Early Christian Churches of the Aventine Hill

By Daniel Giantomaso & Andrew Nip

Located near the Forum Boarium and the Roman Forum, the Aventine Hill is the southern most and western most of the seven hills of Rome and has been the home to many patrician palaces and villas over the course of Rome’s storied history. On the Aventine Hill sits Santa Sabina, the mother church for the Dominican Order and the headquarters to the Order of Preachers. The site that the church is currently on was originally a church-house before Christianity was made an official religion of the Roman Empire. Another church along the hill is Santa Maria in Cosmedin, located at the foot of the Aventine and sits at the edge of what was the Forum Boarium. The church has links that predate Christianity – and the city of Rome – as it was built above the Ara Maximus. Much of the church’s structure has been added piecemeal over time, including the Romanesque bell tower.

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