200 IH. Southern Quarters. ROME. a. The Capitol;
Transept. On the right and left, by the pillars of the nave, are two
"Ambones from the old choir, by Laurentius and Jacobus Cosmas. The Chapel
on the right belongs to the Savelli ; on the right and left (the latter including
an ancient sarcophagus) are monuments of the family, of the 13th and 14th
cent, (of the parents and a brother of Honorius IV.). — The left transept
contains a rectangular canopy, borne by 8 columns of alabaster, called
the Cappella Santa, or di S. Elena. Beneath the aitar, destroyed during
the French Revolution but restored in 1835, the remains of S. Helena are
said to repose in an ancient sarcophagus of porphyry. The present aitar
also encloses an ancient aitar, hearing the inscription Ara Primogeniti
Dei, which is said to have been erected by Augustus. According to a
legend of the 12th cent., this was the spot where the Sibyl of Tibur ap¬
peared to the emperor, whom the senate proposed to elevate to the rank
of a god, and disclosed to him the new Revelation. Hence the name,
'Church of the Aitar of Heaven'. At the end of the N. transept is the
monument of Mattheeus of Acquasparta (d. 1302), the general of the Fran-
ciscans, mentioned by Dante.
Choir. To the left, the handsome tomb of Giov. Batt. Savelli (d. 1498).
From 1512 to 1565 the high-altar was adorned with the Madonna of Foligno
by Raphael (p. 293). The donor, Sigismondo Conti da Foligno, is interred
here. The present altar-piece is an ancient picture of the Madonna, ascribed
to St. Luke.
The Franciscan monastery belonging to the church was pulled
down in 1888 to make room for the Monument of Victor Emma¬
nuel IL, designed by Count Gius. Sacconi. The work, which is being
erected on the N. end of the Capitol, has already swallowed up over
six million francs as the cost of the site (p. 165), substructures,
preliminary operations, etc.
The Central Approach, ascending in low steps paved with
asphalt ('la cordonnata'), leads direct to the Piazza del Campidoglio.
At the foot of the steps are copies of the Egyptian Lions mentioned
at p. 207, and at the top a group of the horse-taming Dioscuri, which
are said once to have adorned the theatre of Pompey. In the pleasure-
grounds to the left is a Bronze Statue of Cola di Rienzo, by Masini.
The pedestal, formed of ancient architectural and inscribed frag¬
ments, is intended to suggest Rienzi's antiquarian studies. Above
is a cage containing a couple of wolves.
The design of the present *Piazza del Campidoglio, or Square
of the Capitol (PI. II, 20), is due to Michael Angelo, and its execu¬
tion was begun in 1536 by Paul III. (comp. p. 199). The palaces
of the Conservatori and Senators were already in existence, but
their facades were altered. Michael Angelo superintended in person
the erection of the statue of Marcus Aurelius and the construction
of the staircase-approach and of the flight of steps in front of the
palace of the Senators ; the rest was executed from his plans by his
successors. The slanting position of the palaces at the sides, which
causes the piazza to seem larger than it is, is due to the situation of
the earlier palace of the Conservatori. — On the balustrade in front,
at the sides of the Dioscuri, are the so-called Trophies of Marius,
from the water-tower of that name of the Aqua Julia (p. 155),
and the statues of the Emp. Constantine and his son Constans from
the Thermae of Constantine (p. 150). On the right is the first mile-