For many centuries, the Coelius Maior (Celio Maggiore) remained a hill almost completely uninhabited. Flocks grazed here among the orchards and vineyards.
On this ancient hill to the left of the ancient Clivo di Scauro, the basilica was built above the house of the brothers John and Paul, very influential court officers, who were martyred for the Christian faith on 26 June 362, at the time of Julian the Apostate (+ 363).
This area is unique in the history of Roman archaeology. There are traces of primitive Christian worship together with other obvious vestiges of prior art.
After the murder of the brothers, other Christian martyrs there were buried here– Crispo, Crispiniano and Benedetta.
The veneration of the holy martyrs of the celimontana came to fruition at the end of the 4th century in the construction of a building ad corpora by the Senator Bizanzio.