178 I. TV. and E. Hills. ROME. e. From S. Maria Maggiore
St. Sylvester; over the altar, on the left St. Peter, on the right St. Paul.
The body of the altar-statue of St. Helena belonged to an ancient statue
resembling the Barberini Juno (p. 338), with a cross for the sceptre in the
right hand, and a nail of the cross for the vase in the left. The head is
The Cistercian monastery formerly belonging to the church is now
used as a barrack. — On the other side of Santa Croce is an apse with
arched windows and the beginning of adjoining walls, perhaps relics
of the Sessorium mentioned above.
From Santa Croce to the Lateran is a walk of 5 min. (p. 299).
e. Prom Santa Maria Maggiore to the Forum Romanum.
The Via Cavour (p. 179) is the most direct route from Santa Maria
Maggiore to the Forum Romanum. We follow the small Via Santa
Prassede, leading to the S. from the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore,
in which is a side-entrance to the church of —
*Santa Prassede (PI. II, 26), mentioned in 491, erected by Pas-
chalis I. in 822, and dedicated to St. Praxedis, the daughter of St.
Pudens with whom Peter lodged at Rome (p. 171). It was restored
by Nicholas V. about 1450, again in 1832, and finally in 1869.
Interior (restored in bad taste). The nave is separated from the aisles
by 16 granite columns (six others, bearing arches, having been replaced by
piers). The Mosaics (9th cent.; p. lxii) deserve notice. On the triumphal
arch the New Jerusalem guarded by angels, Christ in the centre, with angels
on each side; on the arch of the tribune the Lamb, at the sides the seven
candlesticks and the symbols of the Evangelists; lower down the twenty-
four elders (interesting for the naive mode in which the art accommo¬
dates itself to the spaces allotted to it; thus, in order to follow the curve
of the arch, the arms of the foremost elders in the middle and upper rows
gradually increase in length) ; in the round part of the apse, Christ sur¬
rounded with saints (on the right Paul, Praxedis, and Pope Paschalis with
the church; on the left Peter, Pudentiana, and Zeno). On either side
of the tribune are galleries. — Right Aisle. The 3rd chapel is the Chapel of
St. Zeno (ladies admitted on the Sundays in Lent only; the sacristan
opens the door when desired). At the entrance are two columns of black
granite with ancient entablature. Above are mosaics (9th cent.): Christ
and the Apostles, the 3Iadonna, SS. Lawrence and Stephen, and eight holy
women; the figures of the two popes, to the right and left below, are ad¬
ditions probably of the 13th century. On the vaulting in the interior a
medallion with the head of Christ, supported by four angels. Above the altar
a 3Iadonna between SS. Praxedis and Pudentiana. The niche to the right
usually contains the column at which Christ is said to have been scourged
(at present in the confessio). Above the niche to the left are four female
portraits, the first, with a square nimbus, beinir named Theodora Episcopa
(Theodora, mother of Paschalis I., was buried in this chapel). The
4th chapel contains the tomb of Card. Cetti (d. 1474). At the extremity
of the right aisle the Cap. del Crocifisso contains the tomb of the French
cardinal Ancherus (d. 1286). — In the Left Aisle by the entrance-wall is a
stone slab, on which St. Praxedis is said to have slept. The 2nd Cap. di
San Carlo Borromeo contains a chair and table once used by the saint. The
3rd Cap. Olgiati contains paintings by the Cavaliere d'Arpino. — The marble
top of a well in the nave indicates the spot where St. Praxedis buried
the bones of martyrs.
The Confessio (keys kept by the sacristan) contains ancient sarcophagi
with the bones of the sister saints Praxedis and Pudentiana on the right,
and those of martyrs on the left. The altar is decorated with fine mosaics