You are on page 1of 18

-1Unlocking Secrets of Saint

11/11/04 by Robert Kerson

Peter’s

Grave

An ancient surveyor’s landmark set upon the Vatican Hill in Rome originally endowed the
emperor’s practice circus with several mysteries having cosmic significance. During Nero’s
reign, Christians redefined this exact spot to become the grave of the apostle Peter. A similar
geometry could also have been used to survey (lay out) the rest of Caligula’s Circus, also an
ancient nearby necropolis, two circular mausoleums, and the first Basilica built on the Vatican
Hill. Since the present Basilica incorporates approximately the same size and placement of the
first basilica, one can say the present basilica also incorporates some of these identical
measurements. What you are about to read is based upon a picture of this circus and
Constantine’s Basilica that appeared in a publication authorized by the Vatican1. The only
equipment needed by the ancient surveyors would have been lengths of string (measuring cords)
some wooden stakes, and a number of small stones.
First, a bit of background concerning the circus and the basilica2. In an area south of the
Vatican Hill, the pagan Roman Emperor Caligula during the first century C.E. laid out in his
Vatican gardens a private circus for chariot racing. All circuses were of an ovoid design, with one
sharply curved end. This curved end had an opening through which the winning chariot would
race off of the track and out of the circus. On the center line of this circus was a long barrier,
with ends marked by turning posts. A great obelisk having no writing upon its surface taken from
Egypt was erected at the exact center of the barrier creating a gigantic reference landmark on the
barrier. This smooth surfaced obelisk was one of the first to be brought to Rome from Egypt, and
like all obelisks, was associated with sun worship.
This emperor’s private circus was of a unique size by being abnormally narrow in width with
no room for spectators. No public circus ever had these same dimensions, nor do any of them
have a rectangular pit associated with it as we shall soon discover.
Claudius, then Nero, another notorious emperor, had inherited this same circus ground. During
the reign of Nero, an ex- Galilean fisherman was crucified, according to tradition, upside down
at a spot on the barrier near the obelisk. The obelisk marking the center of the barrier was
purported to be the last thing the fisherman saw before his death on his cross. The body was
taken down and supposedly buried nearby at the western end of a preexisting graveyard on the
north side of a road running alongside the circus, on the flank of the Vatican Hill (or he may have
been buried in a cemetery alongside the Via Appia). Legend also has it, he was buried in this
grave with his head facing westward. After the death of this fisherman- apostle, a number of
simple structures surrounding the Memoria of Gaius - a table like structure in front of a niche
bearing red plastered wall, built over the middle of a grave- like- pit, with flanking pillars, also a
clivis- a narrow open passage and stairway behind the Memoria. Christian graves were erected
surrounding the supposed pit-grave site labeled {1} in figures 2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10. In the Clivis, an

1

2

John P. O’Neil, “The Vatican”, New York:Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp..380-381

{Numbers} and [letters] written in the text refer to all figures. Identical numbers and
letters are placed at the same locations and lengths in all figures.

-2extremely early graffito bearing the image of a fish was scratched by L. Paccius Eutychus3 who
believed he was writing a graffito near a very sacred spot.
Southeast of the Memoria, a double row of large mausoleums were constructed during the time
the circus was in existence, creating the bulk of the large necropolis structures. A number of
fisherman themes commonly seen in early Roman Christian tombs were drawn on the walls of
some of these tombs. One of the very first of the large mausoleums built had the representation
of the very pagan chariot driving figure believed to be Helios (Apollo)-- the Greek sun god-driving his solar chariot across the heavens. Later someone changed Helios into Christ by making
alterations to the image.
Another early large mausoleum to be built at the start of the row of mausoleums in the
necropolis, was constructed by the executors of the will of the Pagan Popilius Heracla, who had
the seemingly odd desire to spend eternity laying near a private royal chariot racing track. The
executors put this fact into writing and had it affixed over the entrance into the mausoleum where
it has remained to this very day.
In the fourth century, the sympathetic Roman Emperor Constantine incorporated this same
erect obelisk, which bore a tradition that the ashes of the first emperor, Julius Caesar had been
placed in a ball at the top, and two large circular mausoleums built on the barrier of the
demolished circus, ground just to the south of where he constructed his basilica dedicated to the
fisherman Peter (an earlier one was built beside the Via Appia). This basilica, whose focal point
was on {1}, was built at a very difficult topographical location because it must have been
considered sacred ground or a grave site and because only here could landmark {1} and obelisk
corner {2} by legend associated with the death of Peter be utilized in the building of the first
basilica.
Very ancient legends exist connecting the death of Peter to this circus, at a site on the barrier,
near the obelisk, and a pit dug for his grave at the western end of a necropolis of mausoleums
built at a later time within a graveyard. It was as if this pit, like a head on a body of graves and
mausoleums facing west in this necropolis– just as an old legend says Peter’s head was
positioned westward in his grave.
Later when the circus was abandoned, on the ground of the barrier, subsequent emperors built
a large circular mausoleum at {7} and {8}, and a second smaller one, both built just to the west
of the obelisk {2}. These structures, were later incorporated into the design of Constantine’s
basilica built over a pit- like- grave {1} on the northern side of the circus.
A specific location on the barrier labeled {5}, was a point within a small circular mausoleum
built to the west of a larger and earlier mausoleum just to the west of the obelisk.
Constantine’s Basilica consisted of a rectangular main hall nave, a ‘T’ shaped transept with the
great altar at the western end, over the central grave at the intersection of two axis lines. A
double row of six columns fronted the grave site in a later reconstruction. The nave had four
rows of 22 columns. East of the basilica was a rectangular open pillared forecourt with a central
washing fountain which at one time was in the shape of a bronze pinecone. The small circular
mausoleum was connected to the southern transept of the basilica. The two circular mausoleums
were, in turn, connected to each other.
3

E. Kirschbaum, “The Tombs of St. Peter & St. Paul”, (New York: St. Matins Press, 1957, p. 130

-3Over the centuries, succeeding popes remodeled and embellished the area over the ancient
Northern Landmark which now definitely was considered by Christendom to be the sacred grave
site of the martyred first Bishop of Rome.
In the sixteenth century, the original Constantine Basilica was torn down, the obelisk was
moved and a new larger basilica was erected. The center altar in the south transept currently
marks the site marked {5} as previously described. The inner wall of the present basilica’s
portico, was built on the line of the old basilica’s western row of forecourt columns, thereby
maintaining the original sacred space {14}.
Now we shall explore how the circus was first laid out and the site of the obelisk determined
using simple measuring cord mathematics which would work on any size of circus. As with
common circuses, this privately built one could have been laid out very simply. For example, the
obelisk could have been placed at the exact center of the barrier, but this particular circus utilized
hidden geometries which pinpointed the location of the obelisk in a manner which had secret
meaning for pagan and Christian initiates. Let us explore this mystery as I suspect it would have
originally been laid out by the ancient surveyors. The pit might have been dug at the time of or
after Peter’s martyrdom, but most likely some earlier landmark such as a stone or stake was
erected on the same site, dating back to the time when the circus was just being laid out with
measuring cords and wooden stakes.
The base width of the soon to be installed obelisk– the same width of the barrier and the outer
walls, was an important component of this discussion.
This obelisk at {2} must never be toppled, nor any landmark at {1} removed as these were key
to the surveying of the circus and the old basilica. This was the only obelisk in Rome never
toppled.
The builders first decided upon the ratio for the circus’s width to length and it was decided it
should be 1 to 7 (see fig.1 for the following). They measured the width of the obelisk’s base
length [W] which is 2.7432 meters4 (all dimensions shown in figs. 9 and 10 are drawn correctly
proportional to this measurement. No actual measurements such as the width of the circus’s
barrier being 2.7432 meters need be stated since using [W] to represent this length is more useful
in the understanding of this article). This would become the width of the barrier along the
midline of the circus, the full width of the circus I show as distance [A]5 while the width of the
track I show as distance [Z]. Distance [A] is greater then [Z] simply by adding the width of the
two outer thick walls the same width as the obelisk (see fig.2 for the following). The builders
then laid out the central axis marking the barrier of the circus from point {3}, where the victory
exit at the curved western most end was to be built. From this same point {3}, using a measuring
cord, a radius arc of cord length [Z] plus [Z] was drawn out and marked by using stakes or small
stones set upon the ground. (Toward the north, this arc, invaded an ancient grave yard set upon
the slope of the Vatican Hill). The point where the arc intersected this barrier line coming from
{3}, is labeled {18} in figures 2, and 9. Along the barrier line continuing from point {18},
4

5

Peter Tompkins, “The Magic of Obelisks”, (New York: Harper & Row, 1981, p. 23)

The orientation of line of length [A] from {1} to {2}, has an analogous line on the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem, used in the building of Herod’s Temple. This is beyond the scope of this article, Details-- see Sacred
Stones Sacred Stories, Robert Kerson, Robert Kerson Press, chap.10.

-4another cord length was laid out of length [A]. This distance reached the point labeled {19}. The
distance from {3} to {19} was the sum of the lengths of [Z] plus [Z] plus [A]. The builders then
doubled the cord in half (this halved length is shown as a double dashed line in fig.2). The
length of this halved cord was then centered on the drawn arc marked upon the ground, at right
angles to the barrier center line (also shown as a triple dashed line in fig.2) Where either end of
this cord line touched the arc, possibly red stones were placed exactly at these two locations, both
of which became major landmarks6; the northern one I call the Northern Landmark {1}, and the
southern one I call the Southern Landmark {4}. The Northern Landmark was now located within
an ancient graveyard. At the Northern Landmark {1}, at a later time, a rectangular pit like grave
under a red stone was laid out with its long side approximately parallel to the long axis of the
circus. This rectangle became the pit ‘grave’ of the apostle Peter, in the center of a later structure
called the Memoria, to be detailed later. This cord line from landmark to landmark, a
perpendicular bisector, crossed the barrier line at a point labeled {5}. This spot definitely is a
very important point in the geometry of this design. Does any ancient tradition assign any
importance to this location as might be expected if truly the design was surveyed by the ancients?
The length of the circus, the radius distance from {3} to {1} was [Z] + [Z], (drawn as double
line). Half this distance which is [Z], was the important distance when repeated seven times,
reached the eastern end of the circus.
(See fig.3 for the following) Starting from Northern Landmark {1}, another cord of length [A]
(drawn as a dashed line ) would have been laid out to where it intersected the barrier center line
labeled {22}. Here a short line (drawn dashed) was laid eastward parallel to the barrier center
line half the width of the obelisk. The cord length [A] from Northern Landmark {1} was now
moved to the point on the ground were it intersected the short line. This spot would then be
marked with a rock or stake. This marked where the northwest corner of the obelisk was to be set
up very accurately on the barrier of the circus (See figs.3, &9)
If the builders knew the width of the obelisk’s base, to be placed squarely on the barrier’s
centerline, then the location of the obelisk’s northern face could be determined. The northwest
corner of the obelisk was the closest discreet point facing toward {1}. In survey work, measuring
to the corner of a stone landmark is the most accurate point of measure.
We have an important clue as to when this survey was done: it had to be done before the
obelisk was moved into its final position on the barrier because it would have been impossible, if
the placement of the obelisk was found to be in the wrong spot, to move it once it was set
upright.
The other Southern Landmark at {4}, would have existed at a spot within the present Piazza
St. Marta. The Northern Landmark {1} was the more important of the two. Only the Northern
Landmark was used as a possible pit grave, and was turned into the focal point of a nearby
necropolis, and was also the focal point of Constantine’s Basilica.
In figs. 2, and 9 you can see landmarks {1} and {4} at the nodes of two arcs: one arc is
centered at {3} of radius [Z]+ [Z], and the other arc is centered at {22} of radius [A]. This is the

6

Landmarks as boundary stones in the form of pillars were considered sacred to the god Terminus. These
boundary stones may have marked the northern and southern boundary limits around this ‘cosmic’ circus, or other
ancient boundary.

-5design of a fish (shown in figures 4, 5, and 9) similar to the sacred geometric Vesica Piscus fish’s bladder- of great importance in the mysteries of pagan sacred geometry and early
Christianity7. This very design was drawn at a very early date in the Clivis behind the wall a short
distance from the Northern Landmark {1} by L. Paccius Eutychus (see fig.5). But unlike the true
Vesica Piscus design which are simply two overlapping circles whose centers coincides with
their circumferences, this one has a very unusual feature: the head end of the fish was
emphasized in a squared shape just like the squared (rectangular) shape of the pit-grave under the
stone in the center of the Memoria a few meters nearby. This long thin fish, shaped more like a
mackerel then the wide shaped flounder seen in a true Vesica Piscus, may be asymmetrical just
as the asymmetrical fish8 seen in fig. 9 and detailed in figs. 4, and 5. Note the head of the fish
was emphasized. L. Paccius Eutychus seems to have been an initiate who knew how to draw
even the correct shape of the fish design within the circus and the nearby Northern Landmark
inside the Memoria at the time the Memoria stood in a grave yard on the Vatican Hill. The
Northern Landmark was the more important landmark, because it created the all important head
of the fish.
Two other hidden mysteries present in the design (seen in figs. 2, 6, and 9) initiates could
have known about the design can be seen as well. Fig.6 details one of these mysteries. The line
from Northern Landmark {1} to Southern Landmark {4}, at the intersection of the nodes of the
two overlapping circles of the fish design, created a right angle with the circus’s central barrier
midline. This created the design of a cross. If a viewer were to have stood at the eastern end of
the barrier and faced west, he would have seen the design of a gigantic cross. By looking
westward, the viewer would have seen salvation over death in the direction where the dead and
the sun dies at night, by the power of the cross. But if the viewer were to have stood at the
western end of the barrier and faced east, then he would have seen the design of a gigantic cross
appearing upside down. The barrier made a gigantic post with a virtual giant of a man upon this
post, having his head pointing downward and his feet pointing upward. The obelisk {2} at the
exact center of the barrier, would correspond to his navel at the exact center of his body. The
intersection of the cross piece with the post at point {5}, became the precise spot9, tradition said
was the location of Peter’s martyrdom on the barrier of the circus upon a cross set upside down,
with his head pointing downward and feet pointing upward. As we read previously, tradition also
stated Peter was buried with his head toward the west just like the direction this martyr would
7

R. Kerson, “Sacred Stones Sacred Stories”, New Haven: Robert Kerson Press, 2003, pp. 1-12

8

The true Vesica Piscus creates a symmetrical fish since each side of the fish is made from two identical
circles. The fish created in figs. 4,5, and 9 are asymmetrical because the radii of the two circles are different but they
still are recognizable as fish. In the true Vesica Piscus the ratio of the fish’s length to width is the ratio of the
numbers 265 to 153– a fact known to Archimedes. The fish created at Caligula’s circus is the ratio of the numbers
570 to 153 when the denominator of the ratio remains 153. The numerator (570) is 5 times 114, both these two
numbers holding enormous importance in Arabic mathematics. A full discussion is given in Sacred Stones Sacred
Stories, Robert Kerson, chapters, 5, 6.
9

Another legendary but less likely martyrdom site on the circus’ barrier was a short distance east of the
obelisk where the demolished Chapel of Crucifixion stood at the distance [A] measured from{5}. www.penelope.
uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetter/Places/Europe/Italy/Lazio/Roma/Rome/Vatican/S.Peter/Lanciani_plan.html

-6have his head westward also. Tradition tells us his death occurred at {5}, the intersection of the
two pieces of wood constituting this type of cross, and tradition also tells us they carried him
nearby to be buried at {1} the end of one arm of the cross piece upon this inverted cross.
If we look at fig.9, and the detail of the circus shown in fig.7, we can see the circus had the
shape of a gigantic ship, where the steep curved victory exit at {3} made the bow of the ship at
the western end, and the stern of the ship was made by the semi curved eastern end. The barrier
midline constituted the deck of this ship, while at the center– the erect obelisk made an admirable
ship mast. This ship sails toward the west because it faced west. Obelisks were objects involved
with solar worship in ancient Egypt. This then, could have been seen by ancient Romans with
interest in the Egyptian religion as the solar ship carrying Ra the sun god across the heavens,
sailing from east to west. The builders of this circus specifically used an obelisk devoid of
hieroglyphs brought from Egypt. All real ship masts are also devoid of any writing upon them. It
is possible, a plain obelisk was chosen deliberately to mimic the masts of real ships.
The Roman (Greek) sun god Helios (Apollo) moved across the heavens from east to west in a
horse drawn chariot. This ‘ship’ design was actually a circus where horse drawn chariots raced
around in the direction the visible planets moved (counterclockwise).
Christians reinterpreted the pagan fish and ship mysteries with new meanings. Both images
would have been appropriate for Peter-- previously a fisherman. The ship sailing toward the west
would have been appropriate to indicate the death of The Fisherman sailing westward.
The design of the circus and the two Landmarks could have had other cosmic significance as
well. Look closely at the “fish” in figs. 4, and 9. The fish design appears to be composed of two
crossing bands similar to the crossing bands of the ancients would have recognized as the two
equinox and two solstice points in the heavens. The two landmarks {1} and {4} correspond
admirably with the equinox- when the sun crosses from one half of the sky into the opposite and
the length of day equals the length of night.
These landmarks may have represented to initiates into the mystery of the circus both the
Vernal and the Autumnal Equinox. The Vernal Equinox occurs on March 21st or as was believed
in the old Roman calender March 25th. On March 15th, the first Roman Emperor was warned by
an astrologer known to frequent the forum that he should “beware the Ides (15th ) of March!”
Julius Caesar did not heed the warning, which lead to his assassination, and subsequently, five
days later his cremation. An ancient legend tells of his cremated ashes being placed in a ball at
the top of the very obelisk at point {2}, which was measured from one of the landmarks
representing the Vernal Equinox which occurs 1 or 5 days after his cremation on March 20th. No
ashes were found in the ball on top of the obelisk, but no matter. The legend may hold the dim
memory of the connection between one of the two landmarks, the obelisk, and the Vernal
Equinox.
A fish or two fishes is also the Zodiac sign of Pisces, where the head of this fish points in a
northerly direction. The Passover and Easter occurs at the time of the vernal equinox, when the
sun begins to move north of the celestial equator.
(See fig.8 for the following) During the reign of the emperor Nero, the original stone or stake
at the Northern Landmark appears to have been reincarnated into another landmark– a

-7rectangular grave centered on the landmark was dug 10. We cannot prove this pit was a grave, or
the grave of Peter, since Peters’ bones were never found therein, but surely it was possible and
not in dispute. The rectangular grave was dug with its long axis approximately parallel to the old
circus (it probably was sighted by eye). Some time later, an ever growing complex of structures
were built over this site. These structures masterfully emphasized this new incarnation of the old
Northern Landmark. The focal point of these structures comprising the Memoria, and various
walls, chief being a red plastered wall having three niches located at the center of the grave.
Because the memoria faced east of this wall, any survey lines from the landmark was closed to
the west but open to the east, allowed the most important of the lines, the Northern landmark {1}
to obelisk {2} line to pass unobstructed in front of the red wall of the Memoria.
The wall was not uniform, but had a slight angular change occurring at the niche. The line of
the southern wall meets the rectangular stone precisely at the center of the rectangle’s western
edge. The southern corner of the rectangle’s western edge was within the niche while the
northern corner was outside. By this geometry, neither corner but the center of the grave’s edge
was being emphasized. Also here the center axis line of the Memoria passes through the niche.
The niche was not made to be symmetrical in design, but asymmetrical to leave intact a
truncated western edge of the grave. These niches are at the focal point of the entire Memoria
and most likely, was understood to be the location of the Northern Landmark. The entire western
half of the grave was of little importance since only the eastern half mattered. The western half is
in back of the Memoria, under the red wall and under stairs in the Clivis.
Ten of the twelve mausoleums built in the necropolis east of the Memoria, all built west of
Popilius Heracla’s mausoleum {17} in the oldest row, have the alignment of their rear walls in
line with the Northern Landmark {1} (St. Peters Grave). Why would pagans have their tombs
aligned with the apostle’s grave unless the grave site originally was ground held sacred by
pagans?
Two very important facts concerning the supposed grave in the center of the Memoria can be
stated now. Three very early graves appear to have been dug deliberately to be in close proximity
to the central grave as if the owners wished to be buried close by. One of these graves actually
cuts across and obliterates the eastern end of the central grave. When the Memoria was built, the
builders laid out its cental niche over the western end of the central grave– being a measuring
landmark of great mystic importance and sanctity which must not be destroyed.
A mausoleum necropolis built north of the circus, and a single mausoleum built to the south,
were surveyed as well (see figs. 8, and 9 for the following). One particular mausoleum
mentioning the circus being nearby actually was surveyed from the Northern Landmark {1}
deliberately located equidistant from the obelisk corner {2}. First the surveyor laid a cord from
the important original [A] distance (from the Northern Landmark {1} to the northwest corner of
the obelisk {2}). The midpoint of this line was found by dividing this cord length in half. This
point was marked by a stake or stone set in the ground {21}. Using a Roman surveyor’s groma,
the surveyor laid out another line at right angles to point {21}toward the northeast. Any structure
built along this line has to be equidistant from the Northern Landmark, and the obelisk. At a
location which marked what was to become the northern row of mausoleums, a particular
10

An ancient hidden landmark called the ‘arca’ was a hollow box possibly set in the ground.

-8mausoleum was constructed along this line, at the eastern end of this graveyard. Here the
executors bought the ground upon which the Mausoleum of C. Popilius Heracla at {17} was then
constructed, equidistant from the Northern Landmark and the Obelisk. The line from {1} to {17}
covers and defines the length of the necropolis. All nearby mausoleum facades, on this, the oldest
mausoleum row running from {17} to mausoleum O which is just to the east of {1}, were built in
a line running from true east to west.
The existence of the circus mentioned in this eastern- most and one of the oldest of
mausoleums at {17}, is a major confirmation of this article, because it proves the two major
nearby survey landmarks of the circus at {1} and {2} were being eluded to on the inscription
over the mausoleum doorway stating that the circus was nearby. Another very subtle fact can be
argued: this mausoleum was measured from a landmark {1} venerated as the grave of St. Peter.
The obelisk would have been a pagan landmark of a pagan emperor’s circus, but why would
Peter’s grave be important for the mausoleum’s pagan occupant? It would only be important if
the landmark was understood by pagans to be an important pagan landmark of the pagan circus.
This could explain why pagans such as Popilius Heracla were interred in this particular
necropolis. Throughout Christian early history, sites sacred for pagans became Christian holy
sites converting pagan temples into Christian churches was a common practice. Popilius Heracla
may have been an initiate into the mysteries of the circus. He may have been a mathematician or
surveyor who wanted to spend eternity enveloped in the mathematics and in the sacred geometry
of the site.
Another similar example can be found south of the circus (see fig. 9): a small necropolis {16},
parallel to the southern wall of the circus, was measured from the obelisk’s northwest corner {2}
and the eastern turning post {6}- both lines ({2} to {16}), and ({6} to {16}), are distance [A]. In
the great Circus of Rome, the identical post position was directly in front of the imperial box.
Thus any tomb set at precisely this spot would have been in an ‘auspicious’ location equidistant
from the obelisk and the turning post.
(See fig.10 for the following) After the circus was removed, the mirror image length line [A]
from the northwest corner of the obelisk to the landmark at {4} was again surveyed. The large
circular mausoleum drawn as a dotted line, west of the obelisk {2}, was constructed of such a
diameter that the southern most point {7} was fixed at a point on this length of line [A]. When
one end of the cord was fixed at {4}, and the other end moved to the southwest corner of the
obelisk, another tangent point {8} was fixed on the outer edge of the mausoleum. Thus, the
location and size of the structure was determined by two lines from the obelisk and the
conjectural southern landmark {4}. The distance from {1} to {7} also is length [A]. This would
explain why this mausoleum was in such close proximity to the obelisk.
A line was laid out running due west-east from {1}. Another line was laid from the northwest
corner of the obelisk {2} to where this line intersected the west-east line at point labeled {10}.
This line, a due north-south line forming a right angle at the point of intersection, designated
length [B] (drawn as a dashed line), the shortest distance from this corner of the obelisk to any
point on this west- east line was the primary standard for this length.
A similar smaller circular mausoleum was likewise constructed to the west, using this length
[B]. From the southern edge of the larger mausoleum {7}, length [B] was measured to a due
south- north centerline running from {4}. The intersection of these two lines was used to locate

-9the axis line’s northern edge of the smaller mausoleum’s vestibule {15}. This would explain why
two mausoleums were linked together.
A small circular building connecting two mausoleums is on the tangent of the line running
from {7} to {15}.
We now come to the discussion of the surveying of Constantine’s Basilica. (See fig.10 for the
following) On the prepared, leveled site, a line due east-west was created east of point {1} now
considered the apostolic grave. This was to became the main axis line of the basilica. The old
primary standard, a line of length [A] from {1} to {2}, was now reused, or re- surveyed. From
{2} the same length [A] was laid in a mirror image until it intersected the major axis line,
running east of {1}. This was to become the site of the exact center of the forecourt {9}, where a
pine cone fountain was to be placed. The basilica then had two focal points: a lesser one for the
laity in the forecourt to the east {9} and a sacred one for the clergy to the west {1}. Line [B] was
reused to great advantage for laying out the basilica. They centered length [B] due east- west on
the center point of the forecourt. The eastern end became the eastern row of columns, and the
western end became the western end of the forecourt. They now laid out two more units of length
[B]. In the eastern half they erected 11 columns. In the western half they erected 11 columns,
making a total of 22 columns per each of two rows equally spaced (Only a part of the inner row
is shown). The spacings of these columns was set to allow half the total number in each of the
[B] units. This western section reached a point just to the east of the focal point {1}– a point
marking, in a later reconstruction of Constantine’s Basilica, the exact center of two rows of 6
columns.
Another length of distance [A] was now taken from point {7}, a point on the mausoleum
incorporated into the basilica’s overall design, to where the line intersected the axis
northeastward at point {11}. This was where the facade of Constantine’s Basilica was to be
erected. A mirror image north-westward from {7} to {1} also measured length [A]. The distance
between the western columns in the forecourt {14} and the facade of the basilica, I designate
length [C].Where this diagonal line of length [A], from {2} to {9}, crossed {13}, the southern
corner of the facade, and {14}, the southwest corner of the forecourt columns, a new length [D]
was created. Note how the placement of the southernmost row of columns in the forecourt and
southern nave were lined up from {14}, creating the southwest corner of the forecourt columns.
A second row of columns was created when this southernmost row spacing was doubled
northward. The distance from {11} to {13}, half the basilica’s facade, was the north-south line
between these two points. Another means of locating {13} was to find the point where the northsouth line from point {11} intersected the line from {9} to {2}.
These lines (drawn thick) and columns were all surveyed south of the main axis. Then all of the
lines were duplicated north of the main axis (drawn dashed thick), as were the columns doubled
in mirror image. This created a rectangular forecourt of [B] length and a rectangular nave of
twice length [B]. Within the nave, four rows of 22 columns were erected. This also allowed the
nave to be divided into 3 parts, with the greatest part occupying the high-ceilinged central nave.
Note how the forecourt’s colonnaded corners were all designed to be on the two diagonal lines
shown: one the extension of the line from {2} to {9}, and the other from {6}, site of the eastern
turning post of the destroyed barrier to {12} the northern corner of the facade.
The basilica then had a ‘T’ shape transept added and a semicircular apse of radius [D] designed

-10around {1}. The creation of these features were simply made from lengths [C ] and [D] (as
shown). At the eastern end of the forecourt east of the colonnade, the width [C] was duplicated.
The length [A] was also represented in the length of the transept from its northern end to point
{15}. This would explain why the circus and two basilicas have the same width. Here also can be
found the distance [A] from {1} to {7}. The small circular mausoleum position was now located
such that it could be linked to the southern transept because {15} marked exactly the southern
end of the basilica’s transept. Remember, I have shown this mausoleum was linked to the larger
one surveyed from the obelisk. Thus both mausoleums and obelisk were all connected to the
basilica via the southern transept.
A site that tradition says was the location of Peter’s martyrdom is circled and labeled {5}
within the small circular mausoleum which, in the present basilica, marks the center altar of the
southern transept. Curiously, this was the exact location we saw previously as the point where the
cord from {1} to {4} crossed the line destined to become the circus’ barrier line. (An alternate
martyrdom site on the circus’ barrier marked by a demolished Chapel of Crucifixion was
described by Rodolfo Lancini in an 1892 publication. Though some of this archeologist’s work
has been negated by more recent discoveries, a Chapel of Crucifixion at {24}, the distance [A]
measured from {5} is very significant because it may hold the dim memory of a spot once
measured from {5}, a very important crucifixion site.) Remember the line from {6} to {12}
previously described? A mirror image can be seen from {12} to {5}. This line intersects the
major axis at {10}. The distance from {10} to {5} is the length [A]. This site {5} would have
been on the barrier of the circus, and possessed an important location when measured on the old
basilica. Point {5} is where the line from landmark {1} to landmark {4} intersects the barrier
(see figs. 2, 9). It is the traditional site of Peter’s martyrdom represented in both basilicas, as
stated earlier. Ancient traditions may be preserving the memory of specific locations.
Another old tradition maintained that Peter’s burial site {1} was the site of a temple of
Apollo11. Since no archeological evidence exists that any such temple stood at this spot, then this
tradition may be preserving knowledge of line [A] from {1} to {2}–the line from the burial site
{1} to the obelisk at {2}. Obelisks were objects connected with sun worship. Apollo was the
Greek sun god who drove the sun across the sky in a chariot pulled by horses, just as charioteers
drove horses around the obelisk in the circus. This legend may preserve a kernel of truth
associating the (never existing) sun god’s (Apollo) temple at burial site {1} with the sun’s
obelisk at {2} on the most important ancient survey line of length [A] from the circus.
There is far more here then a simple grave dug near a circus. This site appears to have been
useful for surveying a circus and may have had cosmic and pagan symbolism before any
apostolic martyrdom. All later structures, graffiti, and Christian graves, whose focus was on this
northern landmark turned into a venerated grave by Christians, continued to honor this sacred
tradition. Today one of the most important basilicas in Christendom still honors precisely this
same spot.
DEFINITION OF LETTERS AND NUMBERS SEEN IN TEXT AND FIGURES

11

W.R. Withow, “The Catacombs of Rome”, (New York, Nelson & Phillips, 1874, p. 200)

-11{1} A Northern landmark used to build Caligula’s Circus and having sacred geometry cosmic
significance was replaced by a grave remodeled into the center of a construction called the
Memoria of Gaius on the Vatican Hill in Rome. This landmark at the western end of the grave,
became the grave of Peter the fisherman.
{2} Northwest corner of obelisk measured at its base. Another important landmark.
{3} The outer edge of the victory exit in center of curved western end of circus used in
measuring the length of the circus.
{4} Southern landmark mirror image of {1} involved with the surveying of two post circus, preBasilica circular mausoleums.
{5} Traditional site believed to be where the Apostle Peter was martyred. (See figs. 2, 9, 10)
{6} Eastern turning post end of barrier.
{7} Southern most end of the large eastern circular mausoleum.
{8} A tangent point on the large eastern circular mausoleum.
{9} Exact center of Constantine Basilica forecourt. One of the two focal points in the design
created by length [A]. Location of a pinecone fountain.
{10} Point on basilica’s major axis, [a line due east of {1}] directly north of {2}.
{11} Point on basilica’s major axis, which became the basilica’s facade.
{12} Point which became the corner of the basilica’s northern facade.
{13} Point which became the corner of the basilica’s southern facade.
{14} Point which became the southwestern corner of the columns of forecourt, also located the
southern most row of columns in the nave.
{15} Center of northern opening into vestibule of the western circular mausoleum,
connected to the basilica’s southern transit.
{16} Small necropolis south of circus oriented parallel to circus.
{17} Eastern most mausoleum of necropolis north of circus mentioning the proximity of circus.
May be parallel to circus.
{18} Point where radius line of length [Z]+ [Z] measured from {3}. This became a point on the
barrier of circus.
{19} Point on midline which was the sum of the lengths [Z]+ [Z] + [A]. This became a point on
the barrier of circus.
{20} The half way point between {3} and {19}. A vertical bisector line taken along the circle of
length [Z]+ [Z] centered on radius point {3}, created the points {1} and {4}.
{21} Halfway point on line from {1} to {2}, where a right angle line meets the Mausoleum of
Popilius Heracla in the oldest row of Mausoleums of the ancient necropolis east of point {1}.
{22} In Fig.3., the point where distance [A] measuring from Northern Landmark {1} intersects
the midline of the circus. This point is midway between obelisk and the east side of a large
eastern circular mausoleum constructed on the spina of the abandoned circus.
{24} Distance measured along the barrier the length [A], from the martyrdom site {5}.
Demolished Chapel of Crucifixion once existed here.
[A] A length of measuring cord used repeatedly in laying out the circus and basilica.
[B]
A smaller length of measuring cord used repeatedly in laying out two circular
mausoleums, and the basilica.
[C]
A smaller length of measuring cord used in laying out parts of the basilica.

-12[D]
[W]
[Z]

The smallest length of measuring cord used in laying out parts of basilica.
Width of obelisk measured at its base.
Another length of measuring cord used in laying out parts of the circus.

Fig. 1- SURVEYORS NEEDED THESE LENGTHS TO SURVEY CALIGULA’S CIRCUS
[A] is outer width, [Z] is inner width, [W] is width of obelisk’s base which is 2.7432 meters.
All measures in figs. 9, &10 are drawn correctly to this scale.

Fig. 2- SURVEYING THE LOCATION OF THE TWO GREAT LANDMARKS
First the radius of [Z] +[Z] (drawn as a double line) centered on the central axis line, was laid
out in an arc drawn on the ground (drawn as a double dashed line) using a measuring cord.
Then half the length of [Z] + [Z] +[A] as a vertical bisector (drawn as a triple dashed line)
was measured along this same arc. This located the Northern Landmark {1} and Southern
Landmark {4}. The Northern Landmark was transformed into the exact location of Saint
Peter’s grave site during the reign of Nero. This created the asymmetrical solid line half of fish
seen in fig. 9. (Figure fully detailed in text.)

-13-

Fig. 3- HOW CENTRAL OBELISK SURVEYED FROM NORTHERN LANDMARK
This created dashed line half of the asymmetrical fish seen in fig. 9. (Fully discussed in text.)

-14Fig. 4- FISH DESIGN BY OVERLAPPING OF TWO UNEQUAL CIRCLES (left below)
Radius is [Z]+[Z] and the other is [A]. Northern Landmark {1} makes the head of this fish.

Fig. 5 - GRAFFITO NEAR NORTHERN LANDMARK WITH HEAD OF FISH (right above)
Initiate probably drew this fish showing a great similarity with fish in fig.4. (Based on drawing
in The tombs of St. Peter and Paul, p.130)

-15Fig. 6- INVERTED CROSS HIDDEN IN DESIGN OF CIRCUS
Peter’s execution site was at intersection of cross beam and post {5}. His grave site was at
one arm of cross {1}. {2} is navel position. (Detailed in text.)

Fig. 7- CIRCUS HELD HIDDEN DESIGN OF SUN SHIP SAILING TO THE WEST
Plain obelisk made credible ship mast at {2}. Bow is at {3}. (Detailed in text.)

-16Fig. 8- NORTHERN LANDMARK IN LATER GRAVE AND MEMORIA. ALSO SURVEYING
OF MAUSOLEUM MENTIONING PROXIMITY TO CIRCUS
(Not scaled correctly to allow details to be seen. (Detailed in text.)

-17Fig. 9- CIRCUS OF NERO SURVEYED FROM SACRED LANDMARKS
Entire circus could have been laid out from one nearby landmark later associated with the
death of the Apostle Peter. Landmark fixed orientation of circus, also its length (both ends),
width, and locations of obelisk, and barrier. The eastern end of circus is off the page of this
figure. Fully detailed in text.

-18Fig. 10. CONSTANTINE’S BASILICA SURVEYED FROM MAJOR LANDMARKS
Fully detailed in text.