Religion Past and Present

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(2,508 words)

[German Version]

I. History

In ancient times, the ager vaticanus extended on the right side of the Tiber, below the Vatican Hill from which it acquired it name. Crossed by the Via Cornelia, it was connected with Rome by a bridge that was probably built under Nero. From the emperors Caligula and Nero onward, a circus was built for races, with an Egyptian obelisk as its meta (since the 16th cent. the center of St. Peter’s Square). Soon afterwards, a naumachia was erected further upstream on the Tiber.The Via…

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Schimmelpfennig, Bernhard, Haering, Stephan and Miletto, Gianfranco, “Vatican”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 17 April 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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