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The catacombs ad Decimum in Grottaferrata were found at the ‘tenth’ mile of the ancient via Latina (today Via Anagnina) and were discovered by accident in 1905. They are known for their excellent condition and consist of five galleries dug into the tuff with vaulted ceiling. They have plenty of tombstones, with inscriptions in Latin and Greek, ranging from third to fifth century AD.

The catacombs testify to the presence of a large Christian community organized with its own hierarchy. They are indeed mentioned: a reader, two exorcists, a deacon and a priest.

Among the approximately 1,000 graves present, some are decorated with murals depicting various scenes: an apostolic college, Daniel among the lions, the Good Shepherd with two animals of each type, a “traditio legis” that is, the giving of the Law by Christ to Saint Peter.



Traveller's Guide to Italy