Pilgrims who visited the Holy Land between the IV and VII century

Illustrations 11: From Rome to Milan (37-39)

37. The Roman Forum  37.

View of the Roman Forum. This was the main centre of ancient Rome. Nearby stood the most sacred temple (Capitolium), the Senate-house (Curia), the law court (Massentius' Basilica), the amphitheater (Colossaeum), the imperial residence (palatium). All of these civic and pagan buildings were still in their splendour when the pilgrim of Bordeaux passed through the old capital of the Empire. It was only later, during mediaeval times, that they fell to ruins or were transformed into Christian religious buildings.


At the source of the Clitumnus, a pagan temple (Sacraria) was later converted into a church (5th century AD). According to Greek and Roman belief, sources and watercourses were inhabited by a lower rank of goddesses called 'nymphae'. Water was always seen as a life-giver. In the Christian Faith, the true life-giver is the cross of Christ, and the servants of God are the Angels. This is stated in the Latin inscription running on the frieze:
+ SCS DEVS ANGELORVM QUI FECIT RESURRECTIONEM +, "Holy is the God of the Angels who made the resurrection".

38. The Clitumnus source

39. Two milestones  


On Roman roads, miles were marked by stones (milestones) bearing information about distances and about the builders or restorers of the road. These milestones were found near Bologna (Italy), on the Via Aemilia. The milestone on the left, is "only" 181 cm high, and bears the name of M. Aemilius Lepidus (consul in 187 BC) the builder of the road. The distance, 268 miles, is given from Rome. The milestone on the right is one of the largest ever found: it is 3.30 meters tall. A Latin inscription informs us that Emperor Augustus, in the year 2 or 1 BC, did some restorations on the same road. The distance, 79 miles from Rimini is given.

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Project, design, research and realization carried out by Eugenio Alliata ofm,
assistant professor of Christian Archaeology at SBF-Jerusalem.
Updated Thu, Dec 9, 1999 at 04:50 by John Abela ofm - Space by courtesy of Christus Rex
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