206 I- N. and E. Hills. ROME. d. S. Maria Maggiore.
columns, which also has been restored. Pleasing campanile of the
Interior. The nave and aisles are of unequal length. In the
pillars are stili to be seen the ancient marble columns which
originally supported the clerestory. The * Mosaics of the Tribune
(A.D. 390), Christ with the Apostles, and St. Praxedis and St. Pu¬
dentiana, with a rich architectural background, and above, the
emblems of the Evangelists on each side of the cross, are among
the finest in Rome (p. lxiii ; several of those on the right are modern).
The dome above the high-altar was painted by Pomarancio. The
aisles contain remains of an ancient mosaic pavement. At the
extremity of the left aisle is an aitar with relics of the table at
which St. Peter is said first to have read mass. Above it, Christ
giving the keys to Peter, a group in marble by Giov. Batt. della
Porta. The sumptuous chapel of the Caetani family in this aisle
may be noticed.
Below the church are ancient vaults in a good style of archi¬
tecture, with some mosaic-pavement and a small fresco, which the
custodian shows if desired.
On the summit of the Viminal, not far off, stands the church of
San Lorenzo in Panisperna (PI. II, 24), on the spot where St. Lawrence
is said to have suffered martyrdom, an old edifice, but frequently restored.
The convent formerly connected with this church is now occupied by the
Reale Istituto Chimico. — Hence to the Via Nazionale, see p. 202.
In the Piazza dell' Esquilino (PI. II, 27), the square in front
of the choir of Santa Maria Maggiore, stands one of the two Obelisks,
48 ft. in height, which formerly rose in front of the Mausoleum of
Augustus (the other is on the Quirinal, p. 203). It was erected
here by Sixtus V. in 1587. — The piazza is intersected by the
broad Via Cavour (p. 216).
The facade of the church overlooks the Piazza Santa Maria
Maggiore, embellished with a handsome Column from the basilica
of Constantine, 16 ft. in circumference, and 46 ft. in height, placed
here and crowned with a bronze figure of the Virgin by Paul V.
**Santa Maria Maggiore (PI. II, 27), also named Basilica
Liberiana, 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 en¬
trance'. According to a legend which cannot be traced farther
back than the 13th cent., the Virgin appeared simultaneously in
A.D. 352 to the devout Roman patrician Johannes and to Pope
Liberius in their dreams, commanding 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