EXPLORE THE ST PAUL’S CATACOMBS
RABAT – MDINA
Hi Explorers 🙂 Today I’m visiting the St Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat, on the outskirts of the old Roman capital Melite, today’s Mdina.
Heritage Malta has organized a special event called “Mortem – A Roman’s Last Journey”.
It was like coming back to the Roman Time, during a particular tradition called “Parentalia“. From the 13th to the 21st of February, Romans used to commemorate their ancestors and deceased loved ones. During the annual festival of the dead the rites of burial were renewed and catacombs hosted commemorative meals.
St Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat became the perfect setting to revive the ancient Roman custom.
In the video and in the gallery below you are going to see a short performance depicting a Roman funeral, followed by a meal based on typical Roman food served during such a celebration.
Romans and early Christians named the commemorating meal with the word “Agape“. In the video you will see as it was in the past. Families would meet at the entrance of the main complex of the catacombs, that consists of two large halls with two circular tables where they used to share the meal lying down on a low platform with sloping sides known as Triclinia or Agape tables.
Actually the word Agape is an ancient Greek word that means “love”. It was used to indicate the universal and uncondtional love that transcends and serves regardless of cirmcumstances. It is the highest form of love and it is also associated with charity and Divine Love.
Flora the Explorer also met Roman soldiers of the Legio X Fretensis.
It was an interesting and amazing exploration, also thanks to the representation! There was some delicious Roman food, Sardine Dip and Lamb Stew.
The St Paul’s Catacombs are the largest network of catacombs discovered in Malta so far. The many burial sites are a typical complex of interconnected, underground Roman cemeteries that were in use up to the fourth century AD.
It’s really worthy a visit to discover more about the Roman Malta!