Ancient capital of the Roman state and empire, center of Christendom, episcopal see of the pope, and capital of modern Italy. The city is located on a series of hills that fortuitously surround a wide bend in the Tiber River not far from its entrance into the Mediterranean Sea, at an almost central point on the west coast of the Italian Peninsula. Rome's primitive history is dominated by legend, but archeological evidence and solid tradition point to village settlements by the Sabines and inhabitants of Latium that go back at least to the 10th century b.c. Ancient Roman historians differed in calculating the date of the city's legendary founding by Romulus, but M. Terentius Varro's estimate of 753 b.c. has become standard. In the course of five centuries b.c., the city of Rome became a great religious, economic, political, and cultural center, as is attested by archeological remains of its temples, cemeteries, monuments, and public buildings, as well as by its literature and art.
Rome is dealt with here as the center of Christendom in relation to: (1) early Christianity; (2) the Constantinian era; (3) papal rule in late antiquity and in the Middle Ages; (4) the Renaissance; (5) the post-Reformation period; and (6) modern and contemporary Rome.
Rome first entered directly into the history of Israel with a request for her aid against Syria made by the Maccabees
c. 161 b.c. After the conquest of Palestine by Pompey in 63 b.c., Rome dominated Jewish civil affairs; Christ was born under Roman rule (Lk 2.2) and put to death under Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judea (Lk 23.1–5, 13–25). While Rome is not mentioned directly in the Gospels, its presence is felt by the dominance of its emperors (Mk 12.13–17; Mt 22.15–22; Lk 20.20–26), and in certain New Testament writings the city receives explicit recognition. An edict of Claudius in a.d. 49 banishing the Jews from Rome is mentioned in Acts 18.2 as the occasion for the departure from Rome of Aquila and Priscilla and their meeting with St. Paul at Corinth.
Early Roman Christians. There is no evidence for the arrival of the first Christians in Rome, but a flourishing Christian community existed there in a.d. 58 when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, and it is almost certain that suetonius had this Christian settlement in mind when he stated that Claudius Judeos impulsore Chresto tumultuantes Roma expulsit —"expelled the Jews from Rome as a result of a tumult caused by Chrestus," or Christ (Claud. 25.4). Paul arrived in Rome between a.d. 59 and 61 and was met outside the city at the Forum Appii and ad Tres Tabernas by a group of Christians (Acts 28.15). He remained there two years under guard in a private dwelling and was allowed to receive visitors and discuss the gospel with whoever came to him. It is possible that Luke wrote the Acts to the Apostles in Rome and that the Pauline Captivity Epistles originated there, as well as 1 Peter. Paul was brought to Rome a second time as a prisoner, probably after his arrest at Troas (cf. 2 Tm1.16–17; 4.13), but there is no evidence as to the time of St. Peter's arrival. However, early tradition (1 Clem. 6) testifies that Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome during the Neronian persecution, recorded for the year 64 by Tacitus (Annal. 15.44), while Eusebius stated that they were put to death in 67 (Hist. eccl. 2.25.1–8). Nothing proves that they were not martyred in the same year.
Alongside a large Jewish settlement, the Christian colony grew during the reigns of Vespasian (69–79) and Titus (79–81). Despite persecution under Domitian (81–96), there is evidence that some patricians were Christians, including Flavia domitilla (d. c. 100), granddaughter of Vespasian, wife of Titus Flavius Clemens, and a first cousin of Domitian. Clemens was put to death probably in the Domitian persecution against Christians and Jews (95–96), and Domitilla was banished to the island of Pandateria, while her property outside Rome on the Via Ardeatina seems to have been used in the 1st century as a Christian place of burial, later the cemetery or catacombs of Domitilla.
Second-century Popes. Despite minor discrepancies, the names of the early Roman bishops have been preserved in a reliable list (Liber pontificalis), but the first bishops of whom positive information exists are St. clement i (c. 88–97), who probably composed the Epistle to the Church of Corinth; the martyr St. telesphorus (126–136); and St. pius i, brother of the author of the Shepherd of hermas. Evidence is supplied for the Christian importance of Rome by the Epistle to the Romans of ignatius of antioch (c. 110–117), who praised the charity of its Christians and begged them not to prevent his martyrdom through political influence (Ad Rom. 2). In the course of the 2d century, Rome was the object of visits from Christian leaders seeking confirmation of the unity of the Church, as is attested by the Epitaph of aber cius, by hegesippus, and by heretics such as marcion (fl. 135–160), the Gnostic valentinus, and the Monarchian Theodore, who sought confirmation of their unorthodox teachings.
The description of the Church as a populous community, containing a segment of the rich and numerous poor, with a mixture of saints and sinners, provided by the Shepherd of Hermas (Sim. 8.4–11), probably refers to Rome (c. 150); it was, besides, a well-organized institution with bishops, priests, and deacons. justin martyr (c. 100–165) conducted a school of Christian philosophy in Rome, directed his Apologiae to the Roman authorities, and died a martyr there with some of his disciples in the persecution of Aurelian (161–180). polycarp of smyrna visited Pope anicetus (c. 155–166), and irenaeus of lyons visited Pope eleutherius (c. 177) to discuss the quartodeciman problem, which Pope victor im (189–199), the first Latin-speaking pope, tried to settle in a Roman synod. Victor threatened to excommunicate Polycrates of Ephesus and the bishops of Asia Minor who followed the Jewish reckoning for the date of Easter. With Victor, who wrote several encyclical letters ordaining that synods be held by groups of bishops in other regions, the predominance of the Church at Rome was assured.
Title Churches. Roman Christians down to the late 2d century held their liturgical gatherings in the houses of richer members and used their burial places. Justin Martyr's evasive answers under imperial interrogation regarding Christian places of worship indicate that this practice was still in vogue c. 165 (Acta Sanctorum April 2:104–119). But archeological evidence and the tradition regarding Rome's title churches point to the existence in the late 2d century of edifices for Christian cult.
Excavations beneath the churches of St. Clement, St. Anastasia, and SS. John and Paul have unearthed foundations of the late 2d and early 3d century that had undergone great changes before the 4th century and indicate the enlargement and even the building over of the earlier edifices. Beneath the church of SS. Silvestri e Martino ai Monti Christian paintings have been discovered on the walls of a building that goes back to the Severian emperors (c. 195–235), and excavations beneath the churches of St. Sabina and St. Chrysogonus reveal similar early emplacements. Evidence exists also for pre–4th-century edifices on the sites of the churches of SS. Crescentia and Pudens (or Pudentiana), as well as of St. Cecilia and St. Callistus. The Basilica Apostolorum on the Via Appia seems to have been built in imitation of the mausoleum
erected by Maxentius for his son Romulus, immediately after the emancipation granted by Galerius in 311. The construction of these churches reflects the basilica-type, large building common to Roman architecture of the age.
These pre-Constantinian churches seem to have been located close to the ancient wall of Servius Tullius within the city, except for St. Marcellus near the Campus Martius and S. Lorenzo in Lucina beside the obelisk of Augustus, close to the Via Flaminia in a quarter that had a Jewish colony (Calcarenses ) housing the wine and marble merchants. The placement of these churches formed a crosslike pattern covering the poor, more populous parts of the city from the Quirinal Hill (SS. Susanna and Cyriacus) to Trastevere (SS. Chrysogonus, Cecilia, and Callistus), and as a transverse bar between the valley of the Viminal (St. Pudentiana), the Esquiline (St. Praxedes, SS. Silvestri e Martino ai Monti), the Caelian (St. Clement, SS. Peter and Marcellus, St. Sixtus, SS. Nereus and Achilleus, the Four Crowned Martyrs, and SS. John and Paul), the Aventine (St. Prisca, St. Sabina), and, finally, the area near the Forum Boarium (St. Anastasia). Before the 4th century these churches were known only by the title of their emplacement or the donor of the property; only between the 4th and 6th centuries were they connected with the names of saints or early martyrs.
Catacombs and Persecutions. Some 40 distinct catacombs have been discovered outside the city on the main roads running northeast and south. Until the 4th century they were used primarily for burial, followed by the celebration of anniversaries that gradually assumed a liturgical form in honor of a martyr saint; but only some 25 such commemorations are recorded in the first Christian calendar in the mid-4th century. In the 4th and 5th centuries, the catacombs became regular places of assembly for Eucharistic cult. In them were likewise preserved the earliest examples of Christian art and symbolism, particularly in the stucco paintings on the walls and in designs on sarcophagi.
As the persecutions were intermittent, followed by long periods of peace, Christians gradually acquired property, and, though they were not given legal recognition as religious corporations, they could occasionally vindicate their rights through judicial action, as in the case of an appeal to the Emperor Alexander Severus (222–235), who decided in favor of a Christian church near the Forum instead of a tavern (Lampridius, Vita Alex. Sev. 49.6—if this statement is reliable). Under the Severi, Pope callistus i (217–222) likewise attempted to regulate the ownership of church property and cemeteries, as is indicated by the attachment of his name to both the cemetery on the Appian Way and a sanctuary in Trastevere. St. Augustine reported having read that at the end of the persecutions, Pope Miltiades (d. 314) sent the deacon Strato to receive the ecclesiastical property restored to the Church by the prefect of Rome (Brev. coll. Donat. 18.34–35); and in the Constantinian peace of 313, it was ordered that "the places where Christians were accustomed to assemble should be given back to the corporate body or conventicle" (Lact., De mortibus persec. 48).
At the close of the Decian persecution, Pope Cornelius had held a synod of 60 bishops in Rome (251) to deal with the novatian schism; his own clergy consisted of 154 clerics, including 46 priests, seven deacons, and seven subdeacons. The number of Christians in Rome was thus considerable, justifying tertullian's statement at the end of the 2d century: "We Christians are but of yesterday; yet we fill your world and all that you have, cities, houses …, the palace, senate, forum. All we leave to you are the temples" (Apol. 37.4).
No statistics exist for the number of Christians in Rome immediately before the peace of the Church established by constantine i and Licinius (313), nor is there a reliable estimate of the number of martyrs. What is significant, however, is the fact that on accepting the Christian faith Constantine erected three great churches within the city: the basilica close to the palace of Fausta at the Lateran (later named St. John's by Pope Hilary I in 461), which the emperor gave to the bishop of Rome as his residence near the imperial gardens; the nearby basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, one of the results of the dowager Empress Helena's benefactions; and the immense construction for the emplacement on the Vatican of the basilica anchored on the site venerated as the grave of St. Peter. Constantine built another church outside the walls on the Via Ostia, where tradition placed the burial of St. Paul.
These imperial benefactions were deliberately made on the periphery of the city in order not to awaken the hostility of the pagan Romans, who still predominated, and whose civic life was centered on the Senate and the Forum with its temples, markets, and administrative buildings. Constantine imitated the largesse of his predecessors by adorning the city with public monuments and baths before deciding to move his capital to the newly erected city of constantinople on the Bosporus. By the beginning of the 4th century the population of Rome had reached its greatest density; it was provided with 11 major and 856 minor public baths, 27 libraries, some 1,352 fountains, eight athletic fields, five naumachiae for water spectacles, 11 large public fora, ten major basilicas, 19 aqueducts, 36 triumphal arches, three theaters, and eight bridges crossing the Tiber. The city had been enclosed within a wall by Aurelian in the 270s; it was 19 km in circumference, with 383 towers and 14 major and five minor gates.
Christian Asceticism. To accommodate the increase of Christian converts, Pope Julius I (337–352) built several churches, of which two within the city were at first known simply under his name but were later called the basilicas of the Twelve Apostles and of St. Mary in Trastevere. He is also credited with constructing basilicas at the catacombs of St. Felix, St. Valentinus, and Calepodius. Liberius (352–366) built St. Mary Major on the Esquiline; it was rebuilt by Pope Sixtus III (432–440). Both these popes were caught in the maelstrom of doctrinal disputes that disturbed the empire following the condemnation of Arianism at the Council of Nicaea in 325 and the rise of subsequent schisms and heresies that brought to Rome innumerable appeals from both orthodox and heretical prelates and occasioned the holding of Roman synods and visits by many of the parties concerned.
Athanasius of Alexandria stopped in Rome in the course of his exile to Treves (339–342) and gave further impulse to the ascetical movement that flourished under Pope Damasus (366–384) and his successors. Rufinus of Aquileia, Bonosus, and Jerome were students there in the early 360s. Jerome returned under Damasus, began his revision of the Latin Bible, and served as papal secretary and as spiritual director to a group of well-to-do ascetics on the Caelian and Aventine Hills, who included Paula, Eustochium, Blesilla, and the senator Pammachius. Augustine taught in Rome for a year before going to Milan and attested to the existence of a strong Manichaean faction.
Though the Western emperors resided at Milan rather than at Rome, they continued their benefactions, particularly toward the erection and decoration of churches. Damasus "discovered and gave honor to the bodies of many saints, decorating their burial places with verses" (Lib. pont. 1.212). He likewise erected a titular church of S. Lorenzo in Damaso close to the papal archive, giving impetus to the cult of the martyrs within the city by the inscriptions he composed and to the subsequent erection of new titular churches, such as that of the Apostles (later, St. Peter in Chains) on the Esquiline, situated between the baths of Titus and Trajan, and that of St. Eusebius near the Livian market.
Papal Authority. The authority of the popes gradually increased despite the exile of Liberius, the rise of the antipope Felix (355–365), and the strife that accompanied the elections of Damasus and Boniface (418–422). The canons of Sardica (343) recognized the traditional position of the bishop of Rome as a court of final appeal in doctrine and disciplinary matters, and this fact was embodied in the legislation of Gratian (375–383) and Theodosius I (379–395). Gratian removed the Altar of Victory from the Senate (382), and, despite the opposition of a strong faction led by Symmachus, Prefect of the city, Theodosius I and Honorius I (395–425) legislated against paganism.
In exercising their authority, the popes supported orthodoxy with an insistence on traditional beliefs, common sense, and a distrust of theological niceties, as is attested by the Tractatus de gratia produced under Pope Celestine. Pope Siricius issued the earliest known decretal: and Innocent I (401–417) condemned Pelagianism; Celestine (422–432), Nestorianism; and Leo I (440–461), Eutychianism with his famous Tome, whose explanation of the Incarnation prevailed at the Council of Chalcedon (451). During the 5th century, Rome frequently settled affairs of the Churches in Gaul, Spain, Africa, and the East; and it saw the coming and going of emissaries, prelates, heretics, and imperial officials. The city was sacked by Alaric the Goth (410), menaced by Attila and the Huns (452), and ravaged by Geiseric and the Vandals (455). As the imperial control of Italy declined, the provision and administration of the city, the protection of the poor and destitute, and the restoration of its churches became the function of the popes.
In the 3d and 4th centuries the work of the deacons had increased in importance as they cared for widows, orphans, the ill, and the aged. In the 5th and 6th centuries they managed the revenues from properties in Sicily and Italy, given to the bishops of Rome by imperial officials or inherited from rich benefactors. Leo I reorganized this papal patrimony, held yearly synods for the government of the Roman (Italian) patriarchate, and wrote frequently to regulate ecclesiastical affairs throughout the Church. During his pontificate also, the liturgical effectiveness of the Church was manifest in the spirited observance of the paschal and Christmas cycles, which he described with zest and classic propriety in his sermons. He bore witness to the assemblies of bishop, clergy, and people at stational or titular churches, particularly on a vigil or during Lent, for a Eucharistic celebration in honor of a sacred mystery or a saint, and he attempted to regularize Christian cult all over the empire.
Upon the abandonment of the pagan temples under the Christian emperors, they were pillaged of their decorations and materials for new constructions of both private and public buildings, despite decrees of Valentinian and Valens (376) and of Majorian (458) against such depredations. During the 5th century, however, the prefects of the city made heroic efforts to reconstruct and repair the buildings of the Fora, many of which had been destroyed by the fire that followed the city's capture by Alaric (410). After the earthquake of 442 the prefect Quadratianus repaired the Baths of Constantine, and in 450 Epitynchianus restored the Forum Esquilinum. Even under the Ostrogothic King Theodoric (475–526), orders were given to preserve the city's monuments. However, in the building of churches, these regulations were not always observed. Under Pope Simplicius (468–483), the churches of St. Bibiana and St. Stephen (Rotundo) were built, and the schola domestica of the Goth Theodobius was changed into an oratory honoring St. Andrew. Ricimer the Goth (459–470) built a church to St. Agatha for Arians in Rome.
Despite difficulties with Theodoric caused by the antipope Laurentius, Pope Symmachus (498–514) attached a church honoring St. Silvester to the old edifice of S. Martino ai Monti. Felix IV (526–530) invaded the Forum, building the basilica of SS. Cosmas and Damian on the Via Sacra and decorating its apse with a mosaic of Christ receiving a model of the church from the two saints. Near the palace of Caligula he reconstructed an old building and decorated it with frescoes as the church of Santa Maria Antica. While the art of the earlier period had been more or less impressionistic, by the close of the 6th century, the Byzantine style prevailed in the mosaics and other plastic representations in the churches.
PAPAL RULE IN LATE ANTIQUITY AND IN THE MIDDLE AGES
Between 536 and 555 Belisarius was entrusted with the Byzantine reconquest of Italy by Justinian I (527–565). The general entrenched his army in Rome, and in 536 Vitiges and his Goths besieged the city, cut its aqueducts, and by investing the port (Porto) near Ostia, prevented the provisioning of Rome with wheat from Sicily and Africa.
In 544 Totila attacked Rome; he finally took the city on Dec. 17, 546. Pope vigilius (537–555), however, had been taken to Constantinople, and the Deacon Pelagius attempted to revive life there after the departure of the Goths. On becoming pope, pelagius i (556–561) utilized the Pragmatic Sanction granted by Justinian on Aug. 13, 554, to restore the main churches and buildings, but his ecclesiastical difficulties with the churches in the West over the condemnation of the three chapters hampered his efforts.
In 568 Italy was invaded by the Lombards. They frequently menaced Rome, whose actual government was by then almost completely in the hands of the popes. In 554 Justinian had also agreed to continue the public provisioning of Rome from Sicily, and the governor of the island sent wheat to Rome in the fall each year. This annona was stored in the ancient granaries (horrea Agrippina ) and in the old market places and was distributed by papal horrearii. When the Arab incursions interfered with Mediterranean shipping, Popes John V (685–686) and Conon (686–687), in reorganizing papal finances, obtained fiscal exemptions for the Church's patrimonies in Sicily, Calabria, Lucania, and Brutium (Lib. pont. 1:366,369). Later Emperor Leo the Isaurian seized these properties to punish Roman opposition to iconoclasm under Gregory III (731–741). Pope Zachary (741–752) then organized nearby Latium and the Roman Campagna as districts to supply Rome with needed agricultural products.
Evidence for the division of Rome into seven ecclesiastical districts is supplied by the 7th-century Liber diurnus. Popes Agatho (678–681) and Leo II (682–683) are credited with distributing money to the Greek monasteries, whose establishment in Rome was encouraged by a series of popes, evidently of Byzantine origin, for the care of the poor. Pilgrims were housed in special hostels known as scholae founded by national groups such as the Saxons, Frisians, Franks, and Lombards. Inscriptions found in the churches of S. Maria in Cosmedin and St. Agnes, as well as the 8th-century Itinerarium or "Pilgrim's Book of Einsiedeln," indicate the main streets of Rome. They passed 18 diaconiae all located in connection with the main and titular churches: nine were on the Vicus Tuscus, Argiletum, and Clivus Suburanus; and another nine were in connection with the roads that led from the gate of St. Peter to that of St. Paul. A diaconia consisted of a church where the people of a district gathered to hear daily Mass; an administrative office in a rebuilt public building; and a monastery of monks, who controlled the distribution of food and alms. Four depots for wheat were located on the sites of ancient Rome's granaries or market places. Roman church building, confined mainly to the reconstruction of ancient edifices, continued despite the political difficulties: Pelagius II (579–590) rebuilt St. Lawrence, Honorius I (625–638), St. Agnes and the church of the Four Crowned Martyrs. With paschal i (817–824) a new style was introduced in the rebuilding of the churches of St. Praxedes, S. Maria in Domnica, St. Cecilia, and St. Mark.
Carolingian Period. In 806, when Pope Leo III marked the 10th year of his pontificate upon his return from the court of Charlemagne at Treves, he decided on a special distribution of alms to the churches of Rome and had a record made of the 25 recipients in the Liber pontificalis. Beside almost each of the churches there was a monastery for the celebration of the Liturgy or the care of the diaconia. Leo's journey had been preceded by the Pope's coronation of Charlemagne as Roman emperor in St. Peter's on Christmas Day 800. This event had been prepared for in 753 when Stephen II (752–757) appealed to the Frankish King Pepin for support. In 773 Adrian I (772–795) called upon charlemagne to destroy the Lombard power in Italy. Charlemagne gave the Exarchate of Ravenna and the Roman Duchy not to the Byzantine Emperor, but to the Pope as his estate.
During the 9th and 10th centuries the struggle between the leading families of Rome to control the papacy was marked by schisms, insurrections, imperial interventions, and synods. The Arabs sacked the city (846) and plundered the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul, after which Pope Leo IV (847–855) built a wall to enclose the district surrounding St. Peter's, known since that time as the Leonine city. The election of Pope Benedict III (855–858) was disputed by anastasius the librarian, but the commissioners of Louis II of Germany decided ultimately in favor of Benedict. Because of his competence in Greek and his wide knowledge, Anastasius was selected papal librarian by Pope nicholas i (858–867); he attended the last session of the Council of constantinople iv and participated in the discussions involving Photius and his actions. Pope John VIII (872–882) chose Charles the Bald of France over Louis the German as the new Roman emperor and crowned him in Rome on Christmas Day 875. John also organized a fleet to contain the Arabic invasions and fortified St. Paul's against Saracen depredations from Naples, Gaeta, and the Campagna. He was murdered by his local enemies on Dec. 16, 882.
Lateran Councils. John IX (898–900) stemmed the local anarchy but only temporarily. For 60 years Rome was ruled by a single family who made and unmade popes at will. Under Prince Alberic (931–954), St. Odo of Cluny reformed the monasteries of Subiaco and Monte Cassino, founded a Cluniac monastery on the Aventine, and began a religious revival in Rome. In 962 Otto I, King of Germany, was crowned emperor in Rome by the Pope. He deposed John XII (955–964) and eventually installed Leo VIII (963–965) as pope. Chaotic conditions prevailed, with a brief interval after the election of Silvester II (999–1003), until the archpriest of St. John's became pope as Gregory VI (1045–46) and brought the monk Hildebrand from the Benedictine monastery on the Aventine to be his secretary.
Pope Leo IX (1049–54) inaugurated a vast reform movement in Rome through lateran council i (1049), which was followed by synods in Italy and northern Europe and prepared the way for Alexander II (1061–73) and Gregory VII (1073–85), who were elected in accord with a decree promulgated at Lateran Council II (April 1059). This decree established the right of the cardinals alone to elect the pope.
Under Alexander and Gregory, the bishop of Rome took a leading part in vitalizing the spiritual well-being of the city and of Christendom. Yet despite basic reforms and the attempt to destroy lay control of the Church in the investiture struggle, two families, the Pierleoni and the Frangipani, succeeded in violating the peace for another hundred years. Rome was invaded by the Normans, saw the rise of a republic that restored the Senate, reformed the "equestrian orders" (probably the lower nobility and higher citizens), elected a patrician, Arnold of Brescia, as consul with absolute power over the city, and witnessed the crowning of frederick i barbarossa (1152–89) as emperor by the English Pope adrian iv (1154–59). Under Clement III in 1188 the Senate was brought under ecclesiastical control, following the struggle for political dominance between Barbarossa and Alexander III (1159–81). The republic experienced some success in expanding its territory and entering into commerce with the rising northern republics, but political tension with the popes and disagreements between the papacy and the emperors prohibited internal development. Despite the growth of economic power through minor industries, the continual visits of princes, clerics, and prelates on ecclesiastical affairs, and a swelling influx of pilgrims, little political stability was achieved.
Late Middle Ages. Innocent III (1198–1216) inaugurated the 13th century with a renovation of the politicocivic structure of the Church. However, between 1232 and 1235 a great civil rebellion began that had as its first objective the control of the territory outside the city. With the reestablishment of the republic, both ecclesiastics and laymen were placed under complete control of the law and were subjected to taxation but were promised free election of senators, the coinage of money, and even the payment of imposts by the pope. A two-year period, during which the Papal See was vacant (November 1241–June 1243), gave this movement further impetus and allowed the first families to take control. They summoned the senator Brancaleone degli Andalò from Bologna and gave him dictatorial powers, which he used judiciously to reorganize the city and restore public safety. Popes Innocent IV (1243–54) and Alexander IV (1254–61) had no choice but to concur. Both these popes established theological schools in the city, and, despite a great influx of students between 1263 and 1284 under Charles of Anjou, Rome enjoyed a true period of peace, strengthened by the French Pope Martin IV (1281–85).
Under Nicholas III (1277–80), the Orsini family had come to power, and under Nicholas IV (1288–92), the Colonna. Thereafter the two families vied to rule, with their sons as senators, cardinals, and popes. With Boniface VIII (1294–1303), the Caetani family from Anagni entered upon the Roman scene. Boniface presided over the Jubilee of 1300, which brought visitors from all over Christendom; he contributed to the embellishment of the Roman churches and founded the Sapienza as the university of Rome. Despite his exaggerated claims regarding papal supremacy and his final humiliation at Anagni by William of Nogaret, Philip of France's emissary, Boniface contributed much to the well-being of the city.
The Popes in Avignon. Under Clement V (1305–14) the papal residence was transferred to Avignon, and Rome lost much of its importance. For more than 70 years it was embroiled in the rivalries of the Colonna-Orsini houses, and experienced the rise of Cola di Rienzo (1313–54), whose attempt to restore order and the ancient splendor of Roman imperialism aborted. Rome returned to the rule of papal legates such as the rigid Cardinal Albornoz. Pope Urban V attempted to reestablish papal residence in Rome (October 1367–April 1370), but this was accomplished only by Gregory XI (Jan. 17, 1377). Boniface IX (1389–1404) fortified the Campidoglio, the ancient seat of the civil government, and renewed papal rule. He was followed by weak popes, however, and once more the city became prey to internecine rivalry, declining to the lowest ebb in 1415, when wolves roamed the cemetery of the Vatican.
Late Medieval Art. Roman devotion to building and the decorative arts was not neglected even during this disturbed period, and almost all the larger churches were provided with square bell-towers, thus evidencing a return to the architectural styles of both the 5th and the 8th centuries. The church of SS. John and Paul was furnished with an ornamental loggia outside the apse, and the basilicas of the Lateran and of St. Paul were provided with marble cloisters between the abbey and church, whose painstaking ornamentation was the work of the Vassalletto family. The polychrome sculpture and mosaics of the age took their name (cosmatesque) from the Cosmati artists. Gothic influence is shown by the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, built by the Sisto and Ristoro brothers of Florence. Arnolfo di Cambio ruled the world of sculpture from Rome for the last two decades of the 13th century with his monuments to Charles of Anjou on the Campidoglio, the ciboria in St. Paul and in St. Cecilia, and the crib in St. Mary Major. Giotto, Pietro Cavallini, and Jacopo Torriti dominated painting and mosaic with their popular and narrative scenes mainly of spiritual motivation.
With the pontificate of the Colonna Pope, Martin V (1417–31), who was elected at the Council of con stance and entered Rome in 1420, the restoration of the city's churches and public buildings was begun in earnest. Aided by his family, he achieved political hegemony and turned his attention to world affairs, preparing the way for the temporary reunion with the Greeks accomplished by Eugene IV (1431–47) at the Council of Ferrara-Florence (1439–41).
Art and Scholarship. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Rome was the center on which descended the great artists of the period in ever-increasing numbers. Martin V had invited the painters Masolino, Masaccio, Gentile da Fabriano, and Pisanello, along with Donatello the sculptor, to assist in the decoration of his reconstructed churches, and Nicholas V (1447–55) called upon Fra Angelico to decorate the chapel of St. Lawrence in the Vatican. He celebrated the Jubilee of 1450 and followed this attempt at spiritual renewal in Rome with a series of decrees, against ecclesiastical and moral abuses, that were carried to Germany by Cardinal nicholas of cusa and john capistran and to France by Cardinal d'Estoutville. In an attempt to pacify Bologna and tighten his control over the Papal States, Nicholas sent Cardinal bessarion as his legate-governor and put down an insurrection under Porcaro (1453). He likewise proved to be a discriminating patron for the revival of Greek and Latin studies, commissioning the translation of both classic and patristic works and encouraging members of the Curia, such as poggio, as well as the Greek refugee scholars, in their search for ancient MSS.
This policy was followed with personal variations by his successors from Pius II (1458–64) to Leo X (1513–21) in the period that saw Rome as the center of European art and scholarship. The Papal Curia was infiltrated by foreigners, who helped bring a wider outlook on the Church's participation in world affairs, faced as it was particularly with the necessity of stemming the Muslim drive in the western Mediterranean. The leading Roman families turned their attention from founding principates to amassing enormous wealth and prestige as cultivators of the arts.
Leo X brought to a close Lateran Council V (1512–17), whose reform decrees were issued as papal bulls. They dealt with preaching, with the laws of residence for cardinals in Rome and for bishops in their dioceses, and with simony and concubinage. If observed, these reforms might have done much to stave off the impending Protestant revolt. Instead, political and nationalistic considerations, as well as family ambition, entered into both the creation of cardinals and the election of popes. The local nobles built great palaces for protection as well as for ostentation: the Palazzo Venezia, by Pietro Barbo; the Palazzo dei SS. Apostoli, by Sisto and Raffaele Riario; the palace at the Governo Vecchio, by Stefano Nardini; the palace at the Penitenzieri, by Domenico della Rovere; the palace in the Borgo, by the Cesi; the palace of Andriano Castellesi; and especially the palace of the Farnesi. They were imitated by the Aldobrandini, Borghese, Barbarini, Altieri, Panfili, and Braschi families, who filled Rome with great buildings that still dominate parts of the city, and who built magnificent villas in the suburbs or the nearby Castelli Romani. The Medici, Spannocchi, and Chigi families became the papal financiers, and a class of papal ambassadors and representatives was formed among both the Romans and the foreigners who circled in and out of the Curia, employing the numerous lesser artisans whose presence in Rome rapidly increased its population.
Religious Life. On the strictly religious plane, Rome was the center of a new development in popular, religious art that sprang from the development of new devotions such as the Stations of the Cross and the Five Wounds. It witnessed also the multiplication of third orders and of guilds, whose corporate life was built around prayer, the Sacraments, and works of charity. The rich endowed colleges, schools, hospitals, and homes for the unfortunate, including the destitute and repentant prostitutes. The Bible was translated into Italian by the Camaldolese monk Nicolò Malerbi and collections of simple sermons and books of popular instructions, such as the Libretto della dottrina cristiana, vied with the learned translations of scholars for attention by printers and publishers. From the heart of the Curia under Julius II (1503–13) rose St. Cajetan, who founded the Order of the Theatines, provided Italy with a new episcopate, and helped to introduce to Rome (1519) the Oratory of Divine Love, a brotherhood of priests and laymen pledged to prayer and charity.
During the Renaissance period Rome, as a result of the upsurge of political, economic, artistic, and scholarly endeavors, had developed bifurcating mores that manifested themselves in great religious movements and at the same time in a return to the cultivation of man's natural interests, as well as in indulgence in vices of all kinds. Rome's worldly ostentation was denounced with mounting fury by the preachers, especially by monks such as savonarola in Florence and by the lower clergy. But lip service on the part of the majority of the higher clergy and a failure of the Renaissance popes to achieve a thorough reform, particularly in regard to financial administration, nepotism, and the teaching of theology, occasioned the outbreak in Germany of the Protestant Reformation, which quickly spread through northern Europe. Martin Luther (1483–1546) had defected soon after his return from Rome in 1511, where he had been scandalized by the extravagances and abuses rampant in the papal court, and he began to teach doctrines that were not in accord with Catholic theology. Rome's answer was slow in formulation but finally started with the reorganization of the University of Rome and the founding of the Collegio Romano by Ignatius Loyola. Out of Rome finally came the impetus for the Council of trent (1545–63), whose reforming decrees governed the Church's development down to the mid-20th century.
The Sack of Rome. Rome's security in an age of bandetti and condottieri had been the concern of Alexander VI (1492–1503), who fortified the Castel Sant' Angelo (the ancient tomb of Hadrian) by strengthening the wall connecting it with the Vatican palaces and building a tower to dominate the bridge of approach over the Tiber. Clement VII (1523–34) confided to Antonio da Sangallo the fortification of the city proper, since the old Aurelian wall no longer served as a defense against a possible European or Saracen siege. He built new towers on the Aventine and at the Porta Ardeatina and fortified the wall between the Vatican, the Janiculum Hill, and the bastion of the Belvedere. But these new edifices proved useless when Cardinal Pompeo Colonna joined forces with Emperor Charles V, entered Rome by stealth through the gate of St. John Lateran, and besieged the Vatican Palace on Sept. 20, 1526. Clement VII surrendered and signed a peace pact (September 22).
The following year, Rome was sacked by an unpaid band of imperial soldiers, despite the heroic resistance of the Pope and the local soldiery, and the city was held captive until 1528. Some 30,000 of its citizens lost their lives, and four-fifths of its houses were deserted. The Pope, who had escaped to Viterbo in 1528, on his return set about the rebuilding of the city, using its destruction as a warning and calling for reform "in head and members" of the Church and Christian society.
Under Paul IV (1555–59) Rome again suffered a setback when Emperor Charles V prepared to besiege the city. On the pope's death (Aug. 18, 1559) his enemies burned the palace of the Inquisition and destroyed the statue of the pope on the Campidoglio. Sixtus V (1585–90) displayed a strong hand in controlling the unruly elements of the city's population, and Urban VIII (1623–44) refortified the Castel Sant' Angelo as a center of local power. Great difficulty for the safety of the city was caused by the claims of foreign diplomats to immunity not only for their persons and palaces but for the piazzas and streets surrounding their residences, since their servants sheltered criminals and evil-doers of all types in the shadow of their masters' pennants. Innocent XI (1676–89) attempted to end this abuse by convincing the King of Spain to renounce the privileges (1677) claimed by his ambassador. Venice ceded in 1679; Spain, in 1682, and the cardinals, who had attempted to imitate this procedure, were forced to desist. After long opposition on the part of the French ambassadors, the Count of Lavardin finally submitted to a show of force by Alexander VIII (1689–91).
Urbanization. Julius II (1503–13) implemented the plans of Nicholas V for a complete renovation of the Vatican, and the execution of this great architectural and artistic work continued to the end of the 16th century. Julius also began the rearrangement of Rome's main streets with the Via Giulia, the Via Repetta, and the Via del Babuino as prongs of a trident off the Corso, running from the Piazza del Popolo to the center of the city. This work was brought to fruition by Domenico Fontana for Sixtus V (1585–90), when he arranged to have roads connecting S. Maria Maggiore with the Trinità dei Monti, with S. Giovanni Laterano, S. Croce in Gerusalemme, and S. Lorenzo, with the Forum of Trajan, and with S. Susanna in a starlike pattern. The pope also erected the obelisks in the piazzas of S. Maria Maggiore, S. Giovanni, S. Pietro, and the Piazza del Popolo as guidelines for further expansion of the inhabited area of the city, which was so cramped from the early Middle Ages in a great pocket of the Tiber in the shadow of the Vatican. Sixtus encouraged expansion by bringing aqueducts with water to other parts of the city, thus acknowledging the large population growth, which, from a few thousand in the late Middle Ages, rose to 130,000 during the Renaissance, and which, from less than 40,000 after the sack of Rome in 1527, had by the end of the 16th century reached 100,000 inhabitants.
In the 17th century an almost organic development saw the creation of the great piazzas, such as that fronting the Palazzo dei Barberini, the Piazza Navona, the Piazza S. Pietro, the Piazza di Spagna, and the reconstruction of the ancient Porto di Repetta by Clement XI (1700–21).
MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ROME
After the first infiltration of baroque art into Rome during the 17th century, a classic reaction set in with the buildings of F. Duquesnoy and Alessandro Algardi and with the paintings of Nicolas Poussin, A. Sacchi, and C. Maratta supported by the theories of G. Bellori. In the 18th century the late baroque was represented by the Spanish Stairs, the Ripa Grande, the Trevi Fountain, the Piazza di S. Ignazio, and the facades of the Lateran (1735), S. Maria Maggiore, and S. Croce (1743) under Popes Clement XII (1730–40) and Benedict XIV (1740–58). The latter, a Bolognese and a learned canonist, as well as humanist, was elected in a conclave that lasted six months; he did much to recommend Rome to the Enlightenment, as well as to the courts of Europe, both Catholic and Protestant. The pope wrote definitive works on the process of canonization and the holding of synods and, in his letters, frequently discussed scientific subjects. He founded several academies of learning in Rome, thus attracting the erudite of many countries. Clement XIV (1769–74) introduced measures for the development of trade and industry in the Papal States, but his bad relations with the Roman nobility and with the Catholic states determined on suppressing the Jesuits, prevented his realization of projects for the betterment of the city itself.
French Revolution. Rome became a victim of the French Revolution, when on Dec. 28, 1797, Joseph Bonaparte intervened in its internal affairs and occupied Castel Sant' Angelo on Feb. 10, 1798. On the 15th he proclaimed the end of the papal power and the inauguration of the Roman Republic. The city suffered from internal disruption and was cut off from outside assistance for two years, until an army from Naples liberated it on Sept. 30, 1799. Pius VII (1800–23) was taken prisoner in 1809 by napoleon i, and Rome was proclaimed an imperial city with whose restoration General de Tournon was charged. He began with a rearrangement of Monte Pincio, but met with considerable resistance on the part of the Roman nobility. Pius reentered the city on May 24, 1814, but had to flee a year later before the army of General Murat. He returned in June 1815 after the defeat of the Napoleonic forces at Tolentino (May 3–4).
In his efforts to revitalize Roman life, Gregory XVI (1831–46) encouraged an artistic and architectural resurgence and promoted the excavations of the Roman Forum, opening three museums to house the Etruscan, Egyptian, and ancient Roman discoveries (now located in the Lateran). In executing the urban renewal planned by Tournon, the Pope carried forward the realignment of the borghi or heavily populated sections of the city, ordered the creation of public parks, opened the cemetery of Verano, and proposed a revised approach to the Piazza del Popolo. New sections of the city opened to habitation included the borgo of Mastai and the region between S. Maria degli Angeli and the slope of the Quirinal Hill, now crossed by the Via Nazionale.
The Republic of 1849. The new spirit of the age in public affairs and the desire for a popular share in government prevailed on Pius IX (1846–78), soon after his election, to proclaim amnesty for political exiles and prisoners (July 16, 1848) and to create a municipal council with the right to elect nine magistrates and a senate for the city's public affairs. The attempt aborted upon the assassination of the papal prime minister, Pellegrino Rossi (Nov. 15, 1848). Ten days later the Pope fled to Gaeta. He prorogued the Senate and named Cardinal Castracane head of a new provisional government (Nov. 27 and Dec. 7, 1848).
On Feb. 9, 1849, a new republic was proclaimed that immediately repudiated the temporal power of the pope. It proceeded to confiscate ecclesiastical properties, take control of the schools, abolish the privilege of clerical immunity and the tribunal of the Holy Office, and cancel censorship of the press. But the ensuing financial crisis in particular made the new republic an easy target for the intervention of the French army under General Oudinot, dispatched to Rome by Louis Napoleon (III) at the request of Cardinal Antonelli, the pope's chancellor. After considerable fighting within the city itself, the French forces took full possession (July 3, 1849), and Pius returned to Rome on April 12, 1850.
The pope set about modernizing Rome, providing new administrative and social ordinances, introducing telegraph and railroad facilities, and encouraging new construction. Under French supervision the city enjoyed relative calm until 1867, when Garibaldi attempted to organize a revolution from outside, but he was defeated at Mentana (Nov. 3–4, 1867). The recall of the French troops for the Franco-Prussian War, however, left Rome defenseless, and on Sept. 20, 1870, the city was occupied by the Garibaldian troops. A truce was made by papal representatives, which included respect for the independence of the Vatican and the Leonine City. After a plebiscite on October 2, Rome was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy. In 1871 the Italian government transferred its capital from Florence to Rome and set about transforming the city into a modern metropolis.
Population and Urbanization. Between 1846 and 1870 the population of Rome had doubled to over 200,000 inhabitants, and it continued to increase, making a reordination of the city's inhabitable parts imperative. The plan published by P. Camporese and Alessandro Viviani in 1873, following the commission of General Cadorna, gradually made possible the spread of population from the tight quarters of Trastevere. The destruction of landmarks such as the ville principesche in favor of new quarters on the Esquiline, Boncompagni Ludovisi, and the Salario, helped to inflame political differences but proved an absolute necessity. Likewise, the creation of a net of streets and avenues, such as the Via Nazionale, Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, Via Arenula, and Via Tritone, caused great resentment among conservative property owners and antiquarians. But in the end the city was provided with new architectural monuments, proper housing for its inhabitants, and hotels and conveniences for an ever-increasing stream of visitors, while historians and archeologists were given new insights into the city's ancient topography and buildings. Calderini's monument to Victor Emmanuel II on the Piazza Venezia (since 1921, the tomb of the unknown soldier) and the palace of justice by Sacconi were begun before 1890 and completed in 1911. They represented two types of architectural sentiment prevailing at the turn of the 20th century, almost totally alien to contemporary tastes.
Amid the feverish efforts at building and expansion, an anticlerical wave was created by political extremists and capped by the attempt to throw the body of Pius IX into the Tiber in the course of its removal from the Vatican to the cemetery of Verano (1882). The erection of a statue to Giordano Bruno in the Campo de' Fiori almost caused an insurrection on the part of the extreme clerical faction in 1887. However, with the accession of Victor Emmanuel II and the election of Pope leo xiii (1878–1903), attempts were made to heal the political schism. The pope desired to make Rome an intellectual center for ecclesiastical studies; he prescribed the renewal of Thomistic philosophy and theology in the Roman seminaries and ecclesiastical colleges and encouraged the scientific pursuit of history and humane studies. But following the policy of Pius IX, he stayed strictly within the confines of the Vatican, refused to recognize the kingdom of Italy officially, and prohibited Catholics from participating in the civil government.
"Partito popolare" and Fascism. This policy was continued under St. Pius X (1903–14) and Benedict XV (1914–22), yet it proved impossible to implement, and gradually, with Vatican assent, Catholics entered administrative offices and participated in local Roman elections. In 1919 Luigi sturzo founded the Partito popolare, whose intent was to prepare the way for a government in which all the citizenry could be properly represented. While Italy's participation in World War I (1915–18) brought great hardships on the city, the efforts of Pope benedict xv (1914–22) to put an end to hostilities and his charitable efforts in aiding the people of Rome did much to break down the last signs of enmity between the Vatican and the civil authorities.
At the beginning of his pontificate, Pius XI (1922–39) gave his blessing Urbi et Orbi —to the City and to the World—from the balustrade of St. Peter's, an ancient custom that had not been honored since 1870. Eight months later, the black-shirt army marched on Rome (October 1922) and brought Benito Mussolini's Fascist party into power, provoking a series of incidents that kept the city in turmoil for the next 20 years. Gradually the Fascist dictatorship destroyed popular liberties, persecuted the leaders and wrecked the centers of Catholic Action in Rome, dissolved the Partito popolare, and exiled Luigi Sturzo. Its one accomplishment was the signing of the lateran pacts (Treaties) and Concordat on Feb. 11, 1929, whereby Vatican City was recognized as an independent state and the pope, as an independent sovereign ruler. The compensation made by the Italian government for the spoliation of the Papal States was made partly in monetary payments and partly in property, which the Vatican used to benefit the city of Rome as well as the Vatican State. Pontifical ecclesiastical institutes in Rome and other specified properties were given immunity as belonging directly to the Vatican, while transport, postal, and other Vatican necessities were assured safe passage through the city.
"Non abbiamo bisogna." Relations between the Vatican and Fascist Rome, despite the Concordat and pro-Fascist sympathies of certain ecclesiastical officials, were difficult. The Pope permitted the blessing of Italian troops during the Abyssinian War (1935–36) and spoke encouragingly to the Roman people, but he showed no sympathy for the regime's policies and insisted on the freedom of sale in Rome of l'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican paper. With the encyclical Non abbiamo bisogna, Pius condemned the racism and exaggerated nationalism of the Fascist political philosophy. Catholics in Rome, as well as statesmen and Jews, who were the objects of persecution, received shelter in the Vatican. When Hitler visited Rome, Pius pointedly left the city for his summer residence in Castelgandolfo.
World War II. The imminent approach of World War II brought Pius XII (1939–58) to the papacy, and during the war he exerted his energies in protecting the persecuted in the city and allaying the worst features of the Fascist defeat (July 25, 1943) and the German occupation (Sept. 10, 1943). Through his efforts Rome was considered an open city, and when the sectors of Tiburtino and Prenestino were bombed (July and August 1943), Pius hurried to the scene to condole with the people. The Pope made a great effort to provision the city and to prevent the deportation of its citizens, and he bewailed the massacres perpetrated in the Via Rasella and the Fosse Ardeatina (March 1944).
With the liberation of Rome by Allied troops on June 4, 1944, Rome became an official sight-seeing objective for millions of the military seeking an audience with the Holy Father, who had been hailed by the Romans as the defensor civitatis, or defender of the city. In the postwar period, Pius was an acknowledged world figure and received visits by heads of state and world leaders, as well as by pilgrims and learned societies of every persuasion, bringing to Rome millions of tourists each year. In 1950 Pius proclaimed a Holy Year, which was celebrated with great religious splendor, and the Pope left the Vatican on several occasions to participate in religious functions. His death and the subsequent papal election focused the eyes of the world on Rome and attracted over 1,000 radio and television reporters.
Modernization. The second half of the twentieth century brought enormous changes to the city of Rome. Pope John XXIII (1958–63) immediately gained Roman and world popularity by his joviality, simple religious faith, and frankness. Taking his office as bishop of Rome as a genuine pastoral responsibility, he frequently left the Vatican to visit infirm friends, institutions, and the various parishes of Rome, most especially those in the poorer quarters or on the periphery of the city. He held a Roman diocesan synod in his cathedral at the Lateran (1960) in preparation for Vatican Council II (1961–65). Pope John's convocation of the Council led to an increase of international attention on the city of Rome as witnessed by the arrival of many media personnel, as well as ecumenical and interfaith representatives. Catholics from around the world continued to arrive as pilgrims in large numbers and those at home followed the news from Rome eagerly during the Council. Following Pope John's beatification in 2000, his body was moved to the side altar dedicated to St. Jerome in St. Peter's Basilica and is displayed there for the veneration of the faithful. It is a popular shrine for Italian pilgrims as well as the many from afar who flock to the Eternal City.
Pope Paul VI (1963–78) built upon the work of his predecessor in the reform of the Church. Sadly, his reign coincided with a time of great turmoil within Italy. He was faced with political problems in secular affairs as well as the ecclesiastical realm. The Catholic governing body of Italy, the Christian Democratic Party, was the subject of numerous scandals and waning popularity. During the mid-1970s his close personal friend, Prime Minister Aldo Moro, was kidnapped by the Italian communist insurgent Red Brigade and assassinated despite personal pleas from the pope. The Mafia was also very active during this period, though their greatest civil disturbances were reserved for the 1990s. Despite the increased internationalism of the ecclesiastical institutions present in Rome, the dwindling numbers of religious vocations throughout much of the world greatly reduced the numbers of seminarians, priests, and religious in the city—often leaving them with enormous and half-empty buildings scattered throughout the historic center of Rome. This prompted further tension with the burgeoning population that demanded "less churches and more houses" as Rome struggled to put an ever-greater number of inhabitants and workers into a museum-like ancient city center. The Holy Year of 1975 provided an additional influx of pilgrims into the city and the realization of Rome's permanent status as annual host to millions of foreign visitors.
Pope John Paul I (1978) had a minimal impact on the city due to his short, month-long reign. He ventured from the boundaries of the Vatican City State into Rome only once as pope, but his winning smile endeared him to the people. A single red rose is often to be found on his tomb in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica as a poignant sign of continuing affection.
Pope John Paul II (1978–) brought a new and international vigor to Rome. The Romans were skeptical of a non-Italian pope, especially since he was becoming the bishop of their city. He quickly allayed their fears as he initiated an ambitious plan to visit every parish in the diocese and actively sought to build new churches in suburban areas to accommodate population growth. His pastoral solicitude for his diocese reached a highpoint in the door-to-door campaign of evangelization and outreach that he personally inaugurated as a preparation for Rome's special role in the Great Jubilee. The pope's efforts are met by continued resistance in a city that regards the Church somewhat cynically and where Mass attendance has been estimated at ten percent of a population that is ostensibly Catholic in name and culture.
Pope John Paul II also had to deal with complications in Church-state relations caused by a wide-ranging financial scandal implicating Vatican-owned corporations and by the all-encompassing bribery and corruption probes, which led to the defeat and dissolution of the Christian Democratic Party, with its subsequent crisis of defining how Italian Catholics should best contribute to the political welfare of their nation. He became the out-spoken leader of opposition to the Mafia in the face of murders of Italian priests and the bombing of his own cathedral of St. John Lateran and of the ancient church of St. George.
Pope John Paul II's success in international diplomacy led to the further prestige of Rome as a center of global politics. The peaceful end of the communist regimes of Eastern Europe, the resolution of Panamanian General Manuel Noriega's fate, and numerous other hidden initiatives occurred in this ancient capital due to papal skill in diplomacy. Continuing negotiations for peace in the Middle East often refer back to Rome, as witnessed by the frequent visits of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
The international character of Rome continues to grow with many refugees and immigrants from the former Soviet-bloc and lesser-developed countries in Africa and Asia. As in the ancient world, Rome is truly a global crossroads. The pastoral challenges posed by this influx have been valiantly met by new Church outreaches to the poor such as the large Roman presence of Mother Teresa's missionaries of charity and the efforts of local lay movements such as the Community of sant'egidio. There has also been a general rise in the number of new religious orders and ecclesial movements from around the world that have established houses in Rome. An encouraging fruit of Vatican Council II is the increased number of international lay students of theology at the various pontifical universities.
Pope John Paul II's charisma and world travels have elicited great interest in Rome and increased the desire of people around the world to visit the Eternal City. His travels have also led to the posing of the previously unnecessary question: "Is the Pope at home?" The Wednesday general audiences with the pope draw thousands of pilgrims each week, and the record number of beatifications and canonizations have drawn further millions of the faithful to these special religious ceremonies in Rome. The apex of these visits was the Great Jubilee of 2000 that led to a wholesale refurbishing of the city and updating of its infrastructure. Vast public works projects achieved what has generally been acclaimed as the restoration of Rome to its baroque splendor while making it more "user-friendly" for modern, international visitors. The facades of nearly every important church and prominent building were meticulously cleaned and historic markers posted. Sadly, due to the terrible air pollution in Rome, some of the newly uncovered brilliant white travertine facades noticeably darkened soon afterward. The emergence of internet cafes and of fast-food restaurants also reflects the social changes, for better or worse, in the traditionally slow-paced life of Rome. The subway system (Metropolitana) was greatly extended and connected with an expanded and renovated Leonardo da Vinci airport—both projects meant to facilitate the movement of Jubilee pilgrims. The traffic patterns of Rome were reconfigured to ease tourist buses away from the congested narrow streets of the city center and new city bus lines between the major pilgrimage churches were added. An ambitious underground parking garage was built under the Janiculum hill adjacent to the Vatican and traffic tunnels and pedestrian zones added. The Great Jubilee completed an intense, half-century project to bring Rome into the modern world. Pope John Paul II used the Great Jubilee as an opportunity for close and harmonious collaboration between the Vatican and the Italian government as they strove together to better the city and reconciled their inter-dependence with their independence
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[f. x. murphy/
"Rome." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rome-0
"Rome." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rome-0