Ch. 11, Note 13: S. Sabina, Rome

The two female figures in the S. Pudenziana image, who bestow martyrs’ crowns on Peter and Paul, have often been identified with figures portrayed at the west end of the church of S. Sabina (below).

Click to enlarge images.

A female figure, pointing towards a codex open towards the viewer, symbolizes the Eclesia ex Circumcisione, the “Church of the Circumcised”.

A matching figure at the right hand end of the inscription symbolizes the Eclesia ex Gentibus, the “Church of the Gentiles”. The figures were originally associated with images of Peter and Paul (no longer extant). There is a scriptural background to the symbolism in Galatians 2.7-9.

The church in S. Sabina, looking towards the apse at the east end. The apse image is baroque.