Environs. THE CATACOMBS. Envir. of Borne. 455
is in a ruined condition, but the church has recently been partly
restored. It was used from the 5th to the 8th cent. only.
The Catacombs of Commodilla, in the Vigna Serafini, Via
delle Sette Chiese, near San Paolo fuori le Mura (p. 445), were ex¬
cavated in 1903-5. They contain several cubicula remarkable for
their paintings. The tomb of Turtura, a lady of the 6th cent., is
embellished with the largest and best-preserved painting found in
any of the Catacombs.
The Catacombs of St. Praetextatus, not far from the Via
Appia, towards Sant' Urbano (p. 442), contain decorations similar
to those of the station of the Vigiles at Trastevere (p. 420). In the
burial-chapel ofVibiahere are stili to be seen gnostic heretical re-
presentations (Hermes as conductor of the dead, etc).
The Catacombs of St. Priscilla lie on the Via Salaria,
l8/4 M. from the gate (p. 432). The oldest part consists of a square
chamber, called the 'Cappella Greca', owing to its Greek inscrip¬
tions, which contains interesting paintings of the 3rd century.
Among the decorations of the ceiling in another room are a Ma¬
donna and Child, with Isaiah pointing to the new light in Israel
(a star). This is the oldest Madonna in existence, dating from the
latter half of the 2nd century. Coloured inscriptions on bricks, of
the earliest and simplest type, are also occasionally found here.
These catacombs are spendidly illuminated on Dee. |31st. The
foundations of the ancient Basilica di San Silvestro were dis¬
covered above these catacombs in 1904, and upon them has been
erected a new church, inaugurated on Dee. 31st, 1907.
The Catacombs of St. Agnes (adm., see p. 437), under the
church of Sant' Agnese fuori le Mura, are desti tute of painting,
but are to a great extent in their originai condition and therefore
of special interest. — About 1/4 M. beyond the church is another
catacomb, called the Coemeterium Ostrianum, remarkable for the
large number of its family burial-places.
The Catacombs of San Sebastiano, below the church of
that name on the Via Appia (see p. 443), the only burial-places of
the kind which continued to be visited in mediaeval times, have
been almost entirely deprived of their enrichments. — The so-
called Platonia di San Damaso, retaining remains of its originai
stucco ornamentation, is the tomb of the martyred Quirinus, Bishop
of Siscia, not, as has been erroneously supposed, a tomb built
by Damasus for the bodies of the apostles Peter and Paul. — In
the vicinity are the —
Jewish Catacombs (Catacombe Ebràiche, p. 442; adm.
daily, 9-5, 1 fr.), which were laid out about the 3rd century. They
rather resemble the catacombs of Naples than the other Roman
catacombs. The inscriptions are exclusively Greek and Latin.