Saturday, 7 September 2013

Santa Maria Antiqua: “The Sistine Chapel of the 8th Century” in Context, December 4-6, 2013 at Rome

Santa Maria Antiqua: “The Sistine Chapel of the 8th Century” in Context

An International Conference to be held in the Sainsbury Lecture Theatre at the British School at Rome on December 4-6, 2013 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the death of Gordon McNeil Rushforth, first Director of the School



Wednesday 4 December



Session One: Introductions and Welcome

Christopher Smith: Director of the British School at Rome

Mariarosaria Barbera: Soprintendente, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma

Lisa Ackerman: Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, World Monuments Fund



Session Two: Gordon Rushforth: Commemoration of his life and work

Chair: Christopher Smith

9.20     Peter Wiseman: Gordon McNeil Rushforth. The First Director of the British School at Rome and Santa Maria Antiqua (20 min)

9.40     John Osborne: Rushforth and the Text of Magister Gregorius’ Narracio de mirabilibus urbis Romae (20 min)

10.00   Andrea Paribeni: Con Boni nel Foro? Le relazioni tra Gordon Rushforth e Giacomo Boni dalle carte dell'Archivio Boni-Tea (15 min)

10.15   Giovanni Gasbarri: Wladimir de Grüneisen and the study of Santa Maria Antiqua in its multi-cultural context (15 min)

10.30   Eileen Rubery: The Church of Santa Maria Antiqua: Researching with Rushforth’s paper (15 min)


10.45-11.15 COFFEE


Session Three: The Santa Maria Antiqua complex and its Links with the Palatine

Chair: Andrea Augenti

11.15   Henry Hurst: The Basilica and Diaconia of Santa Maria Antiqua (30 min)

11.45   David Knipp: Richard Delbrück and the Reconstruction of a ‘Ceremonial Route’ in Domitian’s Palace Vestibule (25 min)

12.10   Kaelin Jewell: A Chalke in Rome? Byzantine Authority and the Palatine Hill (20 min)

12.30   Robert Coates-Stephens: “Oratory of the Forty Martyrs” (25 min)

12.55   DISCUSSION (25 min)


1.20-2.15: LUNCH


1.00-6.00: (To be Confirmed) Display of relevant books from various publishing houses in the Foyer



Session Four: Understanding and Conserving Santa Maria Antiqua (1984-2013)

Chair: Maria Andaloro/ Giuseppe Morganti

2.15     Giuseppe Morganti: “Per meglio provvedere alla conservazione dei dipinti”: Santa Maria Antiqua 1984-2013 (30 min)

2.45     Ernesto Monaco: Misurare Santa Maria Antiqua da Petrignani ad oggi (25 min)

3.10     Werner Schmid: Diario di un lungo restauro (2000-2013) (25 min)

3.35     Alia Englen: Dialogando coi restauratori (25 min)


4.00-4. 30: TEA


Chair: Giuseppe Morganti/ Maria Andaloro

4.30     Maria Andaloro: Riscoprire le pitture di Santa Maria Antiqua dai ponteggi (30 min)

5.00     Giulia Bordi: L’abside e i suoi strati (30 min)

5.30     Andaloro, Bordi, Viscontini, Amato, Pelosi, Pogliani, Schmid, Valentini: Occhi puntati sui palinsesti di Santa Maria Antiqua (30 min)

6.00     DISCUSSION (30 min)

6 30: ?Book Launch: ‘Old S Peter’s Conference’

8.00: Conference Dinner (for Speakers, Chairs of Sessions, those providing Posters and invited guests only)


Thursday 5 December



Visit to Santa Maria Antiqua and the Oratory of the 40 Martyrs

(NOTE: To go on the visit it is essential that Form One (Registration Form) is completed and indicates a wish to go on the visit. Places will be allocated in order of forms received. All those who have registered by June 10, 2013 will have places reserved on this visit. Depending on the final numbers attending the conference, it may be necessary for some of those registering after that date to visit on the morning of Saturday 7 December.)


Three groups are planned starting at 9.30, 10.00 and 10.30 and finishing about one hour later so that the last group will finish by 11.30, giving time to return to the British School for lunch and the Poster Session.


12.00-2.00: Poster Session in the Foyer outside the Lecture Theatre


12.45-1.45 LUNCH at British School at Rome in the Foyer outside the Lecture Theatre



Session Five: Santa Maria Antiqua, the Lateran Synod and other Church Councils

Chair: Eileen Rubery

Session 5A: Events surrounding the Lateran Synod

1.45     Rosamond McKitterick: The Seventh- and early Eighth-century Sections of the Liber pontificalis (20 min)

2.05     Richard Price: The Frescoes in Santa Maria Antiqua and the Lateran Synod of 649 (30 min)

2.35     Catherine Cubitt: The Lateran Synod of 649 and Santa Maria Antiqua: Ritual Action and its audience (30 min)

3.05     DISCUSSION (25 min)


3.30-4.00 TEA


4.00-5.45: Session 5B: Events after the Lateran Synod

4.00     Marek Jankowiak: Rome at the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680-681): an Unexpected Victory (20 min)

4.20     Manuela Gianandrea: Il dipinto murale di Santa Sabina all’Aventino e il Concilio del 680: implicazioni teologiche di una rara iconografia (20 min)

4.40     Richard Pollard: Men of Letters in 7th century Rome: an exercise in literary archaeology (20 min)

5. 00    Johannes Börjesson: The cult of Augustine in the Byzantine Church of the First Millennium (15 min)

5.15     DISCUSSION: (30 min)


5 45: Transfer to the Villa Aurelia for the lecture by Peter Brown in the American Academy of Rome ‘New Work in the Humanities Series’:


6 30: Peter Brown - Constantine, Eusebius of Caesarea and the Future of Christianity


Friday 6 December


Session Six: The Cult of Saints

Chair: David Knipp



9.00     Eileen Rubery: From Alexandria to Rome: The cult of the anargyri saints Abbacyrus and John in Santa Maria Antiqua and elsewhere in Rome in the 7th and 8th centuries (30 min)

9.30     Philip Booth: Eastern monks and eastern cults in seventh-century Rome (30 min)

10.00   Arkadii Avdokhin: Forging identities, promoting Orthodoxies - Lateran Synod Texts in the Sanctuary Frescoes of Santa Maria Antiqua and their Byzantine context (20 min)

10.20   DISCUSSION (30 min to include reference to

·         Alexandra Vukovich: (Poster) The Genesis of Eastern Monastic Themes at the Church of Santa Maria Antiqua


10.50-11.20 COFFEE



Session Seven: Santa Maria Antiqua: Images of worship in the Sanctuary

Chair: Valentino Pace

11.20   Per Olav Folgerø: Expression of Dogma:  Text and Imagery in the Triumphal Arch Decoration in the Sanctuary of S. Maria Antiqua in Rome (705-707 A.D.) (30 min)

11.50   Ann van Dijk: Visual Diplomacy on the Apsidal Arch of Santa Maria Antiqua (20 min)

12.10   Maria Lidova: The Power of Maria Regina: Imperial Background and Theological connotations of the Early Byzantine Image (20 min)

12.30   DISCUSSION (30 min)


1.00-2.00 LUNCH



Session Eight: Santa Maria Antiqua: Patronage and Theology


2.00     Beat Brenk: Santa Maria Antiqua: Patronage and Theology (30 min)

2.30     Marios Costambeys: Liturgy and Patronage at Santa Maria Antiqua in the Eighth century (20 min)

2.50     Clemens Gantner: The Pontificate of Zacharias (20 mins)

3.10     DISCUSSION (35 min) Posters relevant to this session are:

·         Adam Bollók:The Jewels of Theodotus’ Daughter between Rome and Byzantium

·         Maria Grafova: The Row of Saints in the Left Aisle of Santa Maria Antiqua as Historical Evidence of the Iconoclast Era at Rome


3.45-4.15 TEA



Session Nine: Final Discussion: Santa Maria Antiqua in Context and directions for future research

Chair: John Osborne

Discussion will open around four questions:

·         What was Santa Maria Antiqua’s original function?

·         What was the role played by the Greek monks?

·         How did the church’s function change over the years?

·         Where do we go from here: new avenues of research?


5.30 Formal Close of Conference: Christopher Smith


Some additional visits may be arranged for Saturday 7 December:

  • Depending on the numbers registered for the conference, additional visits to Santa Maria Antiqua may be organised for this morning.
  • S Sabina: A visit to S Sabina to look at the fresco in the narthex may be arranged.
  • A visit to the church of S Passera, the church that held the relics of SS Abbacyrus and John and that is situated in the Portuense area near S Paul’s outside the Walls across the Tiber, may be arranged.

For updated details, including information on Hotels near to the British School at Rome visit the Conference web-site at

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