Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Excavations link ancient prison to apostle's last days
The Daily Telegraph ^ | 25 June 2010 | Nick Squires

Posted on 06/25/2010 9:48:55 AM PDT by Palter

Archaeologists have discovered evidence to support the theory that St Peter was imprisoned in an underground dungeon by Nero before being crucified.

The Mamertine Prison, a dingy complex that now lies beneath a Renaissance church, has long been venerated as the place where the apostle was shackled before he was killed on the spot where the Vatican now stands.

It has been a place of Christian worship since medieval times, but after months of excavations, Italian archaeologists have found frescoes and other evidence indicating that it was associated with St Peter in the seventh century.

Dr Patrizia Fortini, of Rome's department of archaeology, said: "It was converted from being a prison into a focus of cult-like worship of St Peter by the seventh century at the latest, maybe earlier.

"It was a very rapid transformation. We think that by the eighth century, it was being used as a church. It would have been wonderful to find a document with his [St Peter's] name on it, but of course that was always going to be extremely unlikely."

St Peter and St Paul are said to have been incarcerated in the jail by the Emperor Nero.

The two saints are said to have caused an underground spring to miraculously rise up from the ground so that they could baptise their guards and fellow prisoners.

Peter was crucified, upside down, in 64. He was buried on the hill on which, 250 years later, Constantine built the first Basilica of St Peter.

The hellish prison in which the founder of the Roman Church supposedly spent his final days consisted of two levels of cells, one on top of each other.

(Excerpt) Read more at canada.com ...


TOPICS: History; Religion
KEYWORDS: apostle; catholic; godsgravesglyphs; nero; peter; pope; prison; rome; saintpeter

1 posted on 06/25/2010 9:48:57 AM PDT by Palter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Palter
Interesting, but I thought we basically already knew this.

2 posted on 06/25/2010 9:50:37 AM PDT by Genoa (Titus 2:13)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Palter

I absolutely adore St. Peter. I love reading about him. I am comforted knowing that he had flaws just like all of us but in the end he died a martyr and I am so proud of him.


3 posted on 06/25/2010 9:51:33 AM PDT by Saundra Duffy (For victory & freedom!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Palter

The Crucifixion of St Peter by Michelangelo
4 posted on 06/25/2010 10:03:42 AM PDT by Palter (Kilroy was here.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Palter

once again my ignorance,
Is Saint Pete’s Cathederal built where the man died?


5 posted on 06/25/2010 10:07:54 AM PDT by Joe Boucher (Just say NO to RINOs. (FUBO))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Saundra Duffy

Conversely, today I consider hard times to having a hard time finding a parking spot to go shopping. How much we have changed in two millenia.


6 posted on 06/25/2010 10:09:43 AM PDT by LouAvul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Joe Boucher

St. Peter’s Basilica


7 posted on 06/25/2010 10:11:16 AM PDT by Palter (Kilroy was here.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Palter

Maybe they expect to find a note in a bottle with the message,
“Help! Am being held prisoner. Peter”.


8 posted on 06/25/2010 10:30:56 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Joe Boucher

His tomb (confirmed by studies of the bodies found there) is directly beneath the high altar. Whether that was the original place of burial after his crucifixion or his remains were moved there before the first church was built (the current St. Peter’s Cathedral was built during the Renaissance over the site of a much smaller church), I’m not sure.


9 posted on 06/25/2010 10:33:42 AM PDT by katana (For what is an Irishman ? But a .......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Palter
"It was converted from being a prison into a focus of cult-like worship of St Peter by the seventh century at the latest, maybe earlier.

No Christian ever worshipped St. Peter. This is very badly worded. One prayed and may pray to St. Peter to ask for intercession with the Lord Jesus, but that is not worship.

10 posted on 06/25/2010 10:34:06 AM PDT by TheGeezer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: katana

Thanks for the informed post.
Hope just maybe ya taught more than just i something.


11 posted on 06/25/2010 10:40:31 AM PDT by Joe Boucher (Just say NO to RINOs. (FUBO))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Palter

That’s gtreat Palter,
But it did nothing to answer anything.


12 posted on 06/25/2010 10:41:54 AM PDT by Joe Boucher (Just say NO to RINOs. (FUBO))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Joe Boucher

Same place.


13 posted on 06/25/2010 10:44:19 AM PDT by Palter (Kilroy was here.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Joe Boucher

St. Peter’s is built over the place where his bones were found. This site was outside of the walls and was at the edge of a Roman necropolis. The site was venerated by Christians although it was kept hidden and was initially marked only by a rock (Peter, or rock).

A church was built there in the 3rd century after the persecutions ceased and the spot has been accepted ever since as the burial site of St Peter, and different tombs and churches have been built over it through the centuries. The bones themselves seem to have been lost and found several times, and a big project was carried out in the 1940s to find and identify them. It was very secretive partly out of fear that Hitler would try to get hold of the bones.

The current St Peter’s was built in the 1500 and 1600’s. The tomb that is under the main altar now houses the bones of St. Peter, as identified in the 1950’s.

It’s worth a trip. If you ever go there, make sure you visit the Scavi (excavations) of the Roman necropolis that is right next and under St. Peter’s.


14 posted on 06/25/2010 10:49:53 AM PDT by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: katana; Joe Boucher

The excavations in the 1940s and 50s revealed some fascinating stuff. First, the church sits right on top of a 1st century necropolis/cemetery—filled with mostly pagan tombs. But in one area is the famous red wall, which has a structure built around 150 or so—this may be the “tropaion” or trophy/monument to the Apostles mentioned by a Roman clergyman, Gaius, as quoted in Eusebius. There is also other literary evidence that mentions the shrine having been developed around this time.

The cemetery was located on a hill, the top of which was sheared off in the 300s, and soil was also mounded up in places so that the Church’s altar could sit directly above one particular tomb—which Vatican officials were quick to identify—with good reason—as Peter’s tomb. There are inscriptions mentioning Peter in this general area, and if I remember right there were even fragments of purple-dyed “royal” cloth found in the space.

Basically, the architects in the time of Constantine (300s) had gone through *enormous* effort, including reconfiguring the whole hill, to locate the main altar directly above this one particular tomb.

Probably the basic tradition is correct—Peter died in Rome in the AD 60s and his remains were collected and deposited here in this tomb. The tomb was known and venerated by a select few, but because of persecution it wasn’t really advertised until the era of Constantine.


15 posted on 06/25/2010 10:59:57 AM PDT by Claud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: LouAvul

The march of technological progress has softened the will of man.


16 posted on 06/25/2010 11:08:22 AM PDT by Ro_Thunder (The press wants “Camelot II - The Return of JFK”, and not “Peanuts II - that’s all you’ll have)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Claud
Thanks, excellent detail! Dialogs like this no doubt bore the crap out of those who aren't cursed with historians' disease (like my wife and kids), but so be it.

As a side note, the professor who taught the "Ancient Near East" course I took in college in the 70's used a modern translation of the Bible as his main text source. In spite of all the subsequent archaeology that verifies so much of it as historically accurate, I doubt whether he would be allowed to do that today.

17 posted on 06/25/2010 11:18:20 AM PDT by katana (For what is an Irishman ? But a .......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Joe Boucher

The largest Christian church in the world is St. Peter’s Basilica, built over the tomb of St. Peter. St. Peter’s is not the cathedral church of Rome, St. John Lateran is. The term basilica refers to a church given special designation by the Pope.

The Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls is built over the burial place of St. Paul the Apostle.


18 posted on 06/25/2010 11:20:40 AM PDT by iowamark
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Ro_Thunder
I don't think technology is as much to blame as is liberalism. Liberals condition themselves to cherish their personal feelings and wants above even the lives of their children. Liberals care nothing about anything or anyone but themselves. Technology re abortions is just a means to their end.

Liberals are demons. Not all demons realize who they work for. Satan is the true head of the DNC.

19 posted on 06/25/2010 11:21:19 AM PDT by LouAvul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Saundra Duffy

I just finished a paperback book By Archbishop Timothy Dolan, called “To Whom Shall We Go? Lessons from the Apostle Peter” and it is a geat read if you love St. Peter, I highly recommend it. You will also see a side of Archbishop Dolan you would not expect, so open about his life and family. I loved pages 150-152 especially where he writes about how St. Peter asks to be upside down because he is not worthy of being crucified in the same manner of our Lord.


20 posted on 06/25/2010 11:31:33 AM PDT by Citizen Soldier ("You care far too much what is written and said about you." Axelrod to Obama 2006)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Palter

But, I thought since the Bible never says that St. Peter was in Rome and died a martyr’s death there, it didn’t really happen. I thought this was just a fairy tale told by Catholics to justify the primacy of Rome.


21 posted on 06/25/2010 11:38:20 AM PDT by Jvette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Claud

Interesting Claud,
Thanks for the input.
Don’t think they’ll top a hill for me when I’m gone.


22 posted on 06/25/2010 12:09:53 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (Just say NO to RINOs. (FUBO))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: katana

You’re right, I doubt that would be allowed today! :)

Yeah, historians’ disease...I’m definitely a sufferer. There’s a great book, something like “The Search for St. Peter’s Bones” which goes into this all in detail. It’s utterly fascinating.


23 posted on 06/25/2010 6:40:25 PM PDT by Claud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Joe Boucher

Heh heh...you never know—I’m sure a certain Galilean fisherman didn’t. In any case, the good Lord loves us, and that is better than all the accolades the world can give.


24 posted on 06/25/2010 6:43:50 PM PDT by Claud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Palter; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 240B; 24Karet; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Palter.

One more for "Roman Empire" week on GGG.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · Mirabilis.ca · LiveScience · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· Archaeology · The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


25 posted on 06/26/2010 12:12:24 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
Thanks for the ping(s) SC..!

(pic-chures...I need pic-chures!) lol :)

26 posted on 06/26/2010 12:46:09 PM PDT by Outlaw Woman (Blessed Is The Nation Whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Soldier

Interesting about Abp Dolan’s book. When was it written? I’ll have to look for it.


27 posted on 06/26/2010 1:55:57 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: TheGeezer
No Christian ever worshiped St. Peter. This is very badly worded. One prayed and may pray to St. Peter to ask for intercession with the Lord Jesus, but that is not worship.

There is not any need at all to pray to St. Peter. Our one and only mediator is The LORD Jesus Christ. We need no other. Jesus Himself, the One who died for us, beckons us with nothing but love and we need not be afraid but to come personally unto Him.

Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Jhn 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Hbr 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

1Ti 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Hbr 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

28 posted on 06/26/2010 2:05:39 PM PDT by Bellflower (If you are left DO NOT take the mark of the beast and be damned forever.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic

The one I have was published in 2008. It is publiched by Our Sunday Visitor and they do have a website www.osv.com or go to www.ewtn.com as I am pretty sure they may have it too. I got it in a Catholic bookstore here.


29 posted on 06/26/2010 7:29:24 PM PDT by Citizen Soldier ("You care far too much what is written and said about you." Axelrod to Obama 2006)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Outlaw Woman

:’)


30 posted on 06/26/2010 8:17:37 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Palter

Where in Rome was the Mamertime prison located?


31 posted on 06/28/2010 3:39:41 PM PDT by spyone (ridiculum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: spyone

It still exist . I have been there twice. It’s right outside the Roman Forumn on the northern end. Very creepy inside .


32 posted on 06/30/2010 10:49:41 PM PDT by sonic109
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: spyone

It still exist . I have been there twice. It’s right outside the Roman Forumn on the northern end. Very creepy inside .


33 posted on 07/01/2010 6:22:35 AM PDT by sonic109
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson