Tag Archives: Catholic

The Pigna and the Apollo Belvedere: Two Treasures of the Vatican

Publius Cincius Slavius, whose name appears on the base of the sculpture, built the Pine Cone statue that now resides in the Court of the Pine Cone (Cortile della Pigna) in the Vatican, in the 1st century AD. The piece was originally a fountain that resided in the Temple of Isis in Campo Martius next […]

The Cults of Isis and the Virgin Mary

In Roman Catholicism the veneration of the Virgin Mary has become a central tenet of the faith. She is honoured as the Theotokos, the mother of God and the ultimate symbol of motherly devotion. However, this cult of the Virgin has its roots in a tradition far older than Christianity. The veneration of this motherly figure […]

The Real Cup of Christ?

The legend of the Holy Grail has captured our collective imagination for centuries. From the Da Vinci Code through Indiana Jones to the Arthurian Legends of old we have Grail-mania at the center of our culture. The Grail’s form has changed over the centuries with different versions of the story. Most recently Dan Brown and the authors […]

The First Heretic

The surprising resignation of Pope Benedict XVI today seems to have prompted, however briefly, a renewed interest into the history of the Papacy. There has been much talk about the unprecedented nature of the Pope’s resignation. The previous Pope to resign was 600 years ago and was by no means as simple. Pope Gregory XII […]