Route: THE PATRONS OF ROME. HISTORY OF PETER AND PAUL
Clivo Argentario, 1 www.archeoroma.beniculturali.it Closed for restoration…
You are along the route: COURAGE FROM FAITH. THE SITES OF MARTYRDOM
Clivo Argentario, 1
Closed for restoration works. Opening in summer 2016.
Situated under the church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami (St. Joseph of the Carpenters), the Mamertine Prison was the oldest and, for a long time, the only prison in Rome. The prison was made up of two levels of tunnels excavated at the southern foot of Capitol hill; state prisoners, rebels and the leaders of enemy populations, for example Giugurta, Vercingetorige and participants in the revolts of Caius Gracchus and Catilina, were held in the deeper and then killed by strangulation; the perpetrators of minor offenses were held under arrest until the pronunciation of their trial in the other. An ancient popular tradition says that Saints Peter and Paul were also held prisoner here and miraculously caused water to spring from the ground; they were able to convert and baptize not only a number of fellow prisoners, but also their jailers, Processo and Martiniano, who become martyrs in their turn. According to tradition, descending into the prison, Peter banged his head against the wall, leaving a mark on a stone, which is now protected with a grate.