CATHEDRAL CITIES OF ITALY

ornate pilasters. On either side are four Corin- thian columns supporting the three flat-membered arches of the facade. Over them is a broad frieze. The bases ofthese columns stand on a very beautiful course which is continued round the two sides of the Tempio. At intervals, amidst finely-chiselled heraldic roses and little elephants, are alternating shields bearing the I and S of Isotta and Sigismondo ——initials that are found in every available place throughout the building—and the coat of arms of the Malatesta.

On the north and south sides of the building a grand row of seven broad round arches, on massive rectangular piers, throws a deep shadow on to the sarcophagi of the men who were Sigismondo’s companions in his peaceful hours. These sarco- phagi are placed between the piers, well above the spectator, on the basement which is built out from the brick wall of the original Gothic cathedral. Like the facade, this grand colonnade and its base are lined with white marble. Among the sarco- phagi is one which contains a trophy brought by

Sigismondo from the East. The civilisation of the Middle Ages produced a

curious phase of religion that showed itself not only in the Church, which distributed the bodies of Christian martyrs all over the country and robbed the catacombs of Rome for sacred relics in order

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