Protestant Cemetery, Rome

Rome, Italy

Protestant Cemetery, Rome

The Cimitero Acattolico (Non-Catholic Cemetery) of Rome, often referred to as the Cimitero dei protestanti (Protestant Cemetery) or Cimitero Inglese (English Cemetery), is a private cemetery in the rione of Testaccio in Rome. It is near Porta San Paolo and adjacent to the Pyramid of Cestius, a small-scale Egyptian-style pyramid built between 18 and 12 BC as a tomb and later incorporated into the section of the Aurelian Walls that borders the cemetery. It has Mediterranean cypress, pomegranate and other trees, and a grassy meadow. It is the final resting place of non-Catholics including but not exclusive to Protestants or British people. The earliest known burial is that of a University of Oxford student named Langton in 1738. The English poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley are buried there.

Since the norms of the Catholic Church forbade burying on consecrated ground non-Catholics - including Protestants, Jews and Orthodox - as well as suicides and actors (these, after death, were "expelled" by the Christian community and buried outside the walls or at the extreme edge of the same). Burials occurred at night to avoid manifestations of religious fanaticism and to preserve the safety of those who participated in the funeral rites. An exception was made for Sir Walter Synod, who in 1821 managed to bury his daughter in broad daylight and, he was accompanied by a group of guards to be protected from incursions of fanatics.

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