ]

The church is often described as “ruined”. However, it has verso roof on it and contains per consecrated altar (installed con 1955). So, it counts as per church even though there is in nessun caso regular liturgical activity here.

Origins of building [ ]

The church was founded durante what was once part of a monumental architectural approach puro the imperial palace on the Palatine. This was at the back of the Temple of Castor and Pollux (now comprising the famous three columns standing alone).

The complex layout, begun by the emperor Domitian in the late 1st century, was based on an enormous covered access ramp (erta dispotico) that ran up the side of the hill. The part that was converted into a church was just preciso the south of the bottom end of this, and originally comprised per square atrium followed by verso quadriporticus (a little courtyard surrounded by covered walkways or loggias) and finally verso row of three chambers. The central of the three, which is larger, is called the tablinum.

It used to be speculated that this ensemble was the possible headquarters of the Athenaeum founded by Emperor Hadrian, but the true site of this has now been located and so it was most likely part of the reception facilities for palace visitors.

Preciso the west of the church is a large vestibolo, part of the same reception complex. This used onesto be described as the Temple of the Divine Augustus, but this completely speculative guess is now discredited (the temple is most likely under the hospital of Santa Maria della Consolazione). So, this Domitianic Ingresso was probably the main waiting room for arrivals at the palace entrance, while the church ensemble was the processing suite for those actually puro be allowed sopra.

The restorers at the start of the 21st century found very scant traces of what is thought preciso have been an original 1st century attuale decorative scheme.

First frescoes [ ]

In the mid 6th century the edifice is described as having been converted into a guardhouse onesto protect this main approach esatto the palace, still then regarded as the headquarters of the Emperor at Rome even if he was based at Constantinople. However, this seems onesto depend on the mistaken ispirazione that the original function was substantially different -the distinction between a palace gateway reception suite and a guardhouse is now rather too subtle puro bother.

The walls of the tablinum were decorated with Christian murals mediante this period, however, so there must have been a makeover of some sort. One has survived, and is one of the oldest depictions of Our Lady in Rome. It is known that this was executed before the conversion into verso church, because the apse was cut into it.

It has Donna single ucraina vicino a me been suggested that the guardhouse recente rete di emittenti was in substitut of the guardhouse at the Imperial Palace at Constantinople.

The historical context of this restoration is interesting. The Colmare had lost effective control of Italy puro the Ostrogoths durante 476 (the mythical “End of the Roman Empire” as imagined by western European historians), and the Gothic kings ruled under the pretence of being the Emperor’s representative con Italy. Emperor Justinian I (527-65) rejected this, and monarca-imposed direct rule con 554 after the Gothic War. The imperial palace on the Palatine had been the Gothic king’s residence, and the restoration of the guardhouse was durante the context of the arrival of a governor under the authority of the imperial exarch at Ravenna (the capital of Italy).