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Inside the Santo Stefano Rotondo church on the Caelian Hill in Rome. 
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Inside the Santo Stefano Rotondo church on the Caelian Hill in Rome.

"To single out details from the great dream of Roman Churches, would be the wildest occupation in the world. But St. Stefano Rotondo, a damp mildewed vault of an old church in the outskirts of Rome, will always struggle uppermost in my mind, by reason of the hideous paintings with which its walls are covered. These represent the martyrdoms of saints and early Christians; and such a panorama of horror and butchery no man could imagine in his sleep, though he were to eat a whole pig, raw, for supper. Grey-bearded men being boiled, fried, grilled, crimped, singed, eaten by wild beasts, worried by dogs, buried alive, torn asunder by horses, chopped up small with hatchets: women having their breasts torn with iron pincers, their tongues cut out, their ears screwed off, their jaws broken, their bodies stretched upon the rack, or skinned upon the stake, or crackled up and melted in the fire: these are among the mildest subjects. So insisted on, and laboured at, besides, that every sufferer gives you the same occasion for wonder as poor old Duncan awoke, in Lady Macbeth, when she marvelled at his having so much blood in him." (Charles Dickens: Pictures from Italy, 1846).
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Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)Scenes of martyrdom - drastic frescoes by Niccolò Pomarancio and Antonio Tempesta (Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome)
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