Locaion of Tomb C

Necropolis (Scavi) Tomb C
Tomb of L. Tullius Zethus

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Interior of Tomb C

Mosaic floor with partridges and ivy-leaf design
Entrance to Tomb C with Titulus above

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

The Tomb of L. Tullius Zethus (Tomb C)

The titulus above the entrance indicates the owner, (L.) Tullius Zethus and his family. This tomb is one of the most ornate, with its mosaic wall and floor decorations, partly polychrone and partly black and white. There are niches for cineraria and two arcosolia. In the north wall two marble urns have been added at a later period; these have typically Christian design elements, such as the laurel wreath and palm.





In order to avoid any ownership disputes, the legal measures for the building were indicated on the marble tablet; the building was to have a frontage of twelve feet and a depth of eighteen, measurements that correspond to the actual size of the building.

The funerary chamber, which has an area of about 11 sq. m., housed inhumation tombs and cremation tombs with a total of about seventy places. The sejpulchral altars designed to hold the ashes of the two children of Tullius Zethus commemorated in the external inscription are set into the northern wall.


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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