32S Route 48. RAVENNA. Dante's Tomb.
and Guido da Polenta his patrons; opposite the entrance is a half-
length relief of Dante, and below it a sarcophagus, a marble urn in
which now contains the poet's remains. It bears an epitaph attri¬
buted to Dante himself : —
Jura Monarchiae, Superos, Phlegethonta lacusque
Lustrando cecini, voluerunt fata quousque,
Sed quia pars cessit melioribus hospita castris,
A(u)ctoremque suum petiit felicior astris,
Hie claudor Dantes, patriis zxtorris ab oris,
Quern genuit parvi Florencia mater amoris.
The visitors' book formerly kept here, and now preserved at the
library (p. 327), contains the following beautiful lines (Purg. xi.,
100), written by Pope Pius IX. when here on a visit in 1857:
Non e il mondan rumore altro che un fiato
Di vento cKor va quinci ed or va quindi,
E muta nome, perche muta lato.
A marble slab opposite the tomb indicates the site once occu¬
pied by the palace of Guido da Polenta.
S. Michele in Affricisco (PL 20; D, 4), erected in the 6th cent.,
but now destroyed with the exception of the apse and the clock-
tower, still contains fragments of old frescoes.
The Torre del Pubblico (PL 44; D, 3), a little to the N., is a
square leaning tower, of which the history is obscure.
S. Domenico (PL 9), a basilica in the vicinity, founded by the
exarchs and subsequently restored, is adorned with paintings of
Niccolb Rondinelli of Ravenna. — Near Porta Adriana is the pictur¬
esque little church of S. Giovanni e Paolo (PL 14; B, 3, 4), with
an ancient tower, square below, and round above. An ambo in
the interior resembles that in the cathedral (p. 325).
*S. Vitale (PL 5; C, 3) was erected in 1526 during the reign of
Justinian by Archb. Ecclesius on the spot where St. Vitalis suffered
martyrdom, and was consecrated by St. Maximian in 547. It served
as a model for the church of St. Sophia at Constantinople (begun
in 532), and also to Charlemagne for the cathedral of Aix-la-Cha-
pelle. The church is octagonal (37i/2 yds. in diameter), with a
choir, three-sided on the exterior, and round in the interior, added
to it on the E. side.
The Interior, unfortunately marred by modern restoration, is divided
by ei^ht massive pillars into a central space with a passage around it.
Between the pillars are semicircular niches with pairs of columns and
arches, in two series, one above the other, over which rises the dome,
constructed of earthen vessels. Each of the windows in the dome is di¬
vided by a mullion into two round-arched halves. The lower parts of the
pillars are still incrusted with their original coating of rare marble
('Afiicanone1). The pavement has beon raised more than 3 ft., and the
street is 7 ft. above the former level.
The Choir is adorned with admirable '-Mosaics, which are however
inferior in style to those of earlier date in the Baptistery (p. 326) and to
those of S. Maria in Cosmedin (p. 330): Christ enthroned on the globe,
angels on both sides; on the right St. Vitalis, and on the left Ecclesius with
the church itself. Below, (1.) Emp. Justinian with the bishop Maximian
and attendants, and (r.) the Empress Theodora with the ladies of her
court, botb presenting offerines. On Mn> ».rr>h of *w ^v>..;- ~-3 represented