i. San Clemente. ROME. IH- Southern Quarters. 339
Santo Stefano Rotondo (PI. Ili, 25) is very interesting on
account of its construction, and, though greatly diminished in extent,
is the largest circular church in existence. It stands on the
foundations of the centrai structure of a large market (Macellum
Magnum) of the late imperiai epoch, but was consecrated as a
church in 468 by Pope Simplicius, and in the following centuries
gorgeously decorated with marble and mosaics. It then fell to utter
decay, but was restored by Nicholas V. about 1450. In the originai
edifice, the diameter of -which was 70 yds., the present external
wall formed the centrai row of columns, while another lower wall,
decorated with pilasters, 11 yds. distant, and stili traceable round
the church, formed the circumference. The edifice thus consisted
of three concentric rings, intersected by four transepts. Nicholas V.
filled up the spaces between the columns of the centrai ring with
masonry, with the exception of the receding chapels. The roof is
rudely constructed of wood. The old entrance was on the E. side;
the present vestibule was built by Nicholas V.
Interior. To the left is the ancient episcopal throne, an antique
chair, from which Gregory the Great delivered one of his homilies ; then
an altar-niche with mosaic (642-649) ; farther on (1.), a chapel with a fine
monument of the early 16th century. Most of the fifty-six columns are
of granite, a few of marble. Fearful scenes of martyrdom are painted
on the walls, by Tempesta and Pomarancio (freely retouched). In the
centre is a wooden tabernacle. The roof is borne by two lofty columns
of granite and two pillars. Donough O'Brien, king of Castel and Thomond
(p. 106), was buried in this church.
Beyond the church the Via di Santo Stefano Rotondo (PI. Ili,
25, 28) leads past a large Military Hospital (to the left) and the
arches (Arcus Neroniani Aquae Claudiae) of the continuation of
the Aqua Claudia built by Nero for his Golden House to (5 min.)
the vicinity of the Lateran (p. 343).
i. San Clemente. The Lateran.
Tramways from the Piazza Venezia, the Piazza San Silvestro, and
the Piazza di San Pietro to Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, see Nos. 4,
8, and 16 of the Appx. — Omnibus from the Piazza San Pantaleo via
Piazza Venezia to Piazza San Giovanni, see No. 2 of the Appendix.
From the Colosseum (PI. II, 22; p. 303) several streets run to¬
wards the S.E. : to the left the Via Labicana towards the Thermae
of Titus (p. 308), to the right the Via de' Santi Quattro to Santi
Quattro Coronati (p. 343), joining the Via di Santo Stefano Rotondo
(p. 338) near the Lateran; and lastly, between these, the Via di
San Giovanni in Laterano, running direct to (y2 M.) the Lateran.
The last-street leads in 5 min. to a small piazza, where on the
left rises the church of —
*San Clemente (PI. II, 25; one of the side-entrances from the
street generally open; if not, visitors ring at the principal door under
the portico; closed during mid-day), one of the best-preserved basi-