EARLY MEDIEVAL WALKING TOURS OF  ROME

 

Itinerarium VII and Itinerarium VIII of the Codex Einsiedlensis

 

Late in the eighth century Pilgrims were coming to Rome from faroff places to visit the sites where the Apostles Peter and Paul and other saints had been martyred and buried. They were joined by visiters interested in seeing the still-standing monuments and other structures of classical Rome. The purposes of both were served by an unknown scholar who mapped out ten walking routes through the city. Over forty notable places, sacred and secular, were pointed out to the hiker on each of the two longest routes.

 

A copy of the description of the ten routes was maintained long afterward in the library of the Benedictine monastery of Einsiedeln in Switzerland. In modern times it was published in Codice Topografico della Cittą di Roma edited by Roberto Valentini e Giuseppe Zucchetti. This was in Volume two of the series, Fonti per la Storia d’Italia. Rome: Istituto Storico Italiano, 1942.

 

Excavations begun in 1981 along the Via delle Botteghe Oscure brought to light an extraordinary archeological complex, a porticoed courtyard, the Crypta Balbi. Enriched by related objects from other museums, the complex was made to be a National Roman Musuem in its own right. Among its exhibits is a large mounted map of ancient Rome with many of its highlights, including those along the Itineraria. The ten routes themselves are plotted on the map, and the places named in them are listed.

 

The exhibit does not relate its map to today’s Rome. The modern streets of Rome, however, follow the ancient viae closely enough to make it possible for the traveler to walk the Itineraria and see or imagine the sights the pilgrim of 800 would have seen. Having prepared a map of  the two longest routes plotted on a current city map, I offer it for the convenience of others.The twenty-first century hiker who follows the streets indicated on the map will not be far from any of the points of interest. Pages 190 to 197 of the source article have valuable historical footnotes about the sights. Another useful source is Richard Krautheimer’s Rome, Profile of a City, 312-1308. American edition: Princeton University Press, 1980. The itineraria and the sights relating to modern Rome can be compared with those on the map in the Crypta Balbi Museum and its publication, Museo Nazionale Romano Crypta Balbi English Edition. Published by Electa, Milan, 2000 for Ministero per I Beni e le Attivitą Culturali. Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma.

 

For the map go to itineraria map.

 

                                                                        Paul Tutwiler, Oakland, California 2012


Itinerarium VII

 

The yellow markers on the map bear the black identifying numbers listed here.  If the location is uncertain a “?” is placed on the marker.  A red identifying number on a yellow marker signifies that the location is also on itinerary VIII and has the red number in that itinerary.  The rounded edge of the wedge-shaped markers is to the left of the reconstructed route if the location is listed as being to the left of it, and it is to the right if the location is listed as being to the right of the route.  If the route goes through the location it bisects the marker, entering at the point.

 

Forty-four named sights are numbered as follows:

 

1.   St. Peter's fountain

2.   Mills

3.   Mica aurea (a neighborhood)

4.   S. Maria in Trastevere

5.   Sts. John & Paul

6.   St. Chrysogonus

7.   St. Cecilia

8.   Ponte Rotto

9.   St. George in Velabro

10.  Palatine

11.  St. Theodore

12.  Santa Maria Antiqua

13.  An arch

14.  St. Sergius

15.  Capitoline

16.  Roman Forum

17.  St. Adrian (the Curia)

18.  Sts. Cosmas & Damian and Constantine's horse

19.  "Palatium Traiani”  (Trajan's Baths)

20.  St. Cyriacus and the Baths of Constantine

21.  St. Agatha of the Goths

22.  The Subura (a neighborhood on a small hill)

23.  St. Peter in Chains

24.  St. Vitalis

25.  S. Lorenzo in Panisperna

26.  S. Lucia in Orpheo

27.  Sts. Sylvester & Martin (S. Martino ai Monti)

28.  St. Pudentiana

29.  St. Mary Major

30.  St. Vitus

31.  Nymphaeum

32.  House of Pontius Pilate (location and history uncertain)

33.  Monastery of Honorius

34.  S. Bibiana

35.  Palatium iuxta Iherusalem (Sessorian Palace)

36.  Hierusalem (S.Croce in Gerusalemme)

37.  Amphitheatre

38.  Lateran Acqueduct

39.  Claudian Acqueduct

40.  Porta Praenestina


Itinerarium VIII

 

The red markers on the map bear the black identifying numbers listed here.  If the location is uncertain a “?” is placed on the marker.  A red identifying number on a yellow marker signifies that the location is also on itinerary VII and has the black number in that itinerary.  The rounded edge of the wedge-shaped markers is to the left of the reconstructed route if the location is listed as being to the left of it, and it is to the right if the location is listed as being to the right of the route.  If the route goes through the location it bisects the marker, entering at the point. Nine of the locations are also on itinerary VII, and for these the left-handedness or right-handedness of itinerary VIII prevails.

 

Forty-two named sights are numbered as follows:

 

1.   An arch

2.   Circus flaminius & St. Agnes

3.   S. Lorenzo in Damaso

4.   Baths of Alexander

5.   Theater of Pompei

6.   St. Eustachio

7    Baths of Commodus (more likely the Baths Agrippa)

8.   The Rotunda (Pantheon)

9.   Minervium & S. Maria in Minerva

10  “Cypressus”

11. S. Lorenzo

12  S. Marco

13.  Capitoline

14. S. Sergius & Umbilicum

15. St. George

16.  Forum & column of Trajan. 

17.  The arch of Severus

18.  St. Adrian (The Curia)

19.  S. Maria Antiqua

20.  Roman Forum

21  Sts. Cosmas & Damian (Constantine's horse not mentioned).

22  St. Theodore

23.  Palatine

24. "Palace of Nero" ( Basilica of Constantine)

25.  Church of St. Peter (and Paul)

26.  Arch of Titus

27.  Arch of Constantine

28.  Meta Sudans

29  "Palatium Traiani" (Trajan's Baths)

30.  Amphitheatrum (Colosseum)

31.  S. Clemente

32  Caput Africae

33.  SS. Quattro Coronati

34.  Monastery of Honorius

35   Claudian Acqueduct

36.  Lateran palace

37.  St. John Lateran

38.  Porta Asinaria (Porta San Giovanni)