February 2022: the month of Giovanni Battista de Rossi

On the 22nd of February 2022 the scientific community celebrates the second centenary of the birth of Giovanni Battista de Rossi (1822-1894), one of the ‘founding fathers’ of Christian archaeology. He was Scriptor and then head of the Vatican Library, first secretary of the Commission of Sacred Archaeology, established by Pius IX in 1852, creator and curator of the Museo Pio Cristiano Lateranense founded in 1854. He is remembered also as founder and editor of the first specialist journal in the field, the Bullettino di Archeologia Cristiana (still existing today as Rivista di Archeologia Cristiana). He began the publication of the critical edition of all the early Christian inscriptions of Rome (ICVR) and was the author of the Roma Sotterranea Cristiana, an in-depth study of the main Roman catacombs (especially the catacombs of San Callisto) drawn up following his own important discoveries.

To celebrate the event, the Vatican State issued a special stamp where de Rossi is portayed with the ruins of the Hypogeum of the Flavi in the catacombs of Domitilla.

The project LIT! owns very much to de Rossi’s work. He was the one who created the first fac-simile catacombs in 1867 for the Universal Exhibition in Paris. We are therefore very happy to share the brand new article about the topic. Enjoy!

C. Cecalupo, GIOVANNI BATTISTA E MICHELE STEFANO DE ROSSI ALL’ESPOSIZIONE UNIVERSALE DI PARIGI (1867), in Rivista di Archeologia Cristiana, 97, 2021,2, pp. 319-347.

Psss, hey! Universidad Carlos III will soon celebrate de Rossi with a special exhibition. Stay tuned…