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Santa Prassede

The church of Santa Prassede was one of several Roman churches built or rebuilt, decorated, furnished and enriched with relics under Pope Paschal I (817-824). The apse mosaic uses a formula already established in the Roman church of Santi Cosma e Damiano (Sts. Cosmas and Damian) under Pope Felix IV (526-30): Christ stands in glory among the clouds; Sts. Peter and Paul present the patron saints of the church; they are flanked by another saint and the patron of the building. Typically, there are palm trees behind them – with a phoenix in one, a procession of lambs coming from city gates – usually associated with Bethlehem and Jerusalem – below, and a metrical inscription. Bibliography -Goodson, Caroline J. (2010). The Rome of Pope Paschal I: Papal Power, Urban Renovation, Church Rebuilding and Relic Translation, 817-824. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. -Speiser, Jean Michel (1998). “The Representation of Christ in the Apses of Early Christian Churches,” Gesta 37: 63-73.