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Papal tombs in Old St. Peter's Basilica

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Papal tombs in Old St. Peter's Basilica

A drawing of the interior of St. Peters
A sketch by Giacomo Grimaldi of the interior of St. Peter's during its reconstruction, showing the temporary placement of some of the tombs

The papal tombs in old St. Peter's Basilica were the final resting places of the popes, most which dated from the fifth to sixteenth centuries. The majority of these tombs were destroyed during the sixteenth through seventeenth century demolition of old St. Peter's Basilica, except for one which was destroyed during the Saracen Sack of Rome in 846. The remainder were transferred in part to new St. Peter's Basilica, which stands on the site of the original basilica, and a handful of other churches of Rome.

Along with the repeated translations from the ancient catacombs of Rome and two fourteenth century fires in Basilica of St. John Lateran, the rebuilding of St. Peter's is responsible for the destruction of approximately half of all papal tombs. As a result, Donato Bramante, the chief architect of modern St. Peter's Basilica, has been remembered as "il Ruinate".[1]

Although the original basilica's construction was begun during the reign of emperor Constantine I and completed in the fourth century, Pope Leo I (440–461) was the first pope buried in the Constantian basilica.[2] Over the centuries, both the atrium, chapels, and the nave of the basilica were packed with papal tombs, which were juggled between different sections of the church as construction took place on each section of the basilica. All that remains of the original tombs are a few sarcophagi and sculptural fragments.[3] Allegedly, Pope Julius II, the pope who initiated the destruction of the Constantinian basilica, wished to clear space for a "monstrous" tomb of his own by Michelangelo.[4]

Very little is known about the placement and appearance of the original tombs: one of the most valuable accounts is that of church canon and historian Giacomo Grimaldi (a senator of Genoa and the father of Girolamo Grimaldi-Cavalleroni), who sketched the tombs as they were moved around the basilica on the way to their destruction;[5] Grimaldi's sketches record the shape and complexity of the early tombs, many of which were three-tiered.[3] A few destroyed papal tombs are also detailed in the writings of Alphonsus Ciacconius.[6]

Not all popes were buried in Rome. See list of non-extant papal tombs

Papal tombs

Contents
400–500 · 500–600 · 600–700 · 700–800 · 800–900 · 900–1000 · 1000–1100 · 1100–1200 · 1200–1300 · 1300–1400 · 1400–1500 · 1500–1600
Partially extant, moved, or rebuilt tombs are shown with a darkened background.
A map of the interior of Old St. Peter's
A map, circa 1590, by Tiberio Alfarano of the interior of Old Saint Peter's, noting the locations of the original chapels and tombs.[4]

A photo of Algardi's Fuga d'Attila
Algardi's Fuga d'Attila, above the altar containing the translated remains of Pope Leo I, "the Great"

A photo of Algardi's Fuga d'Attila
A photo of an altar
The altar above the translated remains of Pope Gregory I, "the Great"

A photo of the marble container of Popes Leo I, II, III, and IV's remains
The combined remains of Popes Leo I, II, III, and IV

A drawing of the tomb of Pope Leo II
A drawing of the original tomb of Pope Leo III

A drawing of the atrium of Old St. Peter's
The atrium of Old St. Peter's Basilica, a popular site for tombs

Drawing of papal tombs, from De sacris aedificiis... by Giovanni Ciampini (1693)
Drawing of papal tombs
Drawing of papal tombs
Drawing of papal tombs
Drawing of papal tombs
Drawing of papal tombs
Drawing of papal tombs
Drawing of papal tombs
A photo of an early Christian sarcophagus
An early Christian sarcophagus in which Pope Gregory V was buried after his tomb was discovered beneath the pavement during the demolition

A photo of the sarcophagus of Pope Adrian IV
The sarcophagus of Pope Adrian IV, which is extant in the Vatican Grottoes

A photo of the combined tomb of Pope Nicholas III
After the destruction of his tomb, Nicholas III was combined with two of his relatives.

A photo of the sarcophagus of Pope Boniface VIII
The extant sarcophagus of Boniface VIII

A photo of the sarcophagus of Pope Urban VI
The nearly dumped sarcophagus of Urban VI

A photo of the sarcophagus of Pope Innocent VII
The remains of Pope Innocent VII were translated to a copy of the original sarcophagus.

A photo of the sarcophagus of Pope Nicholas V
The sarcophagus of Pope Nicholas V

A photo of the sarcophagus of Pope Paul II
The sarcophagus of Pope Paul II

A photo of the combined tomb of Popes Sixtus IV and Julius II
The remains of Pope Sixtus IV were combined with those of Pope Julius II.

A photo of the tomb of Pope Innocent VIII
The tomb of Pope Innocent VIII was the first to depict a live pontiff.

A photo of the tomb of Pope Pius III
The tomb of Pope Pius III was translated to Sant'Andrea della Valle.

A photo of the tomb of Pope Paul III
The tomb of Pope Paul III

A photo of an ancient sarcophagus
Pope Julius III was reinterred in an ancient sarcophagus.

A photo of a fourth century sarcophagus
Pope Marcellus II reused a fourth-century sarcophagus.

A photo of the tomb of Pope Innocent IX
The tomb of Pope Innocent IX was the last installed in Old St. Peter's.

Pontificate Portrait Common English name Notes
440–461 Leo I
Saint Leo
Leo the Great
Tomb located in portico.[7] First pope buried on the porch of Old Saint Peter's Basilica; translated multiple times, combined with Leos II, III, and IV circa 855; removed in the seventeenth century and placed under his own altar, below Algardi's relief, Fuga d'Attila (pictured) in the Chapel of the Madonna of Partorienti.[2]
468–483 Simplicius
Saint Simplicius
Tomb located in portico, near tomb of Leo I. Destroyed during the demolition.[8]
492–496 Gelasius I
Saint Gelasius
Tomb located in portico[9]
496–498 Anastasius II Tomb located in atrium. Destroyed during the demolition.[9]
498–514 Symmachus
Saint Symmachus
Tomb located in portico. Destroyed during the demolition.[9]
514–523 Hormisdas
Saint Hormisdas
Destroyed during the demolition[9]
523–526 John I
Saint John
Located in the nave. Destroyed during the demolition.[10]
526–530 Felix IV
Saint Felix
Located in the atrium. Destroyed during the demolition.[10]
530–532 Boniface II Located in the portico. Destroyed during the demolition.[10]
533–535 John II Destroyed during the demolition[11]
535–536 Agapetus I
Agapitus
Saint Agapetus
Located in the atrium. Destroyed during the demolition.[11]
556–561 Pelagius I Located in the atrium. Destroyed during the demolition.[12]
561–574 John III Destroyed during the demolition[13]
575–579 Benedict I Located in the vestibule of the sacristy. Destroyed during the demolition.[13]
579–590 Pelagius II Located in the atrium. Destroyed during the demolition.[13]
590–604 Gregory I, O.S.B.
Saint Gregory
Gregory the Great
Located in the portico. Originally buried in the portico of Old St. Peter's, partly transferred to Soissous; during the demolition of St. Peter's, transferred to Sant'Andrea della Valle then Cappella Clementina, near the entrance of the modern St. Peter's.[14]
604–606 Sabinian
Saint Sabinian
Original monument in the atrium of Old Saint Peter's destroyed during the demolition;[15] small fragment of the original epitaph remains in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica[16]
607-607 Boniface III Destroyed during the demolition[15]
608–615 Boniface IV, O.S.B.
Saint Boniface
Originally buried in the portico of Old Saint Peter's; translated to the interior; one arm translated to Santa Maria in Cosmedin; other relics translated to the Chapel of St. Sylvester beside the Church of the Quattro Coronati; remainder translated to another chapel of St. Peter's;[17] oratory which once contained the tomb is extant, as well as a sketch of the tomb by Ciampini[16]
615–618 Adeodatus I [18]
619–625 Boniface V Destroyed during the demolition[18]
625–638 Honorius I Destroyed during the demolition[19]
638–640 Severinus Located in the porch. Destroyed during the demolition.[20]
640–642 John IV Destroyed during the demolition[20]
642–649 Theodore I Located in the atrium.[20] Destroyed during the demolition.[20]
654–657 Eugene I
Saint Eugene
Destroyed during the demolition[21]
657–672 Vitalian
Saint Vitalian
Destroyed during the demolition[21]
672–676 Adeodatus II, O.S.B. Destroyed during the demolition[21]
676–678 Donus Destroyed during the demolition[21]
678–681 Agatho
Saint Agatho
Destroyed during the demolition[21]
681–683 Leo II
Saint Leo
Originally buried in Old Saint Peter's; translated under the altar of the Chapel of the Madonna della Colonna; combined with Leo I in the early seventeenth century; for centuries believed to be under the altar of the Church of San Stefano in Ferrara; combined remains of Leo's I, II, and IV in Chapel of the Madonna of Partorienti when found during the demolition[22]
684–685 Benedict II
Saint Benedict
Destroyed during the demolition[23]
685–686 John V Located in the atrium. Destroyed in a Saracen raid in 846.[24]
686–687 Conon Located in the left nave. Destroyed during the demolition.[25]
687–701 Sergius I
Saint Sergius
First pope buried in Saint Peter's proper (not a portico); tomb destroyed during the demolition[25]
701–705 John VI Destroyed during the demolition[26]
705–707 John VII Located in the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Destroyed during the demolition; surviving mosaic of John VII in the Vatican grottoes believed to be part of his original tomb[26]
708-708 Sisinnius Located in the left nave. Destroyed during the demolition.[27]
708–715 Constantine Located in the left nave. Destroyed during the demolition.[27]
715–731 Gregory II
Saint Gregory
Located in the atrium. Destroyed during the demolition.[27]
731–741 Gregory III Located in the Oratory of Our Lady. Destroyed during the demolition.[27]
741–752 Zachary
Saint Zachary
Destroyed during the demolition[27]
Never took office as Pope Pope-elect Stephen Located in the atrium. Destroyed during the demolition.[27]
752–757 Stephen II Located in the atrium. Destroyed during the demolition.[28]
757–767 Paul I
Saint Paul
Located in the Oratory of Our Lady. Temporarily buried in San Paolo fuori le Mura; moved to the Oratory of Our Lady in Old Saint Peter's; destroyed during the demolition.[28]
767–772 Stephen III Located in the atrium. Destroyed during the demolition[28]
772–795 Adrian I Original monument in the Oratory of Cathedra Petri destroyed during the demolition;[29] inscription, composed by Charlemagne, remains in the portico of modern St. Peter's[30][31]
795–816 Leo III
Saint Leo
Located in the Chapel of the Madonna of Partorienti. Originally buried in Old Saint Peter's (above); combined with Leo II and IV by Pope Paschal II; combined sarcophagus destroyed during the demolition; combined with Leo I in 1601 and placed in a sarcophagus under the altar of our Savior della Colonna in new Saint Peter's (below)[32]
816–817 Stephen IV Destroyed during the demolition[32]
824–827 Eugene II Destroyed during the demolition[33]
827–827 Valentine Destroyed during the demolition[33]
827–844 Gregory IV Destroyed during the demolition[33]
844–847 Sergius II Located in the Altar of the chapel of Saints Sixtus and Fabian. Destroyed during the demolition.[33]
847–855 Leo IV, O.S.B.
Saint Leo
Located under the altar of Our Savior della Colonna. Combined with Leos I, II, and III.[33]
855–858 Benedict III Located in the Narthex. Destroyed during the demolition.[34]
858–867 Nicholas I
Saint Nicholas
Nicholas the Great
Originally buried in the atrium of Old Saint Peter's; epitaph partially preserved during the demolition, extant in the Vatican grottoes[34]
867–872 Adrian II Originally buried in Old Saint Peter's; epitaph partially preserved during the demolition, still visible in the Vatican grottoes[34]
872–882 John VIII Located in the portico or nave. Destroyed during the demolition.[35]
882–884 Marinus I Located in the portico. Destroyed during the demolition.[35]
885–891 Stephen V Located in the portico. Destroyed during the demolition.[36]
891–896 Formosus Originally buried in old Saint Peter's; exhumed, defrocked, defingered, and thrown in the Tiber River (see: Cadaver Synod); reinterred in Old Saint Peter's; destroyed during the demolition[37]
896-896 Boniface VI Located in the portico. Destroyed during the demolition.[37]
896–897 Stephen VI Located in the portico. Destroyed during the demolition.[37]
897–897 Romanus Destroyed during the demolition[38]
897 Theodore II Destroyed during the demolition[38]
898–900 John IX, O.S.B. Located in the portico, left nave, or just outside. Destroyed during the demolition.[38]
900–903 Benedict IV Located near the gate of Guido. Destroyed during the demolition.[39]
904–911 Sergius III Destroyed during the demolition[39]
911–913 Anastasius III Located in the atrium. Destroyed during the demolition.[40]
913–914 Lando Destroyed during the demolition[40]
928–928 Leo VI Destroyed during the demolition[41]
928–931 Stephen VII Destroyed during the demolition[41]
931–935 John XI Destroyed during the demolition[41]
936–939 Leo VII, O.S.B. Destroyed during the demolition[41]
939–942 Stephen VIII Destroyed during the demolition[41]
942–946 Marinus II Destroyed during the demolition[41]
964–965 Leo VIII Destroyed during the demolition[42]
973–974 Benedict VI Destroyed during the demolition[43]
983–984 John XIV Destroyed during the demolition[43]
985–996 John XV Located in the Oratory of St. Mary. Destroyed during the demolition.[44]
996–999 Gregory V Tomb discovered on August 14, 1607 under the pavement of St. Peter's; exhumed and reburied on January 15, 1609 in a fourth/fifth century sarcophagus[45]
1012–1024 Benedict VIII Destroyed during the demolition[46]
1024–1032 John XIX Destroyed during the demolition[46]
1045–1046 Gregory VI Destroyed during the demolition[47]
1049–1054 Leo IX
Saint Leo
Originally buried in the east wall of Old Saint Peter's, close to the altar of Gregory I; coffin opened on January 11, 1606 during the demolition and parts were taken as relics; remainder reburied under the altar of Saints Marziale and Valeria,[48] now dedicated to the stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi[49]
1088–1099 Urban II, O.S.B.
Blessed Urban
First tomb destroyed during the demolition[50]
1145–1153 Eugene III, O.Cist.
Blessed Eugene
Destroyed during the demolition
1154–1159 Adrian IV, O.S.A. Reused an Early Christian sarcophagus[51]
1227–1241 Gregory IX Destroyed during the demolition[52]
1241–1241 Celestine IV Destroyed during the demolition[53]
1277–1280 Nicholas III Original destroyed during the demolition; combined with two Rainaldo Orsinis in 1620[54]
1294–1303 Boniface VIII Original tomb chapel, into which Boniface VIII had moved the relics of Boniface IV, destroyed during the demolition[55][56]
1378–1389 Urban VI Saved during the deconstruction of Old Saint Peter's; nearly dumped by workmen for use as a water trough[57][58]
1389–1404 Boniface IX Located in the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. Tomb by Giovanni Tomacelli among the first destroyed during the demolition.[59]
1404–1406 Innocent VII Originally buried in the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul, moved to the Chapel of St. Thomas in 1455, moved into a mid-fifteenth century copy of the original sarcophagus on September 12, 1606[60]
1447–1455 Nicholas V Moved from the left outer aisle of Old Saint Peter's to the right outer aisle. Still monument by Mino da Fiesole, but not sarcophagus, destroyed during the demolition.[61]
1464–1471 Paul II Effigy by Giovanni Dalmata; figures and bas-reliefs by Mino da Fiesole. Monument moved in 1544 and torn down in seventeenth century; sarcophagus survived demolition.[62]
1471–1484 Sixtus IV, O.F.M. Sculpted by Antonio del Pollaiolo. Originally located in the choir chapel of Old Saint Peter's; moved in 1610 to the sacristy; moved in 1625 to the Chapel del Coro in new Saint Peter's; combined with Julius II in 1926; moved again in 1940s.[63]
1484–1492 Innocent VIII Sculpted by Antonio del Pollaiolo. First papal tomb to depict a live pope rather than a deathbed effigy; originally placed in the Oratory of Our Lady in Old St. Peter's; moved to the sudarium on September 5, 1606 during the demolition.[63]
1503–1503 Pius III Sculpted by Sebastiano Ferrucci. Originally built in Old Saint Peter's; last papal mausoleum erected in Old St. Peter's; moved to Sant'Andrea della Valle during the reign of Paul V.[64]
1523–1534 Clement VII Originally buried in a brick tomb in Old Saint Peter's; current tomb is across from that of Leo X, another Medici pope in Santa Maria sopra Minerva[65]
1534–1549 Paul III Sculpted by Guglielmo della Porta. Moved in 1599.[66]
1550–1555 Julius III Originally buried in St. Peter's Basilica sans monument in a red stone sarcophagus in the chapel of San Andrea; reinterred in an ancient sarcophagus in 1608, which was reopened two years later during the demolition;[67] sometimes cited as buried in the Del Monte chapel of San Pietro in Montorio along with his adopted cardinal-nephew, Innocenzo Ciocchi Del Monte[68]
1555–1555 Marcellus II No monument; fourth century sarcophagus, bearing a traditio legis[69]
1572–1585 Gregory XIII Original monument destroyed; new monument built in eighteenth century[70]
1590–1591 Gregory XIV Sculpted by Prospero Antichi.[71]
1591–1591 Innocent IX No monument[71]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 11.
  2. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 40.
  3. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 272.
  4. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 274.
  5. ^ Grimaldi, Giacomo. Ed. R. Niggl. 1972. Descrizione della Basilica Antica di S. Pietro in Vaticano: Codice Barberini Latino 2733. Vatican City.
  6. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 12.
  7. ^ Reardon, 2004, pp. 40–41.
  8. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 41.
  9. ^ a b c d Reardon, 2004, p. 42.
  10. ^ a b c Reardon, 2004, p. 43.
  11. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 44.
  12. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 45.
  13. ^ a b c Reardon, 2004, p. 46.
  14. ^ Reardon, 2004, pp. 46–48.
  15. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 48.
  16. ^ a b Mann, 2003, p. 22.
  17. ^ Reardon, 2004, pp. 49–51.
  18. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 51.
  19. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 52.
  20. ^ a b c d Reardon, 2004, p. 53.
  21. ^ a b c d e Reardon, 2004, p. 54.
  22. ^ Reardon, 2004, pp. 54–55.
  23. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 55.
  24. ^ Reardon, 2004, pp. 55–56.
  25. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 56.
  26. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 57.
  27. ^ a b c d e f Reardon, 2004, p. 58.
  28. ^ a b c Reardon, 2004, p. 59.
  29. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 60.
  30. ^ Gardner, 1992, ill. 16.
  31. ^ Mann, 2003, p. 24.
  32. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 61.
  33. ^ a b c d e Reardon, 2004, p. 62.
  34. ^ a b c Reardon, 2004, p. 64.
  35. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 65.
  36. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 66.
  37. ^ a b c Reardon, 2004, p. 67.
  38. ^ a b c Reardon, 2004, p. 68.
  39. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 69.
  40. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 70.
  41. ^ a b c d e f Reardon, 2004, p. 71.
  42. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 72.
  43. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 74.
  44. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 75.
  45. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 76.
  46. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 81.
  47. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 82.
  48. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 84.
  49. ^ Mann, 2003, p. 27.
  50. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 88.
  51. ^ Gardner, 1992, ill. 11.
  52. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 100.
  53. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 101.
  54. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 111.
  55. ^ Gardner, 1992, ill. 106–108, 111–112.
  56. ^ Reardon, 2004, pp. 120–121.
  57. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 137.
  58. ^ Gardner, 1992, ill. 147.
  59. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 140.
  60. ^ Reardon, 2004, pp. 141–142.
  61. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 153.
  62. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 163.
  63. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 167.
  64. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 177.
  65. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 182.
  66. ^ Reardon, 2004, pp. 185–186.
  67. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 186.
  68. ^ Aldrich, Robert, and Wotherspoon, Garry. (2000). Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History from Antiquity to World War II. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-25369-7. p. 278.
  69. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 187–188.
  70. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 195.
  71. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 199.

References

External links

  • (German) Information and images on papal tombs (1417 and 1799) from the Requiem project

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