Across the river from the City, on Vatican hill, the persecutor Nero had a circus where early Christians had proclaimed their faith in God as they were torn apart by wild beasts. Jesus’ chosen successor was one. The first bishop of Rome, local Christians called him. He was buried there and a modest shrine marked the spot. Suitably Christian. In marked contrast to the nearby complex of the Great Mother.
Early in the century, there was no St. Peter’s basilica. The Vatican belonged to the Great Mother. The Church, like her founders, was still unassuming in her attire.