Swedish Research in 

San Lorenzo in Lucina 


- The Transformations  
of a Late Antique  
Roman Quarter 

First page 

Why San Lorenzo in Lucina? 






Made by: Olof Brandt  

Swedish Institute in Rome  
Web page:   
Via Omero 14  
I-00197 Rome, Italy  
E-mail: isvroma@vatlib.it  

First page Why San Lorenzo in Lucina?

 If your browser can read it, this is the Roman date of today:

And this is a perfect day to read about one of the oldest churches in the world 

This site reflects the activities of the Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome concerning the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina. The involvment of the Swedish Institute began with excavations made in 1993, 1995 and 1998 in the Early Christian baptistery of the church in collaboration with the Italian archaeological authorities (Soprintendenza archeologia di Roma), which had made important excavations beneath the church in the years 1982-1987. The Swedish excavations will be published together with a number of cross-disciplinary studies about the Roman remains beneath the church, the church itself and its surroundings from the second century AD and until today, made in 2000-2002. 

The church of San Lorenzo in Lucina was built in the fifth, or perhaps already in the fourth century AD and is still standing in the modern Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina. Today, the Piazza is pedestrian and the façade of the church has recently been restored. The church itself and the Piazza are both more beautiful today than only 15 years ago, when the Piazza was full of cars, as you can see in this photo from 1987.  

What kind of church is this? 
The church or basilica was built for one of those 25 earliest parishes or tituli which were created in the fourth and fifth century AD as a result of Christianization of the inhabitants of Rome. This church is not a cathedral, where the bishop leads the liturgical life of an entire town, but a parish, where priests lead the spiritual and charitable activities in a local quarter.  

What does it name mean? 
The double name San Lorenzo in Lucina means that the church building, the basilica, has been dedicated to the  martyr Laurentius (dead in 258), probably in the fifth century, while the name Lucina probably belonged to a woman who contributed to the creation of the parish (titulus) in the fourth century. If the basilica was built already in the fourth century, as recent research seems to suggest, it was probably originally called basilica Lucinae, just like most fourth century basilicas who carried the name of their founder and not of a saint or martyr.  


Latest additions: 

A new study by Agneta Freccero on Roman painted plaster from San Lorenzo in Lucina

Earlier news: 

"Head of St. Laurentius" exposed on his feast day.  


Christmas 2001 at San Lorenzo in Lucina (2001-12-14) 
New section: News and people 

Prayer at noon for victims at San Lorenzo in Lucina 

New exhibition inaugurated at San Lorenzo in Lucina for 75th anniversary of the Swedish Institute in Rome 

A 4th c basin for ritual feet washing? 

New photos of the medieval inscriptions (2001-02-06) 

New Early Christian texts about Baptism (2001-01-26) 

Conservation and research (2000-12-20) 

Early Christian links (2000-12-09) 

Why San Lorenzo in Lucina? (2000-11-30) 

A 360° photo of the excavation of the Early Christian baptistery in 2000.   
Inscriptions in the portico  


Visits from 2002-04-16 


By the way, get your own Roman Date Java Applet from:  
http://perso.club-internet.fr/plmaloss/rchodie.htm Thank you Pierre Louis Malosse!