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For a Roman Catholic church with a similar name in Verona see Santa Maria Antica Santa Maria Antiqua in the Roman Forum Santa Maria Antiqua al Foro Romano (Italian) Santa Maria Antiqua, in the Forum Romanum Basic information Location Rome, Italy Geographic coordinates 41°53′27.6″N 12°29′8.1″E / 41.891°N 12.485583°E / 41.891; 12.485583Coordinates: 41°53′27.6″N 12°29′8.1″E / 41.891°N 12.485583°E / 41.891; 12.485583 Affiliation Roman Catholic Year consecrated 5th century Ecclesiastical or organizational status Inactive Architectural description Architectural type Church Architectural style Byzantine architecture Groundbreaking 5th century Specifications Length 30 metres (98 ft) Width 20 metres (66 ft) The Ancient church of St Mary (Italian: Santa Maria Antiqua al Foro Romano) is a Roman Catholic Marian church in Rome, built in the 5th century in the Forum Romanum, and for long time the monumental access to the Palatine imperial palaces. This church is the oldest Christian monument in the Roman Forum and includes the earliest Roman depiction of Santa Maria Regina depicting the Virgin Mary as a Queen in the 6th century.[1][2][3] Contents 1 History 2 Byzantine frescoes 3 Notes 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links History Pope John VII used this church in the early 8th century as see of the bishop of Rome. It is possible that the Titulus Cyriaci, recorded in the acts of the 499 synod, is to be identified with this church[citation needed]. Ground map of the Church of Santa Maria Antiqua and connected archeological structure. Legend:(1) Central Nave, (2) Presbytery, (3) Apse, (4) Chapel of Theodotus, (5) Chapel of Medical Saints, (6) Ramp to the Palatine Hill, (7) Temple of Augustus, (8) Oratory of the XL Martyrs, (9) Atrium. The church was partially destroyed in 847, when an earthquake caused parts of the imperial palaces to collapse and cover the church. For this reason, a new church called Santa Maria Nova (New St. Mary, now Santa Francesca Romana) was erected nearby by Pope Leo IV, on a portion of the ruined temple of Temple of Venus and Roma, where once stood a chapel commemorating the fall of Simon Magus[4].Santa Maria Antiqua suffered further damages during the Norman Sack of Rome (1084). The church of Santa Maria Liberator was built in 1617 on its ruins, but then demolished in 1900 to bring the remains of the old church to light[5]. Santa Maria Liberatrice al Palatino by Giuseppe Vasi(18 century) Byzantine frescoes The inside of the church is decorated with ancient frescoes in Byzantine style, dating back to Pope Martin I (649-655), Pope John VII (705-707), and Pope Zachary (741-752). Sant'Abbaciro (Saint Cyrus) Fresco in Santa Maria Antiqua Detail: Angel of the Annunciation (565-578) Crucifixion (741-752) Notes ^ Erik Thunø, 2003 Image and relic: mediating the sacred in early medieval Rome ISBN 8882652173 page 34 ^ Bissera V. Pentcheva, 2006 Icons and power: the Mother of God in Byzantium ISBN 0271025514 page 21 ^ Anne J. Duggan, 2008 Queens and queenship in medieval Europe ISBN 0851158811 page 175 ^  Benigni, U. (1913). "Rome". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  ^  Horace, K. (1913). "Pope John VII". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  See also Roman Catholic Marian churches References  Horace, K. (1913). "Pope John VII". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.   Benigni, U. (1913). "Rome". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  David, Joseph (1911) (in French). Sainte Marie-Antique; étude liturgique et hagiographique avec un plan de l'église. Rome: M. Bretschneider. http://www.archive.org/details/siesaintemariean00daviuoft.  Webb, Matilda (2001). "Santa Maria Antiqua". The Churches and Catacombs of Early Christian Rome. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press. pp. 112–122. ISBN 1902210581. http://books.google.com/?id=hUN1K78QMskC&pg=PA112.  Santa Maria Antiqua Project. "Santa Maria Antiqua: history from antiquity until the year 847 A.D.". Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma. http://www.archeorm.arti.beniculturali.it/sar2000/sma/eng/index.html. Retrieved 2009-06-13. [dead link] Romanelli, Pietro; Nordhagen, Per Jonas (1999) (in Italian). S. Maria Antiqua (2 ed.). Roma: Ist. poligrafico dello Stato, Libreria dello Stato. ISBN 88-240-3719-4.  Nordhagen, Per Jonas (1990). Studies in Byzantine and Early Medieval Painting. London: Pindar Press. ISBN 9780907132479.  Angiolino, Loredana (2004). "Santa Maria Antiqua: Chiesa Bizantina a Roma" (in Italian). Bollettino Telematico dell'Arte (363). ISSN 1127-4883. http://www.bta.it/txt/a0/03/bta00363.html.  Further reading Lucey, Stephen J. (2007). "Art and Socia-Cultural Identity in Early Medieval Rome - The Patrons of Santa Maria Antiqua". In O'carragain, Eamonn; Neuman de Vegvar, Carol L.. Roma Felix: formation and reflections of medieval Rome. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. pp. 139–158. ISBN 0754660966. http://books.google.com/?id=aW-LnIpVgFQC&pg=PA139.  Osborne, J.; Brandt, G.; Morganti, eds (2005). Santa Maria Antiqua al Foro Romano cento anni dopo. Campisano Editore. ISBN 8888168214.  External links "Santa Maria Antiqua", by Chris Nyborg. Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Santa Maria Antiqua (Rome)