Arian Baptistery (6th century) - Ravenna Intorno

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Arian Baptistery (6th century) - Ravenna

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Vicolo Degli Ariani - Ravenna
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Located in the square of the Church of the Holy Spirit, the Aryan Baptistery - octagonal with four small apses at the sides - was constructed in the first half of the sixth century, when Teodorico was the undisputed ruler and the Aryan religion was assured official court status.

The dome, here subdivided into two registries, presents in the first and central registry, the scene of Battesimo di Gesùda parte del Battista (The Baptism of Gesùda the Baptist), while the second depicts the Dodici apostoli (Twelve Apostles) and, in the east, the great Etimasia (the empty throne).

Most obvious are the iconographic similarities with the Neonian Baptistery. However, if you carefully analyse the mosaic works contained in this monument, there are substantial differences which give testimony to the dissonance between the Aryan and Catholic forms of worship. The Christ receiving baptism, for example, is represented here by a young beardless figure facing east (in exactly the opposite position to that of the Catholic Christ represented in the Neonian Baptistery), demonstrating an awareness of the divinity of Christ only at the moment of baptism, the cornerstone of the Aryan beliefs.