Via Latina in a red colour from an 1886 map
|Location||Rome to Benevento, Italy|
|Periods||3rd Century BC|
The Via Latina (Latin for "Latin Road") was a Roman road of Italy, running southeast from Rome for about 200 kilometers.
It led from the Porta Latina in the Aurelian walls of Rome to the pass of Mount Algidus; it was important in the early military history of Rome. It must have preceded the Via Appia as a route to Campania, in as much as the Latin colony at Cales was founded in 334 BC and must have been accessible from Rome by road, whereas the Via Appia was made only twenty-two years later. It follows, too, a far more natural line of communication, without the engineering difficulties that the arrow-straight Via Appia had to overcome. As a through-route, it preceded the Via Labicana, though the latter may have been preferred in later times.
After their junction, the Via Latina continued to follow the valley of the Trerus (Sacco), following a line taken by the modern railway to Naples, and passing below the Hernican hill-towns, Anagni (where it joined with the Via Praenestina), Ferentino, Frosinone, and others. At Fregellae, it crossed the Liri, and then passed through Aquino and Cassino, both comparatively low-lying towns. It then entered the interval between the Apennines and the volcanic group of Rocca Monfina, and the original road and, instead of traversing it, turned abruptly northeast over the mountains to Venafro, thus giving a direct communication with the interior of Samnium by roads to Isernia and Telese.
After the disorders of the civil wars, the via Latina was repaired by a group of prominent Romans, including Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus; the work was under way in 27 BC, at the time of Tibullus' elegy.
In later times, however, there was in all probability a shortcut by Rufrae along the line taken by the modern highroad and railway. The two lines rejoined near the present railway station of Caianiello, and the road ran to Teanum and Cales, and so to Casilinum, where there was the crossing of the Volturno and the junction with the Via Appia. The distance from Rome to Casilinum was 129 Roman miles by the Via Appia, 135 Roman miles by the old Via Latina through Venafrum, 126 Roman miles by the shortcut past Rufrae (now Presenzano). Considerable remains of the road exist in the neighborhood of Rome; for the first 40 Roman miles, as far as Compitum Anagninum, it is not followed by any modern road; while farther on in its course it is in the main identical with the modern highroad.
The Tombs of Via Latina are tombs over a short stretch of the road just outside Rome. Above ground they are largely reconstructed, but the underground chambers survived. They are now in an "archaeological park". They are not to be confused with the small Christian Via Latina Catacomb, only rediscovered in 1955, with many paintings. It is unknown whether the catacombs were built as one big master plan or if it was built in stages. The catacombs consist of many separate rooms all connected by a series of corridors. To organize the excavation, each room was given a letter to symbolize where it was located and what art work was depicted inside. The excavation of the catacombs took place in four stages starting with the stairways and finishing with the 3 corridors and their adjoining rooms.
The Catacombs of Via Latina compared to other Roman catacombs, were recently discovered. The artwork within the catacombs is from the Medieval period. The art in the tomb is dated back to the 4th century. These particular catacombs in Rome, Italy depict images of both pagan and Christian artwork. It is unknown whether this tomb belonged to a specific family or a fraternity. The art fills every room in the catacombs. The catacombs were excavated in 1955 and published officially in 1962.
Each room inside the catacombs has a different painting or subject depicted on the walls. Christian stories from the Old Testament and the New Testament fill the vast majority of rooms. Pagan art, specifically the hero Hercules, are included within specific rooms to which is one of the reasons why the Via Latina catacombs are special. Every room is typically denoted with a letter to help with organization of the different rooms and artworks. Room N is decorated of entirely paintings of the pagan hero HerculesThe paintings show Hercules as a hero or savior. There is also said to be a focus on the after-life and life after death in Room N. For many of the other rooms, the subject matter is primarily Christian art, depicting images of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Notable art scenes depicted are the Flood Scene, Abraham's vision of the Three Angels under the Oak of Mamre, Crossing of the Red Sea, and the Ascension of Elijah and the Good Shepherd.
The photo on the right, the Resurrection of Lazarus, is one of the many religious stories told on the walls of the catacombs. Viewers can see the figure assumed to be Jesus raising a man from the dead as his disciples watch with intent. Viewers may also notice Moses in the background receiving a message from above.The style of the art work is similar throughout every room in the catacombs, meaning that all of the artworks were produced by one person or a group of people who used the same style and technique.
The Appian Way is one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. It connected Rome to Brindisi, in southeast Italy. Its importance is indicated by its common name, recorded by Statius:
Appia longarum... regina viarum
"the Appian Way the queen of the long roads"
Pope Caius, also called Gaius, was the bishop of Rome from 17 December 283 to his death in 296. Little information on Caius is available except that given by the Liber Pontificalis, which relies on a legendary account of the martyrdom of Susanna of Rome for its information. According to legend, Caius baptized the men and women who had been converted by Tiburtius and Castulus. His legend states that Caius took refuge in the catacombs of Rome and died a martyr.
Catacombs are human-made subterranean passageways for religious practice. Any chamber used as a burial place is a catacomb, although the word is most commonly associated with the Roman Empire.
Capua is a city and comune in the province of Caserta, in the region of Campania, southern Italy, situated 25 km (16 mi) north of Naples, on the northeastern edge of the Campanian plain.
Christian art is sacred art which uses themes and imagery from Christianity. Most Christian groups use or have used art to some extent, although some have had strong objections to some forms of religious image, and there have been major periods of iconoclasm within Christianity.
The Catacombs of Rome are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under Rome, Italy, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together, people of all the Roman religions are buried in them, beginning in the 2nd century AD, mainly as a response to overcrowding and shortage of land. The Etruscans, like many other European peoples, used to bury their dead in underground chambers. The original Roman custom was cremation, after which the burnt remains were kept in a pot, ash-chest or urn, often in a columbarium. From about the 2nd century AD, inhumation became more fashionable, in graves or sarcophagi, often elaborately carved, for those who could afford them. Christians also preferred burial to cremation because of their belief in bodily resurrection at the Second Coming. The Park of the Caffarella and Colli Albani are nearby.
Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus was a Roman general, author and patron of literature and art.
Early Christian art and architecture or Paleochristian art is the art produced by Christians or under Christian patronage from the earliest period of Christianity to, depending on the definition used, sometime between 260 and 525. In practice, identifiably Christian art only survives from the 2nd century onwards. After 550 at the latest, Christian art is classified as Byzantine, or of some other regional type.
Felicitas of Rome, also anglicized as Felicity, is a saint numbered among the Christian martyrs. Apart from her name, the only thing known for certain about this martyr is that she was buried in the Cemetery of Maximus, on the Via Salaria on a 23 November. However, a legend presents her as the mother of the seven martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 10 July. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates their martyrdom on 25 January.
The Caffarella Park is a large park in Rome, Italy, protected from development. It is part of the Parco Regionale Appia Antica. The park is contained in the Caffarella Valley and is bordered on its northern side by the Via Latina and on its southern by the Appian Way. It stretches from the Aurelian Wall up to the Via dell'Almone. It contains several items of archaeological interest, as well as a working farm, and has considerable ecological value, with 78 species of birds and fauna. The Catacombs of Rome and Colli Albani are nearby.
The Tomb of the Scipios, also called the hypogaeum Scipionum, was the common tomb of the patrician Scipio family during the Roman Republic for interments between the early 3rd century BC and the early 1st century AD. Then it was abandoned and within a few hundred years its location was lost.
The Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter are found approximately three kilometers from southeast Rome and the ancient Via Labicana and date to the 4th century AD. The catacombs were named in reference to the Christian martyrs Marcellinus and Peter who were buried there, near the body of St. Tiburtius.
The Vigna Randanini are Jewish Catacombs between the second and third miles of the Appian Way close to the Christian catacombs of Saint Sebastian, with which they were originally confused. The catacombs date between the 2nd and 5th-centuries CE, and take their name from the owners of the land when they were first formally discovered and from the fact that the land was used as a vineyard (vigna). While Vigna Randanini are just one of the two Jewish catacombs in Rome open to the public, they can only be visited by appointment. They are situated below a restaurant and a private villa and entrance is from the Via Appia Pignatelli side. These catacombs were discovered by accident in 1859, although there is evidence that they had been pillaged before then. They cover an area of 18,000 square metres and the tunnels are around 700 metres long, of which around 400 can be seen.
The Appian Way Regional Park is the largest urban park of Europe and is a protected area of around 4580 hectares, established by the Italian region of Latium. It falls primarily within the territory of Rome but parts also extend into the neighbouring towns of Ciampino and Marino.
The Catacombs of San Sebastiano are a hypogeum cemetery in Rome (Italy), rising along Via Appia Antica, in the Ardeatino Quarter. They are one of the very few Christian burial places that have always been accessible. The first of the former four floors is now almost completely destroyed.
Roman funerary art changed throughout the course of the Republic and the Empire and comprised many different forms. There were two main burial practices used by the Romans throughout history, one being cremation, another inhumation. The vessels that resulted from these practices include sarcophagi, ash chests, urns, and altars. In addition to these, buildings such as mausoleums, stelae, and other monuments were also popular forms used to commemorate the dead. The method by which Romans were memorialized was determined by social class, religion, and other factors. While monuments to the dead were constructed within Roman cities, the remains themselves were interred outside the cities.
The Catacomb of Saint Thecla is a Christian catacomb in the city of Rome, near the Via Ostiense and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, in the southern quarter of the ancient city. The catacomb was constructed in the fourth century of the Common Era, linked with a basilica to the saint that is alluded to in literature. Because of the enigmatic endings of the legends of Saint Thecla of Iconium, it is still unknown whether the tomb belongs to the saint or if it belongs to a different noblewoman. Regardless, the tomb is an example of early Christian funerary practice and artwork. The most recent discovery in the catacomb was the depiction of several apostles, hypothesized to be their earliest portrayals. Of particular interest to many is the portrait of the Apostle Paul.
The Hypogeum of Vibia is part of a small complex of pagan burial chambers in Rome which were constructed along the Via Appia in the late 4th century CE. It is named for the burials of a woman named Vibia and her husband Vincentius, a priest of the Thraco-Phrygian god Sabazios. The hypogeum is notable for the paintings that show the deceased figures in mythological scenes and in the underworld, and for their accompanying inscriptions. Numerous other decorated tombs and inscriptions were found in the complex.
The Catacombs of Domitilla are an underground Christian cemetery named after the Domitilla family that had initially ordered them to be dug. They are located in Rome, Italy. They are situated over 16 metres underground, about 2 kilometers from the south of Appia Antica and spans 15 kilometers in distance. They were actively used as a cemetery from around first through fifth centuries CE and were rediscovered in 1593 by Antonio Bosio, an archaeologist They include more than 26,000 tombs. More recently they have been restored using lasers giving a much clearer view of the images on the walls. Unlike other Roman catacombs, it still has the remains of humans.
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