The basilica that was built by Constantine at the Vatican in the early fourth century to mark the burial place of the Apostle Peter became the central place for Christian worship in the West for more than a millennium until its protracted demolition over the course of the sixteenth century. The essential chronology of the construction of Old St Peter’s, and the major modifications made to its fabric over subsequent centuries, are well established. But a great many questions remain to be answered about details of the building and its monuments, and on the ways in which the basilica and its environs functioned as a ‘theatre’ of worship, burial and power throughout the middle ages from the fourth to sixteenth centuries.
This major international conference, hosted by the British School at Rome, will bring together both leading and new scholars in the fields of ancient, medieval and early modern art history, musicology and liturgical history to answer some of these questions by focussing on the fabric, monuments and use of the basilica of Old St. Peter’s.
Rosamond McKitterick, University of Cambridge