172 I. N. and E. Hills. ROME. d. S. Maria Maggiore.
** Santa Maria Maggiore (PL II, 27), also named Basilica Li-
beriana, or Sancta Maria ad Nives, or Sancta Maria ad Praesepe, from
the manger which it contains, is the largest of the eighty churches
in Rome dedicated to the Virgin. It is one of the five patriarchal
churches (p. xxxv), and has a special 'jubilee entrance'. According
to a legend which cannot be traced farther back than the 13th cent.,
the Virgin appeared simultaneously in 352 A.D. to the devout Roman
patrician Johannes and to Pope Liberius in their dreams, command¬
ing them to erect a church to her on the spot where they should find
snow on the following morning (5th Aug.). The Basilica Liberiana,
which they are said to have built, was re-erected by Sixtus III.
(432-40), who named the church Sancta Maria Mater Dei, shortly
after the Council of Ephesus had sanctioned this appellation of the
Virgin (430). Of this edifice the nave with its ancient marble col¬
umns and mosaics is still preserved. In the 12th cent, the church
was farther altered in the mediaeval style. Eugene III. added a
new porch, Nicholas IV. a new tribune adorned with mosaics, and
Gregory XI. gave the campanile its present form and its pointed
roof. About the end of the 15th cent, began a new period in the
history of the church, when the irregularities of the mediaeval ad¬
ditions were removed, and symmetrical straight lines were formed
by the erection of accessory buildings and masking walls. The two
large side-chapels, covered with domes, were added by Sixtus V.
in 1586 and Paul V. in 1611. The exterior of the tribune was
remodelled to its present form by Clement X., and the final resto¬
ration was entrusted by Benedict XIV. to Fuga.
The Facade was designed by Fuga in 1743; the porch has a log¬
gia above it, which opens in three arches. The five portals in this
porch correspond with five entrances to the church (the last of
which on the left, the Porta Santa, is now built up). To the right
is a statue of Philip IV. of Spain. The loggia (staircase to the left
in the vestibule; one of the vergers opens the door) contains mosaics
from an earlier facade, executed about 1300 by Gaddo Gaddi (?) and
Philippus Rusuti, restored in 1825.
Above, in the centre, Christ enthroned, on the left the Virgin, SS.
Paul, John, and James; on the right SS. Peter, Andrew, Philip, and John
the Baptist. Below, on the left, the vision of Pope Liberius and the
Patrician Johannes ; on the right, the meeting of the two, and the tracing
of the site of the church on the snow.
The Interior, dating from the pontificate of Sixtus III., 93 yds. long
and 19 yds. wide, and subsequently enlarged, produces a rich and impos¬
ing effect. The pavement of the Nave dates from the 12th cent. (p. lxiii)
and the handsome ceiling was executed from designs by Giul. da Sangallo,
and richly gilded with the first gold brought from America. The architrave,
adorned with mosaic, is supported by 42 Ionic columns, 38 in Hymettian
marble and 4 in granite, above which, and on the chancel arch, are "Mo¬
saics of the time of Sixtus III., still antique in spirit and interesting in sub¬
ject (p. lxii); good light early in the morning). Those on the arch appar¬
ently refer to Mary as the 3Iother of God; Annunciation, Infancy of Christ,
Slaughter of the Innocents, etc.; left wall, history of Abraham and Jacob;
right wall, 31oses and Joshua (a few of the pictures were restored in