Location of Tomb G

Necropolis (Scavi) Tomb G
Tomb of the teacher

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From: 'Guide to the Vatican Necropolis' by Michele Basso, Fabbrica di S. Pietro

Tomb of the teacher (Tomb G)

The fine structure of the facade of this tomb is in terracotta with graceful geometric designs. It is only possible to glimpse the remarkable delicacy of the ornaental frescoes of the vault and walls.

On the celing there are two gazelles depicted on the edges of a dark red rectangle, in the center of which is a bird. On the far wall is a fresco representing two human figures, probably a teacher with his student.


Built during the time of Hadrian (117-138 AD), before mausoleums F and H, this mausoleum still preserves the entire facade up to the top of the triangular tympanum behind a magnificent 4th century masonry arch. Above the travertine portal, the titulus and the two little windows have elegant brickwork frames. The frieze of the building is especially refined with a succession of yellow brick geometric shapes inserted in ordered rows or red bricks. The interior of the mausoleum is partially invaded by a foundation from the 16th century, which had to be strengthened by reinforced concrete pillars in 1948.

The upper part of the rear wall features a delightful scene of daily life probably inspired by the activity of the anonymous owner of the sepulchre: a man with a beard is seated on a stool with an open scroll in his hands in front of a table; to the right of the elderly man stands the figure of a young man. It is perhaps an administrator checking the accounts in front of a servant. Nevertheless, those who first saw the painting decided to see a teacher and his pupil in the two figures. Hence the name "of the teacher" is attributed to the small building.

P. Zander. The Vatican Necropolis, in "Roma Sacra", 25, Roma 2003
Margherita Guarducci, The Tomb of St Peter, Hawthorn Books, 1960
John Evangelist Walsh, The Bones of St Peter, New York, 1982
J. Toynbee - J.W. Perkins. The Shrine of St Peter and the Vatican Excavations, London 1956
Michele Basso. Guide to the Vatican Necropolis, Fabbrica di S. Pietro in Vaticano, 1986


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