The Crypt

Supported by 24 columns, it was rebuilt at the end of the last century on existing remains. Here the body of Severino Boezio lies enclosed in an elegant sarcophagus of Ravenna-Byzantine style. The soul of this great consul, senator, philosopher, victim in the year 525 of the cruelty of the Arian king Theodoric, is contemplated by Dante in the tenth canto of “il Paradiso”. One’s curiosity is aroused in the crypt by the existence of a well, of remote and mysterious origin. Simple believers, emperors and kings drank here, considering it a holy spring. To the right of the crypt, in the pedestal that supports the great pilaster, lies the body of Liutprando, king of the Longobards. He was rendered for ever meritorious for the splendour that he assured this Basilica by transferring from Sardinia, in 724, Augustine’s holy relics, redeemed for their weight in gold from the Saracens. These relics, discovered in the crypt in 1695, now lie in a Silver urn, at the foot of the marble Ark.

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