Another legend, alluded to in a speech by the emperor Claudius (fragments of which were discovered on a bronze tablet dug up at Lyons in 1524), represented him as an Etruscan soldier of fortune named Mastarna, who attached himself to Caeles Vibenna (Caelius Vivenna), the founder of an Etruscan city on the Caelian Hill (see also Tacitus, Annals, iv.
It is now commonly recognized by scholars that when Gregory the Great became a monk and turned his palace on the Caelian Hill into a monastery, the monastic life there carried out was fundamentally based on the Benedictine Rule (see F.
In 1800 he became a member of the Academy of the Catholic Religion, founded by Pius VII., to which he contributed a number of memoirs on theological and philosophical questions and in 1805 was made abbot of San Gregorio on the Caelian Hill.
The Pincian, the Esquiline, and the south-easterly part of the Caelian hills received essentially their present form by the creation of the Via Sistina, Felice, delle Quattro Fontane, di Sta Croce in Gerusalemme, &c.; by the buildings at Sta Maria Maggiore, the Villa Montalto, the reconstruction of the Lateran, and the aqueduct of the Felice, which partially utilized the Alexandrina and cost upwards of 300,000 scudi.
His father was Gordianus "the regionary," a wealthy man of senatorial rank, owner of large estates in Sicily and of a palace on the Caelian Hill in Rome; his mother was Silvia, who is commemorated as a saint on the 3rd of November.