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St. Johann Press

Below Rome The Story of the Catacombs by Frank J. Korn & Camille M. Korn

Below Rome The Story of the Catacombs by Frank J. Korn & Camille M. Korn

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In this volume, the authors, Frank and Camille Korn, in a crisp, clear, flowing prose, take the reader back in time to the early centuries of Christianity in the teeming imperial capital. They write with a sort of “You are There” style so that one gets a vivid sense of walking the congested narrow, unpaved streets, visiting the great Forum, shopping in the clamorous markets, gazing up at the stately temples, sitting in the jam-packed arenas and theaters, observing ‘cives Romani’ as they go about their daily routines in the ancient and eternal city on the banks of the Tiber. The authors escort us down into the depths of the underground necropolis and allow us in our imagination, to witness the funeral rites of our Christian forebears. Whether the reader plans to visit Rome in person or from the comfort of their living room, the Korns provide this highly readable and scholarly book to assist them. Having a well-versed guide is a good idea for any exploration of Rome, which should always include a visit to the catacombs, and now such visitors have a great new asset thanks to Professor and Mrs. Korn. Their carefully researched and highly informative new tome on those ‘coemeteria subterranea’ should be read in advance by the serious catacomb visitors, and be in their hands as a ‘vade mecum,’ as they probe that which underlines the surface of today’s Rome to really understand why they call it the Eternal City.

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