In the beginning of the century, in the City, no longer of emperors but not yet of the Church,
on Vatican hill. There, across the river from the City, the persecutor Nero once had a circus where early Christians, proclaiming their faith in God, were torn apart by wild beasts or crucified upside down or burned as torches. Peter, Christ’s chosen successor, hung from one of those crosses as Christ had predicted. The first bishop of Rome as local Christians called him was buried under a small temple on a street housing many other Christian dead. So modest, a shepherd still tending his flock, a marked contrast to the adjacent grandeur of the Great Mother’s complex.
and then, some time towards the middle, tombs were cleared and a temple fit for the leading apostle of Christ rose over his grave.