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Donna wrote:

Hi, guys —

I recently visited Rome and accidentally found the Consulate for Transportation. On the top of the entrance to the building it had this inscription (below). I think I can translate part of it, but not all of it. The inscription reads:

Pavlvs-v-pont-max-an-sal-mdcvx-pontif-XI

Please help me translate this; it has been a discussion topic with my friends who also went to Rome with me.

It confused us as to why a religious inscription was on top of a consulate, which is why we thought it was a different building until we found the name.

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

Donna and friends

  { I recently visited Rome and saw this inscription. Can you tell me what it means? }

John replied:

Hi, Donna —

I can't help you with the translation, but I can tell you that it is not uncommon to find religious inscriptions on any number of public buildings in Rome. Italy has a special relationship with the Vatican.

If the building is from the 19th century, predating Italy's unification in 1869, then Rome was part of the Papal States and under Vatican control. The building could have been later converted for public use after the Roman question was settled in the 1920's by Mussolini.

John

Mary Ann replied:

Donna —

It means:

Paul V, Pontifex Maximus, year 1660 of salvation, year 11 of pontificate.

Mary Ann

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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