Lateran Museum

Lateran Museum
The statue of Sophocles in the Lateran Museum as pictured in 1905

The Lateran Museum (Museo Lateranense) was a museum founded by the Popes and housed in the Lateran Palace, adjacent to the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy. It ceased to exist in 1970.

Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846) established the Museo Profano Lateranense (or Museo Gregoriano Profano) in 1844 which was made up of statues, bas-relief sculptures and mosaics of the Roman era. It was expanded in 1854 under Pius IX (1846-1878) with the addition of the Museo Pio Cristiano. The collection was assembled by the archaeologists Father Giuseppe Marchi and Giovanni Battista de Rossi. Marchi collected the sculptured monuments of the early Christian ages, while de Rossi the ancient Christian inscriptions; a third department of the museum consisted of copies of some of the more important catacomb frescoes. Father Marchi was appointed the director of the new institution. In 1910, under the pontificate of Pius X (1903-1914), the Hebrew Lapidary (Lapidario Ebraico) was established. This section contained 137 inscriptions from ancient Hebrew cemeteries in Rome mostly from via Portuense. The Museo Missionario Etnografico was founded by Pius XI with the documents and relics exhibited in Rome at the Missionary Exposition in 1925, and included historical documents of Missions and relics from the people where these missions took place. The three collections were transferred, under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963), from the Lateran Palace to the Vatican. They were reopened to the public in 1970. Their collections are still called "ex Lateranense" to indicate their former place of display.

The Lateran Palace is now occupied by the Museo Storico Vaticano which illustrates the history of the Papal States. It was moved to the palace in 1987 and inaugurated in 1991.


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  • Lateran — La|te|ran 〈m.; s; unz.〉 der päpstl. Palast in Rom außerhalb der Vatikanstadt [nach der röm. Familie Laterani, in deren Besitz sich der Palast befand, der der Vorgänger des heutigen war u. 1308 durch einen Brand zerstört wurde] * * * La|te|ran,… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Lateran, Christian Museum of — • Established by Pius IX in 1854, in the Palazzo del Laterano erected by Sixtus V on the part of the site of the ancient Lateran palace destroyed by fire in 1308. In 1843 the profane Museum of the Lateran was founded by Gregory XVI, in whose… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Lateran — and Laterano are the shared names of several architectural projects throughout Rome. The properties were once owned by the Lateranus family of the former Roman Empire. The Laterani lost their properties to Emperor Constantine who in turn gave it… …   Wikipedia

  • Lateran — [lat′ər ən] n. [< L Lateranus, pl. laterani, name of the Roman family (the Plautii Laterani) whose palace once occupied the same site] 1. the church of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of the pope as bishop of Rome 2. the palace, now a museum,… …   English World dictionary

  • Musēum — (v. griech. musa, Muse), ursprünglich ein Musentempel; dann überhaupt ein den Musen, d.h. der Gelehrsamkeit, den Wissenschaften und Künsten, geweihter Ort etc. Das bedeutendste und wichtigste M. des Altertums im letztern Sinne war das zu… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Laterān — Laterān, päpstlicher Palast in Rom, nach der vornehmen römischen Familie der Laterani benannt, denen er bis zur Zeit Neros, der den letzten Besitzer dieser Familie hinrichten ließ, angehörte. Der lateranische Palast wurde kaiserliches Eigentum,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Lateran — Laterān, päpstl. Palast in Rom, von den Päpsten bis zum Exil in Avignon bewohnt, jetzt (seit 1843) in ihm das Museum Gregorianum Lateranense für heidn. und christl. Altertümer, daneben die Kirche des heil. Johannes (Laterankirche), die… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Lateran Palace — The Lateran Palace, sometimes more formally known as the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran (Italian: Palazzo Laterano ), is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later a Papal residence. Adjacent to the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, the …   Wikipedia

  • Lateran Palace — noun a palace that served as the residence of the popes until the 14th century • Instance Hypernyms: ↑palace • Part Holonyms: ↑Lateran * * * a palace in Rome used as the papal residence from the 4th century A.D. to the removal of the papal court… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Lateran Palace — a palace in Rome used as the papal residence from the 4th century A.D. to the removal of the papal court to Avignon, rebuilt in 1586, and now a museum for classical and Christian antiques. * * * …   Universalium

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