Your RDA of Irony

Why I’d Love Being a Janitor in Rome

4th century icons of Peter and Paul found in Rome


ROME — The earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul have been discovered in a catacomb under an eight-story modern office building in a working-class neighborhood of Rome, Vatican officials said Tuesday.

The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were discovered on the ceiling of a tomb that also includes the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew. They were uncovered using a new laser technique that allowed restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath.

What do you have in your basement?  I have a rowing machine, half of a Lionel train set,  not to mention the water heater and furnace.  Compare that to your average Italian basement.

“Over there, next to the sump pump, is the sarcophagus of the Emperor Alexander Severus.  I did call the Department of Antiquity asking if they’d like the tomb.  They said, ‘He was a nice young man; so not particularly interesting.’  If I had the tomb of his cousin Elagabalus–that would be different.  This basement would get immediate landmark status as a 3rd century transvestite nightclub.  But nice, normal Alexander Severus–well, there’s a back log of emperors.  So, we are stuck with it, but it actually is useful.  All that marble keeps food cold for months.”


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