De Sacrosancto Basilica, Baptisterio et Patriarchio Lateranensi

Name of text: De Sacrosancto Basilica, Baptisterio et Patriarchio Lateranensi
Author of text: Onofrio Panvinio
Date of text: sixteenth century
Date of person in text: 1529-1568
Name of structure in text: Lateran Palace, Triclinium of Leo III
Type of structure in text: Triclinium/dining hall
Date of structure in text 717-741
Century of structure 1: 8 AD
Century of structure 2:
Country in text: Italy
Region in text: Lazio
City in text: Rome
Specific place of mosaic in text: Small hall, large hall
Description of mosaic in text:

Small hall:  Of the old decoration there remains only a mosaic around the arch of the main apse … in which St. Peter is shown seated, while handing a banner to Charlemagne with his left hand and a pallium to Leo III, both of whom kneel before him.  It contains these inscriptions; OUR HOLY LORD POPE, LEO III and also OUR LORD KING CHARLES.  Under St. Peter’s feet is written: HOLY PETER GIVE … TO POPE LEO AND VICTORY … TO KING CHARLES.

Large hall:  The main apse is decorated by mosaics, done by very inept artists, representing Christ, the Holy Virgin, the holy apostles Peter and Paul and several other saints.  On the wall which precedes the apse are the twenty-four seniors and some of the signed 144 thousand in the Apocalypse and four angels depicted in mosaic by an unskilled artist.  On the arch of the apse is this monogram:                      P
                                                     LEO,   i.e. Leo Papa. 

Mosaic date in text: 8 AD
Tesserae silver mentioned in text? No
Tesserae gold mentioned in text? No
Colour descriptions in text:

Onuphrius Panvinius, De Sacrosancto Basilica, Baptisterio et Patriarchio Lateranensi, IV, 3,9, ed. Philippe Lauer, Le Palais de Latran (Paris: Leroux, 1911), pp. 481-484, quoted in Caecilia Davis-Weyer, Early Medieval Art: 300-1150 (Canada: University of Toronto Press, 1986), pp. 89-90.


By the time Panvinio visited in the early sixteenth century the smaller of the two halls was in ruins but the larger remained, its pavement and roof intact. 

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