324 IH- Southern Quarters. ROME. «• S. Maria in Cosmedin.
of the 16th and 18th cent, were removed and the entire church
Vestibule. The colossal antique marble disc with the mask of a
Triton (No. 1 on the pian) probably served originally as a kind of register
to admit hot air.into a bath, and emitted steam through the eyes, nose,
and mouth. It is known as the Bocca della Verità from the popular
superstition that the ancients on taking an oath used to insert their hand
in the mouth of the mask, which closed on the hand of those who pcrjured
themselves. The principal portai, executed, according to the inscription,
by a certain Joannes de Venetia about the llth cent., exhibits a rude
imitation of antique motives ; on each side are long records of donations
of the 9th century. To the right is the tomb of Alfanus (PI. 2; 1123;
see p. 323). A door (PI. 3), adjoining the mask, leads to the organ-loft,
which contains a small museum of objects found in the earlier churches
(key kept by the sacristan).
Interior. By the entrance-wall are three marble columns from the
Statio Annonse (see p. 323), other specimens of which may be seen in the
wall of the left aisle and in the sacristy. They stood upon a plinth
about 5 ft. in height. Thè fiat ceiling (modern, see above) is supported
by 20 ancient columns brought from various buildings ; an inscription
above the fifth to the left indicates the extent of the oldest building
and of that of Pope Hadrian. The screens enclosing the musicians' choir
(schola cantorum), the ambones (PI. 4-5), the Easter candlestick (ali re¬
stored and replaced in their originai sites), the episcopal throne (PI. 7)
in the apse, and the beautiful marble *Pavement (opus Alexandrinum)
rank amongst the most beautiful decorative works of the 12th cent, in
Rome. — The high-altar (PI. 6) is formed by an ancient bath of red
granite. The marble mosaic (opus sectile) below it dates from the
8th century. The ciborium, presented by Cardinal Francesco Caetani,
the nephew of Boniface Vili., is a work of Adeodatus Cosmas (ca. 1300).
On the wall to the left of the apse are some remains of frescoes of the
llth(?) cent., with Greek graffiti. The frescoes of the apses and the
framework of the blind window behind the bishop's throne are modern.
The Crypt (two entrances, at PI. 9), below the presbytery, consists of
nave and aisles and is entirely hollowed out oi the foundation of the
ancient tempie ; in the side-walls are niches with reliquaries. On March 4th
it is illuminated and thrown open to the public. — In the Sacristy
(entrance to the right, in front; PI. 8) is a mosaic on a gold ground,
representing the Adoration of the Magi, a fragment from the Lady Chapel
erected by Pope John VII. in 706, in the old church of St. Peter.
The Via della Salara (see p. 326) runs hence to the S., to¬
wards the Porta San Paolo.
Opposite, towards the Tiber, stands a small and picturesque
*Round Tempie, with twenty Corinthian columns, the ancient
name of which is uncertain (Portunusf), though it has been er¬
roneously known as the Tempie of Vesta since the 16th cent.
(comp. p. 299). The ancient entablature and roof and one column
have disappeared. With the exception of the circular podium, the
whole edifice is built of solid marble instead of the much more
usuai concrete core veneered with marble slabs. Beneath the pre¬
sent poor wooden roof lies the little church of Santa Maria del
Sole (PI. II, 16), formerly called Santo Stefano dette Carrozze.
The Ponte Palatino (PI. II, 16), a new iron bridge, conneets
the Piazza Bocca della Verità with Trastevere (Lungarina, p. 419).