Sunday, September 22, 2019

St. PRISCA

S. PRISCA
Via di S. Prisca 11

According to tradition, it was the house of Aquila and Priscilla, parents of Prisca who was beheaded in the period of Emperor Claudius (41/54). Aquila and Priscilla would have housed here St. Peter and St. Paul
Oratory of the third century which became a church in the fifth century, when there is the first mention of the TITULUS PRISCAE
Restored in 772 by Adrian I (772/795) and at the time of Paschal II (1099/1118)
Shortened in 1456 by Callistus III Borgia (1455/58)

In the years 1599/1600 Carlo Lambardi (1545/1619) for Clement VIII Aldobrandini (1592/1605) reduced the size of the preexisting building, restored nave, chancel and confession, rebuilt the fa├žade and enlarged the square

“The brick curtain and the planned simplification of forms with the portal flanked by Ionic columns supporting a simple triangular pediment, reflect the character 'as an oratory' (Antinori) of the church, which is also to be found in the pictorial decoration of the building, carried out by the Florentine Anastasio Fontebuoni” (Enrico Parlato - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)

In 1728 Clement XIII Rezzonico (1758 /69) restored the interior

In 1935 restoration at the behest of the Augustinians monks to whom the church had been assigned

A fragment of the Forma Urbis, the marble map of the beginning of the third century AD, shows the presence of the BATHS OF LICINIUS SURA located west of St. Prisca
Licinius Sura was a friend of Emperor Trajan (98/117)

WALLS OF THE CENTRAL NAVE frescoes “Saints and angels with instruments of the Passion of Christ” and WALLS OF THE APSE “Stories of the martyrdom of St. Prisca” of the beginning of 1600s by Anastasio Fontebuoni (1571/1626)

ON THE RIGHT
“Composite capital” of the Antonine period mistakenly believed the baptismal font used by St. Peter to baptize St. Prisca, placed here in 1948 with clasp and bronze group “Baptism of Jesus” by Antonio Biggi (1904 /66)

MAIN ALTAR
Altarpiece “Baptism of St. Prisca” about 1600 by Domenico Crespi aka Passignano (1559/1638)
Above the door of the tower “Annunciation” of the fifteenth century

SACRISTY
“Immaculate Conception and Angels” maybe by Giovanni Odazzi (1663/1731)


Mitreo di S. Prisca

Mithraeum of St. Prisca

Building dating back to about 95 AD to the north of the church, converted into a house in about 110 with a great apsidal nymph to the south
Maybe it was the HOUSE OF LICINIUS SURA friend of Trajan (98/117)

At the end of the second century a building with two aisles was added in the south (maybe the titulus) and the mithraeum that would be violently destroyed in about 400, probably by Christians intolerant to the cult of Mithras 
Discovered in 1934 and excavated in the years 1953/66 by Dutch archaeologists

DIFFERENT PHASES OF THE BUILDING:
1) House of the first century AD with a four-sided portico

2) Apsidal nymphaeum of the time of Trajan (98/117)

3) Building with two naves of the second century AD, where was the original titulus
4) Rooms adapted at the end of the second century AD to the cult of Mithras with frescoes showing the “Seven degrees of initiation” and “Image of Mithra with Saturn lying” in stucco, where the stucco was applied over some amphorae

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