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Constantine and Rome$
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R. Ross Holloway

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100433

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100433.001.0001

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Basilicas, Baptistry, and Burial

Basilicas, Baptistry, and Burial

(p.57) III Basilicas, Baptistry, and Burial
Constantine and Rome

R. Ross Holloway

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the first Christian churches of Rome and the birth of the Christian Basilica. The basilica of S. Giovanni in Laterano stands on the highest point of the Caelian hill just inside the Aurelian walls and there are no steep approaches, only a gradual ascent from the area of the Colosseum to the point where the Caelian ridge meets the Esquiline plateau. The chapter discusses that the eighteenth-century façade of S. Giovanni magnifies the height of the church through five grand arches carried from the ground level to the cornice far above and along the top of the façade, on which there is a glorious epiphany in which a company of saints gesticulates fervently around the figure of Christ Himself beckoning from a raised podium. The chapter also discusses about the baptistry that was built on a circular foundation with a diameter of 19m. This ring was inserted into preexisting buildings of the Lateran property.

Keywords:   Christian churches, Christian Basilica, Caelian hill, Aurelian walls, Colosseum, baptistry

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