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St. Peter's Necropolis Scavi Tour; Booking Info, Websites, History?

St. Peter's Necropolis Scavi Tour; Booking Info, Websites, History?

Oct 16th, 2009, 10:10 AM
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Walter, thanks for bringing this to the top and updating. I also believe the bones belong to Saint Peter. Continuous veneration of the site lends enough proof for me. That, to me, is one of the most fantastic things about Rome - the continuous veneration of early Christian sites. What can I say? Rome is WOW on so many levels.
Margaretlb is offline  
Dec 20th, 2009, 02:06 PM
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Just tried to write to the Scavi office to request a tour and it appears that the e-mail address is no longer valid. Does anyone have any new information on a new contact address? Thanks so much!!
lufty13 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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ttt to read later.
annhig is offline  
Dec 20th, 2009, 02:12 PM
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This is the address that I have; I've not used it yet so can't tell you if it works, but wil be trying within the next few days for a slot in Feb.

[email protected]

good luck lufty.
annhig is offline  
Dec 20th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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That is the one we tried and the one I used in 2007. I am getting a domain error message when trying to send to that address now. Thanks for your help though.
lufty13 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2009, 06:58 PM
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That's still the e-mail listed by the Vatican. Perhaps they are just having trouble with the website/e-mails.
kybourbon is online now  
Dec 21st, 2009, 02:39 PM
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It IS Christmas week. Could be their servers are just overwhelmed.
sarge56 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2012, 12:37 PM
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A condensed version I emailed to someone with working links and some new historical info. Regards, Walter

Hi Zach,
My post (i.e. This post) about the St. Peter's Necropolis Scavi Tour is 5yrs old and some of the Links are dead (mostly the stpetersbasilica.org which have just changed their URL slightly).
But below are the important ones which will get you thru my post on Fodors about the tour.

Read thru the entire post because some other info was added later, use my post just to get a gist of what might have happened back then (skip over the other info like booking & taking the tour, etc). (This post) http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34888402

BUT FIRST read this chapter on the discovery which will get your bearings on the site.

Now with a general idea of this site you might want go into detailed reading with photos and illustrations. www.saintpetersbasilica.org/Necropolis/Scavi.htm Click-on the Links on the website.

On the WALSH Book Link be sure to click-on (Complete Text Here).

Besides reading or browsing the book itself be sure to also *definitely* check-out the 'List of Photographs' and the 'Illustrations in the Text' sections.

The same goes for the GUARDUCCI Book Link, click-on (Complete Text Here) and check-out her 'IllUSTRATIONS'.

Also the 'Map of the Vatican Necropolis-Scavi' is interactive with info on the necropolis.

And on 'The Scavi Tour' Link near the bottom of the page is a Link to this site
http://www.catholiceducation.org/art...on/re0735.html I can't get it with Webtv but it seems 'Chapter/Letter 2' deals with the scavi.

DIAGRAMS www.stpetersbasilica.org/images.htm

TOMB PHOTO; http://www.stpetersbasilica.org/Conf...omb/Wall_G.jpg (St. Peter's bones in plexiglass box inside in full view)

I'm an Atheist and I believe this is the tomb of St. Peter purely based on the facts with no bias either way.

Of all the historical sites and objects I have seen this was the most moving I have ever experienced.

IMO this is the only existing physical link (with very good proof) to Jesus Christ, who I definitely believe was an historical figure. Regards, Walter

[The book quoted below is out of copyright (102yrs) ]

"G. W. Gilmore, in vol. 8 of_The new Schaff-Herzog encyclopedia of religious knowledge_(ed. G. W. Gilmore, New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1910, 481-2): http://books.google.com/books?id=7DgMAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA481
Gilmore deduces that it is probable but not certain that Peter died in Rome. The pertinent portions of the text are transcribed below. Christopher Ingham (a very knowledgable poster responding to my post on sci.archaeology & soc.history.ancient on Google Groups)"

The Closing Years.

Except for the prophecy in John xxi. 18 sqq. and the Petrine epistles (see below), the New Testament gives no information regarding the closing years of Peter.

The sole remaining source is tradition, which, though constantly receiving unhistoric accretions, seems to preserve a kernel of truth in the legend that the apostle went to Rome toward the close of his life and there suffered martyrdom under Nero.

Thus Clement, in his first epistle to the Corinthians, written in 95-97, records: "Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labors; and, when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him" (ANF, i. 6).

It is also noteworthy that no source describes the place of Peter's martyrdom as other than Rome, the place evidently implied by Clement, as the context shows.

It would also seem that Papias of Hierapolis knew of Peter's residence at Rome (cf. Eusebius, Hist. eccl., III.; xxxix. 15).

There are, however, a number of direct statements that Peter lived at Rome.
Dionysius of Corinth (about 170) states that Peter and Paul founded the church at Corinth and then taught in Italy, both suffering martyrdom at Rome (Eusebius, Hist. eccl., II., xxv. 8; and like declarations are made by Irensaeus (Haer., iii. 1, of. iii. 3), Tertullian (De praescriptione, xxxvi.; cf. Scorpiace, xv.; Adv. Marcionem, iv. 5), Clement of Alexandria (Eusebius, Hist. eccl., VI., xiv., II., xv.), and the Roman presbyter Caius (Eusebius, Hist. eel., II., xxv. 7).

A similar story is told both by the late second-century Acts of Peter (perhaps Gnostic in origin) and by the almost contemporary Acts of Peter and Paul[....] Confused and False Traditions Concerning Peter.

Of the other patristic traditions concerning Peter's residence at Rome probably the only one which may be regarded as certain is that which makes Mark his companion at Rome, where the second Gospel was written after Peter's death on the basis of his oral communications.

When, however, Jerome declares (De vir. ill., i.) that Peter, after being bishop at Antioch and laboring in Pontus, Galacia, Cappadocia, Asia Minor, and Bithynia, went to Rome in the second year of Claudius to oppose Simon Magus, and was bishop of the church there for twenty-five years, finally being crucified head downward in the last year of Nero's reign and buried on the Vatican, his statements rest on a combination of fugitive allusions.

The Antiochian episcopate is based on Gal. ii. 11 sqq., his activity in Asia Minor on I Pet. i. 1, his crucifixion is perhaps drawn from a literal interpretation of John xxi. 18, while the manner of it (cf. Eusebius, Hist. eccl., III., i.) savors of post-apostolic rather than of apostolic taste, and his burial on the Vatican is deduced from the statement of Caius (see above) that there was a monument on that hill to commemorate the martyrdom of the apostle.

The twenty-five years' episcopate of Peter at Rome is evidently due to the statement of Justin Martyr regarding the labors of Simon Magus at Rome (see above), combined with the tradition of Peter's residence in the same city, especially as it would seem that the Roman Church had actually been formed early in the reign of Claudius through the indirect influence of the Petrine Christianity of Palestine.

All this giving rise to the belief that Peter himself came to Rome early in the reign of Claudius, the combination of it with the tradition of his martyrdom toward the close of Nero's reign evidently gave rise to the legend of his twenty-five years' residence in Rome.

A further element of confusion was added by the increasing parallelism of Peter and Paul, leading not only to the unhistoric tradition of their joint founding of the church at Corinth, but also to their simultaneous labors in Rome; and a similar idea may have given rise to the belief that the death of Peter, almost coincident with that of Paul, took place in 64, the year of the general persecution of the Christians instigated by the burning of Rome.

Still later the death of both apostles was put on the same day, June 29, although the persecution actually took place in July or August.

Moreover, Eusebius (Hist. eccl., III, ii., xxi.), like Irenaeus, the Apostolic Constitutions, and Rufinus, seems to have regarded Linus, not Peter, as the first bishop of Rome; . and it was not until the middle of the third century that Peter was definitely claimed as bishop of Rome (Cyprian, Epist., lv. 8, lie. 14).

The reckoning of the twenty-five years in Rome varies irreconcilably in different sources, and the whole is rendered impossible by the data of the New Testament, which shows that he was living in Jerusalem at the time of the council of the apostles in 53 (Acts xv.), whence he later visited Antioch (Gal. ii. 11 sqq.), while Paul's failure to mention him either in his epistle to the Romans (written in 59) or in his letters from Rome (in the seventh decade of the first century) would imply that Peter was not in the city even then.

It seems most probable, on the whole, that Peter died a martyr's death in Rome toward the close of Nero's reign, some time after the cessation of the general persecution. Absolute certainty is, however, unattainable.
ParadiseLost is offline  
Feb 15th, 2012, 02:56 PM
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Walter - Where have you been???
Holly_uncasdewar is offline  
Feb 15th, 2012, 08:40 PM
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@Holly-Buon viaggio!
sarge56 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2012, 05:51 AM
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Sarge - we'll toast a dessert to you at La Zucca!
Holly_uncasdewar is offline  
Feb 16th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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I' m afraid I am confused. I cannot find a good link here to the scavi tours. I just end up on the Vatican home page and when I search for scavi tours English I get something In German!

Can you re-post the link that takes me to the tour site? I would really appreciate it.
charnees is offline  
Feb 16th, 2012, 02:44 PM
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Hi Holly, long story but thanks.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/in...090216_en.html Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:03 PM
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I've been meaning to correct what I wrote in my original post for a few years.
"But Nero didn't start the Fire and wasn't even in Rome at that time (he was in Greece),"
I was thinking of Actium, Greece where Octavius, Marc Antony and Cleopatra had their famous sea battle.
Nero was actually in Antium (modern day Anzio) 35mi south of Rome.

The websites (3 parts) below are *excellent* with alot of photos, diagrams, info and videos of Scavi Tour information.
A couple of things are wrong and a few I disagree with but they are just minor points.



Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 05:17 PM
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My original post is outdated as far as tour info goes but I would like to add some historical info that I should have in the original. Regards, Walter

SUETONIUS 'CLAUDIUS' (~49/50AD also see 'Bible Acts below)

"Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome".

SUETONIUS 'NERO' (Suetonius has an extreme bias when writting about Nero, he seperates the Christians from the Fire in order to place 100% of the blame on Nero.) �

"During his reign many abuses were severely punished and put down, and no fewer new laws were made: a�limit was set to expenditures; the public banquets were confined to a distribution of food; the sale of any kind of cooked viands in the taverns was forbidden, with the exception of pulse and vegetables, whereas before every sort of dainty was exposed for sale.

***45 Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition.

He put an end to the diversions of the chariot drivers, who from immunity of long standing claimed the right of ranging at large and amusing themselves by cheating and robbing the people. The pantomimic actors and their partisans were banished from the city.

TACITUS; (Here is mentioned the 'circus' which could only mean the 'Circus of Gai and Nero' which is under St. Peter's Sq. and to the left (South) of St. Peter's Basilica as it is mentioned in the same paragraph as his 'Gardens' which are located in that adjoining area.)

"But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order.

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace.

Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.

Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.

Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were ***nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.

***Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car.

Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed".


BIBLE Acts 18:2

[In Corinth] "And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them,"

ACTS; 18:12-18:16
But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him to the tribunal, 13 saying, "This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law."
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews, "If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud, I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles and your own law, see to it yourselves. I do not wish to be a judge of such matters."
And he drove them away from the tribunal.

[Gallio's proconsulship in Achaia is dated to A.D. 51�52 from an inscription discovered at Delphi. This has become an important date in establishing a chronology of the life and missionary work of Paul.]

Paul stayed in Corinth for 1.5yrs and "Aquila, a native of Pontus, having *recently* come from Italy with his wife Priscilla".
This places the Claudius Jewish/Christian exile ~49/50AD which is generally accepted.


[NOTE; That "Several attempts" were made from the time of the original grave (64AD) until the 'Trophy of Gaius' (160AD at the lastest) to protect this simple pauper's grave over the years/decades due most likely from water erosion from being on a mostly barren hillside.

If the builders of this beautiful shrine (Trophy) wished to shore-up the walls of the grave I doubt very much they would have done a half-hearted job with simple stones but instead have used marble or stone slabs to re-enforce the earthen sides.

It seems that it was left in its original condition on purpose for a reason? Others also mention this maintenance as proof this grave was looked after for many years/decades.]

"Directly beneath the marble slab set into the pavement at the point where the aedicula joined the Red Wall, the archaeologists discovered what was clearly a grave. A cavity, measuring only 72 cm from side to side and approximately 1.4 m deep, was clearly visible.

***Several attempts had been made to line this cavity with simple stone walls to protect its sides but it had still been badly damaged. Innumerable ancient coins from all over Christian Europe lay all around the floor of this space and indicated that a large number of pilgrims had visited this site, dropping coins into the grave through the little rectangular window in the marble slab over it.

Also I have never found any other scholar that backed-up this statement I used by Prof. Baudy;

***There was an ancient Egyptian prophesy that was well known at the time predicting "The fall of a great evil city on the day the 'Dog Star' (Sirius) rises".

Sirius rose on July 19, 64AD which was the day the 'Great Fire' started.

Also the early Christians had no love for Pagan Rome and according to Historian Prof. Gerhard Baudy they were preaching and passing out texts saying "That a fire would reduce the city (Rome) to ashes" and this was well before the 64AD 'Great Fire'.
ParadiseLost is offline  

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