Tag Archive for 'Vatican'

Another image of the Vatican rotunda

In the modern basilica of St Peter’s in Rome, the high altar is at the west end. The same was true of the basilica built in the 4th century by Constantine. By the south door of the basilica stood two large round buildings, which ran in a line west-east.  The western-most of these was demolished […]

What did the Romans bury with a 5th century empress?

The demolition of the Constantinian basilica of St Peter’s in Rome, in the 16th century, in order to build the present church, also required the demolition of the neighbouring circular chapel of St Petronilla.  This building stood next to the south door, and probably predated the basilica.  Like the chapel of St Andrew nearby, it […]

Ancient sources on the Gaianum / Circus of Nero

It might be useful to gather all the ancient testimonies on the Circus of Nero / Circus of Gaius, on the Vatican, and see what they do, and do not, tell us. Pliny the Elder, Natural History, NH book 36, chapter 14 / section 70 (Loeb, vol. 10, p.54-5): Divus Claudius aliquot per annos adservatam, qua […]

Piranesi’s drawing of Old St Peter’s square ca. 1660

Via Wikimedia:

A wooden model of Old St Peter’s

I found this on Wikimedia Commons here, and adjusted the image to make it clearer.

Old St Peters, the Circus of Caligula and the Phrygianum

The Vatican hill is famous today for the great basilica of St Peters, constructed in the third decade of the fourth century by Constantine, and demolished and rebuilt in the 16th century.  A collection of essays on this building appeared in 2013, edited by R. McKitterick, which contains various interesting snippets. Few today are familiar […]

How to find the digital manuscripts at the Bodleian-Vatican project

Lots of ballyhoo in the press, but it is remarkably difficult to find any actual manuscripts digitised by this project, paid for by Leonard Polonsky (to whom all kudos), between the Vatican and the Bodleian libraries. Anyway, the Greek manuscripts to be digitised are listed here: http://bav.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/items-to-be-digitized-greek-manuscripts The tiny number that have been done so […]

Vatican manuscripts online!

Mike Aquilina of Way of the Fathers has drawn my attention to a Vatican Radio announcement: 256 Vatican manuscripts have gone online.  A list by shelfmark is here.  They are mostly from the Palatine collection, which in turn contains a lot of the loot from the ancient monastery of Lorsch, destroyed during the 30 years […]

Digitising the manuscripts of Lorsch

After my last post, I started looking for evidence of the work of Heidelberg university in digitising Vatican manuscripts.  To my astonishment, I found a website for the now vanished library of the abbey of Lorsch!  It seems that a team from Heidelberg have been attempting to recreate this Dark Ages library, full of very interesting […]

Vatican (and Bodleian?) Greek manuscripts to go online?

Mike Aquilina writes to tell me about a new manuscript digitisation initiative.  The BBC has an article on the story: Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries and the Vatican’s Biblioteca Apostolica plan to digitise 1.5 million ancient texts to make them available online. The two libraries announced the four-year project after receiving a £2m award from the Polonsky […]