San Clemente in Rome
The Basilica of San Clemente in Rome has a long history. The present day 12th century church was thought to be the early Christian basilica mentioned by Jerome until the excavations in the 19th century. The still ongoing archaeological excavations at the site have exposed not only the “Lower Church” of the 5th century but also a horrea and a domus with a Mithraeum, reaching republican layers of Roman urban history.
The main theme of this dissertation concerns the building phases from the 3rd century throughout the 5th century when the first proper Christian basilica was finished. There have been conflicting theories about the function of the 3rd century building. The first theories saw St. Clement’s house church transformed into a domus ecclesiae and further to an aula ecclesiae and finally into a regular basilica below the present San Clemente. Several theories have been discussed and abandoned, but there are still unanswered questions about the 3rd century building’s function – whether it was an Imperial mint or a private building.
The aim of Juhana Heikonen's dissertation is a set of sequenced reconstructions of San Clemente according to The London Charter principles of virtual archaeology along the typological developments of the Roman basilica and the late antique domus as a source of early Christian Roman Sakraltopographie.