The church of Santa Costanza was originally built in the fourth century to serve as a mausoleum for Constantina, a daughter of Emperor Constantine the Great (r. 306-37), who died in 354.
It is likely that Santa Costanza was once covered in mosaics,but all that remains are the mosiacs in the two apses and those in the barrel vault of the ambulatory. The mosaics in the latter date back to the building of the mausoleum and are essentially secular in appearance, making no obvious Christian allusions. The mosaics in the two apses are of a later date, possibly the fifth or seventh century.
The mosaic in one of the apses depicts the Traditio Legis, in which Christ is flanked by St Peter and St Paul. Christ gives St Peter the scroll representing the law, with the inscription DOMINUS PACEM DAT (The Lord gives Peace). The mosaic in the other apse is thought to depict the Traditio Clavium, in which Christ presents the keys of Heaven to St Peter.