Santa Maria Antiqua. The Sistine Chapel of the Early Middle Ages
Lavishly illustrated and containing the most recent images and research on this unique church, this is an essential resource for early medieval historians and archeologists working on Rome, the medieval West and Byzantium.
The Santa Maria Antiqua Complex in the Forum in Rome was probably established at the foot of the Palatine Hill in the 6th century. Over the following 600 years it was decorated with a unique series of frescoes bearing evidence of imperial, papal and monastic influences. Abandoned in the 9th century, limited use probably continued up to the 11th century. By the 17th century the complex was completely buried under the rising floor of the Forum. Excavations in 1900 exposed a largely intact complex containing hundreds of 6th - 11th century frescoes, in some places over four layers deep and a unique Chapel of Medical Saints which suggests this was also an incubation site. The English Press hailed the site as the 'Sistine Chapel of the Ninth century'.
Lavish illustrations of these frescoes, following recent restoration, make this book an indispensible resource, not only for those working on the church but also for those interested in contemporaneous material in medieval sites especially in Rome, Europe and Byzantium.