“I visited St. Paul’s on the day following the fire.... The terrible painful traces of the misfortune were still alive; the church was cluttered with smoldering and half-burnt beams; great fragments of columns split from top to bottom threatened to fall at the slightest jar.... Now nothing is more beautiful, more picturesque, more melancholy than the frightful disorder produced by the fire. Thus perished the most ancient basilica not only of Rome, but of all Christianity. It had lasted fifteen centuries."
-- Stendhal (July 4, 1828, A Roman Journal)
A web-based companion to the book:
St. Paul’s Outside the Walls: A Roman Basilica from Antiquity to the Modern Era
by Nicola Camerlenghi
(Cambridge University Press, 2018)