Although the early-12th-century church of S. Clemente is one of the most significant medieval monuments in Rome, there have been few studies in recent years of its architectural layout and structure. An architectural survey of the building by the author and Mr. J. M. Blake, FRIBA, helps to clarify the original design of the church and to indicate its successive building phases: a late-11th-century renovation of the lower, Early Christian basilica; the rebuilding of the entire upper church in one campaign by Cardinal Anastasius (c. 1099-c. 1125); and the construction of most of the atrium and prothyron by different workshops, perhaps at a later date by "Petrus," who is reported to have completed Cardinal Anastasius's project. Alternatively, "Petrus" may have built one or all of a number of subsidiary structures, known from documentary and graphic sources: a medieval bell tower, a sacristy, the chapel of Saint Cyril, and the oratory of Saint Servulus. The building history of the medieval church is set within the broader historical framework of the Gregorian Reform of the Church and the 12th-century renascence of Early Christian architecture in Rome. Comparisons can be made with the architectural layout and liturgy of the Lateran and Old St. Peter's. A 15th-century document, which gives the wording of an inscription formerly in the church, refers to indulgences granted by Pope Gelasius II (1118-1119). This suggests a date of consecration prior to January 1119, when that pontiff died.
- Copyright 1986 The Society of Architectural Historians