Archive Page 2

A few more pictures from Heidelberg

The Digital Library at the University of Heidelberg is a little difficult to use at first.  But if you go to the search page and enter “romae”, you will get a list of books.  If you click on one of these, such as Montjosieu’s Romae Hospes (1585), you will get the “home page” for the book, with its link for downloading PDF’s.  Page down, and you will see a list of sections of the book, all clickable.  Choose one – any one – and click through.

This will give you a single page: but hit the “Vorschau” link at the top, and, le voila, you will get thumbnails of all pages!  This is incredibly useful, when looking for early prints.  It saves the necessity to download the PDF in most cases.

In this case we find another depiction of the Vatican obelisk and the Vatican rotunda to the south side of Old St Peter’s in Rome, on folio 10, here.  It doesn’t give us more than Dosio, but it does confirm it.


For me this settles it: the UB Heidelberg is now, officially, a really important site for anyone interested in ancient Rome.  If you don’t take the time to familiarise yourself with it, you are certainly missing out.

Dosio’s pictures of Roman ruins (1569) also online

Searching the collection at UB Heidelberg for words like “Romae”, “Romanae” produces some excellent results, if you know a few of the artists of the period.   The drawings of G. A. Dosio have been referenced before on these pages!  They come from his Urbis Romae Aedificiorum Illustriumquae Supersunt Reliquiae (1569), online here.  The thumbnails of the pages are here.

On tafel 10 is the familiar image, at full size for once, of the ruins of Aurelian’s “temple of the sun” on the Quirinal, now thought to be a temple of Serapis.


On tafel 34 is a very familiar view of the Vatican rotunda, the 3rd century tomb converted into a chapel that stood by the side of Old St Peter’s, with the Vatican obelisk, buried in the earth but in its original position.  This appears everywhere, and invariably in a defective form.  It is wonderful to see it full size!


Only a couple of images there; but very nice to have.  Again, thank you, UB Heidelberg!

More images of then-surviving Roman monuments from “Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae” by A. Lafrery (1593)

Following my post yesterday, Ste Trombetti has found that the prints by Lafrerie / Lafrery are to be located in the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae (1593).  Happily this is online in high resolution, and downloadable in PDF form, at the UB in Heidelberg here (and the page shows all the pix in thumbnail too – a very well organised site).

This means that, for the first time, we can get some decent resolution images of some of the monuments.  Some of these we have seen before, in squinny little images defaced with bumptious watermarks, but here we have the full size images.  (Click on the pictures below to get these).

First up on tafel 116 is the Seven Churches of Rome and the Old St Peter’s (1575).  This is stylised, and the surroundings of each church are incorrect; but the depiction of the basilica itself is spot-on!



Note the steps, the atrium behind it – interesting that Raphael omits the section with three arches leading into it, as being a later addition – then the  nave, with the hulk of the new basilica at the far end, and on the left the Vatican rotunda, the 3rd century tomb being used as the chapel of S. Andreas.  To the right of the church, as today, is the papal palace.

Also included by Lafrery is the picture of Old St. Peter’s (1581-86) by Claudio Duchetti & Ambrogio Brambilla, tafel 115:

lafrery_000g_Tafel_115_old_s_petersNote the pope in the Loggia, blessing the sea of people!

Next on plate 27 is the now vanished Septizonium, drawn by C. Duchetti & A. Brambilla:


Pretty marvellous!  Our thanks to the UB in Heidelberg for making all this material accessible; and in a manner which means that we can actually study it, for once!

Ancient chapter divisions, chapter headings, and tables of contents: a preliminary survey of the question

I am not an academic, and I don’t even envy those who must strive to earn a living in our universities, in these days of slender pay, little tenure, and cutbacks.  But I did once write an article for print publication.  It was on the subject of the divisions and titles and tables of contents to be found in medieval manuscripts, addressing the question of whether these are, or are not, authorial.  I concluded that the use of these is probably a 4th century phenomenon, and probably connected to the rise of the use of the codex, and that then they became authorial.

That article will never be published now.  But the content might well be of use to others.  I have, therefore, uploaded it to, and a copy is here:

This is a draft, so it contains various comments in the margin, intended for discussion.  I have left these here as the majority will probably be useful to anybody interested in the subject.  The plates are not those which I intended to us, but merely a collection of possibly useful material, prepared for discussion but never discussed.

So what on earth made me write this thing, given my lack of interest in formal publication?  Well, the truth is that I was asked to.  The story is a curious one, and a cautionary one to any non-academic interested in getting published.

In May 2013 a lecturer at York University named Mary Garrison – previously unknown to me – wrote and asked me to write a paper for book publication by Eric Kwakkel of Leiden University Press.  The subject was ancient chapter headings, chapter divisions, and so on.  The reason why she asked me is that I have online some rough notes on the subject.  There is so little in English, that these notes have appeared in academic bibliography.

Naturally I demurred, since I am not a scholar, and I knew that I would need quite a bit of guidance.  I also knew that no less an authority than Michael Reeve of Cambridge considers that such a project would require a team of scholars.  But my objections were brushed aside, assistance promised, and of course I was flattered to be asked.  The deadline was September 2013, and the length was 7,000 words.

I quickly found that writing an academic article is not a small task!  Anyway … it took all summer, and it was hard but rewarding work.  Of course I lost several months earnings, but it was worth it, if I could get an article published, or so I thought.  My emails to Mary Garrison asking advice, tho, were not answered, doubtless because of the summer break.

I sent it in, on time, and received an acknowledgement.  A month later, I asked if there was feedback, and she told me that she was printing it off.  Then … nothing.  No emails of mine were ever answered again.  In Summer 2014 I thought to write to Eric Kwakkel.  He had never heard of any such project, and he queried Mary Garrison.  In this way I learned that she had abandoned the project, some time in 2013.  I imagine that some such outcome is not too uncommon, when laymen get involved in scholarly projects which they do not own.

So there it is.  I won’t do that again.  I came away with a new respect for the sheer effort involved in formal publication of an article.  And I hope that my efforts on the subject will spur more work on this neglected area. There is still no other useful introduction in English.  Enjoy!

Some more images of Old St Peter’s basilica in Rome

This evening I did a Google Images search for images of Old St Peter’s basilica in Rome.  I’ve put some of these online before; but it’s always worth searching again, as new material appears all the time.

Note that you can click on these images to get a larger picture sometimes.

Via this site I learn of the existence of a map of Rome by Etienne du Perac (1577); curiously not from the text, but by inspecting the HTML source for the page!  Here’s a detail of it, highlighting the fountain that stood in the atrium:

pianta di Roma di Etienne Du Perac (1577), particolare del Vaticano.

Pianta di Roma di Etienne Du Perac (1577), particolare del Vaticano.

The same site also has a drawing of the fountain from somewhere, made anonymously ca. 1525.  One would like to know where this clearly well-informed website got its information!

La fontana di San Pietro, in un disegno a penna di anonimo del 1525

La fontana di San Pietro, in un disegno
a penna di anonimo del 1525

The huge brass pine-cone still stands in a courtyard in the Vatican, as those who have done the tour well know.  I wonder whether the item has any connection with the cult of Cybele, for a Phrygianum once stood somewhere on the hill, as the 4th century regionary catalogues indicate, and a bunch of 4th century inscriptions from it were dug up near the piazza outside new St. Peter’s.

Next let’s have a drawing of the construction of new St Peter’s.  The remains of the old nave stand to the left here, for this is a shot of the hulk of the new basilica from the north side.  The author is Martin van Heemskerk, in 1536.

Van Heemskerk, Construction of basilica, 1536.

Van Heemskerk, Construction of basilica, 1536.

Now another drawing (caution – the site plays audio at you!), this time showing the construction from the west.  The pointy tower on the front of the old basilica still stands, with some of the nave behind it.  But to the right is a circular building; the chapel of San Andreas, or “Vatican Rotunda”, a 3rd century tomb converted into a chapel.  And is the tip of the Vatican obelisk just visible beyond it?


Now here’s another overview shot.  This, I learn from Anna Blennow – thank you! – is a detail from Antonio Lafreri’s image of the seven churches of Rome, 1575, here.  The surroundings of the church are not accurate, but the general layout is.  It shows the Vatican rotunda, just to the left side of the nave, with the atrium – and fountain – behind the raggedly front facade.


I also found online a picture of a model from the Vatican museums, although it was back-to-front on the site on which I found it!  It shows the Vatican rotunda, with the obelisk before it (although not the surrounding houses); and also the other 3rd century tomb behind it, the chapel of S. Petronilla, in which the Empress Maria, the young wife of the Emperor Honorius, was buried.  That tomb was demolished very early in the rebuilding, and the grave of the empress found and emptied.


However the most exciting pictures are some colour paintings that had previously passed unnoticed.  The first is a painting of the burning of the Borgo, a district nearby, by none other than Raphael himself!

Raphael, The burning of the Borgo, detail.

Raphael, The burning of the Borgo, detail.

In the background is the tower, and to the left of it, the facade of the main church inside the atrium!  This, as we shall see, was indeed painted yellow, with pictures on it.  Ste Trombetti kindly drew my attention to this site, which zooms in yet further:

Raphael, Burning of the Borgo, more detailed

Raphael, Burning of the Borgo, more detailed

This shows the pope in the tower, and the church behind (not sure that all the elements are in their real and historical places here; but we don’t care, because we get these marvellous pictures).  The image of the stonework in particular gives a sense of scale otherwise difficult to sense in many of the old pictures.

The next image, a fresco from the sacristy in the modern Vatican, from Art Resource gives us a sadly low-resolution image of the exterior of the old basilica, which lines up very nicely with Raphael’s depiction (a high res image can doubtless be purchased at that site).

The atrium and entrance to the nave of old St Peter's.

The atrium and entrance to the nave of old St Peter’s.

Finally, also from Art Resource, is another image from the Vatican museum, this time with an unusual “head on” view of the outside of the basilica.  It shows the coronation of Sixtus V in 1585  A larger image of this would be very welcome!

Coronation of Sixtus V outside Old St Peter's.

Coronation of Sixtus V outside Old St Peter’s.

That’s it for now.  Many thanks indeed to Ste Trombetti and Anna Blennow, who saw these images being posted on Twitter and contributed their better images!

The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 11 (part 4)

Let’s continue reading this.  I’m taking the Italian translation by Pirone – itself a near-impossible item to obtain -, running it through Google Translate and cleaning up the output.  I know that “no true scholar” would do this; but since I see evidence that people simply don’t know what may be found in Eutychius, it seems worth doing.

9. Constantine was baptized in a town called Nicomedia, in the twelfth year of his reign.  He gave orders to build churches in each country and to take from the Crown Treasury the money with which to make enough vessels for the churches.  In the first year of his reign Eusebius was made patriarch of Rome.  He held the office for six years and died.  In the seventh year of his reign Miltiades was made patriarch of Rome (22).  He held the office for four years and died.  In the eleventh year of his reign Sylvester was made patriarch of Rome (23).  He held the office for twenty-eight years old and died.  In his ninth year in office the council was held in the city of Nicaea (24).  In the third year of the reign of Constantine Filūniqūs [= Philogonus] was also made patriarch of Antioch.  He held the office for five years and died.  In the ninth year of his reign Paulinus was made patriarch of Antioch.  He held the office for five years and died. In the fifteenth year of his reign Istāt [=Eustathius] was made patriarch of Antioch. He held the office for eight years and died.  In his fifth year in office there was the council in the city of Nicaea.  In the first year of the reign of Constantine Asun was made bishop of Jerusalem (25). He held the seat for nine years and died.  In the tenth year of his reign Macarius was made bishop of Jerusalem.  He held the seat for nineteen years and died.  In his tenth year in office there was the council in the city of Nicaea.  In the fifth year of the reign of Constantine there was also made patriarch of Alexandria Alexander, a disciple of Peter Martyr, the patriarch of Alexandria who had been killed, a companion of Ashillā, patriarch of Alexandria.  He held the seat for sixteen years and died.  In his fifteenth year in office there was the Council of Nicaea in the city because Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, had forbidden Arius to enter the church, and excommunicated him saying: “Arius is accursed because the patriarch Peter, before his martyrdom, told us: “God has cursed Arius: do  not receive him and not let him go in with you into the church.”  At the head of the city of Asyut (26), in the province of Egypt, there was a bishop named Meletius who shared the doctrine of Arius.  The patriarch Alexander excommunicated him.  There was at Alexandria a great temple that Queen Cleopatra had built in honor of Saturn, inside which was kept a large bronze idol which was called Mika’il.  The inhabitants of Alexandria and Egypt were accustomed, every twelve month of Hathor, i.e. Tishrin ath-Thani (27), to celebrate, in honor of this idol, a great festival during which they offered many sacrifices.  When he became Patriarch of Alexandria and having everywhere publicly professed the Christian religion, Alexander decided to destroy the idol and to put an end to the sacrifices. But since the people of Alexandria objected, he tricked them by saying: “From this idol can be expected neither utility nor profit. I would suggest, therefore, that you celebrate this feast in honor of the angel Michael and offer him these sacrifices that you may intercede for you before God, and so benefit you better than this idol.”  Having them willingly accepted his words, [the patriarch] demolished the idol and put up a cross, and he called the temple “the church of [St] Michael” which is the church now called ”al-Qaysariyyah”, which was burned and destroyed at the time of entry into Alexandria of Magharibah. The festival and sacrifices were thus dedicated to the archangel Michael.  Even today the Copts of Alexandria and Egypt are accustomed to celebrate on this day the archangel Michael, cutting the throat of many animals in his honour.

10. When Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, interdicted Arius from entering the church and excommunicated him, the latter appealed to King Constantine, asking him to help him against the patriarch of Alexandria.  With Arius joined two bishops, one of whom was called Eumenius, bishop of the city of Nicomedia (28), and the other Eusebius, bishop of the city of Phila (29). They appealed to King Constantine, and Arius said: “Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, has acted unfairly against me and wrongly expelled me from the church.”  And so saying, he asked him to convene the church in order to discuss the matter openly in the presence of the king.  Constantine then sent his messenger to Alexandria and summoned the Patriarch in order to arrange a meeting between him and Arius and so to adjudicate the affair. King Constantine said to Arius: “Expound your doctrine.” Arius said: “I assert that the Father has always been, before the Son was. Then it is fact that the Son is the Word but he is created and made. Then the Father gave the Son, who is named Word, the power to be creator of the heavens and the earth and what is between them, as he himself said in his holy Gospel in the passage where he says: ‘I have been given all authority on heaven and on earth.’ He was not, therefore, creator by his own power but by that which had been conferred on him.  I assert that this Word then took on a body over time, in the womb of the Virgin Mary and by the power of the Holy Spirit so as to become one Christ.  Christ, therefore, is the result of putting together the Word and the flesh, both, however, created”.

11. To this Alexander replied, saying: “Tell us, what do you think is more important for us: to worship the one who created us, or to worship one who did not create us?” And Arius said: “Worshipping the one who created us.” Alexander replied: “If the Son created us, as you assert, and the Son is [in his turn] created, it follows that to worship the Son who created us is more proper than to worship the Father, who is uncreated; indeed, to worship the Father creator would be an impiety and to worship the created Son an act of the pure faith.  But that would be the most absurd of things.”  The king found the argument [of Alexander] was right, along with the others who were present with him, and found that the doctrine of Arius was instead absurd.  There were many other questions and answers between the two, but in the end the king Constantine authorized Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, to excommunicate Arius and anyone who upheld his doctrine. Alexander then said to the king Constantine: “No, it is for the king himself to convene the patriarchs and bishops, so that there is a council at which to deliver a judgment, to excommunicate Arius and set forth the true faith, in order to present it with clear wording to all nations.” Constantine then sent his messengers into all countries and gathered the patriarchs and bishops.  Within a year and two months there gathered at Nicaea two thousand and forty-eight bishops of differing opinions and religions.  For there were those who claimed that Christ and his mother are two other gods, and these were the Barbarāniyyah, also called Maryamiyyūn;(30) there were those who claimed that the Son comes from the Father like the flame of a fire fed by the same fire, and that the former is not subject to reduction by the fact that he depends on the second, and this was the doctrine of Sabellius and his followers; there were those who claimed that Mary had by no means kept Christ in her womb for nine months, but that he passed through her belly like water goes into the gutter (31), since the Word came in by her ear and immediately went out to where the baby comes out, and this was the doctrine of Ebanus and his followers; there were those who said that Christ is a man and was created by the Deity like each of us as to the substance, which is the principle of the Son of Mary, and that, having been chosen to be the saviour of the human substance by virtue of divine grace that came down and dwelt in him through love and will, for this reason he was called the Son of God. And there were those who said that God is one substance and one person, and that he was called by three names but they did not believe either in Word or in the Holy Spirit, and it was this, the doctrine of Paul of Samosata, Patriarch of Antioch, and its followers, that the Paulicians held.  There were those who argued that there are three gods, one good, one bad and a third one sharing in both, and this was the doctrine of the excommunicated Marcion and his followers, who claimed that Marcion was the leader of the Apostles, denying that role to the Apostle Peter.  And there, finally, those who supported the divinity of Christ, and this was the doctrine of the apostle Paul and the three hundred and eighteen bishops (32).

When King Constantine heard their doctrines, he was very surprised at many of their differences and put at their disposal a building where he gave them space, ordering them to talk to each other in order to determine on which side was the true religion to follow.  Of these, the Three hundred and Eighteen found themselves unanimous on one doctrine and one religion, after discussing with each other and with the other bishops.  They refuted the arguments of the others, and proclaimed the true faith, while the other bishops even among themselves held to conflicting doctrines and religions.  The king then for the three hundred and eighteen bishops had a large room set aside, sat among them, and took his ring, his sword and his scepter and handed them to them, saying: “Today I have given you authority over my kingdom, to do what seems appropriate to you to do for the definition of right religion and for the good of the faithful.”  They blessed the king, girded on his sword and said: “Profess publicly the Christian religion and be its defender.”  Then they wrote for him forty books containing the constitutions and laws, some of which related to what the king should know and do, and other related to the responsibility of making the bishops.  The leader and president of the council was Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, along with Eustathius, Patriarch of Antioch, and Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem.  Silvester, patriarch of Rome, had sent as his representatives two priests, one of whom was called Vitus and the other Vincentius (33).  [The Three hundred and eighteen] unanimously sanctioned the expulsion of Arius and his followers, excommunicated him and all those who supported his doctrine, and formulated the profession of faith by establishing that the Son was born of the Father before all ages, and that the Son is of the substance of the Father, uncreated.  They appointed then Metrophanes as patriarch of Constantinople.  They were also unanimous in stating that the Christian Easter should be celebrated on the Sunday after the Passover of the Jews, and that the Passover of the latter should not to be celebrated in place of the day of Easter for Christians.  Also they confirmed what had been said on the Calculation of the days of fasting and Easter by Demetrius, patriarch of Alexandria, Ghayānūs (34), Bishop of Jerusalem, Maximus, Patriarch of Antioch and Victor, Patriarch of Rome, and that is that the fasting of Christians must end on Easter day, or on the Sunday after the Passover of the Jews.

A useful paper on Eutychius of Alexandria (Sa`id ibn Batriq); and some rueful reflections on why a useful tax-funded book has been made copyright of Brill

A little while ago I came across an article, online in PDF format, which contained much the most useful overview known to me of the life and works of the 10th century Melkite patriarch of Alexandria, Eutychius, known to the Arabs as Sa`id ibn Bitriq.  The author is Uriel Simonsohn, an Israeli academic, and the paper appears in Christian-Muslim Relations: A bibliographical history, ed. David Thomas &c, Brill, 2010, vol. 2 (900-1050), p.224.  This series of volumes gives details of the writers and their works, and is incredibly useful, or would be if anyone could access it (of which more anon).

Dr Simonsohn has, thankfully, made his article available, and from it we can judge the quality of the work done.  A couple of excerpts:

Little can be established with certainty about the life and career of Saʿīd ibn Batṛīq, a 10th-century Melkite patriarch of Alexandria. The earliest source to provide some detail is a 13th- or 14th-century copy of Ibn Batṛīq’s historiographical treatise, allegedly written by the patriarch himself (Ibn Batṛīq, Eutychii, ed. Cheikho, Carra de Vaux and Zayyat, ii, pp. 69-70, 86-87). It is here that we are informed for the first time that Ibn Batṛīq, the mutatạbbib, i.e. a practitioner of medicine, was born in Fustạ̄t ̣ in the eighth year of the caliphate of al-Muʿtamid (r. 870-92), i.e. 877, and was appointed in 933 as patriarch of Alexandria by the Caliph al-Qāhir (r. 932-34), whereupon he was named Eutychius; he died in 940.  …

The Arabic historiographical treatise known as the Annales, following its Latin translation by E. Pococke in 1658-59, is also known as Kitāb naẓm al-jawhar, ‘String of pearls’ and Kitāb al-taʾrīkh al-majmūʿ ʿalāl-taḥqīq wa-l-taṣdīq, ‘The book of history, compiled through investigation and verification’. Although the work has often been referred to as a Byzantine universal history, nothing in the composition suggests its classification within a particular category of historiographical works. Rather, the work reflects a mixture of diverse historiographical traditions, among which one can list Eusebian chronography, Sasanian and Muslim historiographies, Palestinian hagiography, and legendary tales of various sorts. It was completed, according to al-Antạ̄kī, in 938.

The oldest manuscript copy of the work, MS Sinai, Monastery of St Catherine – Ar. 582 (163 folios), represents the oldest known text of the Annales. Indeed, Michel Breydy, who has presented the most detailed study of the manuscript, has argued that the text is the autograph of Ibn Batṛīq himself. The manuscript has the dimensions of a notebook and consists of 163 folios. According to Breydy, it lacks roughly two parts of the beginning of the original work and six of its end. Furthermore, the part referring to the caliphs al-Qāhir (r. 932-34) and al-Rāḍī (r. 934-40), could not have been composed by Ibn Batṛīq himself. The original manuscript may have consisted of 242 folios, of which 23 are missing at the beginning and about 56 at the end. A comparison of the text of MS Sinai Ar. 582 with the texts conserved in later manuscripts, reveals evident traces of successive manipulations, as well as divergences of the later texts from the earliest (and possibly original) version.  …

 Finally, a particular work from which Ibn Batṛīq drew much of his narrative is the Arabic translation of the history of the Sasanid kings, prepared by the Muslim convert ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Muqaffaʿ (d. c. 756). A strikingly literal correspondence between the last section of MS Sinai Ar. 582 and Muslim sources that conserve a textual transmission that had originated with the Egyptian muḥaddith ʿUthmān ibn Ṣāliḥ (d. 834) regarding the conquest of Egypt, allows us to believe that Ibn Batṛīq had similarly transcribed extracts from other Muslim authors as well. …

The Annales are currently extant in some 30 manuscripts, copied both in the Near East and in the West. …

It’s all excellent stuff, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Eutychius or the works of Christian Arabic historiography.

But there is a snag.  Looking at the preview (p.iv), I see that “This project was supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council” – that sounds like taxpayers money -, which makes it all the more odd that the copyright has been given away to Brill, a commercial publisher, and the output is not open-access.  Shame on you, AHRC!

The volume has a couple of introductory papers, and then, starting on p.74, a series of entries on literary figures who wrote in Arabic on the subject of relations between Christians and Muslims, complete with bibliography.  This material is of the highest value, when we consider how difficult it is to access anything in English, and it is really a scandal that it is offline and inaccessible.

I see that eBooks of the volumes do exist – doubtless made available on subscription only to university libraries.  But what use is that to those of us who pay for them?

I have nothing against Brill; but if we paid for this, and it seems likely that we did, then it should not be the property of a commercial company, to be exploited by selling it back to the universities that produced it.

Gamucci’s images of the Septizonium; the Temple of the Sun; the Arch of Claudius; and the obelisk and Vatican Rotunda

Ste. Trombetti has continued to search through early books and prints for images of vanished Rome.  Here is another example, from the 1565 work Dell’Antichita di Roma by Bernardo Gamucci.[1]  It depicts the remains of the monumental facade that Septimius Severus built across the end of the Palatine hill facing the Appian Way.  Behind it we can see the Arch of Constantine, behind which stands the Colosseum.  Known as the Septizonium, it was clearly falling down, and was shortly afterwards taken down for its materials.

Further on in the same volume, on p.123, we find a depiction of part of the “Temple of the Sun” or “House of Nero” on the Quirinal, which was most probably actually a temple of Serapis:


On p.151 is an image of the “Arch of Domitian”, which the text says may be the Arch of Claudius.  This is also a long-demolished item, of which I have never seen any drawings.  Does anybody know?

Arch of Domitian (or Claudius). Gamucci, 1565.

Arch of Domitian (or Claudius). Gamucci, 1565.

On page 195 there is a marvellous drawing made of the south side of St Peter’s; mostly Old St Peter’s, but with the new church rising in the distance.  In front of us is the obelisk that now stands in St Peter’s square, but then stood, still, in its original position.  Behind it stands a circular 3rd century tomb, the Vatican Rotunda, long since converted into a chapel of St Andrew.

Obelisk and Vatican Rotunda, on the south side of Old St Peter's in Rome. Gamucci, 1565.

Obelisk and Vatican Rotunda, on the south side of Old St Peter’s in Rome. Gamucci, 1565.

  1. [1] B. Gamucci, Libri quattro dell’antichità della Citta di Roma: raccolte sotto breuita da diversi antichi et moderni scrittori, Venice: G. Varisco &c, 1565. Online at Google books here, or in better quality at Heidelberg here.

The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 11 (part 3)

The story continues… sadly with very little historical value.

7.  Constantine made the necessary preparations and prepared to fight against Maxentius, King of the Romans.  He had prepared a large cross, placed it on top of a standard, and went against Maxentius, king of Rome.  Having heard that Constantine had moved to fight against him, Maxentius prepared to face him, and chose a bridge over the river in front of Rome as the place of battle. Then he came out with all his men, and fought against Constantine, who conquered and triumphed making a great slaughter of his men.  Maxentius tried to return into the city with the rest of the soldiers, but the bridge gave way and he drowned with all his men: the river was choked with drowned and killed men.  With golden crowns and every kind of music, the inhabitants of Rome poured out of the town to meet Constantine and celebrated the triumph with great jubilation.

On entering the city, [Constantine] ordered that the bodies of the Christian martyrs, and those who were crucified, should be buried.  All those who had fled, and those whom Maxentius had exiled, returned to their country and to their homes, and those who had seen them confiscated got them back.  The inhabitants of Rome made festival for seven days in honour of Constantine and the Cross, eating, drinking and rejoicing.  On hearing these things Maximian, called Galerius, was furious, gathered his troops and went out to fight against Constantine.  Hearing about this, Constantine also prepared his army and went to fight him. But when the men of Maximian saw the cross on the banner they fled: many were killed, others were taken prisoner and others begged to be spared.  Maximian fled away naked, and passed as a traveller, from place to place until he came to his city.  Here he called the priests of his gods, the magicians, the soothsayers that he loved so much, and whose recommendations he followed, and had them beheaded so that they would not fall into the hands of Constantine and serve him.  God sent down into the body of Maximian a devouring fire, so that his bowels were falling to pieces from the intense burning sensation that he had inside.  His eyes swelled to the point that they fell out, coming out of their sockets, and his flesh was burned so much as to break away from the bones, and he died the worst of deaths.

8. Constantine ruled all the territories of the Romans, in tranquility and peace. This was in forty-first year of the reign of Sabur, son of Hurmuz, king of the Persians.  Constantine was the son of Constantius, son of Wālantiyūs, son of Arsis, son of Decius, son of King Claudius, who lived in Rome at the time of the Apostles.  Constantine had a general whom he loved and preferred to the others, named Licinius.  He gave him his sister Constantina, entrusted him with the government and ordered him to honour the Christians, to love them and not to hurt any of them. When he came into his kingdom, Licinius returned to the worship of idols and ordered that the Christians should be put to death.  In his day found martyrdom the soldier Theodorus, Metropolitan of Barqah, and the Forty Martyrs, originating in the city of Sebastia of Cappadocia (20). Licinius had in Sebastia a lieutenant named Agricolaus. He had the Forty Martyrs brought outside the city of Cappadocia, and thrown naked into a pool of water, where on account of the excess cold, because of the snow, they died of frostbite.  Only one of them got out of the pool and headed for a tepidarium which was located at the shore of the lake to warm up, but the tepidarium collapsed on him, killing him instantly. The captain of the guard guarding the Forty then saw forty crowns of light coming down from heaven and resting on the heads of those martyrs, but one of these was suspended in the air.  The guard then stripped off his garments, and threw himself into the pool and believed in Christ, earning for himself the crown of light.  Then they took them out of the pool and loaded them on to a cart. There was, among them, a young man who had not yet died and was left aside.  His mother, who was standing beside them, had in fact picked him up to put him on the cart with the others, but would not release him because he was still alive. He expired on her shoulder and only then could she place him on the cart along with the martyrs. Then they took them out of the city of Sebastia and burned them. Informed of the fact, King Constantine wrote a letter to Licinius in which he rebuked him for what he had done.  But [Licinius] did not repent; indeed he gathered a large army and went to fight against Constantine who confronted him with his own soldiers in Bithynia.  [Licinius] was defeated; he was taken prisoner and was brought before Constantine who demoted him then to the city of Thessaloniki and designated him as his prefect.  Here he tried to gather a new army among the people of Thessaloniki with the intent to set out again against Constantine who, having heard about this, sent some of his men and killed him, cutting off his head.

Draft translation of Chrysostom’s “Laus Diodori” now online

Regular correspondent IG has written to say that her translation of the Laus Diodori by Chrysostom (PG 52: 761-766 = CPG 4406) is now available online on here.  It’s just the bare translation, no commentary yet; but it’s there and it’s hot!