St Bartholomew - In Detail




A) THE WELL-CURB
pict.A1 - The well-curb inserted in the stairs leading to the main altar The position of the well-curb, currently inserted in the stairs leading to the main altar (pict.A1), might correspond to that one of the ancient thaumaturgic source of the Aesculapius temple, representing the ideal link with it. The most credible hypothesis  dates back its origin to the foundation of the Otto church.
Obtained from the drum of an ancient column (the base is still recognizable), it is carved with four figures, inserted in small aedicules (pict.A2A5); starting from the figure facing the church inlet and proceeding counter-clockwise we find: Christ with the opened book, a saint (probably St. Adalberto) in Episcopal dresses with the pastoral and the closed book, the emperor Otto III holding a marble disc with the image of the ancient church and St. Bartholomew with the open book and the knife of its martyrdom.


A2


A3

A4

A5
A2 - The front side of the well-curb with the Christ image holding the open book and the letters OS and PV on the background
A3 - On the right side (south-west) of the well-curb it is represented St. Adalbert, or according to others St. Paolino, in Episcopal dress with the pastoral and the closed book. On the background the letters TE I SCI
A4 - On the back side, facing the altar, the image of the emperor Otto III (see the section Personalities) holding in his hand a disc carved with the image of the ancient church. On the background the inscriptions CIR CVDANT
A5 - The left side (north-east) representing St. Bartholomew holding the open book and, in the right hand, the knife symbol of his martyrdom (see the section Personalities). On the background the letters ORBE ROTAN TI
Starting from the Christ image, and proceeding apict.A6 - The upper part of the well-curb with the trails of the ropesgain counter-clockwise, the following inscription can be read, even if inserted irregularly on the background of the four figures: 

       OS PU-TEI S[AN]C[T]I - CIR CU[N]DANT - ORBE ROTAN TI
       [The saints in a ring surround the well-curb]

On the upper part of the well-curb there are visible (pict.A6) the trails of the ropes used to draw the water from the well and that made the inscription illegible.
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B) THE CANNON BALL
pict.B1 - Tha cannon ball and the plaque
In 1849, during the siege of the French army to the Roman Republic (just proclaimed on February 9th), that brought to the surrender of the republicans on July 4th of the same year, a gun ball shot from the Via Aurelia entered the church through the wall, miraculously falling without causing damages on the altar of the Virgo chapel (the one at the right of the main altar).
The ball has been walled up in the left side of the same chapel over a plaque commemorating the event: this is the text with the relevant translation at side.

BELLICUM HOC TORMENTVM
IN PERDVELLES E VIA AVRELIA IACTVM
EXEVNTE IVNIO MDCCCXXXXIX
DISIECTOQVE ANTICO PARIETE HVC IMMISSVM
SOSPITATRICE MARIA OPIFERA
SVPER ALTARE INOPINATO CONSTITIT
FRANCISCALIVM QVE INCOLVMITATEM POSTERIS
REFERT

This war bullet,
shot against the enemies from the via Aurelia
on the end of June 1849
and, broken the front wall, entered here,
for the aid of Mary the saviour
stopped unexpectedly on the altar,
and communicates to the posterity the safety of the Franciscans

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C) THE MILLERS CHAPEL
In the room at the left of the main altar, formerly used as sacristy and subsequently rearranged as a chapel by the pope Giulio III in the half of XVI century, the roman millers settled the religious see of their corporation "Romana Molendinariorum ", under protection of St.Paolino, until 1846, and decorated it with scenes of their activity (pict. C2C5). The restoration of the reliquary containing the relics of the saints kept in the chapel is referred to in the inscription shown in pict.1. On the floor there are traces of an ancient cosmatesco pavement.
The plaque walled up in the left side (pict. C6) quotes, over the image of a water mill, the following inscription, relevant to a restoration carried out in 1626:

CAPPELLA DELL'ARTE DE MOLINARI
FONDATA PER DETTA ARTE
ET A BENEFICIO ET COMODO DI QUELLA
DA GABRIELE CRISPIATI
COME CAMERLENGO DI DETTA ARTE
A FONDAMENTI
NEL TEMPO DI GIULIO III FEL MEM
ET L'ANNO MDCXXVI
DA FRANCESCO MORETTI
ET ALFONSO ERCOLANI DEPUTATI
ET CONSOLI DI DETTA ARTE
RESTAURATA A NOME DELL'ARTE
ET PER QUELLA

pict.C1 - Inscription commemorating the restoration of the reliquary

pict.C2 - A monochrome painting representing a water mill

pict.C3 - A mill with a beast of burden carrying grain

pict.C4 - A water mill painted on the chapel vault

pict.C5 - A water mill painted on the chapel vault

pict.C6 - The plaque commemorating one of the many restorations of the chapel

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REFERENCE BIBLIOGRAPHY
"Isola Tiberina" Fabrizio Plateroti - 2000 - Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato
"S. Bartolomeo all'Isola Tiberina" Marco Pupillo - 1998 - Ed. Angelo Guerrini e Associati SpA
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