santa maria maggiore mosaics

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore: Mosaics!! These fines enabled the papacy to carry out through the 5th century an ambitious building program, including Santa Maria Maggiore. The column itself is the sole remainder from Constantine's Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine in Roman Forum. The icon is at least a thousand years old, and according to a tradition was painted from life by St Luke the Evangelist using the wooden table of the Holy Family in Nazareth. The chariot and apparently Triumphal Arch in the back left background reinforce the triumphal imagery of the scene. Its plan was based on Hellenistic principles stated by Vitruvius at the time of Augustus. A good example is the story of Joshua at the Battle of Jericho where the Ark of the Covenant is being carried around the walls of Jericho: Joshua crossing the Jordan with the Ark; Joshua sending out spies. Fragments of the sculpture of the Nativity believed to be by 13th-century Arnolfo di Cambio were transferred to beneath the altar of the large Sistine Chapel[44] off the right transept of the church. Church building in Rome in this period, as exemplified in Saint Mary Major, was inspired by the idea of Rome being not just the centre of the world of the Roman Empire, as it was seen in the classical period, but the centre of the Christian world.[27]. The architect Domenico Fontana designed the chapel, which contains the tombs of Sixtus V himself and of his early patron Pope Pius V. The main altar in the chapel has four gilded bronze angels by Sebastiano Torregiani, holding up the ciborium, which is a model of the chapel itself. The Basilica is sometimes referred to as Our Lady of the Snows, a name given to it in the Roman Missal from 1568 to 1969 in connection with the liturgical feast of the anniversary of its dedication on 5 August, a feast that was then denominated Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Nives (Dedication of Saint Mary of the Snows). [30] One of the first scenes that were visible on the triumphal arch was a panel of Christ's enthronement with a group of angels as his court. The fifth-century mosaics of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome represent the oldest surviving program of mosaic decoration in a Christian church. [42] The triumphal arch is illustrated with magnificent mosaics depicting different scenes of Christ and the Virgin Mary. The feast was originally called Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae (Dedication of Saint Mary's),[9] and was celebrated only in Rome until inserted for the first time into the General Roman Calendar, with ad Nives added to its name, in 1568. To the right of the Basilica's façade is a memorial representing a column in the form of an up-ended cannon barrel topped with a cross: it was erected by Pope Clement VIII to celebrate the end of the French Wars of Religion.[39]. [35], The original architecture of Santa Maria Maggiore was classical and traditionally Roman perhaps to convey the idea that Santa Maria Maggiore represented old imperial Rome as well as its Christian future. The mosaics found in Santa Maria Maggiore are one of the oldest representations of the Virgin Mary in Christian Late Antiquity. It is now agreed that the present church was built under Celestine I (422–432) not under Pope Sixtus III (432–440), who consecrated the basilica on the 5th of August 434 to the Virgin Mary. [ citation needed ] They cover the apse , the "triumphal arch" (equivalent to the chancel arch), and sections, originally much larger, of the nave walls, where 27 of an original 42 panels remain from a sequence of scenes from the Old Testament . [48], List of archpriests of the Liberian Basilica since 1127. Pictures of the basilica on Wikimedia Commons are here. Sabina: Then compare the interior of Sta. Mosaic Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome On the left in the lower register, Abraham has Sarah bake loaves for the visitors. Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner. The church retains the core of its original structure, despite several additional construction projects and damage by the earthquake of 1348. [21], The five papal basilicas along with the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and San Sebastiano fuori le mura were the traditional Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome, which were visited by pilgrims during their pilgrimage to Rome following a 20-kilometre (12 mi) itinerary established by St. Philip Neri on 25 February 1552.[22][23][24]. [25], The nave of the basilica was covered in mosaics representing Old Testament events of Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt across the Red Sea. An observer describes the mosaic: "The Egyptians, clad in blue armor with gold bands and scarlet cloaks wildly flying, drown in the greenish blue waters; the horses, white or light brown shaded with darker browns, highlighted in white, the accoutrements a bright red. Pope Francis visited the basilica on the day after his election.[47]. A reconstruction of the interior of the church demonstrates the borrowing of earlier classical forms. Nave mosaic depicting the exodus, circa 435 C.E. This chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is named after Pope Sixtus V, and is not to be confused with the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican, named after Pope Sixtus IV. The dedicatory inscription on the triumphal arch, Sixtus Episcopus plebi Dei, (Sixtus the bishop to the people of God) is an indication of that Pope's role in the construction. In spite of the fact that Santa Maria Maggiore is gigantic in its area, it was built to plan. Our gallery showcases one of this great artist’s two major works: the mosaics in the apse of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (his other masterpiece is the mosaic in the apse of San Giovanni in Laterano, also in Rome). [25] The church of Santa Maria Maggiore boasts mosaics all across its exterior facade, which illustrate the origin of the basilica. And if we stop just here, the Basilica wouldn't probably be so important, but just a drop of water … The facade, with salients, is devoid of decorations. Formerly, the archpriest was the titular Latin Patriarch of Antioch, a title abolished in 1964. Richard Krautheimer attributes the magnificence of the work also to the abundant revenue accruing to the papacy at the time from land holdings acquired by the Church during the 4th and 5th centuries on the Italian peninsula: "Some of these holdings were locally controlled; the majority as early as the end of the 5th century were administered directly from Rome with great efficiency: a central accounting system was involved in the papal chancery; and a budget was apparently prepared, one part of the income going to the papal administration, another to the needs of the clergy, a third to the maintenance of church buildings, a fourth to charity. In obedience to a vision of the Virgin Mary which they had the same night, the couple built a basilica in honour of Mary on the very spot which was covered with snow. In 1954, the icon was crowned by Pope Pius XII as he introduced a new Marian feast Queenship of Mary. - See 16,072 traveler reviews, 9,824 candid photos, and great deals for Rome, Italy, at Tripadvisor. A few have been entirely replaced. Melchizedek and Abraham-Santa Maria Maggiore: Notes: This image is often used as a prefigurement of the Eucharist, and the priestly designation of Christ, as mentioned in Hebrews. The actual, official name seems to vary: the, Andrew J. Ekonomou. 30, p. 119, give no support for this affirmation. Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. The story is picked up again on the right (south) wall again adjacent to the sanctuary with the stories of Moses and Joshua. Just outside the Sistine Chapel is the tomb of Gianlorenzo Bernini and his family.[45]. The beautiful Church of Santa Maria Maggiore is located in the city center, in a small square just behind the apse of San Vitale. There are 3 ways to get from Santa Maria Maggiore (Accommodation) to Mosaic Central Guest House, Rome by bus, taxi or foot. During the second century AD, the site on which the church now stands was occupied by a Roman mansion owned by Titus Flavius Clemens, one of the first Roman senators to convert to Christianity. The triumphal arch is just as old and so we see one of the oldest mosaics as well. The main entrance is on the Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore. The basilica enshrines the venerated image of Salus Populi Romani, depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary as the health and protectress of the Roman people, which was granted a Canonical coronation by Pope Gregory XVI on 15 August 1838 accompanied by his Papal bull Cælestis Regina. The Emperor saw himself as the new Augustus at the same time as the new Abraham or Moses. In addition to the archpriest and his assistant priests, a chapter of canons is resident. While the art biographer, Giovanni Baglione allocates specific works to individual artists, recent scholarship finds that the hand of Nebbia drew preliminary sketches for many, if not all, of the frescoes. Only St. Peter’s Basilica itself is said to be more grandiose. Byzantine Rome and Greek Popes. "[27] The key aspect that made Santa Maria Maggiore such a significant cornerstone in church building during the early 5th century were the beautiful mosaics found on the triumphal arch and nave. Maria Maggiore to Sta. The influences of these mosaics are rooted in late antique impressionism that could be seen in frescoes, manuscript paintings and many pavement mosaics across villas in Africa, Syria and Sicily during the 5th century. Quite a few experts believe that it is the most beautiful church in Rome. [11], On the other hand, the name "Liberian Basilica" may be independent of the legend, since, according to Pius Parsch, Pope Liberius transformed a palace of the Sicinini family into a church, which was for that reason called the Sicinini Basilica. He presides over the rites for the annual Feast of the Assumption of Mary on 15 August there. The mosaic in the apse of the church, which has been hailed as the finest medieval mosaic in Rome, depicts the Coronation of the Virgin Mary. The triumphal arch marking the entrance to the apse includes New Testament stories focusing on the Incarnation of Christ. The interior of the Santa Maria Maggiore underwent a broad renovation encompassing all of its altars between the years 1575 and 1630. St. Mary Major was associated with the Patriarchate of Antioch. The Blessed Virgin appears in the dreams of Pope Liberius and the Roman Patrician John, inspiring the location of the church. Next day the Esquiline hill was covered by snow and it became the site of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. [17], No Catholic church can be honoured with the title of "basilica" unless by apostolic grant or from immemorial custom. The conception of this narrative thus again brings out the merging of the Roman Imperial and Christian traditions [for more of a discussion on the conventions of Roman Imperial Iconography see the page entitled Panel Reliefs of Marcus Aurelius and Roman Imperial Iconography]. The wing of the canonica (sacristy) to its left and a matching wing to the right (designed by Flaminio Ponzio) give the basilica's front the aspect of a palace facing the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore. Since 29 December 2016, the archpriest has been Stanisław Ryłko. Melchisidek offering bread and wine to Abraham from the nave mosaics of Santa Maria Maggiore. As one scholar puts it, "Santa Maria Maggiore so closely resembles a second-century imperial basilica that it has sometimes been thought to have been adapted from a basilica for use as a Christian church. Beneath this altar is the Oratory or Chapel of the Nativity, on whose altar, at that time situated in the Crypt of the Nativity below the main altar of the church itself, Saint Ignatius of Loyola celebrated his first Mass as a priest on 25 December 1538. The so-called Quedlinburg Itala fragment further brings out the parallels: This fragment of a larger codex containing the so-called Itala edition of the Bible were found in the binding of a book in the German town of Quedlinburg. However, this identification remains uncertain because the only document which mentions this archpriest (dated 3 July 1212) makes no reference to his cardinalate, cf. [3] However, the Holy See fully owns the Basilica, and Italy is legally obligated to recognize its full ownership thereof[4] and to concede to it "the immunity granted by International Law to the headquarters of the diplomatic agents of foreign States. Mosaic panels beneath the clerestory windows in the nave are dedicated to Old Testament stories. [10] However, some sources say that the adaptation as a church of a pre-existing building on the site of the present basilica was done in the 420s under Pope Celestine I, the immediate predecessor of Sixtus III. Roman-born Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) celebrated his first Holy Mass there on 1 April 1899. [19] (The title of major basilica was once used more widely, being attached, for instance, to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi. [49][50][51][52][53] Initially not all archpriests were cardinals, Façade of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore facing the Piazza, Location of the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Cappella Sistina and Crypt of the Nativity, Archpriests of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore since 1127, List of major works of art in the basilica, This triptych painted around 1423 was commissioned for the basilica by a member of the, Archpriest Pietro Sasso is commonly identified with contemporary cardinal Pietro Sasso of S. Pudenziana (1206–1218/19). See how Saul is visualized as a Roman Emperor making a sacrifice. The Santa Maria Maggiore mosaics have been convincingly parallel to the miniatures in the so-called Vatican Virgil. The earliest building on the site was the Liberian Basilica or Santa Maria Liberiana, after Pope Liberius (352–366). The miniature at the upper left illustrates Saul offering a holocaust (verse 12): King Saul Sacrificing from the Quedlinburg Itala fragment. "[30] The magnificent mosaics of the nave and triumphal arch, seen as "milestones in the depiction" of the Virgin,[31] depict scenes of her life and that of Christ, but also scenes from the Old Testament: Moses striking the Red Sea, and Egyptians drowning in the Red Sea. [9] No action was taken on the proposal until 1969, when the reading of the legend was removed and the feast was called In dedicatione Basilicae S. Mariae (Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary). Moreover, Santa Maria Maggiore retains the bell tower, where mosaics and marble floors are from the medieval period and some Ionic columns from ancient Roman buildings. The Santa Maria Maggiore has gone through many changes over the centuries. Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the four papal basilicas, was built by Pope Sixtus III (r. 432-440) shortly after the Council of Ephesus (431) agreed to promote the veneration of the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God. As one scholar puts it, "This is well demonstrated by the decoration of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome,... where the iconographic depiction of the Virgin Mary was chosen at least in part to celebrate the affirmation of Mary as Theotokos (bearer of God) by the third ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431 CE. A test case is given by the mosaics of S. Maria Maggiore in Rome". If he was really an archpriest under Innocent IV, he must have later resigned, but it seems more likely that this statement resulted from a confusion. The interior of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, the frescoes, mosaics and lots of gold are well known. This point is made even more emphatically by looking at individual scenes and seeing how the artists formulated the narrative. Scholars have long noted the parallels between the narrative style of these mosaics and that found Roman Imperial art. Traditional Old Testament scenes like the story of Creation are omitted. Pope Benedict XIV commissioned the designs. The mosaics found in Santa Maria Maggiore are combinations of different styles of mosaic art during the time, according to art scholar Robin Cormack: "the range of artistic expertise and the actual complexities of production can hardly be reduced to a mentality of copying. "[33], Gregory the Great may have been inspired by Byzantine devotions to the Theotokos (Mother of God) when after becoming Pope during a plague in 590 that had taken the life of his predecessor, he ordered for seven processions to march through the city of Rome chanting Psalms and Kyrie Eleison, in order to appease the wrath of God. The Mannerist interior decoration of the Sistine Chapel was completed (1587–1589) by a large team of artists, directed by Cesare Nebbia and Giovanni Guerra. As one scholar puts it, "This is well demonstrated by the decoration of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome,... where the iconographic depiction of the Virgin Mary was chosen at least in part to celebrate the affirmation of Mary as Theotokos (bearer of God) by the third ecumenical Council of Ephesusin 431 CE." [14][15] This name appears in the Tridentine editions of the Roman Missal as the place for the pope's Mass (the station Mass) on Christmas Night,[16] while the name "Mary Major" appears for the church of the station Mass on Christmas Day. Maria Maggiore to view of a reconstruction of the interior of the Baslica Ulpia which was part of the Forum of Trajan: Sta. Santa Maria Maggiore (St Mary Major), one of the four papal basilicas, was built by Pope Sixtus III (r. 432-440) shortly after the Council of Ephesus (431) agreed to promote the veneration of the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God. )[20] Along with all of the other major basilicas, St. Mary Major is also styled a "papal basilica". As a papal basilica, Santa Maria Maggiore is often used by the pope. There was a difference in the styles used in the triumphal arch mosaics compared to those of the nave; the style of the triumphal arch was much more linear and flat as one scholar describes it, not nearly as much action, emotion and movement in them as there were in the Old Testament mosaics of the nave. "The nave mosaics (which represents stories of Old Testament history and accordingly offered Christians in Rome a new 'past') are illusionistic in a colorful and impressionist manner"[30] as this scholar puts it the scene was filled with movement, emotion, and it was to inspire thinking of Rome's "new" past; the past of the Old Testament. Last Judgment Throne (Hetoimasia), plaster cast from mosaics in the Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, from the time of Sixtus III, 432-440 AD - Pinacoteca Vaticana - Vatican Museums - DSC01253.jpg 3,465 × 3,283; 8.73 MB The façade is the magnificent work of Ferdinand Fuga (1741), and faces east, opening in a portico of five arcades on the lower story and three arches in the upper loggia, which covers the thirteenth-century mosaics of the previous façade. "[25] Another panel shows the demise of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. "[40] The mosaics of the triumphal arch and the nave in Santa Maria Maggiore gave a model for the future representations of the Virgin Mary. "[43] The other panel depicts the Virgin accompanied by five martyrs. You can visit the church for free, opening hours are every day from 7 … Along with the Georgics, the codex contains a copy of Virgil's Aeneid, the major Roman epic poet. This being said the crowning of Mary on the Apse where made much later by Torriti by commission of Pope Nicholas IV. The basilica was restored, redecorated and extended by various popes, including Eugene III (1145–1153), Nicholas IV (1288–92), Clement X (1670–76), and Benedict XIV (1740–58), who in the 1740s commissioned Ferdinando Fuga to build the present façade and to modify the interior. The miniatures on this page represent episodes from the 1 Book of Samuel (or 1 Kings) 15. The design of the basilica was a typical one during this time in Rome: "a tall and wide nave; an aisle on either side; and a semicircular apse at the end of the nave. It was renovated during the 18th century. One of the four major basilicas in Rome, it was the first church to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary and possesses a rich history. On 5 August, at the height of the Roman summer, snow fell during the night on the summit of the Esquiline Hill. The background for the figure of Abraham and Sarah is relatively naturalistic, whereas the ground behind the visitors is all gold, emphasizing their heavenly origin. The mosaic is … Scholars have characterized the period of Pope Sixtus III as the Sixtine Renaissance. Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis all honoured the Salus Populi Romani with personal visits and liturgical celebrations. On 15 December 2015, a Palestinian and a Tunisian national were arrested after they tried to disarm soldiers stationed outside the basilica while yelling "Allah (God) is great". An excellent comparison can be made to the reliefs of the Column of Trajan from the early second century A.D.: Joshua as the heroic leader of the Israelites is clearly parallel to Trajan as the leader of the Roman army over the "Barbarian" Dacians. Note especially the representation of Joshua who is just to the right of the ark on the lower register of the mosaic panel. As Margaret Miles explains the mosaics in Santa Maria Maggiore have two goals: one to glorify the Virgin Mary as Theotokos (God-Bearer); and the other to present "a systematic and comprehensive articulation of the relationship of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian scriptures as one in which the Hebrew Bible foreshadows Christianity. Date: 432: Building: Santa Maria Maggiore (Church : Rome, Italy) Object/Function: Mosaic… [citation needed] Maderno's fountain at the base combines the armorial eagles and dragons of Paul V (Borghese). It covers the older twelfth century facade that had mosaics which were added in the last part of the thirteenth century. The All Seeing Eye – Eye’s God in Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, Italy The decorations in the church are enhanced even further by the mosaics on the triumphal arch and in the apse. Santa Maria Maggiore. The mosaics of the triumphal arch and the nave in Santa Maria Maggiore gave a mo… [citation needed] (An example is the Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc, the Czech Republic). Remarkably, Santa Maria Maggiore is the only one among the four Papal basilicas to have kept its original Paleochristian structure, although many features were added by several art-loving pontiffs, including two chapels in the 16th and 17th centuries, which changed the … "[43], Under the high altar of the basilica is the Crypt of the Nativity or Bethlehem Crypt, with a crystal reliquary designed by Giuseppe Valadier said to contain wood from the Holy Crib of the nativity of Jesus Christ. Apse Mosaic Santa Maria Maggiore is proclaimed by most scholars as the second most beautiful church in Rome. Behind its Neoclassic facade (1741–43), the original basilica has resisted change. This epic story of the Old Testament should be seen in relationship to the Christian plan of history of how there is a manifest destiny of the Old Testament story of the Chosen People leading to the New Testament story of Christ and culminating in the destiny of the Church and the Empire to continue this story of the Chosen People until the end of time. "[3] In other words, the complex of buildings has a status somewhat similar to a foreign embassy. English: Triomphal Arch Mosaics in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, right side, third register from up Italiano: Roma, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, mosaici dell'arco trionfale, lato destro, terzo registro dall'alto The Basilica also contains frescoes by Giovanni Baglione, in the Cappella Borghese. They prayed that she might make known to them how they were to dispose of their property in her honour. "[32], Miri Rubin believes that the building of the basilica was influenced also by seeing Mary as one who could represent the imperial ideals of classical Rome, bringing together the old Rome and the new Christian Rome: "In Rome, the city of martyrs, if no longer of emperors, Mary was a figure that could credibly carry imperial memories and representations. [25] As well as this church on the summit of the Esquiline Hill, Pope Sixtus III is said to have commissioned extensive building projects throughout the city, which were continued by his successor Pope Leo I, the Great.[26]. The basilica represents several architectural styles, from early Christian to Baroque. That is the way I want you to look at the triumphal arch in the Santa Maria Maggiore. This manuscript in the Vatican Library comes from the end of the fourth or early fifth century. The pope gives charge of the basilica to an archpriest, usually a cardinal. It is known as Salus Populi Romani, or Health of the Roman People or Salvation of the Roman People, due to a miracle in which the icon reportedly helped keep plague from the city. Ferri in ASRSP, vol. Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the first churches built in honour of the Virgin Mary, was erected in the immediate aftermath of the Council of Ephesus of 431, which proclaimed Mary Mother of God. A miniature showing Aeneas overseeing the building of the city of Carthage clearly demonstrates the parallels to the Santa Maria Maggiore mosaics: Aeneas as the legendary founder of the Roman tradition is clearly depicted with the same formulas associated with Roman imperial art. 28, p. 24. The two-story arcade and facade was built in 1743. [10] Liberiana is still included in some versions of the basilica's formal name, and "Liberian Basilica" may be used as a contemporary as well as historical name. [37] The 14th century campanile, or bell tower, is the highest in Rome, at 246 feet, (about 75 m.). Before 2006, the four papal major basilicas, together with the Basilica of St. Lawrence outside the Walls were referred to as the "patriarchal basilicas" of Rome,[Notes 2] and were associated with the five ancient patriarchates (see Pentarchy). The mosaics also show the range of artistic expertise and refute the theory that mosaic technique during the time was based on copying from model books. [28][29] Certainly, the atmosphere that generated the council gave rise also the mosaics that adorn the interior of the dedication: "whatever the precise connection was between council and church it is clear that the planners of the decoration belong to a period of concentrated debates on nature and status of the Virgin and incarnate Christ. The house was used for Christian clandestine worship, since being Christian at the time was forbidden.Approximately a century later, a temple dedicated to Mithras, an all seeing Protector of the Truth, was built on the same site. Panel Reliefs of Marcus Aurelius and Roman Imperial Iconography. Redemptorist, Dominican and Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate priests serve the church. The Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Italian: Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Italian pronunciation: [ˈsanta maˈriːa madˈdʒoːre]; Latin: Basilica Sanctae Mariae Maioris),[2] or church of Santa Maria Maggiore, is a Papal major basilica and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy. Compare the interior of Sta. (13th century), These mosaics gave historians insight into artistic, religious, and social movements during this time. They depict Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the annunciation, the Three Magi, the flight to Egypt and the coronation of the Virgin Mary. "[36], Even though Santa Maria Maggiore is immense in its area, it was built to plan. Pursuant to the Lateran Treaty of 1929 between the Holy See and Italy, the Basilica is within Italian territory and not the territory of the Vatican City State. The above mosaic is an artistic interpretation of a scene from the biblical book of Exodus, which recounts the momentous departure of the Israelites, led by Moses, from slavery in Egypt. Santa Maria Maggiore Santa Maria Maggiore has a large area of mosaics, probably from 432-440. The design of the basilica was an ordinary one amid this time in Rome: “a tall and wide nave; an aisle on either side; and a … The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the wonderful holy buildings in the Eternal City, one of the greatest symbols of Rome of the Pope, and of the Catholic Church. Located on the Esquiline Hill, Santa Maria Maggiore was founded in 432, just after the Council of Ephesus in 431, which upheld the belief that Mary truly was the mother of God; it was thus the first great church of Mary in Rome. T he fifth-century mosaics of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome represent the oldest surviving program of mosaic decoration in a Christian church.1 Its political context includes the … The basilica is the oldest of the four in Rome. Cardinal Pietro Capocci (died 1259) is mentioned in the majority of the catalogs of archpriests of Liberian Basilica but the documents from the archive of the Basilica, published by Ferri in ASRSP, vol.

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