Patrons of Rome: the cult of Sts Peter and Paul at court and in the city in the fourth and fifth centuries

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Abstract

This paper will focus primarily on that most potent of all symbols of the new Christian city of Rome, the cult of Peter embodied in the apostolic memoria on the Vatican Hill. It will consider the roles of emperor, pope and senatorial aristocracy in its promotion in the fourth and fifth centuries, together with the interconnected development of the cult of Rome's other apostle, Paul, entombed to the south of the city on the Via Ostiense. In particular, apostolic cult, the key element in the representation of Rome as the Christian caput urbium, will be examined in relation to the renewed imperial engagement with Rome evident from the late fourth century through to the last years of the western empire.

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