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Mysteries of Rome: the Devil's chair

The picture you see shows a mysterious ruin people call the devil‘s chair.
Actually it’s only the tomb of Elio Callistio, one of Emperor Hadrian’s freed slaves, or more accurately what is left of it.
We all know that time is a thief that loves to assault what men leave behind.

Callistio’s tomb was an amazing two-storey sepulchre richly decorated with statues and mosaics that only gradually assumed the likeness of an old chair.
In the Middle Ages people started to call it the devil’s chair and the nickname has stuck ever since.

Anyway the legend has it that the Devil himself placed the chair there just because it was right behind Saint Peter; back then the place was a notorious hang-out for gipsies and vagabonds who would light fires to warm themselves, thus blackening the poor ruins and nurturing the old belief that it was really the chair of the devil! Today Callistio’s tomb is surrounded by traffic, weeds and thorny hedges.
Sad isn’t it?

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