Early Christian and Medieval Rome: A Guide to the Art and Architecture

Early Christian and Medieval Rome: A Guide to the Art and Architecture

by Cecily J. Hennessy


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Early Christian and Medieval Rome looks at the fascinating art and architecture in Rome dating from between about 300 and 1300. In the fourth and fifth centuries, Rome was the most important city in the west for the early development of buildings for Christian use and of imagery employed by both the Church authorities and by the practising Christians. Many Christians still had links with traditional Roman religions and with Judaism. It remained the most prestigious centre in the west in the following centuries, despite political upheavals. With the papacy established at its heart, patronage and artistic production prospered, with high points in the ninth and again in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.


This book explores churches, baptisteries, houses and catacombs with extraordinary mosaic and painted decoration. It also includes sculpture, reliquaries, icons, ivories and metalwork, which were used throughout the period.


It is designed to appeal to the casual visitor to the city as well as those seeking an art-historical understanding of the material. It particularly points out the cultural exchange between Christianity in the west and in the east (the Byzantine empire).

How to use

It is organised geographically as a travel guide with sites close to each other grouped together suggesting itineraries. It gives both historical and art-historical information, encouraging exploration. It also aims to suggest how to understand the subject matter, meaning and style in imagery and to look closely at works of art. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but to highlight significant material and to introduce the reader to the remarkable sites and experiences of early Christian and medieval Rome.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780957662810
Publisher: Cecily Hennessy Publications
Publication date: 07/14/2017
Pages: 104
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.27(d)

About the Author

Cecily Hennessy is Director of Studies at Christie's Education, London, where she has been for the past eleven years. She was formerly Head of Short Courses and Adult Learning at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She has travelled widely and in addition to her academic teaching and publications has led many art-historical tours and courses.

Table of Contents


Chapter one: Introduction

Chapter two: The Viminal Hill and nearby: Santa Pudenziana, Santa Maria Maggiore, Santa Prassede, Santa Susanna

Chapter three: The Forum and nearby: San Marco, Santi Cosma e Damiano, Santa Maria Nova, Santa Maria Antiqua, Santa Maria in Aracoeli, San Teodoro, San Giorgio in Velabro

Chapter four: The Caelian Hill and nearby: San Clemente, Santi Quattro Coronati, San Giovanni in Laterano, San Giovanni a Porta Latina, Santo Stefano Rotondo, Santa Maria in Domnica, Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Case Romane del Celio

Chapter five: Trastevere, the Aventine Hill and nearby: Santa Maria in Trastevere, San Crisogono, Santa Cecilia, Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Santa Sabina, San Saba

Chapter six: The Vatican area: Saint Peter’s, Saint Peter’s Treasury, Saint Peter’s Necropolis/Scavi, the Vatican Museums

Chapter seven: Beyond the city: Sant’Agnese fuori le Mura, Santa Costanza, the Catacombs, San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, San Paolo fuori le Mura

Chapter eight: Further museums: Museo nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia, Crypta Balbi, Museo nazionale dell’Alto Medioevo

Sites in Rome in order of date





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