Essay on The Ancient Classical Civilization Of The Romans

3327 Words Nov 14th, 2014 14 Pages
When we think of the ancient classical civilization of the Romans, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s the amazing architectural feats, or rather the advanced forms of government that we still use to this very day? I submit that neither is as spectacular as the ancient underground catacombs that hold the mass graves of around 2000 skeletons. After watching the NOVA program (titled Roman Catacomb Mystery) on this specific catacomb, I found several interesting aspects of the graves that include, the question of who these dead skeletons were, specifically what they died of, and why they were buried in the manner that archeologists found them in. Spearheaded by its host Michael Scott, a classical historian who is well versed in graves across the Roman world, this NOVA program provides a brief origin of the discovery that is extraordinary in that this catacomb was discovered almost by mistake. Found in a labyrinth of ancient Roman tombs, these skeletons were discovered after a burst water main revealed them under a bricked-up tomb that was believed to be the graves of St. Marcellinus and St. Peter. The collapsed ceiling, from the above streets of Rome, revealed a medieval fresco. A fresco, according to Stokstad, is “a painting technique in which water-based pigments are applied to a plaster surface” (565). The fresco is believed to show the duo of St. Marcellinus whom (according to the video) was a priest, and St. Peter who was an exorcist. Detailing the two patron saints of the…

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