Medieval church over Basilica Julia
In the IX century A.D. on the left nave of the Basilica Julia - which already had been built warehouses for storage of hemp - it was made out the small church of Santa Maria in Cannapara that had been entrusted to the confraternity of funari.
The church was dedicated to the Madonna, but it was probably also venerated St. Catherine of Alexandria because the wheel with which was martyred is very similar to those for twisting flax and hemp used to make ropes; while all those who worked wool (workers of Lanari and Copertari, of Linaroli, Canepari and Funari) had a special devotion to St. Blaise as the tools of their trade remembered combs with which the saint was martyred.
The earliest mention of the church dates to 1192 and is included in the Liber Censuum of Cencio the Camerario among the large number of churches of little importance that receive a donation (presbyterium) of six money, one of the lowest.
The titulus was frequented until the floods of the Tiber did raise the level of the Forum and the Funari moved to Campus Martius (XIII century). After Thousand, the surrounding terrain, owned of Consolation hospital, was hired as a quarry. Near the small church it seems that there was also another small building that chronicles indicate that the Custody Cannaparae, or a prison.
During the archaeological excavations of 1872 on the north side of the Basilica Julia, the archaeologists saw the wall paintings dated the VI century. which unfortunately fell down soon.
The church was not the most important and it was quite small; during the excavation work it was taken over its plant by Rodolfo Lanciani. They were found fragments and other artifacts at the time no longer visible on site. When he could see the remnants Huelsen so described them:
"Of the church they remain a column with capitals, fragments of the railings of the choir, etc., and the whole thing with ornates in the style of sec.VII-VIII. The church building has helped to preserve some remnants of the exterior porch: of a pillar remain three marble layers, of another one sees the footprints in lime of a brick pillar which belonged to an arc above the Vico Iugario, of which ignores the name and the exact date of the construction ".
by M.L. ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (Ed 1.0 - 30/09/2016)