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DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides: Rome by Reid Bramblett, Jeffrey Kennedy

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San Clemente

Nowhere else in Rome can give such a clear idea of the city’s layering and millennia of cultural riches than this wonderful church. The very lowest level remains largely unexplored, dating back to Republican Rome, probably the 2nd century BC. At the deepest excavated level there are 1st-century AD buildings, including an early house of Christian worship and a temple dedicated to the Persian god, Mithras. Above that is a partially intact 4th-century AD basilica. When that edifice was burned in the Norman sacking of 1084, the space was filled in and a new church was built, using some of the original architectural elements. In 1857, the Irish Dominican prior, Father Mullooly, accidentally discovered the lower church and began the long ...

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