Function, message or status symbol? The mixed reasons behind the form of Early Christian baptisteries

Wednesday 22 May 2013 18.00-19.30

Function, message or status symbol? The mixed reasons behind the form of Early Christian baptisteries

The Early Christian baptisteries, built between the fourth and the sixth centuries, were monuments to the victory of the new faith, and great investments were made in their architecture and decoration. Some forms were more appreciated than others, and various motivations were involved at different stages of the building process: in the original choice of the form, in its diffusion, and in its interpretation by users. Many of these motivations are far from modern in their mentality, but they tell us much about how ancient architecture was considered in the late Roman period.

Olof Brandt (Pontificio Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana)