Schriftzug Romana Repertoria

Santa Maria dell'Anima


A commented edition of 120 inscriptions from the Middle Ages to Early Modern Time (until the year 1559), this project publishes parts of the inscriptions of the church Santa Maria dell’Anima and the adjoining buildings of a former pilgrims’ hospital which is now a priests’ college. Furthermore, the appendix shows 15 antique inscriptions, which originated elsewhere and were mounted in the college’s inner courtyard in the middle of the 1870ies.The present catalogue comprises both original inscriptions and those passed on in copy, which were either sourced on location, or in archives and libraries.



Divided in several parts, the manuscript registers members, donators and benefactors of Santa Maria dell’Anima’s hospital that were buried in the church between 1399 and 1843. Initially only brief lists of names, from 1432 onwards the manuscript mostly adds the dates of death, location of burial or monument, and often includes information on the life of the deceased and the design of the monument. Since nearly all medieval graves were lost during the reconstruction of the church Santa Maria dell’Anima (after 1500) and the baroque remodelling around 1750, the obituary is a priceless source for that time. It is also an indispensable reference book for early modern history of the church, its people, art and culture.

[database access is not yet available]


Reconstruction and Digital Edition of a Lost Source

Along with the Campo Santo Teutonico, Santa Maria dell’Anima has been a hub for pilgrims from north of the Alps or the Holy Roman Empire, ever since the late Middle Ages. Finding food and shelter there for up to three nights on average, the pilgrims’ names were registered in the respective books. Until very recently, one of these books for the time from 1778 to 1819, with most entries from the 1780ies, was available for consultation. Meanwhile, this source has to be declared lost. Thanks to older black-and-white images, the pilgrimage registry could be reproduced and inserted into an online database, where international scientists can analyse it. This allows for follow-up studies on pilgrimage in the late 18th century, possibly from a cultural historic perspective, and also linking data to the respective local or regional source.