The title of a medieval Latin description of the city of Rome, dating from about 1150. Unhampered by any very accurate knowledge of the historical continuity of the city, the unknown author has described the monuments of Rome, displaying a considerable amount of inventive faculty. From the pontificate of Boniface VIII (1294-1303) to that of John XXII (1316-34) it was revised and attained unquestioned authority, despite the increase in the already large number of misconceptions and errors. Attention was first called to these different recensions by de Rossi in the first volume of his "Roma Sotterranea" (158 sqq.). Almost simultaneously appeared two editions of the text, by Parthey ("Mirabilia Romæ e codicibus Vaticanis emendata", Berlin, 1869) and by Jordan ("Topographie der Stadt Rom im Altertum", II, Berlin, 1871, 605-43), respectively. In the third section Jordan discusses at some length the Mirabilia and its redactions (357 sqq.), in the fourth, the earlier divisions of the work (401 sqq.), and in the fifth, the topography of the Mirabilia (421 sqq.), presenting most valuable information, the result of much research on all the questions involved. The latest edition is that of Duchesne in the "Liber Censuum de l'Eglise Romaine" (I, Paris, 1905, 262-73), being the text of the original of Cencius Camerarius with the variants of four other manuscripts. Especially valuable for a proper conception of the Mirabilia are the 125 notes appended by Duchesne on pp. 273-83, many of them of considerable length. (The concordance with the text in the "Excerta politici a presbitero Benedicto compositi de ordinibus Romanis et dignitatibus Urbis et Sacri Palatii" may be found in the "Liber Censuum", vol. II, 91, 92, n. 5.) A critical edition of the "Mirabilia Urbis" is still lacking. The contents of the Mirabilia fall into the following sections, the titles being taken from the "Liber Censuum": (1) De muro urbis (concerning the wall of the city); (2) De portis urbis (the gates of the city); (3) De miliaribus (the milestones); (4) Nomina portarum (the names of the gates); (5) Quot porte sunt Transtiberim (how many gates are beyond the Tiber); (6) De arcubus (the arches ); (7) De montibus (the hills); (8) De termis (the baths); (9) De palatiis (the palaces); (10) De theatris (the theatres); (11) De locis qui inveniuntur in sanctorum passionibus (the places mentioned in the "passions" of the saints ); (12) De pontibus (the bridges); (13) De cimiteriis (the cemeteries ); (14) De iussione Octaviani imperatoris et responsione Sibille (the demand of the Emperor Octavian and the Sibyl's response); (15) Quare facti sunt caballi marmorei (why the marbles horses were made); (16) De nominibus iudicum et eorum instructionibus (the names of the judges and their instructions); (17) De columna Antonii et Trajani (the column of Antony and Trajan); (18) Quare factus sit equus qui dicitur Constantinus (why the horse was made, which is called of Constantine); (19) Quare factum sit Pantheon et postmodum oratio B. (why the pantheon was built and later oration B.); (20) Quare Octavianus vocatus sit Augustus et quare dicatur ecclesia Sancti Petri ad vincula (Why Octavianus was called Augustus, and why the church of St. Peter ad Vincula was so called); (21) De vaticano et Agulio; (22) Quot sunt templa trans Tiberim (how many temples are beyond the Tiber); (23) Predicatio sanctorum (the preaching of the saints ).
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online