Roman Pontiff and the ancient Law revival on heritage protection
Starting from the end of the Roman Empire, two parallel and only apparently antithetical roads were
taken immediately: with the destruction of the pagan world and its magnificent and bulky monuments,
a new feeling was born towards the conservation of the same ruins. Roman emperors have had always a
decisive role, working until the end to maintain control of a context that is not always easily manageable,
so many ancient monuments were lost and many others, albeit transformed, were preserved, thanks to the
legislative action of the last emperors. The city of Rome in a similar path has always played a special role.
First as the home of Roman Law with its great architectural monuments and then as the new apostolic seat
of the Roman Church. Therefore it is no a coincidence that the first legislative texts for the preservation of
ancient monuments were made by Roman Popes, starting from Martino V up to the Apostolic Letter of
Enea Silvio Piccolomini of 1462 and Pope Sisto IV of 1474.