Page 1

RAVENNA I N LAT E ANTI QY ITY RJ\"!.'I1n'l w~s one of the mOST import:L111 cilies of laTe nnTi qll c Ellrope. Bel\\"~cn AD 400 ~nd 75[ , it """1$ The rt""s jden~""e ofwesrenJ H.Olll:m emperors, Ostrogothi"

kinp;, and Rp:antine go\"~mo~ of Italr. whi le its hi~hop~ ,md archhishops ranked only to Ih" IlOpt's. During this 35o.)"<~~r p~,.iod . th~ dry wa~ progressin~ l)'


enla rged and e nric hed hr remarkahle works of niT nnd ~rchitccn1l"l.', m ~ny o f which still SUTvive to(iJy. Thus. R ave nn a and it~ mOnUlllCiUS arc of cri tical i1l11:>orTallCC to historialls and arT hisTOri:ln ~ of The hIt<: :Incient world. This book pl"(wides n Wtnpr~' h c nsin: surn-y of R31'cnna's history :md m onumcnts in btl' anti'luit}', including discus.~ions of scholarly c onrrovc~ie5. a rcha~ological discoveries, ami new interprl'rations of "rt works. As a synthesis o f the vol uminoll.~ literature on this topi c. this 1'01ulI1" 1)1"Ol'id",; an English _la ngl..l"ge "ntry point for rhe studr of this fa scinating city.

Deborah _\1auskopf Dclipnnis is a:;$istant protcยงsor of history at In diana Uni_ ve rs ity. She is thl' editor and transb tor of Agnel1us of Ravenna's Lihel" pomijlf'llis M.-I...-i.u


an d she is the exec utive ediTOr of Tbe

tlIedicl."111 Nevin;.


Deborah Mauskopf Deliyannis



umbridge. New York. ,\ 1dboomc, ,\1 od rid. up< T o,,'n. Sing.pore, SJo 1'. 010. Ddhi. Duboi. T ok)'o C... mb";dg< Uni,..,"';'Y 1'",.. 3' A,..,nu. of the Americas. New York.


1001 3·'47J. c.....

,,' ,,',.. ..,.", lwidg<_01'!(

In fom-..tiun '-'" ,h i> " ~lbriJge


,..,..,.. ..,.mb";dgo_otg!9illoj' r836i"

Unive"';ty I'"""


nu. publi<,<ic<J is in cop)-'right, Subject '0 ""''"'ory ~:a;<ption

....t ro .h. ptmi ....... of r"l<\~ n . rolleqil'< li""".i ng .""",me"tS. no "'p<oJuc. i,-,n of m.)' ",to "'i.llou •• h< ~·ri.t<n I'ern,i"''''' of C .. nt.riJg< U nil-,,"';'Y P", ...

"'f ,.....

Fin' pubiisheJ



Prin«d in the United St."" of Ame"""

/.ilmrry .jC"'grm C.,./oging ;n PrJoIicatiM ""'" Ddi)~"nis.

Deoo...h ,\b",kopf. '!)66--R,,,.,,nn. in ,.. < . n6qui'Y f Dooo...h D<ii)",nn;', p. em. 10000•• toibliogr>phical r<kr~r-.:a ,nd in"" • . ".,. 9i g -<>-" •-SJ671-' (hardbock) L R"-<n",, (h.!),) _ Ci"ili ,... tion. , _R"-""",, (l"'ly) _ "!i"ory_ J. R.,,,nn. ( _ Am;qui!i.., 4- An - I",ly - R.,,,nn. . 5- An::hit<C1U", _ rwy _ R"..,,, .... . 6. R.,-.n"" (Italy) _ Buildings, "ructUre>. <Ie. I. Tide. DG97S'. 'S"4S '010

9-+5'47.°' -OC1l


Cambridge Uni",,,i'Y P", .. ha, "" respons.itoili'Y for <he ",,"';',ena; or of ~R> for .>:1<",,' or <hirJ.porty 1n1<"",' Web >it"" ,dcrreJ to in thi. public><ic<J and doe. J>Ot gu. rantee <hat :ony ro<!1<nt W eh ,ite, ;., 0 .. ,",'ill ",,,,,,in. """""'te or '1'1'''-'1''';'''_


List of lllustrJtions List of Tables


]' refilcc


luwenn. C.pltol? J I is",r,. of S<:h"brsllil' 011 R....'nn.

Arrh,.oJul!iall Consider,,,;,,,,, fl."·,,nn. ond Ihc I h"""<>gfllph)' of L'le Amique ,\n on,1 -\reh"",,"".



The Origin' of 11."'"",,. -lhc Rcpllhi""" Ci.y Cia"",: The Rom." Impcr;' I I lorho, .nd Fleet Ih~

11.,,,,,." Fm]>ir.

.\ 'lltird- ,lid Fourth-<..:cmury Crisi,' 11."'011"" ChriSli,n Origtn, UIAt'HR THRH

RAVENNA AND THE W[SHRN EMPIRORS. AD 400 -4119 Th. 1..,0" Cemury of the \ \. ="nl Rom.n Empi,.., \In,-jllg tt,. C'pi.. i to fl. ..'.nn. JU"cmlO '~'

It"'"",, ••••

Gpi,.1 "de IIIlprii


"·S ,. ,.


The City ofR,,'.nn. in

.,., ,. II




Th" Uty \ \ .11s of R,wn". The I\',torm"",," Th PoI:>r<~» Other P"hlic B"ilrlmg> O,u",he'S Chu"'h .... m th. Iionon.n I'e'iod G,l1. PI""idi,. eh"",h", S.n Gim .. nni Fungcliil. Sonto Croce Th. - ,\ 10"-;01.",,, of G.II. Placid i.The Ri", of ,h~ Cln,,,,h of Ro> enn. The Coth.dr.1 The Onh"<1,,. B'p,i"cf)' Th. Fp;",up.1 1'.10<.., O,her 1'.1';-';"1',1 Church l'o"",1.';on, Tn. End uf 1"'I",ri,1 1U"",n.

5' H











Tn..oocric >"d


Theo<loric" R"-e,,n'

'Throdcric',I'.Io"", Theodoric', Other SCCll],r Con."ro<;u"", 'Ine _11>u.oI<"", of -n,cod~nc The Os'!'<)gothtc Kingdo'" .fter Tho:od.ric to HO

,0< ,08

".'" '" ".

, 5'


RELIGION IN OSTROGOTHIC RAVENNA ,>,"" on.! 'nO Goth, s.". ',Ipolli".r<: .'<UO"O 11"""i<;s SI,irito (,h< .' lri:in e.,hcJroJj Theln.n B'l"iste.y 'I". Onhodox Church in Ostrog-"th ic R.",:",,; 'The C<If"I'a _-Jrri,-,,,,,,-jf, The Forl)' Si>.,h-Ce",ury ehurche, "fCb"" The Orthodox Ch"r<:I1 .fteT l"eodenc


,.' r;: ,

,i 4


,"'" "" ,,8





Th. b,,'irolUl\em .nd 1",li'" l ro,ni>", °lnc B)u,,' inc ~"""09u,,,' ,od 'he LO!nh,,,I~



E",,.l>I;,Ju,,em of. IIp,.ntine ,\d",;"i"r.l;on

The ,,,,,hhi"',,,,, of R.nno. 'I'he C .. hcd,..,l ,nd the Fl'i'"'0I",1


Churl'h lIuildio!( Church Iluildin)i: in 'he City of R"·,,rm. ,\hr;' ,\Ioggiar"

,," "" ":I

'" ", ,1>

San \'1>le S.., .\ hchclc in ,\fric;"""

"3 '50

Sc St"phcll Othe,. Clt ... rd""


Church lIuildin!( i"






St. Pml,,"<. St.""h.di,,!, '0,1 St. F "phe",i. iIlf mart! So",', \pollin.", in el."",


San So"em




RAVENNA CA PITAL AD 600-850 IUll"enn. o Co!'it.1 of the B)"Z:Int Ine rnrch". ,A rmhi,/",!,' .n,I»"I"'" 'The '\utOC"l'h.I}' Quo"i"n

After the Exo",h"e R"'cnn,, By".min. 'nd P"'t-Il)7.lntlllC Flit. EllVim'U"."t ."d l'rba" Life AJl~nn .. h, ~.,'c"n.o Agnellu>. .nd the C.rolingi.n,




"4 ,88


Appendix: Tables Notes References Indel<

'" HI


Plates Ia. ",\ \,usolculll of G.Il. I)locidi •• ~ interior vicw looking towonl ,he ~.h

I h. ' j\ Iousolcum of G.Il. " Jacidia," Christ os .he Good Shepherd, north lunette Illosoic lb. O rthodox B.priSlcry. stucco deconotion .( the window rone Ill>. Orthodox B'pti,tcry. mos,ics of the dome IlIa. S.n!'Apoll 1"uo,"o, mosoic of the north "",11, the Virgin .nd Child H.nked by .ngels, ,nd the three ,\logi III h. Som ' Nuo.·o, mosaic ofthe soulh w.l1, detail of St. f., !anin leading me pr"""",;on of m,le saints IV•. S. m'Apoll N UO''', moso;c of the south R",CTUl' .nd its "p.lotium" TVb. Ari.n B.ptistery, mos.;cs of {he dome V. CRP"'" "jew of {he]'s v.ults Via. Son Vit.le, the presbitcry .nd.pse VII>. Son Vit.lo, 1ll00';. of the south I'n,.hitcry won, Mcichisc<Je~ .nd Ahd V1l •. Son Vitole, mos.ic of the north 'P'" woll.Justini.n .nd his court Vllh. Son Vit.]e, mosoie of the south opse ""U, "I"he<:>doro .nd her eourt VIII •. S. nt'Apoli inore in Classe, ,'iew of the interior \'Ilib. S. nt' Apotlinorc in CI3SSc, l1l0s0ics of the '1"" '':;lUlt



Figures CUlTInt ",,,,,,,I pl~n of R.,','Tma, o,' with ,he I,," onti'IU" w.lls with m.jor .",h.eologi~.. l . iles ond {>Ilg' " .' Tub; ]iui/i, "Iuse<> Nuion. le, Rovenn. I,





,. + 5' O.

,. •• ,.• u.

,".,. ,+ , 5·





, ". ,.


,,. n.


". '0.

,. ',.. ".


,\ lop showing R,,'enno in the Rom.n imperi.1 period. co. AD .oo Funer..y stele of l>Ub~us Longidienus, 0 ship builder (jam- "'n'a/is) of Cia"". first century BCIAD. ,\losco N. zion.le. R,,'enlUl Reconstrt>Ction of the l'om Aure. embedded within the Iote .ntique .... ]], ,\ lap showing R,,·eoo • . Cia"", •• nd the Adri.tic coostline in the fifth, sinh •• nd ninth centuries /l lap of 11."''''''''. Cl_AD 480 G<:>ld soli~us of G. ll> I'I""i<li •. ob'-crse ond ,,"-crse, AD 4' 6-}0 PI.n of the p.l""e. os known from ex",,,.. tions. co, AD 450 S.n Giov.nni Ev.ngclisto, pion of the e.rly fifth..c;entury S.n Giov.nn i Ev.ngelisto, pion of the modified churcb. ",,-cnth--tenth ",nturic< S.n Gim-.nni Vv.ngc!i" •• interior "ie,,S.n Giov.nni t:v.ngc!ist., ",,"onstn>Ction diogro:rn of thc mosaics of the triumph.1 orch ond.psc The S.nto Croce complex. c.' AD 450 "'\lousnleum of G.II. I'lllCidi . ... exterior ,;e... from the snuthwest "/l I. of G.II. 1'1..,;di.," plan., ground le"ci "/l lausoleum "fG.II. 1'1..,;di.," W", with, iun.'tW of d''''T drinhng ",\ I. usoieum of G.II. p l..,i,li .... St. l ....·Tence. s"uth lunette mo,l>jc "M.usnlelUn of G.II. p locidi.," m""ics of thc c<'1ltt.1 "",It I'I.n of Ih ""nn. 's • .,hed ... 1complex. including the Ursi.n. C.thed ...1 (c •. 4"5). the Orthodo. B.ptiswy (4'05-5OS) • • nd the '/'.".", Sa""",, (second century AD) Orthodo. B.pti«cry. reconstn>Cted pl.n", ground ievel, with ,1"oT .nd font, .n,1 plan .. window I,,,'''' Orthodo. B.pti«ery. view of the exterior from the southeast Orthodo. B'p,i«ery. reco"stn>Cted cross senion showing the origilUll .nd subsequent Aoor .nd roof lewis Orthodo. ll'p,i"cry. ,·i.w of the interior f..,ing so utheast Orthodo~ B'p,i"ery. ,hrone in £on",.tic .rchitccru... 1""ClIC, mos.ics of the middle •.one OrthodoI Baptistery. c~nt ... 1med.llion of the dome. depicting the b'ptism of Christ S.nt'Agotl Moggiore. reronsUUcted pl." M'I' of 11.....,,,,, •• "'. AD BO G<:>ld 'riple solidus ofTheoderic (,he S"";g. lh. Med. llioo), gold, 3,3 em di.m .• ,\ Iuseo N.zion.le. Rome Bronze dcanummiurn, ob"erse with bust of R,,,"en,, •• nd the leg""d "Felix R,,'enn •. " reverse with. monog ...", of R,,-enn. surrollllded by • wr~3th Pi.n of the pal..,e. os known from """" .. tions. "'. 516


., B

" "



" " "

"" "" ""



'"" ,. 'J

" "


.0, .08

" 5




p. ,\ ,",ble I'"nol depicting i-l cl'CIJics and the St.g of Cerinei., early sinh cemury, ,\ luseo ",.:cion.le, IU'-enn. H- ,\ lo\lsoleum of Theodoric, view from rhe west ,\ louwl.'.111l of Theodoric. ,-jew of the interior of rhe lower 1",-eI J5. ,\ l. usolou", of Theodoric, ent.."c•. lower le,-.I

". ".

,'.". ". ..,.




.... ". .'.


.'. '0. '19·

,'. ". ".

,.. !S.

". ". ".

,\ 1ausoleum of Theoderic, pion O! ground 10,-01 shOl"ing th. structure .nd {he origin . l loc"iOll of the fence posts J\ lou",I<:1"n of Th",,,Ie";., plm of the "PI"" 1",-01 ,\ lo"solc~Jm of Throdcric, monolithic c'pSlone R,'<:onSlnu,,,ion of (he ,\ \,u,.,lo\l", of Theo<l.ric (bv 1-[eiden re ichlJ oh .nn ..) ReconSlnlction of the ,\ \" ...,Iell'" of Theo<lcric (by IX Angelis d'Os<.r) M.usol.,urr\ "f"ln."deric, I~>rl'hyry b .. htub n,,,.' in the "1'1"" TOorn ,\ lousoleum "f Th,,~teric, -Z.ngcn frie," Tdid om'm""t " the <>r the ""I""",e ,\ lo"solc~lm of -Thc'O<lcTi<;, 'I)ur on the "'pSlone with th. inscription ·S(.n)c(tu)1i Petru, " Ari.n B'p,i"cry, h~.d of.n .postle s.",' Apoll;m", Nuo'·o, Ill"",i<; "f th~ ,,,u,h ",.11, Christ fl. n • • ,! !'y • ngel, S.nt' AIK)II;n"~ Nu",·" , r<..;onSlmct.,ll'ian (hj,~l) ",i,h Slill-e,i,-r;ng h'''K1ue ' 1'' '' on,1 <h'1"'I,;n g"'y (north ",.11 reconstrucrcd to match ,he . un'i,-ing south w, J1) S.",·Apollin..c Nuom, "iew of the nonh n ..·c ",. 11 S.",' I\]'ollin.", Num·o, south colonn. de with ,he . mt.o S.n" Apollin ... Nuovo, colu",n C.pilll S.",'Apoll;m", Nuo'·", Ill"",i<; of th~ nonh ",.11, ,h~ cit}' .nd IK)n ofCl. sse S.m' N uom, m"",ic of Ihe north ",.11, upper 7.Onc. Chri,~ coll ing SIS. P(~cr .nd Andrew S.",·Apollin. ", Nuom, ",,,,,,ic of the south " .. II. upper zonc, Christ . nd the 'lK>Slk... 1t the Last SUI'l"" s.",' Apollinorc Nuo,·o, Ill""'ic "f the nonh w.lI, window 7.O]\e (f.r Idl sid~), IWO mal. flgum; hold;ng' scro ll ,nd. codex S."" .o\l'0ll;n • ..., Nuo'·o, m"",ic of the soulh " .. II. deu;l of Ihe lefl side ofthe "l'.l .. iw" n S.m'Al'0llin. re N oom, di'gr." " of Ihe ;m.gcs of Cl . sse .nd ,he R.n."nn, -p.IOI;u"," wilh the . ",os "'pl.""d ;n the sh.dcd 5.", 'A I",U;n". Nuo,-o, m"",ic of the north w.ll. St,,- Gee;I ;•. Eul,l i., Agnes (w;th Ihe I.mb), Agoth.,:ond I>dag;, S."" '\roU ;n • ..., 1"00'.... m"",ic frogmen! from Ihe west ,...11. he.d ofJ ustin;.n S.."o Spirito. ,i.w of Ihe interior




,,' '" ,,' ".'JO , J'

OJ' 13'


'. 'J<


' 4;

'" '" t i" t; t


155 155

'!9 16; 16)






S9- Th. Ari •.n C.rnedr,1(tod'r s.nto Spirito) .nd Ihptis,.ry, reconstructed pion sho"'ing oct.gon .nd now-lost ,urrounding 'poc,," (sh . ded) 60. Ari.n B'pt;,t.I)·. exterior vicw 6 T. Ari.n B'pt;,tOI)·. cemr.l",ed.,lIion depicting the b.ptislll of Ch ri.t 61. Ari.n B.pti.t.I)·. Sts. Pet.r.nd P.ul H.nking. throne 63' PI.n of R..·O",lO·S episoop. 1comple .. including the " .. hed ... l, b'ptistery, ' n,1 ,·,ri ... ,lS I,uildings <>( the 'piSc/Jf'illm 6+ Ca{J<"" IlTCh~wm"/', sollth ",t ""terior ""II with lhe r.m.ins of the eighth-cenntty "it·,.,.i,,,,, (?) 6;. Ca{J<lIJ. Qm'~wn·il,. I'I.n of the n.nhex .nd eh'l"'l 66. Ca{J<lIJ. Imi:.~srm:il" ',eW of thc n.nhcx f.eing nonhwest. Christ t"""pling the I"''''t< 67. Ca{J<II".srrit"wn·ik. northe.St .reh of eh'I",), ChriSt .nd the 'l><.>Stles 611. Ca{J<lIJ. 1mi;~I",";I<, northw",,", m ::n of ""'1"'1. (.m.l .... ints ~. GrOlllld pl'n of th e b,silic. 'n,1 oct'g<Jn.I,,,,uenlre found at lhe ,ite of C. ·Bi.nCl. wilh oxc",.ted 'reas in bl:u;k .nd g"'y 70. j\lopofR.venn' .... AD 600 7 t. j\mll<' "r Agnellu .. noW in th~ c .. h~dr11 7', '11m)(le nf fllo.i111i", . front "iew, ivory <on • w(~Klen f"'111e, 5400-5""' 7J. Timme of ,\ lo.i111i.n. p.nd depicting thc Annunci ..ion 7+ ThTO/l c of ,\1 .. i111i.n. ,Iet. il frolll ,ide, joe,,!.> ",,,uming Joseph 7S· S.m 'Apollin.", in CI1<sc. oolwnn, "f I'roeonnNi.n morhle. ""'" from the n"rth .isle 76. S.",. ,\ lori. ,\I'ggior•• pia" of,he 'I's, ". Son Y""le. ,.;~w ofth. enerior frum ,he north 7R. S.n Vi .. I~. "'''',n<tTUCtcd or;gin.l gmullIl l' l'!l 79- Son Vi,,,I~. ~iolt drowings. t"'O ,;.".. -looking e. .. . nd looking nonh 80. S.n Vi .. le. ""mnl """"gon focing south 8 L. S,,, Vi .. I• . ool "",n "'pinl frum the ground lC"d of the oc~'gon .1 8z. S.n Vi .. I•. reroIlstr"",ion of ,he origin .1


8+ 85. 86.

87. 8R. 11<).


rc'wt",.nt on the

outer w, l1s of the .",bubtory S.n Vi,,,le. mosoi"" of the nil It of the .pse S.n Vi,,,I •. mosoie of the nonh .psc "'oil, deta il. he.d of ,\Iaximi.n S." \'""Ie. south side of the presbitel)' oreh S.n Vi ..l•. moso;e " f th~ nonlt presbitel)' """II. ;nduding the Stol)' of Ab ... ),.", S.n Yltole .• reh .nd ,,,ult of the prNb;t.l)· S.n j\ iichcle in Afriristo. pl.n of origin.ll' roUl S.n j\ iichcle ifl Afriristo. rocon<tructeJ mosoic of the "I"" .nll triwnph.1 .reh, now in the Skulpt",e"s,munlung und j\ luscwn fur 1l)'7.•minischo ](W'Sl. S.. "liche Muscct, 1.U Berlin. Berlin. Genn",,)'

177 1;9 1112 1 ~3 I R<)

1 <)0



'9; 195

199 :0' "4

"5 , '7 ,Ii '" "j

"5 "7

,,8 "9

'H 'H , 19

' 4' '45 '41 149 '5'

'; J


<)0. S~m:AJ)OlJin~re

<) 1.


93. <).j.. 9:;'



')8. 99 .

100. 101.

10 2 .



in Chsse, plan, including the l:n er cnmp:1J\ile on the north side Sant' Al)Ollinure in ChlSSt', view of the exterior from the southeast Sant' AI)OIlill:lrc in Cbssc, CQlllmn c'l piml of the COlnposite ",in.-1hlo.'11 acand1U.~ type S~nt'Ap.ollil1al路e in Cbsse, view of the ap'i<' and trium phal arch Sinopie (llnderdnlwing) from the lowe r apse wnll of Sant'Apollinare in Classc. tod.l}' i.n rhe ,\'111:;;1:0 N azionak, Ravenna Sant'AJ:><:lllinarc in, the TransfiguraTion mosaic in the a p~e vault; 1I\i;'(hllioll n"n!.:ed b~' )1oses, Isabh, t.he H and of God (abon), ~rl<1 tfm:l' sheeJl n:pre.o; ~p{)sdc.< Sant'AJ>Illlinare in Cbs..'ic, St. Apollinaris al1li (left to right) BishollS Ecclesius, Sf. SeveTlL<, St. linus, and Unicinus Sant'Apolli,lal'e in Chsse, !l1osaie on rhe north wall of the apse depictin g ~!l1pel'Ors with Archhishop Rcp.,mnl< Sant'Apullinarc in Cbsst:, mosaic on the 50uth "'all ofthc apst: depicting Abel, Ml路1chiscdel, and Abraham an d Isaac San Sel'em, CI:l..~e , ground plan of the la te sixth-e... ntury basilica (including irs ;'aIM ) 3lUl lnl.' enlicr eh~llCl.~ t<l rht: south, as rl.'n~lcd from cxca"arions Map of Ra'"enna, C:l. AD 840 (It the time of Agncllus) San Viult, sarcophagus of the ... .xarch 1s3at路 (d. 643), early lifth-t'cnrury san:ophagus with scwnth-<:tntury in>eription S~nr' AflOllinare in Cbsst:, sarCOphOlb'\IS of An:hbishop Grariosus (d. ca. AD 789) So-clilcd ~P~bce ofth ... Ex-n ehs," actuall), [be facade of a d'Ul'ch ucJi(;,lIed to til<: Savior, ru iJ-eighth ~cntury Sant'AI"ollinarc in ChISs<:, nf,uriflm of St. EI ~uch'IJius, ninth l"t.,ntu ry AD

:(,: :63 ~ 6-t

l65 l65

l Oi li ' l i~



175 176

: SI ~9 '




Rum,m empcroN Kings of 1t3J~路


拢X.lfchs (WiUllltTCSICd titles)


LO!1l b:lrd kings Bishops of Ran!nna Popcs Dimensions of R;lvenna's basilicas


5. 6. 7.


.lUI 30~


30' 30 5 JO'


I ,,'liS first introduc<-'tI to the study o f Ravenna in Cecil L. Striker's graduate seminar at the Un;~'crsicy of Pennsylvania. Lee o\'crsaw my dissertation on Agncllus of Ravenna, and was th~ motivating force behind this book. [ am cnonnously gr.ltcful to him for hiscnoour.lgcmcnt, for hisoommcntsoll the various parts of the text, and for generously providing me with photographs. My oolleages Ann Gmuchael and D iane Reilly have been constant sound-

ing boards for my ideas, and I am indebted to {hem for thcir advice and support, especially toAnn for her insistence that I find a way to work plague imothe book, and to Diane for her reassurance that I cou ld write Foran his-

oonans. Others who havc hdped un sl'••~ific questions indudeJunathan J. Arnold , Thomas Brown, Paul Dutton, Andrew Gillett, Nicole LopezJantzen, L.wTence Nees, James J. O ' Donnell, Glenn Peers, Leah Shopkow, Eugene Vance. Dorothy Verkerk, and Edward Watts. I am also "ery grateful to Kate Copenhaver, Seymour Mauslupf, Scott McDonough, Urs Pesch low, M ary Ann SuJl i,':!n, and Eugene Vance for their magnifi~'Cnt photographs; the lntcmct tru ly is a marvelous way of connecting pcople with similar interests. Invaluable help "lIS provid~~1 by Rhonda Long of Document Dchery Services at the Ilcnnan B. Wel ls Librdry and Mary Bu~'£hley of the Fine Arts Libl'llry at Indiana University, and Paola Pilandri of the SoprintL'ndem.a [It-'T i Beni Architettonici e Pacsaggistici di Ravenna. Financial support, esp~'Cially through a prctcnure IC3''C, has been providl"tl by Indiana University. I would especially like to thank Beatrice Rehl of Cambridge University Press for her kind advice and cnroUl'llgemcnt as this book took shape. and especially for her patience with my delays as the manuscript was rompleted. \Vhen I signl>d the contract for this hook, I had twO children; when the manuscri pI was completed, I had three - it has b~'Cn a very busy three years! Spending time with my sons,AJex, Harry, and Simun, has meant that I have not traveled, especially to Jraly, as much as r might ha,·e. The boys may not ~vii



quitc uo(lerstJtH\ their mother's intcrest in thc late antique world, out onc day ....'e will all gO to Ravenna and they wi\! underStan(\ my enthusiasm. My husband, Constantine, has seen and understood; he has supported my career from irs beginning with love, patience, and pranicality, and I dedicate this book whim.





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Iliili{{/J'IlIII Srl'ipll1l'~s




Ravenna Capi(al? Thc city of Ra,路cnna in northeaStcrn ICI ly lvntains somc of the mOSt spectacular works of art and architecture to have survive.:! from late antiquity. These monuments were created between AD 400 and 600, at a time when Ravenna was one o f the roost imporClrrt cities in the Mediterl":lnean world. After 600 Ravenna experienced both economic and political downrurns, but the artistic and architectural monumems remained as a teSClmem to the splendor of the Christian RotHan Empire in its early cemuries. and as an inspiration both to later generations of the city's inhabitants and to visitors. In the absence of an e:({ensivc body of writtcn sources for the late antique city, the art and architecrnre have bl'COme the main source for our understanding of Ravenna 's role in ltolly and the Mediterranean. Sincc the ninth cenrury, Ravenna has been considered the "capital of the lare antique west." This is what Ravenna 's own ninth-ccntury historian Agncllus called it; it is the title of the four-volume history of the city by F. \V. Deichmann, Rllt'mnll, Hauptsrlldt drs f/liitantikrn AbrnJlonJes ( I 垄g89), and it was thc title of a conference held in !OO4 in Spolcto, subsequently publishl-d as Ravmnll; do cilpitllir imprrialr 11 capitllir mmalr. The word "capital" (Hauptsradt, capitolr) refers to the city's political function as the residencc of tile western Roman emperors after 400, of the Ostrogothic kings from 493 - 540, and of the rulers of the Byzantine province of centr:ll Ita ly from 54'>"""75 I . These rulers, along with the bishops of Ra"enna, made a determined effort to create a city that would provide a WOrtlly setting for (he rimals that demonstrated their authority. But did la te antique rulers wam the city to be regarded as a capitoll, and if so, did they suC'Ces~fully convince their contemporaries? In urder to addrc~s th is question, wc muSt fir~t dcfinc whJt a capit.l w.s in the fifth and sixth centurics. The word as it is used today, defined as a city




serving as a seat of government, has no exacr correlare in late antique Latin or Greek. E. Chrysos has recently noted that in latc antique sources {he word capul is used only for Rome and Constantinople, and carries symholic connotations, whereas the term mks imptritJlis, referring to the location

of the emperor and administration, really corresponds better to what we would consider a capital city. ' Tnisambiguity - the fact that Romecould be a cilpuf without hous; ng a central gO\!crmnent - "'liS the result of the p01itical circumstances of the R0Il13n Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries. For 300 years the city of Rome had been the ~-enter of imperial administr.ltion and the showplace of the empire's glory . However, Rome's 10000tion was not I", rticularly convenient for admi nistering the affairs of an empire that extended east to Persia and nort h to Scotland. The military emlICrors of the t hird century spent less and less of their time in Rome, and other cities rose to prominence as places where an emperor (or a would-he emperor) might reside.' Aftcr a century of political diS;J rray, the emperor Dioclcti an (!84- 305) took the momentous step of dividing the empire into western and eastcrn halves ruled bycocmlICrors (augusri), caeh of whom had a junior colleague ÂŤ({ICSar). These four rulers and their administrations were oos(:cl in different cities: iuitially tileS!' were Nioomedia and M ilan (fur the augum) and T hessalonike and Trier (for the cllcSIIm). After 31 4 Constantinople, founded hy the emperor Constantine, replaced N icomedia as the eastern imperia l capital. Rome was conspicuously om itted from thc list of new lopitlls, prooobly largely for strategic reasons, but it is also possible that Diocletian hoped TO brcak away from Roman m1ditions that he felt had [,,":en deleteriou> to the empi re in the pR-vious centllry, ancl in particular that hc wished w minimize the threat of revolt hy powcrful military units stationed in Rome) Although mostof these cities had been important adminisrrativc centers in the Roman pcriod (with the exception of Constantinople), none of thcrn had pennanent stl"Ul"tUreS for housing the imperial court. After Diocletian designated them imperial sears of government, each city began to build facilities that would acoormnooate the imperial ccremonia l and the admi nisrration that would now be situated there.'; All of tht'SC new capitals looked to Rome for inspiration, while at the same ti me reAe<;ti ng th e ne'" political, administrativc, and cI'cntually re~gious circumstanccs ofthc empirc.S As we will Sl'C in Chapter 3, the central feature was the palace, around which were arrayed hippodromes, colonnadcd streets, fura, baths, and churches. A new capital city that is intended to ~ ... break away from, in panicular, dt-veloped elite or bureaucratic institutions ... " i~ known to anthropologists as a disembedded capital. A. H. Joffe's stlldy of ancient dis<'1nbedded capitals notes that thl;' are I"CJ)' c:cpensiw, he<:ause thl;' ha"e to I"" built from scr:atch on a grandiosc seale, and highly unstable, especially in a


situation of political V"~riabiliry.6 The Roman Empire in the founh to sixth centuries was extremely unstable, and while wnstantinople achieved lasting success, most of the other new COIpitals enjoyed relati"ely brief building booms.) Ravenna, on the other hand, had a tenuous cxist~"Ilce in its first century as a lllpital, but managed to hold on to its role as a political center for a serond century and beyond. This enabled it to have not just one but scwral phases of commemorative monuments, cumlliatiwly reinforcing the scnse that Ravenna was a traditional seat of go,路cnl1ncnt. Rivalry with Rome is a l>trsistent theme in the politil,,1and ecdesiastil"31 history ofRavcnna. Emperors had not livcd in Romc since z84, but the city remained the showplace of the Roman republic and empire, the repository of its history, and the home of the Senate, the group of powerful Jtalian landowners whose authority waxed and waned in the course of Rome's imperial history. Rome ".,.s the caput orbis, the "head of the worldt l'Ven ,,路hen political power was no longer ccntered in it. 8 Milan had been viewt"<l as a riva l to Rome in the founh century, and this rivalry was inheritc<1 by Ravenna when it was chosen to be the imperial residence after 楼,Z. \Ye will discuss in detail the reasons for the choice of Ravenna in Chapter 3; cerrainly ease of rommunication with Constantinople was a major factOr in its enduring politica I success, but it aIso secms dcar that the ~discmbcddcd~ nature of the ciry was important to the emperor Honorius and his advisers, as well as their successors. Most of the rulers who established themselves in Ravenna did so deliberately in order to lx}Untcr the power of the Roman Senate and later of the popes: we will s~ this in the case of the Honorian emperors, of Odoacer, ofTheoderic the Ostrogoth, and l"1.'entually of the llyzantine exarchs. Ravenna's monumentalization was thus an important and succcssful component of a propaganda contest about authority in Ita ly. Another factor that came to playa significant role in Ra"enna's history was the rise of its bishop. [n addition to its secular importance, Rome was also the cityof the pope, whose status as the head of the entire Church might be contested, bUl whose authority in Iraly and the west was not doubted. The bishops o f Milan rose to preeminence when the emperors resided in that city, and once the coun moved to Ravenna, its bishops likewise rose in the hicrarchy of the Italian church, cventually holding the rank of archbishop, ranking serond after the pope and making periodic bids for autocepha ly, or independcnl"e from the l).1pal see. In a society in which the authority of bishops rivaled, or even exceeded, thaI of secular rulers, Ra,-ellna's bishops and archbishops used the city's topography and monuments to stake their own elaims both alongside the secular rulers of the eiry and against the POI"'路 All these rivalries l,roduced a situation in which Ravenna's history of urban development ran directly counter to the c:<periellcc of most other




western cities in the period from 400 to 600. Ravenna's period of prosperity coincides with ~ time in " 'hich cities throughout the Roman "'OTld werC undergoing dramatic tTllll.\formations. 9 ' Ineeity o f the Roman Empire had been a center of secular administration, with a dense urban fabric that included public amenities such as {heaters and baths, aqueducts and >ewers,

clabonltc Roman-style houses for the elite, and evidence of long-distance trade. By the year 6oomanyofthose features had disappeared from w(.."Stcm Europe, replaced by towns centered on the church, with the bishop as the

main authurity figure, a mu<:h lower density o f buildings, meaner and less architectura lly imcgr:ncd houses, no secular elite residents, fewer urban amenities (except for chur<;hes), and a dramatic reduction in items obtained

from trade; the "ruralization of the ci ty" is a tenn often used. '0 Progressive invasions, sach (Rome was sacked in 4[0 and 4)5, Milan in 539), plague, and economic problems led to dramatic depopulation, a slowdown in ne'" construction, and decay of the old urban fabric. The same processes e\'enmally ocl~'TTed in Ra\'enna, hut at a different pace. Ravenna was nut, as far as we know, sacked in any of the invasions or wars that beset the Italian peninsula, perhaps testimony to its perceived invulnerability provided by the swami)'; of the Adriatic coast. R..'enna had a residt'llt secular governmental administration until the eighth century, which led to different political dynamics in tbe city than were found el:;ewhere." In Ravenna, construction of magnificent new buildings continued until the end of the sixth century; indeed, the middle years ufthe sixth century produl",d >omc of the most dramatic and spectacular works of art and architecture anywhere. After 600 Ravenna suffered from the cumulative effl'CIs of the l"CO-nomic downturn and the political cvents of the previous fifty years, but the extra time had allowed the city to build up a collection of monuments that few other cities could rival. Rawnna may have been beautifu l and prosperous, but the literary texts sbuw us a l"Ontemporarymf11wlitiin which Rome reigned SUpfl-me. Because of its political importance, Ravenna is briefly mentioned in many texts, from it"tters to bistories to poems, from the Roman and early medieval periods. Fewof these offer praise ofthencwpolitical center. Roman authors through the fifth century scorned Ravenna's marsby landscape, and sneered at its flies, bad water, and frogs. " Emperors might live at Ravenna, but they l-amc to Rome for the important l",remonial events that werc praised in panegyrics. Byzantine authors mentioned Ravenna's defensibility, but thought of the west in tenns of Rome, Even the Romans wbo "'orkt-d for the Ostrogothie king Theoderie praised Rome's monumental past far more than Ravenna 's glittering present. Fur Stnltcb';c and t:(:unomic reasons, then, Ravenna maintained its politica l role through scI'eral changes of regime, but its monuments do not seem


to ha ,'e convinced cantem porariesof glory a r prestige. The process of creati ng a co"'~ncing capital city took zoo years, and the m0l1 umentali7,.atian that we admire was completed JUSt in time far the <->{."Qnam ic and JXllitical decline that was to spell the cnd of Ravenna 's dominance. It was not until the ninth cenrory that viewers could admire Ravenna as a glorious lllpital: l{avcnna was not commemorated in literary sources until Agncllus wrote a history of the episcopal see in the R30!i, a century after the city had ceased to be a scat of anything but local and episcopal government. O nly in the conttxt of the Carolingian renaissance, as Ital ians began to dcvd op a renewetl sense of urban consciousness that in cl uded pride in their Roman and late antique heri tagc, " could Ravtnna's staros as a former capital of the west be fully appreciated. \ Vhen we ta lk about Ravenna as a capital, then, we must remember that we are doing SO in historical hindsight.

History of Scholarship on Ravenna T hrough the cenrories, Raven na's history has UtlOlctl-rl the anention of a v;!riety of authors and scholars. Stlrting with Agnellus in the ninth century, medieval authors wrote saints' lives, sermons, and chron icles th at document specific mo ments in the lity's history. From the fifteenth century, local historians an d antiquarians produced ever-more-learned historical texts, as well as publi shing the primary SOUK CS on wh ich these histories werc based. \ Vi th the development of the disciplines of archaeology and art history in the ninl"!eenth century, Ravenna began to occupy an ever-larger place in the historical consciousness nat just of its own inhabitants, but al so of outsiders. And with the rece nt growth of interest in late antiquity as a historica l period , scholarly inteT<~t in Ravenna has exploded. ll erore we bcgin to examine Ravenna's history and monuments, it is useful to un derstand the way that these have been described and modified over the centuries, because ea rly historians and artists provide us with crucial information, particularly about monuments, inscriptions, documents, and other sources that no longer survive.

Premodern Historiogrllphy T he historiography of Raven na hegins with Agnellus. T he "'ay he presented his city and its history has heavily influenced our understandin g of Ravenna down to the present. Historians' pr<:occupatiol1 ",ith Ravenna's riY.llry with Rome, as described abo"e, origin ~tcs with Agnellus. Jndeed, it is hardly possible to consider any aspect of larc antiquc R3"enna without



reference to what he had to sayan the subject. Cerrainly he is t he person who construct~~ a past for the city on the Oasis of its splend id monuments. Agnellus is Our source o f chmnologi~'31 infonnation for many of the Sur\~ving buildings as well as our only source for the many buildings that no longer SUM"C, J\'iorl'Over, his preSCflution o f figures such as Galla Placidia, Thooderic, and Archbishop Maximian has influcnced all subsequent ideas about them. Although his text was not widely LTlown outside of Rawnna unti l the nineteenth cencury, we can trace its influence from the tenth cenrury on in texts wrinen by Ravennate authors, or by authors who camc to Ra,'cnna and consulted its archive . ' i There is no external evidence for Agnellus's existence; everything we know about him comes from the llassages in his &ok ofPontiffi 6fth. Church of Rtn'.,mll (Uber p<Jntijimfis euksiae Rnvt1l"atis, U'R) in which he tells us som~'thing ahout himself. AgncJlu.~ was hom circa Soo imoonc of the leading families of the city. H e becamc a high-ranking priest in the Ravcnnate church, and ~cms to have bcen acti"ely imulved in lUnstruction and maintenance of antiquities and monuments in thc sec. Agncllus wrOic thc LPR in the 8305 and ~os,l l The work consists of a biography of each bishop of Ravenna from the time of the co!wersion to Christianity roAgnellus's own day. D epending on the sources available to him, Agnellus tells uS about the historical background, artistic and architectural parronage, JXllitieal and/or ecclesiastica l controversies, and other notable events for each bishop. The tc:ct was dirC<."tly modeled on the U,," fJwtifoalis of Rome, a hiStory o f the papacy that by the early ninth century was widely known throughout Europe. One of Agnellus's main preoccupations was the riva lry between the sees of Ravenna and Rome, and he deliberately structured his text as a response to the Roman version of [ta lian history. '路 AgneUus was also preoccupied with the rights o f the clergy in the face o f oppression by bishops. Both of these themes oolor his accounts of ind ividua l bishops and of the hiStory and monuments assodatl~1 with them. Oncof the issues that must bcaddrcsscd when using the LPR fOr studying Ravenna '5 past is that it was wrinen s~"\'eral cenrurics after the most exciting evenlS. Agnellus was wel l aware of the impact of Ravenna's material remains; indeed, he exploited it througbout his te~t as evidence that Ravenna '5 history waS equal to that of Rome. \Vhat he tells us, however, is not so much what actually tooL: place in Ravenna in the fifth tbrougb eighth centllries, as bow these things werc perceived in the ninth centllry, and this distinction is not often appreciated by modem readers of the text. Despite more than twO centuries of arehaeoJogiC31, historical, and an historical investigation, it is remarkable how linle we know about late antique Ravenna, and how much our ideas arc shap",d by Agnellus's al"<.Ullm of this period. It is t\gnellus who tells us that Ravcnna was made the capital of Ita ly;


that lIishop Ursus built the cathedral; thaI Galla Placidia, Theoderic, and Arch bishop Ma,imian monumenlali,,~-d the city; and that the struggle with the popes consumed the seventh and eighth centuries. Since Agnellus's staR1nents match the r~1nains of churches and \\'ails, they continue 10 providt tht basic outline for Rawnna 's hi,wry. Agnellus him>clf us~'(1 as wurccs a chronide or annal attributed to Archbishop Maximian, the semlOns of Bishop Peter Chrywlogus, and a few documents; he otherwise looked at bui ldings and inscriptions (many of which arc now lost), and rdk-d on hcarj.ay current in the ninth century. Although today we have infonnation from archaeology and bener access 10 more historical te~ts., we do not know much more than Agncllus did, After Agndlus, little else was writlen about the city of Ravenna until the thirtlocnth cenrnry. 7 Biographies of wme indi,'idual bishops and saints were produced starting in the tenth century, often taken more or less exaerly from the Ll'R; there was an increase in production of these biographies in tht thirteenth ("<'nmry.'~ In addition to hagiography, there wcrt severa 1other texIS produced in this period that are interrelated, and probably related to the manuscript of the LPR that remained in the archive. In the first half of the thirteenth century, the list of bishops in the LPR was brought up to date, with short entries written for each bishop, based on the U'R. In the J !60s, twO works were writlt'n ahout Rawnna's history. One, the Ardifulllio auillllis Rllumnne, is a short text describing the foundation of Ravenna at the time of Noah and its SubSC<lu ent lunStru<:tion hiStory and geography through late antiquity, largely based on Agnellus. T he other, the Cbro1lica dT riuilau RI1Uf1I1IlIris, was based on the earlier texts. Shortly after this, around J 296, the episropallist was codified as the Rru"mdi PlltnJ by an anonymous author, possibly Riccobaldo da Ferrara.' ~ The Chro1lica was subsequently continued and brought up m date, ending in 1346. This upsurge in historiographical interest in the city is linked to the political situation at thctime: th~ rise of the commune, thcwars between the Guelf, ami the Ghibcllines, struggles fOr independence from the Papal Stales, and the eventual dominance of the ravennate da Polenta family from' '75 to '440. As in the ninth century, the auwnomyof Ravenna was in question throughout the twel fth and thirteenth centuries, and hagiographers and historians were producing new works, often based on the highly proautonomous LPR, to bolster Ravenna's status.'o In rllese texts, the late antique period of Ravenna 's history is ag-d in gi ,'en prominence, as arc the buildings. The main focus of both the Chrt)1licll and theArdificatio is the built environment of the city. TheArdifoatio amibutes many buildings to the Babylon ians and then to the Rom ans , but forthe fifth Ctnturyon, hoth texts tltp",nd on the LPR ~s thtir main source of information; indeed, the Chrrmica contains only four entries for the entire period j




between !lIO an d 1205. After 1205, the en oi es become more frequent, but are concerned now with the seculaT poUtiol history of t he city, although 9:lme major building acti\~ties are descrihed, such as the reconstruction o f the nave of the Ursiana cathedral in 13 r 4- It is thus not possible to rcronstroct from the Cb~o"ic,. m uch infonnation about the condition of the city in this period, as could Oe done for the nimh century. From the fift~'enth cenrury on, anti quarian historians of Italy bega n to include infonnation abou t Ravenna in thcirworks. About 1413 the LPR was l"Op;ed, alung with mOSt of the other historical texts, into one volume, which toda y is housed in the Bibliotcca Estensc in Modena; all earlier manuscripts ufthe tc:<ts were subsequently lost." The Cwi(;r Enrmis, as it is ~nown , was consulted by several nOll-Ra,'cllnate historians, including Flavio Biondo, who describc.-d Ra'"enna 's churches in his Hirrorillrum Ilb inc/inllli$l1( Rrtmllnrrrum imprrio DÂŤlldN 1lI wrinen in the first half of the fifteenth century, while Ambrogio Tra'"ersari likewise praiscd San Vitale and San!' Apollinare in Oasse in letters written at about the same time, " T he infiuenl"t' of these tCJ(ts in Ra.'cnna, on the other hand , seems to have dcclincd: Desidcrio Sprcti wrote D r Ilmpliludine, <k nnSfln;QlIr tI de imtl1l1Tlllirn1( urbil Rl1urntl{lr in [489, while Ravenna was un der Venetian rule (l44o-[SC9), uU! cites Agncllus o nly once, aIthough he knew Bio ndo's tcxt. ' J The LPN was rediscovered by Gian Pietro Ferretti, a native of Ra'Ulna who became Bishop of La,"cllo (d. ! 557) and who wrote a history o f the church of Rawnna that survivcs in manuS<.Tipt form .'"' Part of Fcrretti's copy of the LPN survi,'es as our Sffond manuscript wimess to the tCXt; somecime before' 589 the original manuscript in Ravenna disappeared.'l T he most notaule Renaissance historian of Ravenna was Girolamo Rossi (also cited fTl'tjuen tly by his Latinized namc, H ieronymus Rubeus), whose Tm Boola of Hirtories of JUromlll1 (Hirtorillrum &umnlltium libn dram) first appeared in 157l , with a rcvised edition published in IS&!. Rossi dependcd hcavilyon the LPN as a sourl"C for late antique Ravenna, and was infiuenl"Cd by Agnellus 's presentation TO use buildings, works of art, and inscri ptions as historical sources. He provides invaluable informacion about monuments that survived in the sixteenth CCntury but are now lost. T he eigh teenth cenrnry saw a new burst of interest in Ra"cnna and its sources and monument.s. ,6 In [708 Benedetto Bacchini, thc librarian of the D uke of "Iodena, published the first l-dition of the Ll'R, based on the Codr.>: Ertm.i. manuscrillt that he had found in his liurary. His colleague and successor at the library, L. A. " Iura tori, who initiatl-d the series Rmnn Itl1/i[l1rum Scriptrn"es, IlIIblisbed Bacchini's ed ition along with most of the other texts from the Codtx Esrtmis in two volumes of his new scries. A new interest in late antique works of art also now l>t:l"alne (>vident. G. G. Ciampini's V" rrl1 mCilimmru of ,690-9 include.:! drawings of many of


!{a,'enna 's mosaics, im'3.lua ble evidence of their lIre restoration state. Antonio Zirardini, a Ra"ennate lawyer and historian, published a work entitkd Drgli Ilnticbi rdijizii profllni di RITVfflnll in 1762; he also wrote a companion volume, Dr Ilntiqllis w;1'"is Rllvfflnllr ardifiriis, which was published only in 1908. '{be papyrus docu mcnts surviving in Ra\'Cn na 's archive were fi rst published in 1805 by G. Marini, in an l'(]ition that is sti ll used as a reference today, although it was largely SUpersl-ded by H. O . T jader's edition of the '95째S. Count lo. larco Fa ntuzzi, also of Ravenna and a student and colleague of Z ira rdi ni and "brini, published his six-vol ume wurk Munumfflli rllvnmali dr' uroli Ifi 711= p" {a maggiflT" partr hwfiti, containing the tem of ml-dil-val doaunl-nts in the arch episcopal archive, during the pe riod ISo 1-+ Finally, the eighteenth century saw attempts at restoration in se"eral of th e city's surviving monuments, most notllbly at San Vita lc and Sant'A]Xlllinare in Clas.<;e.

M odern Historiography of RnVetl1lh D es]lite the increasing scho larly interest in Ravenna's monuments, by the early ninetl'Cnth century many of them "'ere completely destroyed or in a very fragile State. Under Na ]Xlleon the city Ix'Came part of the Italian Republic (I 796- I 8'4), and many o f its monasteries were dissol"e d; some churches were del'OnS<.><;rated, uth ers were simply abandoned. At the same time, the increasi ng interest in antiquities. and the new discipline of archaeology, led to t he first attempts to uncover Ravenna's lost past through exca vation .'1 As far hack as the late eighteenth century, local antiquarians were ilwcstigating underground rema ins, and this activity continued into the nin eteenth century; con,ouctio n of the railroa d started in 188 I, revealing many ancicnt remains, especially in Classc.,8 The rel igious monuments and mosaics al50 recti",,<:1 attentio n. Fili ]lpo L ancia ni and Alessandro Ranuzzi, enginccrs emplored br the state depan:ment of civi l engineering, condu cted excaVlltions and restoratio ns of somc of the buildings betwccn 1859 and 1897. From the 18505 to the 18705 a Roman artist narnL-d Felice Ki beI was conunissioned by thc mun icipal gO"ernmentof Ravcnna to restore the surviving mosa ics; he worked in the "mausoleum of G alla Pl acidia," the Orthodox Baptistery, Sant'Apoll inare Nuo\'O, Sant'ApoHinarc in Classe, and San Vitale, and his work was highly controversial, both ror the techniques he used and for the iconographical dctails that he restored. '9 Mosaic restora tion wo rk by the Ra,'cnnatc mosaieist5 Carlo Novelli and G iuseppe Zampiga continued into the IB?os. The Musco Naziona1c of Ravenna was csuhlished in 1885 , with its original ,,)lIcction representing that of the C amaldolensian monastcry of Sant'Apollinare in C lasse, housed in





tOe bu;l ding> formerly bdonging to the a<n«JiC1i"" of S.n \,i ..l<. In dj'J7 the 1"li,n g<w<:mm<n' <St> h~; u.«l ,he Soprim<"cl"",• • ; ,\looum<rlti di 1(,,=>1.1. the Ii... ",do ""... u in It. ly. onder tl1< dif<C' '"'" ,of ('""""'00 Riro , • .. of 1t;,.. ~ ~."'" on ~) 10«;00'''' the ",00<1.11 Dif<:rtOr GCJl<TlIi of Art> ond Antiqui n<> in 19"'>," !OCci', vi~Of'l ~... to "''',... IU,'eruu'. Ilncirm m"num ..", to tb<ir otigin.oJ con· ili boo, ~lt;dI "',,.,,, <hot .n:h~.1 i n'~" ; g.tiOIl tu.J to ooenn;n< til< origin,l ... '" ><'<."fctiQm.nO OorontK'''' Iud to be f'<1""'~ -" H. immetlj".iy ;niuue.! ~'<rl on til< '",.O>OI<um ofG.II. P1KiJi,' . nJ S.n \ r,,, I,,. , nJ ""doc h;.Ie:IJe,.;,hip. .nJ ";th ,he of Giuo<pj>< Z.mpig>. A1 ...... odro Au.>.roni. ,nd hi. <v<nru. 1 ",,,,...or G u<q>p< Gen~ •• m,or"out< monum,,"" were .nd te>tvtw. G"roI. 0\.."...'" I"'blkltioo of th. """Its of many of the>< pro;.ru duro ing ,I\< 1><'";00 from ,hoot '9'0 until the '93os, ' M Itiro hi""",I! ,,,,,, • ..... tl>< ""bl;<>tioo of me eight-vol","" , \ / _ , ; , IItW ~ dti """.",' .Ii (19J<>-7). ~'i>irn ron",;n d",~'ings m><le beli"" ."d ,JurinS the: =t.,...tion, br i'~ ml. go . nd !"~~n)n i , Sio«: ' ~91 II..-=n, ', Sopnntrndenu Iu. been modilied, divided •• oo rerombi ..... wi"'. con_ fusing nun'", of Th. OU'''"''t u.,figo",ti<)n.. ere"ed in '97" ~'" of the Soj>rintrndcnz> P'" i Beni ,\rcheoIogici d.trEmili. Komogm (An::h>«lIogyl .nJ the 'iof>r\n,rn.Jen .. p<1' i &ni Ardi,,,,,,,,,;ci,, f"" iI P"""'gg;o <Ii Ro"rnn. (Monument> .nd Envirooment)." Ricci and Gerob pb)'ed an .ro,~ role in ,,;m"ioting other hi",lric.1 WQ<o in the oty. T1o< ;o..m.1 f'<fix R""""," .... h1nd«.l in ' 9" to publ ish !lCool:trly "' ••,,"'" on the city ",d its tmII"ment~ ;, continued publk,Ooo un,i l Un,ior I/.i""'" ,n,i c;.,,,,b', , .. sp;«~ ' ''''~. <XCIV" ..... ,of the sit< of tit" ·1', 1>«: of '[1,oodork" """"',,'' of S.nt'ApoIlin"" NOOI'Q took j>I.e< .. ,~''''''' ,~.nd 19'~' " In 19'-1 the Ii.... ,~" b..,;d""of . ne" edition of the LPR. "I; ted by Ale ... ndro T coti- 1I..""",i, ' pp<,,,,d intI>< n.... .... ie< of ,he R""",,"""" SMptorn. 'This ediOoo ~' .. """,", oomj>l",ed. but h,; "'",. i..... infl"",,'i ,l; it "",,,in, <"rn~'" _ v<ry' in.dequoteiy refe""""d. ~'hich h"e been used uncritically by monr " , h o i " , woo h,,~ su!>s<G .. ""dy 0'1,,1. u,", oft'" /.I'R , D.ring \\',,.M WI' I1I4"""n, .... bomlxoJ Alii< .. "hiCh . <>uited in m.;o. d to the """"'" of , ,," ('.;.,.,~nru E""gelis" .nd minor do m_ og< '" ding>. Tbe Jes, ruct;"n ...... It"'i in ,n in'.,... "'"'I"ign ,of """,,,,tion .nd ",,-.000 the W:lr. These clforu w<r< I><,ded by n..... gr<"'1'" ofr"",.rchen. ..-.m< Ioc>I .od """" from "I"""'her<. In portic ..b " f..-u lty . nti ..00""1> of the: Univ.,.iti. di ~. begin to j>I.y • p«><ni nem role in IU,'''''''' odIoI • ...rup. I" the '9S'" Gi"",ppe 8o>'ini, prof....,.. ofChristi,n .. ,-It~., boSOn "'","""", , n ,n" .,1"",roten«, the

"tIl. ....

_,.nO 1,,<,













Culturil mll'Arte RII V("I/{If~ t 8bl/lfillil (C4RB), which brought together archaeologists, art historians, and historians from Italy and abroad . The proceedings of each conference we re published in volumes of the same name; the last conference took place in 1998 (vol. 44). Bovini fonl1(led and was tbe director of the Istituto di Amichit~ Ra\'"ennati e Bizamine, associated with the university but housed in the Casa Traversa ri in Ra\'enna, which continues to serve as a c('mer for researchers studying Ravenna. reli:r: Rm)(llllll and C1RB published numerous important studies of Ravenna's history an(1 monuments, I.lUt there were no syntheses of the material, except in books aiJlled at tou rist~ and popular audiences. The task of producing a scholarly history of late antique Ravenna was underta ken oy Friedrich nTilhelm Deidunann, a German scholar based at the D eutsches Archaologisc.hes Institut in Rome. In 1958 he published a collee.rion o f photographs o f art, architecture, and sculpture that he caned Friibcbristlitbr Bllllft'll f/lld IHosllik;:ll VOlt RflVt'"llll(l . The accompanying oook, R(fv emlll,


HfluptSffldt ,lei ..piilflmiJ.'ell .41'clldlfllldes, Ges,bifb,c lmd i\1(JlIflllImtc ( 1969),

COJlt<lined a narrative of the history of Ravenna liS well as 11 section for l.'ach surviving 1ll0mlllwnt, largely without any bibliographical rcferl.'nces. In 1974 anu [976 twO more volumes (1.1 and 1.1 ) appeared, devoted to detailed studies of the individua l mollumems, lhis time with full consideration of all previous scholarship (although the reference system is very haphazard). Finally, in 1989 Dcichmann publi shed volume 2, part 3, Geschi.-h,r, T(Jpapgnlphir, Km/$f 1I11d Kllltll,., which largely repeats volume 1 in a llIorc dense and comprehensive fashion, this time including refen:nces but often summarizing <lrguments from the earlier volumes. Deichmann's volumes arc fu ndamental resources for aU students of, as will be obvious from the foolllores ill this uook, although the ap pearance of comprehensiveness disguises the ract that some topics receive much more det;liled tn:atment than clo others. Moreover, it is sad to ~ay that the massive amount or Genn;m text has been off-putting for non -Gcrman vspcak ing stuclent~ of late wtiquity. Scholarly work on Ravenna did not stop ;lITer D eichmann; indeed, at least 600 scholarly publications tbat address Ravenna ha ve appeared since 1989. III tht' 1990S, a series of edited collections in Italian began to meet the need for symhescs in languages othcr than German. Thc serles Stolid di Rntll"llllfl ( '990-6), pro duced under the genera l (lireetion of Domenico Berardi and Cian Carlo Susini, comprises six large \'ohuncs containing articles thar cover the entire history of Ravenna from the Roman period to me modern age, written by the foremo st arc haeologists, art historians, and historians. Two of these volumes arc devoted to the late antique period. Several exhi bition catalogs and excavation reports with detailed scholarl)' discussions have appc;lrcd in the last decade, as ha vc lavishly illustrated


Key :


Known or excavated walls Presumed walls presumed ancien! water Archaeological s~e

1 Via O'Azeglio 2 Banea Popolare 3 Ex orti Baccineni 4 Largo Firenze 5 · Palace of Theoderic' 6 UPIM (Via di Roma) 7 Santa Croce 8 Porta Cybo 9 Padere Chiavichetta, Classe 10 San Severo, Classe 11 Padars Marablna 12 St. Probus


. __....., ,?-

=-'. ,. C....-cnt<tr<:e<

['I. n of R.<eTlJl •• o"rl ili d "' i,h ,he L.. eontique ...... I,

.00 ,,·"Crw:l)~. withm.;o..n;h. e<>Iogic>l




collaborative stUitiCS on the "mausoleum of Galla Placidia" (1996), San Vi tale (1997), and San Michele iI/ Ajri(im) (W07). Fina lly, the Fon(lnione Centro Italiano di Studi sull'Alto Mediocvo at Spoleto held a confe rence on late anti<jue Ra\'enn~ in 2004, whose proceedings were pll blished in two volu mes as RI/VC IIIIII: dll (I/pitl//r imperil/Ie" capit"/I' ffilTadt'. T here has as yet been no sustained scholarly treatment of Ravenna in English , and this book is imclHletl to address that void. An.:hacologica l and restora tion work continucs apace in Ravenna, an(1 given the nllmbcr of questions about the latc 3ntique city that arc still unanswered, new in fO rmation will no douht necessitate revision of the historica l profi le o f Ravenna in the decades to cOllle.

Some Archaeological Considerations Givcn the shortagc of Contemporary wTitten sources for latc antique Ravenna, archaeology provides crucially important information about the city's topography, e(.'()Ilomics, and population . Before World War II, most excavation was directed toward Ravenlla's churches, and to large structures that could be linked to buildings mentionet! in the LPR; indee(l, associntion o f archaeological sitt'S with Agnellus's text ('ontinues down to today. But, e~pecially in the latter part of the twentieth century, other sitl!s, representing private houses, manufacturing and warehouse fJeilities, and walls, h ~rbors, and othcr man-made fea tures have come to the tore. allowing \IS [(J gain a much more complete picture of life in the late antique city (for a map major sites, sec Fig . I). Beca use many of these sites will be mentioned in the cha pters that tollow, it is useful for us to understand some o f the factors that have ('olltributctl to Ravenna's archaeologica l profile. is Ravenna's ground level has been sinking fu r centuries, and this has raise{1 challcngcs for those interested in digging up the past. T hc land surround ing R,1\'cnna is subject to two gC'Olllorphological processes. First, Ravenna is located in an allm'ial ba,in; the rivers and streams that flow into it hring sediment with them . O ver time, except in periods in which it has been deliberately pre\'entt'll, th is sedimentation has filled in swamps, marshes, and lagoons, eventually creating new sol id groull(\ along the shores of the sea. This is why Raven na, tounded as a coastal port in the Ro man l}t:riod , ro{lay sits 9 km from the Adriatic coastline. T he sedimentation along the shore also contri butes to the second major process th~t has affected Ravenna, namely the subsidence, or progressive lowering, of the ground level, which has been calculated at approximately 16- l 3 em per celltury'>(, These [VIO Jlrocesses, along with the continu()u~ occupation, destructioll, spoliation, and rebuildi ng o f the dty. h;l\Ie produced ;\ sl'f'Jtigra phy in which




material from the Roman rcpuu1ic:ln period is found 4-f! 111 below the CUTrent grounillevei, Roman imperial materi~l is 3- 6 m below current ground k'vcI, and fifth- to sixth -ccnturr material is 2-4 III below current ground

lerel. with grcatvari~hil i ty fr0111 place to place within the cityY Morl'{wcr, Ravenna has aI ways had a watery environment. Although the swamps of the Roman period aTe no longer much in evidence, the level of groundwater is relatively high. Even Agnellus noted cases ill which things buried in previ-

ous eras were covered in water, and today most featun:s that li e morc than a few meters below the ground surface a;c envelopel] in grou!1l[watcr. ,lj As a result, pre-Roman and Roman remains 3rc sparse ill the archaeological remrd and hard to excavne, and some sites, especially chosc excavate<lmore than fifty years ago, are missing material from their lower leve l s.l~ A Hnal impediment to archa(.."Ological discovery in Ravenna. as in any tit}' that has lIeen (:oncilluously occupied since 3ntilluicy. is the presence of later structures, most of which post(lare th c medieval period. Some topographical problems remain insohlulc, while many important an:hal'Ological discovcries of the twentieth century h;lve taken place du ring-or in ad\'ance of the construction of ncw huildings, roads. railroads, and People h;l\'e been <Jigging up Ral'ellIla's remains since the sixth-cemury. Archbishop Maximian moved the bodies of several or his predecessors into basilicas that he constructed for their veneration . Agnellus describetl his own investigations into Ravenna's hidden past, ~ome at the instigation of his archuishop and ~ome on his o wn initiatil路e. Docum ented examples of deliberate excavation begins in the fifteenth cenrury; the history of arch<lcological investigations in Ravenna fi:om the fifteenth to the nineteenth centu ry has been cataloged by Paola Novara, who shows thar they were haphazard, and even more haphazardly publishe(1.10 Early excavations wert! carried out by local antiquari;llls. who often h;ld dose connections to the church. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centurie~, Corrado Ricci and Giuseppe Gerola sponsore(1 systematic excavations in lIl~nr of the churches thanhey were restoring. From 1908 to 19'5 Gherardo Ghirard ini oversaw the excavation of a large area to the somh of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, the site known as the "Palace ofTheoderic. M4 ' Throughou t the cellfury, the Soprintendenza pel" i Beni Archeologici tlell'Emilia-Romagna has SIX"Ulsored and published rtl;lllY C:':C31'ation proj(.'t.~tS in Ravellna and Classc, most not~bly since the 1960s under the direction o f Giol'~nna Berrnond iVlontanari and i\-1aria Grazia Maioli. Sites excavated extensively indut-le Poderc Marabina. Via i\ hrabina, Podcre Chiavichetta. and the basi lica of San Severo in Classe, the sites of the Banca Popolare and Via D'Azeglio in the heart of Ravenna, and the site known as Palazzolo to the north of the city. Members of the Universita di Bologna'~ IstitutOtli Antichita Ravennati e BiZ;}ntinc have also been actively involved in excavations, and after L996,


the Istituto was reorganized as parr of the Diparrimcnto di Archcologia, with a specific unit ba sed at Ravenna, the Fac(Jiti di Conservazione ,lei Beni cultura li (Serle di Ran'nna ). Its director, Andrea Augenti, has initiated a new Sl.'ries of excavations in t:ollaiJorat10n with thc Soprintcnclcnz~. ~' A series of residents of Ra\'enna with historical and archaeological expertise have worked alongside, and often in collaboration with , the Soprintendenza and the University. In partiC1Jlar, many of the excan· tions of Ravenna's churches halle been conducted by these scholar$. Mario Mazzotti, a Ravennate priest, ht,'came involved with archaeological cxcavation in the late 193 os. He obtained a degree in Christian Archaeology, and served as thl.' diret:ror of the archiepiscopal archive and museum in Ravenna from the 1950S until his death in 1983' Nlazzotd excavated and published extensively on Ravenna's history al1(l monuments, most notably Sant'Apollinare in Ciasse, the Arian llaptistery, and Solll Frant:esco. In the 19605 and 197°5 Giuseppe Cortesi (head orthe Bibliot1;.'t:<I Classcllse) 31111 Arnalda Ront:lIzzi carric,l Out a campaign of tcst-pi t s~mp ling and excavation in Ravenna and Classe, which revealed the locations of se\'erallatc antique sites ind\Hling the hasilit:a of San Severo and the one known as the Ca'Bianca, which have been variously published; Cortesi also oversaw ext:avations at Santa Croce:1I More than two t:enturies of archaeological investigation have produced a bewildering variety of finds; these (lata are now being collet::ted and ~, nthe­ sized. Valentina M amelli has recently published a valuable catalog of the sites 011 which ROlll~n lllHerial has been ti:lIlllll, ami has analyzed the results to produce a comprehensive survey of Roman Ravenna."~ Enrico Cirelli, of the Uui\'ersira di Bologna, is directing a pl'Ojcct to create G IS maps thal represent all archaeologit:al illterventiUllS resulting in Roman and medieval lll;\terials, whit'h will be all extraordinarily usdul rcsource.~5

Ravenna and the Historiography of Late Antique Art and Architecture Imagery from Ravenna is central to our cont:eptiolls of late antiquity; it is not surprising, for example, that mOS;lit:S from S;lJl Vitale arc featured on the con:r o f the encydopedic Lflt~ Alltiqllitr A Guide 10 Ib~ Portd,lfSimi l/furid:¥> Ravenna's monuments have alway, been fUlHlamental to studies of late antique art and architCCfure, both because they resulted from patronage at the highest levels of society anli because they are remarkably well preserved. Ravenna's slln,i"lng mosaics from the firth and sixth centuries oumumlier those of any other cit~" while Ravenna's political an(1cultural links with Const;lntinoplc and the east IllC;}1H that artists ;}nd ;Jrt:hi tet:ts




we re inA ucnccd by a vcry wide ra n ge of styles. Raven na thus occupies all impOrtant place in I::vtry c hro noll)gic~l narra tive I)f medieval and Byzantine art, and R,\I'cnna's mo numents arc cited in analyses of style. technique, iconogra phy, viewer rccl,'ption, colo r th(..'Ory. 311{\ mally other su blccts of art historical interest. Questions raised by the study of the art and arc hitecture about construction tech niques: building layout; architecnlral, sculptural,

anti artistic style; and iconography - also shed light


late antique eco-

nomics, communication, theology. (..'(;dcsiastical organiza tion, litu rgy, and power politics. \Ve call usc them t() enlarge emf picture of life in late antique R;1\'Cnna. In this book, the lil.lrviving mon\lments wi ll be trcned individually in the context of the hislOriC:<I 1 den:Jopmem of R ~\'e n na. In oruer to prol'ide an overview of lhe an historical concerns thar will be presented in the indi.. idual seCtions, 1 wo uld like to in trodu('c some of the schobrly discussions in which they have been feaUlrcd. One 3rt historic3 1 methodology tha t has o ften been, 3n.{cominues to he, appl ied to Ra~'enn3' s monuments is known as form3lism . Stylistic feat ures that (1 0 not s.;-em ly pical of their time and place arc com pared to p05sible analogues and models from other places. O nce compararive materia l has been identified, the atypical features are attri butell to the arriva l of foreign designers and workmen, the promotion of a particuln r theologi('a l or litu rgical illllol'ation, the nu ki ng o f a politica l st<l tement, or to the taste or weal th of a patron . Depending on the sophistication of the analy,is, th.;-se interpretations can rclate the art and archi tecUira l meaning to wider c:ontexh; and cultural exchanges of the perioll. Nlany of the features foun d in Ravenna 's buildings 30ci works o f 3rt do not correslx)Ild to any one trall ition of art an.1 an:hitecture, and in particular are ditlerellt from those uscil elsewhere in Italy. Because of Ravenna's specific sta tus as a focll s of contact between Italy and the r::astern lvlediterranean in IJtc antiq uity, the qucstion o f whether Ravennate art ami architecture was intl\lenced pri marily from the eastern Mediterranean or from Italy and the west has engaged scholars for lIlore than a cenru'1'. T his deha te came out of the wider discussion of the o rigins of Chris tian an initiated by Josef Strzygowski,路\i hut the I]uesrion was applied particularly to Ravenna by G iuse ppe Galassi. Galassi 's RaN/il 0 Bisll1I::,iv, 1 J'l'/fI.wici di RILt'('/I111J r lr Origin; dl'l/'AJ1t' lta!jll1lJl ( 193 0), was writtr::n as a response to 5tn.ygowski, and asserted , hased o n the examples from Ravenna, that the cruci;!l point of departure was nor in the fourth cellmry bur in t he Si:\ih century, when "Roman" and " Byzantine." wh ich h ~d emerged from the same Ro manoH ellenistic Mediterranea n milieu, divcrged . For Galassi and mall )' other scholars, the monuments of Ravenna represented a distinct " Ravennate



Tllbi jillili. Musco l.

N "1:i o MI~,

lla...:",," (ro ur\(",,")'

Soprinl<,,,Jenza pe r i Ikni Archilcltol1 ici e P.,es;ol:gislici .Ii R, ...enn~ IMi IHC ITALlAI)


which borrowed from a variety of traditions and remained influential for centuries."s Nevertheless, the contrast between East and \.vest has continued to playa role in art historical discussion of Ravenna (lawn to the present': Dddunanll was more inclined to emphasize Eastern models with ~Wes rern" modificadons, while Eugenio Russo has argued in favor of a greater n.'Cognition of western motlds, but insists that the major J ustinianic buildings arc the product of a master bu ildcr frOIll Constantinoplc ."~ The <-"(Inclusions drawn from this type of formal analysis can be problematic. There is a long tradilion in \ ,Vestern scholarship of depicting the East as degenerate, which was Strzygowski's point; lraliall and other scholars elevated the '"(IIllunit,IS of Christian art for nationalistic reasons.50 But, as J as Elsner has pointed out, if those grand narratives are removed, fortnal analysis appears to lose much of its force Y Models and borrowings must then be understoo(! in their specific historical contexts, either as ~ymbolie of tl1e aspirations of patrons and designers, or as evic!ence of trade and artistic practice ofthc past. In any given case, answers are proposed, but given the complete absence of documentation for this subject, such explanations must remain hypothetical. Let us examine Wtlle architectural examples. Most of the churches in Ravenna from the fifth century anc! beyond make usc of impost blocks (pu/viui), or truncated pyramidal stone blocks plnced between each capital and the springing of the arcade (see Figs. Il, 'W, 81, and 9l). The use of impost blocks was an architecrura I innovation that became widely used, particularly in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, during the fifth century. Ravenna's buildings arc often cited as lhe earliest examples of using impost block~ in the west, and while early fifth-century examples are also known from Naples and Rome, only at Ravenna were impost blocks used



so L'Ollsistcntl)' in later ccnturics.5' Uh:wisc, most of Ravenna's churches had apses that wen: polygonal on the extl::ri(Jf anll semicir(:ular on the interior, ~nothcr feature known from Constantinople and the eastern l\Icditcrram'an in rhe fifth ccnnlTY, but rare in Italy. On the other hanll, IllOSt of the domes and half domes in Ral'enna 's churches wefe cOlIsrrucred using fllbi jitfili, or hollow ceramic tubes approximately 0 .10 111 long that we(e

imerlinket! all(1 arranged in eOllccntric rings. held together with cement

(Fig. 2). This tC,.'f,;hniquc was widely used in Roman architecture of Italy and the west, hut dill not spread to the eastern Mcditcrr3tlCan.,' l

Taken together, these three features arc seen as typically Ravenna!c. But what do!.'s this combination of feanlres Ill!.'an? Cl!.'arly, a variety of architectural ideas were being combined ill llew ways. T his could mean thnt e"J,tern nrchitects and/or craftsmen were brought to Ravenna to ouilll the great churches of the lIew imperial capital, either be('au~e such craftsmen did not exist in Ravenna, or to lend Constal1til1opolitanlu~tcr to the Ravcnnatc structures, These maSters then would have adopted somc local technill oes. Or were the illll)Ost blocks and polygonal apses foreign tcchniques adapted by loc~1 masters, and if so, why? In the case of Illarbh: sculpture, it can be shown nO[ only that sculptur3l techniques and styles were de rived from Constantinople, but that the marble itselF originated in the eastern Mediterrnnean , which proves that there was an intel"t~st in Ravenna in high-status art from the east. :4 ArchaeolQgica l evidence shows that Ravenna's ports carri('d on a busy trade in wine, oil, and other goods with both N orth Africa and the eastern Mediterranean , so clearly the city was fairly cosmopolitan, At the same time, links with Rome, Aljuileia, and espocially .M ilan were stroog, aod there arc many similarities of architccru.tal form and IledicatiUtl between these cities abo. \Voultl these featu res have impressed pt.-op!e as being typically eastern or western? Did p<,'ople notice that decuJ'ative motit~ were 1110J'e similar to Rome than to the Aegean? Tllbi fittili, for ('x<lmple, arc invisihle once a vault is (iecorated, Did impost hlocks im press people as a rad ically d ifrerent element in a basilica? Given that these features were used for two centuries, they must have acquired meaning at some point, but we can only specu late aoom the reasons for their USe. The use of .l"polill, or reused building materials, is another feature of late antique arch itecture whose meaning has lx:en fiercely (lebated .55 From the tim(' of C o nstantine, religious and secu lar architectural monuments fre qllentiy incorporated rellSed marble into building dements and sClllprure, especially columns and capitals, as parrs of their structure. A~ we will see, in Ravenna most of the church('s of the firth century follo wed this trend and included sculptural elements taken from earlier Roman structures;


mon:.'Over, Ra venna's walls and churches were usually built of reused brick. Scholars {Iis~gret: over whether the uSt: (If these JPoli11 was r;ymlNlic (triumph O\'er Roman paganism, for example) or whether thcir usc simplr had to do with the availability and e:,.:pense of material s. In other words, was their use meaningfu l, or practical, or both? Did it demonstrate rhe power of the emperors to control construction of pl'eexisting build ings, or the power of the church to demolish them? Or, by the time Ravenna 's buildings were tonstructed , were Roman ,fpO/ifl simply considered de 7'ig lleur for impressive public huildings? The beaut)' ami com plexity of Ra ven n,l 'S sculpture and mosaics ha\'c Icc! scholars to attempt to elucidate the meaning o f the images presentl.'{l there, a stud y known as iconography. Frequently, studies of individual monuments havt: arguell fo r one "real" iconogra phic nH:an,ing, presumably the meaning th at was intell/led by its creators or patrons. More recently, scholars have recogni7,ed that in late antique art, images may not have been intended to mean just one thing, but may have been intended to evokc multiple meanings and associations. As H enry NTagu ire has pointed out, early ChriStian I.'xegesis was based on the (..'o ncept that any given Biblical passage might be interpreted in several different ways. If Christian exegetes understOOti the \Vor<! o f God to have more than one meaning, su rdy they would also have expected religious images to be polyvalent, that is, to have more than one way of being " rcad.~ !\,lorcover, the idea that a viewer might meditate Oil a set of image, and draw further ~ssociat io n s from thcm is one that was proba bly understood and even expected by designers of reli gio\ls decorative programs}"; In this book, therefore, no attempt has been lllade to prcsen t an account of every interpretation ever alTered about a particular image, although certainly there are referenct:s to s ummarie~, particularly those given by Deit:hmann, that do provide such references. Nor, in most ca ~t:S, has one interpreration been singled our as the ~true" one; in many ca ses several alternative suggestions arc presented that seem to work in the context of the images' creation and location, and in sam!;' cases it is suggeste(1 th;lt multi ple mea nings may be operating at the same time. Prcsenting these muhi ple frames of reference is most useful ror exploring how earl~' Christian imagery worked in the context of early Christian Ravenna. Finally, it should be sai(l that this book does not ant:11lpt to trace a completc hi story of the art and ardlitectuTe of R;l vcnnaj rather, it is collccin::d as n history of the city of Ravenna in late antiquity, a city that islargcly understood through surviving works of art and architecture. Indivi/iual monuments are presented in considerable detail bccause such surveys are not available, fo r the most part, in English, but comprehensive summaries of




all of the scholarship on them w~s not practical, given the scale and focus of this book. Rather>the monuments ~re pre~ented as tangillJe sources of information about the city in which they were created, whose history they hoth n.路th.-ct and hdpcd to shape. Through thei r 1>C211ty and complexity WI.' can still todar experience Ravenna , ifonly in fragments, as did its inhabitants 1,;00 years ago.



The Origins of Ravenna The main feature that determined the hi~tory of Ra"cnn~ in antiquity was

its changing hydrological situation. 1 T ooay Rave nna lics 9 km in lallrl from the sea, but in the prehistoric and Ro man periods itW;1S located directly on the Adriatic coast, at th e southern edge of the delta of the Po river. The Po (in Latin, f>(I(IIlr) is the longest river tn Italy, Howing west to east through a river basin that contains many of northern Italy's m OS t important cities. The water<:ourses of the Po network have changed dramatically in the past â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ 500 years, sometimes naturally and sometimes because of human intervention. In the Ravenna area, st:dimcntarion and subsidence have concealed me earliest courses of the river and its hranches; reconstructions of the network before the era of modem 11l3p5 is hypothetical , based on descri ptions by anciem and medieval authors and e.'I:3l1lination of settlements, bridges, canals, and other evidence of human illlcraction in the past. ' Ancient author~ include Ravenna ill the riverine network o f the Po, al1(l most of thcm speak of Ravcnna 's environlllent as marshy; it seems dear that, fr0111 its earliest days, the site of Ravenna was a pateh of dry land in a mostly watery landscape. ' According to Pliny the Elder, in the first century AD the southernmost branch of the Po entered the Adriatic at the city of Spina, which is apprm:illlatdy 15 kill tu the north of Ra\'enna:! To the north of Spina were marshes and lagoons. known to Pliny as the "se\'ell seas" (septclII .Maritl), and other river branches e'-1:ended to the south in the direction o t' R a\'e nna. ~ A large lagoon, separated from the sea by large, sandy duncs, e,-isted to the smIth and ~'est of Ravcn na's site. Several rivers and canals emptied into the lagoon. including the Lfl1lfOllf from the west, perhaps the Vatrcllu s from the northwcst, and certainly the Bidclltc, the Ronco, and the !\-lolltone from the 'jOuthwest. The exact configurations of the rivers, lagoons, marshes, and (,,<l1l~ls Jrc comTO\'crsial,6 but all scholars agrcc that


Ravenna, c. AD 200

":......:,ro :::...____...::; 5!Xl m lighthouse?


Adriatic Sea

port ?


Harbor I lagoon


3. Mopshow-

in the prehistoric and early Roman periods, the site of Ravenna consisted of

ing lb"cnn3 in thcRom3n

larger ancl smal ler pieces of laml surroumlec] by water, and separated from thc seacoast by a lineoflargc, sandy, coastal dunes. Small groups of people und oubtedly inhabited this region far back into

iml""riol p"riod. "",.AD,oo

prehistory, bur pre-Roman arehacologieal evidence is very fragmentary .i Bits and picccs or Etruscan objccts dating back perhaps to thc sixth or fifth century Be have been discovered in Ravenna, as well as pottery from Greece and from ncighboring parts: of Italy dating betwecn thc fifth and


the third Centuries BC ~ From thc fi fth ccnUJry Be on, there were proba bly settlements among the ri\-ers and cana ls of the area, perhaps even by peoples o f di fferent ethnic origins.'} \"'hat we know alxnlt the early history of northeast Iral" collles from sc.'Htered references [Q the region by Greek and Roman authors, and from archaeology. «I As far back as the m id- ~ nd millenniu m BC. inhabitallfs of Greece hegan traIling with those of the Adriatic coast in Italy. Classical authors gave a variel)' of rather nonspc-cific names to these Italian peoples, who do not emerge from historical ouscurity until the sixth century He, when the Etruscans, Venctians, and Um brians developcd into ordered political and ('uIOlraI111lits that were recognizahle to Greek authors. Celts from north of the Alpsalso began to settle in Italy north of the Po in the la te nfth century BC, leading the Romans to label the region Cisalpine Gau l ("Gaul on this side of the Alps"). The origins of Ravenna were a mystery even to the Greeks and Roman s, and our earliest textual Stmn:cs for the city (late only to the first century BC. " CI;lssical authors disagreed about Ravenna's o ri gins: according to the first ccnUlry AD historian Strabo, who was usi ng Greek ethnogr<lphic sources, it was founded by dIe T hessaliam (9ETTaAWV KTkl"lJo) and then inhabited by Ulll brians." Plin), [he Elder called it a town «()ppidmll) o f the Sabines, ' 3 while PtOlemy in the second century AD identified it as a city of the Celtic Boii .'·! T hese attrihu tions prohably do not correspond to any ulHlcrlying "reality," but rather reAcct the manner in which each amhor was the entire region within his larger historical program. " .M odern scholars have attempted to e:\vlain the place-name "Ravewla" as derived from a river, Raul', with a suffi). - 1111 that migbt be Pelasgian or Tyrrhenian, ,6 or from a wort! referring to gravel, with the Etru scan suffix -rmUl ,(7 hut in fact we don't even know hall' old the placename is, since we first encounter the word Ral!('IIIJtl in the nrst century BC. Vlhocver origi nally lived here, the earl iest archaeological evidence for a permanent settlement at Ravenna dates to the Rom an occupation of the region in the late third century BC T he Romans had first become involved in northeast Italy a century earl ier; in the wake of the Gallic invasion of Italy in 390 BC, Rome had formed alliances with vario us Italian city-states, olrul throughout the fo urth century Be fo ught ,\ series of WolfS with Italian peoples whf) rtsented Roman (IOlllinance of the peninsula. After the seeon(1 Samnite ''''ar (3:6 - 304 BC) the Romans began developing a network of allied cities in the dirccrion of the Ad riatic coas(. In 295 Be they defeated an army m;}de up ofSamnites, Gauls, Etruscans, and U mbrians at the Battle ofSentinum, after which they established colonies snch as Rimini (fou nded in 168 Be) on the horder of their new territory. The Carthaginian invasion ill 218 Be, conducted by the general Ha nnibal, also influenced Roman




ideas abou t the defense of italy, Jnd after the Romans fina lly dcfc:ncd the

Carthaginians, they extenJc(\ their hegemony all the way along the Allriatic coastline, founding the city of Aq uilcia in dll Be. At the same rime, the cconomit" network ~ Iong thl,' Adriatic emst was also changing. Spina h ad been founded brGreeks in the later sixth celHury Be and since then it had served as t he maior Adriatic port for the Po rivcr hasin .'iI Diffit-ult political circumstances, first in Greece in the fourth

century Be and then in italy, partially disruptc(\ Spina's trading networks, but it was prohably the silting up of its harbor in the mid-third century Be th:n led to Spin:l 's ultim:ltc decline. '9 Ravenna in the third century had riverine 3('CCSS to the Po, a brgc na Ol r~ 1 harooron thl,' Ad ri~tic, and dry land on which to build a city. These were the right conditions for a cOlllmerci~1 port, and thcy led to thc construction of the first fo rti lied settlcmCll{ at Ra venna.'"

The Republican City R~v enn~ 's late antique w~ lls follow an irregular plan, but the southwest corner incorporatcs three sides of a rt:Ctanglt:. Scholars havc long assumed tha t the rectangular cornel' reproduced the outl ine of the original Roman cit)' (Fig. 3), since a rectangular plan sueh as this, with a street gri(\ aligned with two main rOJds intersecting in the center. was commonly used in newl y fou nded Roman colonies and etti es!' The city, usually referren to as tht: QPpidllm or as Rm'Wl/fl Ijllfld/'!l({/, until rece ntly was thought to h.we been fou nded in the first century Be by the emperor Augustus.:: In 1980, a rchaeologisr.~ working at the '--'O nStruCtlon site of the Banca POllOlan: (sec Fig. I), along the eastern line of the rectangle, revealed the J'emains of a city wall that was mlleh earlier tha n anyone hall thought, with pottery dating to the second half of the third century BC.'> The wall's remai ns werc found 7.50-+75 meters below the current ground le\'el, and consisted of a stretch of w<lll Z4 meters long <lnd ~.6 meters high, with ~ rectangular tower measuring 3.80 x 6 m et ers . :~ Both wall and tower were constructed of ~(Iuare bricks of dimen~ions similar to those fouIHI in Greece and southern Italy, and, unusually, each brick was stamped with a letter or pair of letters, perhaps indieating whieh local producer had made each br ick. ~ ' T he early date ofthis wall woulrl make Ra\'Clln;l the oldest Roman fortificatio n, after Rimini, north of thc Apennines.1o There is edrlenee that the lower (:Qurses o f the south and west walls of the rcc tangle also date to the same period as the Banea Popolare waIL'; \Ve can therefore suppose walls for three sides of a rectangle; there is no archaeological evidelt(:c for thc northern stre tch of w'lll, and so it is not clear


whether the Padenna ;In(1 the jillmisdlullf LII1Jl1/lle 1"0r111e\1 the boundary on this side, Or whether there was a waU on one Or other side of the watercourses. " ~ These two waterways played an im(lOrtant role in the definition of th!.' sir!.', and by the first n~nmry Be they were sllppk'rncnted by a new canal, thefo.I:J11 LII"';SII, which emered the oppiduw from the west and also Rowed into the Padenna. 'Q "\Ill}' was this city wall ouilr, an(1 by whom: Unfortunately, in the absence of any textual sources, we can only hypothesite about what was going on in the area at this time. Ravenna seems to have lain just outsi(le the ag" Glllli"'fconqucred by Rome in 295; in 206 the Umbrians ofSarsina allied themselves with Rome, and it has been suggesterl that the scnl!.'ment of Ravenna became at this poilU an all ied city (rr.liws forJrmtll )YJ Another suggestion is that the settlenH!Il[ was fortified in the context of 1-lalUlibal's invasion of Italy in ! 18 Be y v. Manzdli n()[es that it is likely by this time that R;l\'ellna was becoming an important c0ll1t1H'rd~1 center that llccde(1 to be protccted from pirates)' F. Rcbecchi reads Strabo's statement that ~Rimi l1i , like Ravcnna , is an ancient colony of the U mbri, but both of thcm have n .'Ceived also Roman (;010nie5," to mean that Ravenna was founded by colonisrs from Rimini. H Rimini. which h;ld been fou nded ill 168 BC was linked di rectly to Rome b}, the construction of [he ViII Fillmillin , and in the 180s BC Ri mini was linke{1 to Other Roman colonies of Piacenz.a and Cremona by the Vi,1 /Im/ili'l. Ravl!nna wa~ not dirl!ctiy on any of the main roads, although thl're was a roadway that cOllnected the city to the Viii 1I<'lIIi/ill. It was not until 1 3 2 He that.the Romans built the Vi" Popiliil, \vhich linked Ravenna directly with Rimini to the south and Adria to the north, perhaps a sign of (hc Ra venna 's incrl'asing im porta ncc. '.1Tbe Viii POpili11 mUSt hal'e rUIl somewhere near thc town, but it is not known whctht'r it woultl have gonc through the oppidlllll or to the C;lst along the line of the dllnes. )j In sum, the wall show~ that a permanent community had forme{1 at Ravenna b~' thc late second century Be, hut it is nevertheless strange that fhe city was not ment.ioned in any witten sources \lntil a hundred years later. Repuhl ican R;lvenna had more than JUSt wall s. Material from the V ia D'Azeglio excalration with third-cenrur)1 BC pottery includes a drainage system on wooden piles, indicating a planned Roman setd ement, j6 and bricks identical to those found in the carly wall were fou nd at the base of the sewer system foun(1 in the nt'ighooring Via Morigia excavation);' The only building that can defi nitely be dated to the republic;lI1 period, specifically to the second century BC, is the atrium hO\l5e found in the Via D 'Azeglio e~:cavat ion, with it'i polychrome mosaics representing the myth of the battle betwcen the Argonams Pollux and Amictls}8 These fragments show that th.e appidulII of Ravenna had a street grid, a sewer system, and some relatively c!aoorate houses. Other structures in the republic;}n dty seem to




of loca l materials, often perishable, like rce(ls and wood, which have left few traces, but also I)ut of locally availal!Je stonc. J\I Other fragmentary objects from the Roman republican period have heen tound to the cast of the oppidlllll, in the area of the lan.'r "Palace of Theoderic," suggesting that buildings, perhaps even a temple, were also COllstructed in this sector nearer the sea. ~ o It has Ilot been possible to determine whether an eaStern settlemenr existed earlier than the constrllction of the oppidmJl, o r (.X)[1tcmporary with ttY Ravenna first appears in Roman historical sources in the (:ontC;\1" of the Social anti Civil warS of the first centu ry BCi' Plutarch mentions that a marhle st~nJC of Gaim i\oJarius still e.xisted in the first century AD in Ravelllla. ~~ The Roman orator C icero in 56 BC described one Publius Caesiu5 as having bL"Cn , before the end offhe Social War in 90 BC, " ... a Ravennate from the federated people:'+! 'fhe implication is that Ravenna was an allied city before 90 BC, and tha r even in Cicero's day Ravenna held federate stan IS, although the city would be raised to the rank of a ROmll1l7!l1l11ici{li/l1Jl sometime after 49 BC.~ j Julius Cacsar famously stayed at Ravenna thl.' night before he took his a rmy across the R\lbicon to start th" Civil \Nar in 49 BC..;tI Suetollius repom that during the course of that day, Caesar had gom: to the theater and inspecte(1the site of a proposed gladi:norial school.47 Those references represent the extent of u'ritten information that we have about Ravenna in tht: repuolican period: a city that stoo(1 on the fringes of the Roman world, integrated culturally ami politically into the Roman sphere of influence. h3VC oecn cormfUl:tcd OUt

Classe: The Roman Imperial Harbor and Fleet Roman authors ttll us that Ocravian, 13tcr known 3S AUbruStllS, dt:cidell to establish a permanent navy for the Roman state. Two bases for this new navy were chos"n, one for the western !vlediterranean at Misenum on th" B~r of Naples, and the other, for the east, at Ravenna. 짜! T he re~~ns for this decision seem clear: Octavian had been involved ill two major military campaigns that involved naval action, one against the pirate-Beet of Sextus Pompe)', which culminated in the Battle of Naulochus in 36 BC, and one against Mark Anthony that conchllied with the Batde of Actium in 31 Be. Scholars Iichate the date of the fleet's foundation, hut it happened sometime between 35 and 11 BC.~? For the next 300 years Ravenna would house on" of Rome's main naval bases, which would have imporramconst:ljuences for the city. First an(1 most important, Ravenna's harbor had to be developed into a facility that could hold, repair, and provision the ships of the fleet. Ravenna 's



harbor faci lities must have been del路clope{] already in rhe republican period;

the historian Appian says that in 39 Be Octavian "hrought war-ships from Rave nna and an army from Gaul" and "ordered the building of new triremes at Rome and Ravenna ," implying that Rave nn a was already a nava l sratiQn Y' Octavian recognized tha l Raven na was ideally situated to l'OlHrol piracy in the Adriatic, which \\'as a threat to O ctll\'ia n's imperia l peace, and that the lagoon CQuid h~ developed into a facility capable of holding the entire Adrinic fleet Y Thus, utH\er O ctal'ian, the harbor was enlarged and stahilized. Pliny the Elder in the first centllfY AD Ilescribcs the large canal, known as the jQ.wI ;!lIgm'flf, wh ich joined the Po river to the harbor:" Tllt;re is no ril'er ]the Pol known to receil'e a 1art.~r im;rt,jse thm this in so shon a sp~ce; so 111llch so indeed th~t it is impelled onwards by tllis I' ast body of wate r, anJ. in,'a,lin g the lan ll, flHln s ,Ieep lOhannds in its ('oun;c: henn' it is that, although a portion of its stream is Jr:lwn olT river.; anJ can"ls lx tween Ral'elllu, ;)nJ Ahinum, fo r u space of I ~ o m iles. still, 31 th e SIXH where it d.isc:h"l'gcs the \'3st body of its "'''tel'S, it is s~ id to form scven Sl:ns. By th e Augllsmn C:1l1aIIAlIglls/" fOSSIl i til(' 1'0 is ca rried [0 Ravenn", at which phlCC it is called Ihe PaJusa. b,wing runner!)' oorne tbe name of MeSSOlniclIS. ' l1,e nearest momb to this spot fonlls the <;xrensi",,; port known as Ihn ofValrt:nus. where Claudius Caesa r, on h is triumph o"cr the Britons, entered the Adriatic in ,\ vc~1 that dcscrwd r.nhe r the nUlllC Qf a ""~t palace th all " ship. Th is JllQUTh. which w"s fo nllC:rly called by some the E rid'lIlian, has been Dr others styled the SI-'inctk ltIouth , from lI,t cit)' of SI-'ina. a vc ry fX'werful l-'l" c~ "hiel! formt'rly stOO<l in the vicinity. if W~ may form" condusiQIl from the ,UtlOU!lt of its treasure de posited aT Delphi; it was founded by D ioltledes _,\t thi s ~t the river V:ttrenu~, which Rows frolll the territor), of Forum Cornelli [Imolal, swells wattl'S oftbe Po.


The main hranch of the Po in this period was the hra nch that ra n through SpitlajH what Plinycalle<1 the Pa<iusa i5 probably the same as what was later called the Padenna. ;J souther n branch of the Po that was regularized under Augusnls to creatc thc canal. ~4 ' [,he jQrS,l A IIgllSM tormcd part of a system o f navigable waterways that li nked Ravenna with cities all :llong the Adriatic coast as far as Aq uileia , as well as with the imerior of Italy. a system that was used both ft)r f..路OtlUllcn:e and for official government business at least into the sixth eelltu ry.H \ <\' har happened to this watercourse when it rea<:hed Ravenna is nor dear because of a lack of secure archaeological evidence. Some scholars have proposed that part of the water was diverted into a new canal 350 III to the eastofthe Padenna, to improvedreulation in the harbor's mou th by h aving water flow direcdy into the channel, whi le the PadusaJPadClllla continued to flow tl irenly to the east of the uppidll111 (see Fig. 3). ;(, H owever, E . Cirelli has recentl y proposed th,lt the Padenna , ;Ii/.f the j"O.'Jll A lIglI,r tll, strengthened



by ma,sivc cement allil Illasonry embanktllcnts; 5~ 3([jaccnr to rhe IJPpidlllfl the Padenna was 50-65 m wide. A paved r()ad 9 m wide, identinell uy the CXC31'ators as the viti PQpi1i{l , fan alo ng the western bank of this canal to the north of the ciry.5s At ~ poi nt ~ I{lng the casn:m side ofthc fossa IIlIgMffl, now occupied by the Venetian fortress calted the Rocca Brancaieone, a second port was developed. open to the sea and fed by the canal, which remained in use until the fifth century AD or later.w Pliny the EI(ler nOtes that Ravetllla

had a famous lighthouse, similar to that of Ncxandria in Egypt, which is thought to have heen located to the northeast of the oppidlllll, since Agnc1lus

in the nimh century refers to this location as


the lighthouse." In that

case (he lighthouse would have functio ned as a be~con tor the northeastern harbor rather than the sou thern one. 60 Tht: mnin hnrbor of Rnl'enna was located just to the south and the west of the oppidll1l1, perhaps as little ~ s 2 00 III south of the oppidlflJl's southel'll wall.6 ' Vef)' little is known of its dimensions, Of o f the Illany buildings that must have been erected all around it,6' hut a fa ir amount is known about the structures built at the mouth of the l)(lrt. A channcllecl from th ... Ad riatic into th ... harbor; the channel was 80 m long, and it widened all the ilHerior, flowing around at least two sInal! islands. G) The channel's banks wt:re strengtht:nt:d with qua}'s and wi th piles of ouilding ru bble. T he mouth leading to the sea was fol'tifie{1 with very Strong moles, ma{[e of cement, extending to the south and pl'esumably to the north . To the north the coastline on either side was then provi(lcd with ccment barrier walls, +5-5 m wide and 40 m long, to prevenr erosion. Th is canalled into the har bor where the jQSSI1 A IIgllS1I1 entered from the north, wi th the Padenna's lllouth slightly la rthcr to the west. One section of tbe harbor extended to the west, south of the city of Ravenna, while another strt'tchell to the south. Portions of the quays have been found in the excavations on Via S. Alberto in Cla~se: the earliest constructions of the Augustan port were made of large oal beams, strengthcned in the firs t century AD by large numbers of ceramic fragments, and then finally re placed wi th brick in the second century.Got 'We halle only onc piece of evidence for the size of Ravenna's imperial fleet : JOHlanes ill the sixth century quotes a tt!..'"'- hy the early thi rd-century historian Cassius Dio, now lost. tha t says there were 2 50 ships .6 ~ Because the Roman navy is much less well dC)cllmt:nted tha n rhe army, even for the imperial period, the main sources of information are funerary inscriptions thnt mention the deceased 's ship, wh ich have provided names and types of some vessels haseti at Rave nna (Fig. -{).66 The commallller of the Ravenna fleet held the title p,.,lt!f~dll," t/iw;i.,路, and was subordinate to the f/l'lIrfrnllS of the Beet at Misellum.6~ T he tourth-century N otititl DigllltllttWI mentions the "prefeCt of the Rallennatc nCCt, with responsibili ty for that cit)' of



,+. FII"c.or), stel c

of I'ulolill s LC>1lgi -

,jic""s,,, ship builder (fobrr "";路,,Ii~) "febsse. fir~1 ~'('nrury

BCJAD. ,\lusco N,r>;;ollalc, R.:.'路cnM (coor_ 1",,1' SOI,riolen.

d" llZa pcr i IJ;.>"j .-\rchircllonici c I'ncs:tggisrid

di R~"cnnn 1,\liBAC-

ITALIAI CL:8.13路 loI 95- 1 R:)

Ravenna "; this has been interpreted as meaning that the prefect of the Reef was the ci\'ilian head of government in Ra\'enn3, althOllgh such an imerpretation is controversial, because we do not know how much earlier th is siruatioll may have applied.Ok F ragrncnts of inscriptions from the first and second centuries, found both in Ravenna ami dsewhere in Italy, seem rather to indicate that Ravenna in lh e imperial period had a regular town council with magistrates.6<;I Ravenna's Reet sem its ships throughout the i\'Jediterr3ncan, as funerary inscriptions for its sailors (c/nssillri ravrlllltlfi) have been t()llllcl in me ea~[ern J\'iediterranean, the Aegean, and the Black Seas and on me Danube.''' Inscriptions from Ravenna and abroad name at least 590 people who wt;'re attached to the Ravennate Reet}' At least in the first century AD , a large percentage of the navy was made up of Dalmalians and



Pannonian:;, who received Roman dti ~cllShip upon their discharge afrer twenty-six years of service':) One single inscription from the st:<:oO(I Or th ird ccnt\lr-Y lists 100 individual members of the fleet, in appa rently dcsn.~nding order of rank: c~rpentcrs (J1bri ), Ilpper-lt.·vel soldiers (hrllrjiri,1I"ji), flag bearers (vr:rillimi ), players of various kind s of horns «(Qnririm'.>, fllbit'i1les, Illidl/(lfl)t';'J), lower-level officers (mboptiolles), lind on-duty soldiers (WlflliJir,·J). It is interesting that on this inscription, all the names art: Latin,

indica ti ng perhaps a shift in the makeup of the navy. ;1 Other inscriptions mention add itional occupations associate!\ wi th the navy, indlHiing soldiers (lI/ilirl's) and thei r officers «(r1ItllriUlIf'S and 0/itioIlCS), pilots (gllhc1?l11 rort's), underpilots ( pl'orrr,fr), men who ca lied out the rhythm to the rowers ( pIIIISffI'i), lll~SterS of weapons (1I I7l1iCllsfoJrs), rep~ir personnel (1IIIlIpbyhlm), ax makers (dolal'mri), Aag beart=rs (vrxilliftl'i ). doctors (m~(lid ) . and 5criix=s (scrib/lr) of \'arious SOrts. H Some of these insniptions give the person's cognomen as ChISSiCIIS, or "mcmbcr of thc A(.'c[. ",5 The sailors of the fl cet wcrc sometimes married (a lthough thcy wcre not legally allowed to be while enlisted), and were associilted also with s1:wcs and frel.'u ml.'n, but thl.' ships do no t sl.'em to have been crewcd by slaves, \'VI.' know that the SOilS and brothers of sailors also well[ into the navy. Scholars estimatt= that thert= may have bet=n as mall)' as 10,000 tnt=n attacht=d [0 the fleet, although they were nOt all resident at one timt=; and if even one third of them had femalt= companions of somt= sort that would bt= a wry large population that had to li\'c somewhere. It is likel y that many of them li\'cd to the southeast. of the main harbor, in the area that cvenrually became tht;' city of Classe. - 6 The pol·t city of Classc to the south of the harbor channel develo ped slowly after the establishment o f rhe fleet. In the Augustan period, the area cemcteriesF Only in the second century docs eviwas largely occupied dence of habitation emerge. An imposing structure excavated under the church of San Sevcro. dating to the early second century, contained several rooms ~'i th elaborate mosaic pavements, glass wi ndows, and other indications of high statuS, and has heen inter preted 3S a public bath cornplex.- w 1\ street and sewer system de veloped, and evidence o f lower-class ha bitations amI manufat:turing f.lcil ities have been i(l{'ntilled dating to ix=rween the second and the fourth ccnt urics.-!j The large military installation had a dra matic elfe<:t not JUSt on Ravenna's population, but also on the surrounding countryside. In order to provision the fleet, Ra venna's hinterland was mobilized to produce necessary products; one example of such a site, where a large Rom an villa has been excavated, is at Russi, i4 km west of Ravellna along' a stream that fed the harhor. \\fhile originally ;'I simple rustic villa that produced grain, in the late first or early second century AD it' was transformed into a much



larger-scale operation, producing grain and wine, with facilit ies for storage and brge-scale production, presumably for sale to the navy.P<>

The City of Ravenna in the Roman Empire In the first century AD , Ravenna as a city finally begins to appear in written sourc(.'S.s, In historical works by authors such as T:lcirus :lntl Suetonius, Rave n na is the hase ofthe fl eet 3nll its commanller, and is occasion ally I1sell as a place o f exile Or refuge . ~' The satirist Martial and others complain about thl.' Hies. frogs, ball wa ter, and other \1n pleasant fearures of the tity, while others commend the vegeta bles, especially asparagus, grown in me area .S; Finally, some authors commet)t on the nature of the city itsel f, ami recanl its re putation in the Roman world. The most not:lble feature of Ravenna for Rom an authors W:lS its watcry location.H.! T he early fi rst-century AD author Straho, in his GCQgrnpbJ', devotes II considerahle amount of space to the city, which he describes as follows; ~'

Sitnated in the m :lr~h"s is th .. great f<:ity o f ] Rnl'ennR, hui lt enti. ... ly on pil"s, and tnwe rsed by cnna ls, which yOIl cross by hridges or feny -ooars. AT the full rid es iT is wa5hcd hy :t consider.lblc quanTiTy of 5C :t-WJTer, as well a~ hy The river. :md thus the ~ewagc is carried off. :md [he "ir purified; in bCT, the district is consil.fa<:d so saluhrious that th~ [Roman i govcmors have :;eluted it as a Sp<)T to hring up and exercise the gbdbrors in. IT is a remarbhle peC1.lliarity of this pbcc, th at, though situ ated ill the midst of :t m~rsh , the air i ~ perfecrly innocuous ... . Another remari.:"hle peculLuity is that of its vines, which, though growing in th e lU :n-:;hes, nHlk.. \'<:1"}' tluidcly and yield a Inrge amount of frui t, but perish in fUIlT or 11\"1: Y<:;Jrs.

T he phrase transl ated here as "built entirely on pi les" is, in rhe original Greek, ~VAOlTayTJS SAT[; it has also been translated "built entirely of wood ." Vitruvius, tOO, after noting that towns built in marshes 3re generall}' not healthy, observes that: 86 Ihhe " "Jlled town is built among tlie lll:lrshes Themselves, pn)l'ided they are by the sea, with a 1l0rdlern or nurth" aSTern ex posure, and are :IUove th" IeI'd of th" ><:ashol"t', the site will he re:'soll"ble enough. For dit ches e:m be- dug to let OUT the W:lter 10 the shore, ,100 ~Iso in times o f 5tol1 115 the sc" ~lI'elis ~nd comes h:lCkjng up into the n),nshes, whe re its birrer hlend pI"e"ents the reproductlons of the llsll~l m ~rsh <:1"t:'lnLres . .. \Ln imt.ln<:e of rh is llI\Ly be foun ,! in th" G~llic I1lHshes surroundin g Airilll"n, R~venn :l, A<juileb, lInd other TOwns in I,laces ohhe \dnd , dose by marshes. They are man'clously healthy, for tlw rea!>()IlS r ha" e gi,路en.



In describing {IifTerellt kitHls of timber to Dc used for construction, Vitruvius SIXaks of piles of alderwood usell as the substructure of buihlings in marshy areas: ;<One can sec this at its beSt in Ravenna: for there ,\11 thl,' buildings, ooth pu blic and pnvate, have piles of this sort beneath their foundarions."s, Excavations and soundings, for example at Via Guerrini to the east of the cathedl'al and at Via C. Morigia in the center of rhe oppidu1II, ha\'e shown that wooden piles were indeed used at the base of Roman strucrures in Ravenna. s8 These wooden supportS would not have heen stakes lifting the huildings up above the water/street k'VcI, but rather p:lcking to ('re,ne a sta ble foulHlation, as found in other CXClll'3tcd sites Stich a~ Spina.!!sl Although Straoo and Vitruvius present Ravenna as a city surrounded by swamps, the archaeological evidence shows that while there were lagoons and marshes to the south in the Roman period, no evidence of a wet environment coul,1 be identified to the north of the

city:to Ravenna in the first century AD was an important anll interesting city but we still know rehltivcly little about its features. By the first century AD the n:ptlblican city walls were at li:ast partially in ruins; at the Banca Papolan: site a house was built on top of them ." Defensible city walls were abandoned throughom Ita ly in the early imperia l period, taken to be a sign of peace within rhe empire.~ ' T races of Ravenna 's wall s mUSt still have been vi~ible, as in AD 42 a large gate was built or rebuilt as a triumphal arch in honor of the emperor Claudius (Fig. 5).1" The Porta Aurea ("Golden Gate"), as it was later known, was on the short south side of the oppidll1lf, a monulllental double-arched panal that hare an inscription COlllmemOrating itSCOl1strucrion .~ It was not a gate that could be dosed for defense, but rather a monumental arch leading from the port to me center of the town, as arc also known from cities such as Ancona and perhaps Pou.uoli; it is possiltle that an existing gate wa~ modified to give it monumental form. Q; The arch was destroyed by the French in 158:, hut is known from Renai ssance drawings to have been a double arch~'ay dan in ma rble, whose architrave, su rmounted by twO triangula r pediment.s, was held up by six engaged Corinthian columns; flanking the openings werc aed icll lae surmounted by dipei dt'Corated with vegetation (one of which survives), and flanking the acd iculae and the ga teways were more uceora tcd coloncncs: 16 The Porta Aurea's locatio n at the center of tht: sOtlth wall of the oppidll'111 has led to the conclusion that this region must havc remained at the heart of the Roman illl perial city. It IS hypothesi7,.cd that the cmdo or the t/UUllllIIIIIJof the Roman town ieli from the Porta Aurea northeast across me city, evenruallr crossing rhe JllI1l1ixdlllfJI to the northeast by means of the pow A"IIglI.rti, which was exeanted in 1983 .97 Excavations at the site of Via D 'A.zeglio uncovered a paved roadway, with a ma.~imurn width of 6 Ill, th;}t letl from


the Porta Aurea to the northeast. Tnis street nad been repaved several times starting in the republican period, first in brick and then in stone.~ Beneath [he street ran :I sewer system <iaring to the secrmd century AD, which probably replaced an earlier sewer alrea(lr in place, into which the drains: from the houses flanking the ~treet discharged. 9'1 It is assumed that, like other Roman cities, imperial Ravenna would have had a forum , a CIIpiw/illlll, a praetoriulll, and orher pllblic buildings such as temples and places of emerraimn ent, but we know little about where [hese werc located. , 00 Archaeological soundi ngs ha\'e revealed a large pu blie piazza or forum at the jnnction of the Padenn3 and the fossa Lamiifl ami ou tside the (Jppidlllll wall. Assuming that the original forum was inside the oppidmll, this must have heen a secQmllllOllumenta l piaZ7..:1, perhaps a market area, as it was associated with a large quar along the waterway and with many fragments of late republican and ea rly imperia I amphorae. '0' Elsewhere in the city, fragments ofeolumn capitals bear wimess to monumental sculpture, probably associated with public buildings, temples, and possibly even houses huih starting i.n [he first century AD. A pif'Ce of an architrave with the inscription " Idijvi luli p(atris) p(alriac)" was probably part of a Cocsm-em!l , a temple to the (J eilied Julius Caesar, huilt at the en(J of [he reign of Augustus. ,m Numerous pieces of arChitectural sculpture dating to the first and second cenruries arc supplemellfed by otners that date to the third and fourth centuries; many of them survive because they were reused in Ravellna's Christian churches in the fifth and sixth cenruries. 'O.1 Beyond tht!Se frabrmcnts, howewr, we cannot say anything about Ravenna's public spaces in lhe imperial period.


5. ]kcollstnlcrion of rh " Po rta '\lIre~ " ",h.,<lde, ] within ,he ."riq"e W3JlS


(a fter~bMud]i.

'<)67. fig. 7)


Ravenna's increasing importance and its associated population expansion in the second century led to the further development of its infrastructure, and particu larly its supply of fresh water. '''f An aqueduct was built, reportedly hy the emperor T rajan (98- 11 7 AD), to hring in water from [he somhwest. ;<'5 Remains o f the course of the aqueduct have been observed and excavated, and its rome is fa ir ly cetrai n; it began at Meldola, 35 km to the ~ou thwest, and Followell the course of the river Ronco toward Ravenna and Clas~e. 'o"h How it crossc(l th e harbor is not clcar, but oncc on the northern sille it r:ln along the eastern wa ll o f the QPpidlllll . A tower that is currently part of the si.\:th-eentury nrchiepiscopal palace. known as the Tnrn' SilllIsrm, perhaps originally part of a ga te in the republicm walls, also served as the Cilstdlllllllltjlllll: , the water distribution tower for the aque<luct. 101 \Nhile the oppidulIl seems to hnve remained the f(lCuS of imperial Ravenna, the ciry 's IlOJlulation incrcased tlra maticall}' in the first and second centuries AD, ~ml construction 3nd ha bitarions spreall outsille of thc original oppidullI on all sides. Scvcral large houses throughout the city have been e"cavated, most notably at the sites of Via D'!\zcglio, the Banca Popolare, Santa Croce, and the "Palace of Theoderie." Many of these houses show ev idence of modification ol'er time, generally keeping within the existing street layout until the late fi fth century. T he houses of the republican and early imperial periods follow the trends and ln yout~ f(lund throughout the Roman Empire in this period. They arc centered on an atrium or peristyle, and surrounded by dining rooms (/ridil/ill), sOIdies (/lib/illfl ), amI other rooms, with walls of masonry or wood , and decorated with fresco and with mosaic or OplU JW/i/~ floors. loll tn the second centtlry many of tbese bouses werc ncwly del..'oratNI and upgralled, sometimes with the addition of hypocausts and central hC;ldllg. " ~ At the Banca Popolare site, the so-cal led House of the T riclinium was first bu iltin the tirst century AD on topof the QPpidlllJJ wall, then substantia lly modified in the late st.:cond century wi th the addition of a central-heating system and new mos~ic Roors and paint, and then similarly modified again in the third century to indU(le a fountain. ' ' t> T he elaborate floor mosaics as well as remains of furnishings, such as bronze furn iture fittings dating to the second century, indicate a high standard of living.'!! \-Vith a large an(1 busy port, trade also increased dramatically in Ravenna and Classe. \ 路Ve hear from VitTuvius that the ri,'er Po was used to tranSI)()rt tim ber from inland to the cities on the Adriatic coast. <" and it is likely that Ravenna gradually developed a mercantile identity. "} To the southwest of the oppidll1l1 excavations have revea led evidence of ceramic production from the first century BC through rhe first century AD, particularly of term ,rigil/flti/ cups and heakers. ' 'i Ceramics produced in other locations in


central Italy were a[so brought to Ravenna to be filled with wine from the region, " 'hich was thcn exported to places throughout the Mediterranean in the first to third centuries AD. ' 'J From the seeond cenrury, Ravennate workshops were producing marble sarcophagi and other sculpted works.' ,6 Ravenna also imported a variety of products from throughout the Mediterranean, particu[uly from the east. Remains of vessels containing products such as wine from the Dalmatian coast and Rhodes, along with some evidence for oli"e oil from Spain, have been found at Ravenna, ' '1 as has a mid-scoond l'entury tombstone with an inSCTil'tion in G reek commemorating "Titus Julius Nico<;rratus the Rhodian." perhaps a wine merchant. ' , ~ In the mid--second--<enrury marble from the island ofProoonnesus neu Constantinople began to be imported into R:lvenna, to be madc into sarcophagi and public monuments. ' '9 As mentioned above, the provision ing of the fleet must have led to an enonnous inerea"., in the amount of trade between Ra"enna and its terrestrial and maritime neighbors, and the creation and maintenance o f one or more large ports fostere<1 the devcl0l'ment of the city as a commercia l center. Most houses, public, and cormnercial buildings "'ere located to the westof the presumed jos<JI Augustll. The region between t he canal and the coastline was the city'sccmetery wne, extending the length of the inhabited area and then all the way down to Classe, where very large cemL'teries contained the tombs of members of the fleet. The oldest ccmetcry that has been found, dating from the first eenrury AD and "(mtinuing in usc until the fourth or fifth century, was located on the east side of the jos<JI ncar the northern port; "O the josya, constructed just prior to this, is not known to have had bridges connecting its twO sides, and seems to have become the delimiting fearure between the living and the dead. ", Roman tomhstones provide uS with more information ahout the inhabitants of thc city than wc will have for later periods. The r ,jO! people who either lived in Ra"'~Jlna or came from Rawnn. arc knoWTl from the Roman period, mainly from inscriptions. '" Based on agcs recorded on tombstones, A. Donati has calculated that men in Ravenna lived to an average age of 23.40 rears, while members of the fleet specifically (s8 of the 85 known malc epitaphs) had an avcrage age of death of 40.R6 rears. \Vomen (on the basis of 29 epitaphs) lil'ed an average of !O.55 years. Thesc dara arc similar to those cak1tlared for other areas of the Roman Em )lire. "J

A Third- and Founh-Cenrury Crisis? The third century was a peri(Ki uf nisis in the Ruman Empire. In addition to a demographic crisis caused br epidemic disease (probably smallpox)



and internal political insta bility. Italy was lx!set by external enemies; the Alamanni invaded in z 54 anti a!f<lin in ~ 58- 60, and the Jutungi railled in ~ 70-1. ' t From texts we hea r little about R;l\'Crma in the thinl anti fourth centuries. In 138, MaximU5 Pll picnus set up 3 m ili t~ry base in Ravenna to deal with his rival i\-Iaxi minus Thrax, who was besieging Aquileia. "5 T he fou rth-cenmry historian E:utropills reports that in 154 "the Germans came as far 3S Ravenna." allil Jerome also says that rampaging Germans and Alans came as fa r as Ravenna in ~6+ ' ''s T he nc:;:t historica l event r(.'Corocd for Ra venna occurred in 304 when Diodctian assume!1 his ninth wnsulshi r in Ravenna rather than Rome. " 7 According to several authors, during the SllcceSSlon dispute of 306- 7 the western ollgllSII/S Severm Aed to Ravenna, where he was capmred or killed by M~xillliall. ' ! M This SCilllry- evidence shows thnt Ravenna at t h~ end of the Ihird century and into the lourth r~talned a role in Roman provincial government. "Ve also know that sometime in the third century Raven na b~"Callle the provincia l capital of F/tllllillill rt Umf,ri{l, "~ and under Diocletian after J97 the pro\"ince was enlarged to become Fl{{mill;1I d PicCll1Im, in the diocese of ltali{{ /l IIIIQ1IIlriff under the authori ty o f the v ;mrills IM/iac in Milan .' )" 1-lowl..路vcr, after Diodetian's reign ~I1J for the rest of the founh century, there is almost no recorded evidence of imperial or nny other activity in Rnvenn3 "'.J' Ravenna's importance umlouhted ly decreased because the Roman navy su ffe red in the political and military insta bility of the third century_ I'>: Septimius Severus seized the Ra\'enna fleet on his way to Rome in 193, ':;] and it seems w have been used for various purposes In the early third cenfUry, from tra nsporting troops to battling pirates, but in the later parr of the century it collapsed, or, at least, there is no mention of any fleet from Italy being involved in any of the invasiuns, raids, ur fighting that was ha ppening all over the cmpire in thesc rea rs. Significantly, inscriptions with Il<lmes of memlters of the navy disappear from Ra \"enna's cemeteries after the lIlidth ird ceJ1tur~, _ r.H T he Italian flee t did not entirely disappear, and seems to have hcen part of the military reorganization undertaken by Diocletian at the end of the century, bur references to Ravenna disa ppea r from both texts and inscriptions. Scholars debate the reasons for this, whether it was beca use o f Constantine's establishment of the new capital in Constantinople or :lttribut;lblc to the general prodncialization of the army, but in ;lny case the size and importance of Ravenna's Aeet, and thliS Ravenna's role in gm"erJ1mcnt, seem to have been sharply re(luced by tbe early fourth century. ' l:i Direct evidence for an imperia l fleet based at Ravenna comes only from the Noritifl DigllimTlIII/ of the late fourth or early fi fth century, which names the prefect of the fleet of Ravellna as one of the three naval C(JtlIlIl;lmlers of Italy (along with A(IUileia and Misenum)_' JI\ j


The (led ine of the Ileer had an impact on R;l\'enna's wan:n'ourses also, It is likely that in the thinl century, either be<:ause of the (I edine of tht: Aeet or as a cause of it, the water systems in Ravenna's surroundi ng area had not been properly maintained. Given three cenUlries of ji\l bsideno: md se(li mentation, the result was that the lagoon and the harbor had been drying alit and filting with silt. Some e\'idence o f layers of alluvial deposits over the Roman-era structurt.-s implies a perio(1of t.-xcessive ilO()(lillg in the areas to the east of the oppiJl/1I/ in tbe later fourth century; at this time habitation cease!1 at other cities such as Butrium ro the north, perhaps becal\Se of hydrological changes, '}' By the end ofthe fourth century, however, the fa;sa AllglISW easr of the Padenna had gOlle out of \l5e. '.IS Many Italian cities were in decline in the third and fourth centuries, and RaVel1l1a was no t:xception; lhe archaeological material shows a progressive depopulation of the city after the mitl- thinl centu ry, prol);1bly as a result of the invasions. ' JQ A m~jority of thc CX('3vatcd cemCtcrics contain burials fmlll before the third century or after the fifth, bu t not in between.'*" Almost all of the houses e.xcavll ted both in the oppidllll! and iIt the areas to the cast and north were abandoned in this period, many of them after destrU(;tion by fire. ,~: Only three sites contain evidence of activity in the later third or fOlirth cenrury. At Via D'A~,eglio in the northwest corner of the Oppitfll'lll, tht: "House of the Floral Thre-;holtl" was burne{1 in the third century but then partially reused in the hurth by an elaborate privote bath complex with Christian flOOr mosaics. The UPI)"I site cast of the QPpiauf/I along the presumed/o)')"" AugllSTa had mosaics dating to the late third or early fourth century. ' ..' Finally, the "Palace ofTheoderic~ provided evidence implying continuous usc and a "ebuilding of the villa in eitherthe fOllrth or the e~rly fifth century; if the former date is upheld by further excava tion, the building would probably represent the residence of the provincial governor or military comIll3n<ler.'4J Thus, while SOllle activit}, continue(l, V. Manze1li goes so far as to say th~t by the later fourth cenwry Ravenna was a city ma de u p almost entirely of ruins. ' +1 Habitation seems to have shifted to the suburban areas, especially around Classe, which shows a measure of prosperity in the third and fourth centuries. ' ~S A.<; the we~tern part of the lagooll progressively tlried up, the focus shifted to its marc southern branch, and to the arca jm11ledi~tc\}' sollth of the harbor mouth. ' 4/) Homes eXca\'Jte{\ there, whilt: smaller than the earlier mansions in and arOund Ravenna , were still being bui lt and main tained, '47 and in the latc fourth cenwrya wa ll encircled a new urban cCllter. Building material from the former urban core of Ravenna was brought to Classe to be tlsc<i in this Ilew constnlction,'4l!' and, as we wilt discuss later, the new city became a focus of the earliest Christiall community. \Nhile




tratling patterns changed in lb\'cnna in the thinl and fourrh tClUlirics, trade did not come to a halt. Connectiom with the Aegean remained imp(JTtlllt, and the ceramic evidence shows a dramatic increase in imports from North Africa. loW Thus, in the fourth century the re was still sollle life in rhe Ravenna area, and perhaps even a certain level of administrati,'e and commercial wealth, hut rhe dty was a shell ()f what it hat! been at its height in the second century.

The Gallic author Ausonius, writing around 385. <toes not mention Ravenna in his " List of nohle cities," although Rome, Milan, At1Uilcia, and Carua

lIrc described. No one could have fOreseen wh:lt was to happen in the years after -100.

Ravenna's Christian Origins In Ra\'cnna as in moH cities of the Roman world, Christianity was introduced ill the imperial period. Agnc1lus tells tiS that the first bishop of Ravenna. I\pollil1ari5. was a dist:iple of St. Peter and was martyred at th" time of [\le emperor Vespasian (69- 79). Agnellus took his info rmation from a text that we know as the PIJ5Si(Hfillcti ApollilllJ ris, which was probably written in the sixth or seventh CentUly.'j:" Both the PaJsio and Agnellus tell us that Arollinaris wa5 sent by the a(XIscle St. P eter to Ravenna, began to convert people and petfoTll1111iracies, was brought before a Roman judge, tortured , and ended his life as a martyr. Certainly by the mid-sixth century the story of Apollinaris 3S the first bishop was established in it5 basic outlines. because at th<ll time a ch urch was built in his hOllor outside Classe, presumably over his tomb (as nOted in Chapter 6). Modern scholars, howcver, have expressed skcpticism about the apostolic origins of Ravenna 's Christian commun ity. Archaeological evidence from the cemeteries of Classe shows an identifiable Christian presence only aft"f the late second cenrury. The first bishop of Ravenna to be mentione(l in ~ny written text is Severus, who attended the Council ofS~rdiea in 34 3.'5 ' Coins found around the tomb in which Apollinaris is though t to have been ()rigina lly huriell date to 110 earlier than the late second century. lind ccrt~inly to the mid- third century; the site b generally accepted as the original to mh of the founder-bish op. IS' T he TOmbs of other ear ly bishops that were later endowed with churches were also built omside CIa sse, indicating the port city's role as the focus of urban life in the third and fourth cenruries. '5J It was claimed by F. Lanwni and A. TestiRasponi, on the basis or these churches and Agncllus's statement that ~in the hasilica of blessed Euphemia which is called rid Arlr/1'IJ1 he [Apollinarisl


~ r st performed baptism," that originally the bishop of Ravenna was basell in Classe rather than in the city of Ra\Cenna itself. '5-1 T his often-repeated hypothesis C3nnot be sustained on the basis of Agnel1us's statements, especially si nce thl.'Te were two ch11rches de(hcated to St. Eu phemia, ami the one called lid IJriarll1 was in dIe oppidlllll itself. A Christian focus in Classe is certainly possible, howe\'er, givell the state of Ravenna and C lasse in the thlrd ;11111 fourth centuries. ISS Attempts to establish (Iates for the eleven hishops who, according to Agncllus, preceded Severus arc speculative; it is likely that some of the bishops in the series listed hy Agnellus were invented, perhaps in the sixth century when the episcopa l chronology was bcing established, or perhaps by AgnclIus himself. 'l't'> \ >\I)lile we are told by Agnellus (almost our only source) that Christians were living in Ravenna ill the Roman period, he does nor descri he ;lny church construction there until the early fifth century. The first Structure that he memions is the chapel ofSt. Pullo, ~not far fmm the gate which is called the parta NOlin," bui lt ahom thc YC3r 400. Il'" The large house CXC3" vated at the north side of the Via D'Azcgl io site, richly redecorated in the third and fourth ccnnlril.'S with mosaics that could ('onta in Christian symbolism, lies JUS t to the south of the location of the church of St. Euphemia, perhaps the one identilied hy Agndlus as lid Arirtelll and said to be the location of Apollinaris's first baptisms in Ravenna. J. Baldini Lippolis nOtes that there might be some kernel of tr uth to the idea that an ea rly Chri~tian place of worship in the city was located hcrc. ' j ~ But other th ~n Sc\'crus, we nothing about the bishops or other personali ties of the church of Ravenna before the arrival of the imperial Court in 40;.


\ •






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6. Map sha"';ng 1U'·~n "" . CI:tIS<". ~nd , h" ,\d ri " k w~),.l in c

in tho;: fifth, ~inh , and ninth c,"'t urics


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Shordy after


yenr 400, the western Roman em]>erors moved their base

of orcrati()n~ from Milan


Ravenna. An imperia l residence was


lished there, new walls were huilt to surrounll an essentia lly new dry, a mint was established, and infrastructure ;lIld insti tutions were created in order to make them comlllensurate with th ... city's new statlls. The bishop ofR<lvcnlla was made 3 metropolilan with authority over fourteen churches in the region , a dramatic promotion in the Church hierarchy, and the pn:srige of the ecdesiasri('al see was enhanced by the episcopal]' of the famous Peter Chrysologus. The first half of the fifth century saw a building boom in Ravenna; the structures that have stln'ivcd are pri marily churches, !:lUI residcnrial, commercial, military, and other strucmres were also built in the region surrounded hy the new w;llls. No other Italian city saw growth on this scalc in thc 6fth ccnnlry; Ravcnna st~nds out as an anomaly, a truc tlisembetlded capital.

The Last Century of the Western Roman Empire The emperor D ioclecian (z8 4- ) OS) reformed the adm inistration of the Roman state at the end of the third ccntury: amollg his Illany innovations, his dt'cisiotl to dividt' tllt' empirt' into t'astt'rIl 31lt1 westt'rIl halves, ;lruj to tlil'ide its administration among SC\'cr;l1 ca pital cities, woul(1 h;ll'c lasting (:onseque!l(:es for Ravenna. In 324 Constantine rellnited the tv.'o halvcs of the cmpire and esta blished his capital in the new eaStern city of Constanrinople. Milan remained thc west's main adm inistrati vc center, and after Constantine's (leHh the empire was divided again and his western successors ruled from .j\ 'lilan. Rome remained tlle scat of the Roman Senate and the symbolic ht'art of tht' empire, but lackt'd the pt'rmallent presence o f the empcrors.

Ravenna, c. AD 480






. III.~I'.



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AD 480


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00-..,...., .nd

"""<rse, AD 4,6)0 (counesy

Dumhanon Oaks. Brun. ti~< CoIl«rion. W .. hingtun, DC)

In 394 the emperor Theodosius I, who had reunited the empire under his sole command, established his son Honorius as emperor in Milan, and his older son Arcadius in Constaminople. T heodosius dicd in 395, leaving Bononus, age eight, under the guidance of Theodosius's military commandtr (mngirtffmilirum) and trusttd friend Stili cho. The following yens were difficult ones filr the western empire; the Visigoths, an immigrant group who had Ix.en senk<! in the Balkans in the 37OS, were dissatisfi~-d by their rreaOnent while serving as imperia l troops and were caught up in the riva lry betw~'Cn leaders at the eastern and western courts. In 4Oz, the Visigoths emen.-d Italy and raided filr a rear hefilre Stilicho ehased them back to lUyria. To do so, he had to pull troops from the borders along the Rhint River, which Wtre brtached in 406, and various groups began raiding deeper and deeper into imperia l territory. In response, a general named Constantine proclaimed himself emperor in Britain in 407; he moved impetial trOOps to the continent todefend Gaul from the invaders, and the empire essenti ally abandoned Britain. Sti licho, in addition to facing the disasters to the north, w::I.S also deeply cnmeshed in Constantinopoliun IXllitics, and as a result of complcx intrigues, in ¥*l Honorius had him arrested and killed. Sulw.",!ucntly the Visiguths reapf'Cared in Italy, and after attempting to supplan t I lonorius with a senator named Attalus, in 4[0 they sacked Rome and then proceeded toGaul, where they were eventually settled by treaty in the southwestern province of Aquitaine. Other groups, most notahly A1ans, Sue"es, and Vandals, entered Spain in 409, where th~'Y began \0 establish themseh-es. Consuntine and other usurpers continued to challenge central authority until order re,tored by !-Ionorius's general Constantius in 4 ! 3· Italy was left relatively quiet for the last tt'n years of I-lonorius's reign; how~"Ver, imperial authority had b~'Cn reduced in that short space of time to Irnly, Nonh Africa, and part of Gaul. Honorius is usual ly portrayed as wcak, indecisive, unsuccessful at negotiating with harbarians, and inAuencc<1 by court favorites. Mort'over, he fought with his sister Galla Placidia, one of the most cxtraordinary women



R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489

of her day. subject of both andellt ;lIld modern romantic legend. The OU[lines of her life come from fifth-century chroniclers' who alSQ offer intriguing glimpses into the personality of Galla. although these probably tel l us morc about (heif ;lmhofs than abollt the empress herself. ' Ae)ia Galla Placidia was born sometime oerween 388 and 393, [he daughter of' ]'heooosius I and his second wife Galla; she was thus the halfsister of Honorius aud Arc;lliius.J She seems to have spent her youth ill Italy UI}(ler

the care of Serena, her cousin and lhe wife ofStiJicho. \Vhcn Stilicho was mllfdcrcd in 408, Serena 311(1 Galla Placi dia were living in Rome; when the Visigoths first attacked th e city in 409, Serena was acrusco of conspiring with the enemy and was I!xenm~d with Galla P l acirli~'sconsent,ac<:onlingto one source,4 V\'hen the Visigoths sacked Rome in 4 [ 0, the twenty-year-old Galla Placidia was taken into custwly and carried along with the Visigoth ic army into Gaul. As pan of a Visigothic pact with Honorius, Galla was married to the Visigothic leader Athaulph in 4 [4 and went with him into Spain, where she bore him a son who was given the hopeful name Thcodosius, but the child died shortly afterward . Athaulph was assassinated ill 4[ 6 and Calla retmlled to th\.' court of Honori\lS in Italy, where she was marri\.'d (against her will, one source says) to the Roman general Constamius in 41 7.5 She bore him two children: lusta Grata Honoria (0. 4 [ 7 or 4 [R) and Valentinian (b. 4 19)' C.onstantius was ma<le !ll1r;tL>tllS in 411, and Gal la was named ,1IlgIlSft1 ; however, the~e titles were nOt recognized by her nephew the emperor T hcodosius II in Constantinople. Constantius died later in 4l [, and G~lla quarreled with Honoriusi in 413 she took her children to Constantinople to seek refuge with T heodosius II. I-Ionorius died in the same year, leaving no children, aDd the throne was seized by a government official, the p r illlkcI"illf 1101111";01"11111 John, who had the SUpJXlrt of the Senate and of powerrul generals includ ing the Roman Aetiu5. The eastern court decided that Galla's son Valentinian was the rightful emperor, and the youth was betrothed to Theodosius's daughter, Licinia Eudoxia . Theodosiu s sent an army headed by the eastern 1//agisler milirlllll Anla bur to remove John and place V:!lentinian on the throne. G !\etiu5 was orou ght over to Valentinian's side, and Galla took the reins as regent for hel" son in 415 . From 425 to 43i, G;l11<l was at the forefront of Roman politics.. which remainc(l extremely volatile. Galla wa~ suspicious of, and often opposed to, the IXJlicies of i\etius, and was said to havc attemptcd his assassinatioll; a conflict among the three main genera ls of the em pire lasted from 42 0 to 433. Although Aetius eventu ally triumphed over his rivals, he had to spend the next twenty years fighting against one revolt or invasion after another. North Africa was lost to the Vandals between 41 9 and 4 39, largely as a result of this infighting in It:!ly. Valcminian's marriage to Lidnia Eud o.~ia


was ccleurated ~rst H Constlllltinople and then at Rome in 43 7, after which he tOok control of the empire in his own right. After 43 7 Galla fades from written SOurces, although it is assumed that she was still innuelltial until her death in 45 0. By the late 4405, the IIuns h ~d emerged as a new threat to the empire. 'rhe I路hms had occupied the Hunga"ian plain in central Europe since the late fourth century, a[1<1 had been actively involve(1 in imperial politics. Aetius, for example, made c:~tetlsiv e use of them as soldiers in the wew:rn Roman army, and the eastern empire hall al ternately fought them an([ pai([ them subsidies to prevent them from attacking. In 450. the new e,lstern I.'mperor ,\>1arcian ended the ~"\lusidies to the Huns, and their leader Attila lUrned his arllly agai nst the westerll empire. According to se\'er~1 sources, his pretext was a scandal in the imperial family . lusta Gratn Honoria, who had never married, h:1I1 an affair with her estate manager; when they were discovered. her para mo ur was c.~''Cute(1 and she was im prisonc(\. She wrote to Anila and told him that if he invaded the western empire. ~he would m;lrry him lind he wou ld have half of the empire as her dowry. The entire story is fantastic, but the fact that so many historians rcpeatell it tells us something about late antique attitudes to imperial women and politics} \Vhatever his motivation, in 45 I AcriJa 3ml his arm ies invaded Gaul. Aetius formed a coalition rhat induded the Visigoths, and blocked Attila's advance at Chalons. Atti la withdrew eastward, but in the following year he took his army din..'Ctly into Italy. T he H UllS captured several cities, most notably Aq uileia and Mi lan, but for various reasons Attib was c\'ell fUally persuaded [(J withdraw.\! \iVhat Atti la might have done next we do not know, bu t he died unexpectedly in 45 3 and his federa tiol) collapsed, endtng the HUJlnic threat. After Gall~ died in 450, conditions in the empirc WCnt from bad lO worse.>' Valentinian, perhap~ feeling tha t he no longer needed his greatest general to defend the empire from the I路runs, murdered Aetius in 454. Then he was assassinated in Rome in 455 . Valentinian had two dallghtl.'rs, Eudocia and Placi<i ia , who were married, respectiyely, to the Vamlal royal heir H uneric and th e Roman senator Olybrills, neither or whom was a seriou s contender N)r the imperial throne ill 455. (Olyhrius finally got his chance in 472, but died shortly arter his ;KTessioll). Thc V;llldab, who had established 3 kingdom in North Afril;a, raided Italy and sacL:e(1 Roml! in 455 taking the impcrial womcn hack with thcm upon their return to Africll. The Visigoths aggressively attacked the remaining Roman possessions in Gaul. T he imperi;}1 throne was occupied by a series of senators amI Roman generals. while the eastern emperors sent their own cand idates selected from rhe eastern aristocra<.y. JQ None reigned for more than four years, as real power wa s wielded by other gCllcr,lis of less Roman background such as


R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489

Ricimcr, Gundobad, Orestes, and Qdoaccr. In the meantime, llooncoould pay much attenti(>n to the Vandals Or the Visigoths, nor to the ropuiati(m ofTt'aly, which was all that was left of the empire. After a complex series of event!; in 474-6, the general Odoaccr took control of Italy, bm. rather thm choosing a Roman to be emperor, he returned the imperial regalia w the emperor Zena. He proclaimed himsel f king and pnfl'icills of the west, and Zena tacitly accepted his claim. O(loacer set about stll>ilizillg the regions

around ItaI}'; he reconquered Sicily from the Vandals by 477, took Dalmatia in 480, defeated the Rugialls of Norl<:utn in 48 7. and allied himself with th e Visigoths and Franks. "Vith his borders secure, Odoaccr was able to n.'store som!,' scmhlan<:e of Rormn law and onler to Italy, governing (or at least minting coins) in the name oflino. lIe rub! haly for dlineen years, until Zeno sent the Ostrogoths aga inst him.

Moving the Capital to Ravenna At the time of {he Visigothic invasion of 40!, 1-lonorillS and his advisers seem [0 have felt thaL i\'lilan was too har(1 to defe n(l , and so tile emperor lllovcd to Ra\'cnna; the first i,mperial decree to ha\'e been issued at Ravenna is dateu December 6,401 ." "I'he year 401 appears in almost every mo(iern account as a pivotal (late in Ravenna ' $ history, even though no contemporary authors Illcntion such a transfer in that year. " Vic do know that many of the imporram events in fifth-cennlry imperial history took place in Ravenna, and some of the emperors spent much of their time there. ,,\Thy Ravenna? Tbc llsual answcr is thac Ravcwla's marshy hinterlands ma(l c it difficult to attack oy Imd, and as a result armies like the Visigothic army that sacked Rome in 41 0 lefl Raven na alone. ') Socralcs Schola stkus, writing in Constantinople in the l;In: 4ps, (Iescribes the establishment of Valentinian rn on the throne at Ravenna: 'i -1111:n agai n at thist:risis th" pra~'''rof thl' pious elnp.:ror pre\路ailed. Foran angd of GOI.f, under the appearance I)f a shepherd, Im,lcrtook the gui tl ance of !\spar and the troups which wer" with him, "ml leo him through the lI1,mihy bke [AII,wry] near Ravenna - for in th~t city the usurper [John] was then r.::siding- an ti tll<:n: J"tain"d the milit1l.l'Y dlitf. Now, no une had e""r heen kIlOwn to h~"e fOHlcd tha I lak" l>cfon:; hut God then rendered thut passab lc which had hitherto been impussuhk. H av ing the refore CT=d the lake, ;IS if going O\'~r dry ground. tlI~r fOllnd th.:: ipt.::s of th .:: city Opell, ano o,路erpow.::red til'::


ACl'()rding to Socrates it was Ra\'elllla's hIIJIIIl, or marshy bke, dlat gave it an almoSt impregnable defense, 'S The defcnsible nature of Ravenna


was mentioned in writings by the sixth-century histOrians j o nlancs anll ProtOpius. Jonlanes, descri bing the fa<.1: that Alaric the Visig{lth dill nOt attack Ravcnna in 408, says, HThis city lies ,lmi£1 the streams of the Po UcnVl.'en rmrshes (poll/drs) and the sea , and is at:cessible only on one side.... Bur on the west it has marshes through which a son of door has been left by a vel'y narrow entrance (1IIIolIlIgllsfi.,'jimIJ illf1'oiflillf ponll}."' (, Procopius, in the Gorbie War, repeatS this description , with a military analysis that has tolored all subsequent interpretations: l ] 'rhis dty of Rnl'eJlllll lies in I' le~'eI plain M th~ e .~trerlljt}' of the lonhon Gull', lackin g! st-adcs!== ca . 380 Ill] ofhcingon the 5C~ , and it is so simated ~s not to be e~5il~· appro~ched either hy $hip~ o r by ~ l.1nd army. Ships ean not possihly put into shore there bee:luse [he sea itself p~ l'e nrs [hem br Forming ;;hoal~ for not less th:ln 30 sud"s; consequently the heach 'Lt RaHim:!, '1ltlWlIgh to the eye of nmrinl'rs it iSYl' l')' 11~ 'lr "t hand, is in r~ 'llity W I)' far aw.l)' hy re'lson of the b",eat n.-tent of the :;hoal wateL And a land army cannot appmaeh it at all; for the r1Yl'r Po, alsu ealll'J the Eridanus, which flows past R;ll'enna .. . and other nav igable rin:rs together with sOllie Illarsh~s (1Ih.lVOIS), encircle it em all sides and so cau~ thl' city to be surrounded h)' watn.

Certainly Ravenna was perceived to be a defensible location, although Ihis may nOt have actually heen the case; in fact Ravenna was repeau'<lly capturell by armies in the fifth and sixch centuries, pro!'a!>ly !>ecause the mar~hes were not as £1efensible as they were pcrccive£1 to be. 's Sever;!l scholars have argued that Ravenna was chosen for reasons more complex than a dubious strategic :ldv:lntage. F. VV. Deichrnann observed that the development of Ravellna ~ftcr 4-0 2 came SOOI) ~fter the esta blish mentofConstantinople as the permanent residence of the eastern emperors under T heodosius I and Arcadius, rendering sea contact between July lilld the eastern Mel]iterranean more desirable.'Q Impel'ial couriers traveling from Rome to Constantinople \·ja Brind isi coulrlll1ake the journey in twenty days, bllt to be able to depart directly from Ravenna would have rc£1uccd me journey tirne. 'o Communication with the east was particularly impormilt during the reigns or Honorius and Valentinian III, whereas after 455 the emperur~ wefe instead depemlent on the support of the western army ;Hld Rome's Senatc. and communic;ation with the C;lSt became less signifi clnt. Ravenna offered the addi tional advantage of l>eing ea~ily provisioned, because it was an important part of thc maritimc nctwork. " Alternately, V. Neri has notc£1lhat while Milan and Aquilcia had Ucen strategically impor[;1m in the second an(l third centuries, by the late fourth century the rivalry Uctween Romc a nd i\lilan had increasc£1, an£1 RaVClllla may have been cho;;en to promote Rome at the opense of Milan, while Aquileia wa~ rejectell as tOO cxposed to attacks from the north and cast. "



R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489

A tilll}1 rca~otl for the choice ofRavct1na may have been the ~ta tc of the city in the year 40J . A!i n()ted in the previ()us (>hapter, an:hae(llogy has shown that by thc thi rd century the city seems to have been mostly abandoned in fa \'or of the porr city of Clas5c to thc south. V. Mam:dli has called what was left a "palimsest" on which the imperia l administrators could build an emirely new imperial city, full of relev3llt public buildings including churches.' J In this, perha p~, Ravenna may have heen rather like Byz;lmiuln before Constantine tran sform ed it. Und er Theodosius I, Christianity was strongly promoted as the official religion of the empire, and puhl ic pagan religious practices were banned. It has been ,lrguecl that at Constantinople, Constantine eonstnlctcd a ~pccifically C hristian capital city, with a ("athcdr~1 ~nd palace in close proximity ~t the dty's core. ' + IIonorius may have seen Ravenna in the same way, strategically useful and without a strong pagan core, a blank slate on which a new Christian clpi tal could he built. \Vc havc no evidence for pag-Jn telllpics at Ravenna, except for a Story that St. Apollin3ris destroyed onc by his prayers, ~n(l that is a fopOJ of hagiograph)' rather than necessarily a memory of a historical el'ent. '5 But we do know that in the new impcri31 Ravl.'nna, thl.'cathcdral and the palace formed the two foci of the city. ,(.

Ravenna as a Capital The iclt:a that Ravenna became the capital of the western Roman Empirt: really only hegins wi th Agnellus, who says that Valentinian III (4 l5 -55) ..... ordered and decreed that Raven n,1 should be tbe head of Ita ly (Cllplll ItlllitlL') in place of Rome."'7 Agnellus's accoullts of the buii(!ing activities of I-lonorius, Galla Placi{iia, and Valeminian Ul promolcd a legend th~t has affected views of Ran:nna down to the present. Recently, A. Gillett has presented a detailed analysis of the known residence of emperors in thl: early fifth cent1.1f)' in order to show that despite imperial activity in Ra\'enn;l, it W;lS Rome that was viewell by almost everyone as the true center of the empirl:. The panegyrist Claudian e,xtols Rome as the emperor's "true" home, but no contemjl<)raf)' author ever praises Ravenna in this way. '~ Cdcllr:ltions of imperial accessions, consul~les, and other significant milestones at Rome, HQlloriu s's construction of his mausoleum in Rome, and Valentinian's ultimate transfe r of thc COurt to Romc in .no, arc fOr Gillen signs that, even for Honorius, Rome was the sym bolic center of tht: western empire. And yct, clearly Ravenna did have a special status in the fifth cennl ry. \Vhile Rome retainetl irs symholic value as Ctlplll orbi;', RavelUla nevertheless bec;lmc ;l S(路Jr:s imperii ("im pcri;ll residence") perceived as a phlce


where emperors mighl live and govern. llllleed, at rhe end o f rhe century Pope Gelasius, addn:ssing the (Iutstion of whether the hishop of a H?gia r:/lIifll.f ("regal city") should hal'e <l special status, lists l\'lilan, Trier, Rave nna, ami Sirmium as imperial residences whose bishops arc not otherwise privileged .'9 In rhe power struggles between Stil icho, Ihe Theodosian dynasty, Ricimel., and dift'erent factions of lhe Roman Senate, the residence of the emperor and Court was very significant, Stilicho, H onorius, and Galla PladJia, among others. preferred to keep their tlisrance from Rome and to govern from Ravcnna ;jQ others, including the ad ult Valcntinian I U and vario us cmperors of the Roman senatorial class, preferred to em phasize their connections with Rome, Uavcnna was thus deliberately \lscd as an alternarive [Q Rome, and seen ~s a viable alternative, so the city's physical makeup ooth reflected and contributed to pol itical rhetoric)' Ra\.enna Illay not have inspired an AUS{Jnius or a Claudian to extol it~ merits, hut for llIore than thiny ycars it s!.'rvcd as a main imperial residence and scat of ceremonial, and it is thi s half century that saw the city's dramatic growth from a ruined to w n into something with much greater pretensions,

Ravenna as a sedes impn-U \Vhat wa~ a ,'I'des imperii in the Roman world, and how does Ravenna fit the defin ition? jOAfter the third century, the Roman Empire developed a bureaucratic administr.nlon that was centralized around the person of the emperor. vVe know that the imperial bureaucracy in the early fifth century was extensivc; just how extensive can be secn from tbe Notitiil Diglliffltll'lll, a liSt of civil atH! military government officials for th e eaStern ami western em pires that is thought to have been com piled between 395 and the 42 0S, H exactly at the time that the emperors were resident in Ravenna,H Government officials of the central ~d m inistration include the P raetOrian Pn:fcct of Iraly, the Masters of Foot and Horse in the Pres(.'nce, the Prae(JOsitus of the S<lcred Bedchamber, the '!\"1aster of the Offices, the Quaestor, the Counts of the Sacred Bounties (taxes and provisioning) and Private Domains, the Counts of the H ousehold Horse allli Foot, the Primicerius o f the Sacred Bedchamber. the Chief of the Nota ries, the ClIstn:mis o f tht: Sacred Palace, the M asters of the Bun:atlS of Memorials, CorreslJondence, and Requests, and perhaps the Vicar of Italy, Each of the offici;!ls had his own staff consisting of accountants, custodiam, chiefs of stall', assistams, registrars, secretaries, clerks and subclerks, and notaries. Scholars estimllte tbat the number of governmcnt officials who would have ocen part of rhe central administration was well over 1,500, not inclutling military pcrsonncl }S



R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400- 489

"'here is no clear conSellSus about where a II these pcopl c lived and worked in the fifth century. It is sometimes stated that the entire ~dministrati(m traveled with the emperor in this Jlcriocl .J6 On the other hand, it seems clear that at ll,';lst after 395. or even arrer Constantine, the eastern administration senled down in tbe palace at Consraminople,17 and it is sometimes assumeo that II simi lar establishment of adminisrration in the \Vest took place at Ravenna, although on ;I less grandiose scal e )~ You can't put a I .Sco-person uurc:llK'3CY in a place that docs not have buildi ngs to actolllmodate them; and since, in the case of Ravenna, this ac<:ommodarinn had to be huilt up from scratch, the emperors must havc intcndcd to livc thcrc

for a good parr of the tim!.'. It is likewisc often assumed that all government officials served in Ravenna, yet the only seeure evidence for this are a few imperial rescripts adltressed to oflicials there. C. Pietri amlJ. !\>Ianhews have shown that offici31~ who helll the highest offices, who often came from the great Roman senatorial families, liv(.'d in Ravcnna only during their t(.'nns ofofficc)'i HowL<vcr, these studic~ consider only a handli.l of men for whom we have information; in this period therc is no cvidence from inscriptio ns or documents that can tell us abour low!.'r level functionari!.'s. Pietri concludes that while cultil'ated arislocrats spent some time in Ravenna, they did not make it into an intellectual center, although ther Jid stimulate the production of luxury g()()ds such as marble sarcophagi and carved ivory in th is period. qo Aristoc"aric houses such as the ont: foull(1 at the site at Via D 'Azeglio, show that the city had a population of wealthy and important people;+' and estimates of its population range from 5,000 to 10,000 , a reasonable size, although o nly a fraction of the population of Rome ....' As we can sec by looking at any modern capital to whkh some govcrnmcnt officials come and go based 011 their terms of office, a fair ly large base of career bUrCaU(Tars and pl'ople involved in serviccs (Teatt'S a lively urban community, as we can see from Sidonius Apollinaris's satirical {Iescripcion of Ravenna:"" ... thl: sick promenade while {hI: doctors lie abl:d. the baths rret'ze while the hous<:s burn, thc living He thirsty while thc burk,t ~wirll. thj(,vcs ~rc I"igiti<nt whit", tht ll\lthoritil:S sleep. the clergy ]",nd lllone}' whik tht Syrian I1Ic rch~lI ts sillg pS3lms, businesslllen light while sulditrs do busintss, me dd\:rl~' apply tllt:msdv\:s to ballgamd, tile youths to Jkc, tit<: eunu L路hs w weapons, til .... federate troops to letters ...

For now we can only surmise that th is is what existed in fifth-century Ravenna ..... \Ve lIlay know relatively little about tlu: people who live(1and worked in Ravenna, but we know morc about its physica l topography, which can Uc


compare!1 with the layout of orher similarly ranked dries of the late third and fourth centuries, most notably Comtaminople and Milan:!S In Constantine's new capital, the main governmental buildings were constructed adjacent to the cathedral and the imperial palace, which was also flanked by a large circus, the I Iippodrome. Colonnaded streets connected this core area with the rest ofrhe city, punctuated by fora, baths, and monuments:l~ Protecte(1 on three siMs hy water, the city's land limit was walled by Constantine, and new walls endosing a much la rger area were built during the reign ofThcodosius II. Milan h3113 similar layout: originally 3 provinci31 capital and prospcrous trading ccnter, with the arrival of the imperial court new walls, palaces, and other structures were built. "I'he late tourrh--ccnUlry poet Ausonius, who compiled a series of poems in honor of the great cities o f the empire, lists lor Milnn wnlis, a circus, a theater, temples, a pal nee, a mint, haths, porticoes, and statues .~' Churches, although IlOt mentionell by Ausonius, were a 11lnjor component of both Mila n 's and Constantinople's topography. These features were fo und in various I.:Ombin3tions also in other imperial cities of the: period, Inside Ravenna's new walls, at least 50111e of these fa6lities must have been constructed in the first half of the fi fth centu ry. The rransiormation did not hnppen o\'(!rnight, and its chronology is unclear. Nlany surviva ls are fragmenta l), and without context, for example a sculpted torso made of porphy'')', part o f a statue of an emperor im ported from COIlstantinople, whose original location is unL:nowll ..;.S Agnc-1 lus implies that most of thc work was carried om under Valentinian III and perhaps especially during the regency o f Galla Placiclia,4'J and this information is repeated in most cuncnt histories of im perial Ravenna. This docs oat realJy make SCIl5C, given that HOllorius is said to have lived in the city for almost twent~' years; certainly SOllle, el'en much, of the construction that turned Ravenna into an imperial city must have been begun during his reign .5" The main dements for which we have textual, archaeological , ami architectural evidence Jrc fhe city walls. the palace(s), the mint, and churches, and we will consider each of these in rum. It is o ften observed that in Ravenna the em perors were particularly inspired by the cilY of COllstantinople. 'Ne will examine individual pieces of c\路ic.lcnce for this, lmt here it shou ld bc pointed out that ;Ilmost all of our written evidence (lares to after 550, Con~ra ntinople remained a model for Ravcnna's leaders for two centuries, and we cannot say precisely whcn mo~t of the Constanrinopoliun epithets were appl ied.'i' Moreover, although many features in Ravenna are assumed to imitate lost Constantinopoli{an originals, we must also recognize that Ravenna was not simply a pale imitatioll of [he eastern capital, hut a place in which new ideas aud clementS were introduced illto [hc imperial repertoire.


R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489


The City Willis oj R"vemul Th(' urban topogr.\phy of Ravenna froll) till' late antique period to the present has been defined by a set of walls that werc lmilt someti me in thl,' fourth or fifth century (Fig. 7).5' The republican walls of Ravenna had enclosed II rectangular space of appJ'Oximarely 33 hectares, although in the fir~t ;lnti second centuries AD habitation had spread beyond these limirs and the walls themselves wcre ruined, at least in plac('s.H The new walls, many parts of which arc still pn:scnrcI] today, form a circuit 4.5 km long llnd enclose an arca of [66 hectar('S. 51 The construction of thi5 wall was an extraordinary CVI,'n( for this period in northern haly. In c\'cry other casl,' tha t we know, cities were shrinking; Ra vcnn;l is theonlydty in which a new wal l circuit endost:J a much larger an:a than its prcJL"Ccssor. )~ Agnellus tells us of Valentini an Ilp 6 . . . here :lIld there on e:(eh side he ,(domed the streets of th e city with g rt';\t w"lls, ~nd he Or(krcd iron b~T1i to be e!\do~d in the bowels of the w,til. Alid so grcH " 'as his cart dla( (he iron h,u, not only appeared ornamenral, but ~ I,;o if at some ame some orner people should Wal}[ to thn: ~ t en this ~路ir)'. ~nd if not 'IS llI~n~' we'lpons l'oulJ l>e found ~s wert: needed, from these loars arrows ,mil bIKes ,mIl eve n swurds l"<.)ukllx: m,,,k; or, as "'~ said, th~ w"lls would supply (he iron for some mher purpose. H e ~d derl lll\lch (Q th is wall of th~ city kh'itill]. where formtrly it h~J hetn girdt d ~ s mer.:!y a town [oppidum [. An d this empt:rot nwdc gre ~( wh~t \\',IS snwller in fomler times, and he ordered and decreed lh ~ 1. Ravenna sho\lld I~ the 11(',1<.1 of Ital), ill phl~C of Home ....

Agncllus's accounl has been the basis of the ioterpretatio n of the topographical development of Ravenna; however, there has been, alltl continues to be, consic.lcrable controversy about the d~tc(s) of construction of this wall CirCU It .

A. T csti -Rasponi, as part of his 19~4 edition of Agncl lus's tcxt, proposed that an original Roman core, RmJrllll1l 'Iliadi'll la, which corresponds to wha t we ha vt: been calling the republican Oppidlllll, was supplemented several times , once dtlri ng the rei gn of Valcruinian Ill, and once by Odoacer in the later fifth century.51 T esti-RaslxlIli 's map i~ still sometimes reproduced in studics of th e dty, It is only in the past tWO decades that scholars have serio usly Cjuestionecl this view, and only very recently thaI' the question of the wall's purpoSC and its rclationship to Ravenna's expansion in the early fifrh cenmry has bcen c:\lliorecl. N. Christie and S. Gibson's stucl yof the masonry of the survivingpamof thc walls indicated that the cxpanded wall circuit was built at olle time, not in se\'eral stages as proposed by Testi-RasponiY' This prollOsal has been accepted by many subscq uetH 5chol:lr5.59 Christie concludes th;lt Ravenna's


imperial defenses stood 9 meter high and were ap proximately 1.~ meter thick, which woulll make them lower than the walls ofVeron~, Mi lan , anll Rome at th is lime. Thecircuit included several towerS, fourteen main g"Jtes, and more than thirty posterns inclnding openings tor waterways, ~Il '-milt as pan of the origiml plall.t'.o In the course of this new work, Claudius's arc h was flan ked by round rowers and incorporated into the wall system, al111 waS suhsequen tly known as the Porta Aurea, or "Gol(len Gate.""'; ' T he walls were made mostl}' of reltSeo I:orkks,~' not surprising given that the city's l3nliscapc wa s littered with rnins /'! Vlh:u remains a mystery is exactly when these w:llls were built: were they built because rhe co urt had moved thl.'re, or did the court move there because the walls were already bui lt? Christie accepts Agnellus's attribu tion ofthe walls to the reign ofVnlenrillian [II (42 ;-55)' One rcason he gives for this d ating is the silnilari ty of the bricks in the wall to those used to mIlstruct Sa n Giovan ni E\'angcii st<l and the Santa Croce complex, but Chri stie admit:; that the similarities arc not secure en(mgh t()f prcci~c dating, and Gclichi states instead that the bricks arc in fact rather cl iflere nti moreover, in all three cases, most of the bricks were reused fro m earlier Roman structures."~ Christie argues that in the years after 401, many new buildings had bl::ell built and needed (0 be defended; he suggests that (he Vandal threat o f 4 39 might have been the catalyst.61 This seems very Strange. Surely 4 0 1 was a very (\aogerQ us time in Italy; how could H ooorius bui!(\ a palace, mint, military barracks. and other sensitive structures in an unwalled area? Only recently have some scholars nO[ed the contradiction that although the rea.'iOn given for the coun's move &0111 l'vlil an to Ravenna is security, the cit)' is no t thought to have had func tion ing walls UJltiJ 30 years afte rward. P. f abbri i.~ one of the few to have suggested that the expanded wa ll circuit was buill earlier, in the fourth or evcn thc third century. and th;1t its presence was the reason that the court moved to Ravenna in 40 ~ ,(.6 while S. Gc1ichi says that large wall s were built anticipating the need for many govl.'rnment buildings after the transfer of the imperial capital."7 All of these hypo thetical suggestions ~re put forwa n l because of the relative \ac.k of either textual or archaeological evidence for Ravenna's walls. Fabbri cites, as evidence tha t Ravenna alrea(ly had walls under Honorius, Claudi<lJl's panegyric on HOllorius's sixth consulship, (\divcred in 404, in which Honorius " .. . spoke, and mov!;!l! his standards from the walls o f ancient Ra\'enna .... ,.[iS In 3(!dition, the fifth -century histOrialls Zosimus ancl Sowmen mention the manning of the ~wa lls of Ravenna" by troops from the east in the conte:.... of a proposed siege o f the city by Attalus and AJaric ill 4 I o,{,o) while Socrates Scholasticus mentions the d ty's gates being open when Ardabur's troo ps tool.: the city in 41j . Are "wallsn alltl "'gates" simply poetical tOrtllS(synecdoche) meaning "cit}'." or do they refer to anual


R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPER.O RS. AD 400 - 489

walls? At the least, we can s~ y that rhese eaStern authors wcre \路isualizing a city surruunlled hy w31l ~ when des.tribing these strategically important events, and r wou ld argue that the scattered bits of tell.1:ua l evidence do sllggest that the "imperial" walls existed by rhe very early lifth ccnnll'yJ o \-Vhen we rum to archaeology, we encounter funher conrradictions ami dilferences of interpretation. V. ManzeUi shows that archaeology reveals little activity outsitle of the oppiJulII in the fourth century, ~ ' although Classe was being de veloped in this perio<l, and was enclosed by a wall at this time.;' \-Vhy would the inhabitants of Ravenna in the fourth century create a grand circuit wall to enclose ruins? On the other hand, E. Russo :1I1d A. Augenti arglll.' rhn thl.' second (;onstrllction phase on thl.' ~ ite known as the "Palacl.' ofThroderic" should be dated, on the basis ofcomparison with other villas, to lhe fourth century. H'e will discuss the palace in the next secrion; but if that date is substantiated hy further investigation, it would indicate a major public bui lding projcct somcrime in the fourth century, in thc heart of what was to hc<:omc the imperial city. Allgcnti notes thar this must have been an e.'<tr3mur:ll villa because the walls were not built until the mid- fi fth century,71 but in fact the existence of this structurl.' would beg the question of whether walls might have been built to surround it. In the fourth cemury Ra venna continued to serve as :I proviJlcial and perhaps even a military (:enter, and we know nothing of what rhis might have involve<l. S. Gdichi notes there is relatively little archaeological evidence for activity within the walls o f Ravenna even in the fifth century; he condufles therefore that the walls were builr primarily [0 enclose Pllblic buildings rarher than [0 contain inhabited areasJ4 The date of the walls carmot be deternuned witbout add itional archaeological investigation. Taken all together, however, rhe t'\,idence suggests that the wa lls were not bu ilt by Valcntinian III, but that Ravenna was tortilied shortly before or after 40~ .

The J-Vnle,-c'o,wses Ra venna's new topography did not only involve the laying {Jut of a new wall circuit; the hydrology of the site was adapte(\ to the new urban conlines. As we have seen, the watery nat\lre of Ra\'enna was its (listinguishing characteristiC in ancient literature, aTH! this was to continue for writerS of the lare Roman Empire)) Sioonius Apollinaris, a Gallo-Roman ~ristocr at who visited Ravenna in 467 on his way to Rome, describes the city in m'O letters.-6 111 the first, which narrates the S{oty or his journey throu gh Italy, he discusses the water supply in various places; he describes the watercourses through Ravenna, in order to complain that nOllC of it was fit to drink. In


the Sl'C'OIHiil:tter, Sidonius describes Ravenna's Ales and frogs, a city where "the walls fall, the waters stmd , the tOwers sink, the ships sit . . . . a place that marc casily has a territory [tclTitori1l1llj than solid ground [tcnamJ," in other words, a city o f hydrau lic instabiliry .77 The complex hyd rological system of Ravenna, which had contributed to the city's importance as a naval and mercantile center, deteriorated in the fourth anti fifth cenruries J~ The subsidence of the ground , to which R:l\'enna was always su bjl,.'Ct, was Sli pplcmcl1ted by the neglect of the water system, particularly the jossa Ill/gwtll; the separate t:al1al to the east of the P:ldenna wen t outaf usc in this period. It is likely that the lIi(( PI/pilill, which had followed the CO\lrse of the canal , continued in Ilse, becoming the main road through the eastern parr of the new dty; this road was known as the plllle'11IIlIiul" al1(l is now the Via di Roma (Figs. I, i ).~" The water that ha(1 once Rowetl through this canal was (liverted elsewhere in the city. In his fi rst lctter, Sido n ills says of Ravenna: ... Above, the two-fold hr:mehcs of the Po w.1.Sh around and th rough the town {O/,pidIlIllJ; kd ~wa}' from its main h(.'cI IIr puhlic dykes, through them by divcrtecl channels it cli ,,-jclc~, diminished, with di,路iclccl flow, S() that part surrounds th<: w,lIs pru"idi ng prot<:<.:tion, part 11.0ws within and prO\'ides tnde, as com'enient:ltl arrangement for ~ummtrr~ as cpcci~II~路 for bringing in provisions ... !Io

\Ve have seell that in the Roma n period, the Padenna and the Lalllone Rowed along the nonh and east sides of the oppidlllll, and the [oml [.II1l/ira or A lImi.< passeli th rough the oppidll1l1 from east to west. Sidonius's description implies that new canals were dug to create a branch of tbe P aden ll ,1 flow ing around the northwest corner of the new city into the Lamone to provitle ~dd itionaJ defenses. 8 , It is reasonable to ass ume that this happened at the sa me rime as the wall~ were lmilt (this channel was later known a$ I I"'-o/Iis). Ra venna thus would havc become a cit}' largely surrounded by water.

The PaJace(s) There wa~ certain ly an iml}t:rial residence in Ra venna , and whether or not it was called a pl/larim!! or "palace" at the time, it ix>camc known by this namc in later periods.s> The ccntra lization of the govern ment bureaucracy in the fourth century meant that the palace hatl to house a large staff of officials, and it was the setting for thc elaborate ceremonies in which the centrality of the emperor and his government were ,Iemonstrarell to his suojCcts. Bj Emperors had sporadically st;lyed at Raven n~ in the th ird ;}nd



R.... V[ NN A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489

fou rth centuries, ~" so a n:. sidcncc suitable lor temporarily housing the L"{)Urt must have existed . The permanent residence of HOll(Jrius and then V~len 足 tinia n IU, howcI'cr, required a mOre signi 6cant set of buildings. There aTC faint hints in literary texts of {he splendor of this stnlcturc: two JXICIllS written around 44 3 by Flal,jus Merobaudes describe depictions of Valentini311 [II and his family on the walls and of a palace, perhaps one in Ra\fenna. ~$

Our only textual evidence for imperial palaces in Ravenna



Agncllus, who tells us: Honorius wanted co bllil(l a palace in Caesarca, the arca bctwl,'cn Ravenna and Classe, but his official Lauric-ius built instead a church ue(licarcd to St. Lawrence (ch. 35); later Agndlus refers to the "Laurentian palace" near the C aesarean gone hllflt' est tlkhlil pUI'ti/r O/ulln:lI, ll'/ictt) [..llll rwti I'II/ario), so perhaps a palace was built there too? (ch . 13z ) _. T hcoderic killed Ocloan:r in the pa lace At the La urc1 (ill ",tI/ltiu ill Ltlllro) (ch. 39) - it is also nu:nnonecl in two sixth-cenw ry chronicles that Odoacer was kil1e(1 ~il\ Laureto.":I(, ," Valentinian IIJ built a roral hall at the place called At the Laurel (il1/0(0 qui dicitlII' ad Laureta). (ch. 40) J.

Thes(' passages tell us that by the sixth century, the palace that was considered {O be imperial had [he name At the Laurel. "I 'his designa tion probably imitates the name of the Jl:llace of Daphnetll.oqlVTJ ("Laurel") in Constaotlnople, built. according to tradition, by Cooslantine.K, In chapter 132 Agnel1us 1listin guishes between the pllifftilllll '-"lIIn'lIIi and the pi/liIIilllll 'f'heuJuriCllmml later used uy the c.'{arch. implying that they were tv:o distinct structun:s;SB however, it is not dear whether the pll/atimJl Lmre/lri is the same as the plt/rltil/'lll il1 LrJ/lrQ/(,d l.lIl/reM , a lthough the similarity of the words has led to rnonern confusion. The location of th is pabce, or of any imperial palace (if indeed I-Ionorills would have inhabited a different onc), is entirely conjoctural. It has been suggested that the imperial palace must have heen locatetlnear San Giovanni Evangelista, ot church known to h;l\'C been built by G;\lIa PhlC'itl ia; it has been suggested that the palace quarter as describe(1 by Agnellus must havc covered the cntire southeastern sector of the city. And it was even suggcsted, although now discredited, that there \\' 3S a palace in the nonhwestern quarter of the dry, also built by Galla Placid i a. ~ A.s described in the previous chapter, the only part of the eastern sector of the city to have heen _~ubjecte11 to extensive archaeological excavation is the site known as the "Pa lace of T heoderic," so identified occausc Thcoderic's church, now



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called Sallt'A1xlllinare Nuovo, was atf<Jchetl to it. It is often assullled, based on Agncllus, th;1t this building must have been dilrcre:nt from the: palace o f Valentinian HI, and perhaps also of Honorius, which would han: been farther to the south. N. Duval goe:s so far as to argue tha t the remains found at this site arc merely those of an aristOCnltic ho use, not an imperial palace.90 But it is hard to understand why Theoderic and later the exarchs would have preferred to inhabit an old aristocratic house rather {han the forme r imperial palace. Recent stud it!S have shown that on the foundations of a Roman villa there was a major rd.)Uild ing in the fourth century, prcsumal>ly tonca te the r~i(lence of the pro\¡incial governor or mil itary commander, followed by another elaboration in the caTl}' fifth century {Fig. 9 ) .~ 1 Another piecc of evidence in favor of this interpretation is that the western entrance to the palace is called by Agnellus and other sources Had Calchi," which probably imitates the ChalkclXcAKTl ga te of {he Grcat Pa lace in Constantinoplc, buill hy Constantine. \Vh.ile the date at which this !lame was appliell is uncertain, an attribution to the fifth century is not unlikely.?'

9' Plan ohh.c p~l ~cc, ~s kllown frum nco'~.-

1;""$, "'â&#x20AC;˘. AD 450 (a fter A"g~nli, ~Ard".¡{) I{)gi.I

e ropognfi.>."

' 0<,)5, I;g. 6)


R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400- 489

The l:xcav3tc(i arca was just part of what must have OCCll a much larger JllmlniStrative mel resilientia] complex, txtenlling presumably to the eaSt, north, and south, and flankcd on its western side by the plilfctllllffiQl-, or main road. "I'he struct\lrcs that were built or adapted for imperial me on this sic!,' in the early fifrh century were typical of luxurious \'i11as in [he late antique world. A large colonnaded courtYllrd was flanked by suites of rooms on at least the norrh and south sides. On the north sille the focal ('Ioim was a large

apscd hall, which was inrrcascd in site at some point ill the fifth century to ~ 7 X II m and was paved with a nmallie opus sertile pavement of imported marble. Around and to the south of the courtyanl, the corridors and smaller rooms were decorated and redecorated with mosaic pavementS; the rooms to the south were el'entu;ll1y turned inlo a bath complex complete with a hypocausr system ." j The,e dements of high-status living proba hI}' formed only a part of the palace complex. Since we <10 nOt know the full extent of the palace at any period in Ravenna's hiSTOry, we cannOt n:3th any conclusions about how Ravenna's palace may have <:ompared ro those in other imperial capitals.

Other Public Buildings One of the mysteries of Ravenna in the late imperial period is how much other construction took place within thc new city walls. As J. Ortalli has noted, "Popular opinion has it that the transfer of the capital revita 1i the ci ty with new buildings and a higher urbanisric level. In reality there is no memory of such a direct initi,]{ive by !-Ionorius; when it happened it probably didn't integrate the eourt functionaries into the leX."al urban network.It guaranteed to the city a good public appearance and maimcnance of a certain technological vitality. " 'M It is inconceivable tha t the transfer of achninistra tive functions to Ravcnna could 1/1)1 have meant an increase in popu lation, but there is almost no archaeologica l evidence of widespread construction activities in the city. Is this attributable to the nature of archaeological evidence, and of the fa ilure of earlier archaeologists to recognize fifth-century materials? Or dill most of the population continue to live in Classe at this time, with only ,1 few imposing puulic uuiJ<lings sta nding in a landscape of ruins? The latter seems impossible to imagine - and yet, that is all the ~' idencc we have. One of most important structures to be built soon after 4 0 2 was the mint. In the Roman Empire. coins could only be mimed in specific locations authorized by the emperors; most imperial capitals had a mint (Rome, Trier, i\-tiian, Constantinople, Thes~al onike, Nieomedia), as did other


major cities such as Aquileia. t\ mint was opencd in Ravcnna in 401, an importmt inlli(;ation (>f the city's sUllden devation in rank Y" Ravenna's mint produced a complete range of gol d ancl si lver coins from 401-55, and continued, with some interruptions, ~traight thrmlgh to thc cnll of thc cenrury and l:leyond, an indication of importance of Ra venna even arrer the death of Valentini an 1.11.""-; A mint that produced gold and silver coins re1luired protection. This leads to questions about its location. Agnellus rcfers twice to a location "at the mint" (rid "IIIQIJeftnn) in the northwest sector of the (;ity.'i' Dnnl1nent$, one from the year 57l and several from the eleventh century and later, name <l region of the "golden mint" (mollrtf! all1"<'a) as near thc palace in rhe eastern secror ofthe city. ~H F. W. Deichmann suggested that there must have been twO mints in the city, perhaps one (the ""{JlJetlllffll~lI) for gold ami silver coins anl]rhe other, founded in the late Ostrogothic or Byzantine period, for copper and bronze issues.1J9 In 1969, excavations at the UPIM site ~t the !.-"Orner ofVja di R om~ (the pJmm 1Ill/ior) and Via Mariani, ncar the presumed entrance to the palace (sec Fig. I) rcve3 led the southeast COrner of a large rectangular Structure. Very thick exn:rior \\'alls surrounded a corridor and then an interior core of small rooms that in turn surrounded a courtyard. At least two l:luilding phases were identifiable, the laner of which dat"ed to the sixth century. This has been plausibly identified as the 1"()1IfTd till/WI , because of it.<; proximity to the palace, and otx:ause the thick walls and ~mall interior rooms meet the defensive and production requirelllents of a mint. In addition, no other large public building is identified from the written sources as having been located in this area. 'OO Tn other imperial cities such as Rome and Constantinople, an importam part of the palace complex inside the city walls wa~ the public ractx:ourse or ciI"ClI.<.'OI \Vas a circus built in the Cil)' of Ravenna? E vidence tor a circu s in the imperial period is almost nonexistent. A poem written by Si()onius Apollinari, in the 46os, which describes the emperor's appearance at a cirCIIS, almostcenainly refers to Rome.路O: The earliest real reference to a cirCIIS in Ravenna is found in the Roman Libl'1" pOllfijim/js for the 640s, which tells (hat the head of .Maurice, the mrfIlJ"ri/u, was ;'placed on a pole in the circus at Ravenna as an example to many." I<禄 Agnellus mentionS;1 stadiuJII fIIbllItu outside thc dr}' walls to the north, antI Dcichmann has suggested that this was the IO(.."3tion of the city's racetrack. '''+ The fun that Agnellus does not mcntion a circus within thc walls is significant, as most monuments and topographical references can be rraced back to his text. Beginning in the tenth century, a few d{K:ument.~ refer to a ci/"mltllli near the pJarea pllblit'll ill topographical references for the soudleast corner of the city, 'os but none of these later references provide evidence for the (late of origin of


R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400- 489


such :Ill cll tcrt:.linmcnt facility. Perhaps most signi ficalll. the GJllk author Salvian, writing in the 4405, cOnt rastS " Roman plebs in the circu ~, ani] the pcopk of Raven na in tlu.' thC"Jtcr. ... ',"00 Fi nally, gil'ell what we know of thl,' location of gates, waterways, streets, and churches in fifrh- and si:"1:hcentury Ravenna, it is difficul t to know where a large circus could have been located . All of the ci,'cuses built in imperial capitals in the fourth and fifth centuries wefe over 440 meter long, a[1<1most wert' oriented north-south. '''7

1\'i. Johnson's suggestion that a circus was oriClHcd cast-west just to the sou th of the church of Sant'Agata 10.'1 raises the problem that rhe (I istancc between the Padcnna and thc pllftm lJIaiOI" at this IXlim was only 35 0 111; if a cir,路us ha(l bccn squcclcel in here, it wouln havc bcen an impossibly small one. E. Cirelli, on the other hand, proposes a circus oriented llorthsouth on the Wl..~t side of the plllf~{1 waior, which coulel have been 450 111 in length. ''''I H owewr, all of these proposals are completely hypothetical; in the absence of ally archa(.'Ologkal evidence, it is hanl to make the case that Ravenna had a circus attached to the imperial palace. \Vc havc cven less c\'idence for other public f:lcilities. ' 路Vith the arrival of thl.' COllrt and thl.' cvcr-i ncreasing population of the town, anothl.'r prohlcrn was the provisioning of the dty Hid ilS inhabil:lms. "o Sidon ius Apollinaris's letter written around 467, alter <Iescribing the ca nals aroun d RavelUla, goes on to say, " Hut the <Irawback is that, with water all about us, we could nOt quench our thirst; there was neithcI" intact a<]uecluct nor filte rable cistern, nor gushing spring, nor unclo uded well. On the one side, the salt tides assail the g<lteSj o n the other, the movcment of vessels stirs the filthy sediment in the canals, o r the sluggish Row is foul~d by the bargem~n 's pol~ , piercing the bottom sl LIllC. " III Sidon ius seellls to be saying that T rajan 's aqu educt no longer functione(i ;1 O! whether this was the situation earlier in t he century when the emperors still resided in Ravcnm, or whether this is a result of the semiabamlonmemof the city aftel路 450, we have no way of knowing.

Churches Churches are the o ne set o fhuild ing~ for which we have much more sound evidencc, since somc of them still sorvive today. In the post-Consta ntin ian era it was expected that C hristian emperorS wo uld Imi l(1 chur<:hes, especia lly in illl])(Jrt3m cities, and in this one aspect, at least, Ravenna provides plenty of suita blc evidence. rvl ajor parts of at least fi\路c strucrures from the fifm century still stand and relatively de tailed information about others comes to us from texts. Together these strllctures form an important part of the corpus of early Christian art and architecture, and tl1U.~ have been extensively stu(\ied by art histOrians for the last 100 years.


One striking feature cOlllmon to all of tht.:se bu ildings is that, like the city walls, they were made of bricks that had been reused from earlier Roman structu res. In addition, they incorporate columns, capitals, and other picces o f architt..-ctu ral scu lphl re rhatwerc li kewise taken fro m earlier monu ments. This useofJPo/iil is evidence for the ruined state of Ravenna, and for the large amounts of reusa ble build ing materials a\'ailable in 400. Scholars today still debate whether this was simply a question of practicality, or whether the reuse of spolia had symbolic meaning. cspL'Cially of the reappropria tion o f the Ro man past. but most o fthese discussions arc about the Cnmtantinian period ." ) By 400 when Ravenn a's ch urches bega n to appear, botb migh t have been tT\le: By this time it was expected tha t a noble church would be built of spolill. and in th e case o f Ravenna, where speed was o f the essence and a ruined city la}' all arouml, the use of '"poIiIl solve{] several problems at once.

Churches;11. the HonQriOll Period There must h,lVe been some churches in Ravennil. before the arrh'al of the imperial court, bUT of those we have only vague references. Howt::ver, tor the period after 400, we have ever mort:: cerrain evidence for the construction o f churches ~ponsored by the emperors and by others, mOst notabl), the bishops . The cathedral and baptistery complex, begun soon after '100, will be considered in detail belo w. It should be no ted here that while there is no evi,ience of imperial p:ltTonage of the cathed ral, it is not unlikely mar H onorius and his family materially assisted the construction and decoration o f these buildings, as they are known to have done ill Rome . The only churdl specifically attri huted to the reign of HOllorius was (Ie<licated to St. Lawrence, the deacon of the Church of Rome who, according to tradition, was martyred in ~ 58. Lawrence bL'Came the object o f widespread devotion in the late fOllrth and fifth centuries, ' 14 and was particularly promoted by the T heodosian dynasty . ' '5 T he early ,late of this church is confirmed by a reference to il in a scrmon b)' Augustine or H ip!>O delivered about 42 5 . 1111 A~ usual, Agnellus is o ur main SOUrl.:e for the existence o f this ch urch in Ravenna. H e tells us th at Honorius wanted to build a palace to the south of Ravenna, and he commissioned his 11!(1/0r mhiclI/i Lauricius to supen'ise it, but the pious Lauricius took the moncy and built instead a church dedicated to St. Lawrence. Honorius was angry that his orders had been (lisobeyed, but a vision of St. Lawrence induced him [0 ove rlook this misappropriation offu nds. 1 1 ' Thc e:.:tramural church, built in an cxisting cemetery, was a martyrial basilica rhat was used for funera ry purposes, thus it funnioncd likc the fourth-ccntury basilica of St. Lawrcnce outsi<le



R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400- 489

Rome.' ,S Lauricius himself was eventually buried in a chapel dedicated to Sts. Stephen, Gervase, and PrOtase, martyrs whvse veneration waS parti(:ularly promoted in the years ~round 400. I '" Agncllus quotes the dedicatory inscription of the chapel that says that" Lauri6us dedicated this on September 19. in the 15th rear o fTheodosius rU] and Placid us Valentin ian IIlIl," thus in the year 435. 11 " Agnellus also tells us of llllother inscription commemorating o ne Opilio.'" who generously supported the church and was

buried in the south aisle. The church of St. Lawrence was demolished in 1553 and its lmilding I..Umponcnts were ta ken to various m her churches; from the little surviving documentary evidence it seems to have been a basilica with a nave and aisk'S separa tcd by rows of f\I.路clvc or fiftl.'en coluIllns, but heyonJ that we knoll' nothing abou t its ex-dCt location or appearance. ' "

GaUIl Plnddhl's Churches Calla Placidia's chief claim to fame in Ra\'cnna was her S\lpport of thc C hurch and her patronage of churches. An active promoter of religious or thOlIo.~y, along with TheOtlosius U and his sister Pulcheria in the east, she supported the C hurch at a time when heresies about the nature of Christ were flouris hing, and she wrote to Theodosius II an(1 Pulcheria in support of Pope Leo 1'5 position at the Second ('..ouneil of Ephesus in 449 ." .\ She was closely connected with variOIlS popes; shc had Qcen actively involvc(1 in 3 .schisllI involving the p3Jl:lCY in 418-19," 4 and it is possible thar she gave ber palace in Constantinople to the popes, since in the seventh ami eighth centuries their reside.nee in C.o nstantinopie is called the "house of Placid ia.''' 'S She contributed to decoration and rellol'arion at the basilica oISt. Pau l Outside the Walls an(1Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. ,,6 Galla's piety is also highl ighted in the biography of St. Gcrmanusof A\l XerrC, an ascetic bishop from Fra nce who visited the impcri:lll'Ourt on business anti died while in Rayen na in [he 430S or 44os. "7 Her coim, mimed firs t in Constantin ople and then in Ravenna, Aqu ileia, and Rome, tIepin her in imperial <.: m tume, with the monogram o f Christ prom inen tly emhroi(lered on her shoulder, and, in some <.:3ses, [he Ha lllJ of God holding a crown over her head, while on the reverse a personificarion of Victory holli s a jeweled crOSS (Fig. 8). T hese lllotif~ were licrivcd from the coinage of the eastern emperors, fi rst used for ThcodosillS II and h is sister Pukheria shortly after 41O. "~ Agncllus makes C alla the star of his sectio n on imperial Ravenna, chiefly beca use of her patronage of the C hurch. She is credited with the eOllsrrucdOll of the major ch urches ofSant,l Croce and San Ciova llni Evangelista in


Ravenna, and AgnelJus says that her niece also ouil t a chapd dCIlicared to Sr. Zacharias. Galla abo gave p recious objects to the church of Ravenna, ~uch as a large lamp with her image on it and i\ chalice. ' '9 H er (XIrtrait, along with i lll~ges of hcr chil{lrcn, could still b(.> found in S~n Giovanni Evangelista in the ninth cenrury. She was a major supporter of one of Ravenna's most notable bishops, Peter (ca. 43 1- ; 0), and Agnelllls erroneously credits a church dedic:l tetl to Sts. John the Baptist and Barbarian to Gal la's and Chrysologus's joint patronage. 'J" As we have seen, Agnellus attrioutes the construction of the walls an.1 pala{:es of Ravenna to Va J cntini~ n III, which would also ha\'e becn sponsored by Galla . Some of th(.> chllf,'h(.>s built by Galla Placidia still survive, and arc thus extremely im(XIrtant for an undersunding of the development of art and architecture in Ravenm at this time. As we will see, the form al1(l decoration of these StrU('tures expressed new iconographies Ileveloped to link Christianity atHl imperial rule. T he lise ofirnperia l l)Ortraits in church decoralion was something new, rem inding the community of GOII's protection o f imperial dy nasty and empire. T his iconography would be repeated in other churches in Ravenna, literally creating a Christian ,路api tal through the images found on its churches. S.l.N 610 \'A"'N I [ '路ANG ELISTA

During a sea \'oyage the shi p carrying Galla Placidia and hl;'r two children was beset by a storm. '3' T he empress cried out to St.John the Ellangelist for protection, vowing to bui ld him 3 church in R,lVcnna ifrhe ship was spared. Upon her return to Ravenna, she built this church, near to the small harhor i.n (he nortbeast corner of tbe cit)', and arranged to have it decorated witb mosaics that told the story of her preservation and glorifie(1 the imperial dy nast}' of which she and her children were a part. 'J! \-Ve do not know exactly when the church was built, but it wa$ probably shortly after Galla and her children had taken triumphant control of Ravenna in -+ 25. S~n Giova nni Evangel ista still stands, in large part rebuilt after it w~s accidentally bombed by Allied forces in 'W orld Wa r II (who were aim ing at the nearby train station), and, like all the churches of Ravenna, it was redecorated and rebuilt st"\'eral times in its history: the floor was raised ;}nd repaved Ln 1 ~ 13, 'Jl ;lnJ the n;l\"e arc;lde aJHI II'alls wcrc raised in the fifteenth cenrury, ').; T he church was the object Qf extensive re5torarions from 1919- 2 I, and aftc:rthe bombing duri ng \'lorld \Var U, fu rther investigat ion was carried out as part: of the rcconstruction, T he original wall decoration had been remove(1 in 1568, but written descri ptions have allowed scholars to reconstruct something of what it might have looked like, and we can therefore see how it tin; with Galla's general aims allil intentions as empress.



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San Giovanni Evangrdista is a ba5ilica made almQst cntird}' of reused R01ll31llllatcrials: brick for the walls. and first- to fourth-century colulIlns and their bases and Corinthian capitals [0 scpar;ltc the nave from tht;' aisles. ' 3, The original building (Fig. 10) had :In interior colonnade of nine columJls on each side; newly carved im post blocks (tru ncated pynlll1i-

tlal StOlle blocks) were plaeN! bern'cen each capital anti the springing of the arcade. T he upper parts of the walls arc later construction, bm they originally comainc(1 windows both on the e>.terior aisle walls and on the clerc$tor~' walls above the nave arcade, resulting ill an unusually brightly lit intcrior. ,~6 \·Vhcn first built, rhe church was emerea through a narthex that was 9 meters deep; no rth and south of the narthex we re small chambers. approximately 7 x 6,5 meters, emered from the na rthex through arches su pported hy columns. Rooms like this are well known from Greek ch urcllt~s built ;It the same time. ' n T heir lo('arion is similar to the chapels/mausolea at the end~ of rhe narthex o f Santa C roce, and Agnellus mt:ntions somt:olle who was buried in the eighth century "in the corner of the entranceway" of San Giovanni Evangelista, which might rl'fl'T to a sidl' chamber. ' 38 The narthe.'I: opened to the exterior through a colonnade composed of six columns. and probably comained three doorways into the church, one for the nave and one tor each of the aisles.




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At some point the narthex WllS absorbed into the nave, wh ich was elon gated to its preSent dimensions with twelve columns on each side; at this time an atrium was added and thc sideehambers wcre remO"ed (Fi g. T r). ' N No distinetion can he made between the original eighteen columns and the six that were added; al l {\I.·eney-four impost blocks werc made at one time in the fifth century. The impost blocks (and the ~ulumns and ~.. pit;als) of the westernmost three bays of the nave must theretUre ha,'e been pan of the origina l church, and Grossmann has suggested that th~1' were us~-d originally in the narthex. ' ¥' The date of this modification is the subject of controversy. It has becn suggest~-d that thc plan "'as changed shortly aher its origina l construction, or that it w:lS mod ified when new mos.aics wcre installed around 600, 'i ' Howcver, R. FarioH points out that Agnellus refers in the ninth cent:ury to the nanhex of this church, and thus it is mOSt likely thaI the changes should be dated to the temh or elevcnth century, at the time of the construction of the campanile to the southeast of the narthex. 'i' The castern end of the na"c tcrrninat~"<l in an apse of the samc wid th , circular on thc i mcrior and polygonal (scvcn-sidcd) on thc c:<tcnor, as WllS to OC><."Ome traditional for Ravenna's churches. Inside the alISo:, a bench for the clergy, with a throne for the bishop at the center, ,,'as attached to thc interior WllII, terminated at each cnd by columns that upheld the triumphal arch over the apse. 'i l The allSc was vaulR-d with a semidome made of I1lbi firrili, interlinked hollow clay tubes, but the layout of the win_ dows IJt,I0w the \':lult is also the suhj(.><."t of ,Ichatc. '+I The current apse,

1 I.

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rebuilt in the [94째S (Fig. ! 2). conm ins seven windows that arc 2,75 meters high, immediately below the level of the springing of the dome; these windows ate separated hy douhle-eolonnettes, AO()ding the al>se with light. The colonnettes date stylistically to the fifth century and came from the Prownnesian workshops of ConStantinople, which implies that this feature was original to the building, although it has also been proposed that the se"en-arch feanlre had been a loggena that aniculat~-d the wall surface on lyon the eXterior of the bui Iding. '. 5 Below these windo""s the outlines of three smaller windows, now filled in, can be ~en along the bad, wall of the apse; either these were a lower row of windows-or they were the original windows, with the upper wne add~-d later. Since no other surviving apse from Ravenna has a feature like the scven-arched opening, neither windows nor loggetta, and since in all other cases the apse windows are taller than the lower niple array, we can on ly conclude that the o riginal arrangement in San Giovanni was unique, whichever form it took. The a]>se was flanked by two rct:tangular chambers that were entered from the aisles; they measure 5 x 6 meters, and each of their e>;ternal walls contains two an;hed windo~ approximately 1.5 meters wide and l meters high. Below the level of the windows, the interior northern, eastern, and southern walls each contain two niches ! X 1.25 meters and 0.56 meters deep. These rooms are ohen called {JMInpbtrrir, a term that refers to spaces wi th particular liturgical functions du ring the Eucha ristic service, but these rooms ~"nnot have had this fun~-tion, sinl"t' they did not communk"te directly with the apse. J. Smith has presented evidence that the northern chamber, at least, had a hypocaust, or wall-heating, system in it, and suggests that these spaces were used as libraries. As she notes, such side chanlbcrs flanking the apse were known from many churehes in Ravenna, but in each ease the function or funetions weTC different. ,. " St. John is the on ly evangelist who frequently had churches dedicated to him in late antiquity. Re\'ered as the author of the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation , biographies of him began to circulate in the early fihh century, and included references to his conn~"Ction with sea trawl and stonns. John's burial si te at Ephesus in A~i a Minor was marked by a fourthcentury church, and another church in his honor e. isted by the time of Thoodosius I in the suburb of Constantinople Imown as the Hebo:iomon, ncar a harbor and an imperial I",iace. '41 Deichmann asscrt5, on the basis of a few later topographical references, that San Giovanni Evangelista was built near the imperial palace in Ravenna. J-t8 Bur, while the eastern of the city cerm inly oontained buildin~ that were part of the administrative complex, there is no evidence that San Giovanni Evangelista was in any way J "palace ehurch,~ as it is ohtn called. '.9



" .s."

GioVlInni han_ g<lisu. interior

"One reason for it~ anribunon a~ a palace church is the apse mosaics, in which IXlnraiu; of Christian emperors featured prominently. The mos.aics no longer sUn'ive, but descriptions of them are found in Agnellus, in {\I.'O sermons from the fourt~...,nth wnturywrincn on the occasion of the n-.:k'<lication of the church, and in Ros~i's Historillrum Ritvnlfllltum. 'JO T he twO reconstructions most often reproduced arc those ofC. Ricci and G. Eovini, which differ mainly in their ideas aboUT the original window arrangement; Ricci's inclusion of a sewn-arched opening ha~ been followed here (Fig. 13). 'I ' '['he wall alXlvc the arch featured a depiction of Christ giving a book (probably the Book ofRe"ebtion) toJohn the Evangelist, surroundt"<l by the glassy sea and the 5<."\'en candlesticks mentioned in Revelation, ao<l flanked by palm trees. 'J' Connected with this imagc was the inscription, "For the l(l\"e of Q,rist the noble St. John, son of thunder, saw mysK-ries. n, j) On either side of this image, or perhaps below it, appeared ships s.ailing on the sea, perhaps with Galla Placidia and her family in at least one of them, being savcd by St. John, with the inseri ption, "Galla Placidia fulfils her .-ow on iJ.,.,half of her~clf and all of the~e.'" j~ Associated wi th thetrium]lhal arch wcre images often emperors, perhaps bum in medallion~. Ros~i'~ and Bovini's drawings place them on the facade of the triumphal arch, but the textual descriptions do not support this interpretation. Surviving sixth-century examples of such scr ie~ of medallions, including several in Ra"cnna, arc found on the soffit of the arch, and that is


where they have been placed in this reconstruction. '55 Rossi lists them: on the right, Constantinus, Theodosius, A=dius, Honorius, and TheodO'lius >I.p.; on the left, Valeminianus II I, Gratianm., ConSt:l.nti us 1111 ?J, Gratian u~ >Itp., and Johannes "'p. These figu res link imperial rule, and Galla's family members in partkubr, to orthodoxy; not:l.bly, emperors whose orthodoxy was questionable, such as Valens, Valentinian II, and Constantius II, were not depiet~-d. '56 T he epithet "'p. is probably Rossi's misread ing of NP, the abbreviation for "iJbilimmur purr, a title bestowed upon imperial chi ldren; th~ hoys may ha'"C been d~",aSt:d sons of Th l"()(iosi us I, ',7 or perhaps Thoodosius >If{!. was the son of Galla Placidia by Athaulph. '58 Dcichmann supposes that Rossi may have gotten some of the names wrong, either because of his source or because they were degraded with time. '59 In any case, the main male m lers of the Christia n empire are obviously the focus o f this series. In the apse itself. the semi dome comained a large image of Christ seated on a throne holding an open hoo k in his hand that oomaintd a quote from Matthew 5:7, "Blessed are the merciful, for God will show mercy to th em."'oo Christ was surrounded hytwelve books representin g the apostlL'S; this is an exmlOrdinary concept that is not known from any other apse image, although Gospel books in bookshelves do appear in the St. La wrencc mos:a ic in the "mausoleum of Galla Pl aci dia, ~ dating to exactly the same period. Below the dome, probably just above the "indow level around the interior of the apse, was the main dedkatory insni l'tio n: ,", Thc empress G all o 1'laciJio with hcr <on En'pcror Placi,lus Volcntin ion ond her daughtcr Empress Ilustol G rou I lonori. fulfil their >'Ow to the holy and mOst 'IJOstle John the h.ngdist for their ddive"ll1cc from ,Imgcr

., ....

Symbols of thc evangelists may have flanke d thc windows . Below thc windows ran another inscri ))tion from P5:llm 67(68)"9-3掳' "Confinn, 0 God, that which you havc wroughl for us; from your temple in Jerusa lem, ki ngs shall offer you gilis."'6' Belo"路 this, on the wall alx"'e the clergy's bench, were shown on the right Tnoodosius 11 an d his wife Eudoci3, and on the left Area dius and his wife Eu doxia . T he depiction ofthcse eastern rulers in such a promincnt position underscored the wcstern court's relationship with the cast. Givtn the inscri ption ahove their heads, it is )>ossi bie that they were shown in the act of presenting something 10 Christ or to the central figure on th is wa ll, Bishop Peter I Ch rysologus, who "'as depicted celebrating mass in the presence of an an gel. ,6) As far as we know, San Giovanni Evangelista is the first church anywhere to ~"Ontain imperia l portra its as )>:lrt of its dtcora til)n.' ''' San Giovanni Evangelista's cntire decorative program emphasizes thc piety of the


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.... imperial dynasty and its connections to God and the Orthodox Church. All of the inscriptions emphasize the role of kings in the divine plan ; even the boo\.: held by the enthroned Christ in the apst: (I uotc~ the Beatitude of particular relevance to ruleN, emphasizing compa~sion and charity by those in position~ of power. The "cry depiction of Christ on a throne underscore~ the parallel i~rn hetween the earthly and heavenly rulers. Bi~hop Peter Chrysologus, as we will see, was closely connected with the imperial court, and he spt'cifical1y praises Gal!. Placidi. for her merl)' (m;m"ironJill) in his Sermon 130. ,65


R.... V[ N N A AND T H E WESTE R.N [MPER.O RS, AD 400 - 489

' I'he t:Onstruc tion o f a church in commemoration of the salvation of G<1lla and her child ren underscorell GOII's protection of the dynasty, represented br the portraits of irs mcmber.>, At this particular moment. G alla 's triumph over the \15urpl.'r John, shl.' reminded (he members of the Ro man eli te establishment of her divine claims to power and o f the support of tbe rule rs in the ellsrern empire, 1M SM.'T,\ C R OCR

In a,ldition to San Giovanni Evangelista, Agne){us td ls lI S that Calla P lat:idia built a chu rch dcdicated to the H oly Cross. and he notcs a tradition thn she prayed there at night, prOStrate on the porphyry pavement, by the light of candles. ,67 The church w~s built in the northwest pan of the new CilY, on top of Roman houses that had been in rui ns since The t hird centu ry AD. 1M; It retainell its original form until the later M iddle Ages; in th e late foutee nth century the north- sou th arms and the chancel \I'ere removed, in the late sixteenth Cl.'ntllly the narthex was Ill.'stwYl.'d , anll in 160 2, 7 meters of the western end of the nave was destroyed to make way for a street now named Via Calla Placidia .' ~ Parts of the ch urch arc s(il1 \'isiblc; it W;JS I.'x1:l.'nsively I.'XC;Jvared in the earl y twentieth cenIDry, in 1967-80 lind in the ((;80s-90s, and so the history of the site and irs construction stages are well understood, ' ?O The church dellicated to the Cross was built of reu sed Roman bricks; the exterior of the walls were articulated wi th pila5ters and perhaps blind arcades, a~ have survivcd for the southcnl chapel. Unique in Ravenna , the ch\lrch has a ground plan in the for m of a Latin cross, with a single aisleless nave ( I I. W III wille), wide transepts to the north and sou th , and a reClangular chancel (Fig. 1-+) , 1;1 T he individual parts of the church do not foUow a strict rectilinear Ilesign ; the angles of \'ariou ~ partS of the walls are Iluite skewc!l, c~pcriall y the enJ~ of the crossarms. In pl:m, thc llU ild ing is vcry similar to other cross-shaped chur(路hes buil t in capitalt:ities, especially the BfUi!i{(/ l /po"o/am1ll and the R'.,-ifim Virgilllll11 (now San Si ll1 pliciano) in J\<lilan, both built by Am brose in thl.' late fourth ccnnlry on the model of Constantine's Church of the Apostles in Constantinople. 17: vVe know that thc cross-ground plan was symbolically important; Ambrose wrote a poem about the Bilsifim APOSfOlo/'//1I/ in Milan that says, "The temple has the fO fm of a cross, the tcmple stands fo r C hrist's victor)"~ the triumph'I!, sacred image marks the place." "3 Tht: churches in Milan and Co nstantinople were, how,.'"cr, dedicated to the Apostlcs; ' H the adoption of this fo rm fOr a church dedicated to the H oly Cross was a new and creative idea, and, as we will see, the iconogra phy of the cross was given a variety of expressions in the Santa Croce com plex. Excavations have shown that th e rectangular chancel was raised 0 .26 metcrs above thc Roor !evel of the rcst of the ch urch, creating' a pla tform




• •

' 4. The S,Ul'" Cmcccompl~x , ,,~ . AD 450 C"J" ptd f ru", Gdi<:h i/No,"",,",

t9'J5. fig. pJ

(bWIII ), 175 tha t tht:ft: ~'as a st:lllicifculaf bench (lJllfhrolioll) arOlmn the inte-

rior of the re<..'tangular chancel,' ;1> as well as a raised pathway (soll'l1) along th e nave leading to tbe pulpit (a mbo). AJI of these features show the influ -

ence of Con ~r-Jntillopolitan architecturalllirurgical treIHk '·i The chancel was surrounded by adJiuonal rooms, some of which may havc \}cCIl open courtyanls, dirtttly connectc{1 to either the chancel or aisles. J. Smith has ~uggested that the entire complex was intended as an imitation of the

Holy Sepulchre com plt:x in J eru5.11t:1ll, with a large open cOIlftyan\' a small shrine off that courtyard analagous to the shrine of (',.olg-orha, and o ther rooms to racilitate the passage o f clergy and congrega nts during the Easter ceremonies. r~~ An unusual feature is the presence, on the north and south si{\es of the Jl;l\'e, of externa l colonn;}ded porches or porticoes, 4 meters wide, which e~1:en{!et1 from the narrhex to the crOss-arms. Such external porches arc not known from an}· of thc Othcr basilicas in Ravcnna, although S~n Simpliciano in Milan h ~d a dosed passage along its nave wa lls. Santa Croce's porches were use\i fo r burial starting at leas[ in the sixth century, ' 7') although we do not know whether they were built for this purpose. T he porches had figured mosaic J1oor~ with geometric allil \'eget31l1lOtifs which were subsequently cut into the llUri;}ls. ' So



R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400- 489

At irs western cnd, the (hurch was fronu:d by a narthex that was (j Illeters deep a011 extended 4 m willer than the n~\'e, at least on the southern side,

where its presence has been dctcnnincd . T hc southern end ofthis narthex was conneCted to a small cross-shapcl[ ch~peI that is now known as thl,' "mausoleum of Galla Placidi;!." Excavations in the mid- nineteenth ami early twentieth centuries showed that the chapel was entered through a triple archway leading to a vestibule that was raised up a step from the levd of the narthex; two further steps led from the \'csib\l[c into the chapcl. '~1 The triple archway wa, stlStaincI[ by nm columns set on bases of red Verona marble, with colonncttcs on the sidewalls on inlaid marble bases.':!' T he floor It.,,,'cl ofthe "m~us{lleum" was I I centimeter higher than the n~rthcx, and the type of bricks and mortar are differem in the chapel from those of the mait) church, which has led to the conclusion that it was built slightly later than the narthex. , Rl It has bcen proposc(l that originally there was a corresponJing chapel ~t the north end of the narthex, which is now relatively in3cccssiblc to exca\ · ation .' s~ and that th is northern chapel might be the one described by Agnellus as built by Galla's "niece" Singledia ncar Santa Croce and dedicatell to St. Zacharias.'85 G. Pavan's description of the mosaics found in e.~cavatiolls idelltifk-s the ones found by I)i Pietro in 19! 5--6 as dating to the Roman period, all(1 they thus do not pnwide information about a northern chapeJ. JS6 Gdichi amI Novara, on the basis of the most recent excavations, indicate the existence of a vestibule on the north end of the narthex, but do nor show a chapel. ,8; In the fifth ce1lfury this part of fhl;' city contained sel"eral small chapels; one, for e.xampie, lay on the si te of the sixth-century chutch of San Vitale . ,~S Tbus, it is nor neccssa ry to presume that Sing-leilia's chapel was at the northern end of Santa Croce's narthex. On the: other hand, San G iovanni Evangelista hall ch apels flanking both emls of its narthex, SO it is certainly possible that the same layout was found here. The richness of Santa Croce's decoration is indicated by the surviving mosaics in the ~lllausoi eum." From archaeology we know that the church was pavcd in largc panc:ls of geometric Opllf smile and contained c:laboratc wall revemt;'JU, al l madt'ofltlack, whitt', and polychrome mar blt'.•110) Agnellus tells us that Galla used to lie o n porphyry roundcls on the !loor; these have now Ilisa ppeareli, bu t their use is wel l known both in Ravenna and elsewhere in this period. ' ~ \Vhat we know about the imagery in the main church also comes from Agncllus, who tells \IS: The Elllllt"eSS G~lb b\lilt the chll["(;h of rhe Holy Cross, constrllcted of most prec ious stoncs ~n\l "ith carvcd smcco;q· gnd in rhe roundness of the fII"\:hes there are mt:(rical "e~s reading thus:


"John w.shes Christ at the font in the SCot of p.rodisc; where he gi~es. h.ppy life, he poin" the ""Y to m.nyrdom," On the f:>c. de of thot temple, enteri~ g the m. in <looT'S, . bove the depicted Four Ri "e,," of Porodisc, if you re. d the "erscs in heumeter .od pent. meter, you will find; "0 Christ , Word of the F.ther, concord of .11 the world, ),ou who know no end, So .J<., no ],"gi~~ing. '.' The winged wim""",., ""hom your right hmJ rules, s"md . round you s. ying 'holy' . nd '. rnen.' In your prese""" the r;,'en; run, Aowing through the .ges, the Tigris . n,1 [uph,...t"", Fison mol Goon _\ \~th you co~,!ucring, """ge crimes . re si l e~ ccd by true d.. th, trodden for eternity under your feet_" The first ,-ersc, abom John the Baptist and C hrist, impl ies b.alltisma l imagery of the sort found in the O rthodox Baptistery, al though there is no evi dence that Santl Croce w::I.s used for ba ptism. '9J It is not dear whether the pictures on the facade were in the narthex O\'er the main doors or on the inner western waH of the ch ur(;h . ',," Agnellus says that the Four Rivers of Paradise were depicted, and they arc also mentioned in the poem, which SUgg(..'St5 that other clements found in the poem, namely the wing~-d witnesses and the enemies trampled under Christ's feet, were also depicted in mosaie, '9J In that case, the image would have been an apocalypti c vision of Christ either stlnd ing or enthroned, rreading on a lion and a serpent or b.asilisk, surrounded by the four symbol ic beasts andlor the ciders of Revelation 4'4-4l, wi th the Riv..,rs of Paradise at th.., base, ,0;0<1 VariOIlS l'Ombinations of al l of thes.e elements are foun d in other surviving mosaics from the fifth and sixth centuri<:s; for exam])le, Christ s..,ated owr th.., Rivers of Paradise and surrounded by the symbolic beasts survives in the aps.e of J-Josios David in Th..,ssalonike, The image of C hrist trampling he~st.~ deri ,~s from Psalm 9"<9J):J3, and can b.., seen in various other works of art still existing from fifth<:enttlry Rawnna, namdy in Stucco in t h.., Onhodox Baptistery, on the side of the fifth-century Pignatta Sarcophagus now in the Qua drarco di Braccioforte next 10 San Frances-co, and in th.., mosa ic in th.., narth..,x of the CilJXfltI tlrciv=vvi/t. A depiction of C hri st trampling enemies was also found on the ,路cstibu].., of th.., imperial palace in Constantinople, and it has been argued that its representation in Santa C roce fonns a kind of imperial il'Onographica l rder..,ne<:. '\I] I-Iow~""er , its poPlllarity in other contt:Xts, for example, as a moti f on clay lamps, ,,}8 an d the fact that two of its other uses in Rawn na weT<! epis-copal rath..,r tha n imperial imply that th.., imag<: had many R'SOnanC'eS in the fifth century, \Vhy this church? There is stil l discussion about exactly when it was built; some schulars ha,'c propused that it was bllilt between 4J 7 and 4~ J, when Galla li,'ed in Ravenna with Constantius, '''''' wh ile others have suggested


that it was bui lt aftcr 415."'" Bodies wcre buried both in the porches and around the church after it was first built, probably after the end of the fiftb cenrnry, and perhaps sub,..... juent to the C()nstruction o f the southern narthex chapel. It bas been suggested that Santa Croce was intended as a cemeterial church, '~' although since the burials date later than the first pbase of tbe cburch, it does not seem that a funerary purpose was originally meant.'"' The construction of this church dedicated to the Holy Cross by an empress, was most likely intended as a reminiscen~-e of the mUSt powerful and pious Cbristian empress, Helena, the mother of Constantine, who was by this time famous fur her discovery of the True Cross in Jerusalem. Helena had built a church dedicatt'd to the Cross in Rome, a fact of which Galla Placidia "'3S well aware, since she and her chi ldren sponsored a mosaic in that church also.' ~J '1'he Tbeodosian dynasty used the motif of the cross on its C()ins as a symbol of victory (Fi g. 8),''''* and G alla Placidia may ban: felt that the imperia l family should sponsor the veneration of the Cro>s; perhaps she had acquired a relic of the True Cross, wh ich was to be boused in this church, '0, or perhaps she felt that a church of this sort would provide a suitable focus for au imperia l mausoleum.

When Calla Placidia died in Rome, sbe was probably buried in the imperia l mausoleum at St. Peter's;'''" but by the ninth wnturythe legend had grown up that she was huried in a side chapel in San Vitale in Ravcnna , and by the thirteen th century this legend had herome C()nfused and her buria l was atrributcd to the structure that is still known as the "mausoleum of Galla Placidia."'OJ This small cross-shaped srructure, which now stands d,>t.ched fro m .ny other building, "'3S Ori ginally .ttached to the southern end of the narthex of Santa Croce.'oij It is therefore C()rrcct to 3ttribute the l"(lnsrruction of this chapel to Galla's )).1rronage, and to see it as one small part of what must have been 3 magnificent oomple~ . This chapel is one of on ly thn-e late antique strucntrcs in Ravenna that retain their compk'te decorative programs. It thus provides a small sample of thc ricbness of interior decoration found in imperially sponsored buildings at this time. \\'e will return tothe question of whether it was intended asGalla Placidia's mausoleum. The "mausoleum" is a small cross-shaped structure built mainly of reused Roman brick,''''' "'hich may originally have been covered ",i th plaster (Figs. 15, 16)."째 The east-w~st branch m~asures 3-4 x 10.2 !11l'ters (interior), while the north-routh branch is 3.4 x ! T.9 meters, longer because it originally l"Onnt"(;ted the srruCtllre to the vesti bule and narthex. Interestingly. the angles of the C()rners arc not precisely 9D degrees, hut arc slightly skewed so that each component of the plan is not a r~"(;tangle but a


' 5. "Abu_ ooIeumofG:.J], P!xid;': exte_ rior vi .... from

,he ,o,"h~¡<s' ( E. V."",,)

parallellogram. Origioally the ground IL'vel W3S ~ j>proximately J . 5 m lower than it is today, and thus the building .....ould have had a higher profile. Each o f the exwrna l walls is nticulatcd with a blind arcade, whose pilasters rest on a plinth now partially below ground. '" The entrance wall, with



16. "Abu_ ",",um of G.l], P!xid;': plan

"grouOO 1","<1 (oft.,. Dekhm.M. '9i6. l~ 8)





the door that led to the vestibule, has no arcade, hut was cO\-en~d "im marble revetment;'" {he doorway's lintel is a reused marble cornice with a fiNt-Cenrury AD IhC'Chic friew."l Around the building. J brick cornice complete with dentils on the underside marks the roollinc; behind the cornice, wooden beams were inScrtl-d in the interior of the wall, presumably for stability. Over the central core of the building a square rower rises I r tn, topped by a brick oomice identical to the one on the lower leveL At the summit of the centra l lo"'cr is a marble pinecone. ' 'i The chapel's walls arc pierced by windows at three levels. Each of the walls of the ccntr:lllOwcr bas a rectangular window just about the roollillC. The "..,d, of the cast, south, and west anns have a window in the rectangular pediment (which corresponds to the lunette fonned by the harrel vault on the interior). And at the level of thc exterior blind araldc, narro'" slits are found on SL'ven of the wall surfaces (as shown in Fi g. 16)." I T he windows now arc coI'cred with thin slabs of alahaster, a gift from King Victor Emmanuel III in 1908_ II", 6 but it is more likely that they were originally coated with glass. Inside thc building, the space rcpeats what is dcmarcated by thc architccrureofthe exterior. Each crossann is surmnunted by a harrel vault that rises 6.3 mctcrs abovc the original floor level, and the ccntral space is covcrL-J by a dOlrnical vault (3 vault in which the dome continues dOlwn through pcndcntives) to a height of 10.7 meters. Al l Olf the vaulting is done in brick; for the dome, the bricks arc la id in conL'Cntric circles. In both barrel vaults and dome, clay were laid on top of the bricks of the vaults, beneath the roof, for support."? The floor in the building today, made of marble opur uctift, was laid in 1540 whcn the floor level was raised 1 -43 metcrs above thc original IcvcL The lower part of thc walls on the inside are sheathed in marble fL,.,.ennent; the yellowish Siena marble is mostl y a restoration donc in 1&)8--1901, but was based on fragments of giollo on(iro that werc presumed to hal'e been part of the original dccor.ltion. ' ,8 A marble stringcourse with a bead-andreel pattcrn articulates the flat revctmcnt; a plain sUtero cornicc separates the revetment from the rone of glass-tesscne mosaie that covers the upper parts of tbc walls and the vaults (PL la). The brill iance of the colors of the mosaic, the lavish use of gold, the richness and l"lIricty of {he abstract dCLurati\'c motifs, and {he darity of {he figural images are overpowering; a term often used to describe the effect in th is small space is ~jewe1 box." Thc fact tba{ {he mosaic program has been I)rcserved in its entirety has invited schOllars to identifY meanings uniting the different pans, based on thc prcsuml-J origin and fu nction of the buildi ng. Other studies have c:<amined the iL路()1logr.phic and styliStiC modds for th~ imagery, and stin others ha~'e oonsiden..'l:! the origin and number of artists,


' 7. "Abusoiounl

ofG.n.. Plxidi.,. wc>t onn with . lunette ofd"., drinking (l>OOt()

I"";'"t fUr Kunstge><:hichte der Johannes

Gutenberg UniverSi"t ,\bin>., 8;IJdmnboml:)

based on style an d technique. " 9 We will first sec what is depicted in the mosaics, and will thcn discuss the meaning of the architecture and the il'()nography l'()nsidcred as a whole. The ba rrel ~aults of the anns arc covered with abstract patterns. On the north and south anns, the vaults contain a regular panern on a dark blue ground consisting of larger and smaller rosenes, worked primarily in red, Ught blue, gold, an d white, which has been compared to F-"lstern textiles (1'1. h). no In the east and west anns, the vault mntains against a dark blue ground a gold grapevine that springs from an acanthus plant I;() filJ the sp.Ke. At the center of each side, standing on a SOrt of l1lt1delabrum springing from the acanthus plant, stands a small gold male figure wearing a tun ic (dolmarica) and mantle (pI/Ilium) and holding a scroll (Fig. 17); these have been interpreted as four apostles, as the evangelists, or as prophets.'" The vine "路as a popular dl'COtative motifin Roman art, adoptl"<l by Christians as a visual reference to John 15:1 : "1 am the true '~ne, and my Father is the vinegrower." At the apt:x of each barrel vault the Chi- Rho monogram of Christ with alph a and omega (Rev. 22 :13:"1 am the Alpha and the Omega ... ") is surTQundl"<l by a red and blue wreath. At the cemer of the chapel, the arches that suPPOrt the central tower are marked out by abstract borders in completely different color schemes from the vaultS. The eastern arclll1mtains a richly colored, three-dimensional meander palTern,'" while the western ann is marked by a leafy, frui t-filled


RAVENNA ..... N D HI E W[STEltN EMI'E RO RS. AD 400- 489

garland rising from baskets al1<l culminating ill a gold cross ill a blue IlH.'tlailion, all set ag;'lnst a white bad:ground. "l T he arches on both north 30d south arc marked by a lozenge or scale pattern in shades of green and turq\lOisc.

1lle mosaics of tile lunettes 3[ the ends of the arms are brillian tl}' conceived {O acrommooa te a semicircular space with a window in the middle.

The lunettes in the east and west aflllS acc fill&1 with acamhus scrolls workel[

in green and gold. against 11 dark blue background . On a narrow groundline, two deer, entwined in the acanthus, face each other across a pool of water, which fits below the window (Fig. 17)' This image visu al i ~,cs Psalm 41(41);1; "As a hut longs for springs o f wncr, SO my soul longs for fhce, 0 God": the use of deer as symbols of de\路otion and of baptism is common in the fifth century.2: i ' nlC JUliette on the south arm is the first o lle vi sible to someone who enters from the door on the north side. T he \'ivid depiction (;(Illsists of three clements resting Oil a shallow green grounll, set against a h~ekgro\lnd gradated in shadesofbl ue (Fig. I S). To the leftofth ewindow is II cupboard, or (//71111";11111. that conuins four l"Odcx books labl:k'd as the four Gospels: from du' top left, they are Mark, Luke, Matthew, and John. In the center of the lunene, 1x=neath the window. is a metal gri ll on wheels over 3 roaring fi re. To the right of the window, a haloed and bearded man dressed in a striped i/11//JI(lti( (I and white pilililllll runs toward the grill. Over his righ t shoulder he bears a large processional cross and in his left hand he displays an open book whose pages ~e1ll to depict ~路ritin g. although no real letters are shown. The particularity of the clements of the !;Cene, and its prom inence on the wall facing the entrance, imply that it had particu la r meaning in th is chapd, and yet the idenri ty of this figure is l'Olllrovcrsial. "5 \ ,Vllile some have suggestel] that the figure is Christ,"'" it is generally agreed that lx:cause the person is drCllsed as a deacon. carrying the oujeets borne by deacons in the mass, he must be a de~con and ma rtyr who was gril led alive. -, 'he mostwidcly venerated saint who fits this descri ption is St. Lawrence, who, as we have seen , was the objcct of particular veneration by the T heodosian dynasty. In this interpretation. the presena.' of the cupboard with the GOSI>els is seen as a symbol of that for which Law rence w~s 1t13rt)'rL"\1. Although in carly Christian art La wrence is often shown l-oeing roastt:<1 on the grill, there are also representatiom of him as a deacon carrying a prOCCllsional cross,"and the artist here has bri lliantly found a way to use the space defined by the lunelte and the window to best 3(lvamage .' ,8 It has also l-oeen argued by G . Mackie that this image instead depicts St. Vincent of Sa rag ossa, Spain. anOther deacon who was tortured on a gridiron. Vincent'scult spreal\ widely


, 8. 路 ,\!.uwicum orCaI!. PI.d Ji... S,. l .. wre<>芦 ....... ,h lunett< mosaic (p/>oto K V."",,)

in the Mediterranean (including Ravenna) in the fifth century, and may have been known to Galla Placidia from her time in Spain. Maekie points out that Pru dentius's poem on St. Vincent specifically mentions books, which are depicted in this image, and also says that Vincent hastened toward his torture.' '9 No ea rly sources from Ravenna n3me this ehapd,' JO and in the alJst,nce of any definite evidcn,"C onc way or the othcr, wc can only say that in either case, the saim would have had special meaning for Gal la Placidia. Here, because it seems the most likely solution, I will continue to refer to the figure as St. uwrence. Over the entrance, facing the 51. Lawrence panel, is a representation of Christ as the ('rl)O<i Shepherd o f John 10:J 1- 2 I and 2 US- 17 (1'1. lb).' J' Christ as shepherd is 3 oommon moti f in early Christian art, but this rendning ofthe SUbjl路..:t is stri king in anum ber of ways .' J' Christ is depictc<l as a beardless youth, with his hair flowing softly over his shoulders and his head surrounded by a ha lo. He is dT(..'SSed in a gold tunic with purple stripes, and has 3 purple pallium draped across one shoulder and lap; he is thus not a simple shepherd, as he is usually shown, but a divine or imperial figurc.'JJ \\,ith one hand he holds a tall golden cross, and with the other he Teaches across his body to fl"Cd onc of six sheep that surround him in a rocky pastoral landscal}C. The pose of Christ in a landsC3l}Cowes something to late Roman depictions of Orpheus, es pecia lly those that show him in a gold tunic and purple mantIc, as, for example, a mosaic found at Adana in Turkeyfrom the third or fourth century in which Orpheus, scated on a rock in a land><.."3jJC, wcars a guld tunic and sits in an ahnost ;,lentil.l pose to our



Good Shepherd, 'H Among the plants growing in the scenc, palm fronds in the backgr1)unl] are al~ highlighted in golll, perhaps emphasizing their role in Ch rist's narrative. H ere as in the St. Lawrence panel, the backgrou nd is light blue, amI shallows o f {he cross, Christ's feet and halo, and S0111e ofthl,' sheep are rende red against the background. A pattern of three-dimensional

rocks defines the edge of the foreground . Once again, the image has been tiesignetl to fit the space it occupies: The northern lunette does nOt contain

a window (since it would have been COll lH.'(;t cd to the narthex), Utit the head orChrist, 5urroun.1c!1 liya gO] I] halo, falls in the spot in which the win l]ows ll r c foun d in the other lunettes, emphasizing Christ's role as "light orthe

world." Moreover, the location ohhe image o f Christ alxwe the doorw ay to the chapel echoes John 10 :7- 10: "I am the gateway of the sheep ... if anyone enters by lIle, he will be saved, ami wiJI go in and out and riml pasrure."'lS The up]l!.'r lunem's of the central tow!.'r also each contain a window at the center, surrounlle(1 by a dark blue tiel(1. We find t he same composition on all fou r sides. Flanking these wiruloll's, standing on greenish blocks, arc male figures wearing white stripe(1 u mics and pallia, with their right ar ms upheld in a gesrure of acclalllation (PI. la).'3(' Each of these figures has a differe nt physiognomy; some are beardless, some are bearded, and they are assu mell to represent apostles, since the 1;\1:0 on the eastern lunette can be identified as Peter and Paul. Paul is the onl y figure who gestures across his body to the left instead of to the right: he and Peter face each other across the eastern window, directing the \'iewer's attention to the cast. Peter, likewise, is the only figure [0 hold something in his covered left hand, appal¡curlya kcy. Bcneath cach window, a palr o f doves either faces a small fou m ain (north and south) or perches on the edge o f a hasin of water, frOIll which onc of them drinks (cast ;llld we~t) . rep resenting the souls of thc dead drinking the water of eternal life, the ~Iiving water" of J ohn 4 : 10-1 4 aod Revelation ~ 1:6 .'37 The top of each lunette contains a represcntation of a scallop shell sernidome in gold and white; beneath the fee t of [he apostles is another grapevine on a dark blue background, and surrounlling the lunette is a ribbon patlern o n a rcd backgrou nd, which unites the lower and upper zones of the mosaic decora non. I â&#x20AC;˘ R \-Vc finally reach the (lome over the central space (Fig. 19). Against a dark blue backgrollo(l , 56 7 gal(1 eight-pointell stars swirl in concentric circles; at thc apex of the dome is a gold cross whosc long arm points toward the cast side of thc strucrure. Amid the arlllS of the cross arc seven stars, three each in the spaces below the crossarm, and one in the upper left s pace. T hese scvcn stars have been inter preted as the seven sta rs o f thc apocaly pse, or the se\'en planet.~ , or thei r n umber may be sim ply attributable to chance. '!-J In




-,\1....,. ....,

of Gin, I'l2cid;.: mosaics of th.

="Imd , .. ui< (photo E. V,nee)

the lUrners ufthe dome, rising from striped douds uf red and light blue, we see the gold winged figures of the four living creatures of the apocalypse: counterclockwise from the southeast (the bottom right as you vi<.-"W the cross) they are the Lion, the Ox, the Man, and the Eagle, which is the order that the living crearnres around the throne of (JQd are listed in Revelation 4:7. Already by the early third century Christian scholars associated these l'Teatures with the four evangelists. and they appear frt"(juently in fourth- and fifth-century art. '+<' Many schulars have argut~l that in this chapel the figures are on ly apocalyptic symbols, as they are not holding books, '4' but it is surely significant that in the armlm'lIm in the south lunette, the Gospel books are arranged in the order Mark, Luke, Alatthew,John (Fig. [8), thus in the same order as the crearnTes in the vault. 'i' The nighttime effect of th is ceiling is extraordinary, but the overall meallingofthe dome', imagery has bt......, hudy debated by >cholar,. Certainly the four living creatures are apocalyptic, as could be seven stars, om a nighttime sky covered with stars, with a cross at the center, is not part of the vision of Revelation; there the creatures surround a throne. A blue dome covered with stars was a well-known decorative feature in Roman art, but here its meaning, with the indusiun uf the eros>, is nut de;u. Scholars have

R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489


illlcrprctc{1 the cross as a reference ro the Second Coming of Christ frOIll the east, the vision of the crOSS at Jerusalem in 351 ; the heavenly cross; thc city of heaven; Ch riSl himself; Christ as creator of thc world; or simply as ;I symbol of redemption. It seems most reasonable to ~ssunll,' that in th is particular context, the vault mosaic Illay not have had only one 1lleaning. 路~1

Call this collection of im ages help us to understand the chapel's original

function? Many schola rs have wanted to call it eitbtr a lIlemorial chapd for a saintol" a mausoleum; the second intcrrrct~tion is the most common, with the mosaics interpreted as expressing Christian ideas about death ~nd the afterlife. However, the binary oppositlon between ~ memorial I.:hapel and a m~usoleum has been oH:'rdrawni in fact, memorial cll;lpelS were freq uently used for burial, while burial I.:hnpels were commonly dedicated to n saillt or saints. as we have seen ill Ra venna il"e1f.'+1 The form and del.:oratioll of our Structure easily allow for both functions to coexist, an(1 the IlIcanings of the (le(:or3tion are most unclerstallllablc in this I.:ontext. It certainly appears that one of the functions of this space was for the burial of important people. \Nhen one entcrs the strm'mre, the first impression is of darkness, and lhe chamber has been eompareJ to other Roman mausolea that WCTC also Jimly lit.'45 T he funerary motif is reinlorced by the large marble sarcophagi that are today located in three of the crossarms, where thE1' fit perlixtiy. These sarcophagi date to the mid-fifth l.:entury; ,~6 we do not know when they were placed in the st.ruct1Jre or who their accu路 pants were, but by the thirtecnth cenrury they wen: believed to contain the hodies of nriou s late Ro man emperors. ' 4J The i lllag~ fo und o n the sarcophagi correspond to, or enha nce, the m05aics in the va ul ts, wruch implies that they were made specifically fo r this space, although it .~hould be noted th;lt such moufs arc common on s;lrcophagi of th is period. '48 T he funer:llY character of the buil(ling is also IlemOllstrate{! by the pinttone 011 the sU1I1m it of the roof. which ~Yll1bolized immortality in Roman and early Christian art. 'oW Many of the images can be inrerprered as carrying particu lar meaning rel;lred to death and the afterli fe; for example, the doves and the deer drink the water of salva t ion .' ~o the landscape of the Good Shepherd represent.. paradise, '5' and the delllt'nts in the dome rc:-fc:-r to the LIst Jutlgmcnt. ' 5' The depiction of Sf. Lawrence is the onl)' image that {loes not fit easily into funerary interpretations of the iconography. Attempts to interpret this scene to conform with an overa ll theological program (for example, that the martyrdom of Lawrence represents the allegorical sense of salvation) seem forced. ' 53 L aw rence is dea rly a celHral fOC ll S of the chamber since he appear.~ in the lunette directly fac ing the entr; is likely that tlle chapel was dedicated to him, with an altar in the c:11sterll an n that would explain the


overall orientarion of the imagery (es pecially the apostles and the (.TOSS in the central tower) tOwanl the east. ')4 Lawrence's re putation cert~inly malle him a su itable saint for a ch apel or a mausoleum in an imperially sponsored church. Hi s prominence is cnhanec(l uy the way that this image fits into the general decorati\'e program of the chapel. Lawrence is the only moving figure in rhe whole space; everything else I路epresents ordered calm - the Goo.l Shephcf(l, the books in the cahinet, the deer, the al>osdes, and the stars in their tOUr.SL'S. Except tor Lawrcnce, c\路crythittg is outsidc of tillle and space; and the heavenly peaee eontrashi \....ith the torments of the earth repn::sented hy the m:lrtyr. Law rence literally and visually "leaps out" at the viewer, crossing the boundary bl.'!"Ween the living worshipers an,1 the mosaic stasis of eternity. Another important iconographic motif, found both in the architecture and the iconography of this chapel, is the trOSS. '5 1 In this cross-sh aped chapel, .machcd to the cross-shapc<\ chu rch de(\icated to the Holy Cross, the cross is held by IXlrh St. Lawrence and the Good Shepherd, and appears also in the vaults and at the center of the domc. In each case it is a mul tivalent symbol. St. Lawrence's cross is both a sign of his nlllction as a deacon and a symbol of his martyrdom in imitation of Christ; the GOOti Shepherd's cross is both symbol of the flock that he leads amI s~llllbol orhis passion. The cross in the vault likewise may represent the Secon(l Coming of Christ, awaited oy those buried in the tom b, but also the symhol of salvation for which Lawrence died, and perhaps a rdie of the True Cross venerated in the main church. As we have noted , the cross was used as a symhol of victory by the T heodosian dynasty, ami personifications of Victory bolding a long-handled jeweled cross appear on coins of the dynast)', for example, for Theodosius II, his sister Pulcheria, Ho norius, lusta Grata Honoria, and for Ga lla Placi{lia herself (see Fig. g). 'S6 The long-halllllet! crosses held by St. Lawrence amI Ch rist echo this imagery very clearly, and thus the chapel, ~nd the entire complex, reflect the imperial iconography. Did Galla Placillia intend this chapel to be her mausoleum, even though she was evcnmalJy buried clsewherc? Ultimately wc cannot know the answer to this question. Certainly the richness of d!;'t"Orarion and rhe themes of the images would have ucen suit~\.Jlc for su(;h a usc; it has also been suggested that it was planned as a omial space for her infa nt son Theodo~ill s, who died in Spain ." - Either St. Lawrence or St. Vincent would havc been a suitable dedicatory saint for this Theodosian empress. Agndlus's account of a cross-shaped building near Sama Croce that contained the tomb of Singledia, whom hc identifies as a niecc of Galla, indicates that in this area there were llIausolea of impOrtant people. All we call say is that in ~fth-ccntu ry Ravenna, the elite were: constructing elaooratc shrincs ;lnt!




mausolea that they dccorau:d to reflect their beliefs and aspirations about their faith.

The Rise of the Chllrel, of Ravenua The other Structures that date to the early years of imperial rule in Ravetllla

afC the cathedral, known as the Ursiana, ;111(1 its associatc(l baptistery, whose development is (."(mncctcI\ to the risc of Ravenna 's church in the imperial period. Under the western emperors, Ambrose of Mil:lI1 had made the church of M ibn second only to Roml,' in the It<l lian ecclesiastical hierarchy. Raven na had a bishop, as we have seen, at least from the mid- founh century, but none disti,nguished themsdves bdort! the arrival of the imperial court. However, when the city's political importance increased in the early fi fth century, the STatuS of the bishops of Ra venna rose dramatically. At some point in this period, the bishop of Ravcnn3 was given metropolitan status, that is, authority ovcr bishops in the surrounding area!5 S T hc Diploma of Valcntinian rn, which bestows on thl.' bishop of Ra venna thl;'

pl/llilll1l and meuopolit;ln jurisdiction, lists fourteen subordinate bishops and !lames a BishopJohn; hO\\'I;:\'<:r, [his UOCUl1ll;:tJt was shown in [h<: eighteenth century to be a late sixth- or early seventh-century forge ry, an(1 the name of J ohn is probably an errOr. ,.;" It s<:ents likely that both th<: emp<:rf)r and the pope granted this statu s to a bishop of Ravclllla, despite opposition from the bishop of Mil;m.'.s.;. The first I;'vidence of:l bishop :lcring as a metropolita n by consecrating other bishops comes from sermons delivered by Peter 1,'(\1 one o f Ravenna's great bishops, who. alter the time of Agnellu ~ , was known as Chrysologus, or ';golden worll. ",,,. Peter Chrysologus is Ravenna 's most notable bishop; his main cla ims to fame art: his sermons, which were colJ e<:ted and publishell lJy his eighth-century successor rcl ix . , 6~ Agncllus wrote the earliest biography of Chrysolog\1S, based on local tradition and on his sermons, in which WI;' lea rn that he was a native o flm ol a, appointed as bishop by 3 pope in about 430 _,6 4 The involvement of the pope in his selection is an indication of the dramatic riSt: in status of Ravenna 's dlUrch; '~;: amI Chrysologus l)ec3me fOf Ravenna what Ambrose hold oeen for the sec of Miloln sixty years col rlier. Galla Placitlia lila}' have had somt:thing to (10 with Chrysologus 's devarion, and in his Sefmon T30, per haps delivered JUSt after his consecration, he praises her spccifically:'OiJ Also pn:sentis the mothe r of the Christian. etemal, :md faithful Empire herself. who. b)' following anJ imitating the blessed Church in her faith, her works


of mercy. her holiness, ~nd in her re,'erence for rhe T riniry, h,,~ heen found worth}' of paremillg, marrying, nnJ possessing nil hlll)l!ri,l rriniT}'. Elsewhert: ChrysologllS prenches in glowing terms about the coopera tion o f rulers ami thc church ;,6; he was obviously immenscly proud (If having thc imperial f.1 mily 3S his congrcgants, and as wc will sce, hc workcd actively with Galla Placid ia on the constr uction and fu rn ishing of ('hurches in Ravcnna. Chrysologus was also activc in church polidcs, and in particular was involved in the condemnation of Eutyches as a heretic at the Council o f Ch alcedon of 451; a letter sur.'ives th;lt he wrotc to Eutyches before the cou ncil. at the re'luest of the popc !6~ After the cmperors 1I10\'ell to Rome in the 450s. ann with the clisu nity and eventual demise o f the imperial office, the bishop emerged as o ne o f the major authority figures in Ravenna. Bishop Neon (ca . 450- 73 ) umlertoo k several major builuing programs in and aroulHl th e city, which were cominued hy his successor Exuperantius (473 - 7)' We know \'ery little ahout the status of Ravenna undcr Odoaccr, other than the fact that he used it once again as his ca pital; bll t upon the arrival of the OSfTogoths in Ravenna, it is Bishop Jo hn (477-94) who is said to have negotiated a peace Ileal between O doacer and the Ostrogothic leader Thcoderic that led to the for mer's surrender ofthe city ill 493. =0 TllE CATll E DR ." L

The relationshi p betwcen Galla ann C hrysologus highlights one of the fe3 ~ rures o f Ravenna that is often pointecl om as charncteristic oflate antique capital cities, namdy the linb ge hetween the palace and the ecclesiastical center. Ravenna's cathedral, " o with a rather unusual dedication to the Anastasis (the Resurrection of Christ), became the centtal focus of a group o f build ings di rectly controlled by the bishop.';! The cathedral's location, at the eastern edge of the former oppid/flll , provided the city with two poles o f authority; the em peror to the east, ano r,he bishop TO the wesr. '7' Evidence for tht: linking o f these rwo areas by a colonna(ied street, as arrcsrc(l in tenth-ccllrury and la tcr documents, has very recently been found through excavation; I ,,; the cemralityoflxlth foci represen~ the confident incorporadon o fC hristi ani ly as partofimperi al ideology ill the mid-fifth ccmury! H 'There is con tro\'ersy over the dat.e that the cathedral "'as constructed, a crucia l point of chronological informadOll that has uroad implications for the development of the city. i\gnellus tells I\S that [he cathedrn l was bl1il t by Bishop Ursl1s (hence it was known th rol1g-holll the Mi(l{lle Ages as the Ursiana), a nd that itwas dedicated to thc An astasison Easter Sunday. ' 75 T he pro blem is that there is no agreement on the date of U rsus\ reign; scholars



R.... V[ NN A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489

place it ei ther from ca. 370-96 or from ca. 405- 3 I . This issue has importatH ra mifica tions: if U rsuS waS bish()p before 40l, then the very grand ca thedral would have been huilt before the arrival of the e m perors. indicating a high

Slatus for Ravenna that might have been an ind\lccmcnt for the emperors to move the capi tal the re. : ~1I If, on the mher hand, the later dates for Ursus

are accepted, then the construction of the cathedral was a consequence of the eventS of 401 }i1 T he dating i[epends all the interpretation of a complex variety of texts, and on the qUi.'Stion of whether there was a bishop n3mcd Jo hn hetween Ursu$ and Peter I. My own interpreta tion, hascd on a close exam ination of Agnct1us's sourccs and research mcthods, is that Drsus n.. igned fro m ca. .f0 5-Jl , followl,'d by Peter Chrysologus,'7 ft ~ nd thm that the grand cathedral was a product of Ra\'enna '5 new imperial importance. Raven na's current cat hedral. (lesigned by Gian FranCL"SCO Buona mici 3111] begun shortly after 1734, was huilt on tile site of the e~r lier building thal was

largely tklllOlished at that tillle.'路ij Bishop Manco Farsctti, who initiated the work, insistct] that the new str m.:turc should follow the outline of the earlier buildi ng and lncl udc SOllle parts. including the tenth-century campanile al1(l two si xteenth-c.:ntury side chapels. The Roor of the current bullding is made up of reused marble from va rious sources, some dearly taken from the older build ing, and some apparen tly brought from the lormer church of Santa Euphemia; several large sbbs that had originally been tl'llllSt'llllflt were lIlf)\'ed to the Musco .Arci\'e:;covile in the 1890S.' 8o \-\Tha t we know about the late antique cathedral comes from records and dr~wings of investigations made betweell the eighteenth and twell{ieth celltu r ies and analp:e(l in det:lil by P. Nova ra. Vihi le we cannot know precise details o f cither the pIau or chronolog)" we do know that the origlnal structure consisted of a nave Ranke{l b}' twO aisles o n each side, with an apse to the cast, of the same wid th as the nave (Fig. : 0). The apse had ;\ semicircular intCl路ior and a polygonal exterior (in eA-ect, half of an octagon), and was crowned with a half dome made of tlfl,; fittili, both features that we have already seen at San Giovan ni Evangelista . The basilica with dO\l ble aisles was a type widely known in the fourth- and fifth-century Me(literranean ; certainly found in imperial cities stich as Rome and Mila n, th is type of building could also be found in other, nonimperial cities . ~~' Ravelllla's cathedral measured approximately 60 x 35 mete rs (nave and .lis1cs). It was therdon: smaller tha n the Lateran in Rome (is x 55 m) allli Ambrose's cathc{lral in Milan (8 ~ x 45 Ill), but was comparable in scale to the new basilica built at Aquilcia jusc before 400 (ca. 72 x 3' m), although that structure had only single aisles. Certainly Ra venna's new c~thed ral was an imposi ng building, up-to-date with the main arch itccnmd dC\felopmemsof the late fourth and fifth centuries.




OIthodox 6aphslery



zoo Pl.ln o f R:"·c,,,,~ 's <:";!fhe-





comric.. , in cluding ,h" U.,;bn3 C "d, ~_ Jr,l (~". 40;)' tile Orrho<lox Bapti'1<"ry ('F o,-




50s), 3m l the-

T",," S"It/:iJrll


o •


"' ..


("""'onJ centuty

Torre SaluSIia

Other information about Ravcnna 's original cathedral comes from much later sources, the most important of which are drawings made by Buonamici at the tim e of the eigbteentb-century rebuilding. ,x, According to these pictures, corrobora ted to some extent by written descriptions. the cathedral's aisles were separated from each other by rows of fourteen columns each, for a total of fifty-six columlls, which ran uninterrupted right up to the eastern wall. Two acldiriona I columns Ranked the entrance to the :Ipse, again as at San Gim'anni Evangelista . Buonamici 's drawing o f the navC of the cathedral before its demol ition shows [ha t [he columns were surmounted by capirab topped by impost hlocks. Novara cautions that the nave arcade of the Ursiana was probably com pletely rebuilt at least three times, ill the tenth, the fourteenth, and the sixteenth centuries, and thus the impost lJlocks shown by Buonamici may not ha\'c [)ecn part of th ~ original StfuCfurc.'8; Howcvcr, we have scen thnt impost blocks were one of the characteristic feamres of fifth-century churches in R ~\'cnna, and wCre used in the conremporary Orthodox Baptistery, so it is not farfetchcd [0 prcsume that they were also used in the Ursiana. '~~ Agncll us's ninth-century description remains our main source of information about the decoration of the cathcdral: :~~ H t lintd tht walls with LIlost prtdous ~wn<:s; 11" arraJlgt:J Jivtrsc tigur<:s in o'·er rhe vault of th" whole temple . . .. Ellscrills ~nd

LIlulti~("o lourd mos~ics

P;J.u\ deeont<:d on<, wall ~urbec. on the north siJ", n<:xt to the altar of SI., which Agatho mad<:. 1113t is the waU whl"r<: eolumns;lre plan·,] in

AD) (a<ioplcJ ftorn N "'· ~I"". "L~ C"atto.lf::Iic," 11,)1)7)


R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489

" row up roth" w,,11 ohhe main door. S:lti\l~ "nd Stephen decor~ted the Other "":1[[ on the south side, up (0 the "l)(we-lllentioneu door, <Inti here \Ind dlere {he~' h3d ciL,'\'ed in S(l.ICCO dilTer~nt allegoric:ll im ~ges of men :111<1 an imals ;\lId quadnl llCtis, ,md they arr;lIlgcd thelll wirh greatest sk ilL ... AI)(l he rUrsusJ 1\1IS huried, as some asse rt, in the ~forememioned Ursi an~ chuTch ... in front of [he

altar und .. r a porphyry stone, wh"rt the bishop stan1b \\'h"" he sings th .. mass.

It is impossible ro know when all this decoration may have been inserted; Euserius, Paul, Agatho, Sati u~, and Stephen wcrc probahly not artist:i;, but rather the patrons of the decoration, whose generosity was com memorated by inscriprions. ,Rt; The original Roor was 3.55 m bdow the current lerel, and eighteenth-century drawings indicate th~t it lIlay have oeen co\'en~d with mosa ic; traces lound in the ap~ indicate the presence o f marble wall revetmem.'H7 Elsewhere Agnell us refers to a portrait of the late fifth century Bishop John 1 in the Ursiana , although what its context was is not known. :RH If the dCL'Orarion of the ba ptistery is anything to go by, Ravenna's cathedral must have been a splendid building, corresponding to the amhitions of its bishops. TilE OMT HOIlO X S",f"TISTRRY

Baptism is the sacrament that ma rks a person's entry into the Christian community. In the early tifth century, Ch"istianity had only recently been established as the sole publ icly celebrated religion in the Roman Empire, and ideas abo\l[ baptism and convt;'rsiOIl wt;'re in a process of flux. T hrough the fourth century. it was comlllon for adults to be baptiz:ed, often only toward tbe ends of their lives, and most lim rgical texts that describe baptiSIll through the fifth century assume that those heing haptiz.ed are adultS. 'f lte bishop was re(luireu to preside over the ceremony of baptism in h is episcopal city, and w a ~ the only per~on who could (.'Onfer the H oly Spirit by anointing and laying on of hands, which in this period were part ofthe sa me ceremony. :fI? 'fh us, 3bollt the year 400 the bishop of Ravenna wOIlld have been the gatekeeper, a~ it were, of the city's C hri stian community, the prime actor in a semipublic ri tual enacted el'ery year on the el'e of Easter Sunday. :<P Special spaces set aside within rd igiou~ complexcs for baptism arc known as early as the thin] century,l<;1 :m(] when C hristian buildings began to rake on monumental form in the early fourth century, religious 3\lthorities in Rome and elsewhere decided that it wou Id be appropriate to have a separate space for baptism attached or dose to rhe c~the(lral. '9: Most of the structures built for this purpose were relatively small, with a central ized ground plan (round, polygonal, or square) and a large tont in the centcr. 'o)l T he Lltcran Cathedral in Rome, built at the tiille of Constantine. appa rently


Iwl ~ separa te baptistery as part o f its original conception, a centra lhed space with an Octagonal groll n(l plan .l94 N umerous explanations have been proposed fOr the choice of octagonal stmctnres fo r baptisteries.'lI) It was not a new architl.'ctural form; the Romans built octagons as pa rt of elaborate villas, bath complexes, and tombs. T he t heological suitability of the octagon for baptism was most famous ly expre~se(l by Ambrose of At ilan, who, in a(ldition to bu il(ling a new octagonal baptistery next to the catllc(INII o f Milan in the 37os, wrote extensively on the meaning of haptism.:\ poem in Milan's bapristery that is attributed to Ambrose sa id, "cight corners has its font, worthy o f that number, it was suitable to build this hall sacred baptism with this n um ~ ber ... ," identifying the number 8 as symbolic of baptism, because it corresponds to the Resurrection o f Christ that took place on the eighth day.'!/> There were additiollal layers of meaning: Both bathing com ple.xes and baptisteries arc associated with water, and similarities with Roman ma usolea associated b~ ptis m with the death of the catachumcn anl[ the heginn ing o f his new life as a Christian.'9l" Finally, a freestanding octagonal build ing is a striking add ition to a <:ity's landscapl.'. and baptism 3 11([ the bishop路s role in the Christian community thereby b<:!came visuallr accentuated.''''s On the model of ROllle :1 11(1 Jvlilan t he idea of an ocragonal , or at least a centrally planned, baptistery spreall through Italy in the fi fth and sixth ct'ntu ries.' <l\I It is perhal" particularly significa nt that octagollJI bJpri sterics appear in the cities described a bove that ~'ere rivals fur power and imperial presence in the late fOu rth ancl early fifth centuries. In alldition to 1'.'[ ilal1 and Ro me, AquiJeia also acqu ired an oc('lgonal baptistery, (0 replace (or supplement) earlier l~s nota ble structures, in the late fourth celltury)OO Ravenna's is also one of the earliest attested; it was initially built at the same time as the cathedral, in the early years of the !l ith century. Is it a coincidence that in the 4 30S Pope Sixtus ITl redecorated the Lateran Bapti stery, and that in the 450S Bishop Neall redecorated Ravenna's? There may have been religiOlls rivalry between the two ,ees even in the fifth century)''' It should also be notcd that this was nOl to be Ravenna's only baptistery; Agnel lus tells us o f ()ne next to the Petriana church ill Classe, one associated with the Arian cathedra l, olle attached to the Arian church we call S;}nt'Apollinarc N uovo, and another, known only from excavation, was bu ilr somh o f Classe at the site calleo Ca'Bi;1 11ca .3掳 : Of these, the only aile th ~t stil l survives is the Arian Haptistcry, which we will e1..lImille in C h ~ pter 5. Ravenna's Orthodox Baptistery was built 1j meters to the north of the cathedral, and on exactly dlC same alis路nmem (sce 1'1 <:; . w ); both the Ursian3 and rhe l)aptistery were oriented to the southeast)..>"3 It wa, huilt of reused Roman bricks, as ~n octagonal prism wi th fou r proj ..'(路ting apsiJioles at the


R.... V[N NA AND TH E WESTER.N [MPER.O RS. AD 400- 489

""'--- '" ,

11. Or! hoo,,~


rn'U!l>trllcrcd "I,,,, a1 ll""'''''! le,-d , wj!h ~ "n::nI ,)..,0 ' ~" .. fom , ~r1tl l'bl1

"t "'j,,-

dv,," Ic,-d (~ ft~r D ~jdIll1~lln ,

!9j6, I,k 4

'1[,,1 ~)






,-je'" of the u,,:rior from th e s" utheast

ground level (originally the ground level was ~pproxim~{ely J meters below toJay's level))"'! Today the buil{ling has the footprint of a square with rounded corners, but it is likely that originally the absidioles did not extend all the way w the corners of the OCtagon (Fig. ! I).l째) Viewed from the exterior, the tall ocugonal StruCtUre creates a striking silhouerre (Fig. 21 ). It has been proposed that the top portion of the walls, which arc ornamented with a blind fri eze consisting of twO double-arched panels on each side, were a larer addition to the walls built at some time in the tenth century or later to raise the structure's profile at a time when the city's subsidence may have buried the lower parts of the buiJding;Joo but other scholar~ argue that the rebuilding co uld have taken place in a second

R.... V[ NN A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489






rccon.rructed no"" ""'tjo" showing th~

original ami s~h足 ,;cqucmllooran,j rour 1~... e1s ("frer " (I~t<>f. 19"5)

fi frh--{;cno lT), ph ase. when t he do me ~'as added )O'/ The sidcs of t he octagon afe 5.0-5-3 mete rs lo ng extern:llly and 4.; me ters long internally. T he original baptistery built br Ursus had a woode n roof approximately 1 1 III

above the f1 oor ; J"'~ under Bishop Neon (ca. 45O-i3 ) there was an

extensive rebui lding ;llld rcd(:corating program, resul ting in the struct ure that ~~r\'i\'es tOday (Fig. !3)}"'I A shallow dome, 9.60 meters wide at its springing point and ris ing to a peak of '4.60 meters above the o riginal Roo r, was constnlctcd of a dou ble t hickness of I1Ihifirri!i; at t he summit o fthc

dome. blocks ofl ight pumice replace(1 the tllbi, presum;lhly to create an even lighter structure.;10 The exterior walls of the build ing arc only 0 . 6 0 meters thick, which explains the l"Ollcern for the weight of the dome; moreover, the masonry of the dome and its su pporting arches is Jlot bonded to the outer ~ hell of brick, !Jut tor ms an inner ski n, as it were, to the structure, held up by the interior arc hes and columns.}' I The dome is pierced by eight small holes m ade of fllbi placed perpendicu lar to t he rings of the dome, directly above the eight windows; these were probably for ropes to

suspend lamps in the interior, since the baptismal ceremonies took place at night. HI Two smaller windows on the west and southeast sides of the



l 4' Ortl..:xl(j~

" 'pfist ... rv â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ vi",.. ohh~ imerio r f.\cing SOUthC1lSI

building give access to the space between the c:.:lrados of rhe dome and the roof. \1)

A. "" harto]} has re('ollstru('wl elementS of the baptisma l ritual based on the writings of Ambroseof Milan and e~:plains how they would be performed in this struCtu rc. ,li On the cvcning of H oly Saturday. the baptistery wou ld be exorcised by the bishop and clergy, and the bishop took his place in or in from of the southeast absidiole.l'5 T he baptisands emered from one or the t\\'O original doors on the north and west sides (the door on the west side is the only one that is still o pen tOday)\16 and were "'openetl " by havi ng their ears and noses LOuehed. They faced west and rejccted the Oel'il, then faced east and conhrmc(l their allegiancc to Christ. They were then immersed threc times in the font at thc center of the floor. The font that can he seen today, composed of marble and porphyry slahs and columns 3.45 meters wide and 0.84 meters deep, with a semicircular pulpit on the cast side, was built sometime in tlte later A1iddle Ages when the floor level was raised. However, it stands on the fou ndatiOllS of the original fOllt, which, according to nineteenth-cemury e.~ca\'alions, was circular on the inside and 3.10 III across. w Such :1 font, likc those in Nlilan and Rome, provided a vcssel for thc bodily immcrsion of adult initiates who still fOrlll cd the majority of candidates around the year 400. \18 After the immersion, the bishop anointed the new initiates with oil and washed their feet. They were dressed in white garments and proceeded, with their sponsors and the derb,)" into the cathe/l ral for the Easter Eucharist.

R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489


The beauty l ll(l mystery of this Ceremony were enhanced by the tlccoration (If the space in which tht:~e rituals tOok place. Agnellu~ lkIys of BiRh(Jp Neon : ~He

Jecoratcd th" baptisteries of lh" UrsiallJ d lUrch most Gcautifully: he set ur in mos~il' Jnd gold I(' s.~cnc the' images of the arostlcs and rn<' ir names in the vault, he girded th l' sidc -wall~ wi th di!l(,-rmt t}'fx:s of swnes. H is name is w ritten in stone lette..,;:

Yield, nk! n~mc. yield, age, to nc~mcss! Behold the glory of the renewed font shines more beautifully. For Neon, highest priest, h~s ge nero\1sl), "don}e,l il, ~ rrJngi ng aII thin gs in Ix:~\ltilill rc linemen!. I' I

The Ortho/lox Baptistery is the ollly late antique baptistery who$e interior decoration survives almost intact, and thus its decoration is extrcmely important fo r understanding the rituals and theology of baptism in this period. "Ve dln herc gct a sensc of the comple.,ity of the artistic program and the splendor of its effects in a way that can be only imagined for most of the other buildings in the late antique worl(1. Tht: baptistt::ry is decorated with mosaic. marble, stucco, and paint. T his is a relatively small space, 12 m across ami 14.6 m high, and one's natural impulse upon entering it is to look up, into the ever-rotating heavenly realm of the domcY " But as thc c~'c travels hack dow n, it encounters an ever-mon:-real and tangible space. From the glittery fl atness of the glass mosaics in the vault. we pass through a mosaic wne that depicts a threed imcnsional rangc of architecture using borh glass and marble tcsscrac}'! Below this is an architectural zone worked ill shallow Stucco rdief, consisting of eo lonncttes and pediments framing winuows and figu res; and bclow this, at ground h:\'el, a real ~eries of arches defi nt:s altsidioles ami emltrasures, the frames for the real Acsh -an d ~ blood partici pants in the drama of baptism Y) As \Vharton has noted, the figures of the newly b~ pt ized, in their white robes, would han.' been reflected by the stucco figure, and the mosaic apostles aoovc thcm. all clad in white and gold, in 1I progressively more dematerial ized world that finally reaches heavenY) At ground level, the interior is surrounded by lin arcade supported by eight reusetl Roman columns and third-century Corinthia n capitals rhat do not match one another. T hese arc surmounted by impost blocks that {bte to the fourth or fi!Th century, and arc among the oldest sUIi'iving e~.amplcs of th is arch itectural feature in late antique Ita lyY o! T he flCXlr level and this arcade have beell ra ised several times, so the original proportions afe no longer visihleYs The arcade frames absidioles recessed into four sides of the octagon. alterna ting with Aat wall su rf,lCCS tha t arc today co\'crc(1 with



an ebloorate maro1e wall revetment, created at the turn of the twentieth century on the presume<! basis of an earlier I!ecoration).(' The -..;sion of Christ at the apex of the dome is correctly oriellted if the viewer is fac ing (he absidio!e on the southeast side that presllmably cont;lined the altar or mrone. In lunenes above me absid ioles are mosa ic inscriptions that were first recof(led in the latc sevcmeenm century, and WCfC renewed in the hue nineteenth. They paraphrase or quote biolkal \'crses that relate to baptism, as follows : SOuthwest (h e~"il)' restored): "JesU$ walking on the 5<03 takes du, h~nd of th(路 si nking Peter, and wi tll the lord e::omm:mding the:: winJ ceased." (paraphrase of '\1nn. 14:~9) SOl1 lhc3~r: ~ nt cs:;c cl arc those: whoso:: iniq l1itic::s arc forgil'o::n. nncl whos.:: si ns are <:o'路ered. messed is the man to whom the Lord has not imputed sin."


31[j~ 1:' -'~ )


"\Vh<:rt: Jesus bid asidt: his clothing- and put



a uasin and

washed th" f"ct of his disciples." (paraphT:lSc of J ohn I j:4- S) northwest: " He makes me lie davm ,,路atcl'S." (PsaJm ~l [ !JJ:!)

in green pastures; he IClds 111e by still

Each of the~t: (\uotes can be ~pt:citically related to the meaning of baptism, and it is certainly signi ficant that the southeast inscription, the one direct]y in alignmenf with the baptismal scene in the dome, spe<1ks directly to {he concept ofhaptism's relllm"ing sin. The quote on me northeast side seems {O be cvidence tbat the fee t or me initiatc:s were washed as part of (he ceremOllY, which A,mbroSt: tells us was a general practice in much of the weSt, although not in Rome)" It has been suggested that the texts might refer to image:; originally decorating the absidioles, but there is no tvillence either way for thi s )'~ The spandrels above the arcade arc covered with mosaic decoration depicti ng a gold acanthus scroll on a dark hhle ground. At each of the eight corners the scroll forms a medallion with a gol(1 background (hat encloses a male runic- and pallium-clad figure holding a book or a scroll; these figun~s afe interprete(l as prophetsY') The soffits of the arches ;lrc covcreu with elaborate decorative mosaic bands. Above a marble cornice, the set.'On{i zone, at the level of the windows, is defined by eight broad arches corresponding to the ones below, which support the dome (PI. It a). \Vithin tbese arches is an arcade created by twenty-four coloonettes, again reused and not all matching (a lthough me)' were originally stuccoed and painted to hide this fact). These colollnenes are surmounted I,y matching Ionic capitals alltl plain impost blod.:s anll atOp the impost blocks at each of the eight corners ;lrc additional StOlle llr;lckets

R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPER.O RS. AD 400 - 489

carved wi th crosses 011 which n..'St the arches of the dome. The central unit of each wall takes up about 40 percent of the wi{lth, anll is fl anked by two slightly narrOwer ull its) 3째 T lu.' wi ndows arc ~'4 meters high and 1.4 meters wide, rather brge, e-spt..-cially for a space that was use(l primarily at night.HI An elaborate decoration in stucco relief fi lls the spaces that flank the windows, one of very few exam ples of SOlcro relief decorlltion to hllve survived frOIll late antiquity, although we know that were other ('(Jiltemporary examples ill Ravenna, '.I' Each interstice of th e arcade cornains a n additional stm:co architecnlral frame composed of flu ted pila sters ~nl{ alternating trillngular or semicircu lar pediment'> sorrounding hal (.. sca llop shells. In these frames are sta nding heard less male figures dad in nmics and pallia, holding J.:xx,ks or scrolls that are either open or closed; some of the standing figures seem (0 step out of their frames, creating The illusion of a gallery.J\! T ht!5e figures, who are usually interpreted as the , ixteen prophets, were created br two differen Tartists and were originally brightly paimed with the tunics probably white like the mosai(~ figures bclow.m The awkward spaces between the pediments and the arcade also hold stucco figures. Twelve of the spaces (:o11tain bi rds or animals fa6ng a vast;' or rlallt between them (PI. Ua)) 1i However, on the north and northwest sides, four of these spaces conta in instead narrative re prescmations as 101lows, clockwise from the northwest sille: Daniel between (wo lions, Christ dressed os a philosopher giving the low to Peter in the presence of Paul, Christ dress('d as a warrior trampling the lion and a serpent, and Jonah between two whales. T h e~ arc all motifs thar arc found on carved sronesarcophagi and in other media throughout Ravenna.Bti These particular scenes had signi6cance for the baptismal ceremonies, as they represent triulIlph over danger alld evil: hoth Daniel andJonah are Old Testament types of sal\';ltion and of Christ's resurrection, while the other two iJll;lges present the triumph of Christ o\"er the old law and over evil. According to Ambrose's liturgy for bapti sm, the catachu mens would he fucing the northwest wall and looking ar these images precisely at the point in the ceremony in which they were renouncing the Devil. Bi Above the arcade, eight large arc.hes define the octagonal base o f the dome. The inter....ening spaces and soffits of the arches are filled with more vegctal and ;lbstnlct mosaic and paimc(\ decora tion. A new ground-line, intersected by the arches of the {[ante, underlies a three-dimensional architectural wile rendered in mosa ic. Each side of the octagon corresponds to a tripartite architectural unit consisting of a recessed niche in the center, flanked by S(luare compartments with coffered ceilings (PI. Ih ; Fig. ~ 5).3111 On the southeast, southwest, northellst, and northwest sides the central niche contains an empty jewelell throne with a purple and gold garment in the scat, su rmounted by a /.:ross in a medallion, and the side compartments


contain topiary and other garden imagery. On the north, south, Cast, and w~t sides the central niche contains an ahar with an open Gospel book on top, and the si{lc COmpartlllCIltS conrain chairs beneath conch-shaped scmidoll1es. The books contain inscriptions identifying them as the four Gospels, but the meaning of the four empty thrones is IlOt explained, amI has been the subject of imcnsivc scllOla rly discussion. Such th roncs arc a COlllmon motif in church mosaics of this peTio(l, 1l'J and hcre they have been interpreted as Ui/llflSill (hoII-lO"O'iu, literally, "preparation of the throne") referring to the Second Coming of Christ, HO as symbol s of the sovereignty of ChriSt,H' as episcopal throncs, and in various Other ways.He T he overall program of this register, depicting a lavish and fantastical seuing far remove(] from everyday life, lIlay represent the heavenly kingdom anaine(] b}' those being baptil.ed. Abovc rhe architectural register, ~cparared by a rcd and blue border, is the dome itself, around which march the twelve apostles to wh01l1 Jesus assigned thc mission believcrs (PI. IIb). H1 T he apostles hold jeweled crowns and arc (iressel] ill tunics with broad stripcs covcrc{j with mantlcs; these costumes arc allernately white tunic with gold lllanl1c and gold covered by white. Tbe apostles are processing toward 3 point beneath the baptismal scene at' the apex of the dome and each is labeled b~' name.




L!~Jl{istcl)' ,

throne in {,,,ms¡ â&#x20AC;˘ j" """h it~clu,....1 ".:cn~,

",,,,,,,i.,.. uf

the midul e zone


R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489

Peter leads the right side of the procession, followed


An(lrcw, Jamcs, son

ofZeheilee,John, Phili p, and Bartholemew; Paul leads the left side, followed br Thoma s, Matthew, James son of Alphaclls, Simon the Canaa nite, and j\l(lc the Zealot}+! The faces arc individua lized: some 3TC shown as }'OImg

beardless men, some as older men with beards of brown or gray. Peter's and Pau l's faces correspond to the portrait types fOl' these apostles lilready established by the fi fth century, but the fadal features of the others do

not exactly match those of other surviving depictions. ;-l5 T he apostles arc walking on a narrow green ground space that displays the shadows cast by their feet, and stand in front of a d:l rkbluc background. They are separatcd from each other by what S. Kostof call s a "plmt-<:andclabra, ~ ami above and behind their heads a drapery swag encircles the cemral medallion; the central dra pe elJecrivdy create:; the iHusion of:1 halo beh ind each heall. "I~ It is not dear to whom or to what the oll>osties arc offering tileir crowns. l~i It is likely that the}' arc offering them to Christ who is depicted in the celltral me(lallion }~H Nonlstrom's interpretation ofthe scene as reflecting the ceremony of IIIf/'rlll) rOnJ1lllrilflil , in which senators offer gold wrea ths to the emperor upon his coronation, resonates with the imperial ceremonial that pervaded Ravenna at this time,3i'< However, given lha[ it was the apostles and their successors, the bishops, who were charged by Christ with the task of baptizing believers, A. \-\'harton's suggestion that the crowns are being olfel'ed to the newly baptize<1 congregants is equally convincing. \ $0 It is likely that all of thcse as~iati on s were eithcr intended by the mosaic's creators or experienced by its audience in tht: mid-lifth ct:(1(u ry. \-\le finally reach the central medallion of the clome (Fig. ~6) . The ~eene was heavi ly and cOlltrovcrsially restored in the 18 ; os by Felice Kj bel and perhaps also earlier, but enough of the original survives to show that it depletell the b~pt i sm or Christ. On the left, Joh n the Baptis t stands on a nx l" prominence hol(ling a tall jeweled sta ff (which has been restored as a cross, but may have been a shepherd's staff or crook). In the center a nude Christ stands in th e rivt:r, while on the right the upper torso of a bearded nucle man holding a green mantle an(l a reed is labeled as;1 personification of the rivcr Jordan. The central axis of the depiction is the space between John and Christ, highlighting their relationship in the context of baptism. The hC<liIs of Joh n and C hrist, .John's h<lnd , the top of John's s[;lIf, and the dove are all later reslOrations, an(1we do not know what was originally there. For example, we do not know whether Christ and John had halos, and it is un likely that Christ was originally bearded . It is equally unlikely that John held a paten in his hand , and much more probable that in the original composition he placed his hand on Christ's head, as was almost universal in fifth-centuT}' depictions of this scene.HI



Ortt.:..lw! Bop,i"e.", ce8' ,,..1 meJ.llion of ,he 00"'<, depict.

ingthcbopti>m ofChru. (rhoto

S. ,\ t.usl:opf)

The central scene is set off from the apostle register by the mosa ic r~l'颅 reSentation of a circular marble cornicc with egg-and-dart molding, which crea tes the effect that one is looking through a hole in the center of the dome srraight up into hea,~n. The action takes place against 1 gold background, which funhcr removes it from the natural world and places it in a separate, divine space)l' T he s<.:ene as a whole dej>i~"tS the baptism of Christ as reported in Mark 1:9-11 and MatthC'.>路 P 3- 17, both of which mention John the Baptist, the river Jordan, and the dove of the Holy Spirit. Olwiously this scene represents thc prototypc for Christian baptism. It also serves as a model for the ceremonies held in {he baptistery itself, with {he baptisand identifying himself with Christ,John the Baptist with the bishop, and the river Jordan with the deacon \\'ho assistt"<l with the immersion and the dothing of the baptisand afterward.m Many modern viewers find the figurc of the river Jordan confusing, but it would not have seem~"<l unusual in the fifth century. Pen;onifications of rivers as gods and goddcsses wcre common in Greck and Roman art, and were quite commonly adapted for use in early Christian art, for example, for the Four Rivers of Parddise.lH The riwr-god Jordan appears fairly frequently in early Christian depiLtions of Christ', baptism and in other scenes, such as the ascension of Elijah. l5l The river Jordan is personified in Psalm "3 and the importance of the Jordan as part of Jesus's baptism was strt'Sscd in fifth-century exegesis. For example, Rawnna's own Peter Chrysologus preached a sermon for Epiphany (the date of Christ's baptism) in which he nutes, referring to Psalm 113 and also u> Joshua 3: t4- 17, that

R.... V[N N A AND TH E WESTER.N [MPER.O RS. AD 400- 489

the river Jordan (li{1not Ace fro m the prc:;ence of the Trini t)' at the baptism, which shows that the pious need nOt fear (".oIl. In this image the personified Jordan fuees the baptism scene, rei nforcing this point. \56 As the sening for the religious pagemt o f ba ptism, the interior o f the O rthodox Baptistery overwhelms the viewer with color, texture, and imagery, creating, as Kostof noted, a visionary rea lm removed from ordi nary space ami time. 1n Til E EI' ISI."OI'AL P ALM: E

An important part of the cathedraI comple x was the residence of the bishop, known as the epis,·(lpiIl1l!. As the public role of the bishop was enlarged in the late antique em pire, his residence became a public space in which he could give audiences, judge legal cases, hol(1 assem blies of clergy, and entertain guests. Eviilen('e of cpiSt"opiti fr(Jm the fourth and fifth centuries is !'iparse. In pJac(.'s such asMilan, Rome, Geneva, Naples, Grado, PlIfCn7,O, and Aquileia, we know that onc c(Jmponenr was a large amlicnc(.' hall, in some ca~es richly dccorated, H ~ but beyond th is there docs not seem to he any sta ndard layout or type for a bishop's residen(·e. H9 Ravenna's episcopal pal ace is unusually well documented, th anks to Agnellus and to its partial survival , which has allowt::d M.lv1iller to trace its histOry ami significance withi n the broader context of episcopal residences in nvrtht::rn Italy. 1f1o One of the ,Iefining characteristics of Ravenna '$ rpis(()pilllll was that, according to Agnellus, it was 3n agglomeration ofi:luild· ings that had been built by different bishops, making it an articulation of the history of the episcopal sec)ti ' \.ve will trace the~ aclditions through· out the course of this book, noting the significance of eacb addition in its histOrical COiUext.-·I . , Nothing is known of the earliest ~pis<"upill"', but Agndlus assumed that one existell near the ca thedral )"'~ It devdoped an)lI ml ;1 tower that W ;1S later known as the TOITI! Stlitmnt, which, as wc havc seen in the previous chapter, scrved as the water distriblltion tower for the allllcduct. "I'he fi rst distinct building identified by Agnellus was the '"house which is called quinqul: IIrCl/hifll," built by Bishop Ncon. Qil/ll/Ilfe furl/hifll mClIns ;'five dining couches," and refers to a type o f high-status fl"iclillitl lll, or dining hall, that contains a nidH: for a number of semicircular dini ng couches. Aglldlus descri bes the dining hall as follows: On e;lch side of the dining hall he huilt wo ndrous ,,; ndows, and he ordel-.:d the I)~wmt:nt of the din ing' ha ll to l,t: (It'corHed wiTh diff.,ren t tYl~s of ,tones. The story of the 1"5;11m which we sing d:l il)" th<lt is ~Pr:lise )' <' rhe Lord from the h C~l'ens," rogethe r \,;th the Flood, he ordered to be paimed 011 the sidewall flanking the church; and on the other side-wall, which is loc~ red over rh e




he had it adomer! in colors with the sto~' of our Lorr! Jeslls Christ, when.:Is we read, he fed so many dlO\ls~l!lds of men from five 10;l\'e5 \l.nd two fishes. On one side of the interior facade of the dining h:11I he set ollr the creation of the worlr! .... And 011 the oth~r facar!e was depicted tJl~ sto~' of the apostle Pe ter. ...

Each o f these scenes wns accompanied by a po em in hexameter, which Agnellus quoteS; tlu.· whole decorative effect was luxurious, and at the same time presented rdigious S('enes with messages aiJollt the sanctity of food and the rofe of bishops as the heir s of Peter .l~~ T his din ing hall was appar emfy ouilt i11llllediaH.'fy oehind the cathedral, adjacent to the foWtl AI/lJJis. 1(15 Dining halls of this type wefe typical of aristocratiC f~idellccs and palac~; Nc..·oll's triciilliu1II, built at a time in which the imperial palacc at Ravcttlla was largely unu:'>ed, emulate{! and perhaps competell \vith the imperial palace, '(;¢ at a time in which the bishop was becoming the main :lutborit)' figufe in the (;iryY'7 (Hil ER

F.Pl ~O:; OPA L

elillRell r O US P ATIONS

\Ve know less about other c hurch~ huill in Ravenna in the fifth century, although iTsecms that much morc building activity was taking place. Evidence for other constructions is very ~anty, anll, as usual, comes mostly from Agnellus, ill some cases supplemented by surviving re mJ ins or arc h ~e ­ ologica l evidence. One of the most notable churches built in the first half of the fifth century was 3 large basilica founded in Class!! by Peter C h rysologus, app:lrendy dedicated to Christ and namet] alter its lOunder as the Petriana; it was completed by Peter's successor Ncon )68 Agncllus, who is our sole sou rce for this church, [dIs us that iT collapsed in an ea rthquake in the mid-cighth century and h~d not been rebuilt; he tells \1s;Jw Nodlurch like it in {'(mstruction W:lS brgtr, ei ther in kngth or in height; ~nd it wus 6'Tcatlr mlomc.! with prc(;iou.~ stones anu de(;()rJrcd with Illllici-colorcd mosaics and greatly cndowed with gold and .'iiker and with holy "csscb, whiLh ht IPeter] o rdered to he made. n er say that the re an ill1;1ge of the Saviour was depicted ()\' .. r th .. Ill~in do<)r, the lik.. of which 110 man e(,uld see in pictures; it W;lS >0 ,"cry bcautiful and lifelikc thut thc Son of God hi1ll~lf in thc Acsh would not h3\'c disliked it, when hc prC3eheu to the n ations ....

Agnellu5 goes on to relate a legend aboutthc image of Christ, from which we le~rn spccifica lly that the image was above the main doors in the narthex. It is difficult ro know whether this srory provides e\·i<ience of an actual image, given that dlC church had been destroyed for about a century before Agndlu~'s day,JW but it is nOt implau:c;ihle, gi\'cn that images of Christ are o ftcn found over doors in the chu rches of R;}VClllla. At the enu of the fifth

00 '


century a baptiswry w'3s built next to the Petriana. This circumstance, and the grandeur described by Agnellus, have led to the suggestion that the I'eman. was founded to be a cathe.lnJ for the city of C las:;e, hut there is no evidence for a sepa rate sec, and thus the I' ctrian. must simply have been intended 1;0 serve (he large Christian population uf Cbssc, J7' The location of the Petriana is today controversial; a site within the city walls of C iasse was identified in [875,3;0 meters to the northeast of the church of San S~"Vcro, and rema ins of mosaic and &pus sterile pavements werc found. Some archaeological sondages and limited excavation werc done in the 1 垄OS; C . Cones; reconstructed a basilica, 78 x 43 .56 m, with the nave double the width of the aisles, l)n"Ced~-d by an atrium that had rooms flanking it !Dthe north and .... est)" T his would have been the largest basil ica in Ravenna or C lasse, bigger than the Vrsiana cathedral. Rcren tly A. Augemi has cast doubt on th e data and the prolXlSed rea)nstruction, noting that aeria l photography docs not show an apse, but simply a large space surrounded by smallcr rooms, which might or might not ha,路c been a church. The identification of the Pctriana a.... aits further investigation; excavations begun in 1008 will provide essential infonnation. J1J Since Agncllus is our llliIin source ofinfonnation about churches that no longer survive, it should come as no surprise that mOSt of the struCnlres that he mentions are connected to one of Ravenna's bishops. In man)' cases these structures contained the burial of one or more bishops, but this need not mcan that the church was built by that bishop, or evcn ne<.:ess.arily before his reign, since Agnellus al so tclls us that the bodies of bishops were som~"times rcburied.J74 Of the fifth -cennlry bishops, Liherius 111 "115 bu ried in a ehapel dedicated to St. Pullio, built just outside the ciry gate known as the pr;nlJ Not'II. JiJ Vrsus was buried in the cathedral, Peter Chrysologus in Irnola, N eon in the C hurt:h of the Apostl es, E:cuperamius in St. Agnes, and John r in Sant'Agata Maggiore. fo.lost of these churches lay within the fifth-~-.:ntury city walls, as did Santa CI"OCe and San Giovanni Evangelista, which also contained burials.J;>6 One major basilica in the center of Ravenna was the church identified by Agnellus as the C hurch of the Apostles (bilfi/iclI ApiJrtolorum), prohably originally ded icated to Sts. Peter and Paul.J17 Agnellus impl ies that this church was buil t before or during the reign of Bishop Noon who was burk-d therc. liS Thc original church was completely rebuilt in the tcnth or eleventh cemury; it was given to the Franciscan order in J :6J and still surviv(.""S as San Francesco. The present church's twenty- four columns, capita ls, and imlXlSt blocks date to dIe mid- to late-fifth century and thus were probably used in the original chu rch; the marble was imported from the island of 1'n..<.:onn tSUS ntar ConscmonOI,lc, the first examl,le of this uscagc that would become a rcgu lar feature of sixth-century churehes.l19 The crypt




t ~

• • • • •

• • • • •

.. """,

• • • • • • • • • • •



... :)

17. S~nt'Ag,\ta Maggio l'<:,I"'co n~tnlcr~d

rlan Dc id,mann, 1<.l1(', (aft~r


of the tenth-century church was exca\'ate{! at various rimes in the {wetHieth century, and a rectangular mosaic floor with inscriptions md burials, dating perhaps to the sixth cenrury, was uncovered. It is nor known exactly what form the church took, whether a basilica or a cmciform structmc; the rectangular mosaic floor found in the crypt has led some to hypothesi/.e that, like Santa Croce, this church had a st]\larc chancc1. 1 t'k> 'f he dctl ication to the apostles, or to Peter ~nd P ~ul in particular, im itates churches in both Rome and Consta ntinople. Agnellu$ says that the ~uhde acon Gemellus built a church dedicated to St, Agnes eluring the reign of Bishop Exuperantius (473- 7), who was buried there. Agncllus hi1llselflivcd lIear thi s church, and says that it was IOC:-Jtccl in {he center of the old oppiJlI7Il.lg j 'fh e entire site was destroyed in '9 36, but parts of the church were still visihle in the early twentieth century, showing that it had been a basilica made of spoliated bl'ick with a ru ne-coluTll n eolonnade that ineluded impost blocks)'!' Sant'Ag;lta Maggiore, according to Agndlus, is where John I (477--94) was both burie{l anll depicted Oil the wall of the apse.lS.I Sant'Agata lies in the eastern part o f the city, to the south of the Church of the Apostles. t\ chu rch still exists on the site and contains elements from the origina l structure, although it was damage(1 by several earthquakes anli radically reuuil t in the fifteenth and eigh teenth cenntries}S4 Nevertheless, we know that Sant'Agata was a hasiliea (rod ay 49,5 x 15 meters, Fig. 17) very similar in design to San G iov;1T\ni Evangelista. It hold an apse that was polygonal on the exterior, pierced by nve windows; more willliows in the upper walls o t' the nave and the aisle walls; and small chamhers Banking the apse on either side, enterecl frOTll the aisle5.18 ; The nave was separated from the aisles by an ;lrcade of ten columns; the columns, bases, capitals, and imlX)st blocks vary widely and range in date from the first to the sixth centuries, ind icating that spolia were used ill the original construction, but the original set was probably su pplementcd with additional materia l in the fifteenth century)1!6

5~ )

1 0,,"

R.... V[ NN A AND T H E WESTE R.N [MPERO RS. AD 400 - 489

Parts of the church werc rebUilt in tht,: mid-sixth century, namely th e apse vau lt (using fflbijiffili that were tilled with mortar) an(la colonnaded atrium. Agncllus's attribmions arc sometimes wrong; for example. he sa}'s, ''In the time of the Empress Ga ll ~ Plaeidia, as we havc fOllml wri nen , the same Peter Chrysologus with the above-mentioned empress preserved the body of blessed Barbarian with aromatics and buried him with great honor not far from the Ovilia n gate. Anti he consecrah~tl the church of StS. John and Barbatian, which Ba(luarius built. "3~ - A Baduarius was the commander of the Byzantine armies of Italy in 575- 7; a chu rch built by him would have been dedicated by Bishop Peter m ( 57o-8) . 1~8 The legend of St. Barbatian as the confcssor of Galla Placidia is entirely de rivaovt,:; it was de\'eloping in Agnellus's time, but the full version was composed sometime between the ninth ami elellenth cellturies.lil<1 T he chu rch itsclf, in the area arOUllll San Vitale, disappeared in the ('ourse of the sixteenth ('entury, and rhus any information about its date is cntirely specu lativc)i,>O Enough $Ccure evil{en('c testifics to a contimlal process of Christian monumen tali 'a ltion in fi fth路century Ra venna. If lit the beginning of the century most of the construction was attributed to em perors, after the 4 505 the bishops took the leall in developing an ecdesiasric-Jl topography for their city.

The End of Imperial Ravenna Valentinian ill move(1 the court to Rome in the 4405, and is not an ested at Ravenna aftel' 450. 10 the chaotic years after his assassinatioll aDd the sack of Rome by the Vandals in 4'; , the short-lived emperors are attested alternatelr at Rome or Ravenna. It is notable: that tho~e emperors with strong connections to the Senate and/or the eastern empire were proclaimed emperor and ruled in Rome (PetTonius Maxim us, A\'itus, AnthclIl ius, Olybrius, Nepos), whi le those who werc generals, or heavily supported by generals CMajorian, Libius Severus, Glycerius, ROlllulus Augusrulus), took many of their significant actions in Ra\'elllla.路1'i' Apparently by the later fifth century, Ravenna and Rome were \'iewed as the seatS of the militalY and the senatoria l cst<lblishmellts respe('tivcly. E<lch party I'iewed its Owll city as a place that coulll legi timiz,e imperial a('tion, but as events pro\'ed, this di\'ision was disastrous for the cmplrc. since no emperOr proved to be the master of both factions at oncc. After 4 50 , then, Ravenna's statu s as a capital was rather tenuous. T he parallels between the development of Ravenna and Constantinople in the early fifth century are striking,l?l yet Ravenna did not attain the heights


o f the eastern t~pit~I )"' .' Constantinoplc, as a "new Romc," coul(1 ~dopt many of the significant features, includ ing a senate, that made it a Roman capital. Ravenna could not bc a "l1ew Romc" because the old Rome, with it~ Senate and lll(lnun1l.'ntS, was still therc; Ravcnna therdc)re filled only some of tlle functions of an imperial capital.3SY I lowever, this ambiguity would be partially resolved in Ita ly's nex1: po litical configuration.




The sixth century was n pivotal tillle for Ravenna ill terlllS of the di rection

that its history as an urban elUity would take. T he increa sed si?,c and im]}()rtanee of Ravenna was n.'Cogni7.c(] and


even after the (lecline

of the imperial office in Italy. Odoaccr, the general who deposed the I,lst emperor and aS~'umcd the title of King(ÂŁltaly, was living in R:lVcnn a when he was defeated and murdered by the Ostrogothic ruler Theoderic in 493, and T heoderic in tllrn made dle city his main residenn:. Under Theoderic, Ravenna truly ha'llme a capital city. Ostrogoths ad(lell to the ethnic mix of the (~ity, and government offices attracted official~ from Rome :Ind other centers . Thcodcric is cr edited in written sources both with repairing existingstrucmres and bui lding newoncs; from archaeology we know thatClasst: toO received new life at this time. Churches were huilt for the Arian C hristians in the city; Thoodt:tic also worked weU with Ra veona's Orthodox bishops, who undertook interesting new buil{ling initiatives. Symbolically, on coills ana mosaics, Ra\'enna was 1.:ompared to the capitals of Rome and Constantinople, and it served as the symoolic and functional power hase ofthe AlI1al dynast}' until the last 111e1l1 her of the line, Theoderic's granddaughter Matasuintha, was captu red there and taken fa Constanunoplt: in 540. Ostrogothic Italy has been the subject of intense srudy during the past century, largely because of thl;' ("omparatively abundant ("ontemporary textual sources. Most of these texts were wri tten by lcartlNI Romans who liked and worked with Theoderic. Ennotlius, c\'entl1ally bishop of Pavia, wrote letters, poems, and a panegyric to Theocleric clcliverecl in 507. Cassiodorus Senafar worked at the highest levels of Ostrogo thic government in 506I ~, 523 -7, and 533-8, and served as consul in 514; aoout 537 he published a set of letters written by him on behalf of the va rious rulers he served. Known as the VI/rill/', th~se 468 documents art' written in an elahorately rhetorical Style and COI'!:r everyth ing frOlll legal eases to oRicial government >06



Ravenna, c . AD 530




... • -"



--_. 7 , .... . ---. ..... -

. ... 7, ,


\\ ....;;-- ....


-~ . 0 •,

' -...;:::


, •

-appointmcnts to correspondence with foreign rulers; they arc read by scholars for infonnation on twcrything to do with Ostrogothic Italy, In addition to his governmcnt work, Cassiodorus wrote hisTOry: a chroniclc, the Cbn:mica, and a history of the Goths that is now lost (but is thought to have been an imponam source for much of Jordanes's Grrica, a history of the Goths writtcn in the 55os). An anonymous author, probably in the 5405, wrote a history ofThcodcric's reign that is known today as the Anvi1yr1lus Va/erial/US pars fJ'!fltriQ~. Pl"O\.upius of Caesarca, who was a staff officer in Justinian's army of thc reconquest of Italy, provides historical background and thcn describes in minute detail the war between the BF..antines and the Goths in his Or brito gotbiro. And finally Agncllus's LPR offers certain very useful infonnation aoout this period of Ravenna 's history. It is significant that no tcxtS survi"c that rcA(~t an Ostrugothic I'crSl'c<:tivc;' as wc will sec, this considcrably slants our views of the period. Thc litcrary texts are

. 8. Map

o( &,.."n,.,., a.A D no



'9- Gold ,ri ... ....IiJu, ofThe.-.deric (,he Se,,;g> lli'


golJ,3¡)cm Ji. m.,Museo N ..i"".Io, Rome (COllne')' Mini""ro 1"" i lleni â&#x20AC;˘ 1< Ani,itl

Cu ltu ... liS01'r inte",\e",.. SpOO"eper; ~.

Archeolog;ei Ji Rom.)

supplemented by a few surviving documents in the arch ives of Ra~'cnJla, and by fragments uf man\l~ri pts written in Gothic; archaeology and numismatics, likewise, have added TO our understanding of the Ostrogothic kingdom. As we interpret what these sources tell uS abom Ostrogothic Ra,'cnna, and as we exa m; Ill' the tangible remains from this period of the city's history, we will sec that the city and its monuments hoth reflect and provide us with important infonnation about Thcodcric's ideology, Arian Christian belief, Gothic identity, and Roman and Onhodox reaction 1;0 the new regime.

Theoderi c an d Italy The people who would become the Ostrogoths were rclatiw latecomers to tht "ba rbarian sl.:ene"; a number of small tribes living in the Balkans from the 3Sos to me 'fSos, some of which were undoubtedly connected to the Visigothic community, were gradually consolidated over the course of mar century into one large group.' Theodetic's family, mown after an eponymous ancestor as the Amals, had come to prominence under the Huns, and after the death of Attila they and their followers were offidally settled in Pannonia by the emperor Marcian in 455. The settlement was


ITA l ~'

uneasy, and at various times the Amal-bl Goths rebcllc<l against (he empire or fought with other groups in the same region . Tn -+61,3 Theoderic was sent as a hostage to Constantinople after a revolt. This was standard diplomatic procc(hm:, T'ht..路oderie, age seven, was to be the guarantor of good behavior on the part of his father , Thiudimir. \Ve know almost nothing about Theoderic's life in the capital ; as a noble hostage, he would have been well housed, treated as a foreign guest of the palace, and p~siblye{\ ucated ill Grcekand Latin.+ In 4700r 47 I Theoderic, who was hy nowcighteen years old, was rcturnc<l to his people, and IlJXIO his father's death in 474 he hecame its leader. H e and his troops spent the next years fighring in \'ariO\IS wars, sometimes against the empire, sometimes against other Gmhic factions, and sometimes as part of the imperial arilly in Asia Minor. Theoderic built a reputarion both among his people and in the empire: in 476 he was raisNI to the rank of jJilf/"icillS ami named IIlt1g;#('1' milituIJ/ pme.n-lIflllij路, and in :fS4 he serve<1 as the consul of the eastern empu路c. Tn 488, T hcoderic led his gTOUp of Ostrogoth5, now the dominant military force in the Balkans, into Italy} Some sources say that this was 011 his initiative, and some th~t it w~s at the cOIll mand of the emperor Ze110. 6 T he target was Odoacer, who had begun (0 attack Ihe western Balkans. Prot..'Opius tells Uii that the Ostrogothic migration into Italy was an entire tribe, men, women, and children; estimates of the 1l\lmoer o f people ro nge from ::0,000 to 100,000 . 7 The war far Italy lasted fmm 489 to ..[.93, Thoodcric had ta b:n control of most of Ita ly by 490, whereupon Odoacer retreated to Ravenna, which was, in theory, attacbble only by sea. s Theoderic besieged the city fat tbl'ee years; in 49~ he was finaUy able to assemble a Reet o f shi ps to create a blockade, 3Ild in February 493, Bishop John served as a mediator to negoliatc a treaty for shared rule, which c~lIcd for Thcodcric and O lloacer to occupy Ravenna jointly . Ten days after Theoderic entere<1 Ravenna Odoacer was dead, apparently killed by Theoderic's own hand at a banguet.9 Theoderic rounded OUi his kingdom by reconguering Sicily (an impormilt grain-producing region) from the Vanda ls in the carly 490S, and taking owr the Balkan provinces of Dalmatia and Savia after 50+ He set about buil(ling not JUSt a king(\om in h olly. but also a network of allies covering the former Roman territories in the west, by forging alliances thrOugh marriage with several of the other Gertllanic royal families. 1O T he first marriages were mane in the early to mid--f9Os: his claughtcr O strogotho Areagn i married SigislIlun(l , son o f the king of the Burgumlians; another <laughter Thcodegotha married Alaric II. king o f the Visigoths, perhaps shortly afterward, J I and Theoderic himsel f manie<1 Audofleda, sister of Clovis, king of the Franks, in or shortly after 493, In or after 500 T hcoderic's



wi(luwcd sister AJll;llafrida married ThrasarnunJ, king of the Vandals in North Africa, and her daughter Amalaherga married Herminifrid, king of the Thuringians. Thes,", marriage alliances clio not, however, produce pcac!.' throughout Europe. ThcOIlcric's co-rulers continued to pursue their own policies despite Th€Oderic 's exhonations, and his most nom ble fa ilure came when Alaric [I was killed in barde fighting against Clovis's Franks in

507. " Thras3mUlui supporte{! Alaric's illegitimate SOil Gesalic as Visigothic king against Thcodcric's legitimate young grandson Amalaric, but after Gcsalic's dea th in 5 1 1 Thc()(lcric ruled Visigothic Spain as regent for his granoson. 'J Despite his c:>.1:ensive territories and his attempts to position himself as the leader of the western rulers, Theoderie did not call himself emperor, but ruled as re.\· (king). the title that had also been lIsed by 0<1oacer." 1 H e deliherntely mime<l goltl coins only in the name of the emperors of COll stantinopl!.' (the Senigallia medallion Wig. : 91. which bears the only known portrai t of him, was a sp<.'t:ial commemorativc is~ue , and on it he is ca lled rco\" and prilm:ps).''j In 490, Theocleric hacl sen t an embassy to 2el10 reguesting imperial n."('ognirion of h is tirle as rt'x in Italy, Zena seems to have ignored the reguest alld died in 491: the m3rter was only settled ill 497 when, according to the .4110IlYlJlll.> VlI lesill/lllt, the emperor Anast3sius retur ned to TheoMric the insignia (ol"l/nwclirn pit/nth) that 0,103<:er hnd sent to Constantinople. 16 i n ; 00 Theoderic finally vi~ited Rome, was welcomed b~' the Senate and the pope, and was officially rccognil.ed as the ruler of haly. ' i At the time he was celebrating his fricC/llllliill, the thirty year anniversary ofhi~ rule as king. Interestingly, this assumes that he became ~king" of the Ostrogoths in +70 arou nd the time of h is release from Const~ntmople , although his father (lid not die until 47+ ,8 Procopius notes that despite the tille re.t, Thcoderic acted like, and presented himself ;15, an emperor: "in fact he was as truly an emperor as any who have distinb'1lished themselves in this office frolll the hcginnil1 g. ~ ' 9 In ' tal},. "'heocleric established himself at Ravenna and set about developing an administration with which he cou ld govern his kingdom. The Ostrogoths, au gmemecl by the remains of Odoacer's followers and others, were a very small minority in Italy, perhaps only about 5 to 10 percent of the total population. Theoderic does not seem to have wanted to disperse his folloll'ers throughollt Italy; that would not have ueen good for military n:adiness or group cohesion and loyalty, !O Archaeological e"iclencc from ccmeteries and snippets of te:>.1:lla l information imply that Ostrogoths settled mainly in northern and eastern Italy, especi;llly in Ligu ri a west of Pavia, along the Adriatic coast ancl at strategic places in the Alps, in Picenum (sl ightly northeast of Rome, on the east coa~t), allll, of course, in Ravelllla. " T he exact medwlislll by which the OStrogoths were settled on Roman territory


ITA l ~'

has been the matter of intense deLHe in reCent {b:acles. In SOl\le fushion, The(lIleric, like O(bacer hefore him, used the Roman ~}'stem of hOJpitalitas, by which the barbarian troops were a s~i gned a thi rd of something, either aemal property or the land t~x assessment, as well ~s ha\'ing provision made for their billening. " Theoderic was well aware that he could Ilot rule Italy without the suppo rt of the powerful Roman ian(lowners of Italy. Members of the Senate had quarreled with the fifth-century emperors atH\ su plXlrted Odoacer's rule. The position of senators in the later fifth and early sixth cenmries was the strongest it had been since the time of Augustus and represented the t"\llminarion of a developmcnt fosterCl1 by the ahsence of imperial rcsidence in Rome since the late third celltury.' 1 T heoderic cultivated Roman senaTOrs and the Senate as an instirutiOll, he appeared with senarors in ceremonies such as his anniversary at Rome in 500, he wrote many letters to the Senate in which he commended sollie action or appointment, and he employe(! many of them in his governmem. ThL'Y reciprocated by sup]XIrting his aspirations and crcating a Roman rhetorica l structure that praised them. The concept of civilifllJ, repeatedly mentioned in the Val"jap of Cassiodorus and the writings of Ellnodius, ulH.lerpinned TIleoderic's prog ram as a ruler, at least in the first two decades orhis reign."! Ci;;ilifllJ in these text." means a society that is run accof{ling to the Roman legal system and ordered by the norm~ of Roman city-hase!! government. '5 The gO\'crnment Theoderic created was based on the old imperial bureaucracy, amI many Romans served on its staff. H e also used Gothic leaders as advisers, mil itary heads, anclloea] administrators. Theoderic's kingdom became fa mous for the war in whicb Romans and Goths worked together. '6 \Ve will examine his religious policie~, which display a similar tolerance, below. Procopius notes that Theoderic "was c:.:cee(lingly careful to observe justice, he pre~ervecl the laws on a sure basis, he protectell the lanll ami kept it ~afe from the harbarians dwelling ro und ahout, Jnd attained the highest possible degree of wisdom and manliness. And he himself committed scarcely a single act of injustice <lgainst his su bjel..1:s, nor would he brook such conduct on the part of anyone else who anempted it ... and love for him among Ix)th ('.JOths amlltaliall~ grew to be great ... . "'7 For the first three dccades of Theo(leric's reign, haly prospercd. Theoderic actively promoted CI.."Onom ic and 1.."01l1merciai activit)', regula ring trade and prices where neccssary.'s I-Ie maintained the Roman ta:< system and was able to aCCllmu la te a surplus. The peace that hewa5 able to enforce, coupled with his economic policies and a stable Jeg-JI system, meant that bmh newcomers and Romans were able to settle down and get on wi th life; '? at least, that is how it seemed in the himlsight of the Gothic war. A~ ;j resu lt, haly cnjoyed a cultural rcn;} issancc; one ofTlK'Oderic's initiatives,




as ([cscribctl in Illall), letters in the VariaI', was the revival and n:.-stor:ltion of Roman Culture. '0 Theoderic patronized Roman scholars such as Cassiodorus, Arator, Jonlancs, Bocthius, Ennodius, and I-Iclpidius, who proli uccd medical and religious treatises, poems, pam,'b'YrlCS, and historics. many of which were dedicated to him Y Greek texts were imported, translated, and commented on both by noted scholars such liS Boe{hius and Cassic}dorus, atH"! lesser-known ([octor..., geographers, and othersY Patronage of publ ic build ings and infrastructure W:l5 an important 3SJX'C t of fr.;i1ifflr, a highly visible reminder of good government. n T hcodcric promoted himself as a rcbuildcr of the infrastructurc of Roman Italy in the tradition of Roman leaders of the p~st; he also encall raged wealthy Romans to fund these works themselves. H Cassiodorus in his ClmJlliCil says that ~in his happy reign many citjes were renovated , strong fons wen: founded. marvellous palaces rose up, and ancient mirades were surpassed by his gre~t works."'s In many letters in which he retluests rellovations of buil(lings, Cas~io(loru s ha~ Thcodcric state the desire to fL'vi"e the glory of the past)6 C. La Rocca has vcr}' usefully pointed out that T heoderic's rhetoric about revival ami restoration of ami'll/itas was propaganda that, among odler things, contrasted him wilh immediately Ilrecelling rulers who had let the cities decay,3'l The portrayal o fT heoderic as a bui lder was a convincing indicator of his greatness for later historians; the AIIOIIJ" 1II1S Va/l'siulIttJ calls him ~a lover of L,()nstruction and resto rer o f cities," while Fredegar, a Frankish chronider writing in the sevcnth ccntury, recalls ofTheoderic that "all the cities thar he ruled he restored and fortified most ingeniously with wonderful works."lS G . Brogiolo, howe~路er, warns th.u despite Theoderic's reputation as a great pa tron, and the dassic~l Roman rhetoric about cities that appears in writings from his reign, in fact he contributed relatively little to most of the dties of Italy which had declined greatly by thi~ pcriod.3Y Certainly Theo(leric was particula rly attt:ntiYe to Rome and Ravcnna. 4掳 Of Romc, Cassiodorus has him say. "what is wo rthic r than to maintain the repa irs of that place which clearly preserves the glory of my Sta te?," -I' At Rome Theoderic ordered numerous repairs to the walls. sewers, palacc, Curia, Theater of Pompey. aqueducts, and granaries. 4l In one letter, he grants a senator nallle(l Faustus leave to be absent frum Rome for four months. but re4ui res him to rcturn, lest Rome. "the mos t glorious place on earth ," ue {\eporula{ed. ~; But Theoderic's interest in monuments of Roman civic life such as walls, baths, theaters, amphitheaters, porticoes, palaces, and aqueducts also e:.:t:ended beyond Rome to other cities, such as Aries, Abano, Catania. Spoleto, Parma, Pavia, and Verona.+! It is interesting to note that the categories of structu res patronized by Theoderic divide almO'it elluaU}' uetween monumental and functionally u~eful; and B. Saitta has no ted that cvcn works tha t scem purely commcmorauvc contributed


ITA l ~'

ncvenhek'Ss to the development of industries that benefited the infrastructun: of his kingllom:'5 It is also interesting that m(lst of the items namtll in contemporary sO\lrces are secular constructions; Thcoderic's church patronage is not listed. ~lthough this is perhaps nOt surprising given that me}' were built for Arian worship and all of o ur authors were Orthodox. ~6 ' 路Ve are much less well-informed about T heoderic's attitudes toward Ostfogomic culture; mOSt of our information that there even was such 3 thing as non- Roman culture comes from the period after T bcoderic's death. P. Amory tr3ces a decline in ,;vililas rhetOric 3fter 510, anll the gradual prcdominance of a different strain. o nc that had always been present, in which the Goths' m ilit~ry prow(,'Ss was presentl.'d as the key to the sut'cess of the Amal dynasty.'" Cyprian, a Roman aristocrat, is commended in me Varillt' for knowing and teacbing his sons [he Gothic langll~ge .'l ~ Procopius descrihes antagonism 011 the part of certain Goths to Amalasuimha's Iletermined program of Roman civilit"y, centering on the ed uca tion of her son Athalaric as not sufficiently mititaristic, but his aCl.:Ount uses stereotypes of Goths and Romans to justify J ustinian 'S im:lsion of Ital),."9 Thus, while there apparently was a Cothic reaction to dvilitas, even under Thooderic, it is d ifficult to Ilin down exactly what was at stake. Most written sources (with the e:.:ceplion of Cassiodorus) note [hat [Qwnrtl the end of ThCi)deric's life there was a marked falling-off in his tolerance. The telLni, which were written by Orthodox Christian wri ters, usu ally attribute this to T heoderic's Arianism (and, of course, the JUSt judgment of God ). In fact. in the last years ofThcoderic's life a very complex set of political and religious circumstances were in rapid flux. In 5 dl me eastern emperor Anast.1sius, wbo had been a supporter ofTheoderic. died and wa .~ succeedccl by his guard captain J ustin. Olle of the things that hacl contributed to the Romans' willingness to work with T heoderic was the fact that since 484 the popes hall been in schism with the church in Constantinople over the emperor Zcno's attempt to n..'Concilc Christological don rine, and specifically over th e status of Ac;]cius as patriarch of Constantinople. T he Acadan Schism, as it is known, was resolved by J ustin in 519, and although in 510 a new theological controvcrsy (thcopaschism) arose, tllat tol) was resolved by 523, and the IXJpes and Orthrnlox Romans lx:g;lrl a nell' cra of rapprochemcm with Constantinople. The leadership of the Ita lian church was also changing. Peter 11, who hall reigne{l as bishop of Raven na for almost all of Theoderic's reign, died in 5~ o ; his succesSOr i\urclian lived only one year, and EcdcsillS was then seatcd as bishop in 522. T hen in 523 Pope H ormisdas, wim whom T heoderic had good relations, died and thc new pope, J ohn I, did not sympathize with the aging Arian ruler of Italy. At this rime, J ustin apparently began to persecute Ari3ll Christians in his rcach, which inflamcd Thcodcric, who considered himsel f




the senior l\riall king of the west. And, of course, anti-Gothic factions in Italy took advantage of thtse events t(J urge reunion with the empire. Al the same time, Thcodcric's plan for the royal succession was falling ap~rt. One ofThc{}<lcric's main political problems was that ht,> did not hay!,' a son to succeed him. III 5 [j he had married his daughter Amalasuintha to Eutharic. a Goth from Spain who was supposedly of the Amal line. Eutharic was named consul jointly with the em peror J ustin in 519, and was atlopted as SOIl-at-arms by Justin, a dear sign that the imperial court rccogni7.Cd him as T hcodcric 's successor. Howl:vcr, there arc hints that Eu tharic did not intend to rule as tolerantly as Thcoderic had, and his clevation may have exacerbHcd anti-Ostrogothic clements among the Roman elite, Amalasuintha and Eutharic had two children, Adlalaric and Mat:lsuintha, but E.mharic diell in )12, when Athalaric was only four or five years old, In these circumstallces, the sources say that in his last years Theolleril: bl..'C3 ll1e paranoid, seeing plots c\'I:rywhcre and striking out at those who h3d formcrly sllpportc(l him, including, most fumously, thc patricians Symm3chus and Boethi us, who wcrC ex('Cutcti on Thcoderic's orders in 514 and/or 515, Thl.' t\1rnarou nd was all the more striking as Bocthius's two sons (who were SYlli llIachus's grandsons) had shared the consulship at Rome in 52!, a mark of high distinctionY' Pope John was sell( on a mission to Constantinople with various other oishops (including Ecdesius ofRavcnna) to persuade the em peror to stop persC<.:uti ng and h)n:ibly cOllverting Arians; the mission apparcntly failcd, and Jo hn died ill Ravenna upon his re turn in p6 , The death of Thcoderic a few days later on Augusr 30, was, at least later, "iewell by the Orthodox as a sign of God's rlisfavor. ,1 Nevertheless, for the next several ye~rs Italy I'emained relatively peaceful.

Theodedes Ravenna If the imperial staOls ofRavenna had been somewhat am bivalent, ' J'heodcric malle the city indubita bly the capital of his kingdom, the 11Th.. regia ), Although he co uld have settled his court in Rome, hc chose to develop a form of governmem in which the Roman Senate \\'as respected as a rather independclH componcnt, and he left Rome to the scnators.>,1 R;lthcr remarka bly, after defeating Odoacer, Theotleric never again took personal command of an arm)" but settled down in Ravenna, and to a lesser extent Verona ~ n rl Pavia, where he built palaces';'! H e is known to have "isited Rome only once, in 500, 3nli he seems mosdy to have stayerl in Ravenna and its environs, As we will sec , at lcast t'.m palaces were built in the countryside around the city, l"oths, Romans, ambassadors, envoys, and anyone elsc who wanted w sec the king madc thc journey to RaI'Cllll;l.SS




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Theoderic, like Odoacer and the early fifth-cenrury emperors, spenr time and money establishing Ravenna ~s a suitable center for his government, C()nstru<..~illg both sacred and secular huildings there in imitation of Constantinople and Rome.s 6 As in the imperial era, Ravenna's prestige was actively rivaJe(\ lJy that of Rome. ,7 Thco{\eric seems to have recognized me symbolic significance of this pair of cilies: according to Agncllus, a mosaic prominently displayed in the palace depicted"m image ofThcoderic, I\路onderfully executed in mosaic, holding a lance in his rigln hand, a shield in his left, wearing a breastplate. Facing the shield stood Rome, executed in mosaic with ~Jlear:md helmet; and dlere holding a spear was Ravenna, figured in mosaic, with right foot on the sea, left on land hastening toward the king. "5 8 Since the founding of Constantinople it had been traditional to depict the two imperial capital cities as paired female personifications, and it was also common to depict an emperor on horseback between female pcrsonificalions}9 If Agncllus's descri ption is accurate, the importance of Ravenna as a l>Ort city, "with right foot on the sea," was stressed in this image, 3S indeed it would also be in the depictions of Ravenna and Classe in Theo<leric's palace church (see Chapter ;). Thus, Theoderic introduct:<! the new pairing Ravenna- Rome in his political iconography, and the concept was I;lter reflected on Ostrogothic brom.\! coins minted respccrively with the legends II/viall ROlli" and Fe/i.\" RI,Vtllllll (Fig. 30).6<> Finally, although T hcoderic's thirty yeu anniversary celebrations took place in Rome, the festivities associated with Eutharic's consulship in 519 were apparently celebrated in both citics.6 ' \,l/e hal'e already seen that mOSt of what we know about Tht:oderic's political and ideological programs come from Roman authors; and these men do not seem to have been impressed with Ravenna . Under Theoderic Ravenna became a center of education and literary eulrure, housing authors who worked (or his government and who produced poems and philosophical, historical, medical, 3nd geographical texts.~' Yet, as in the imperial period, although members ohhe upper Roman aristocracy lived in Ra\'ellila



while occupying government (X)sts, and up-an(l-coming members of new fumilies carved {Jut exalted (;a r cer~ there, most retume(1 to Rome or to their

estates when their terms of of/icc were complctcd.61 Tbcoclcric may have kept the royal court in Ravenna 1x'C3U5C of its porr, but the Rormn senatorial aristocracy does not seem to have liked it; none of the various poets and authors retained by Theoder'ic praise his capital city. Enllodius, in his panegyric to Theoderic, praises his buii(ling activities in a general way but docs not lllcntion Ravcnl1a;~ even Cassiodorus, who spent many years in

Ravenna, rcscrvc~ praise for Romc.6~ This complete absence of praise for a capital city [J1 the context of a lively literary culture is surprising: imperial Milan, for example, had been the ~'lbj(,."Ctof a lamlarory poem by Allson ius. One is forced to take one of two choices. Ei ther T heoderic's attempts to creatC' an imperial capiTal completely failed to convince tht: Roman ariswcracy; or Tht:oderic'!'i audience was really the Goths and nonaristocratit Italians, who seem to havc had no role in Romc, littlc int:cnrh路c to take up scats in the Senate to which rhcy were entitle(l, and whose focu s was on RavC'llna. u. Ra venna's central role in Ostrogothic policy can be seen in the iss\ling of do nativC5 to Gothic soldiers: grants of money givl.'n to all Gothic soldiers had [Q be picked up, in person, in Ra\'enn~ .t路? Clearly this was ~ way of rdnfo rcing mi litary and/or group loyalty in a situation ill which The Goths were (Iis persed th roughout Italy. It reinfOf('ed their personal con nt:ction with the king, l)llt it also brought all Gothic soldiers to his capital cit}', where they could see the splendor of his kingdom. vVe know relatively linle about how Ravenna was laid outin ' l"heoderic's time (rig. 18). One often-repeated idea is that there was a Gothic zone, a particu lar area of the city where Goths lived and worshiped, in the 1l00,theaStern part of Ra"elln3 .'"~ Thi.~ has been argued primarily on the of maps showing the distribution of churches identified by Agnellus as Ari~n (on the~e churches, see Chapter 5). The Arian episcopal complex was to the south\l'c,t of this ~ rea. A church dedicated to St. Eusebius was ou tside the nonhern portil S. Victori:;, and Theoderic's mausoleum was outside the northeastern corner of the wall.l-Iowever, it shc)Illd be noted that a church dedicated to Severinus, a sail][ beloved by Arians, was found in the center of the old oppitlltJlI.0 There were At'ian churches in Classe and Caesarea, and Thcodcrie made the former imperial p;Jlacc his own ;Jnd ;ldded to it a large basilica (ledicated to the Savior. i\'Ion:o"er, dO<.:l.11l1t:nts show some Goths living side by side with Roman s. ~O Thus e\'idcnce is too scanty and inconclusive to propose a concentration ofCoths in one part of the city. Under Theocleric the population of Ravenna swelled to its largest size. perhaps as large as 10,000'; 1 The city probably retained a large number of government functionaries from previous administrations, since as far as we knoll' Odoaccr had continued the ;ldmin istra tivc practices of his imperial


predL'CL'Ssors. information about Theoderic's administrath'c system comes largel}' from Cassiollorus's Vnrim: and indicates that the chid officials of thc ccntral governmelll wcre based in R,lI'cnna Y High government offi cials \lllder Thcoderic held office for longer periods of time than in the imperial period and thus the society of the court must have oeen somewhat more stable in this period. tn aciditiOtl to the government and palace officials, hath aristocratic an(1 bureaucratic, a municipal dite served as the llIagistrates and members of the local mrill, or tOWJl counciL T he few documents that survive from the Ostrogothic period inllicate that these officials consisted of notaries and tlfhrllio//cJ, bankers and businessmen, dOCtors and lav..yers.n "f he names of both Jews and people from the eastern Mediterranean are found in inscriptions and in the VI/riM, although it is interesting that of rhe artisans al1(l businL"Ssmen, none have recogni1.ably "Gothic" nnllles except for \Vilinrit the scribe, whom we will meet again.N The members of Ravcnnate sodery under Theollerlc JjVC(\ in an urban center that wns being changed and modified to suit them, as has I..::en demonstrated by archacologica 1evidence (ound at the Via D' Azcglio e;\ca vation in the northeastern part o( the old flppidlllIl . Since the second cenUiry BC twO houses had faced each other across a S-Ill-wiJe street, but now in the late fifth or early si.xth century the street was blocked off by a room that served as a monumental entrance to n new, gran/ler house hu ilt to the north of the street, with a second, etllully grand house built to the ~outh, perhaps both opening on to a Street to the west. The main roollls on both rhe north and south sides werc covered ~'ith elaboratc mosaic and oplls.rcrtile HOOTS. n These bui ldings must have hou sed members ofTheoderic's COUT[ 01路 rhe Ravennate upper classC5; and {he rnod itlcatioll of the imperial -era street network ilHlicates new urban pri(J r itie~ at work. Major works were also undertaken at Classe's port, although it was no longer the naval station that it had been in the early imperial period . PnJ路t o( the Augustan harbor was now completely dried up, accord to .1oroanes, who says, "{har which was once a harbor now displays itself like a spacious g'Jrden full of trees; but from them hang not sails hut apples.~ "i6 Ncvertheless, Cinssc continued to function as all importllnt commercial IX)rt througlu)Ut the Ostrugorhie period, aetivdy encl..lUnged by Theoderic. E.xcavations at the site of Podere Chi;wichetta hal'c rel'caled a section o( the port cit}, thnt Annked the canal lea{\ingto the hnrbor. The islnnd in the centcr of the canal contained paved roads, shops, and food vendors, and was linked by a bridge to rhe city to the south. On the somh bank, at rhe time of T heoderic, a major Street W;lS repaved ami buildings in this area were modified, rebuilt, and systematized with continuous porticoes. A row of large warehouses and pu blic building~ fnced the cana l through Ollt' such portico and to the Street 011 their other side through another; on the other




side of the Street were production facilities such as a ceramics kiln and a glass furnacc .- r From the many thou~aO{ls of ceramics fragments found on these sites, we can identify import~, especially from North Aft-iea, but also from Palestine <lll{\ Syria, the Aegean and Asia -,,"'l1nor, Egypt. Lusirani3, and Sicil)' (mainly wine, but also oil and honey).' ~ The imported ceramics are significanr because in much of inland Iralr they had almost entirely disappeare!\ hy this time, demonstrating the anomalous Sta tuS ofRavelll1a)!.1 It was dearly in the royal interest to suppOrt commerce and trade in

Ravenna, both for the


of catering to the mcmlJcrs of the com-

munity, lind for provisioning the troops who were stationcd thcre.1k:r T he archaeologica l{ence is horne out hy various letters in the Variae that specifically deal with ttonomic llIatter~ in Ra velUla. ~"I ilitary provisions wt!re most important, espt!cially wint! and oi l; ill two It!ttt!rs Cassiodorus refers to the IIIt11/siQ at Ravenna, which must meall tht! military encampment. Om.' of these letters cOlllmands that supplies be sen t to Ravenna from htria, ~ntl in another Cassiotlorus notes that Istria is "the store-room of tbe roya l cit)' {ttrhis rt!~iffr (ellil pt:llimil). , . . Istria clearly refreshes our hard-working COHrt {c(f/lliMI<'IISfS ('.\'{IIbilfs). it supplies the imperiulII of Italy; it feeds the nobles on its luxuries, lesser men on its output of fOOti stu{fs, and almost its entire produce is enjoyt!d by tht! royal city."~' Cassimlorus grn=s on to nOte tha t these supplies art! to he brought to Ra venna by ship, either directly acros~ tht! st!a, or via the network o f canals that linked tht! entire Adriatic coastline. s , That Ravenna was the storehouse of the royal admin istration can ~ 1 50 be seen by ~ letter written when Theoderie w~s at. Pavia, commanding that grain stored at Ravenna he loaded onto shi ps an ti brought to tbe royal court,!!] The 1I1'{,:1 rl'gill, like the other major Roman capi tal cities, also (!istri butN! grain to it.<.: citizens to prewllt civil unrest.!t1 Pn.K.:opius mentions gr~in warehouses within the city of Ravenna.s ) The iillpoTl~nce of shi ps is u!l(le rscoreJ in a series of letters written in 525-6 , commissioning a fleet to be based at Ravenna, "which might convey the public grain supplies and, if necessary, oppose enemy ship5, " ~ CI~sse, its harbor, and its warehouses thus formed a vital part of the royal administration. Quantities of building materials and possibly wo rkmen were imported frOIll the eaStern Mediterranean umler Theo(leric; at the samt! time, tht!re were also workshops for luxury itellls in Ra\'enna th;l t may have continued to exist from the previous century. Large nllmbers of sn)ne sarcophagi from the car l}' sixth century still survive in Ravenna, and thei r sculptural style and iconography show infl\lenccs deri\'ed both from Constantinople and from earlier local practices:~j LU)lressive manuscripts were made in Ra venna: A Bible copied from one made in Ravenna in the early sixth century names Bi_~h(lp ÂŁcdesius as the origina l spon"or. an(1 an O rosiu~ manuscri pt hears the namc of onc "Viliaric magister amitluarius,'" who m,l y Ix: the same as


the \.Vi liarit "podws (scribe) named on a Ran:nnare dOCUt1lelH written in 55\. ~1l A Iettt:r in the Vrw;flI: from Theolleric to a marble-worker namell Daniel givcs the latter a monopoly on the furni shing o f sarcophagi to the inhabitants of Ravenna, but abjures him not to overcharge griL"ving family members for his products,S., Other than these fragments, there is liule other tangible evidence of manufacturing or crafts in Ravenna, although it is generally assumed that norable ivory-carving, gold -working, an(1 manuscript workshops were located here, largely on the basis of stylistic and iconogra phical similarities hetween these porrahle works of 3rt and the mosaics ami sculpture foun d in Ravenn,l'S buildings.!/<'

Tbeuderic 's Pollices The p~lace w~ s the preeminent symbol of royal authority, as was recogni'le(1 by Theol{eric ami his propaganllists. Cassiodorlls's Var;ne fa mously refcr twice to the importance of the palace: "it is truly worthy of a king to decora te his palaces I {IÂŤ!,lIilll with buildings," and at greater length, as part of the formula for rhe appointment of the palace architt!Ct:9 ' 1l1ese fhallsJil1llm' ] are the rlelighrs of our pf)wer, rh e worthy face of our nlle, the public witnes~ of 0 \11' kingdol1l~: they arc shown to admiring alllb.lss;ldors, ;md :It urs[ sight one bdie\'cs th,n 3S is the hOl15C so is its lord. An d moreover it L~ the grcJt del ight of a most prudent mind ILc., o( the king] to rejoice perpet1.lally in a most beautiful habit:ltion and to rdrc$h his spirit, worn out by public e~re~ in the pleasure of the arch itecture.

Other accounts also mention Theoderic's construction of palaces. Cassiodorus in his CbnJ1lie/f refers LO Theodc:ric's aJmirrmJ" {I"wt;", and Enn(Hl ius in his panegyric says, "I see an unhoped-for beauty rise from the ashes of cities and the palatine roofs gleam !.>verywhere under the plenitude of civiliw.r."?' Cassiooorus uses the {llilatillll! at Ravenna as a synonym tor the cou rt ~nd royal government. \Ve have already seen in the previous chapter that a site to the east of Sam'Apollinarc Nuovo has occn identified as the "'palace ofTheodt'ric. n T he rime has fi nall~' come to discuss this palace in the context ofThcoderic hiJl1sel f! The I ll101l)'lII1lS V"/C.r;llIIIU says that at Ravenna Theoderic "complete(1 the palace, but (lid not dedicate it; he completed porticoes around the palace ..,.j, T his indicates that he was workingon a pa lace whoscconstnlCcion wa~ already undeT\\/ay. As we h~ve seen, the archaeologica l site in question shows evidence of pa latial construction going back into the fou rth ccntury, with extensive renm'atiOIlS and additions in the early sixth century, including thc COllStruction of Sam'AlXlllinarc Nuovo, attributed by Ag-ndJus to


. .0


Thcoderic. A. Augcnri's recent study of the diftcrcnr phases of construction concludes that some significant rebuilding t(lok place duri ng the early sixth century (Fig. 31 ). A large tr iconch triciiniUIIl to the cast of the great apsed hall ami its adjoining rooms was built, measuring almost 15 meters east-wes[.9~ T his space was paved with a multicolored marble mosaic floor whose centra l figural panel depicted the m}.thological story of Hellerophon anti the Chimera, surrOUlllletl by personi fications of the Four Sea~ons with acrompanying inSt-liptions in hexameter, all of which were images with imperial connotations.9 < A semicircu lar apse was also addcI] to one o f the r001l1S to the cast of the great hall, and both this rOOm and the hall werc newly paved with mosaic, as were the floors of the (.'(lrririors around thl,' counyarJ . Other modifications were made to rh e rooms at rhe sou thern side of the courrya rd, inciu(ling new mosaic pavements in some of the rOOIl1S, and this construction work also extended farther south. Finally, pilasters were added to the external walls o f the com pie;.;, whether for decoration or to reinforce the wall is not dear.<>Ii The magnificence of the de(.-orative progTam is cchoed in a fragmc nt of an oration (ieli\'cred in praiseofWirig'is and Matasllintha aroullIl 536, in which Cassiodonls praises a palace's decoration: "The marble surface shines with the saJlle color;ls gems, the sCHtered gold gleams . . . , the gi fts of mosaic work dd ineate the circling rows of StOn~; and the u'hole is adorned with marble hue::;, where the waxen pictures arc ,Iisplayed.""; In other words, the existing palace was utilize(\ and refu rbished in thc 13tcst dccon tive modes, which both emphasized conti mlity with the past and added [0 the \'isual splendor o f T heoderic's court. It seems clear from evidence provilled by Agnellus and to some e.-..:tent by later topographical refe rcnces that this was Theodcric's main palacc , and lIloreover that the t'ntranc~ to the palace was just south of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, opening OntO a cercmonlal plaza. In front o f this ClltrJ Il CC T headeJ·ic erected a bronZl;! e(Jue~trian statue of himsel f, probably imitating the statue of i\'l arcus Aurelius in Rome, which at this time 1l13y have stood in the cou rtyard of the Lateran palace, and similar equestria n stanles in the Augusteion in Constam inopley8 T he statue was not the only way in which T heodcric placed his irn printon the palace in Ravenna. T he image of T h(!(xleric I)t'tween Rome amI Ravt'nIl3, described al)(lVe, is said Agne!Ius to have been lot"ated "in the palace which he built in this city IR;}vennaJ. in the apse of the dini ng hall which is calle(1 By the Sea, above the gate. and in the fac3de of the main door which is called ,,€I Calehi, where the main gate of the palace was, in the place which is callen Sicresrum, where the church of the Savior is seen to be. In the pinnacle of this place was an image of Thcoderic.... '.....) The word siCl'('.ff/ll/l is thought to be a degener3tion of a wortllike O'EKPE'IOll , O'EKp ETC:p IOV , or in Lann, SII<-risfitt, SUrfflll'ill1l1; the words imply some sort of official gO\'CfIllllcnt function. '<Xl The whole





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passage is ,'ery difficult to understand; many scholars have interpreted it to mean that the image of Theo derie was in the pinnacle over the ma in gate of the palace,'oo A closer reading of the tCXt indicates that it was the dining hall that was O\'eT the main gate and that the image ,,",s in its apse. ' QI We must remember thai Agnellus would not have seen the original mosaic to which he refers in the past tense as though it was no longer there. In any case, it is dear from the aC«lunt of this image that the main gate of the pa lace was located beN-'een Sanr'Apollinare Nuo"o and the ruin that is often erroneously called the "Palace of the Exarchs," but which was in f.H.t an eighth-cennlry church dedicawd to the Savior, The entire entranl't' complex was intended to recalJ Constlntinople, and thus to impress botl, friends and foes with the legitimacy and power ofTheaderic's rule, As noted, ' Ibeaderic Sl'('nt almost his ('ntire reign at Ravenna in the imperial palace and perhaps in several other residences around Ravenna, Excavations have revealed three grand sixth-century villa-type structureS, containing apscd halls, baths, elaborate mosaics, and other indications of

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• Ar<:hroIogio < 1"l>.>gT>1i.: ' '"'5, 6g, 8)



wealth and intcrprcrc{[ as huming lodges or rural palaces: these existed at Meldola, 35 km southwest of Ravenna along the cOurse of the BidenteRonco River and the aqueduct; at Galcata. 50 km southwest of Ravenna: and at the interestingly named Pal37.wlo, 8 km to the north of the city. ! 03 T hen: is no conrcmporary evidence to link any of these srruC[ures directly with Theoderic, and ind eed they merely indicate that a wealthy class residing in Ravenna was building country houses in the surroul1lling area. The structure ar Palnwlo, measuring ca. 44 x 55 III and taking the form of a forrinC![ villa with associated hath structures, is oft-en idcntinc([ as t he pilla/iII'" 71l1J(/irll7J1 tha t Agllcllus says Thcodcric built on an island, not far from the 5(,'a, in a hath, six miles from Ravenna , during his thn:e-year siege of th(,' City. '001

Theoderic's Other Seell/flr CQllsU"lIcti(ms Various pieces of evidence e.~jst for T hcodcric's other build ing wo rks in Ravenna. 'l 'ht: best docu mented of thes(,' is his repair of the aqlleduct. vVe have already seen that, according to the report of Sidollius Apollinaris, Ra venna's Roman aqueduct was no longer functioning in the 460s. Theoderic's reStoration of this aquetluct was seen as a ma jor feat: T he Allfm)'llllls VIl/UitlJIlIS says that "H e ITheode ricl "esrured the aqueduct of Ra \lenna, which the ruler T rajan had built, and after much time he introd\lced water," and Cassiodorus in his CiJrQlli({l also specifically mentions the restoration of the aq ueduct. ' 0) The reconstruction of the aqueduct was confijmed ill 1f)38 by the discovery in Ra\'CllJla of lead fisllllll~, or water pipes, with rhe inscription DrQlI/il/lIS] N{ostflj Rex TluMrril'lls Cil'itflti Il'dJidit. 'uIi Moreover, in a letter, T heoderic declares to the landowners arQun,1 Ravenna that he has a particular concern for a{lueductS ami charges thelll to clean out all the bushes and sapli ngs that have grown in the channel so that "we will have a fit maintenance of the baths, then the pools will swell with glass-like waves, then the water will cleanse, not stain, an.i it will not be ahl',lYS necessary to rewash things ... if sweet wa ter for drinking shall flow in, all that is used in our food will he better, since no ti:)()d seems pleasing to human life where clear sweet water is lacking." 'o; It is worth noting in this context that aq ueducts in majo r Roman cities sti ll seem to have functioned in the sixth century, and new ones were still being built, for example, as reported by Procopiu s. Rome's aqueducts sri II fu nctioned in thc early sixth century, since they are said to have been eut hy vVitigis during the course of the Gothic \Var in rnid-celltury; Constantinople's aqueduct was cm during the Avar siege of 616.'0<> From these examples we can see that one of the actions taken by a besieging ,lrrny was to cut the a(lueduct, al1(1 we can



p. Marble [lond dcpicring !-lcr路 cui.,. "nd the Srug QfCcr;neia, ~arl)' sinh cen _ "'ry,,\l uSCQ Ra'路cnn3 (u) ur. I<=>)' SUl'rinl~n _ d<路nz:I peri Ikni Archi!r!!OIl;c; c P"<:>"ggi~Tid

.Ii H.""cnn" l.\IiBACTTALTAI)

speculate whether Theoclcric himsclfhad comriburcd to Ravcnna's water decline {luring his three-year siege of OdQ3Cer. Three letterS from the Variac ordcr individuals or groups to scnd fine building materials to Thcoderic's capital: From Aestuna, from the Pincian Hill in Rome, and from Faenza he rccluests old marble and columns mat are lying around, "so that our desire for the adornment of that city Illa~' be gratifie(i. """) Some of this lIlaterial must ha\'C been intended for Lhe palace, but in Vllrim: 1.6 Thcoderie asks Agapitus, the Praetorian Prefect of Rome, to send marble workers and mosaicists from Rome for rhe construCtion of a /'(15ilifll H crmh$. " D There is no other definite inforllla oon, te:l.-tual or archaeological, for this structure, although a sixth-ccnulI), marble relief plaque depicting Hercules and the Stag of Ceryneia, now in the Musco Nazionale in Ravenna, may have been executed as part of a series of the Labors of Hercules to ciecorate this basilica (Fig. J1 ). '" The location and nature of thc building are controvcrsial, since the only



evidence for it comes from this letter. In the pre-Christian Latin trad ition,

a bllsilica was, as Vitruvius says, a ~hdtere( 1 pu blic hall oil the forum;' " however, by the sixth century the word ('lIs;I;("1I was a wonl used almost exclusively for eh'lrches. f1 '; Cassio<ionls docs nor usc the word clsewhcn: in dIe Vllrillf, where la rge royal halls are called 111111/('; the srrucrure and its dedication to Hercules imply that some classical noaditiOll was consciously being rdived for Ravenna. Agnellus twice refer~ to;l agio I -hl"w/lIIli1, which he says was the location of the cathedral and not far from St. Andrew J\'lajor,lI-I thus in the center of the old Qppidlllll and possibly nC:l r the forum. Somewhere in this location stood a 5-meters-tall statue of Hercuk:s holding a sundial on his shoulders, which was supposedly eft.-cteel by the emperor Tiberius and sun'ive(1 until 159 1. Some scholars have thus proposed tha t ThOO{leric's basilica was probably llssociated with this region, and must have heen a secular civic building in the heart of the 01(1 Oppidll1ll ."; On the other h311(1, Cassiodorus's letter begitl.~ by saying. ~it is indeed worthy for a king to ado rn [dc(omre] his pal~ces with lmildings." Another group of scholars has therefore seen this build ing as part of the palace. of which, lIS we have seen, we know very little. "" The fact that "nsi/imp were not normally p;l rt of palaces remains problematic, and thus the question remains open.




From his own day to the presem, the extraordinary Structure in which Thcoderic was buried has been considered one of his moSf remarb ble achievementS. '" The AIIOIlYlllllS Vi/luitlllllS poim:> out the features that are still considered worth), of notice today: "while still alive he made himself a monument ( 11101/1/1/1>'11111111) of blocks of stone, a work of marvellous size, and he sought out a huge rock to place on the top."",,8 This description re Aects Jerome's aCCOl1nt of the tomb of the ancient TIller Mausolus of I-lalicarnassus, which was extant in T heoderic's day and was widely known to ancient and mediey,l l authors; Cassiodorlls lists it as one of the Seven \ Vonders of rhe \Vorld. "9 In many respet.:ts T h('(xleric's mausoleum is uni(lue, and he probably intended it to echo the famous tom bs of ru lers such as lvlatlsolus 3n(1 VariO\l$ Roman cmperors, while at the same timc testi~'ing to his own unique greatness. The fact that it today ap pears incomplete, and that it is unlike any other known SlrUCfUre, has made it the su bject of much speculative interpretation. Some have wamed to see it as a wRoman" monument, whereas odlers have read it as something slrange and therefore "C'..othic"; it is possible that this ambiguity, which was so much a part of 路rheoderic's politica l ideology, W;}S intentional.



jJ. ,\ busol<wn

ofThrod. rie, vic'" from ,t..: ~ 路<St( phoIo

s. ,\I>wJ.:opfj Lot:ated juSt outsi de the northeast mrnerof the city wall at the time it was constructed, the mausoleum wou ld have been dose to the small harbor and ~"Oasdine . Th e site by within Ravenna 'seemclXry zone, and graves excavated to the southeast in the mid- nineteenth century contained jewelry identified by archaeologim as "Gothic.~ "o Agncllus refers to its location as "at the lighthouse" (ad forum); as we have seen, Ravenna had a famous lighthouse in the Roman period, mentioned by Pliny the Elder, wh ich may h ..'e given its name to this area, ' " The first thing to note is that. unlike any other building in Ravenna, Theoderic's mausoleum was built not of brieL: but of limcstone that ,.une from lstria, across the Adriatic Sea from Ra~enna. '" The wall surfaces pr(.-sent beautiful S<Juared ashlar blocks, shaped to fit together pcrf~'ttly using the technique of I1nathyrosis. in which the inner surfaces of the ashlar blocks arc made sl ightly conca,'e, so that a perfect fit has only to be atta i n~1:l around the cdge of each block. Somc of the blocks "'cre can'Cd in situ to create the interior wall ~1Jrfu~'Cs; for example, on the interior of the lower chamber. thc corner angles are not made of joins between bloc ks, but instead la rge blocks have been shaped in place with the comer angles cut out of them (Fig. 34). T he arches and lintels are made using "joggled mussoirs," blocks cut with a zig-zag that links with the next block (Fig. 35); this technique, whi le used th roughuut the Ruman Empire in the imperial period, by the sixth century is known to h..'c been used only in the eastern " -lcditerr.l11ean,



H. ,\tnllsoicum o f T h ~o.dc ri ~,

'-;ew of rhe in'c_ rioro fd,~ low~r


which has led to the suggestion that Theoderic imported architects from Syria or Asia Minot (Q construct his lOmb. "l Beneath the finely crafted surfaces, the interior core of the wall s consist.~ of irregu lar blocks of Stone, smaller fragments, and mortar, ';4 T he entire weighty strl,lCnlre rests on a platform of brick ami mortar that is at least 1.5 m deep and rests on the Ilatural sa nd, which extends in 3 circle 7.9 In beyond the corners of the mausoleum. I '5 Originally a fence, com])Qsed of metal grilles supported by thirty carved marble piers, LZ9 III high, su rrounded the building at a distance of +8 m. " ~ T he care taken with the design 31ld engilleering of the buildi ng demonstrates era frsmanship of the highcst Ic\'cl. Tht: mausoleum itself is a centrally plannell building with ["wo srories; each Story is visually articulatecl o n the exterior and h~ s a vaulted chamber on the interior. Centrally pl anned strllCQlres arc typical of Roman elite mausolea, and it is often noted that T hoo(leric's mausoleum imitates Roman im perial mausolea know n from Rome, Spa lato, Milan, T hessalonike. amI Constantinople. "; Although 1Il0St of these strucrures were made of brick, therc is evidence that some, such as the mausoleum o f Augustus in Rome, were plastered and painted on the exterior to look like stone. d Despite obvious similarities. Theoderic's mausoleum also conrained some significant differences frOIll contemporary imperial mausolea. One difference is the fact that while some pre-Christian Roman mausolea had an upper and a lower chamber, after the rourlh century imperial mausolea generall}' had only one level, amI were usually attached to adjacent churches.' ''I Thcoderic's tOlll b was a frcestaluling monum cnt, and although



35. ,\ busukull1 o f Th ~<;>dc ri ~.

cnlrnncc:. lower len]

it has been argued that one of the chambers took on the functions of a chapel , this layout is found in no other contemporary royal tomb. Some fourth-century pre-Christian imperial exam ples from the Balkans, such as the mausoleum of D iodetian at Spalaro and twO funerary strucrures found at Gamzigral.l , with which Thcoderic would certainly have been familiar, were not ana chell ro churches and had two stories and were moreover made of ashlar masonry making them better models for our monument. I JD \Vc will return to this question. Anodtcr difference is that imperial mausol ea generally had circular or octagonal ground plans, whereas Thcoderie's build ing had ten sides at ground level (Fig. J6). Explanations of dlis feature usually center on dte writings ofBoctilius, who wrOte a treatise on mathematics in which number

.. 8


36. M,uwl"",,, o r Th"od~ric.

pbn al gruII"'] IC"d showing th stnJcruf"(" ~nd Ihe "rigin~lloc"lion

"fth" fi:nc~ 1>O!o"t!< ("ft~r H eiden_ reichIJoha",, <;"S,

''.I i I. fig路l3 i)

symbolism and Pythagorean ideas were explicitly discussed, ann whose knowledge was specifically praised by Cassiodorus. Ten was considered by Bocthius to be a perfect nmnbcr, symbolic of heaven, and by this rc~soning would he a vcry appropriate layOut for a tOmb.')' If Bocrhian mathematical theory influenced the construC[ion of Theodcric's tomb, '.!' Thcoocric was aiming for originality rather than conformity with established imperial

tr:J(litioll. 37' ,\1nusoicurn of Th<:o(ic:ric, I'lJn o rlh~

"PI'"r ]""d (otter Hcitk nreich/Johanllcs. ' 97 1, iiI:, I I)


Let us examine the bu ilding b ,d by level. T he exterior outline of the lower level has ten sides, with the entrance on the west side. On each o f the other nine sides, a niche with a rectangula r plan and an arched top (1,44-46 met(.'rs wi{k, 1.41 mcters deep, ami 6'50 mcters high) rakes up a majority of the wall surface and creates an undulating eff"ecr. A comice runs conti nllously around the exterior at the level ohhe springing of the arches of these niches; a drawing made ca. 1 500 by Giuliano da Sangallo shows nnother cornice n the tOP of the lower stor}', but no trace of such a detail survives.' ;; The geometries of the lower !t..路vc! arc ~'I htle and hrilliantly worked out. The interior room on the lower level is cruciform; the ends o f the cross ~rms arc not Rat, bllt each have three face ts which arc angled ~o that they arf' parallel to the exterior walls and niches of the deeagon. In the cast and west arll1S, the angled facets an: carved in the up per corners with ~eashells , a funerary symhol. Two small slit windows, one above the other, pierce the center of the wall on the east side, while in the north and south arms of the cross twO similar windows pierce the side facets of each end wall. A simple cornice runs around the entire interior space at the level of thc spri nging of the barrd vau lts, whi<.路h are made of long ashlars (!<ig. H )' There is no evidence of any other imerior derorarion on the walls or vaults. The upper le\,el has a smaller diameter than the lower, and a platform 1.30 m wide runs around the exterior; the upper doo r is directly above the lower, although thcre is no l'vidence of a stair('j$c giving access to this Icvel (Fig. 37)' T hc structure herc is dccagona l up to thc level of the cornice al)(we the door, but then becomes circular. Nine sides of the dOC"Jgon (excluding the walJ witb the door) al'e articulated with shallowly ca rved rectangular Iliche~ tOpped by projet:cing lunettes ami separated hy pilasters, with triangublr brackets projL'Ctlng at the upper level on the corncrs, Ranked by adclitional slots (Fig. 38). This wall aJ路ticularion is part of some more complex decorative plan for this k>\'el; it is not clear whether the decora tion was originally com pleTed ami was subsequently completely dismanue(l or whether it was never completed. '路\of The statemenr in the 111I01l)'lIIllS VllleJ/II/lm' rather implies that the structure was completed, but only because it does nOt say that it was left unfinished. Also, since st\'en years elapsed octwecn T hcodcric '5 death ,1l1d the start of thc Gothic H'ar, it secms likely that it wo uld have ut:en completed after 516 even ifnot before, although, of Course, the original design 111igh t then have been 111OOil1cII. There has been a great deal of debate abmJt what the original decoration of the upper exterior story was (or was imemle(l to be). One suggestion, made most forcefully by H eidenreich and Johannes after detailed examination of rhe architecture, is that only a Rat wall articulation was originally intended, decorated with relatively sha llow relief,;ls well as statues o f



j 8.



ofThroderic, ~,hkc"l>足

"""".(j>hoto C L, Snikerj

winged victories set on the comer brackets (Fig. 39). 'J5 While their statues arc somewhat fanciful, this reconstruction corresponds to some of {he imperia l mausolea in the Balkans, which, unlike dIose in M ilan, had a pl ain upper exterior drum set back from a lower colonnade. On the other hand, S<.>vcral scholars ha"c propos~~[ that there was originally mcant to be an arcaded loggia or gallery surrounding this level, composed of shon barrel vaults perpendicular to the walls of the decagon and support~-d by the lu nettes and slots in the walls (Fi g. 40). 'JO Such reconsrructions are based on the proposa l that Thcodcric's mausoleum im itated imperia l mausolea in M ilan, in particubr the now-lost chapel o f San Gregorio at San Vittore al Corpo, the buria l place perhaps of Alaximian or Valcntin ian [I, and the chapel of San Aquilino anachcd to San Lorcnm, each of which had an exterior loggia or "dwarf gallery" at the upper level. 'J) San Aquilino, at least, had only one interior chamber, and morco'-er the loggia was set 31)(l\'e the window w ne, thus did not Rank a door; on the other hand, both Mausoleum z at Gamzigrad and the Tomb of M ausolus at H aliCllmassus had a colonnade at thc upper levcl, and some depictions of the Holy Sepulchre show a similar arrangement. ,)8 Since ultimately we Cllnnot know what was intended or what was built, we can on ly conclude that given the variety of models available to Thooderic and his architects, anyone of the proposed reconstructions would have carried connotations of classical monumental tombs_ The upper chamber is circulu on the interio r, 9.zo meters in diameter, with a small square niche (1.8 meters wide. l .z8 meters dccp, 1.90 meters


• 3'




, •




, •

.. 39· Re<:rm ~[n.Jctio n of th e ,\ iuuso]eum of Thcodcric (b)· H cidcnr<:-

• •




-. •

i~ h/J <lh"nn "",

t9i 1)

,+ 0, R~"''')n­

srn,cti"" () f Ih e ,\busol~um

ofTh eodcric (hy Dc Angcli~ d'/Asn l. '9(0)



-I " )\I,,,,,;oI<:ul1l nfThc:(Xlcric, Il<>rp h)'ry Imhtul, in th ... upl) ... r room


high) set imo the east wall directly opposite the clltrance. '.19 T he walls 3rc articulated by a cornice at the level o f the lintel over lhe door. Above this cornice is a window lOne: four small windows 3rc inserted ahove the lloor. Small windows f3L"e directly north and south, slightly larger windows face northeast, southeast, northwest, and southwest, ' -1 0 and a window facing directly to the east takes the form of an equal-armed cross. Above the niche in the eastern wall, below this window, 31lotllCr cross is carved in high relief on the keystone of the arch. Above the window zone is another plain cornice and surmoll!Hing the whole is the monolithic dome. In the center of the dome carl be seen the outline of a circle. shallowly can'cd and cmbossed as

though it Qriginally helll plaster for a fresco or mosaic (the painted cross that appears today is medieval Or later). ' 4[ Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century descriptions mention a figural mosaic floor in thislevcl, although we do no t know if this was origina l or from a la ter date. T he floor of d,e upper level was remade in 11)03, at which time a drawi ng was made of the vaulting of the lower chamber. [4' 'VVhere in this structure was T heoderic buried? Agncllus says, " But it seems to me that he has been cast out ofhis tomb, and that vcry marvelous vcssclJying there, made of porphyry stone, was placefl before the entrance of that 1lI0IlnSftri Il1ll." ' 4 1 Since ' 9'3 a late antique porphyry bathtub has S[{)ori in the upper chamber of the mausoleum, which is presumed to be the object that AgnclJus describes (Fig."I ). It is impossible to determine whether T heoderic was really buried in dlis vessel. Certainly the bathtub had imperial cOlUlotations, as only cmperors were allowed to own objects











4'. ,\hU>Olcum of Theodoric, · 7.... ,g<nfri... relief orrument .I1he ba", of the

""I"t<.>ne (pOOto C L Striker)

made of porphyry, and it was the right sire for burial. '+I But in which chamber would it ha"e been plaecd? It seems mO'lt likely that Theoderic's body was in the upper Story, to avoid the Hooding that besetS Ravenna, and in order to be dircctly under thc dome. As therc is no evidence for stairs 00 the upper Story, the oomb chaml,"",r would ha,"e becn ina<:l"t'ssible after Thcoderic's burial, whercas thc lower chamber wou ld be used as a memorial chapel. ' ~5 On the other hand, in earlier imperial mausolea, including those in the Balkans, the lower spacc was used for the tOlllOs and the upper chamber for a shrine" The cruciform layout of the lo""cr chamber is similar to chapels such as the "mausoleum o f Galla I'laLidia,~ which, as we have seen, may not have been an imperia l mausoleum but ceminly was similar to a type of late antiquc mausoleum---chapcl. Thus, somc scholars have proposed that the upper chamber was the intended memorial chapel, while the lower space would have oontain~-d the oombs ofTheoocric and his family. ,.r We do not know when Theoderic's body would have been removed from the tomb, as our terminus illite quem is Agnellus in the ninth ccnrury, nor do we know whether other members ofThcoderie's family were originally intended to be buried there. There is no r~"OOrd, for example, of the burial place of his grandson Athalaric. Once again, therefore, we are left only with specu lation. \Ve finally come to the uppermost level of the srructure and its amazing roof. Above a flat wne into which thc windows are set, a band decora ted in relief with a ~-urious "tonb'S" (Zfll1grnjri«) pancrn marks the transition to the monolithic dome (Fig. 4!). The mausoleum is capped. as the


' J<

.~ M"ts<>Ieum of Theodoric. 4j.

,,,,,""Hhe COI"'OIIC


,he in""';!'';'''. "S(2fI)c('u)< Potru>" (photo


#!", ,

• . .•

C [_ Striker)

Alwnymus remarks, by a single huge slab of stone (Fi g. 38). With 3 diameter of I o.76 meters, ;t is ].':>9 melers high and estimated 10 weigh over 300 Ions; itS summit rises 15.4' meters alxwe the original ground 1<-»,cl. At the tOp of thc dOlnc thc rock has been carved to (orm a shallow ring 3. 7S acros>, at the center of which is a raise<.! rccungular platfonn (0.76 x 0,5' meters). '~l At the edge of the roof, CoIrved out of the same block of STOne, are twelve ~"Venly spaced spurs, pierced on their undersides, and inscribed with the names of apostles on their oUler edges (Fig. 43).' ~ The placement o f the monolith was an imprcssi"c teclmica 1 feat; indeed, it may have bcen toO diffi~.,".tl t for the buildcrs_ A large crack on the south side of the monolith is thought (0 hal"c de,·eloped at thc timc it wasplaccd on thc mausoleum. '49 Sinct the spurs arc not symmetrically dispo~d rebtive to the doors and other features of the building, it is thought that when the cracking b<.'gan, the archiK>cts simply left it where it was. T he Spllrs themselves may have becn used to help movc the monolith; it has oc'Cn proposL'<i t hat a massi"e earth ramp was construct~'<i, up which the monolith was drawn, and that the spurs were used to attach ropes to lift it into place" ' so And yet, the spurs ~lInnot have been only functional, bl.'l.lIUSC in that (1ISC they would have been remOl"ed after the dome was in place; they must have sef\l~-d some decorative or symbolic purpose. Some have seen them as imitations of the spurs that were used to load the edges of domes constructed of brick or cement, such as can be seen on the (much later) dome of Hagia Sophia in CunSLIntinopJe; ' J' or, Cl.mll'lctely different, as imitations of a large tent, or to look like a mural crown, or simply to render the



monolith visually less heavy. ' 5' But why were there tv..c1n: of them? IIHIced, ten woul(1 hal'e ueen a choice m{)re consbttnt wi th the de<:agooal grouoll plan. That the spurs also had a symbolic pUrpose is seen from the fact that thl..'Y arc inscribed with the tollowing names clockwise from the south, each preceded by the abbreviation SCS [sanctus]: Petrus, Simeon, Thomas, Lucas,Marcus, Matthias, .~路1al"tholom (aeu)s [tor Bartholomaeus], Feli ppus, lohannis, lacopus, A.11I1reas, Paulus. ' 51 This is not the srandarlilist of apos路 tics known in the West, for c.~ample, as na med in the Orthodox Baptistery, San Vitale, and the capella arcivcscovilc, since here the evangelists Lule anll NI ark arc included instead of Judas Zelotes and one of the J ames. Beca use this list of names is similar to those found in the eastern J\'lediterranean in the sixth century, including perhaps in the church of the I loly Apostles in Constantinople, some scholars have concluded that Theoderic wishe(1 [{) be Imriell in the s}'mholic presence of the aposcles, like the emperors in Constantinople. IH \-\lhile it is curious that Theoderic's tomb woul(1 wntain a ('.onstantinopoliral1 list of apostles w'hile the Orth()(lox churche~ Imilt at the same time do nOt, the cllstern origins of the workmen, and Theoderic's own experiences in Constantinople, make it a plausible suggestion. As already nmcd. many scholars have re<ld Theoderic's tomb as symbolic of the ideology of his reign, and iJ1 particular it has been seen as 3 sign orhis rule as both a Roman and as an O strogoth. The differences between this monument and Roman e.xamples are there tore somerimes taken as evich:nce of "Gothicness." It has been propos('d, for eXllmple, that the lower level is "Roman" while the upper level instead contains ~ a g~ feafllres, because that is when! Theoderic's tlOliy was to lie. 's;; F. Deichm<lnn has traced the histOl"y of this idea ftOm the ~vcntecnth ccntu ry througb twentiecll-century German Nazi icleology, showing that it has more to do with romantic ideas of "Germanic" llcsthctics than actual historical cI:illence.';6 Nevertheless, the monolith, for example, has heen interpreted as a holdovcr from Theodcric's "Gothic" past, as a rcm Lniscencc of the brge rocks placed on prehistoric tom bs, ('ven though such tombs arc not known from any of the regions in which Theoderic lived or visited. ' S' Since, as we have seen, thc monolith was viewcd as someth ing unique and differem alxlllt Thcolleric's tomb, it is certainly possillie that he intended it as a monument to his own uni(lue power, without necessarily having any "Gothic" connotations. I ;8 T he one feature that most scholars 3gTce is not 3 Roman ()ccorativc motif is rhc relief band lust below the bonom cdgc of the roof slab (Fi g ..p ). Called a ZnllgClljiics ("frieze of tongs") by Heilienreich al1li Johannes, it has been linked to decorative motifs on "Germanic" jewelry, and is oflen identified as the Ilistinctive fearure that keeps the mausoleum from being wholly Roman in inspiration. Only one of Heidenreich and Johannes's




examples has an Ostrogothk context: the gold cuirass or harness fitting exc3v~te(1 near the mausoleum in 1854 3n(1 now bst. '59 Otherwise, the motif compares most closely with one used as a bonIer all early sixthcentury brooches made in 5<Juthcrn [)l,'nmark.'60 T hus. whi le the 7~lIIgt'lI ­ ji-its is an abstract ornamental design of a sort that might ha\'c been found on jewelry made ill the sixth cenrury, we canllot assume that such II motif would have been read as typically "Oslrogothic" or evell "Germanic" in this context. Once again, it appears to be a sign of difference or uniqueness of the sort that we h~\'e seen in other clcmcntl; on this monument. As a memorial to T hoodcric's reign, the mausoleum has been em inently Sllccessful. 'fhe mystcries of it:; meaning that amaze and bemuse mQ{lern viewers were intenlied to do JUSt that; Theoueric and his advisers were COIl structing a tIl0nUllH!llt that might stri ke different chords with The dilferent (.'onstituencies within his kingdom, Romans, Goths, and others, a durable testamen t to his power and his claims to greatness th~t would keep his name ~Iivc down through the ccntllrics.

The Ostrogothic Kingdom after Theoderic to 540 In the kingdom created hy Theoderic, the king was the linchpin bef;\l.'een competing factions of Romans, Goths, and €:\1ernal tOrce:;. Theoderic was successful because his vision and his abilities inspired respect or fear from ~II sides. f'or a variety of reasons his successors did nO[ have the abi lities or the favor:lble poli tical circumstances to ~mable them to maintain the balance. i\'iost of our i ofor mati 011 about this period comes fro m {h_e history of the Gothic 'Nar written by Procopius, who was a member of the staff of the BYl'.3ntinc army that rcrolUlucreeJ the peninsula. \Vhile, as we have seen, Procopius admired Theo<leric, he was hanlly an impartial observer, and his constructs of " Roman" and "barbarian" identity, for c)(3t11pic, arc stereotypical in the extreme. t G, Our other major source for this period is Cassiodorus, who mnrinuerl to serve the OStrogothic rulers, notably as praetorian prefect from 533 until :B7 o r 538, and more than ,60 of the letters in the Vilrillr were written after Theoderic's death. These letters continue to be <lbout routine administrative matters; C<lssiocJoru~ seems intent on stressing the peacdliiness and normality of the kingdom. ' ~: However, the kingdom was anything but peaceful and normal. After Thcoderic's death in 516, hi s eight-year-old grandson Athalaric was proclaimed king under a regency headed by his mother Amal:Jsuintha. 'IiJ Amalasuimha had been given a Roman education and could speak se\'eral languages; Procopius says that she ·'administered the government and provcd to be endoll'cd wi th wisdom and regard for justkc in the highest {legree, disl)layillg to a great extent the masculine temper."' !>.+


Perhaps with T heooeric 's suppo rr, she atrcmpted to c{lucate her son in the Roman manner. As wc have al ready seen, this Iloes not seem tIJ havc cndc,lred her to a powerful faction o f G othic warriors of the COll rt who fel t that his martial a bil itics wOllld thm be compromised. Procoplus tells us chat these men removed the young prince from his Illother's care, and resolved to bring him up "more barbarically" (~a:pI3aPIKW'HPOV), which llpparently in\"oln'~d drunkenness anti debauchery, so that Athalaric died ill 534 from a wasting disease. AmalasuiJlth.a prodaimcd hcrsel f queen in association wi th her cousin Theodahad , the son of T hL'vdcric\ sister Amalafrida. Thcodahnd was noted far his love of GreeD-Roman lc:lrn ing and of otber people's property, tor which hL' had been ('alled to aC("(lUnt by AmalaSll intha. She had thus apparemly alienated enough of the G othic nobility that Theodahad was able to imprison her on the island of Vol sen a, where she was mllrdere(1 in 535. ,(" Amalasuintha's murder pn.'sellfC(i the eaStern emperor J us ti nian with a political o pportunity that wa~ im(l{)s~ible to rt!~ist, ~i nce she hall 3ppealcd to him for su pport. In 533, ] ustinian had hegun a 'l uest to reeonquer thewcstern empire; hL' had sent an ar my, led by his general Bclisarills. against the Vandal kingdom in North Africa, and had won a remarkably quick victory. Amalas uintha had w ri tt~ll (0 J ustinian, asking for his sllppon o f her rule when she oetame (Iueen (in the same way that Theoderic 3ml Athalaric had ovtained imperial support for theil' rule). H er death provided J ustinian with a pretext for war, ,66 and even a cause in the person of her dallghter Mat;lsuintha. who was now Theoderic's only legitimate heir. In 535, Belisarius took a small army to Sicily and con(luered it for J ustinian; Tbeodahad was 6rst conciljatol'Y and then de6ant, and Bclisarius hrought his army to the Iulian mainlalHI. Naples was capture(] in late 536, and thell Bdisarius cnrercd Ro mc; Theod ahad was deposed lllld murderell, replacell by a Gothic leader named \.vitigis, whQ married Matasuintha. ,",Vitigis besieged Bclisarius in Rome from 537 to 538, but the imperial army was rei ntorced, and Witigis had to fall back to Ravenna. A new imperial general, Narses, appeared on the scene, confusing the Roman military command, and \Vitigis scored some victories, including the rccap[Ure and sat:k o f .M ilan in 5J9. After Nar ses was recalled to Constantinople, Bdisarius Jeci{bl that the quick way to resolve the war was to capture Ravenna. A fleetCllf the ci ty olfby sea and armies besieged the land and riyer app roaches. The des peratc Goths finally surrcndered the city to Bdisarius in March of 540; ,6; the army entered peacefully, and \Vitigis. l\Jlatasui ntha, and other Gothic nota bles were sent to Constantinople. T his ended the fi rst phase o f the war. P roeo pius's accOunt reveals the meaning of Ravenna for the GOdlS and partkularly for the Amal dy nasty. AlIlalasuimha fulc(l from Ra\'Cllna, where she n:si([e(l after putting ([own a plot against her. 168 As a letter by




Cassiooonis im plies, she was vcry aware of her predecessor Galla Placid i;! , also a regent for a young son, whose works were so evident in the citf.,/iq Agncllus reports a Story that Amalasuintha built a hOllse where there was in his day a chapel dedicated to Sr. Peter n thl,' O rphanage; this was in the western part of tbe old oppidlllll, and thus fa r away fro m the main palace. '~ 'fheodahad e ..iled her from Rave nll;! so that he co uld rule there. T he first thing that \Vitigis (Ii,l when he was chosen as king was to consolidate control of Ravcnnn, and it was there that he married NLn3suintha, who was prc~'l1mbly living in fhe palace,l;1 T he appro:lch of the imperial army against Ravenna was viewed by Goths as something to be a\"oided at all costs.' !' Perhaps because of Ravenna 's reputation as being impregnable, the Byzantine generals did not start wh;!t might be a lengthy siege until they could be assu re<1 t hat they would not be attacked rrom the rear. '路 ' Ravenna was therefore left in peace until 540, unlike ()[her 1tlajor cities such as Napl e~, Rome, and ,\1ilan. Noconstruniol1 works in Ravenna are credited to Athalaric, T hoodahad, \:Vi rigis, or Matasuintha, although, as we have seen , it is perfectly possible that projects hegun under T heoderic were l'Ompleted by his successors . It is notable that, ;ls at other times in thl;' city's history, Ravenna was spared a sack in [ilis war, which allowed the dty to continue as a govern mental center. The surrender of Ravenna did M t mean the end of the Gothic king. dom; other kings ru led from o ther cities until 55+ However, the capture o f Ravenna meant the capture of Matasu im ha and the royal treasury and marked the end of any pretense that a Gothic ki ng cou ld be the heir o f Theoderic.



Arianism and the Goths The proposition that Chri~t w~s a crc;nion of Gl)(l the Father, and hence a subordinate being, is attributed to Arius, a priest of Alexandria (d . 336). \Vhilc many church leaders accepted Arius's formulation, others \'I,~hc ­

mently opposed il, and the debarc over the nature of the Trinity energized the Christian world at a (ritical time. 'rhe emperor Constamint:, who publicly suppt)r[c<1 Christianity after 311, called an assembly of representatives from the entire Church at Nicaea in 31;. Arianism was condemne<l, the firs t heresy to be so defined an ecumenical council, and the tCflll


hQ1II00IIS;O," ,

"of the same substance," was used in the new creed to I:lllphasi7.c

the equality of Father and Son. Despite its condemnation , Arius's theology retained numerous supporter5, and was developed in different directiOlls in the following decades. Supporters of N icene belief often labeled as Ari;1ns ;111 those who opposed the hOllloousian formula ~Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, ~ using instea(l the phrase ~Glory to the father through (pIT) the Son in (ill) the Holy Spirit.''' ' Vhill' all "Arian" grO\lps believed that Christ was not equal in stams to God the Father, and that the Holy Spirit was a being create(1 by Christ and/or the Father, their exact beliefs abou t the Trinity varied: Some believed that Father and Son were '""1iL:e" (/Jo/JIoios) but not the same as each other, while others, like [unomiu s and his followers, thought that the twO were completely different ÂŤ(I1I/Jo1110ios). ' Several of Constantinc's key advisers and Constantine him se1fhad Arian sympathies; his son Constanti\1S I I. ~'ho ruled the empire from 33 7-01, was an Arian (of the /;011/0;01 va riety), as was the ea,tern em peror Valens (36478). /\1 though Arianism was condemned a second time at the ecumenica l Council of Constantinople of 381 at the urging of the tmpel"Of Theodosius I, ;Ind no su bsequent cmperors supported it, Arians contin ued to cxist ' 39


ill parts of the empire, esp(."dally the Balkalls and Italy. 1 '" Barbaria ns" who wen: Arian ~en-ed in the imperial a rmit:~ in Constantino ple, anll thus there was an Arian presence in that city also unti l the timeofJ ustinian:-I Somc Goths and/or their slaws wcre ap parently alrcady Christian in thl.' 340s, before they entered dIe Roman E mpire. III 341, U lfilas (sometimes called ",,Iulnla), a Goth , was consecrated in Constlllltinopie as the bishop for these Christians; at that time the- tl'Clesiastical hierarchy ill the eastern capital dty was Arian, and fourth-century historians attribu te the Arianism o f the Goths to Ulnlas) Ulfi las prodm:cll a translation of the Billie into Gothic, copies of which sunive and arc our primary evidence for the Gothic Iangllage .t; Ultilas, accon\ing to a letter wrinen by his pll pil Auxenuus, emphHically bel ieved ill a Christ created by the unneated Father, which pm mm somewhere to the radical side of the btJllloiru' party, but not as far as the llllhrJ/!lOios side, and he may have changed his theolo!:,'Y between 341 and 383.1 Gothic Christians wcre pl.'r.~ecU{ed hy sollle pagan Visigothic leaders, but as a result of various ncgotiation~ and treaties with Valens in the 370S, the V isigoths, or at least their leaders, II'ho settled in the empire in 376 had commim:d to Ulfilas's version of Arian Christianity. ~ However, the Goths in the fourth and fifth centuries were not a religiously unified gro\IP, and some Goths followed more moderate lorms of Arianism ,? some were Ortho(kJ)(, and some rem ained non-Christian. I<> The Ostrogoths 110 not appear as:I distinct group until the 4 50S; it issaid that they had converted to Arian Christianity by the time they entered Pannonia in .f55. \Vc do not know how or when this ha ppened; then: seems to have been in fluence from the Visigoths, as the O strogoths in h al y used the Gothic Bible produced by Ulfilas, wbich wou ld bave been a lIl!)re radical version ." O n the other ham!, B. L uiselli cOllvincingly argues that TIH.'oderic in particular, and the O strogo ths in general, are likely to have been int1uencell by a more moderate lorm of Arianism followed by Visigoths who remained in anti around Constantinople in the mid-fifth century. " The importance of Arianism for the Osrrogoths in Italy is a hotly debated topic; the sources arc too scant)' to tell us anything about personal belier, and we have nothing written by an Arian . Some scholars helieve that Thcooeric USN\ Arianism as a way to keep the OSlrogoths uni fied and distinct from their Roman neighl)()rs.'l Others nOte thar there were both Roman anti Gothic Arians, 'i and that the theological differences probably didn't maner much to anyo ne O\Jtside the church hierarchy, " or indeed that Theotieric's modera te Arianism could be accommodated by the Orthodox. It; In facrir seems likely {hat all these fa cts were {rue: At times Arianism was used as political and theological justification for uniting people,


Arialllbl,lis,el)'. ~ e"d of an ;J;J.


either in fa vor of or against it, while at the same dm e the creed of individ-

uals was flllie! and mutable and did not nee(j ro (;orrespond to any ethnic: iocntiflcation. '" Thcooeric's attitu(lc toward Arianism was almost certainly colored by his experience in Conmnrinople. When he arri ved in 461 (he Gothic-Alan generals Aspar and Ardabur comrolled the imperial arlll)' and their Arianis m was tacitly [DIcTated , but anti-Arian riots and persecution were part of their overthrow in 471. ,11



The chief ecclcsiological issue of the carly si.~th century was the dcbJtc between Nestorians, Eutychians (mon1)physites), miaphysites, and those in between. Ncstori\lS had said that Christ had two separate persons, one human and ont! divine; this waS condcmnl,'{{ at the C0\11161 of Ephesus of 431. In response, Euryches had proposed thar C hrist had only one divine nature, which had completely subsumed his human nature (monophysitism). Euryches was condemned at the Council of Cha\cetlon in 451, at which il was stated tha t Christ had two natures cornainc(1 in one person. The C hakcdonian position was accepted hy the t:hurchcs of Rome and Constantinople. However, some theologians, especially io Egypt, rejected Nestorius, Elltyches, IIlId Ch~Iccdon, ami instead proposed tha t Christ had one natu re that was both full y hum~n and fu lly divine (llIi~physiriSlll). All sides, unl ike the Aria ns, accepted the elluality of the three persons of the Trinity. lloth Nestorian and miaphysite positions had many supporters, a nu attempts to find a cotllprOlnLse between the different parties l'()]lsumcd milch I)f the si:\1:h century. In this conto.1:, Arianism seems to have been almost ignored, at least in eastern theological circles. Tn the \\'est, howel'er, th ... presence of Arian nllcrs produced a different th"ological climate. Odoacer had ruled Ir~ly as an Arian for thirteen years before the arrival of the Ostrogoths, a pparently without ecclesiastical conflict. For much of Theoderic's reign, the popes were in dispu te with the Constantinopolitan church over the emperor Zeno's attempt to reabsorb the miaphysitcs into the imperial Church and o\'er the election of Acacius (484- j 19) as the patri路 arch of Constantinople. Acac1us was regardcd as not guitc Chalccdonian in hi s conception of the natures of Christ, bur this had nothing to do with Arianism . .In addition, from 498- 506 the Roman clergy could not agree on Ollt' legitimatt' pope. Amory notes that the popt's seem to havt' regarded both Odo;lcer and Theoderic as mllgistri militlllJl and not cmperors, and thus their personal beliefs wen: not a lllattl:r of ma jor cOllcern. IQ The / 111(111)'11111' V(flcsi{IIII1~' praises Odo~cer as SOl11t,,'One who "was of good will and followed the Arian doctrinc ... ," and says of Thcod"ric, "hc so governed the two peoples, Ro mans and Goths, tOgether thar although he himself was of the Arian doctrine, he nevertheless did nothing against the catholic religion .... " 10 Intleed , hi~ tolerance of Jews was equally well known and dis;lpproved of by his Onhodox critics; in a letter to the Jews of Genoa is follfl<] this falllOus statement: "I cannot command your fa ith, for no o ne is forced to believe against his wilL ''' ' Luiselli argues that this tolerance was a rcsult of T hcodcric's moderate Arian theology, unlikc thc morc radical and imolerant Arianism ofthe Visigoths and Vandals. " It was only after the accession of the eastern emperor Justin I in 518 and the suhsequent re"oiution of the Acacian Schism in j1 9, that Arianism came once more to the forc, perhaps b~'a u sc of increasing pressure


from rhe B~l zantines, who were now supported by the popcs.'J vVe hear from the AlIOII)"flIfS VnlrS ;lllIIIJ of three-way religious conflict in Ravenna: some O rthodox Christians burned <l synagogue, and when the Jews, supported by various Ariam, appealed to Theooeric, the Orthodox were punished. This, according to the author of the text, shows that Eutharic, the son-in-law of T heodetic who had been I'a ised in Visigothic Spain and was consul ill 5'9, was an enemy of the faith! "' J\Ioreover, in the early 510S Boethius wrote n\'o short works o n dl(~ Trinity, which arc spl,.'Citically directed against Arianism, amI arc concerned to show that the Son was consubstantial with the Father. Vllhile Bocthius', critique is fairly mild, the fact thn thl.' treatises were wrinl.'n show that hI.' and his party were gathering arguments aga inst the Arians.'5 The treatises are dedicated to a deacon john, who has been assumed to be the man who in 51 3 became Pope john 1.,6 The AIIOJI)Wlllr depicts Theoderic acting more aIHl more anti-Orthodox, including his imprisollment of the pope, an(1finally, illlllle(liately before Theoderic's Ilc;nh, .. . .. the j ewish Symmachus schO/,}st;LlfJ", at the order of a tyrant r;lther than a kjng, issued an edict on Wednesday, th(.' !oth of August, in the fourth indinion, in th(.' consulship ofOlybrius, that on the follo wing Sunday the Arians would t<lke possession of the Catholic churches. " 'i This was presun)3bly a retal iation in response to jllstinian's similar actions against the Arian churches of Constantinople.'t'i By the judgment of God, accor(ling to the author, Theoderic died before thi~ could be carried Out. Arianism had th us Uccomc an issue in T heoderic's la~t years, with political , ethnic, and theologica l issues interrwined, bur overa ll it seems that the [>ojitical aspects were more significa nt than th e theological oncs.: Q A.. the capital of Theoderic's kingdom, Ravenna became a t:enter of Ari;1n Christianit}' in the sixth century. There must have been Arialls in Ravenna throughout the fifth century, perhaps among sol(liers of the imperial army and certai nly under Odo;lcer)" T here is only very scanty information abollt Arian ch\1fch organization in rhe \..-est. It seems that in general it was much less centrally organized th<lll the contemporary Orthodox Church, with one senior cleric or bishop associa ted with th e royal court and a netwurk of s,ur rdoffs tilr other areas, rather than a centralized authority such as the pope)' Theoderic's t:hurt:h was based in R;lvenn;l and R;wenna's dOCll1uents :Ind monulllents proville us with most o f what we knQw about Ostrogothic Arianism. Evidence for Arian church build ings comes almost entirel y from Ravenna. On the basis of slight documentary references, churches in Rome and other cities have been proposcd as of Arinn foundation or usc, Illninly lX"Cause of their associations with known imperial, O stl'Og(lthic, or Lombar(1 Arians, but the (lata arc tOO scamy to inform us of whether these




churr.:hc5 were continuously Ar ian in the whole period. In any case, little of their architecture Or art survives)' OUf most de t~iled evidence for Arian churches in Ravenna comes from Agnc11us, who links them with T hcodcric. Agncllus clcscribc~ rhe Tl,'dcdicatiol1 of former Arian churchl.'S to Orthodox worship under Archbishop Agnellus, sometime between 566 and 570:.13 -nl<,r...rorc this most bleSSed om: [An:'hGishop AgndJus1 reconcile d


d ll.-

churches Qf the Goths, which werc built in Ih~ times (If the Goths or of King T hcodcri". which w..,rc h<:ld hy Arian bls"h(x,d and the sect, doctrine an d credulity of the heretics. H e r"mlldled th.., church of St. E uschilti priest and martyr, which is located not far from the Corbndri:m [idd outside thc d~'. on NOl'cmocr tJ. which Bishop U n im tllHlus Lolli lt fro m its foun(hltions in tile twcnty-fourth YC llr of !(jng '1bn.derie. And likewise hc rce(mcilCd the chu rt路h of St. George in the time of Basilius the younger. as is told in its apse. He f('concilcd the churdl of St. Sergi us, ",hk-h is 100'ated in tht: city of C lass<: nt:xt tn the l'irMilln'lIlII, and that ,If St. ZclW in Cae~an:路a. Indcl'd in the city of l{:lvcnna the church of Sf. ' i1l(:c ooorc, lIot f;lr from the hOllse of J)roc;don. which hOll$<: together with ~ bath and" 1I1onasttrium to St. Apollinaris, which was uuilt in the upper story of th" house. w"s th" "piscopal pabc" of that IArbnJ church. And wiler" nuw tllere is :llllflIlIlSl..,.ilflll 10 th" IIUly and ahw}'s inviolate \' il1fi n .\lary, then: W'l~ thl' b'lptislcry of the l'hurch of the Sllid rmrtrr ... . The nJore the most bJe~std Bishop Agndlus reconciled the l'hurch of St . .\1:1rtin the confessor in this city. which Kin g: Theoderic foundcd , which is c;l lled the Golden j路Je;we n.

Agnellus hased his account on the imperial decree thin gave Ravenna's al'chbishop all {he properlY of {he Gothic churches and on imcriptions that he foutItl ill tht' churches, namely those in St. Eusebius, St. George, and St. Martin. He refers later in his text to epi.f(opill built by the Arian bishop Unimundus at Sr. Eusebius ami St. George.3 4 Fina lly, he mentions an l'a/(o.iff Gorhom1ll ill the northeast part of the city, which docs not seem to be one of the buildings reco nciled by Archbishop Agnellus.J5 'f here were thus se\'er~l churches in and around R ~venna dlat were used fu r Arian worship b~' the mid- sixth cemury. Some of thesc arc linked by inscriptions to the Tt'ign ()fTheo deric, but Olhers might have heen older, although there is no direct el'i{lence for this)6 The ded icatee-saints d ted in the document arc probably n:tletlic;ltio ns alter their reconciliation; SIS. George, Sergius, iViartin, and Theodore arc all soldier-saints, which could be interpreted as the heavenly army act ing against the Aria ns, or perhap s as a preference of Archbishop Agnellus, ~ former soldierY Sr. Eusehius of Vercelli was a nOlable ami-Ariall fourth-ce ntury bishop, as was St. Zeno Verona, and by the 5; o~ St. i\'lartin was also viewed in this way. On the o dler hand, there were many holy men named Euscoi us in the fourth century, indutiing



Eu~chiu s or Nicolllcdia, who wasvcncratcd hy Arians, as wasGL"orgc bishop

of Alexandria ))! Om.' other piece o f evidence for AriaJl c hurches in Ravenna comes from I'fdes;fI legis Gorborllm S« ; hI{lSfilS;e sell sollie property. The document is dated [Q 55I, 1~ thus after [ile Byzantine reconquest of Ravenna but before the reconciliation of the churches under Archbishop Agnell us. The clergy listed on [he (loc ulIlem (those who signetl it in Gothic indicated by italics) arc the following:~u

a papyrus in whi{:h thl.' c1cr!,'Y of an

(II. 82-85) ... uni"",rsus daus, ic.ltost Optarit tot Vitali:mus put:S[,(ytto ri). Sunitofric.lus c.lbc:(onus), Petrus sulxliac(unus), \·Vi liarit tot Paulusclaici nee nOli <:t Minnulus ct Dallihd, "' n cuJila, .\ ·liriea et Sindila spocJ t i. Costila, G udcli,'us, Gudcrit, Hos[,ut et ustiarii, ' Vi liarit <.:t Amala thells icJem SIX.".I.::i ....

(signarurcs. II. SR--136);

t Ik Ufiw/lJIl'i papl1 ,,[1'11 < tf> id" bllnd'lII wri"ai . signlllll t Vit''.IJjan; prnt!sh(vtt:ri), s(upr.l)s(eri p)ti "end i tori~, qui fI'.Ici.mJre invcc,illiratc oculonllu susc ribcrc non 1}()l1lit, signum f [ceit]. II.- S mijllifi'ip,IS di.11·ull ImllJfllI lIIcillill' "findidl'. ego Petrus, ~u btliac(onu s) ~clisic g olice Slnc te An~~tasic ... signu m t WiJiarit clerid, s(upra)s{crip)ci \·.:nditoris, 'lui faden [te l in\'~dllirate oculorum suscriberc nOll pon/it ineffiJue signu m f [ecitl cgo PJl.dus. clerie ns eelesic legis Gothorum s(~)n e(t)~c An;lsrasic . .. ego 'Vi lli cn~nr [M i nnnlll.~ I ... ego ' gilJ [Danih d J ... ego Thcudila de ricu5 n ' J.·siae s(upra)s(cript.l~·) kgis Gorhl.lTum s(an)c(t)c Ana.loTask· . • .

lk .Ha ila bol·JI·~iI blmdnll mei",,; "fm~/id'l . signum 1 Sinthi1i3nis Sl}()(il-i s(upra)s(c ri p)mc "Jsiliea~ C'..othorum signu m t ('.()5{iianis u5tiari i $(upr.l)s(crip)tac hasilicae Gothorum sign um t Guddi"j ostiarii s(upr:l)s(~rip)t a t". basilicac Gothorum sij,'Ilum t Gu deri t ustiarii s(upra)s(cri p)tae [,asilkac Gothorum signum 1 Hoshlll u5tiarii s(upra)5(eripIJc·) b3si l iCJ~ GothoTUm siJ,'llum t BcnenJti lIstiarii s(uprn)s(cripta... ) basilicl.· GOlhonl1ll II: IFiy'"rip bul:llrds blmd"" '11Jrinlli "fmdidll.

Al though most o f the names ;l rt Gothk, there is no indicil tion in the doc\I1uent that th~e deri{:s were net:~saril}' Arlan, or for thar l11aner even Gothic. Amory notes tha t the fact tha t only a minority signed the docu ment in Gothic implies tha t the majority of the Arian clergy did not lise the Gothic language, hut only Larin, and that it is not possible to idemi£}' peoplc as either necessarily Arians or Goths on the basis of their Il<1In cs.~1 The fact that in [he 55 os the Arian church o f Ravenna, in the absence o f a bisho p, was selling property to the Orthodo.~ i~ perhaps an ind ication




of both politica l and financia l straits. h is perhaps surprisi ng that the COIllplete sur rre~sion of Aria nism dit! no t happen until after 565;'!' T. Brown

attributes thc previous lack of interference to a wish to absorb the Goths pcacl.'fully within the Bp:an6nc regime,'l) It is significa nt that anri-Arim polemic was something developed l>y Jusdnian's gm'ernment in order [0 justi!)' the conquests o f Africa, hal y, and Spain .'H In the 560s, the

tines were faced with the increasing th reat o f yet another nOll-Orthodox

group of b~rbarians, the Lombards, who, it was fd t, might become Arians, and this might have in(luccd them to ta ke a stronger action against the Arian churches under their 3uthority.-+> In any case, the document of 55 1 is the lasr witn ess to an Arian prl,'sencc in Ravenna, but the mcmory of here rica I or ig in~ wou ld become part of rhe mystique of O strogothic ru le associated with the glory of T heoderic.

SOllt'Apollillare Nl101JO The church most closely associated with Theoderic is the one that he built next to his palace, known since dle later ninth century as Sam'Apollinare N lIOVO : V' Agnellus the historian describes this church as "the church of St. i\<lartin the l'Onfessor in this city, which King Thoolleric foumie<i , which is called the Golden H eaven .. . . Indeed in the apse, if you look closely, rou will l1nd the followi ng written abo\'{' the windo ws in stone letters: ' King Thcoderic made this church from its foundatio1l5 in the name of om Lord Jesus Christ.'"+i Based o n th is inscription, it is assumed tha t T heo<leric dedicated the church fa Christ, and that it was rededicated to St. Martin at the tilIle of its eonvcrsion to Orrh(J<l mT :l ~ This transformation was apparently accompanied by a ra <lieal renovation of the mosaic decoration along the nave walls, which we will dis(:uss in detail. Agncllus provides further information about this church : And h" [Art'huishop '\f,'neiJusl r"t'ondl~'u [to OrthoJo.xy! the [mptistery o f the "hurch of Sr ..\'lartin ~nd dn'orated it "ith mosaic; bu r the ~psc.,f that Chlln::h, greatlysh'lh:n uy 3n earthqu3ke. fell in nlins in th", reign of ArchbishopJ ohn V th e younb",r [r. i !6- 44J . Aftcrw~rJs he aJom",J the LuilJ inb'S uf the \, 3U[\ with "o lurs. (LPN. dl. 8y) In hi~ IArchhishop Theodore's, r. 677-<)1 ] reign the l1UmaS!,-rilfJlJ of St. Theodore the Jea~oll was Guilt uy the plII,.idll~ T hcoJorc, not [Ir frolll thc place which is ca[led /If/ Cb"k!;i, ne.n to the chuft:h of St. ""I~rtin the conf"ssor which is called the Golden H eaven, which King Thl'O(lerie uuilt, but rt:storcd under thl' power of that uishop. (LPR eh. 1 H,j)



H. Sam'路

ApoI li.... '" N uovu. """'" ic of the....,th ,...11. Chri .. ll.o nk"d

by .ngd. (photo 拢. V.,..,.)

T hus the church, according to Agnellus, also had a ba ptisK>ry and later a chapel dedicated to St. Theodore, but no evidence of these survives:f9 T he main chu rch, except for the apse, is one of Ra"cn na's bcttcr. prcscrv~-d basilicas, an d the only one fur which tbe decoration o f the nave walls has surviv~-d .

T be church lay immediately to the northwest of the "pabce of Tbcodcric," and was apparently closely connected to tbis building. In most of the scholarly literature, it is calk-d the "palace chapel" of T heooeric, although in trutb we know neither that this is what it w.lS nor what such a designation wou ld mean in the early sixth ce ntury.l掳 Presumably it was the place where T heoderic ordinari ly worsh iped an d in which certain royal cercmonies tooL:: place, but we do not Imo'" exactly what these "'ould have been.>' As we will s~"C, interpretations of the mosaic imagery, both that which survi,'cs an d tha t which is now lost, often focus on the close connectioll!; between this church and the rOJlllI court. Architecture. The original church buil t by T heoderic had Ix."cn modifi~"d (...路en by the time of Agnellus because tbe apse coHapscd in an earthquake



in the carly eighth Lellttlr~' ; the upper part o f the west f;lcaJc is thought to have fa llen at the same time}' Bomb ([am age in V,rorld ' ,Var I md World ,"Var II a1I0ll'ed excavation anti im'cstig.ltioll of various partS of the building. In 1950 the foun dations of the original apse werc cxnvncd; rhe uaroqul,'

apse, which had been constructed in the sixteenth ('entur~', was shu t off from the church by a reconstruction of the origi nal apse made on the basis of comparison with th e apse ofSaIlto Spirito; many rceem photographs of

the church show this reconstructed apse. This n::construction in turn was removed in 1990-6 an,1 the harOt1ue apse has now been rcopcnctl to the church. "l'hL'Odcric's church, lil.c most of {he other religious strUCt\lrC5 in Ravenna, was buih of reused brick as a basilica with a nave, single aisles tha t wt!re half 350 wide as the nave, and an apse directly connL"Cted to tht! nave that was five sided on the extt!rior and St!mieircular on the interior (Fig. 46).)"1 \ Ve know nothing abou t the eleva tion of the apse, but fragments of tllN .Iimli founel in excavatiom show that it was va ulted in Ravenna's cu~t01mry manner.54 Both the layout ;md the dimensio ns 3re very similar to those of Sa n Giovanni Evangelista, founded by Galla Placidia and ostentatiously imperi al in its decoratioll;5j Theoderic no doubt intended to evoke the earlier rulers of Ravenna in his new build ing . The original ROOT level was 1. 15 - 1.50 m below that of today; the entire colonnade was raised in the sixteenth century together with its arche:;, withou t modifying the mosaics on the walls above (no lIIean technical fead). Originally, then, there must have been another hori7.On(31 zone bctwt;'en the arcade and the currell[ lowest mosaic 'Wne. This rnay have been deconlted with giJded stucco, as Agncl lus describes, and was set oIT from the upper mosaic zones by a mar ole cornice with a palmette and egg-antldan pattem.s6 Agndlus repo rts ~ stOry that the elaoorate marble floor of the basilica was miraculously {\amagetl to prevent a rfX VOIlr!,donllJ/ from stealing the materia ls. From his use of the term i (/Sh"ll ("slab"), and from excavation, it seems that the floor was made of deluxe polychrome OpUJ sertifr.5- Originally there may h;lve been a narthex or atrium of some sort at the western end ofdlC build ing, with three doors leading into the nave and aisles. s H It is )x)ssible that anmher TOmB, llerhaps even the baptistery lllemiOllNI by Agnd lus, was found at the no rt hern end of the narthcx.w Another door on the wall of the south aisle, \x:low the mitlelle window, led directly into the palace ::'o The nave colonnade. of nvelve columns o n each side, had bases, ca pita Is, and impw;t hlocks fashioned from marble from the island of Proconnesu s ncar Constantino ple, all dating to the early sixth century (Figs. 47,48). They must have been made and exportetl as a set, the earliest such example


t l . . .--. . I~..~..='I~


' <9

46. Son"_

""pollina,,, 1''''-'''<>. =:onruuc",d pl.n

'' ' - ' ' -

(hi.d)wi,h still_..i"ing boroquc.f"<

....:1 chapel> in gtOf (f'IOfIh .... 1I



'0 ""'!<~ the

""n; ling !IOO tit ""II)

from Ravcnna. 6, The Corinthian capitals, variations of a type known as II /irll, arc decorat~-d with rather flat acanthus leaves, and the impost blocks contain only a cross on the side that fatts the nave (Figs. 48, 49). Both columns and capita ls have ;ncis~-d in them Greek leners that refer to the workshops in which thL)' were made; the same marks are found on marble in churches in Constantinople and Ephesus. 6' On the walls above th~ na..., 1I11.:adc upen ~k..."CJl winduws, ~"Urrespunding to the arches of the arcade except at the eastern and western ends (Fig. 47).

47. Som'· ApoIlina ... I'uovo, ,;<w Qfth< nonhn"~

""II (rhotoc. L. S.riker)



The aisles were also lit oy windows on their ourer walls, nine on each side (only the windows on the southern side survive) (Fig. -l8). The t':\1:eriOr wall su rfaces of thc builrling arc enlivened by engaged arcades of pila sters that su rround the windows. RecallSI,' thl,' spacing of thl,' windows of thl,' nave is different from those of [he aisles, this external articulation \'isually produces difie rent rhythms. 6 ) T he ceiling was apparently made of gilded beams all(] coffers; we do !lot know if the one ,lescribed hy Agnellus wellt

back to Thcodcric's tim e, but we do know that th e buildi ng was died in m3ny btcr sO\lrcc~. Liturgical furnishings gave :ldditional articu lation to the interiOr orthc church .6.f 'fhe apse was raisc(1 abovc rhe level of thc nave hy a step. Moreover, marble triIl/Srl/IllIt路 , or openwork screen p~llelS, enclosed a space in the nave that enell(le<l west ro the third pair o f columns, ami an tim/II) was placed farther west. All of this material was also made of Pr()(,OIllH!sian marble, produce(1 in the East. All tha r survivcs of the ambo is its ccntral section, (lccorated with geometric morifs and crosses very similar to other examples made in Constantinople in the early sixth century (Fig. IS) . ~ 'i The chan<:el screen in the church rooay consists of a plllfrll7ll , or solid flat panel, that is can'ed on the one side with ~ Chi- Rho lIlonogr~m over a vase, t1anked by peacocks and a grapevi ne an<1 on the other side a Ulan (Daniel) between twO lions, also surroundetl by acanthus, grape, and other vines. This panel also seems to date to the early to mi(l-sixth century. T hree trt/lIsmmru , two almost square and one n.'Ctangular, also make up part of tht;' modern chancel screen; they too afe necora[ed with geometric figure s, crosses, hirds, v~~s, and vines, and have an equally vague date. Di fference s in style betwet;'11 these IIlIIIUJ/Jlflf ~nd [hose known to have been installed in the Byzantine perio(1 have led scholars to posit a workshop 01X!rating in Ravcnnil, influCIKC(i by the Consuntillopolit~n styles, th~t may have cre路 ated some o f these. In the apse of the chll rch today is an altar of marule inlaid with grct;'ll st;'rpentinc, which was designed to hold rdies. It is sur路 rounded by four porphyry collimns with rClIscn Roman capitals ann bases of white marhle, which form the bottom part of a riboriulIl, or t;'anopy over the altar, although originally the pioct;'s mar have come from Theoderic's palace."'" All of these furnishings date [0 the earl~' to mitl- sixth century, and it is Jlot dea r which of them were provided in the O strogothic period and which ar rhe time of the chllrch's rededicatio n to Orthodoxy.6; Sint路e worked marble in large quantities was iml>ortcd from Constantinople th ro\lghmJt the sixth century, resolvi ng this question is significant with regard to the question ( If whether there were local workshops operilting in Ravenna as early as the Theoderican period.

(orfllm IlIIn:llfII

,.6. Son"· ApoIU ...,.., I'o:"""""""oh """-ude ..ith thcomoo(phow ,\b'Y AnnSol • Ii ....... Blu"-"" Uni,''''';'t')

411- Son,'·

Apolli .... ,.., NI>CWO,ooIu"," co l';w (J,oo,o C. L S'riker)


'S' Mostl;cs

Sant'Apollinarc Nuovo is one of onlr two churches (thc other being Santa J'l'iaria MaggIore in Rome) that preserves the dcwrarion of its nave walls, and these mosaics are spectacular and complex enough to have pro\,jded material for generations of scholarly analysis. T he collapse of the apse in the eighth century was a major loss for OUf knowledge of the overall icono-

graphic program of dcwration of Thcodcric's church. T he apse was the main foells of any basilica, an(l its imagery was the cctltcrpiL-cc of the entire building. Agncllus, as aixwc, tells us that Archbishop Agndlus decorated thl,' apse and side walls with prm;cssionai images; however, Agncllus could not halle seen the original apse, and thus we canllot interpret his statement to tell us anythlng about the apse's decoration. 'f he mosaics of the nave walls are divided into three horizontal registers. The lowest 1.0[\(.', 3 meters high, contains imagery in olle long strip that rU IlS from west to cast. At the west end, we find depictions of the cities of CIa sse (north wall [Fig. jol) and Ravenn;l (south wall [PI. IVal). Out ofthesc cities march processions of saints offering crowns; o n the north wall, vi rgin saints are led by the T hree ;\"bgi (figs. 'fi , 50. and 56) to the Virgin and Child (PI. 11[2), while Oil the south wnll twe nty-six male martyrs (PI. Jll b) oITer their crowns to the enthroned Christ Wig. -1 5)' The middle W il e, also 3 meters high, is at the level of the windows, R ect~ngular frames fill the spaceS between the clcven windows on cach side, each occupied by a stand ing male fig ure . At the eastern and western ends, in the absence of a window three fnlllles are placed in a row, for a tota 1of sixtccll 6 gurcs 01) cach side o f ,h c church. T be spandrels abovc each wilH!Ow art' fi lled with hirds facing a vast' . Fin'llly. the UPPCrtllOSt wne, approximately J. [ III high, contains altern~ting rectangles. 'rhe spaces over the male figures of the middle have a striking dark blue background against which i~ set a colorfu l shell c.upola, edged with pearls and "'<lth a jcweled crown suspended in the middle, capped by a pair of doves facing a gold cross. The intervening rec tangles, which measure 1. 37 x [.15 Ill, present twenty-six scenes frolll the life of Christ: thirteen scenes of the ministry o f Christ on the no rth wall and thirteen scenes of the Passion on the sou th. One other sma ll fragme nr of mosaic now toune! on the western entrant'e wall, a hearl of a ruler that is labeled J ustinianus, may also date from this period. Close analysis, bmh of the style and rech ni(lue of the mosaics and o f the mortar in which the tesserae arc em bedded, has shown that these mosaics were not all set up at one ti me, our rather in nl'O phases. Since .;\gnellus tells



5'>< Son" 路

"I'o/Jinon: Nuovo. mo.... ic of, .... nonh ...路,".

th芦itpnJ port

us that the church was built by Theoderic and dcwrated at the time of its rededication to Orthodoxy under Archbishop Agllc1 lus, it is assumed that th~ twO phases uf the mosaic de<.:o ration l'()rrcspond to these e"'~Jlt5. In part because of their excellent preservation, in pan because of their sensational (\-'Ven sinister) erasure, the mosaics have excited lively scholarly debate in the last century. The most extensive arguments haveroncerned the meaning of the stnlcture identified as the 'palatium," and the meaning of the cycle of Christ'> life and passion found in the mp register, and whether it can be lin ked to Arian theology. Othcr points of thc decoration ha"c also been the suhjel,:t uf debate and each o f these will be dis<;ussed in the luntext of its ronnection to the overall program.

The Chrift%giral Cycle. T he Chtistological tycle consists of panels in which a few figures (ranging from two to fourtt'Cn) are presented against a gold background, each rel're:;enting a scene from the li fe ofChnst. 68 In most cases the figures stand on a nalTOW gn'Cn ground; in some scenes furniture, arehitC<.1:uf(', or more complex landscape is presenwd. The images are small and in each case the minimal elements allow the viewer dearly to interpret exactly which scene is depicted.6oJ In order from wt'St(entrance door)meast (apse) , the scenes depicted on the upper register of the nave walls arc the fl)lIo,,;ng:


a.... (rhoto







South \ ,Vall

Jc~..s hea ls the p3r:11ytic of B<.:thcsJa Je sus sends demons inrn swine

J<.:s"US appears to Thomas an d apos1.k,s

J esus ~PllC,m; on the roacllO Emmaus Two .\J' arys and lhe 'mgt:! 'It the ICIIIIl>

Jesus heals th e paralytic of C~pem:lllrll P"r:Jhle of the sheep and the goars J esus is le d to the crucitixioll Panl],k: of th e I',oor widow's mite jesiis [)Crorc l'il"l<: Pan!.>]" of the Ph aris"" and Pu uJic an T;lises L:\~'H'\lS Jesus 'lilt! the Samaritan ",(,man Jesus with the hC llIu rrhabring o r C ,mn ,mjre \\'Ol1lall '" J eslIs heals the two hliod Illcn Jesus calls Peter and Andrew (Fig. 5 I) Je~IIS


multiplies brt'ad ,,,,II Ilshcs

' 111t' w<,dding'



Judas 's rcpo:mance Peter's denial

Jesus prophesies Peta's deni'll Jesus Ix-t{m~ Caiapha; Jeslis ['I\.:en prisone r The hetraY:l.1 h), Jutb s J<:SIIS prnys in the G.lHlen of Gethsclll"ll<: T he L:1sr SlIP]>U (Fig. p)

BCCUll.~e of differences between these cycles and others known from the same period , and because of discordances within the erde and the rest of the decoration in the church, many scholars have e:>'""pended much ink attempting to utH.lerstand what rhe artists and the creators of this program were doing. A few obvious points can be norell:

• The ~enes from the ministry (mi racle~, pO I·ables, and historical events) do not occur in the order that they arc found in the New T estament, ahhough Jesus's first miracle. the wedding at Cana, is found at the e:lst end . The Passion cycle begins at the east end 3l11illlo\'es hack chronologically through the church to thewest. Note that the window zone has no direction, but the procession of the lowest zone moves from wc~t to east.J. Elsner has noted that the dcnia l of one dirc·edonal n:ference point deliberatdy creates disorientation on the part of the viewer, emphasizing the transcenden t reality of the depiction s . ~' • The two scenes that immediately flank the apse, namely the mi racle at the wedding atCana and the Last Supper (r ig . 52). IXJth are dire<..1:ly connected to the mcaning of the Eucharist that takcs place at that eml of the church; likewise the next two scelH~S, the Bread and Fishes and the Prayer ~t Gethsclll;1tlc, also relate liturgically to the alta r}J Otherwise, while some themes call be fOut1l1 in corresponding north and sou th pair> of images, for the most part the two cycles seem to be independent of each other)-f O n the north wa ll Christ is shown as a bear(l1ess youth; in the P:lSsion scenes he is a matu re bearded lI1an. No o ther known narrative cycle uses twO different pictorial ty pes of Christ. D id this have some meaning?


' 55

S I . S3n,''\ I,ol ljl13,." NUO\'u. Il1os;}i.;

o f (h~ nOrlh

w;lll, ul'f>"rz"n~ ,

Christcoll'"g SIS. P«cT ,,,,d Andrew

• In the Pa ssion cycle there is no depiction of the Crucifixion itself, although this is not unusual in the context of late antique 3rt.-' T he focus is instead on [he Resurrcction. By the early sixth century there existed a wclJ-Ilevelopcd konog raphical repertoire of scenes from the life of Christ, although no surviving group p. $~nt'­ '\I"OUin3rc NIl"'·o. ",,)5,,;<: "f!he so,,!h wall, uppcr w nc , Chr;st~l\d the "1'",11"", at the I."", Supper



of ima ges is as extensive as the cyde in Sant'Apoliinare Nuovo. Colk>ctions ()f scenes an: fou nd, (nr example, on late antique stone sarcophagi, on catacom b paintings, on pilgrim flasks fWIll the I-Ioly La nd, on the cypresswood doors of the eh,ITch of Santa Sabina in Rom e, on carved iroril.'S SIl("h as the Brescia Casket, the British Museum box, and rhe bookcovers in the T reas ury o f the Cathedral of Milan and the Hibliothequc N a tiona l e, i~ and in manuscripts suth as the St. Augustine, Rossano, Rablmla, and Sinope

Gospels. These few remains from


vast (:Orpus of images (Tcatc(1 in the

fourth to sc:..'vcnth centuries demonstrate tha t the i1.:onographical clements of certain popular scenes had become fairly standardized by th is period, and the choice of which clements ro include on ~ny given work was very variable. Parallels with many of these other images ha\'e been noted for the Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (:ycl~, n some close enough to indicat~ co mmon (.'urrent" hut although some s<:holars have wallte(l to interpret [his as evidence of direct influence frolll Syria or ROllle,;S it is better to understand our mos:lic; as part of a MClliterra ncan-wide visu~l tradition . Detailed studies of tbe style, techni'l ue, and indeed the ty pes of tesserae IIsed on the north and south sides ind icate that n \'o different workshops wen: responsible for creating each side . .Nlost Ilotably, on the north side mar ble tesS(! rae 3rc used tor t he faces, hands, and reet of the ligures, but glass tesserae for mOSt of the rest of the compositions, whereas on the south side (except tor the Last Supper an(1 Garden scenes) the ll1o~aics afC all made of glass tesscral,,i9 P.J Nordhagen says that the former technique is typically Byzantine, whereas the laner is ltalian ;ko some have tried to argue that the different fJcial types are the result of the preferences of these workshops. H owever, R. J ensen notes that the costume and halo o f Christ arc i dent ic ~1 on IXJth sides, implying that if there were two workshops, they were using the sallIe \'isu~l vocabula ry, and thus the distinction was d clibc r atc. ~' ' l"his distinction lJt:twe~l1 the beardless amI beardell fuces of Christon the two sides of the nave is one of the 1I10St striking aspects of the Christological scenes. ~! Could this represent some aspect of cloetrine? One of the pro blems with attempts to interpret them in this way is the fact that many doctrines existed in the early sixth century. The main theological issue debated with AriallS was the equal status of Christ ill the Trinity. \Ve do not know, however, what sitle Arians took on the lifth- and sixth-century <)uc.stion of the dual namre of Christ, although later they \I'ere accIlsed o f (lenying his human nature.s. O. von Simson argued that at Sant'A poliinare N uovo the bea rdless Christ rep resents Christ's divine nature and the bearded one his human nature, and that Theoderic ap proved this quasi-Nestorian, Roman response to miaphysitislll; but this seems ulllikcly.8~ R. J ensen argues that the two faces in Sallt'Apollinare NUQV(l ind icate the transformation


of Christ from miracle-working Son of Man to ;l glorified Son of God, a transfimnation that took place at the LaSt Supper, when J esus tdls the discipk'S "Now thc Son ofNTan has ocen glorified, and God has heen glorified in him 0' (John J 3:3 J), which she i{il.-nrifil.'S as an otherwis(.> unknown Arian theological belief. s5 "'-'hile this is pla usible, and wou ld certa inly fit with the portrayal of Christ as 1"1'.'1: GI&r;i/e on the lower level, Jensen offel's no textual t:\'idence to hack up her contention. In fact, the distinction I>ctwcen the tWO types of face cannot have been unique to Arianism for two reasons. First, tbese mosaics were not alterell when the cburch was cOllverted to Orthodoxy; and second, both a be3J"ded and a beardless Christ arc (lepinl.'{l in different placl.'s among the m{l~i(:s in both San Michele ill . iji-iciJCI) and San Vita le, Orthodox churches that were executed later in the Celltu ry. Thus, while the different ph}'siognomies undoubtedly were ~ignifi(:ant, their mean ing must have been appl icahle to Orthodox belief also.86 Some scholars h~ve attempted to reall clements of Ari~n theology into the choice of 5('cnes or the way that the scenes arc depicted. For example, R. Sorries and R. Zanotto propose that the mosaics i lhlstr~n: p~SS.1gCS that Arians interpreted ;lS proof of the subordination o f the Son to the Father. 8, Sorries further 3rgUl::S that thl:: imagL'"S themselves, in keeping with Arian theology that emphasized Christians as followers of Christ, prominently feat\l re the tQllowers of Christ by induding diS(:iples in every s(:ene and by illustrating miracle scenes that turn witnesses into followers.88 Unusual clements in individlla l scenes arc also examined for !\rian meaning.Be; One pro blem with all of these in terpretations,;ls A. Grabar pointed Out, is tbat we do Dot really know enough to be able to reconstruct sixth -centu ry Arian theology or litur!,'}',?" i\'ioreover, all of the scenes come frOllI the Gospels, which were aCl.:eptcd by all theologica l factions; and as such, all were suuject to interpretation by every faction. For example, Arian commentators argued that Christ's statement at the Resu rrection of Lal.arus indicated his subordination to the Father,9' bllt Orthodox theologians argued the opposite. An image such as this, therefore, coul(1 ,erve either theology, as indeed could allY passage from the Gospels. This explains why ther were not altered or remo\'e(1 when the church was rede(li(:ated to Orthodoxy; as Gospel scenes, they were oy definition acceptable to ;lllY Sttt.

Other scholars havc takcn a more functional approach to the choice of sccnes by anempting to link them with the liturgy that wOIlld havc been enacted in the church. C. O. Nordstrom rightly criticized A. Baumsrark's proposal that the images reflected a liturgy from Syria, but Nordstrom's own proposal that the s(:enes followell Italian liturgical readings more




closely is likewise valid only for some of the imagcs5" It is possible that the liturgy used in the Arian t:hurch at the time ofTheo(leric, for which we have no cvic\cncl', did incorporate all of these particular Gospel passages and perhaps the ~amc was done by their Orthodox successors.9 ) A prohIl,'1U with the lirurgical explanation is the absence of all image of tbe crucifixion. Scholars usually exphlin this by noting that depictions of the crucifixion WCfe very rare in late anOl}Ue art,~'! but the crucifixion certainly wa~ the cen-

tral feature of the Easter liturgy. Thus, if the images were to correspond to a litllfgica! L'ydc, it surely woulll have been depicted . Another general objection to any didactic function for these scencs is that the images nrc so small and high l ip thar they wOllld harely have heen visible to congregants directed to look ~t them Ys It th us seems better to conclude that liturgies and ~rtisric representations of Christ's life, both of which reRected ideas ahout what was illllM)rrant in the Christian message, Ilevelope/l sitle by side and mUTua lly inAuenccd each other. The i't'lale Figures ill ,be Wi"dow Zone, At the level of the windows we see thirty-two fu ll-size malt: fib'1lrCS (there mar originally have been thirtyfour), e~ch of whom wears a whire lUIlic with davi and a white mantle with gIlJII'llladia , hol(15 n red codex book or a scroll, and has his head surrounded by a silver halo. Eleven have books, twenty-one have scrolls (Fig. 5_~ ) . Note that the nro figures in the northeast comer are restorations. The figures stand on slllall green squares against a solid gold hackground. They have different faci al characteristics; some arc bearded and some beardless. They are very similar TO figures we h:we already seen, for example those in the lower lel'ds of the Orthodox Baptistery, and Ijke the otbers, al'e assumed to be prl)phet.~ , e"ange1ist.~ , allil/or patria n:h~ .0 Since, unlike the saints, they arc not labeled, they seem to represent "biblkal authors" ill a generic sort of way, n:infQrcing the primaq' of the written \.vonl o f GOIL NIany late antique texts descrilJc the various ranks of the glittering heavenly COurt, and M. J. Roberts colll'incingly 3fgtles fhar rhe figures of the second tier form part of the heavenly Court that surrounds the enthroned Christ and Virgin, which will be discussed fur ther in the following section.'>; Christ and tbe Virgill , On the n~l'e wall immedia tely to the right of the apse, Chrisr appears seated on a lyre-I"ackell, gem -studded throne",{l dressed in imperial purple and gold; the cross in his halo is likewise gemmed (Fig. 45)' T he right side ofthe mosaic is a restoration and we do not know exactly what was being hel(1 in Christ's left hand (the poimeli scepter dates to the mid- nineteenth cenrury); a sixteenth-century description says that he held an open book with the words "'Ego sum rex gloriae."?') T he figure has been a central part of art historical interpretations of the image of Christ



Sj. Sam'_

ApoI li ... ",

1'.: uovo, ""'" ic of the north .... 11, ",j,.,t.y". .......

(for ldtside). two male fig.

u""hoIding' ""roI l.nd , rodcr (pho<o E. V."",,)

as emperor. I~dced, with his purple robes and throne he docs incorporate many ~ymhols that viewers would have r~"'1)gnilcd ~s shared with emperors, a suitable image in the chapel of the king. "'" The Virgin, tOO, is scated on a j~"Wekd thronc, hut she is dressed not like an empress, but simply in a purple runic with gold clavi and a purple mnphoriM, or ovennantle, part of which forms her headdress, a depiction that had become standard in the eastern Mooi teIT:lnean hy this time (PI. ilia). '0' She sin; On a red cushion with gold stars and holds hcr right hand up in a gesture of blessing. The Christ child wears a white tunic with gold elm); and a while mantle like the flanking angels. lie holds his hand apparently in a gesture of acclamation, but of whom? This imagedcservesas mnch serious examination as has hcen devoted to Christ on the opposite wall. The pairing of an enthroned, bearded Christ with thc Virgin and Chi ld is found elsewhere in early Christian 3rt, for eX:lInple on ivory panels,' o, where they arc not read as expressing any parO('1tiar Christological dOC(J"ine. \Vhen we note that the enthroned Christ is reflected in the bearded Christ in the passion panels above, and the Christ chi ld mirrors the hcardless Christ in the miracle scenes, this parallelism SCL'1l1S to he the h<-'St explanation of why Christ is depicted differently in the Christological scenes of the upper wne. An interesting question is, since these two images arc found on the nave walls, what was originally depicted in the apse? Would there haw


. 60

been a th ird image of Christ there, and, if so, what form coul{l it have taken?

Thc angc1s who flank thc throncs arc dressed in white robes with gold clavi and their heads arc surrounded by pale bl\IC halos (the two tl) thl,' right of Christ art' restorations). Bent'<uh their feet, flowering plants hint at a landscape. In their covered left hands the angels hold long wands, of the sort that wou\(\ be held by the b()ninrii or silelltllrii, court officials who

l1ankc{\ the emperor in imperial ceremonial, T he angels who stand between the three Magi and the Virgin p rc~cnt the procession to her with gestures of their hand,; perhaps their COUlltcrp,lrts originally did the same on the

smuh side, I"; The Il:datium allIl Clon'c. At the western t:l1I\s of the nave wal ls are renderings of architectural tonllS thnt are labeled as the cities of Ravenna (PI. IVa)

and Classe (Fig. ,0). Thcse depictions \I'cre crellted in the Ostrogothic period anll originally inchuled male figures, suhsequently removed , whose existence is witnessed by mosaic shadows and fragments. Ob\' iously the interpretation of the strU(;nJre depends on what was removed as well as what sun'ives; we will therefore discuss the erasures in the comext of the buildi ngs, whose Il)ean ing has been the subject of t:xtellsive conjectu re. On the southern wall, we St:e at the celltt:r of the structure a large triplearched opening surmQ\l1lted by a pediment; rhe central arch is the widest, and its background is gold . On the cornice above the central arch is the label PAL ATIVi'vt; in the pediment above this there was once an imagt: that was subsequently replaced whh ;} plain gold field. On either side of th is centr,11 structure ettends an arcade of th_ree smaller arches, with a windowell uPI>t'r stOry and roof al)(Wt:. V/ingell victory figures fill the spandrds abovc the colonnade.'t>.: The openings of the colonnalle. like the two arches flanking the central one, are nlled with a llark purple background . On the right side of this archit<X'tural unit is a large stone gateway, labeled CIVITAS RAVENN(/\$), with rou nd towers flankin g a singlt: entrance and three small figures depi<..1:ed in the tympanum over the opening. Finally. within or behind this complex can be seen other strllctures; to the left and right of the celltral pelliment we call see what look like hasilicas all(\ rotUJlI.];l~ or other centrally pl;lllncd structures, with a wall behind them. The image of the (iv it:,~ Rm.II'/II/(1.' corresponds to the image labeled C l.ASSIS or CIVITAS CLASSIS 011 the opposite wall .' ~ Most of the upper-right part of the Classe mosaic is a nineteenth-century restoration b)' Felice Kibei. but what survives shows us the port of Classc, with three shi ps ill it, u;l. Ranked hy towers thar represent the entrance to the harOOr. Evcn jf this mosaic h,ld been made before Thcoderic ordered his great Aeet


of warships to be constructed in 51;, it uJHlers(;ores the importance of sh ips aod the pOrt to the capita l and the kingdom. To the right, the cityofClasst: is prescntcd as a sol id wall, with a white tower midway along and <l gateway at the right side. Buil<lings were de picted within th(.'Se 'A'alls, in the s~mc way as in the Ravenna mosaic, but the o nes \,isible today are llIostl}' KibeI's inventions; the only original one is the round building at the filr left, perhaps an .:l.Ill phithcater. As we have secn, the paJrlfilltl1 of Ravenna represcnu:d the heart o f ThL'O lleric's realm, and this image with it~ label mllst have heen 3n import,l nt represent~tion of this royal ideology. For over half:l century. scholars have de bated whcther the {lil/(/rilllll image represents a rca l or imaginary residence, and in ei ther case, what it means symbolical ly. At face val ue, the imagt: depicts a facadt: mllJposed of colonnades tlattki ng a proiecting cen(fal pedimented entrance . Such a facade could have heen found eitller on the exterior o f the palace or as o ne si{\c of a colonnaded courtyard within a palace, pcr h ~ ps lealling to the throne room.''': T his ~imp l c explanation is perfectly sati s~vil1g.' o-'J However, somc scholars have not.:d that in latc antiquc art, b\lild ing facades are infrequently represented and tliat often the front and sides o f a thret:-dimensiona l lJuildi ng are laid out side by si(It:, as, for example, can be seen in the basilicas depicted behind this very image. E. Dyggve therefore proposed thot this image represents the pedimented end an(\ colonnaded sides of an o pcn courtyard used fo r impcrial ccremonial. of a ty pe lIsl'(I, for t;'xample, in rht;' perisrylt;' of the early fomth-ccntllry palace of the em peror Diocletian in Spalato. 'OC) T he pediment surmounting an arch, acconling to Dyggve, created a frame for the emperor on ceremonial occasions, as seeD in repre~entatiom such as the image of Theo(losius I on his late fourthcentury silver dish, or 1"i~w)riIl1ll. " O N. Duval, noting that the idea of all open-air audience hall is nQt supported by other examples, interpreted the image as represcnting both the exterior and thc intcrior of an apscd basil ical audience hall, similar to depiction of basilicas in the ninth-cennll"}' Utrecht Psalter. '" These theses [urn on twO 'luestions: How did images of architecture relate {O actual strucrures, and how was architccture used to present and/or represent authority? Both Dyggve and D uval assume that in blte antiq uity, three-dimensional buil(\ings such as oasilic;}s or Ilcristylc cou rtyards were depicted in a way that, to the fwenty-first-cenrury realist viewer, looks like a flattcni ng out of the component dements into a twOdimensional line, o r even, accordi ng to D\1\'a1, representing the interior and e.\.1:erior of;} huildi ng in the same image. Following this reasoning, both scholars reconstruct narrow buildings with facing colonnades whose ~hort end provi(led a \'isual focus in which rhe ruler appeared, that is, some son of basilica.




For m;ln~' reasons the three-dimensional thesis is lIllcolwindng. "¡ T he material consists of only the Spa]a!!) peristyle, some early fifth -century mosaics from North Africa, and the Utrecht Psalter, all completel" different in tillle and place from si:\th-ccnolry Ravenna . F. \ V. Deichmann ami N. de Francovich argue thH dIe Spalato peristyle was not a ceremonial area, and {hat the arcuated lintel 01¡ pediment was found on many images 3[1(1 buil(lings with no imperial connections ."; The pe{l. cl)mr3rati'i~

imcrH of the {llIlfltiulI/ , unlike the Spatato peristyle and the



m{Jllnt~ not one but three an:hcs. The artists of the Christological (:ydc in the upper zone do not seem to have had difficulty distinguishing between thl,' interior and thl,' cxtl,'rior of buililings. AmI mOSt significant, although ignored in most studies of the pillmilllJl mosaic, is the fact that behind the roofed arcade are uuihl ings that sym bolize [he city of Ravenna; ' "l the arcade fronting them is thus much lIlore li kely to represent a flat wall than a threedilllension~l interior space. Thcre arc Illany depictions from late anti(luiry in which an assembly ga thers in fron t of an arcade: Constantine ~d(lressing the citizens of Rome on the Arch of Constanti ne; various sarcophagi such as the "Sarcophagus of Stilicho" in i'vl ilan or the two san.'OI)hagi now in Sail Francesco in R..!venna; "5 the T rier Ivory, which depicts some part of the imperial palace in Constantinople;"fI or, even 1110re closely, the apse mosaic of Santa Pudenziana in Rome, which <Iate~ to the 430s, and which also shows a roofed arcade with elab(Jrate buildings hehiml it. The Santa Pudenziana mosaic is usually understood as depicting a heavenly Jerusalem , and C. Fmgoni has suggested that here a reference to J erusalem is intended also. "7 A I'elated question is wbether this mosaic is intended (0 be an accurate represt'lltoltioll of Theoderic's palace ill Ravclllla or simply portrays an i<lealize<l image of a palace. ! ,8 The palace in R3venn~ is known from sevcral written sources to have indu(le<! porticoes, as we saw when <liscussing the imperial mint ill the pn..>\'ious chapter. ' ' 9 Mon.-over, the excavations of the palace next to Sant'Apollinare N uovo have revealed a colonnaded courtya rd with a main entrance into the audience hall on the widest side, not the narrow end .â&#x20AC;˘", The main gate of the palacc probably fronted a plaza to the south of the church. It is likdy, [herdI:Jre, that the p,t1atimll entrance depicte<\ here is olle of the faca(les of Ra\'ellna 's palace. although it may contain d emenTS that art' mOre symbolic of allthority rather than were nec .. essarily foulHl in any precise location. '" The doorway at the right side is interesting in its own right (note that it is uften omitted from reproductions of the mosaic). '" T hree small figure s in the arch over the doorway represent i.n the c,enter a male figure in a tunic and mantic, holding a cross over one shoulder ami a book in his other hand and tram pling a serpent; he is Ihl nkcd uy two other m;}lc figu res.


\,ve havc <llready seen in the prcvious ch<lptcr that the figure of Christ trampling the basilisk and serpent was quitt popular in Ral"enna even in the ea rly fifth century. and it is therefore usually asserted that lhi s figure represents Christ between twO apostlc5,H3 although elscwhere in Ravenna Christ is always dressed in purple. "~ On the Chalke Gate in of the Great Palace in Constanti nople. Constantine and his sons were depicted treading on serpents, and this image lIlay also be recalle<1 here, although again the figures arc not wearing imperia l purple or military costumes. "5 D. Longhi proposes that the central figure represents St. Lawrencc, who, as we have already seen, is depicted in this pose in the "mausoleum of Galla Placidia," alrhough Longhi does norl."xplain who the other figures arc. This gatewould merefore be the portll SIIlI Lorrll:'o mentioned in sever~ 1 early sources, me gate at the southem end of the pllltt'£! maior that led out of the city to the church of St. Lawrence and to Classe. , :~ C . Frugo ni sees thi~ image as a 1)c1l(lanr to the lost image in thc pc(lilllenrof the palf/tilllll, '" but that is oilly speculation; at the le~st we can say that this image was not <:ontro\,crsial to Orthodo.~ red ...'Corators, whereas the first image was. What build ings arc depicted behind the pala ti ulll facade? W ... sec, on the left and the right, ~ basilica and ~ centrally planned building. Interpre· tations have ranged wi<ldy, from those who identi fy particu lar buildings in Ravenna, to those who fee l that this representation pre~ents Ravenn a as a type o f the hea\'enly Jerusalem. !:~ T he pairs I(){.li.: very much like the combination of church and b~ ptis tery that we have already encountered ~t the Orthodox cathedral. A. Testi-Rasponi proposed that onc of the pairs represented the Arian cathedral with its baptistery. built, as we will see, on the Orthodox model. ' Iy M. G. Brcschj, 00 this, suggestcd that one pair was the Ortho<!ox and the other the Ariall cathedral ami baptistery, anll that this mos;lic was ~ syrll hoi ofTheoderic's [;llllOUS religious tolerance.' \<> M. Johnsoll thought that tht1, were the Arian cathellral ~nd I>aptistery ami S~nt'Apollinare Nuovo itself with its baptistery, along with S. Andrea <lei Coti, thus all strUCOlres built by ·fh coderic.'J t All interpretations must remain hypothetical in the :ll>sence of any labels. The pairingofRalrelllla, the city of the palace, and Classc, the city or the fleet, indicates the value of this region to the king; :llltl indeell, this meaning woul(1havc been JUSt as acceptable to the Byzantine rulers who later used this 35 their p~la<:e <:hun::h. I)' There w~s ~ well·{levdoped rrad ition of depicting pairs of cities on twO sides of a church, especially Jerusalem and Beth lehem, which can bc seen, for example, on the triumphal arch at Sant ' ;\pollin~re in ClaS'ie an<1 on the arc,h above the apse in San Vimle. ,.vhile c. Frugoni arg'ues that here Ravenna plays thc role of J erusalem and Classe that o f Bethlehem, 'H I would suggest instead that prohauly the tw O Holy Cities were depicted on the triumphal arch of this ehun:h also. directly associ~tcd




with the Virgin (Bethlehem) and Christ (J erusalcm), and that the depictions

of Ravenna amI Classe at the west eml were penllants


those depictions.

The nave ill1l1gcs would thus represent mediation between the real world of Classc and Ravenna , as c).:-pcricnccd by onl! e nteri ng the church at the west end, and the divine realm represen ted by the Iloly Cities and the Ileavenly Kingdom at the eastern end. IJ-1

Modifico/ioltS to the paJatium


in the intcrcolumniarions of the

Clnn"e. In the Ravenna gateway and


facade, except fo r the central

arch with the gold background, '-'j stood ligures who wc re purged in the

Orthodox rcdcdicnion of the church (Fig. 55) ' The fi~rurc in the Ravenna gateway at the right Illay have been seated, ,]6 but in the intercolumniacions, figures stood with their hllllds raise(l in a gesture of acclamation. On the first, third, fifth, and eleventh colulllns, respectively, from the left we can see the rel1laitl~ of hands belonging to these figures ( Fig. 54)' T hey must have looked very like the figures of the Publican an(l the P harisee depicted in the north wall's upper wne. The figures between the columns were clreful1y excised , tessera by tessera, and replaced with the curtains seen today. the pediment of the central arch of the pllliltim11 a figure or figural group was also purged. Most scholars want to see it as a de piction of Theoderic, be<:ause, as we have seen, Agnellus describes this sort of image very precisely in relation to the main gate o f the palace. H owever, R. Fariali ha~ shown that the shape of the section e.xcised could not accommodate a depiction of Thcoderic on horseback befween fWO standing figures, 50 that at most this might have been an abbrevia ted version of that image. ' j 7 Finally, Classe also had IigUl"e5 standing in front of the walls which were subsequentl y el'ased: five stalHling figures can be itlentified, apparently male, as the outlines of their ankles and feet ("an be made out (Fig. 55)' It is curious that the hafllis of these ngure~ were allowc(1 to remain. \V. Urbano notes that in any d<11l11l11riu 1JIt'lIlfJ,-iil( the point is not to com pletely erase a figure from memory, but to remi nd the viewer thar the figure has been erased; Urbano interprets the hands a~ such a signal, making thc \'icwer "rem ember to forget." '3 ~ It is likely all these figures somehow defined the depictions of Ravenna amI C lasse as belonging to Theoderic; the architecture was thus, as de Franeovich and othe rs have called it, an " ar("hitecture of power, ~ and even when Stripped of inhabitants, it ~til1 unde rlined the im portancc of Ravcnna's palace and its port to the admi nistration of au t hority in sixth-cennlry haly.


Tbe ProfessiOIlS o/Saints. When Thcodcric 's palace church was converted to O r tllOdox Christian worship by A.rehbishop Agncllus in the 5605, it was



5+ s.m·· ApoI li.,.",

I'uovo. """"" ic of,"" ...... ,h ""U . de .. ilof the left .ide of the -po;tI.,;um" <r/>o<o '\Iory Ann Sulli ... n. BI.Ift"" Uni.e"';'!')

rededica ted and redl'COrated. O riginally dedicated to Christ, it was now rcnaml-d in honor of St. Martin, a late foun h-ccntury ascetic, mon!.:, and bishop of the city of T ours in Francia. Veneration of St. Manin had Ucen growing in popularity in early sixth-century Italy, and from the 550s o nward 5 5· Son,·· AJ>'>I Ii... ", Nuovo, di,,!!"""" of the ;mag<."S< . 00 'he Ro'-enn. "["I.,ium" ,.-ith ,he .""" 'opl>ee<l in the


(. ft", Penni

!.«:o. '000+)


. 66

he was being viell'ed as a partit\darl~1 cffct:tivc intercessor against l\riall enemies. n~ The choice of Sr. Martin as a dedicatee of this church was thus both an aJlti-Ariall sta tement and also a JXllitical statement invoki ng the alli a n('O~ offhl! Byzanti nes and the Franks in thl,' fJCC ofthc Lombard rhn.!3t; the fact that dle erJrchs cominued to use Theoderic's palace em phasizes the political nature of the dedication. I'lo Agnellus the historiall attrihutes some of the church's del'oration to

Archbishop Agncllos: 1il ... he IAgndlus l de corated tht apse ~l1d both sitlc-walls with irn'lges inmos"ic of processions of mmt~'rs and "i["gins: indeed h", bid ol'"r this srucco ("o""""u with gold, he sm~k 1l1l11ti-colorccl stones to [hI.' sidc-wllI~ and compoSl.'d ,I pa\'el11cmof wondertill cut mnrble pil.'el.'s. lfrou Il)Qk 011 irs f:lendc f)n the inside j'OIl will lind rhe image of Emperor JusTinian ~nd Bishop Agnellus dec:or,lre d with gold 1l1OS<lics. N o church or house is simibr to mis one in be:llllS and ,-"Off.: rs of its !;!; i1 ing.

\ Ve do not know how Agnclll1s kncw whic h decora tio n his namcsake SPOIlsored , but research on the fabr ic of the nave mosaics has largely borne out his attributions. Specifically, when the church was reded icated, whatever was o riginally (lepil路ted between the pa/mil/III and Christ, and between Cl~sse and the Virgin , was replaced by processions o f haly figures:'4: From R a\'~nn 3 the m,lrryrs lead forth. on the men's {south] si d~ . going to C hrist: from CI~s>c the "irb>ins prOl'ced, pr<K!;etiing tu th!; holy Virb>in of virgins, and the M3~ going before them, offering gihs.

It has heen demonstratell by analysis of the mortar heds beneath the te'Sserae the mart)'rs. \'irgins, and Nh gi were made later than the r est of the images on the wall, at the same time that the palllfillm and Cla~~e mosaics were mod ified . 'H T hi s modification was rather cruddy done, as it can be clearly seen that the ground line changes hem'een the first of the three Magi and the an gel in front of him (Pl . l ila; see al~ Fig . 55). It ~hou lcJ also be noted that parts of dlese processions arc modern restorations undertaken in the mid- nineteenth cen tury, specifically mOSt of St. Martin and the parts above the w;}ist of the three J\1<lgi, alt.hough in each case part of the original mosaic $un'ives. '路100 All that remains of St. Marri n is part of his sho ulder and back (PI. m b), enough to determine that he is wearing a purple rather than a white mantic, but not enough to say whether he too is offering a crown (Martin, unlike all the others, was not a martyr). In add ition, o ne fi fteenth-cemu ry source descriocs the procession as led b)1 St. Stephen, the fi rst martyr. and scholars disagree about whether another figure woul,1have th~t


. 67

~ r octween Marrin and Christ in the original rClIlmld ing, or whether Sr. Stephen might have been adllell sub~elluently .'4 s T he twenty-two female martyrs (plus three Magi) and the twenty-six male sa ints arc separated from onc another by palm trees, datl.'-bcaring on me women's side (and in a few cases on the men's). T he saints include the following, from east (the front ofrhe procession) to west: ' I"

Fema[t .\hrt)'rs

O rig-in



Rotnan l!c;,co n pope pope






B~lrh ils;\r


f.\'laJrtilll.lS C k mi [n)s SYSlllS




l> Agll rhll Agllc~

Antioch Rome ROllle

Yppolitus Comclius C iprianus





10h;111nis Paulus

V~!cri "

Rome ROllle Africa .\'1 ilan/Ravenn a

ViJleentio ' ~7


Perpdu ,,"~



Africa l'"du:1

L u~'i"


J \Lstin~ i\na~(35i:l.

D aria E mertn[ian(a) Paulina Vic{ori~

Anatolia Cristina S;\\'iru E ugenia

Simliu m Rome Rome Rome Sabina Sabina T yre Rome Rome


IGc r" J"si us I'rumsius Ursicinus NllffiQf [Nahorj

Ft"lix Apollin~tis Seha.~rian\ls

Demit.:r Polic~rpus

Vineentius Pancratus C ilsogonmi

Proms Iaclin Jtus Sll hi Jllusl


I"'P" I~P"

C~T[h ~g"

imuh Rome R"me .\1ibn/ Ravenna .\·Iibn/ R ""c n n~

Mjl.,n/ R,,\"eona .\ 1ilanlRav<; nna Milan .\·!ilan R3\·Cnna Milan Thess:llonike Smym-:r./Anrioch Sar.lgossa, Spain Rome Rome Rome Rome Spo1cro

One of the striking visua J features about these saints is the uniformity of their [)(lSeS, e..xprt'ssiolls, and dress; indeed , comparison of these scene~ with a more naturalistic Roman procession scene such as that fou nd on the Au Pacis of Rome is a standard examination qut:stiOn for unde rgraduates. The female saints, in particular, have the same hairstyle (with different hair color), rhe same costmne (except for derails of orn ament), rhe same rilt of me heall, and the same expression; the only difference among them is that some have their right' hand covered and some do not. The maJe martyrs, like every orht'r group of male saiIlt.~ that we haw seen, have varying hair

. 68


color am\ fucial hair, diAerclU


on the mantlcs, and differently

ornamt:ntt:([ crowns. They tilt their heal(s at slightly different angles to one

another, and also vary as to whether their left hands arc covered, but the overall impression is of sameness. '4? Only three saints are \,jsually singled our: Martin by his purple mantle, the fOllrth male martyr Lawrence by his gold tunic (PI. JJJ b), "O nnd rhe

fou rth female martyr Agnes (Fig. ; 6), who h3~ a lamb at her feet (3 pun on her name, Agnc5 = rlg1l!u). ,i\'iartin was the Orthodox dedicatee of the church, anll was nor a martyr; the latter circumstance might C~.:pI3in his purple cloak. '" There isc1c:l rly some significance to the fourth place in the pnx:l,'ssion, thl,' position shared by Lawrence an{1 Agnes. '):' The leader of the female saints, St. Euphemia of Chalcedon, is not visually distinguished, but her position here is ceruilll), a reference to the 3nti-Arian Council of Chakedon of 451. 'n The specific sain ts in the proccs~i ons arc those who arc know n to have been venerated in carly chu rch litanies, specifically litanie~ of Italy. O. von Simson tabulated litanies for Ravenna, Romc, and Milan, :111<1 showed that many of our saints appear in more tha n one of these. especially the lengthy Canon of the Mass of Milan. 'H However, as none o f the Canons list more than twelve female sain ts, denrly the creators of the mosaics, intent on producing parallel ma le and female processions, ha(1 to step outside the confines of the liturgy to come up with additional female martyrs. IH As can be seen from the table, a ma jority of the saints were Italian, with severa l from N orth Africa and Spain; only Euphemia, Pelagia, Anastasia, Christina, D emetrius, and Polycarp were from the eastern l'v ledirerranean . The order of the saints in the procession docs oat follow any of the known litanies; atte.mpts to make se.nse of it, to explain Apollillaris's relatively late place as a "courtesy" to roreign martyrs, for example, arc llo t convincing. Many saint:; whose vener.ttion is documented in Ravenna are mis~ing hcre.' ,1i vVhile the connection of these saints with liturgical practice offers insight into their meaning, it should he nOted that lists of martyrs are not found only ill litanies and othcr liturgical sources. H istorical texts snch as Eusehim's His/ol'itl I'Cd['sillstiCII are virtual catalugs of martyrs. E usehius wrote a sep.l nltc work called TIJ/~ MflrtY1:f uf P(tlcitim!. and Gregory of Tou rs wrOte Clo,)路 of th~ li'!tlrtyl's, which includes many of our sa ints. Poems by au thors such as Venantius Fortunatus, for example, his Dt路 v;rgill;t,1tI:, containlistsof saints and martyrs. vVhile these influenced and were influenced by litanies, they ill ustrate a general interest in compiling lists of notJhle Chrisdans for particu lar purposes, and 1 would argue thal dIe saints in dlC processions in Sant'Apollinare Nut)Vt) re present a similar compilation , who_~e choice was based upon conditions rh,lt we can llO longer r('constl'Uct'.




Al'oI li.... '"

I'O>OV<>. rrn>aic of the north ,,~II. St<. C",e6li,. Eu"li',Agn<' (.,..;th the lamb),

Ag:Itha, .nd

PeI.g;. (photo ,\lory Ann S,,)li'~n.


Uni•• "';'!')

As for the three Magi (PI. JI[ a), they represent, among other things, the men who would have led a p~ssion of wmncn into the church. ' j; But the Magi also ha"c sc"eral othcr signifiC1lnt meanings in this context. "'-lany depictions of imperial coun scenes include representations of foreign peoples paying tribute to the enthroned nller, and the Magi , alway~ depict~-d as eastern foreigner<;. here l)rovide anothL'T visual link 00 this concept. ' 58 More signi ficantly, whilc the Trinity is almost never depicted in late a ntiquc art, rcpre$t'ntations of three figures, such as the three M agi, can Tepre$t'nt the concept of the Trinity. '59 Thus. the placement of the three Magi at the head of the procession of \"irgin~ was ahnost certainly an anti -Arian statemenT. That these Magi were, at least later, interpreted in this manner can be secn in an exegetical passage included by Agnellus as pan of his description of this image: ,60 Hut why ore they depicted in different dothing ond not.1I weoring the same g.nnem? Bec.use the .nist followe<l di,·;n. Scripture. I'or C'SpOT offered gold in, re<ldish gonnent r...... rimm"''''] .• nd in this g.m,efit signifies morri.g •. H,lth.""r offered fronkincense in • yeUow g.mlem, and in this g.mlent signi fies virginity. Alekhior offered myrrh in • multi-rolored cosrume (...... Iilllmi. and in this costwne signifies penitence. He who wem firs•• weoring • purple m.mle [ug"m ], through it .ignifi.. the King who w.,. oom .nd suffered. He who offered his gift to the Newborn in • mu1ti-colored m.mle signifies

' 7掳


~hrollgh this th"t Christc:: ~ re, for ~Il the we"!">" unci ",::IS whi ppo:cI hy the \':\1"ious injuries ilJlJ Ji\"ers;;, blows of the J ~ws. Of hilll it is wriHen, "He h'ITh borne ollr infirmities :lnd c~rried ol1r sorrows: lind we h:ll'e dlOUght him :IS it wen: " leper," etc., ~ncl thcu, "he '01'115 wounded for OUI" iniquities, h., w"s c rucified for O llr sins." H e who offered his gift in white signifies that He exists in divine cb ,iry aft .... th" ,""surre-crion. For lik ... wise the three predous gifts conLlin divine myste ries in them , th'lt is, by goM is meant reg'll wealth, by frankincense the figure nf the prk!'t, by myrrh death, thus through all thc$C rhings they show him 1"0 be the one who undertook the i n i qllirie~ of men, th"r is Chrisr. ... \Vhy did not foul", not si.~, 01" IlOt.tWO, lout on ly these dlfee come from the cast? So that ther might ~' n tircl)' 5i~'1 1 ify the perfect ple nitude nf th~' T rinity.

This e.~egesis of the three ,\Il agi seems to have been culled from an unknown sermon thnt no longer exists, perhaps one written by a past bishop of Rallcnna. ,6, The fact th~t visual n:ferenccs arc found in a sermon indicates the way in which sermon and image might work together in the course of the liturgy. In particular, this scrmon cmphasizes the divine and human natures of Christ and the COnsl! bstantial T rini ty, both concepts that were particularlyanti.Arian. It is often remarb:(1 [hat, except tor [he Nlagi in the procession, scenes from Christ's infancy arc ahsent from the church. It should first be nOted that much of thc origi nal mosaic (lecQration is mi~sing, and in parti<"ular the mosaics of the triumphal arch . In thc church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, [his is precisel}' where scenes from the Infa ncy are rlepicted, whi le the nave walls comain other sorts of typological narrative scenes. Thus. it is perfectly possi ble that originally such scenes were present. fl>' Sever~1 scholars have interpreted their ahsence as evillence that Arians were uncom路 fortable with anything indicating the InLarll;!uon, '()3 although the depic路 tion of the Virgin and Child, even without the Magi, would teml to refute th is. 'W hat do these processions represent? Agnellus himself draws attention to the fa n that traditionally the <;()uthern side of a chu rch (the right as one faces the apse) was where the men stood, while the northern side (the less prestigious left sille) was allocatCl1 to the wo men . "~4 T hus, the processions of saintS :lJld \'irgins correspond in gender to the congregants bclow lhclIl. P roces~iQns of saints lx:aring crown~ were found in several other religious buildings in Ravenna, most notahly the O rthodox ~ n d Arian Baptisteries . In Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, became all rhe sainrs excepr Allartin were martyrs, it is usually assumed that they are offering the crown5 o f their martyrdom to Christ and the Virgin, an association made particularly strong by the after路 ings of the three lvIagi to the Virgin at the head of the procession of virgins.


The congregants, who would offer the bre;ld ;llld wine of the E ucharist in the cOurse of the ceremony, would thus imitate and he associatell with the martyrs and the i'bgi; indeed, von Simson notes that the bread offered in such ceremonies was calIe{] COrfmor and was made in the form of a crown. '!)j The congregalHs, mirrored by the saints, are themselves meanl to imitate the sacrifice of the martyrs. [61> Another explanation that work, ill parallel, already noted. is that the vir· gins and martyrs, and thc male figures above them, represent the hC;l\'cnly <:omt, which {;ontinually venerates the enthroned Christ allli the Virgin . In this interpretation, like the apostles of the Orthodox Baptistery but in an even more vivid way, the pose ofthl.' saints offering crowns to the ruler reRects the Roman imperia l ceremony of Il IIru1ll fOIVIIIII·illlil: ,6, lords and ladies ot" heaven, dressed in rich, gleam ing robes, crowns, and jewels, pay (fibute to the emperor anll empress of heaven. Such a depiction would lJC evocative of the e~rthly court of Thl.'o(leric's palace whose pl~ce of \\'o r· ship thi5 W3S. ''''~ Desuiptions of snch a he3vcnly court, whose members present gifts as they represent their cities, arc found among the writings of Vcnantius Fortunams, a poet who was educated in Ra venna in the 550s. Such ;l coun should also be consi(lered to include the lll;lle figures of the mi{ldlt;: zone. , (~) And one lin;ll possibility: saints are often ({epicted receiv· ing crowns from Christ; a nearby example is seen in the apse mosaic of San Vitale. 'fhe ~aints in Sont'Apollinare Nuo\'(J might abo be n~a(1 as receiving their crowns in these images, in much the same way thJt A. \Vhanoll has interpreted the apostks in thc Orthodox Baptistery. ' ~Q What Wns Origillnlly TIJ(:re to Be Replnced! C lose analysis of the tesserac and mortar showell th~t the oottom row of green and a top row of galll were part ofThcoucric'soriginal mosaic. It is thu s vcr)' likely that a 5imilar field of figures walking on a green grounll against a gold background was originally depicted along the walls. It is usually asscrtc(j that the original proccssion must have been of·f hcoderic ami mcmbcrs of his court, setting out from Ravenna and Classe, since that s{''Cne would have h~d to be replaced in a political and theological rededication of the church. 'i l While we may never know for certain what was originally there, therc are various prol)lcllls wilh this pro\Xlsal. ": It i5 based on tWO weak ~ssumplions: ( I) 5ince uOlh San Giovanni Evangel ista !·; and San Vitale contain imperial images, it is likely that Thcoderic also had political imagery in his church; and (; ) since Thcodcric tried never to upset his Orthodox S\lbjccts, hc would not havc had anything roo overtly Arian depicted here. On the ~rst poillt, ifThcodcric's church were similar to the others with impcrial imagery, it is more likely that he woultl have had himself Ilepicwi




ill the ap!>C. \Vhilc it is true that we know relatively little aOOut what was depictt{] on nave


there is no other example of such a <:Ourt prOces-

sion known (rom any other late antique

chllrch. '-~

Thc closest example,

th!.' walls Ranking the altar in San Vitale, which \'on Simson proposed wen: inspired by the original mosaics ill Sam'Apollinare Nuovo, ,~~ 3re located in the presbytery o f the church, wh ich is not a basilica with a longiOldina l nave. 'i(, In Santa Maria J'l'Iaggiore in Rome the tl3H~ walls are decorated with biblical scenes. Ac(;oniing to textual descriptions, much the same sort of depictions were fouml in the church of St. Scrgius at G37.3, St. Marlin at Tours, and St. Felix at Nola; St. Nilus of Sinni recommends this dccoration for the nave walls of a church. 'n Many sunriving mosaics depict saints on th e w~lls of churches, for {,x~lllple , ~t St. Catherine's church in Simi, at Jlorec, and in Ravenna's mpelltj (m~i,!eMJVil.. (see Fig. II):!), although none of these examples includes llave decoratioll. l3ut there are 110 te:\'tual referenccs, t"o pics, imitatiolls, or any OTher !,.'Vi(lcllce for a court proces~ion that covered the walls of a basilica's navc. 'i~ If this were indec([ what was originally found in Sant'Apolli nare Num'o, it would ha\'e ocen a dramatic m:\\' iconographical form , linki ng earthly s!"'Cular power with th,Jt of heaven. Tht: assulllpliOll thar Theoderic wuu l(1 not have had overtl}' i\rian imagery in this church is based on a circular argument, since if there had been something ovt:rtly Arian here, then all our assumption~ aoout Thcooeric's religious attitudes would have to be rel'is('d . Sun'iving tl'xts, incillding a fragmen( of a calendar from si~1:h-cenUJry Ravenna, imlicate that a whole host of saints and martyrs were venerated by the Goths some Arian , some Gothic, some just generically Christian, and both male and female 'i9_ more than enough to have populare(l the walls of this church with figures who were incompatible with Orthodox Byzantine ideology. Such a proce~sion woul(1 provi(le the most obvious m oclel for its own replacement, and would have elIllall}, well hav(' presented th"" court of heaven, as we have seen a very common metaphor in late antigue literature. Regardless of what was originnlly there, W. Urbano is SUTely correct that the partial erasure of figures in Sallt'Apollinare Nuovo, which retained the hands nnd dedicatory inscription, were a way of reminding people of the con{\emnation, emphasizing rhe disgrace ra ther than erasing all memory of the Arian past. 'so T he very fact that we aTe still wondering alXlut it indicates how successful this st rategy was!

Tbe Hl'lId afJ"sti"iall ? O ne final fragment of a mosaic survives from the lare antique church, tile bust of a lllan dressed as an emperor, and labeled



57. San,'_

,\poI linaÂŤ fno;;m""' from the "''''t ,,~II.hddof

Justini.n (phooo C Copenh,,,"e,)

Justinian (Fi g. 57). '~' Agnellus tells us that pictures of Archbishop AgnelIus an d the emperor Justinian were fOund on the interior enrrance wall of the church, dt'COrated with gold mosaic. ,8, In the sixteenth century several autho~ mention portraits ofJustinian, Theodora, and a third person who is variously identi1ied. Girolamo Rossi idcntifiedJustinian on the south side of the main door, and Archbishop Agncllus on the north, although a century laler only Justinian sum,..,d. The surviving fragment was restored by Feliee Kibei in 1863, and the label IU~TINJAN, which is currently part of the fragnlent. is attributable to KibeI. Despite Agncll us's and later allcstations that the figure Justinian, some scholars have suggested that it originally depicted Thoodcric. Thc fact that thc f.Jcc of the figure dot's not look like the portrait of Justinian in San Vitale has led to the supposition that this ruler had been relabeled, and perhaps cven reclothcd, as Justinian aftcr the Orthodox rededication. ,S) This attribution is often repeated in scholarly Iitemmre and has played a role in dchates about Theoderic's self-Ilrcsentation




as an emperor, although even ifthc face itself were Thcoderic's, there is no indication nfhaw he would have originally been dressed. 1. Bald ini Lippolis notes that most of the schola rlr d(,'batc concerns questions of imperial and roya l portraitllTC in the sixth century. There is only one 5ufvjl'ing portraitofTheoderic, on the Senigallia medallion (Fig. 29), although we know fr0111 Agnellus that sel'eral mher depictions of this ruler existed in Ravenna and elsewhere. The face o n the mosaic ( not look like

that of the ScnigaJ1ia medallion, but it is very probable that offici~ l portra its could have different a rrcarance~ in diA-crcnr context.,. However, by the same reasoning there is no reason that it could not have originally depicted JlISti nian. Baldini Lippolis notes that the mosaic has been damagen, removed, and restored so ma ny times that it is no longer possible to say whether it was all made at one time, but concludes that


likdy the

entire mosaic portrait wa s Justinian right from the start, created as a pendant to a portrait of Archbi shop Agncllus to itHlkate their joint reintegration

of this church inrl) the Orthodox empire. ,ltl

Sollto Spirito (the Arioll Cathedral) The church that since the fifteenth century has been knt)wn as San tO Spirito' S ~ was built originally as the cathedral for the Arian hishop of Ravenna; at least. this is implied by Agne1\us, who says tha t the re was an episcopillll! and a baptistery there. In Agnellus's day the church was clt:d icaten to St. Theodore, presumed to originate with

itS rededication to Orthodox

worship. ,U T hc dOC\lJncnt from 5 5 T. cited above. mcntions a Gothic bisbop SiI1lCfl/1' Auam/sic, which has been interprctcd as the ..\rian cathedral, originally dedkated, like its Orthodox CQunterpart, to the Anasta~ i s. As we have st:"t:n in the previous chapter, by the ~i xt h century there was a con fusion bctwecn dcd ications to thc Anastasis and to St. Anamsia. Notably, in the 380s Gregory Nazian7.\15 built a church in Constantinople called the Ana~tasia, in reference to Gregory's tlllnstnsis or resurrcction of Nicenc Christianity undcr thc thrca t of I-\ ria nism. Th is church was rehuilt in the 4605 and dedicated to St. Anastasia of Sirmium, prl.'c isc1y whell Thcoderic W;lS lil'ing i ll Constantinople. It WllS endowed with vt'sst:1s by the Arian generals Aspar and his son N(labur, ill tha nks for which it was dccreed that thc Gospels wen~ to be read in this church in Gothic. 's; The history of that church was known in sixth-century Italy, as Cassiodorus reportS it in his llistoritl crc/fSitlstim nipm'1iTtl, in a section derivcd from Sozomcn's history. j ~~ A Gothic chl1l'ch in Raven na ded icated to St. Anastasia thus makes sense, and it seems likely that this was in faet

and refers to an I't'duitl legis Go/bol'f/III



58. S,nloSririro,';cwohhc in,erlor(phow 1",,.;,,,, IiIr

Kuru;'geschichle derJohannes Cu'rnbc:rg Uni.路cr>i .. , ,\bin,BiIJd"""b.nk)

the Arian cathedra l, perhaps ",ith an intcntional ambiguity of dedication to Anas t::I si a!Ana stasis. ':l<J By the eighth century a monastic community is kno",n to havc been establishl-J in this church, ",hich took its namc from the dedication of the baptistcry to Santa Maria in Cosmcdin. After the tenth century modifications ",crc madc to both buildings, including thc amplification of the nave colonnade ",ith pointed arches, perhaps in the thirtecnth century. The raising of the nave colonnadc by T.8z m, the add ition of the curre nt porch and of scveral chapels at the ends of the aisles and on the sides of the church OCl"\Irrl-J in the sixt~'Cnth CcnUlry. In the 19305 and ' 940>, especially after the northern chapels ",cre destTO}'cd by bombing in ]943, a campa ign to restore the basilica to its ~originalH form "'as undcrtaken, resulting in the struCture visible today (Fig. ,8).'9" Thc Arian cathedral is a basilica with single aisles and scvcn-column ~"()lonnadcs; at 28.3 x J 8. 5 meters it is noticeabl)' smaller than the Ursiana



(Fig. 59),'?' The relative width vfrh!! church comp<lfcd to its length give it a boxier ground plan than is usual in R~venna\ basilicas. Its length rdative to width is ('~.:h whcr(.'3S the usual ratio is 1.5. G. Dc Angelis d'Ossat linked these proportions with chose of the church ofSant'Agata <lei COrl in Rome, built by Ricime r, and argued that they somehow reAect Arian ideology. "l'

Rut Deich mann correctly noted that some churches in Constantinople,


well as others in Rome and Ravenna, also have these proportions, which therefore probably have nothing to do with doctrinal or ethnic difference. I~J These proportions give the church a mo re vcrtil.::d feci thall is \I~uall)' found in a longitud inal c hurch; and given that the ROOT lel'el was originally 1.8~ m lowcr, this verticality would havc secmed !..'Ven more pronolllwed than it does today. Originally the chu rch had neither narthex nor atriulll, and later COllstrtlction on the west sille of the has obscll red how it was linked to its baptistery ( Fig. w).'94 The church was made of a combination of rcused Roman hricks al1(1 ncw bricks o f the typc that arc also found in l~ tcr sixth-century lmililings in Raven na.'!>'5 At the ellstern end, a fa irly deep apse WIIS a five -sided polygon on the exterior and semicirC\llar on the interior, with three la rge windows Oil the three central sides; the semidome of the apse was vaulted with bricks rather than with /ilbi jitfili.'0 On the facade wall three doors led Lnto the nave JIlII aisles; aix)Ve the central de)(w, at the level of the clerestory winl\ows, are three windows which give addirionallight to the nave. On the walls ahove thc navC arcadC"s, six large windows (now mostly fillcd in) 3fe cllistered rowanl rhe center of the wall surface a nd do not correspond to the arcadc below. On the north ancl south aisle walls, seven winliows did correspond to the coll1m ns of rhe colonnade; on the south side these windows opl'.Ilcll Onto a covereel corrillor parallel to the aisle, with a Iloor in place of the ('emral window. '9i The windows were outlincd on the c.nerior with pilasters ami arcules of brick, again similar to other Ravennate chur(路hes. The navc colonnade consists of hascs, columns, capitals, and impost hlocks of dijfC"rent sizes and types of mar b le. '~ Workshop marks on somC" of the columns (10 not correspond to any known from Ravenna or from Constantinople. Two different types of capitals arC" attributable, according to DeicilIltann, to a north Italian workshop (not from Ra\'cnna or COIlstantino ple), perhaps of the late Ii ft h or early sixth century. Part of an am bo that Ila res ro the carl y sixth cenrury is still tOllnd in the bllilding, made of Istrian limestone (like the j\路l ausolcum o fTh eodcric) and beallti fully can'ed wi t h abstract ornament. The clecoration is sim ilar to that of the ambo in Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, which is known to have come from Constantinople; it is presumed that the cathedral ambo was made loc,llly, imitating the other. I ?,! No trace of the original wall tlrtoratioll sun'ivcs, although fragme nts of mosaic of ullI.:errain &I te have iJeen found in e.~ca\'ations. "",


[F •

=<bIo-.., "'-7 • !I





L....... ~

2 • •

. -.

!I 2


or the rpisropimJl of the }\rians we know nothing beyond what AgnclIus tells us, namely, .... . the house of Drocton !doJlJ" Dl'ocdoll;sl, which house together with a balh and a 1!Wl!lfster;mll to Sl. Apollinaris, which was built in the upper ~tory of the hou1>e, was the episropilllll ofthat church.'''ol An episctlpillm for Agncllus was the residence of an episroplIs, or bishop; it is curious that Agncllus abo says that Arian episcQpill were found at me churches of St. George and St. Euscbius, outside the walls of the city.' o, This implies that the Arian bishops had three residences, which is nowhere said of the Orrhooox bishops. T he Orthodox rpiscopilllll, as we will see, had a chapel on an upper story constructed in the enrly sixtn centtlry. and a batn refurbi.shed in the 540s, all(1 the rpisropill1ll at St. The()(lore would seem to have had the same facilitics. DrlJCdQllis in i\gncllus may refer to Droctulfus, identified by Paul the Deacon as D nx:tOn, a Sueve who fought under me Lombards but then Red to Ravenna and joined the imperial army, sen'ing in Thracc and Africa. He was evcntually buried in San Vitale in Ravenna sometime after 606.'°J A still-visible wall between Saara Spirito and the Arian Baptistery, often called the "Casa di Drogdone," contains tentn- to t\I>'clfth-ccntury decoration on its upper level, hut its date of construction is put anywhere from Ihc sevemh to the twelfth century. It certainly seems to have somc relationship with the nl'O religious Structures, bur we cannot be sure what it was or when it was built.'''''' The Arion Bnptislely The Ariall Baptistery'''S stands 43 III to the soumweSt of the facade of it~ cathedral.,,:6 II is not as well preserved as its Orth o do.~ COuntcrparr, but

59. Th" Anm, Cathed ra! (lOua)' S~nto


"nti B"lui""r},. r"c"",slrucl,,,1

1,lan showing oct~gon ~nd

now-Iost sllrro unding S1l3«S (~h"deJ )

(a fter

Dcich",",,,,, '9,6. Fig. '5)



enough survives to enalile us to sec that it was in part inspire!1 by the earlier vuilding but inclullcl[ significant (lift"erences. ,0' No histOric~1 sources mention the construction of the Aria n Baptistery. Ollr firSt information comes from Agncllll5, who rells us only that in his d~y it was a 1II01l0rfl'rill1ll to the Virgin Mary ill COS'lI1cdill, and at that time it contained an altar [0 St. Nicholas!oI' 'rhe mosaics in the baptistery's dome are well preserved; like the mosaics o f Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, they have t'ome under scrutiny

for evidence of Arian theolo!,')' atH\ iconography. As we will sec, like all images in Ravenna these call be interpreted in a variety of ways, none entirely satisfactory. Neverthel ess, it is dear that there was an attempt to ditfcren6are these moS<!il'S from thos,- of the Orthodox Baptistery, and to make them meaningful La the Ostrogoths and Romans who might have been baptized here. 'fhe meaning of baptism was a topic of intense discussion in the early Church, both bl'Cau~c of the centrality of the rife in civic atHl daily life, and because of its rclation~hip to Chrisrological controversies. The core te .~t for the ritual is Matthew Z8:1 9, where Christ S:lys to the apostles, "Go thcrefore and mab: disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in thc namc of the Farher and the Son and the H oly Spirit." Since the Trinity is invoked in this Gospel passage, it became one o f the most important piL'Ce5 or evidence in discussions about the nature of Christ amI the H oly Spirit. T here is evidence that potential cii ffcrel1ccs between Arian and Orthodox baptism were an issue for church lea(lers in the fourth thro ugh sixth centuries in tht;' cast and in Spain. In the fourth cent\.lf)' the extrt;'me Aria n followers of Eunomiu s drew attention for their unusual baptismal practices: they used one immersion instead of three, baptized in tbe name of the death of Christ or in the names of an unel\ual T rinity, and rebaptized all those previously baptitcd in any other rraditioll. All of these things were counter to Orthodox practice. Rebaptism in particular was somt:thing that was co ndemned br Orthodox theologians, except in CJ5eS (such as Eunornianism) in which a person had not been in rhe name of the Trinity. H owever. thert;' is no evillence ofEunomians in lraly and other Arians do not seem to have had dis tinexive baptismal rilUa Is. 'OY indeed, in the Of Irillifflff attributed to the late founh-eentuf)' bishop Eu sebiu~ ofVercelli, the author calls Arians hypocrites for o;lptizing in the Jl<lllle of a T rinity whose ('(Insubstantiality they do not admi r. HQ i\'lore reieo.'ant fur Ostrogothic lraly, the lack of diA-erclIces in baptism~ 1 rites betwcen .'\rians and Orthodox were of ma jor 1,'011 cern to Spanish theologians in the Visigothic era. Some Orthodox priests in Spain instituted baptism by single immersion in order to differentiate themselves from the Arians who practiced triple immersion. Single immersion was oppose!! by leading oi_~h(lps 3S well as oy Pope Vigilius (j3i~55 ), who argued that the Orthodox must baptize using triple immersion.'" In his


' 79

60. Aria" BOI"

listel')" eXTerior ",eW

letter to Bishop Profuturus of Braga, Vigilius also condelllns reiJaptism of Ariam, which surely would also have been an issue in Italy. Bishop Martin of Braga, writing ahout the triple immersion question in the late sixth century, specifically notes that Arian and Orthodox ritual and Iiturb'Y were extremely similar, and only their belief in the Trinity distinguished thelll. 'I! \짜e therefore havc no cvidence of any difference in Arian baptismal rinlals from those of the Orthodox in Italy.'! I The Arian Baptistery apl:tCarStoday as an octagonal prism with four absidioles projecting on tile north, sou til , east, and west sides, wh ich looks very like the O rthodox Baptistery (Fig. 60). Originally the Arian building's profi le was rather different, as the octagolla l core was surrounded on sevell of its sides by a covcred or endosed ambulatory 1.1}O III wille, leaving only the larger eastern apse exposed (Fig. 59)' The entrances to the amiJulawry

. 80


l1anh:(\ the eastern apse (thus facing the ralhc(lral), "4 while the entrances to the octagonal cOre wert on the northwest and southwest walls, thus at the opposite sioe {today only the clltra nee on the northwest wall is open}.'" Parts of the c).1:crior wall have bt,>cn eXl'avated, and the t..'vidl,'llce, cOllplcd with projecting elements from the survi\'ing building, especially at the corners of the octagon, show that the am bularory consisted ofa series of rectangular rooms anti irregular passageways around the absidioles, taCh separated b}' an arched opening atl{1 vaulted with brick. Access to the ambulHory may also have been ga incI\ on the north and ~()uth sides facing the absillio\cs, but there would have been no unobstructcrl vicll' fro m the outsirle into thl,' octagona l core. tll> As S. Cummins shows, polygonal ambulatOries surrounding octagonal baptisteries are known for the pre-Eufrasian baptistery at Pon:c, San G iovanni in Canosa, and ap parently at tbe Ca' Bianca south of Classe; and ambulatOries widl other l ayout~ are known from several other baptist(,'rics. They may have provi(lcd waiting or disrobing areas, spaces for particu lar parts of the liturgy, or storage room~. "- Some have suggested that concealing the intCrior myste ries frOIll the casual ob5crvCr may havc been a reason tor the arrangement of the Joors. l ' ~ Hut, as this is the only baptistery securely known to have been used by Arians, and since other baptist~ries h ypothesiz~d as !\rian in Salona, Grado, and Milan uo not show dift'erences from the Orthodox buildin~ in those cities, it is impossible to know whether this had anyth ing to do with the Arian rirual! lo The Arian Bapti~tery was bui lt of vcry varied reused Roman brick, " o perh ~ps an ind icnion that by thc sixth CCllfury the supply of imperial-era bricks was running low. As is usual in Ravenna, the original floor leve[ lay 2.3 ' 111 below the present ground level; became of ground water, the current reconstructed floor is only [. 0 4 III bdow ground level. '" The floor was raised at least four times ill the structure's history; this is fortunate, as the remains of the original walls can only be rracecl in places below the level of the first repaving. The haptistery has an overall width o f c~. 9 meters, an inro;-rior diameter of 6';5-6.85 m , an exterior wall length of 3.40 m , and an interior W;!l\ length of ca. 2.86 1Il: from the origin;!l groun(l level to the top of the exterior walls the building measures 8. 5 Ill , and the walls of the octagon are 0,;5 III thick. ';' A window was inserted into each wall just a OOVC the level of the externa l ambulatory, which is marked toU;!)' by a brick cornice; thewintlows are 1.;0 m high. Thev;!u ltsprings from a point9.35 III ;!bove the origin;!l flOOr level; the apex of the dome rises T T .oi III ahove the original floor leyel. The transition from the octagon to the circulnr base of the dome is made with small pemlenrives. T he dome, like that o f the Arian cathedral and the "mausoleum of Galla P lacidia" but unlike others in Ravenna, was made of brick. and the roof is supported by a fill made


of amphorac and mortar. Some havc secn this as a sign that workers werc brought in from Constantinople tor these buildings. " I Overall , the Arian Baptistery's diameter is 56 percen t of that of the O rthodox Baptistery, and the dome's height is 76 percent ofthe height of the Orthodox Baptistery.:!~ It is generally assullled tha t the smaller size is beca use of the Ininorit), stams of Arian Christianity ill Ravelma, al though we sho uld not forger that a second baptistery existed JUSt (loWI\ the street at Sant'A]x>ilinare Nuo\'o, perhaps daring back (Q the Ostrogothic period . The apsidinle on the cast side is willer and deeper (z.80 meters wille, ".75 meterS deep) than the others (z . [ 0 III wide, [.73 m dee p), and its 1100r k'Vd was apparently raised a step above thc rest ofthc space, pe r h~ps separated by a rJiling. Each of the absidioles had on least one slIIail niche cut into the lower part of the wall (the only part that is preserved). perhaps to hol!lliturgical illlpl ement~. These niches are not original, but stem from some later period of usc. The remains of small brick altars, Ilot frolll the original pha~e of builliing but installed at a later point, were found in the >Duth and west absidio1cs; perhaps one was the altar of St. Nicholas mcntion"u by Agncllus. :l' 路f he font. which was removed at some point, possibly when the buil(ling was reconsecrated, was not in the exact center of the building. but was oriented slighd}' to the east of center. ,,6 T he purpose of the deeper eastern apse is not known. Many late antique baptisteries ha\路e one prominent apse, and it may have contained the throne of the bishop. " i Interesti ngly. six graves have been excavated within the octagon; they broke through the original pavement and must have been installed before the 6rst rcpaving.:,8 The usc of a baptistery as a funerary cha pel is somewh,l l ullusual . M . t'I'lazzotti proposell that the burials occurred when the was rededicate!] from Arian worship as a way of marking the fact tha t it was no longer a baptistery. n? On the other hand, we know that burial in bapristeries was not unknoll'n in late antiquity, since lall's against it were p~ ssed by church counci ls.>w On the interior, excavations of 1916-19 and also of 1969 revealed large amounts of mmaic and stucco fragments, and bits of painted imitation marble were found at the lower edges of the south and east ab~id ioles. :J l T he only decorations th,1t hol\!e been presen'cJ arc the mosaics of the dome (PI. /\路 b). These were restOred in The seventeenth cenrury and again in the mid- nineteenth century, but these repai rs cOll sistell mostly of sma ll p~ tche5. except for the lower halves of the fOllrth and fifth apostles who follow St. Peter; thus, the original iconogra phy is intact. Based on differences in workmanship and materials, it seems clear that the work was done in different phases or by different arti,t~. :}l Deiclunann, following G . Gerola,




6 ,. "';3n B"rtist.-r)" cem ...JI n,~d"lIio"


ing the baprism of Christ

proposed thal the mosaics were made in twO phases: the first, contemporary with construction, would consist of the central medallion, throne, Peter, Paul , and the apostle behintl Paul. The rcmaimier of the mosaics would ha ve

beell set in the mid-sixth century. 'll C. O. Nordstrom instead proposed three periods of composition: the first consisting of the cenr.ralmcdall ion;

the second the th rone and Sts. Pefer, St. Paul, and his follower; and the third the rest of the figllTcs, bllt Nordstrom docs not S\lppoSC a large chronological break between the phascs.' H It should be remembered that the buil(l-

ing, begun perhaps as carly as 500, would not ha\'c been turned over to the Orthodox Church until ,61 or later; thus. all of the decoration was proba bly made duri ng the building's Arian period. The mosaics of rhe (lome consist of two zones. In a cemrall11edallion, set off frOnl the outer eircle by a dt.'Corati\'e wreath, is a (iepiction of the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist (Fig. 6 1). John stands on a rocl..y prominence in the right of the circle, his right hand 011 the head of Christ. John is dressed in a spotted tunic lind carryi ng a shepherd's crook; he is bearded, 31l1i has no halo. In the center, the nucle Christ stands in the waters of the river Jordan, Wllich reach almost to his waist; he is beardless wi th



6,. An,n 110.1>timf)', SIS. Pe!<r

...:1 P,W A:uiling ,thron«pOOw J.,m;tUt Ibr

K"nstg"",hkh« d.". Joo.""", GUlenbe'1l Uni_ ve ,,; tlIt ,\!Oinz.,

BildJ"rnbank) flowing brown hair down to his shoul ders and a halo arou nd his hcad. His navel is literally the center of the dome. ') AI)(l\"c Christ's head hm"Cl"s the do"c of the Holy Spiri t. shown in top vicw, with an effusion of something that 1001.5 li ke ''',liter or light flowing from his beak I;() Christ's hea d and J ohn's han d. 'J6 On the left we see a person ification ofthc rivcr J ordan as a reclini ng wh ite-hain>d and bearded ma n with orange horns coming out of this head; he is nude to the w:list, and his legs arc covered with a green mantle of the same color and shading as the rock on which Joh n stands. His left hand is raised in acclamation. with his right he holds a reed as a scepter, and behind hi m is an upside-down amphora out of which flow the waters of tile ri ver. The figures are set against a background of gold tesserae. The scene is oriented so that it is propcrlyviewed when the viewer is facing west. Surrounding the !'enn-al medallion, we find a procession of the twel ve apostles raising objccts toward a j~·wekd throne upon which si ts a j~"Wckd cross with a pur ple pallium draped over its anns (Fig. 6: ). T he ~postles are dressed in whitc tunics wi th clavi and mantlcs; the latter cover thei r hands,



which em ph;1Si~cs the four ditfcrcnt types of glllll1Jl(ldil1 on them. :3; Peter's heal) j~ surrOunded by a white halo, Paul's ani) his successl)r's by a blue halo, anti the other ni ne apostles have beige halos. Peter hold s his keys, Pau1 holds the scrolls ofthl,' law, and the other ten apostles hold crowns. They walk OIl a narrow greell ground line and are sepa rated fIOlll each other by styli7.ed pal m trees; they, li ke the baptism scene, aTe set agai nst a flat gal() background. The most unusual aspect of this procession is that it is oriented in the opposite direction fro lll the baptismal scene; that is, it

is properly viewed when the viewer faces t he cast, so that the enthroned cross is c.~a c tly in line with Christ's head and the dOl'e, but upside down from it (Fig. 62). Comparing these mosaics with those of the O rthodox Baptistery (Pl. HI> and Fig. 26) reveals both striking simi larities and difrerenct's. Whi le the similarities im ply that the Arian artists were 1lI01ieling their imagery 011 that found ill the earl ier building, it is the dificrenccs that have caugh t the attention of scholars who hope to idcnti~' in them some hint.s of Arian theology Or religious practice. As we will sec, the search (or A,路jflll meaning has obscured (he even 1110re radical nlmic meaning tha t is found i.n th"

imagery in the I>aplistery. First let us examine the si milariti es: the scene of Christ's baptism with

John the Baptist, a nude Christ, the river Jordan, the dove, the water of

the Jordan, surrounded by a procession of apostles, repeats the Orthodox design . Enthroned crosses likewise are found in the third zone o f the Orthodox Bapti5tcry. The diA'erences can be listed as (0110,"'5 (excluding matrers relating to the heads, do~路e, and hands of John the Baptist in the Orthodox Hap tistelY, which, as we have already disc ussed, ,1 re a reconstruction):')!!


H~ptisTe ry


H~ pri5te ry

j ohn the Baptist on the viewer's left )<)1111 the B:lprist on the viC"wt r's right jord;\O only top hnlf, sl11;II1" r jonbn fltll -figure, <1S Inrgc ~s other figures Apostles and h3pti~111 Sl l11~ orient-arion A]l...~tles :lnd bapti~m op]l().~ite o rient-ltklll

Aposdts offer crowns to nOthing Bille hackgroun,l for nl"usties All \1f.XJSrlt's offer crowns Apostles not halocJ Apostles labeled by name

Apostles offe r crowns to enthroned uoss Gold


for :lIJost lcs

Pe"'r ~l\d Pnul oifer keys <lod hI\' Apo)1:ics halocd with difFerent colors Apo5tlcs not named

These differences have been interpreted as the result of the ski ll of the a1"tiSL~ or as tvillence of functional, aesthetic, and/or theological intention. It was surcly a combination of fac tors that resulted in the images that we


sec, and , as with any religious image from late anti(luiry, the (lepictiollS may h~\'e been inten,le,1 to carry ,Iillerent messages to different viewers. Let us start with the center and work outward. The reversal of the baptismal scene and the importance of the river j ordan here, are suiking compositional differences from the earlier depiction. Much has been written about the clumsiness of rhe figures in the baptismal scene and Deichm31l11 attributes deviations from the Orrho(lox imagery to artistic inadequacy. 'J~ T hose who prefer to see it as a result of some imention olter ,lilt'erent explanations. It has hcen suggested that the image in the Arian Baptistery mirrors the act at the font where the bisbop would be on the baptisand's right side. 'ojO Some have uglled that the image was n."versed deliberately to be dill"erenr from the Orthodox rendering - something thH is impossible to prove. 'rhe larger size ofche river j ordnn has been explnine(1 as an aesthetic choice, to better halaJl(:e the cOlllp()sition. ' ~' fili ally. the Ix:a rded, aggressively male figure s of the river Jordan and john have her:tl seen as a deliberate COntrast to the youthful, even hermaphroditic, figure of Christ. although no s peci~cally ,'rilm message is impl icd. ' 4' The different orientations of the baptism scene and the apostoli/.路 procession are troubling to the viewer; it is impossible to tletermine how an observer should s[and to see it all properly. Some scholars have argued that the mosaicists simply got it wrong, perhaps because of a break in time I*rn'cen the central composition and the prcX'cssion, and having started work, they then harl to complete it. '4J Others have related the twO vicw ~ points to the ritual. The bishop in the east could sec the baptism scene from the start, whereas the baptisand begins by viewing the procession and the thrOLle (associated witb the bishop), and only ~cs tbe baptism of Christ at rile moment in whim he turns in the fOllt to fact' rile west ..!44 Visually, the separation of the two wnes means that the apostolic procession is not relatecl to Christ'~ baptism. 14 ) R. Sli r rie~ sugge~t.~ that the Arians di,1 not want the apostles to seem to offer their crowns to jesus at the moment when he was being pronounced the Son of God as they do in the Orthodox Baptistery. ,,,6 Since the haptism of Christ is the moment in which the T rinity is roregrounded in the Gospels, and since Matthew !8:19. in which {he a])()<;ties are charged to baptize in the name of the T rinity, is the L:ey text for the form of baptism of believers, the change in orientation becomes a subtly anti Trinitarian statement. Finally, a~ r show ill the section to tQllow, it can also be argued that the ligures OtiC sees when Oti C is facing west arc not intended to be identified as apostles H thH moment, bllt as generic followers o f Christ. an emphasis in Arian ideology. as we have already seen for Sam'Apoliinare NUO\'0. '4; Many of the argumt'ms al)()ut the procession are connected to rile presenc.:e of the thron e as the focus of the apostOlic procession. The functionalist




argument sr;ltL'$ that the procession zone in th e Arian Baptistery conlLncs two zones I)f the O rthodox Baptistery's dome, thus the throne has sim ply been transposed up into the procession imagc. 'i8 OtherS have found the "simpli fication " theory tro ubling and ~s~,lmc thar the th ronc at rhis level must have had so me specific meaning. Sorries sugges['> dla( the aposcles olfer theiT crowns to the eternal presence o f Christ. as symbolized by rhe cross on rhe throne, rather than to the hapril'.e(] Son or Go!!. '~!J The throne

is aligned with the dove of the Holy Spirit and with Christ in dl(~ baptism scene, linking the three, and some have seen it as representing God the Fathcr.' 5掳 O thers have seen the tbronc as symbol ic of the bishop who performc{[ the ceremony or ~s emph ~ si7. i ng the sillli1aritie~ between G(){[ and king. '5 ' F i n ~ l l y. crowns being offered to a throne ~I so e\'oke the image of the twenty-tour elders of the Book of Revelation, and thus lhe empty throne becomes an frill/{{s/tI, also a reference to the Second Coming of Chrisr.'p One imen"sting {Juestion hcre, as we h;we already seen in thc O rthodox Baptistery, is whether the apostles are in fact offering things to the throne or receiving things fr01l1 it. TJl this cl epiction, Peter and Paul arc hold ing kcys and scroll. obje{.路ts that thl.'Y \1S11a lIy n.'Ceive from Christ; thus, as we have already seen in the Orthodox B~p[ istery, the apostles here may be receiving thei r crowns from God/Christ, JUS t as the baptisnnds do. 'H One final unusual aspect of the procession is that the apostles are nOt lauele<luy name. Peter, Paul, ami Andrew can be identifie<luy their nowstandard facia l features and attributes. ' >4 but the other apostles arc not readily distinguishablc. This is only unusual if onc rem cmbers tha t thc apostles an' labeled in the O rthodox Baptistery. the (apeI/o ,uTr"cs(Qvih:, San Vita le, and other si:.:th-celltury cburches in wbich they arc rep"esenred as a group. '55 Since some of the other hu ildings had limited available space, onc cannot argue tha t there was no room in the Arian Baptistery to put the namt:s; the omission must have ueen IleliUerate. Each apo~cle ' s physiognOIll}' is different: sOllle arc beardecl , S01l1C beardless, some with gray hair, some with brown. "rhe apostles who arc idcnt.ified in the Orthodox bu ildi ng as Simon, J ames .;lJfueus, .Nhtthew, Thomas, Paul, Peter. 3ml Andrew all have analogous positions and facial features in the .J\rian Baptistery, hut the remainder du not correslxmd. :)~ A~ we saw, the names of the allllsties on the Mausoleum of T heodcrie arc not the same as those in the Orthodox buildings of Ravenna, and this series may have bet:n in tended to {lilfer abo. Bu t it is also possible th ~t these figures arc not only intenclecl both to reprcsent the apostles, when seen from the west, hur nlso to rcpresent generic follo wers o f Christ when viewed fr01l1 the east in the saille orientation as the central medallion. W The generic nnture of these fi!:,lllres is also related to their auelience. Rcm;lrkably. the apostle who walks fourth Uchin(l Peter is de picted with a


Illust:.lche that connects to sideourlls, ou t with no ocard - in urher words, what we WOU] I] caU a muttonchop (Fig. +-1). No stul]ies of the mosaic~ have suggested that this is a nineteenth-century restoration and thus this I,'.\tremcly \lml~,l a l faciaI hai r mllSt be original. ,,8 As P. Dutton has shown, m ust~ches widlOu[ beards are an extremely unusual type of fada l hair in late antiquity and rhe only examples known from the pre-Carolingian era are the olle s()()rted lJy T hooderic 011 the Setligallia medallion (Fig. 29) ami those found on some bronte coins of Odoater, 'l路h(.'Odahad, and Totila, >SY although nonc of these arc mnnel:tcil to sideburns. Du tton t:onclmlcs th ~ t Thcodcric was depicted in this way to distinguish him fro m Romansj,6<> at the Icast, thcse coin portraits show that the mustache was a type o f facia l h ~ir known at the Ostrogothic coun. Ennodius pokes fun H his friend Jovinian '5 Ililr"tl go/b iNI and bllrlt"riCii j:uie.,', implyi ng that a distim:til'e type offaeial hair was worn hy Goths ami those whownnted to look like them!6, I \\'oul{\ arguc that this mustachiocd al)()stlc wa s intended visually to make the point that Goths were part of the Christian 1.:ommunity. When fac ing west and looking up atthe baptism scene, one docs not sec the easily recogni7.abh: Peter, Paul, and And rew, om their marc gcncric followers. T h\ls, the G m ilic oaptisand, in ~ lil1itioll to associating himself with Chri~t, al!iO cou ld associate himself with the 10110wers of Christ. iJ1Jeed, the very lack o f labels allows this amoiguity, as it then becomes possible to understand the~e figures as both apostles and ChriStians of associated ages and backgrounds rcceiving their baptisma l crowns. Ultimately, the only features that can be clearly identified as "Arian " ahout these mosaics is the fact that they are different fro m those in me Ol'rhodax Baptistery. As S. CUl11mim notes, the fact that these mosaics were !lot changed or destroyed UJXIIl the Orthodox rededication means that they were not offensive to the O rthodox and did !lot osteJlta tiously represent Arion doctrine. I", At the most, as we ha~'e seen for the ChristoJogical cycle in Sant'Apol1i nare NuO\'o, a lIiewercould COIllC up wi th an "rian interpretation of certain fCaOlteS, bm l,'(]ually li kely could provide an Orthodox explanation. However, whLle the im;lges may be theologically neutral, the Arian Baptistery's iconography accommodates the inhabitants of Ostfogothic Ra \'enna in what was certainly all Ariall context, but with an ethnic spin.

The Orthodox Church in Ostrogothic Ravenna \Vhi!e Ravenna was under Ostrogothic rule, its Orthodox bishops, John I (4 77- 94), Peter IT (494- 51 0), Aureliall (51 I), Ecdesius (511 - 31). Ursicinus (533-6). alltl Victor (538-45), had to share episcopal authority wi th

" 7




the t\riall oishops inStalled Thcodcric and the exalted position that they had establishell under the emperOrs may have slippcl[ somewhat. Never-

theless, for most of the period the Orthodox bishops seem to ha \'c been sllpponcd by the Ostrogothic rulers. A letter in the Varia!' indicates that Theorleric had treated Ravenna's Orthodox Church with favor, sillce the church o f Milan asks for simi!al' pdvileges. while in another, Theodahad asks J ustinian to favo r the business ;1 ffairs "of the Ravenn ate Church. ' '''J As we have seen, there were religious tensions in Ra venna during the latter part.of T hcodcric's reign, and these may well have included opposition between Arians and the Orthodox Church.'6.t There also sccm to hal'c heen tensions within Ral'cnna's OrrhlXlox C hnrl.:h, whi!.:h might refle!.:t the strains imposed by O srrogothic rule. H 'hH is d ear is that when Ravenna emerged from the !.:haos of the Gothic Vla rs, the bishop had l)ttome one of the dominant figures in the !.:it}'. Our nnderstanding of the rolc of the long-serving Pctcr II i~ compromisc!1 by thc fa!.:t that hi!; biography is confnsed by Agncllus with that of Pcter TChrysologus. As we hll l'e seen, he sided with T hcoderic in the control'ersy ol'er the J ewish synagogue of 519 and he st:ems to have worked well with Theoderlc. H is name appears in various synodal documems and letters, indicati ng that he was considered to be tOllrth in rank among the dergy o f Italy, behind the pope and the bishops o f Milan and Aquileia.,6S In Ravenna Peter 11 undertook three building proje!.:ts: a chapd (the Mp<'1I11 I1nh'eJ(f)vilr) and a house calle<1 Trim/Iii in the '路piHopium , and a baptistery in Classe at the l't:triana basi lica .=66 The fact that at the same time tht: Arians wen! huilcling large churches in tht! center of mt! city unde rscort!s the marginality, or one migbt say the liminality, of Peter's conso路ucti0L1S. \Vithin the episcopiulIl Peter was presumably free to 110 as he pleased, and a baptistery in Classe lI'as likewise not in the ceremonial center of Theoderic's capital .

The CapeUa Arcivescovile Under Peter II, the cpiJ(opilllll o f Ravenna begall to be enlargell allil beautitieu, no c\OUbL a reflection o f the aspirations of the Orthodox bishops of the !.:iry (Fig. 63). Agndlus tdls 11S that Peter ~ ... m Ull{led a hQuse inside the episcopal palace of the R;1Vcnnatc sec, which is called Tri(()iIi.., because it comains three co/la , which build ing is constructed inside with grea t ingenuity. And not Elf from that house he built the 1II01liisrerifllll of St. Andrew the apostle .... ",67 The Trim/ii,' took a long time to build; Agnellus later repo rts me dedicatory inscriptiOll of the \milliing, which nallles all of


Orthod" Baptistery


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Ursiana Cathedral

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Peter's successors up to M aximian as patronsof the strucUJre, : ~8 The meaning of the word colla is not known, and explanations have ranged from a building with three stories to one with three rooms to a triconch d ining hall.'69 Since nothing survilles of this building (unless it is the one with three stories), we can say nothing further, except to 1I0tC that cither the cost or the ingeniousness of the construction must be the cause of its lengthy L'OnStruction time. A rare example of a late antique chapel whose fun ction is known, and whose decoration sur.·jves almost intact, the mprlln ,,/"c;vrscovih, illuminates many sixth-century ecclesiastical, political, theological, and iconographical issues.' :'o Since it is found in the heart of the cpiscopillJlJ, it is assumed to hallC served as ,\ pri\'atc chapel for lhe archbishops, It is the least studied of Ravcnna 's sunti\'ing monumcnts, altho ugh it dearly is cQllnccted with all of the other~ in various ways. By Agnellus's time it was dedicated to St. Andrew, although since Andrew is not mentioned in the dedicHion inscription cited by Agnellus or featu red in the sur.'iving mosaics, Deichmann thought that relics of the saint must halle been introduced later.' ;' HowC\'t'r, it l~ possible that 3n image of Andrew was, in faC t, dcpicted over the

Ie!,}', "lid " "riou~ t",ilding:; o ( {he .pi,..~pim"


6 .. , G/ft'lil ",til'rI"ill'iff, SIl uthe3 5t eXh,' 路 rior ",~II " 'ith the r~Il\~i!lS o f th~ e;ght!i路 ""nltll')' i!il'llrilllll


doors of the chapel; Agnellus says"" , he [Peter IT] built the 1II01l(lSfrrimll of St, Andrew the apostle, and his image is depicted in mosaic inside this 1Il01lllSferilml, over the doors, "'7' "H is irnage~ is usually interpreted as referring to a portrait of Peter II, but it is equally, if not more likely that the portrait was of St, Amlre\\', much as an image of St. Lawrence was found in a lunette in Ole mausoleum of Galla Pladl.!ia. Andrew was aile of the patrOIl saints of Consranrinople, a fact that Agnclll1s ernphasiles,' iJ and

this dedication would reinforce the connections of Ravenna's bishol)S with the imperial capital. The chapel , today locatel.! within the Musco Arci"escO\路i!e. was found on me top Roor of a three-story structure built by Bishop Peter n as an addition to the episcopal palace, adjacent to a tower known as the Torn'


' 9'

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Sf/Ilium , which may originally have been a water distribution tower of the

aqueduct,'i4 and which was now used as a stairwell for the new bu ilding (Fig. 6+). The th ree-story building is huilt of reused brick; the first alltl Se(ond floors ('acn conuin three vaulted rooms that corrl:spond to the layout o f the top floor with the chapel. The sel'Ond floor had three vaulted chambers; the one below the cha pel's narthex was accessible only th rough :I tral)(loor in its ceiling. and Gerola proposed that it served as a crypt containing the episcopal treasury.'-' \,Ve do not know what these other chambers were usetl for, although ir is usu:illy assumed thar rhey dit.! nor have a sacral funcnon .'7i> Parts of this building were modified in the sixteeorh and seventeenth cenOlries, and in particular the apse of the chapel was completely removed and rebui lt during the extensive reco nstructions that were executed between 191 1 ~nd 1930 , but much of the building SIlTvives in its original form. '-j The decoration of the chapel has been heavily resto red everywhere, based on the careful analysis of sun'iving traces of the original as described in detail by G. Gerola . Thc chapel is preceded by a narthex, or ent'ry hall, whose doors opencd on the southwest to a rriangular space adjacent to the rower (walled up in the Byzamine period), on the nOrthwest to the hallway of the building, and on the northeast, through lllhick wall into the chapel (Fig. 65). The floor was originally covered with an opus scaife pavement made of marble from Proconnesus and elsewhere, whose panern was recovered from surviving traces of lllortar.,-8 The lower parts of the walls were originally covered

and eb,!>,,1 (ar,,,.





by a revetment of large slaos of marhle, again now entirely restored with Prl)(;()nllesian marble, as describe,[ by Agnel1us . li~ The brick harrel \路ault is covered with a mosaic of an abstr.lct pattern oflilies, discs, and birds agai nst a gO] ll backgrmmd (Fig. 66). M1lCh ofrhc southl,';lstcrn wall is taken up with a large window (much al tered and now completely reswred); the mosaics above the window aTe not original. Over the northwestem door is a mosaic

depicting a youthful Christ (Iressed as warrior路cmperor, trampling on a lion and a serpent in a rocky landscape with a gold background; the lower parr of this image is entirely restored. , No Christ holds a long-handled cross in his right hand and an open book in his left, which displays the words "Ego S\I111 via, \'erit~s ct, vita'" (John '4:6). Agncllus (luOtcS the lengthy inscription, which he says was fou nd in the narthex. ,~, The restorers found small fragments i dent i ~alJle as rhe ends o f some of [he lilles, indicating lhat this was a mosaic inscription covering the upper part of the long w311 s of the narthex and they recreilted it ;In ;ordingly. ,lI, The fim part o f the inscription is notable for it.s emphasis on light and the metaphor of its r~diance in a small chapel: Either light was bom hcr<:, or e~ptu red hcrc it ,.eigns frec; it is the I"w, fnnll which sourcc th~ CUTTent glo ry of he3Ven e.~ccls. The roofs, deprived lo f light], have produced glcamingd3~" and the l'nC'losed radiance gleams forth as iffrom secluded O lpllpus. Sec, the m~rblc flourishes wi th brig-bt rJYs, amI all the stones stnl ck in Sf.ITT)' purple shille in "allie, the gifts Qf the fU(lmkr PeTer. To him honor and merit are granted, thus to heautify small chings, so th at althou gh conflned in space, ther gu rpa>s the Ltrge. Nothing is S11I3111O Christ; He, whlN: temples exist witb in lll;: humml heart, well ocl:upies confining Iwildings.

Given the brilliance of the gold mosaics in the chapd, this poem alfers a re1llarkaulc insight into its tT1caning as intended by the patron, Bishop l'etcr.: H\ The chapel itself is cruciform. with shallow (0'90-0'97 meter) arms covered by barrel vaults (Fig. 65) . Its orientation is rather curiolls, being perpendicular to the cathedral. Since the cachellral's apse actually faces sou theast, the apse of the: chapel faccs northeast. The: currcnt ;Ipse is a complete reStOration of the original deep (1.75 meter) semicircular apse covered by a scm idolllc made of ",f,ifittili.' s." T he wall to the right of the apse inc\\lde5 [\\'0 large windows sepnrated by n column , capped by a si111ple impost bloc!.:.:8; Hollowed out of th ree of the corner ma son'1' blocks were small rectangular niches (0 .5 x 0 .9 meter), which Gerola suggests were intellilell to hol(l relics; in the northwest corner of the chapel :I narrow



66. C4pdk ~路i""iew

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bl to the hal lway outside.' 1YI The o{J1#stctilt floor in the chapel

is largely original, as is the revcnnem of a dado surmounted by large slabs of Proconncsian marble, with an upper bordcr of reddish p3vonnzcno mar_ ble from Dokimeion in Asia ""Iinor, that covers the lower z.75 meier of the wall surfaces. This wall covering is set off from the mosai~"S by a mostly restored cornicc of stucco. The decoration of the lunettes in the arms does not survive; again, Agnellus says that a pOfo-ai t ori ginalJy existed over the door. and the restorers painted an inscription testifying to this in the lunette above the door on the wcst wa iL The mosaics of the vaults do survi\"~ almost in their entirety



(PI. \"; Figs. 0 7, 68). The oarrel vau lts over the ;lrm~ of the cross arc wide enough for one row of medallions containing the heads of varir)us holy pcopk, as follows (from left to right): NortheasT



(\'blc _\brtr~)

Southwest (Apostles)

Northwest (Fmdc .\brtyrs)



SiJllon C~lIl'ltle us


lacobus Paulus



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The heads of the sa int5, withou t halos, arc sct agai nst blue backgrounds; the nl!.'uallions an: oordcn:J by a multicolored ring and set ag;ainsr the gold background on which the names of the saints are written. Such series of portrai ts afe known to have existed at Santa Sabina in Rome frOIl1 the 410S and are often presumed to have heen found in San GitWa nni Evangelista in Ravenna; the}' became very popular in the sixth century and we will sec them again in San Vit3le. :~j The twelve martyrs depicted here are an oddly assorted bunch and no ant' has attempted to explain their selection other than to suggt'St thar tht'ir relics were found in the chapel. As in Sant'Apollinare Nuo\'O, the male saints arc on the right amI the fel}1~le all tbe left as Olle faces the apse. Certainly Euphemia ofChak e{lon, as we have seen in Sant'ApoIlinare NUQvo, represents Chakedonian Orthodoxy_ Chr)'sogonus, Perpt'tua, Fdicitas, and Caecilia were among the most popular of the martyrs, appearing in carll' Canons of the Mass from M ilan and Rorne !~ Cassian was rhl;' patron sa int of Ravenna's suhordinate see of Imola. Eugenia, D aria, and her husband Chrysanthus were vcncrated at Rome. Polycarp of Smyrna, like several of the otilt'rs, would later be depicted in the martyr procession in Sant' Apollill~rc N uovo, indicating a certain familia rit}' with him in R:wenna. The cult of Cosmas and Damian was known in Co nstantinoplt' in the early fifth century, and was brought to Rome by Pope Symm3chus (498-514); thei r church ne~.'t to the Roman forum was built by 'fheoderic's appointee Pope Felix IV (j!6-Jo).,&g Thus, as a whole these ,aints can he said to have been popular in the early si.xth century, bur the reasons for their selectioll are ohscure. Th e central SP,lCC of the chapel is L'Overcd by a groin vault' made o f brick (PJ. \ '). Shallow slivers of lunettes a bove the barrel vaults cOlltain rinceaux,



....6 7.

c, u.,

ik. .-.hoso •.-m of au""l. 0.,;,.."" ,he .pooclco (photo




.m.-·ik, north ..·.., . ",h of dupe1. "n.. k ..;0.. (1 .........

S. M''''''<>I>f)

' 96


lambs, and the monogram of Bishop Peter, and arc set off by abs tract bonler~ from the other eJemento;. At the apex of the vault is ~ gelid c/Jris"IIMI agai nst a blue background set within a medallion. It is held IIp by four angels, haloc(l , \\ringcd. and (IrCS5cd in white nmics and pallill and standing on green spi ts of ground at rhe four corners. Between the angels, the four beasts of the Apocalypse, here holding books and thus s)'

the fou r tvangelist.<;, float as winge(1figures in multicolored douds. Finally,

the restorers found many dark blue and silver tesserac in the area of the apse, which led them to Tl'(;onst ruct it (on the mOllcl of the mausoleum of Galla Placidia) as gold and silver stars su rround a gold Latin crosS against a dark IJlue sky. Thechapel and its decoration make dear references to earl ier str uctures in Ravenna. ivlany, of course, have since disappeare{1, hut we can recognize a(lapta tions from the Santa Croce complex in the ground plan,''>'' the evangelist sYlilools of the vaul t, and in the tra mpling Christ of the narthr:x, which, ~ s we saw, also appearecl in the Orthodox Baptistery. Unlike the tifthcentury monumcnts, however, here the taste for gold mOS:1ic as a background completely changcs thc vis\lal expericncr: from one of mO\1Tnful contemplation to one of brighulesS and splendor. As we have seen, gold backgrou nds were used in the Arian churches built at this tillle, and stylistically these mOSaics afe similar to those hoth in the Arian Baptistery and in Sant'Apollinare NUO\'O .' ~I Built by Bishop Peter 11 (494-5 : 0), at the height of Theoderic's feign , thr: chapel has al~'ays anracted attention for the ann-A rian elements of its decoration. One of the key bihlic:ll passages used by Orthodox theologians against Arianism was John 14 and the selection depicted 01) the book held by Christ in the narthe.x was a key expression of trinitarian (Ioctrine. '9' A..<; we have noted, St. E uphcmia was a symoo! of Chalcc{\onian Orthodoxy and her appearance in this cOllte:\1: cannot be acci{lental. \,\lith this chapel, Peter reminded his clergy that evcn though they could accommodate an Arian ruler they werc the guardians of Orthodox belief.

The Early SiXlh-Cmtury Cbm'ches ofClnsse As we ha ve already seen, early si:\"th-century Classe was a thri\'ing center of trade and milit:lry acti"ity. T o acco1l1modate these populations, new ecclesiastical struCUlres ~'erc built in the area. 路rhe cla borarc complex that Agnellus calls the Petriana, built first by Peter I and added to by Peter II and Victor, has completely disappeared; and yet archaeologists in the (960s discovered an apparently different and elaborate complex to the


south of the dry at a site know!} as Ca'Bianca whose idemit}' remains a mystery. In the previous chapter we d iscussed the Petriaoa church. built in the mid-fifth cenmry and destroyed hythe ninth. Agnellus ~ays thatthe Perri ana had a oaptistery, ouilt oy Bishop Peter II, that ~was wonderful in size, with doubled walls and high walls built with mathematical art.~ although it is not known what this means. Later Agnellus says, " rvictOr] decorated the tetragonal ba ptistery, which most blessed Peter Chrysologus built in the cit}' of Classe nex1: ro the Pctriana church, and in the middle of the vault, on the men 's side, under the arch there is a small medallion, which even lOday conr~ins the followi ng, 'by our holy lord,' and facing on rhe other siJ e, the women's, there is found another Unle medallion, as aoove, with gold letters it) tu rn o n its side. reading rhus, 'father Victor.''''')l T hus the Petriana baptistery seems to ha ..e been a basil ica or some Other square sharle (perhaps ("''\'cn like the <"'lpd!illlrdv(s(IJvjJe~) rather than all octagon. Agnellus reports that it had mQllflstrrill, or side chapels, attached to it, dcdicatc.1 to Sts. Matthew and J amcs, ;t nd evcn repOrts having itH"cstigated a tomb in one of these. '9-1 ' ;\,'hy was this oaplistery buill at this time? Some schol<lrs have seen the Petria na t:Omplcx as a sign that Classe had its own chu rch orga nization separate from that o f Ravenna. The fa ct that in Sam' Apollinare Nuovo Clas~e i ~ depicted {'(IUal in status to Ravenna is interpreted as indicating a separatc civic identity fo r Classe by the early sixth century.' 95 Since we have no cviocnce ever for a bishop of Classe, this seems ltnlikcly. But by this rime haptism was becoming more decentralized and there was probably a perceived need fo r a second baptistery in Cl a s~ in which a pricst would administer baptism .'r Other Bew baptisteries Start to appear at tlus time, as we will sec, and pil'vi, or rural churches equipped ror baptism, beg;Ul to OC built in surrounding 1O,\"I1S such as Padovetere and Argenta. J?~ These examples show that the office of haptis1ll was expanding beyond the episcopal church. In the case of the Petriana ba ptistery, though, we might wonder whether Bishop Peter II imen(le(1 it as an alternatiye tor the Orthodox clergy in case of an Arian takeover of thc cathedral in Ravenna. As we have seen, according to Agllellus the Petriana was magnificently built and dtcorated, and Peter II ttlay ha\路c relt that, as it W;lS not in the ctlller o f T hco(leric\ capita l city, it had a better chance of maintaining its sratllS as an O rthodox church. The Ca' Bianca basi lica, excavated thrmtgh sonoages in 1965 and not scientifically surveyed, remains a mystery (Fig. 69).' '1:; It lay l kilometers south of Sant'Apollinare ill Clas5e, and 800 meters to the cast of the viII Popilia, south of a ri\'er that ran to the nearby coastline, and is assumed to

' 97



been built for the usc of an unknown via/x to its south. 'Qo At least two phases of construction h~ve heen i,lemined. The earlier, (Iated to the late fifth or early sixth ccnturr, includes a large basilica (nave + aisles 37.50 x ~l.5 0 III including the walls), with an apse polygonal on rhe c:'1:crior and circular on the imerior, a colonnade of twelve columns, an atrium wider than the narthex, and an adjacent octagonal building (imler core 9. 10 III h3VC

across), interpreted as a haptistery, to the nord\. The later phase includes

Slllall clmllbcrs flanking the apse ro the north and south, some of which may have been used as mausolea,l"'" and the porches along the aisles, and is assumed to date to the late r sL'\th ccntury) O' The buildings wcre built of rCUSl,'d Roman brick and wl,'re pavc<1 with marblc and with mosaic, thl,' latter datable to the middle of the sixth cenrury. A raised recta ngular belllil occupied the first of the bays of [he nave in frOllt of the apse. It is nOt knowlI when this church was abandoned ; there is no reco rd of it in an y tcxrual sourc(.'s, unless it is o nc of the churcht.'S mentioned by Agncllus that is now lost)O' The basilica is of al most thc samc dimensions as S;mt'Apollinare Nuovo, which led D e Angelis <l'Ossat to propose that it must date to the Ostrogothic period and pcrhaps cv!.'n bI: Arian; W) th!.' baptistery has the same layout and dimensions as the Arian Baptistery, \路, ,11Y would magnificellt buil(lings, on the same scale as those being built in the heart of the new Arian capital, be erected to serve a suburban viws? It has been suggeste<] that perhap:; the church exc3vate(1 at the Ca'Bianca was Agncllus's Pemana basilica, but 1I1OSt scholars reject this interpretation, as tht;' dati ng is wrong and Agnel lus st;'l't;'ral times says [har the Pe[riana was in the ci拢:.' of Classe (ill (rJittlTe CltI1si;,).l~ vVithou t further excavation, the C a'Bianca complex rem3lns a sign of the wealth and power of Ravenna's dite ill the early sixth ce.ntury, evell if we {]o n()t kIlO\\' to whidl dite to attrioutc it.

The Orthodox Church after Theodenc Our kno wledge of church aITairs becomcs more extcnsive for the period after the death of T heoderic, when it seems that the Orthodox C hurch quickly oegan to recoup itS aut hority. As described mainly oy Agncllus, in Bishop EcdesillS we see a man who played a role both within Ravc::nna and in the bTOader world. Ecclesius was one of the clerics whom Theo<lcric St;'fif with Pope John r to Consta ntinople in 52 5 to protesr the emperor Justi n I's treatment of the Arians.-'os Unlike John, Ecc1esius <lid not ,ntract Thcoderic's ire upon their return, but kept his throne in what must have been {Iifficult circUln~ ta nces . His actions during rhi~ period, howe\'er, made him cnemies. Sometime betwcen p6 al1(\ 530, some of Ecdesius's clergy


' 99

6y. (; ro1lnd pbn " hhe b",ilic-~ ,,,,,l oct1>gr,,,,,) 5{nK!llr<·


at {h,· si {~ of

C, 'FI',,,,,,,.•. wi,h cxcan.t~d arc".'

o protested abom him to Pope Felix IV, who issued a document o f reconciliation that is quoted in full hy Agnellus.l'>6 Felix issues the followi ng rather severe rebuke in the introd uction: "f rom em')', the priests of tbe church of Ravenna have done things which are known to have S"3(ldened the souls o f all catholics: altercations. seditions, depravities, which strive to dis rupt all eccbiastical disci pline." .I<>i 'rhe {l(X:umen[ goes on to proscribe simony, po litical intrigue, and clerics' appearances at puhlic entertainments and to set out arr.lngcrnents for episcopal finances to prevent corruption . The origin of this dispure is not known; it seems an o(ld time for a quarrel among Ravenna's Orthodox clergy and one wonders which of the offenses listed in the document was the main stimulus.loll T he (]ocumem is signed serially by the members of each faction; the lca(\er of the opposition to E.t"t.~lcsius was a priest named Victor, who may ue the sa me man who became bisho p in 538 . Could they have been on opposite sides politically, o ne in favor of Ostrogothic rule and the other supporti ng the Byzanrines ami Pope John? After j~6. the Onhodox Church was emboldened to embark upon an extremely ambitious program of church construction in both Ravenna and Classe. \-Ve will consider the actual buildings in the following chapter, but here it is important to note that the construction acril'lt)' began in the

in bbc~ "oJ g rar (a ft~r Cortl."i ,

I':IiS )


Ostrogothil路 period. Agndlus says that after F~"Clesi us returned from the east (thus presumavly hetween F6 anll 532 ), he began constrU(;tlon of the church of Santa Maria Maggiorc and thcn of San Vitale, both sponsored by the banker (lIIgrllfllriIlJ) J ul ian. I<IQ Ecck-sius's SIKTessor Ursicinus (533-6), again with the help of}ulian the banker, beg"Jn construction of rhe church of Sant'Apollinare in Classe. \1 0 Filially, Agnellus says that the church of Sail M ichele ill Aji'ici>co was built by Julian and his son -in-law Bacau<la; although we (10 Jlot know when it was begun, it was dedicated in 545.31 ' This (1)nstnlt"tion activi ty has been interpreted as I:vidence of a Machiavellian consplracy by J ustinian, abetted by hi, secret agent J ulian, to prepare the way for the c\'cnt\la l r~'Con{luest of Italy by the cmpire Yl This interpretation, howel'er, is not supported b), any evidence, .\" and it is better to S(!e Ju lian IIIgrllflll"im simply as an e,~tremdy wealthy private indi\'ldual whose piety anll political sympathies 1lIatched those of the Orthodox bishops of Ravenna. Mostof these constructions were begun during the reign of Amalasuintha, and it is po%ihle that her encouragement of the pretensions of the Orthodox Church was one of the thing, that alienated the opposing faction of Ostrogoths. Victor (538-45). who was bishop at the height of the Gothic \oVar and lhe reconquest of Ravenna by the Byzantines, is not mentioned by Procupius, and thus probably maintained a low profile during the war. After the Byzantine army retook the city in 540, however, he sucl'essfully cultivatecl the eastern emperors, as did his SUI."Cessors, who were now ready to claim an impOrtilllt place in the city's new governing hicrilrchy.



The mid- sixth century was a bad time for much of haly. After the death

of Theodedc. Justinian's arllly foug ht a long JIH\ debil itating war agJinSf the Ostrogoths, which was interrupted by the plague and ti.)llowcd by the invasion of the Lom bards, who conq UCrcd much of the pcninsu 13 from the BY7.antines. Despite the <Icbilitating effects of these events on cities such as Rome, Ravenna seems to have been spared and became the capital of the Hyzantine territory, remaining the seat of the Rp.antine exarchs and their administration unti l the early eighth century. A ci ty council, or mria, composed of members of families who were socially distinct from the members o f the court, existed at least until the early seventh century. The 'lllueduct was repaired in the earl y seventh century. New pllblic baths were built by the hishop in rhe sixth century and continued to be used until the ninth century . Justinian gave the bishop of Ra\'enna tbe [itle of archbishop and from this time a series of monumental ad{litiom were made to the episcopal palace. Ravenna's prosperity seems to ha\'c heen minimally affccH:U by the Ilemographic crisis of the mill-sixth century. Contact with Con~tantino足 pie and the East was made stable aga in, ami large amounts of imported materials continued to be brought to Rav!;'n na. There was a bui lding boom that resulted in $Ome of the most fumou s surviving monuments. including San Vitale and Sam'Apollinare in Classe: architectural styles, buiJd ing materials, al1(1imagery vstentatiousl ~' umlerscored dIe dose relari(lllS with COllstalui nopl c. j n other words, in the later sinh century, when the other ci ties of Italy were reeling from the effects o f plague, war, and other natura l disasters, the city of Ravenna continued to develop in the same d irections it had ta ken since the e~rly fifth century. Ravenna 's "decline" was to he delayed until {hc sc\'cnth celltury or la{cr; and even when economic decline set in, {he presence of the exarchs and the connection with COllstantino ple t'nsurell


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what we might call a certain late antique mimlset that carried over into the ncxt twO ccnturies. vVhen we lea\'e rhe era of Cassiodorus and Pro("'Opius, we enter a period that is much mOrC poorly documented . H istorical texts written in Italy benl'een 540 and the mid-seventh cenUlry do not survive; even the Roman Libcl' pollfijimliswas set aside after its first redaction and only taken up again in the 6405. Papal lerters and the writings of Pope Gregory I form the largest part of our contemporary textual information for this perio(l, and , as we will sec, lhe popes did not have "cry high opinion of Ravenna. For


thc period 540-600 there ;Irc only a hallllful of surviving <locumellts, somc o f which we have already (liscussed in the previous cha pter. Our knowledge of this period thus eomes largely fro m later histories. Pau l [he Deacon, a monk of Lom bard <lC$Ccnr who became associatc<l with [he court of Charlemagne, wrote in the 760 5 a chronicle known as the Hisrol'lif RO'lllIlIlO, and then i.n the late,' 780 5 and '90 S a history of the LombaJ'ds up ro the year 744, the J-Ji$torin LtmgobnrJol'Ifllf . For the sixth century Paul relied all the Roman Libel' /J(11Itijicali.. , on a short seventh-century work known as the Origo gClltis Lallgobardorlllll, anll on a lost history hy the carly scvcnthcentury historian Sccundus of T rcnt. Since the Lotnbards did not control Rave nna 1111til the 7505 , Palll's works do not contain a lot of in formation directly pertinem to [he city, although they are extremely imponant for Ital ian history in this period. T he l./)R then:!ore stands out as Ollr major ~urce for the period . Agnellus's interest in episcopal history and church construction caused him to report a large number of inscriptions from this period, and rhlY, together with thc su rviving monuments, have shaped om concept of the period and what was accomplished in it.

The Envirorul1ent and Italian Urbanism The 5i~.-thcentury i ~ often viewe(1 as an era in which climatic, epidem iological, and aquatic events disrup ted previo usly established econom ic patterns, amI even led to the end of the late antique world. ' There is evidence from Cassiodorus, Procopius, and other authors from as far away as China of a climatic c\路cnt in 536 or 53 T sources re port dim skies 30d darkclling o f the SUIl that lastt'd more than a year. Scit'ntists speculate that it may have !.>cen caused by a massive \'o1cank eruption or a comet; in any case, it was sai(1 to have affected crops.' This t:\'ent seems to have been viewell at the time as ~ temporary misfortunc, hut cvidence from tree rings shows that the carth's climate became significa ntly cooler for the next te n years, possi bly a resu lt of this event.> Gregory me G reat records severe Hooding in Rome and Verona in 581); this is presumed to have been caused by exccssive rain.4 T aken together, lIlany scholars propose tha t the sixth century markrd the I:x:ginning of a cooler and wette r period. known as the V;llldal Minimum, that lasted until around abom 85 0.s At the sa me time, the urban an(l rural po pul ations of Italy were devastated by the bubonic plague wh ich hit Italy beginning in 543 and reUlrned in sllccessive waves until the 7405, Mortality ra tes are almost impossible to deduce, but some scholars think that it must havc been sim ilar to tbe Black Death, killing- 30 percent 01" more of the population, at least ill urban areas. Outbreaks of the disease are documented in Ravenna for the 560s, 591 - ~, and 6 00-1.6



In Italy, cities Were devastated both by these natural events anti by debilitating warS, firs t bt:tween the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines, and then the Byzantines and the Lombards. M ilan was sacked and destroyed in 539. Rome changed hands four timcs in the t:ourse of the Gothic \,Var, which, comoined wid} the plague, led to dramatic depopulation, dle disappearance of the Senate, alld a com plete reorgani7,ation of the city's social order.? In other places the changes may have been less dramatic, although ceruInly many citk'S experienced a continuation of a decline that had been marked since the thini or fourth cenUlr},. i\urhors from Procopills to (;rego'1' the Grcat describe landscapes denuded of 1I1en; whether these aTC rhetorical exaggerations or ind icatc a demographic crisis in the countryside is nor yet resolved .$ Some of these disasters must ha\'e ha<l an impact on Ravenna, yet we will ~ee in this chapter that tratle and huiltling activity continued apace, and indeed reached their height, unti l after the en(l of the ~ixth century. A. Guillou ha~ ~uggested that in Ravenna the demographic crisis of the sixth century was amel iorated to some extent by the Right of people to the city from the territory taken over oy the Lomoards.9 Conversely. there ma y simply have been continual immigrHion from the countryside to meet the cit}"s needs. The changes ill water levels must have had some effect in a marine city such as Ravenna , and we know that, perhaps oecause of the wetter climate, in the sil.1:h century the courses of the Po river's oranches shifted, initially toward Ravenna. '" Nlore water Rowing from inland to the coast would have meant massive amounts of silt deposited in the marshes and harbors around Ravenna, with the result that the coastline moyed farther to the cast and the immediate surrouodings of the city bccame ever more lantliucke(1. Scholars still debate whether thest! changes were attriout'ablc to climate ch;lngc or human intervention. " As we will sec, longterm changes would bct.'Qme significant for Ravenna in the se\'enth and eighth centuries. Howcver, no changes to Ravenna's internal waterways can be documented in the sixth century, The aq ueduct, which had been restore(1 by T heoderic, receivetl further restoration by the cxarch Smaragdus around 600, as witnessed by a su!'vi\-ing inscription, ' : \Vc know that the aquetluct was used. since Agnellus tells us that Bishop Victor (538- 45) restored ~ b~th comple.'I: nc~r the cathedral. Thus, in spite Of;1 changing landscape, Ravenna's leaders and population continue(l to function much as they had for the previous century and a half.

The Byzantine Reconquest and the Lombards The war for the n:."Conguest of Italy was far from over when the Bytantinc army umler Belisarius took Ra\'enna in H O, Some sections of the Gothic

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arm y held ou t at Pavia and Verona. T hcre were no more members of the Amal family, but various generals were raised 11) the kingship, the last being T otila, a relative ofThcurl is, king of the Visigoths. Under Totila's leadership the war Wntinue(i from 54' until 55! and the Ostrogoths once more enjoyed some success, taking Rome back in 546 and in 550 . Justinian's afllly was plagued by insrability at the top ranks, especially the struggle tor pOWN hetween various gel1eral~, induiling Belisarius. In 55! the seventyfour-ycar-oltl eunuch Narscs wa s sent to ta ke tolllJlla nd. Totila was finally kill cd in battle, ;'IIld although othcr leaders continucd the struggle for tvo'O mOre years, the By~all tines prevailed aDd the Ostrogoths disappearerl from Italia n history.' 3 However, the military problems were not over; inJeed, the Gothic \Var initiatell a perioll ofcon~ict between the By~..a ntines and external forces that would laSt for centuries. llYZlInone control over plague-ravagell hal y waS tenuous to begin with ant! an ecclesiastical conAkt known as the Three Chapters Controversy hindered unification, a~ wc will sec. In this unstable situation , people, GI'Cr the borders saw It'lly as;1I1 attainable prize. The Franks had long been involved in the Cothic War, sometimcs on one side and sometimes 011 the other. In 553 and 554 an expedition of Franks :\11(1 Alamanni I!evasrated northern Italy and were repulsed by Narses only with difficulty. A serious revI)lr broke out among the Herul imperial garI'isons in the AJps in 566. 14 T hcre was therefore no rca! unity in Italy when yet another group of barbaria ns, rhe Lombards, appeared at thc Alpine passes in 5M!, lj 'f he Lomha n ls (Ll1l1gQ/mrdi. "long-beards") had coalesced as a group in the Balkans in the late 6fth century and moved into Pallnonia after the deatb of The(lderic, where they were settled as Iocdt'rilti by J ustinian. Their ambitious King Aiboin married Chlodosinlla, daughlcr of the Frankish king Lothar J. Alboin annihilated another group, the G epills, in 567 am! after C hlodosinda's death he married the Gepid princess Rosamunda, a move that was, as Paul the Deacon says, ~to his ovm injury, as afterward appeared."'" The grou p thar A1boin led into Italy was made up of people from a variety of "ethnic" backgrounds. and may have numbered anywhere from 80,000 warriors to 400,000 tOtal people, representing 5 to 8 percent of the population of the arCllS in which they settled. '7 In three ycars AJIJoin's Lo mbard armies had caprured m OSt of Ita ly north of the Po riyer as well as the ccntral sectioll of Ita ly, largely without opposition. Justinian had died in 56 5, and Pau l the Deacon says that the Italians h~d bcen weakened bra bout o f the plague in 566. By 575 the Byzantines were left only with the following': Naples and its himerland, Ca labria: Sicily; the coast north of G enoa ; Ravenna and its surrounding territories (later known a~ the Pentallolis after the five dties of Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Scnig,l llia, and Ancona); Rome; anll a strip of land bet\\:een Rome ami Ravenna along the viii Fill/Nil/i'l.


This political configuration woul{! remain roughly the same for the next ~oo }'e~rs.

That <In)' territory at all was left to the BF-antines was thc result of thl.' instability of the Lombard king(\om. In 571 Alooin was murdered by Olle of his followers, who was apparentl}' in league with A1boin's Gepid wife RosamUllda. T he couple are said to have fled to Ravenna, where they gave the Lomhar<1 treasure to the exarch Longinus and were ~ubseque.lltly murdered/executed. ,8 t\lboin's sucrcssor Cleph was also murdered in 574, and tor the ne:\1". tell years the Lomhaf(ls ([i([ not have a king. In.l1vi(lual leaders who held the title dl/x, and who had been placed in key cities by AIOOin, consolidated their own amhority and fmlght among themselves, Some of the Jukes as well as individual LombarJs allied themsekes with the Byzantines, further complic3ting the picture. 'fhe Byzantines dug in and attempte(1 to fight back. Agnellus cryptically re[lOftS that tlle Prefect Long-iuus about 570 built a " fence in the form of a w~lI" TO protl.'Ct Caesarca, the region between Ravenna and C1~sse. This m~y have been a stake and ditch palis;lde, a ty pe of fOrtificati on kHown el,ewhere 1.11 Italy at the time, and is assllmed to have been made in res ponse to Lombard aggression, '? A Bzyantine army under the collunand of Justin Ii's son-inlaw Ba<luarius was sellt to haly in 575 , but it was defeated. T his emboldened the Lombards to attack the Byzantine capital; Faroall!, Duke of Spoleto, plunde,'ed Classe around ;;9, and the port city was o nly recovered by Drocdulf, a Sue\'c who fought for the Byzantines. '0 In 584, assailed by both the Franks and rhe Byzantines, thc Lombard dukes came together and chose Cleph's son Authari (r. 584""""90) as their king, Authari achieved success against a combined frankish-B}'7.l1lltine attack in 590, and Ilcgotiated a deal by which he paid tribute to the Franks, but he died the same year. In 589 he had married Theodelinda, daughter of the Duke of Bavaria, .."ho was one of the remarkable women of her day: A correspondent of Pope Gregory f, upon her husband's death she was grantcd the right to choose rhe nC:\1" king. and she ru led alongside her second husbancl Agilulf until his (Ieath in 616, after which she ru led with her son t\daloaJd until his death in 616 . AgilulfhimscJf, freed of the F tankish tlueat, went Oil the oft"ensive against the Byzantines, threatening Rome from 5Y3 to 594. and coulHcrthreatened by the prefect Romallus aoom 595, with short-term truce; negotiated sevl;'ral times before his death, " The simation th us remained precarious at the turn of the seventh century,

The Establishment of n Byzantine Administration Beginning with Narscs., Ravenna was established by the Byzantincs as the seat o f their authority anll thl;' home base of their administration and army.


Thei r choice wa!> d ictated, a!> earlier, by logistics and case of transport to Constantinople, uy secu rity, by pn:stige, an.l by the fact that if there wen: still any bmea ucratic insti tutions survivi ng, they wou ld have been foun d in Ravenna. Ro me remainCI1an importanu:cnrer, and, a5 previously, the rulers o f Italy preferred to keep some distance between themselves and Rome's f U lers, now increasingly the popes In place of the defunct Senate. Rllvenna, as the home of the army and the civil administration, re mained iIIl()OrtaIH !>orh practi1.:aJly and ideologically, and retained a stronger ,-'Conomy longer than most other contemporary urban centers. T he long war with the Byza ntines had destroyed the Ostrogothic king路 do m - nor just the warriors, but the entire go\'ernmental sysrem creatcI1 by Theoderic. The [3X system broke down under the impact of the wars and ofthe demogrll phic crises. Order had to be resto red, and in .-;:;4 J ustinian issued an imperial ellict known a~ the Pl'llgmatic Sanction, which details how this was to be achieved. " It is notable that J ustinian cl~ims to h~ve issued the decree at the re{lueSt of Pope Vigilius and that it i~ a(ldressed to the milita ry commander Narscs and the Praetorian P refect Antiochus. The Pragmatic Sanction is a cmious doculllent, anempting to portray (he new sodal and politic;ll order as the reimposition of the best elements of the prewa r era. Laws promu lgated by Amalasu intha , Athalaric, and T heodahad were to be respected, but nOt those of To til a; property that had changell honds during the waf was to he restored to its original owners. Payments to gmlll'llltltiri, orators, doctors, and lawyers were to be continued so that knowledge and education \you ld continue to flourish !" Senators were rcc路 ognizea as imlxmant political fi gures, hut the edict includes a number o f notable politica l changes: The right to elect provincial governors (illilim) was no\\' granted to bishops a~ well as local magnates, and the sallie tWI) groups were ma(lc rcsponsi hlc for military requisitions, a recognition thar the allthority of hishops was now an important dement in local politics. Conditions changed so rapidly in the decades after 540 , especially after fhe Lombard conquest, that the new conditions do not seem to have been well receivc{1 by J ustinia n's Italian su bjects or eyen to have appl ied at all. '~ The Roman Senale is last mentioned as a fu nctioning body in .')80 ; personal names with links to senatorial fam ilies disa ppear by the early seventh ctmury. T he scnators ha(l becn appointed uy the emperors and then the Ostrogothic kings; the removal of central authority Qut of Ita ly after the Gothic \Var meant that senators tOO h;ld to remove to Constantinople in order to maintain access (O COHrt ap pointments and some 3re known to have clone SO. '5 Their pb ce was taken by a new hierarchy of officials whose authority derived from their mililary role, as has been described by T. Browll .,I, Byzantine rule in Italy was marked by almost continuous milit路.\ry activit),. ' \!hen the BYGantine army hrst ap peared in Italy, its cOlllmanders 3ssullled



complete authority over the territory that was regained from the Ostrogoths. lndeed, in a war situation, what else (:oulll have happene& Narses, in particular, set abou t thc task of restoring order in It aly, until he was relieved in 506; in la rer accounts he W35 accused of enriching himself with the property of Italians.'! By then, the army had been fighting for thirty years, and the authol'iry of military commanders in ci\' jl a/rail's had become clltrenchell. \Vhen in 565 a civiliall Praetorian Prefect. Longi ll u~, was appointed to have an equivalent measure o f authority, he was almost immed iately rcq11ired to assume a signilil.:am military role in the aftermath of thc Lomba rd invasion .'11 After that, the continuous Lomba rd mil itary th reat meant that army officers rose to thl.' top of the hil.'Tarchy in Byzantine h aly, By the year 600, the leader o f By"..antine adm inistration was a figure (.'alled the exarch. T his office seems to have developed sometime after the Pragmatic Sanction; the term r,fll1路cbll.' firs t appea rs in h aly in 584, but not as an official title, amI sub~e(l uently it often appears in con junction with pfltririllJ.'9 Other people with \' arying degrees of au thority, most nota bly thl.' ci\'il ian prefects, also appl.'ar in the yea rs bctofl~ 6 00 )<> It Sl.'ems (;Iear, however, tha t from the time the title eXII1'cbllf first appeared, exardls exercised both military an([ civil authori ty), T he e:.:archs were always sent from Constantinople, but we do nOt know the criteria hy which such officials were chosen, 0 1' how long th ey m ight have eXliected their official te nure to last. \OVh enever one died or was m urdcred, a new onc was sent nut, and occasionally there arc refere nces to changes UJXln the accession of a new cmperor. Se\'eral exerci,ed authority hllice. others fo r mo re than te n yC;lrs at a stretch (sce the list in Ta ble +). Below the exarch, the ,,'overnment that was centered on Ravenna was composed of hoth [oLaI and fore ign officials who perlormed a variety of functions. Individuals with mi lital}' titles slich as lIIagirter lIIilillilll, dllx, and tl'ibl/lll/J also exercised civi[ functions in the late ~i xt h ccntury) ' Before 600, at 11.'3st, thcsc autho rity figurcs wcre scnt to Ravenna from Constanti nople ami came with contingcnt.~ of trOOps, sometimes recruited from among thc barbarian populations of the Balkans and someri mcs brought directly from the east.H Some o f these officials and soldiers bought 13111131111 settled down in h aly,;l trend that wou ld actclerate in the following dtclules.H On the other hand, most o f the derks, tax collectors, 3n(\ o ther bureaucrats secm to have.- been drawn from thc local popula tion. And in addition to thl.' representatives of imperial government, Ravcnna also rctained its ciry council, or CIIrin,;lS late;ls 015, which functioned as the body that cerrified and prcscn'cd [cgal doculllcnts and collectcd taxes) i Thus, thanks to i~ statu~ as a IlOlitic;)1 center, Ravenna remained;) cosmopolitan ci ty with ;Ill ethnically divcrsc population whose st'.l.tUSCS and


roles were in flux in this period. Analyses of papyrus docu ments show dtH people with G(lthic-Iooking n~mes umtinued to exist in Ravenna up to the end of the sixth century, alongside ind ividuals with Greek or eastern names. Scholars arc dividcd over the qllcstion of how many Greek-spea kers there were in Ravenna at any time; we know that a norable medical school, wi th an emphasis on Greek medical te,-1:S, existed at Ravenna in this pel'iod, ,6 ;11111 some (Iocuments arc signed in Greek or in Latin using Greek charactcrs, but Larin remai ned the common and official language); Bankers, silk merchants, doctors, and not~ r ics :lrc all :lttcstcd in rhc documcnfi; and uear witness to a still -thriving economy . Indeed, the new administratlon malic cvery attcmpt to ~tress that afFairs were continuing as usual in [he capital city of Italr. I mmediately after 540, RaVe1\11a'S llllnt began producing gold coins on the imperial model amI continued right through the Byzantine period [0 prolluce coins in gol{l, silver, and bronze. ,S The cxa rchs moved into Thcoderic 's p;liace,JY which, as e;l rly as 57!, was rde rred to as t he $fI(HIlfI pfI/fltilllll, a deliberate imitation o f the designation of the imperial palace in COllstall tinople.-t" Other (Opographical designations in ,111<1 around the p;llace that also evoke Constantinople, if th ey had not come into use already, were probably imported nt this timc. 4 \ Although politically motivated m(ltliticarions we:re made [0 the: iconography in the church of Sant'Apoll inare NutWo, images and Statues of T heoderic in and arQ\md the palace remained in situ until the ninth century, and the palace itsel f was not lI1 uch modified despite the change (0 {he regime it housed : P Although Ravennil in 567 wa, still the [(IPlft imliflc , after 570 [he ci ty was no longer theca pital of an empire or a kingdom, but only of a rapid ly snrin.king province. T he: e.xarch lila), have hall "ice-regal powers, but he was only a rcprL'Scmath'c, and a rdatively minor O lle, of a ruler who livcd elscwhere. It is interesting that, 3S far a~ we can rdl from the surviving i1l1age~, no "exarchal ~ iconography developed in this period or later. Inste~d , it II'as the bishops who developed an identity - iconographically, historiographica lly, and politically - 35 the heirs to the earlier secular rulers of Ravenna.

The Archbishops of Ravenna After the Byzantine roconquest of Ttaly, the bishops of Ravenna increased evcn more in power and prestige; indeed, thc sec was argllably the main beneficiary of the ecclesia,tical and political turmoil of the mid- sixth cenniT}'. Victor ()38- 45), who was bishop at the height of the GOdlic War and the ret.'(1nqueSt of Ravenna by the Byzantines, culti\'ated good relationshi ps with the Eastern emperors, and was rewarded by a grant of tax rCllli~sioJls,




which he used to erect ~ large silver canopy (cih(Jrillw) o\'(:r the alrar of the Ursiana c~the(lrnl. The dedicatOry poem sta tes that this waS done in fulfillment of a vow, and mentions that Victor ~iJlcrcascd faith among thc pt.'Ople with love"; is this a referent'l! to thl,'ovenhrow ofOsrrogothi(;/Arim

authority in the dty? ~ 3 Cle~rly the archbishopric of Ravenna was viewed as an important post, since both the emperors 311(1 the ()()pes appointed non-Raveunate ilHIi路 viduals to hold ir. Maxililian (540-5i), a deacon from the city of Pola in Istria , was elevated to the ~cc hy J ustinian after a vacancy of a yC:lr and a half.+! i\1 aximillll 's successor Agndlus (55 7-7o),-H a famleT soldier who had entered the Ravcnnatc chllrl,:h before the Bp:an6nc rl,'con(\llCst, ~ I soworl.ed closely with Justinian's governmem, as did Peter m (57o-8), who, like Agndlus, seems to ha\'e been a local appointment. Pett'r\ two succ essors, John [! (5 78-95) and !Marilliall (595 - 606), however, were from Rome, the former a friend of Pope Gregory I the Great and the latter actually appoimed by the pope after a contro"er~y in which he rejl'Ctcd the candidlltes f;lvored by the e.\arch.+6 G regor)' himself played an active role in the politil路s of lraly, deali ng with exarchs, emperors, and Lombard rulers; h" recognized and encouraged the influence of the archbishops of R;lvenna on exarchal administration, and accepted his colleagues as suoordil13te partners in hnth political and ct.desiastical affai rs"~- Since the mid- fifth cen tury, Ravenna's bishops ha(1 exerci~e(1 j uri~diction owr several otht'r ~t:es in northern Italy; in 5Y~ Gregory J assigned a n umber of sees now in Lombard territory to Ravenna's care.'18 The ele\"ation of Ravenn a'~ see, and the new authority t'.'(e rcised by its leaders, was marked by new titles and symbols that were assid iol1s1y exploited by the hol{lers of tht' see. Sometime before 553 Justinian gave Maximian the title IIl"chicpiswpus (archbishop). This elevation was part of a general polil:}" of rabing church leaders in rank to match the secular status of their c.ities; th rough thi s aC1., J ustinian distinguished Ravenna as a major provincial eapita1."" It is often stated that along wi th the title, Jus tinian granted Ravenna's ;lrchbishops the right to wear the p,ll/illlll, or stole, a symbol of metropolitan authority. This assumption is based on Agnellus's statement that the pnllium was givt'n to Maximian upon his consrtrationi O however, Agnellus had earlier directly linked the wearing of the {It/llilllll to tht' metro(Xlliun status that was achit'vell in the fifth century, al1(1 throughout his tCJo:t the plll/illm is a mctaphor for the appointlllent or confirmation of a bishop by an outside authority, either the pope or by the emperor. ; I I n the Justi nianic mosaics in RaYenna, as we will see, hishops are all prominently depicted wearing the plllliulII, but some of these lIlosa ics were made before tht' rime of Maxilllian. Thus, use of the ptdlillllll1luSt not have bt'en linl.ed to the new title. but simply to the nell' ambitions of the post-Theodcriean


bishopsY After .Maximian's accession the bishops took to displaying this liymboJ of allth{Jrity more fre (111ently, md eventually it became a political issue bctw('cn th('m and the pOI)('s.H Gregory I reprimanded Arch bishop J ohn II tor wearing his pallillm more often than custom re(]\lired and accused his friend of being corru pted by secular influence; G regory wrote similarly to Marinian. H 'f he archbishops cannot simply have been using tlle pflllill1ll as a symbol o f authority within Raven na because th en there WQuld be no reason for pap~ l opposition. T hey were expressing wider aspirations, and indecil Gregory also reprimande(1 the bishop of Milan for mention iogJ ohn of Ravenna '5 11:lI11e dll ringthe mass, as would be done fora patriart路h.H T he reasons for R ~venna's ecclesiastical importance went beyond me status of the city as n provincial capita l and are directly relatell to the theologi('a l struggle known as the T hree Chapters Controversy. ;6 A.l tho ugh llIonophysitism had been condem ned at the Co uncil of Ch~kedon in 45 J, the miaphysites who rejected the Chalccilonian form ula, found espL'Cially in Egypt and Syria. were ca using political proble111s for Justinian. In 543 or 544, Justini an's theologic~l 3(hiscrs C~ llle up with a plan to re(:011cile the o pposing factions. J ustinian issueil an im perial edict that condem ned ns heretical works by Tht:Odore of Mopsuestia, Thoo<lore of Cyrrhus, and Ibas of Ellessa: known as the Three Cha pt~rs, these texts had previously been accepted as Orthodox. SUPP'.lrters of J ustinian's edict induded the patriarchs o f Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and J erusalem. I-Iow ~ ever, the western bishops refu sed to accept the condem n;ltion. The pope, who was the fifth patriarch, was th us a key player, and in 544 he also was a cOnll"Oversial figure . In 536, Pope Agapirus had (lied in Constantinople while on an embassy ro J uslinian from Theodah;ld . T heodahad forcibly had one Siivcrius, son o f POIX! H ormisdas, ordaine(l in Ro me, but Thoollahall was killell a few months later, after which Bclisarius took Rome. Silveri us's pol itics and the路 ology were 芦c-c\ar('d s\lSpeCf; the Uhl'T PQlllifiCii/iS daim s that the empress Theodora '5 monophysite/miaphysite leanings led her to accuse Silveri us o f heresy, while Bcl isarius 's wife Antonina, Theodora's fr iend, accused him of heing alliell with rhe Goths. T he papal ambassador in Constantinople ;It the ti me was Vigilius the archtlcacon. I-Ie was sent h;lck to Rome wi th instructions that Bdisa rius waS to (lepost: Silveri us allll make Vigilius pope, and this was done in snF It was Vig-ili us who was IlOpe when the Three Chapters Controversy broke Ollt, but despite bei ng J ustinia n's appointee, Vigil ius vaciliate(l on this crucial lluestion. I-Ie was forcibly broughr to Constantinople in 546 and persuaded to agree to the condemnatio n in 553. dying upon his return jo urney in 555. In the meantime, the metropolitall hishops o f A1il;1l1 and Alluilcia had broken with the pope ;lUd em peror


over the T hree Chapters and were in active schism. III this set o f cirCUlllstances the bishop of Ravenna, the only metropolitan of northern haly not in schi~m , was an import-dllt agent of impcrial church policy in Italy, which probably prompted J ustinian to elevate his supporter Maximian to the \'aC<lm see in 546 .5i1 In the years after 554, the popes and the archbishops of Ravenna continued to he staunch supporters of Justinian's condemnation of the Three Chapters. As we have seen , it was under Archbishop Agndlus that the t\rian churches and their property were officially transferred to the Ort hodox Church of Ravenna, perhaps as a rewa rd for loyalty, since the document praises uthe holy mother church of Ravenn~. the true mother, truly orthodox, for many other churches crossed over to false doctrine because o f the fear and terror or princes, but this o ne held the true and unique holy (.'atholic fa ith, it never changed, it endured the fluctuations of the times, though tossc:d by the storm it n:mained u nmo\'able. "S~ Ravenna's archbishop~ ordained clergy and bi~hops for the schismatic sees and they attempted to coerce the rebel bishops; in this thc)' were aided by Narscs and his succcssors. 'fhe controversy also b(.'Carne political, especially after J\1 ilan and Aquilda, as weU as most of the Olher schismatic cities in Istria, were conquered by the Lombards, removi ng them from BY'I.allti ne political pressure. Gradual ly the schi smatic bishops were reconciled with Rome and the mainstream: Milan in 581, but A(IUileia, the last holdQut, only in 698, and there were always elements within the churches of Byzantine Italy that opposed tht: pol icy.oX> By 600, therefore, the archbishops o f Ravenna had made a place for themsclvcs llear the top orthc episcopal bieralThy ofItaly. Maxilllian, in particular, shaped, or even createll, an image of Ravenna's episcopal see that has domi natcd la ter discourse, particularly as reported by the historian Agndlus, who credit$ Maulllian with many lasti ng contributions. Maxill1ian had two Bibles carefully emended and written according tojero1l1c路s translation, one ofthe earliest ind ications of the use ofthe Vulgate franslation in Italy. He also produced a missal th at Agncl1us knew, and it is possible that !-\gnellus attributes to hi m thc spread of the.r ustinianic legal code into Italy."1 Alore significant in our context, !\hximian appears to have beell the fi rst to produce a histOry of the episcopal sec ofR;}vCllIlJl. Agncllus tells liS that he wrOte a chronicle, which seems to have been a typical sr:cular world chronicle,6, But we also lcam that i\-1aximian was responsible for several commemorative pieces on which sequences of Ravenna's bishops were depicted: an altar cloth with pictures of all his predecessors; an inscri ption on the Tl'icolliJ' li sting all bishops who had helped on the building; the images of some early bishops in Sant'Apollinare in Classe; and depictions of carly bishops Oil thc ElCadc o f the church of St. P robus. Episcopal lists were first compibl for many Italian cities in the early sixth cenmry (this is


when t he Roman Lib" pontificllli< was begun), and it is probahle thar Maximian 's was the earliest such list for Ravenna.oJ In addition to establishing a historical hasis ror the see's importance, Maximian also worked hard visually to define the prominence of Ravenna's archbishop. He completed, d~'Wrated, and/or dcdkated the IJornus Tri,ollis in the rpisropiwn and the churches of San Vitale, Sant'Apollinare in Classe, San " Iichcle in Africisro, St. AndR'w, St. Probus, and St. Euphemia; he founded in Ra"enna a church dedicated to St. Stephen.6i In many of th~se buildings, as we will see, A'laximian O\'ersaw dC<.;oration that prominently featurt.x1 hishops. The altar cloth and images of hishops mentioned above are examples of this; and it is no acddent that the most famous mosaic in Ravcnna, in San Vitale, depicts Maximian next to Justinian. In many of the buildings that enjoyed Maximian 's patronage, his monograph is prominently displayed either in mosaic or carved into marble. Prior to this period, Ra"enna had not had any major churches dedicated to local saints or martyrS, SO it is l>artiClllarly signifi~"nt that early Christian martyrs and episcopal saints were claimed for Ravenna at the same time that the archbishops were claiming new status and privileg<..'S for th<..'TIlselves. Veneration of Ravt'nna 's early bishops. sl)Qnsorcd by Maximian, was continued by his successors. Archbishop Agnellus rebuilt the apse ofSant'Agata, and decorated it with a portrait ofJohn I, who was buried there." Pelt'r III founded a church in Classc in honor of St. S<:"erus, which was complcttxl by John II.M SCVCTllS is the earliest atK"sted bi5hol) of Ravenn~, dOC11menred as prcscnt at the Council ofSardica of 343. Nothing else is known about him, and even Agnellus tells u, that nothing was L..,own about him in the ninth century; ncvenhde>s, by the mid-sixth ccntury he was being \'enerattxl as a saint. His church was located in Classe, near Sant'Apollinare and St. Prohus; together, as we will >cc, th<..'Y fa nned a group of churches in honor of Ravenna's early bishops.

The Cathedral and the Episcopal Tbrone The Vrsiana cathedra l was givcn a new gloss in the wake of the Byzantine reconquest. 67 Agnellus thc historian s~ys that Bisho p Victor provided it with an altar cloth of gold and silk and with a silver cibiJrium (canopy) over the altar (destroyed by invading French troops in I; II), paid for by the taxes of Italy that were granted to Victor hy Justinian for one rcar.os This set of furnishings may also h3\'e included a new set of intricately carvlxl tr"llmrrmnr, somc of which w<..>[c latcr rcustxl in the pavemcnt of the current cathedral and are now found in the MuS<."O Arcivcscovi lc. 1Io,> ,\lade of PIU\.'Onnesian marble. they were prob.obly importC<.1 diTC<..tly from Constantinople. Archbishop Agncllus gave the cathedral a new ambo (Fig. 7 [),




71. Amooof Agnell.,., now in


of 3 type that was common in the eastern Mediterranean and ha d already been brought to Ravenna's Arian churches under T heoderic. 7" AgneJl us's ambo, made of Proconncsian marble. was also probably imported from ConStantinOI)le. Its central section survives, with the dcdil<ltory inSl.Tiption "5mms Xr(ist)i Agndlu~ rpis(copus) bunt pyrgum [mt";" its sides contain a grid of squa .....'S, in each of which a bird or animal is carved in flat relief. Archbishop AgneUus also made a large (1 .22 m wide) cross of wood roated with embossed silver for the Ursiana cathedra l, which still survives (with later additions and restorations) in the Musco Arcivcsoovilc; its anns arc dl'COratcd on each side with 10 ITIlxlaliions with images of saints, ~lJlT()und足 ing luger roundels of C hrist and the Virgin at th e cemer )' In tenns of episcopal imagery, the most significant object to have survived from Byzantine Ra"enna is the throne of the archbishops of Ravenna, which bears Maximian's monogram (Fig. 7z).1J The throne's form is typical of late anti que chairs, with a curvc<1 back and Straight amls. H Panels of ivory, each 9- 1z centimeters wide (side panels t 7-t 9 centimeters wide), were att:lch~'<l to a wooden frarne,1S Th irty-nine panels were carved with



7" Throne "fM.,imi.n, fro'" ,i ...., ivory on. wooden f",me, 540$-5"" (oo.'''''''Y Ope", di Relig;one ddl> [)ioce'; di lUv<nn. )

scenes or figures from the O ld an d New T estaments (twelve are now missing, although the subjects of some of them arc known from ea rlier dr-H"ings); the figurated panels arc surrounded on aU sides of the throne by borders of vin~ scroll, i nhabit~'<l by pca~uch, bird" dogs, decr, ~'Ows, and other animals.;6 As a whole, it is one of the most remarkable ivory objects to have survived from la te antiquity. On the from of the throne below the seat we see five figures standing beneath niches of conch shcl1:John the Baptist in thecentcr, Ranked by the fl)or ev:mgeliSts, whl) are not individually identified but who are presented as men in tunics and mantles, holding codices. The other figuratcd panels depict the following:



Inner ",.t I:»ck.




Location Up[lCf


"'mer_left ""mer-right right

? [Shepherds .od .nim. ls?1 Nonoity


Virgin .od Child.• ngel ,Jo:s.cph , stor r llue<: "i.gil


Inner sen bKk, lower row

left center- left

",,,,er_right right

Dre.m ofJ"""pll , ~light to [Visit:.,;on] T cst of th e bitter Wotcrs Annunciotion (Fig. 73)



yo yes

Left side of throne

Joseph: llen;.",in I.eforc J""-l'h




J oseph: l oserh gi,'cs brothc,> gro in Joseph: J oseph ime'1'rets ph .... oh '.

lower-middle bottom l oseph;Joseph greets )'"'01. Joseph: Ph. rowh's drum

ro" upper _middle

yo yes


Right side or throne

,op upper_middle midd le lower-middle bonom top row left

center- left center-right right


Joseph: grief of Jooob (Fig. 74) Joseph:jos'1,h put in "'cll


J oseph; J """I'h sold 10 [shm.elites


Joseph: j os<1'h sold



Potiph or

J oseph : Potiphor', wife


? IFlight into [ gyrt? £SC'pe of Eli".beth .nd llapti.t' ,\I.SS3ere of [llIlocents? ] B'pti,m of Chtis! Ent..,. intoJerus. lem


y" res 2nd row


center·left center_right right 3rd row left center-left center_right tight I",ttom row left L..,nter_Ie ft center-right right

Di<tribution of 100\'os .nd fishes Christ divid .. 100\-" ond fish .. 1.\ linclc of C.n., part l " li=le or Can.

yo yo res

,, Christ blind and Christ .nd the S.m.ri"n WOman

,? ,


y" yo



73. Throncor MaxiUli~n, pand depkring ,he t\nnunci~ ri<)n

(oo urt~.,,)' 01'''""


Rdig i o ,,~


Diooxsi di

I{~"cnn ~)

74. Throne of ,\ \uimi3n , .l"!:lil frum sid~ .J~euh muurningJu<c:ph (ooutl~"'l' Op... ra <Ii Rciigio llc



R~" c;n ll~)




The style of cal"\'ing on the throne has many similarititos with ivories from Constantinople and {he eaStern Mediterranean, and scholars therefore usually assume either that it waS made in the capital (perhaps ordered by Justinian), or in Egypt, or that it was made in a Ravcnnatc atelier by workmen from the cast. n Most of the imagery is "cry conventional for the sixth cenrury; we have already discussed examples of cycles of the life of Christ in the context of the mosaics of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo. \짜hat is striking is the prominence of the story of Joseph from the Old Tcsrnmemo C. Rizzardi nutes that the juxtajlosition of Old and New Testament imagery is a hallmark of the post-Thcodcrican an ofRawnna, as we will sec also in San Vitale; she argues that (he difference in artistic styles between the Old and New Testolment ~nes are deliberate, to draw anention to their differencc.7I! But why did (he Story of Joseph feature so prominendy on a bishop's throne? Sincc thc Joseph story was "cry popular in late antique Egypt and since Maximian is known to haw visited Alexandria, many s<:bolars have proposed an Egyptian workshop or workmen for thc thronc ,19 But as .\1, Scbapiro has demonstrat~'<i, there was more to tbe iconography than that, In early Christian exegesis., Joseph was seen as a type of Christ, and also as a type of John the Baptist, and in fact many of the Joseph scenes on the throne are typolOgically linked to the image of the Baptist and the New Testament secncs on thc thronc,80 Joseph was also seen as a model of good sttwardshil" In particular, Ambrose o f " I ilan, in his writings on thc roles of priest and bishop, praises Joseph for his chasti ty, charity, and generosity, and holds him up as an ideal counselor to a secular ruler,a, Joseph is thus a model of a good bishop who can feed and protect his p.oople, sen'e as an intermedia ry between God and men, and be an adviser to the secular ruler. Indc<-'<i, in many of thc images on the throne, Joseph is shown seatOO on a throne himself, emphasizing the oon ncction. Finally, Schapiro notes a morc J't'rsonal rtason that Joseph may have figured on a throne connectoo with Maximian. Joseph was a slave who was raised to a position of power by the pharaoh. According to Agnellus., Alaximian was not from Ravenna, but from Pola; he rose from humble origins through the favor of the emperor (and through judicious bribes) to h<-'<-'ome archbishop. AgneJlus quotes inS'-Til'tions on twO alt:H doths in which Maximian notts that the Lord ~has raiS'-xI me from the dung."s, Agncllus's Story of Maximian', rise may be embroidered but Maximian obviously cultivated the idea that he was a nobody, ele'lIt~-d by the favor of Justinian, and this can also be seen in the mosaic in San Vitale. Joseph was thus a suitable model for this particular bishop and for the particular political and C<.:ciesiastical situation in sixth-century Ravenna.


Church Building Betwcen 540 and 600, Ravenna and Classe were la\~shly provided with new churches (st.'C Fig. 70), hc:avily subsidized try the donations of the mysterious banl.:cr Julian, but also sponsored by the bishops and archbishops (intere,tingly, none of the exarehs or prefects arc credited, at least by Agnell us, with any archiwetural patronage in this period). Bishop F..cclesius ina\lgura t~-d the building bcxJm after his return from Constaminnple in 5!5, and we may suppose tha t he ha d bci:n inspired by the buildings, both old and new, that he saw there . W hile E~"(:lesius and Ursidnus founded major chun:hes, it is likely that much of the lunstruction activity took place only after the B,untine Tt.'COnquest of 540. In addition to his dborium, Victor (538-45) managed to complete decoration of thc Petriana baptistery, to build a luxurious bath wmplex near the rpisropium, and to donate an altar doth 10 the Ursiana . Agncllus says tha t the bath complex was deoora tt"(] with fine marbles and gold mosaics; cx~"vation at the lIann Popolare site has r",veab.1 th", remains of these baths, built over a house that was destroyed in the fourth century. It still operatcd in Agn",lIus's day, and ind~...-d the cxcavated remains show that the baths continued in use umil the tenth or twelfth century.i) As wc will sec, it is also hkcly that much of the construction work for San Vitalc an d Sant'Apollinare in Qas:;e toOk place under ViclOr's authority. Building ,natcrials pourcd into the city's ports from Const~nti noplc and the ea,t, along with innovative ideas in hoth architc~"ture and mosaic artistry.s, In particula r, marble from the island of Proronnesus, located in the Sca of Mannara about seventy-fi,'c miles east of Constantinoplc, was ostt'lltatiously used in this period. J\larble from Proconncsus ha d been used in buildi ngs in Ravcnna from as early as the mid- fifth century - the apse o f San Gi()Y.lnni Enngclista, thc basilicll llptmo/orum, Sant'Apoliinare Nuovo, and the capt/Ill arcwtsrovi/r - but thc importation of such materials reached its height in the later sixth century. The quarries, which werc actively exploited from the first century AD to the end of the si~th century, wcrc under imperial oontrol. B~"Ca\lse they were ncar thc sca, it was easy to ship their marble throughout the M t"(]iterrant>an, and the color, white ""ith bluish gray veins, ""as highly (Fig. 75).8< T he craftsmen ""ho manufactured objects from th is m.rb!e u:;ed the "cins to create diffi.'Tent effects; on columns, for example, stripes coul d run "crtically or horiwntally, ""hile on large slabs used for wall rcv",nnent, slices luu!d he laid side by side to produce spectacular bilaterally symmetrical effects. \ Ve know from excavated shipwTt.'Cks that materials were exportt"(] from I'roconnesus as complete sets, either oomplctely or partial ly carved; this implies that somcone Imilding a church ""ould have to know the design to hc able to order




the materials, which might then be custom made or furnished from stock available in the quarry's stockyards, If the designs were delicate, it is possihie that rough bloch were shipped, "ith instructions, drawings, or actual sculptors, so that they could be completed at the construction sitc. M 'Ve know that stonc-.;arving worl<shops and other local manufacturers {hri"cd during this period in Ravcnna , .... hetheror not they rou tinely finished material that was sent in roughed-out form from Proconneslls,8] In any case, the presence of marble church furnishings froln I'roconncsus shows thaI the island's workshops must have been a point o f diffusion hoth for sculptural motifs and for architectural ideas. The building boom also gavcrise toa new local industry, themanufacture of bricks. Already in Ute Ostrogothic period the supply of Roman materials available for reuse had started to ron out. Unlike the earl ier buildings in Rawnna, many of th~ lat~r sixth-e~ntury structures, notably San Vitale, Sant'Apoliinare in Class<:, San Michele in Afriroro, Sant'Agata, and the building cxcavate<.1 at the Via tli Ruma idcntifie<.1 as the Monno Au~u, were built of new (rather than reused) bricks that were flatter and broader than those usually ~ven~-d from Roman buildings. Mod\.-TIl scholars often refer to these asJulian bricks (named after Julian the hanker).1l8 N. wmbardini argues that their adoption "'as deliberate to create aesthetic effects for the ext~riors of thes~ buildings that would he mark~dly different from those of earlier eras, much as ne'" mosaic and senl ptural styles did aIso. ~ Most of our information about churches in this period lumes from Agnellus. Becausc he was writing a history of the bishops of Ra,enna , he emphasized their contributions to the Church and the city, and clearly they were the central flgures in the huilding boom of this era. Sometimes they spent their own persona l money on these buildings, but in many cascs thl'Y directed other people's money l()ward projl"CtS that the Church sponsored. \Ve ha"e already seen that the banker J ulian was the primary financial sponsor of these lXmStn K"tions, but there arc hints from a few Sllrviving inscriptionsof patronage by other scclliar flgurcs. For c."(ample, in 596 an Adeodatus primllS mar" {ffllrfiauY{lt (the first groom of the prefecture) l13id for an ambo for the church ofSts. John and Paul, which was directly modeled on the one in the Ursiana but probably made by local artisa ns. "" Thus., while the bishops used their function as dedicator of churches to activdy promote an aggressi,'c1y epiS\.upal agenda, th<-1' did so with the active cooperation of the citizens of Ravenna, who somctimes were pursuin g their own aims. The result by the year 600 was a region packed with large, impressi"e churches celebrating both local and international saints demonstrating a long historyofimpcria l authorirycombincd with episcopal oversight.



75. Son,'A!.-.II; ....... ;n 0...". column, of l'rororulesim

=rbI., ...,"

from 'he north


Church BIIi/ding in tbe City of Rm,le/mn Six major churches and several smaller ones were built in and around Ral'enna and Classe between 540 and 600; in addition, some of Ravenna's older churches were modified. Most of the new structures were built in the northwestern sector of the city around the existing church of Santa Croce (Fig. 70), or to the south of the cityofC lassc. Ecdesius owned property in the fonner area, which may have been the initial stimulus for the concentnltion of activity therc. Classe, as wc ita'路c seen, had bccn a focus of building activity sin<:e the l....nstrul"Oon of the l'etriana l1.l!nplcx, and


its comi nucd activity in(lkates that it was dewed as an importallt pan of Ravenna's Christian topography. SAI'>TA M.\ RIA )I.\GG IOR E

Bishop Ecclesius, "all his own legal property built the church of the holy ami always inviolate Virgin Mary . . . of wonderli.ll si7.e, the vau lt of the a pse and the fa(,"a(le tlecoratetl with gold, 31\(\ in this vau lt of the apse the image of the holy MothcrofGod!" rl l T hechurch was located in the nonhwcst corner of the city, just to the south ofSant3 Croce and to the cast of San Vitale, which, as we will sec, was also fou nded by Ecclesius. \-Vh at is known ,lboutthe original church ('ollles from sixtecnth- and seventeenth-century descriptions of it (in ruined state), and from analysis of the apse, whose structure sU Tl'ives in the prescnt build ing. 'll An inscription reported by G. Rossi in the sixteenth ('entury reports work on the church at the tillle of Archhishop Felix, in the early eighth century; another surviving inscription from the tilile of Peter III might also refer to this church. Rossi tells us that the apse mosaic, by then in a ruinous condition, depicted the Virgin and Child with Ecdesius offering them the church, perhaps sim ilar to the depiction o f the bishop in Sail Vitale's apse.93 T he mosaics were destroyed in 1550 , anti in 167 1 Santa Nlaria Maggiore was largely rebuilt in the baroque style. Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the least-studied churches in Ravenna. In the seventeenth century, befo"e its revuilding, the church was described as a cruciform basilica with a nave and aisles separated by arcatlcs of eight columns. One report describes the triumpha l arch as being held up by twO columns, presumably Ra nking the entrance [0 the apse. The current polygonal apse appears {O have been originally a dodecagon, 10 meters in diameter (thus about the samt:' size as the Orthodox Baptistery), colllH'cting to the ll;lVC of a church through ,In 8-mCters-wiJc triumphal arch (Fig, ]6). It has then:fore been suggested that the t~hurch vuilt by E(."(:bius was a freestanding dodecagon and that a hasilica with a transept was amchcd later (perhaps in the later sixth cenUlry, perhaps in the eighth, certainly by the ninth centu ry), connected by an arch and perhaps also by a presbiter}'. T welve columns and Corinthian capitals of Proconllesian marble were re used in the baroque building, hut they are smaller than would he expected for;1 nave colonnade, and thus they may h;lve originally been found in a nanhex or gallr:.ry.'1>1 Ovviously, further study i~ retluired to tletermine the original for m of the builtling. If Eec\esius's chmch of the Virgin had originally been a twelve-sided polygon, it woul(l have followed earlier prototy pes such as the Church of the Nativity in Bcthlehc m ,9~ the church of the Virgin ill Jerusalem, and the shrine of the Virgin at Blachemat:' in Constantinople, the latter twO cxaml>ks bui lt in thecarly to mid- sixth cemury.¢' Perhaps Ecdesius's trip to



,.....,.....,..... ..,.....,.. , .~

the capital inspired him to build some of the new, domed shrines in Ravenna; certainly we can see this influence in his other foundation, San Vir:ale.

The church of San Vir:ale is unquestionably a building "like no other in ltaly.""'7 Built a'...."Ording to a design that rcflt:Ctcd the most up-to-datt archiwctural ideas from Constantinople, it has impressed visitors since the time it was founded, both because of its unusual and irnpressi'路e layout and because of the beauty and splendor of the mosaics that are still prL'SCr,路ed in its presbitery and apse. Founded by Bishop Ecdesius during the reign of Amalasui ntha, it reAcets a InU ltirudc of ideologies and concepts in its design and dL"(."(lration . The construction of this church esr:ablishc.:! St. Vir:aJis as Ravenna's chief martyr. The origins of this cult and its connL"Ctions to Ravenna are obscure, but it is somehow connected to the riva lry betwL~n the sees of ,\'iI3n and Ravenna. St. Ambrose of Milan famously discovered the relics of Sts. GefV:lse and I'rotasc in M ilan in 386, and huused them in a grtat hasilica;禄8 Ambrose also found the relics of St. Na zari us in Milan, and in Bologna

16. San .. M.ri. ,\l oggK><e, pt.n of the"1"" (.fI.. lJ<ichnul\Il, 1916. 1~路lJ)


the relics of St. Agricola and h i~ slave St. Viulis, which he transferred to churches in .~'1i l an an,1 Florence."') All were martyrs, but nothing more is told about them in the Ambrosian literature, and noconllC'Ction of any kind is made wi th Ravenna, At some unknown point, probably in early sixth-century Ravenna, a letter attributed to Ambrose \\'as composed that contained a Ilarrarive about some of these figures; it is known as the Plluio Jill/crarl/m IIlm1y1't11l! GerL'llsii (f Profil,rii, loo 11\ the story, G ervase and Prorase arc lhe children of Vita lis an,1 Valeria; Vitalis, a miirs COI/SlIlIITis ("soldier of consular rank," and th us d ifferent from the slave Vitalis), is martyred in Ravenna after he givcs encouragement to a doctor name(1 Ursi(:inus when the laner is bei ng tortured for his adherence to Christianity. Valeria is also man yred after this, as are Gen'ase and Protase. According to the text, "Sa int Vitalis, the glorious martyr of Christ, next to the city of Ravenna grantS benefits (beI/t'Jicill) th rough prayers :\1\(1int(.'rcessions for all belieyers of Jesus Christ up [0 the prcscnt day." 'o, By maJ..-ing Vitalis thc fathcr of Gcnr a~ and Prouse, thc a uthor demonstra tes the superiority of Rave nna over i\-I il an. Archal..'Ologin l im'estigations in '911 and '92 5 revealed. 70 centimeters below the original floor of th e church, a sInal! ractallgular chapel (5 '40 x 8.48 meters) with remains of an allar surrounded by mosaic /loors, which is thought to be the rem ains of an earlier structure consecrated to St. Vitalis, dating perhaps to the fifth century. to, In the late 51 os, Bishop Ecclcsius decided to turn this chapel in to an archittttu ral showplace. Agnel路 1\15 provides [hree pieces of information abO\Jt the conSlrUCfion of San Vita le. He paraphrases the epitaph (c/ogilfm ) of J ulia n which ~ays that the banker spcm 10 ,000 gold ,.widi on [he construction .")) .H e quotes a poetic dedication made of silvl'!r te,seral'! ill the atrium of the t:hurc h, as follows:' ''! T he lofty te mples rise 10 th ~ \'enenlble roofwp. Silllctllied 10 God in t.he ll~me of Vil,alls. A/lel Gern5(" ;Iud Prol.~S(" " Iso hold Ihis stronghold. whom ElIlIil)' :mrl faith ~nrl church join togethe r. The fathe r 8eeing the cQntagions of the world w',s to theS<' sons lin e Xllmpl ~ of h ith ~nd l\\~rtyrdol\\.

Ecdcsius fi rst gavc this srrongholrl to J uli~ll. who wondcrfully complcn;d th e worl.: cottllnissioned to him. He also ordered it 10 Ix m~lnr"in~d by perpt:tu~1 law ilIOn in these places no one's body is p"rmitt ~d to be placet!. Hut I)<'caus<: ((lmb.~ of e'lrlie r bisho ps are est'.lblishcd he re, iT is allowed TO place This o ne. Qr


like it.

The discussion of (Ombs refers to the fact tha t Bishops Ecclcsius, U rsicinlls, and Victor are all huried in the chapel of St. Nazariu~, a fOull,1 chapel



77. Sun Vit4lc, "jew o f the e)l"teriOT from the


to the sou th of the apse.1o; Finally, Agnellus also quotes the inscription

commemorating the dedication by j\'laximian: ,06 Juli;l1l the banker built the basilic~ oftlle blessed

ll1~rty r

Vir;,lis from Ihe foun-

authorized (lIIfllldIIllU) by th e most blessed Bishop Ecc:lcsius, and decorared 3nd dedicated (dt:dicflVil) ii, \~; rh the most reverend Bishop ;\\ aximian consccr:nin g ÂŤ( 9I1Jrrra1llt') iron ' 9 ,-\pril, in th e temh indicti on, in th e si~"Th year (i3tiOllS,

after [h" consulship of Ihsilius. [the



F. \V. D eichma nn exhaus ti\'cly analyzed these inscriptions, and proposed that the va rious terlllS 1J11l1ldll/"t', drditall', ami (O IlSl'rran: describe specific legal andlo r ritual procedures for constructing a church in the sinh CCtlrury, t"'; H econcluded that Ecclesius's role was limited to alithori1.ingJulian [0 construct the chllTch, If this werc the case, why woultl E<:desius be depicted in the apse offering the ch urch to C hrist? It seems clear that Ecc1csillS was viewed as a donor; since Agndlus tdls us that, Ilirectly ro the east or San Vitale, he built Sallla lviaria Maggiore on his own property, perhaps the smail chapel of St. Vitalis ha{lbeen bllilt by his f:ll11i1y, ancl he donated this property, tOO, to thc church. ,011 The date of thc found~tion and origi nal construction of San Vinic matrers bccause of what it implics about tile relationship of this building to Olhcrs being constructed in COlmaminople at about th c snille timc, in particular, the church o f Sts. Sergius and Baccbus, whicb was buil t between



527 and 536. Ecdesius left Constaminoille before 516, therefore he eannot have seen SIS. Scrgius and Bacchus. Deichmann therefore argued that {he design and consrrucrion of San Vitale only began after 540, under Bishop Victor, whose monogra ms arc found on the impost blocks. '''I> Dcichmann argued that it was unlikely to have tal.:cn fift~>cn yca~ - that is, betw~'Cn a foundation before 532 and a dedication in 547 - to build the church. I lowe"cr, given that these years correspond to the Gothic War, the plague, an d long gaps between bishops " 'ho constantly traveled back and forth to Constan tinople, a long building period is instea d rather li kely. ,,0 S<:cnJrios can easily be imagined by which the initial design was crearcd under Ecdcsius but, perhaps because of the war, the marble pieces were not complet~-d and shipped until after 540. Likewise, it is possible tha t sculptors from ProCOlmesus were sen t to Ravenna to carve the unfinis hed pieces in silu, and that by the time they mmpletoo the impost bloc ks., Victor was bishop. W e should conclude that hath Ecclesius and Victor had subst:antia l roles in the l"O nStruction o f the church. San Vi tale has survived remarkably well through the ccnturies. '" It became part of a Benooictin e monastery some time !.>efore the mid- tenth ccnrury, and remained its primary church until the monastery was dissolved in 1860. The major structura l changes were t he v:lulting of the ambulatory and gallery and the construction of exterior buttresses to carry tbe extra weight, perhaps the late \',I.'clfth ccn tury, as well as the transfonnation of the southern stair tower into a lllmpa nile. 'I' Tbe church ",,,, apparcnciy in a ruinous condition by [495; beginning in the 1540s a major restoration was undertaken that resulted in the removal of most of the ma rble incrustation from dIe walls and its rcplacemcllt with much of the W:.1Il , vault, an d floor decoration that survives today. The campan i Ie colla psed in 1688, an d many more cbanges were made in the eighteentb century, incl uding the add ition of several chapels and other rooms around the building. Modern restorations began in the mid- ninewenth cen n'ry, Starting with Felice KibeI's wor k on the mosaics; in [899 the building came under the authority of t he newly constinlt~-d Soprin tendenza, and Corrado Ricci initiated an extcnsi"e program o f work . The original building began to be isola tl'<i, excavated, and reconstructed in its presuml-d original form . The apse wall incrustation of opu< m1ik W:lS remade in [900 and 1904, an d the alahaster windows now in the church were also installed at that time. Exca'lItions were carried Ollt by Gius.eppe Gerola in tbe J 9 [05 and addi tional restora tion was undertaken in the '9305, including the lowering of the pavements in the m re to the original k'vel and t he reconstitution of tbe narthex. Excavations in the ambulatory and ex~'<iraeof the core from [975-83 resulted in the r<X1mstitution o f tbuse flour Ic"cis also. F. W . D eichmann, in his '976 study of the building, provi des an extremely det:ai led analysis of whieh pa rts




I I I I 1I


of the structure are origina l and which restored; only his conclusions can be summarized here. Architecture. The architffture of San Vit:.lle is unique in Ra,·enna. While there were several other domed, polygonal stnlCnlres, namely the >eVeral baptisteries and possibly Sama Maria Maggiore, none was as large as San Vitale and none had such a complex layout. San Vitale is a double-shell oct:.lgon, that is, a building with a domed octagonal core surrounded hy 1 passageway (Fig. i8). t\t San Vit:.lle, the ccntra I core (33 meters in diameter) is surrounded on seven sides by an ambulatory with a SI..·..:ond-story gallery above it (40 meters in diameter toral); the eighth side, to the cast, opens inTO a high vault~-d presbitery and an apse, polygonal on the exterior and circular on the interior, that projecrs beyond the exterior octagon (Fig. i9). The apse is Aanh-d to the north and south by round chambers with rectangular Ilrrow/ill on the eastern and western sides. Access to them is provided from the ambulatory via sma ll r~'Ctangular chambers that fill the space between these chapels and the apse. Remarkably, there were dcors on all seven exterior walls of the church , five of which It"<l direcdy to the outside. There was also a door from the southern round chapel to the exterior. The main entrancc of the church, though, faced southwest. A colonnaded atrium, much of which was exnVlted in t902. extended 25 m to the west of the narthex fal'llde. "J The

18. Son Vi",I<,

reeoo-os,,,,,,,,,,1 origi",,1ground pion (ofter D.iehmonn. '9~ rI· J7)





- ---:-.-, . ....

79. San Vital<, ><:eti0il d,..w. in!/>. ,~"<) ";"""looking""'" .00 Iookingnor'h (.f'e!" Dcieh_ mann, '976, rI¡ J8)




narthex, apscd at its ends, provides the entrance to the bui lding. "" The narmex is set at an angle to the >outh-southwestmmerof thcocragon, and triangular chambers that include the cntrdnccs to thc stair towers mediate the aw\':"lIrd spaces between the nanhe>:: and the church. The narthex is thus on a different align!llc11l from thc apse. Two doors lead from the narth ex into the church; the one on the left is on the western wall of the octlgon, directly opposite the apse, but the one on the right leads only to one side of the ambulatory. This curious asymmetry has been explained in a number o f ways. Basilicas often had three enrrances, one leading into the na"c and the others into the aisles, which were used at different points in the lirurgy, and it was likely that here too multiple entrances from the narthex were requ; red . It is possible that a pree xisting S{Teet or bui lding pre,'ent~'tl construction on the axis. Finally, Deichmann follows G.Jonescu in pointing out the exterior comers of the octagon were all heavi ly buttressed to I,rovide SU!,]X)rt for the dome, and that the off-axis narthex helped to



8<>. Son Viwe, cem"locugon r:ocing !iO<Ith

(photoc. L S,,;l:or)

support three of the exterior comers of the octagon, whcrcas if it had been aligned on th~ WCSt face it would only have supportc<l twO corners. " j The central core consists of eigh t multilobed piers, beTween each of which is a two-story, triple-arched semici rcular cxedra vaulted by a bricl.: half dome; the octagon thus undulates as it opens on all sides to the OUTer corridors (l'ig. 80). The columns at the gallery level are sligh tly shorter than those of the ground Ic~'cl (3.7 meters \/S. 4o! meters), which accentuares the sense ofvcrt:il";jlity. "6 On the cast side, an arch that is the >arne height as those of the exedrae leads into the presbi tcry. The ambulatory and pllery tenninate here, and communica te with the presbitery through triple-arched oj)enings. Ahove the excdrae and the presbitery arch rises an octagonal drum 9 meters high, pierced byeigh t large windows, that resolves by means of shallow nichcs into the circular base of the dome of rubi jittifi,



whose apex rises 28,7 meters above the floor. "J The ambulatory ~nd the galleries, although no,,' covered by later-medieval groin vaults, originally werC roofed at ho m levels with wood, suppo rted by cornices and bracketS.' ,~ The prcsbitcry space is vaulted by a brick groin vault that rises r , ., mt"!.crs .bon: the floor, while the eastern ' 11Se is 'dulted by a bric~ half dome whose apex is 11.,IllCtcrshigh. The an:hitects paid careful mention to light, wh ich enters the bui lding from all directions. Eight windows in the drum of the dome provide light dirtXtly to the core, while the apse has three broad winduws at ground level and three windows in the tympanum above the springing of the apse. The six walls of the ambulatory that are open to the exterior each have two

or three windows, and equivalent windows are found directly above them in the g-al leries. The light from all these sources passes through the open arcades imo the core and the prcshilCry, creating brill iam effeets of light and shadow throughout the building. It should be noted that the alabaster windowpanes l~,rrently in the windows were insta lled in '904, and it is li kely that originally tile windows would have been covcred with glass." 9 The chamlx:rs flanking the apse are all vau lted with brick barrel vaults, domes, and half domes. The round domed chapels have re=ngulu arms .... lin 10 the east, with niches on either side and a windo"'; they were used as mausolea and also as chapels with altars and screens. " Q The small rectangular chambers between the apse and the mausolea ha~'e three stories; the lowest-level rooms served as vestibules for the mausolea with aCl"l!SS from the ambulatory, while doors led from tile galleries into the top level, and wooden stairs k-d down into the intennediate space. The rooms on the ground floor ha,'e niches embedded in the walls, and small windows in their apses; they arc interpreted by Dcichmann as sacristies, or rooms for storing liturgical vessels, butJ. Smith notes that, given the partieu.lar nature of the niches, till..}' may h3\'e bccn used for books, especially liturgical books. '" From thc exterior, the building appears as a l"Omple:c l"OlIection of juxtaposed volumes rising to the central dome (Fi g. 77). Together with the crucifonn volumes of the Santa Croce complex and the centrally planned structure of Sama Maria Ataggiore, the enst-whle must ha,'e struck the viewer as a remarkable accumu lation of e ~otic bui lding types. ,,, It has long be<:n recognized that the building with the closest formal and sl!11ctural similarities to San Vitale is the church of Su;. Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople, built by Justinian between 527 and 536. Notonly is Sts. Sergius and Bacchus a double-shelled building with an oct:lgona I core, bill the SUjl'-'f]Xlsition of triple arcades in the four exedrae and three flat wa lls of the core, and the two-story preshitery and apse to the cast, also create the same effcct as at San Vitale. Since this church was begun at about th~ samc rime as San Viulc, presumahly aftcr Eedcsius had returned from his


trip to Constantinople, it cannot h3ve served as a di rect mOllcl , although it is certainly possible that people in Consta ntinople were ta lking abou t such buildi ngs in the 5~ os. ,;} Another church with m<l ny simila rities to San Vi tale is S~ n Lorem.o In Nlilan, a double-shelled tetraconch (the central core h ~s fou r exed r~e) built in rhe late fourth century, which has five-column arcades only on its lour exedrae and no o pen east side. Since St. Vitalis was a Milanese saint, it is likely that the (Iesigners o f Sa n Vitale took from iVlj]an the idea to (onstruct a centra l-plan (hurch; whether this was because a centrally planned church was regarded as particularly suitable timn for a martyrilflll, " 4 o r simply to enh:l11ce the splendor of Ravenna, is not known. Both 515. Sergills an{[ B~(.1.;hus and San Lorenzo were related to other exam ples from the e~st such as Constantine's cathedral at Antioch, which was also a double-shell octagon with a gallery.'H T he churches in Antioch, M il an, and Constantinople were imperially sponsored and auached to pa l acc~, ,, 6 and in the eighth cemury Charlemagne was to imi tate San Vit3lc when he built the chapel tor hb palace ill Aachen. T hese connections have given rise to the iclea that there was some sp(.'(."ial symbol ism that made octagonal do uble-shell buildi ngs a sl.] itaole for m fo r palace-churches. ' :; San Vitale, with its imperial po rtraits, is viewed a pivotal component of this arg \lIIH!llt. However, since there is aosolutely no evidence of any connection between San Vi tale ami 3 palace in Ravenna, this thesis, at least 3S ,路cbrards Sail Vitale, must be re jected. u S

Sculpture, J\hrble \Vall Cove rings, Stucco, and Floor. Not only was the ~ rchi tC{'rura l design of San Vi tale inten.ieel to rCC'JII the splendid buildings of other imperial capitals, but, hkc many other sixtb--ccnrury churches in Ravenna, the marble structural elements were imported directIy from the East, and were moreover carved in the 1;1test Constantinopolitan styles. The original columns, capitals, and impo5t blocks are still in place, but most o f the wall ~nd floor co\"ering~ in the church tod ay arc modern rt'Constructions, approxi mHi ng what we know (or Ricci thought) the original rorr1l5 were li ke."9 Proconnesian marble for o rdinary basilicas was mass-produced in the sixth century and could lit;' fu rnisllt~d from p r~ - IIlade stock in the {Iuar!}' w;lrchouses, ' 10 bu t San Vitale W;lS a dillcrem casco Sa n Vit';lle's bu iltlers relluired lour COhlll1llS for the narthex, fou rteen columns for the triple arcades at the grollnd lellel, four teen slightly smaller columns for the upper level, eight colu mns in two sizes fo r the triple arcades lead ing to t he presbitery, twocolonnetres for the \\路i ndow arc3ll e above the apse, and, of course, bases, c;lpitals, and impost blocks for all of them, not to mention wall revctllIent ami corn.ices for tIle peculiarly shaped piers al1(1 the wall surfaces o f the ambulatory. \ Vc can ani}' speculate ;}bout the procedure that was

' 3'



followed for the design of the building; Did an ;in;hitcct in Ravenna create the design and send the .~pt:dlit:ations to Pnx:onnesus or Constantinople, or, ~s seems morc likely, did Ecclcsius and Julian scncl their representa[iH.'S to the mine with instructions to obtain a design and materials for a double-shell bui lding? '}' In either case, by 530 rhe mining officials would at the same time ha\'c been assembling the materials tor SIS. Sergius and Bacchus and woul(1 have been very familiar with the architectural require-

ments of such buildings. \Vhcthcr the architccr was western or eastern , \l' he proha Illy hnali7.c(] the design at Constantinople. ' n The columns arc almost all monoliths, except for two in thc gallery that were apparently broken in transport and reassembled ~ r rhe time of construction. Nlost o f them h~ve lllore or less vertical \'einillg. but the ones used in the presbitery instead displar almost ho rizontal stripes, more rare ~lld thus an indication of prestige.'H The use o f impost blocks follows Rallcnnatc trallition; most of the pyramidally shaped blocks have something carved in flat relief at least on the main sides, incllHling, in the case of the groumilloor arcade, the monogram of Vidur ~pim!pflf in a medallion, and on two imposts at th(..' galbJ I(..'vci, the monogram of J ulian the banker. ' 3) The ilnposts in dle presbitery are deeply caned on all four sides, with pairs of lambs nanking a cross on the sides fac ing the altar and vases bet\n~e n doves on rhe back side. Columns, capitals, and bases have masons' marb inscribed on them in Greek letters which provide additional evidence thatthey were quarried and shaped in Proconnesus.' J6 " 'he capitals atop the columns, can'cel in the new style that had developeel in Constantinople in the first p~rt of the sixth century, must have looked radically illl1ol';lri\'e to rb e inhabitants of R.wel1Jla al1d \N. Betsch bas suggested that the change in strle was (Ie\'eioped to ma rk distincti\'eI~' the buildings of the new imperial dynasty. '" The capitals arc of two oasic shapes: twenty are panded impost opitals (Fig. 8 r), SO called becau~e their profile is like that of impost hlocks, only taller, and sixteen arc mask acanthus capitals (Fig. S5)' 138 Two exceptions, the capita Is on the north side of the presbytery gallery are fol d capitals (l'ig. 86), of the t}1>C found in St.s. Sergi us and Bacchus. The im post capitals have patterned Hat surfaces that arc undercut by deep drilling (the lijollr technique); on each surface, a pant-filed bonier surrounds ;1 trapewidal pancl. The ground level, central-core arca(lc Glpitals have basket pa tterns su rrounding st}'lizc(l lotus palmettes (Fig. 8 , ), whi le in the presoitery we fin d acanthus IX)Tdcrs surrounding scrolls of a different type of acanthus as well as some geometric motifs. T he capita ls and impost bloeks wo uld originally all ha~'e been p~i nte d; restOre(1 e:'\am ples can now be seen in (he presbitef), (PI. VIb). Scholars ,Icbare \\'here these capirals were made: Deichmanll says that the impost and fold capitol Is, at !e;JSt, m ust hal'c been made ill Constantinople



81. 53n Vi~~I~, co lu",n ~"3I';t:ll frum lite wound lwei oftl,,路 oct:J_

go nal co"",

although thc compositc capitals may have been maclc in Ravcnna , but Betsch argues th3t Ii jOllr carying was very prolle to damage during transl)()rt and

thcse capitals were probably carved in Ral'e nna.



Related to this question

is the issue of the monograms of Victor: Despite Deichmann 's claim that

they must have been CU I in Proconnesus, it again seems more likely that they were finished in Ravenna, perhaps workmen from Constantinople. R. Krautheimer notes that although the sculptural styles were new to


Ravcnna, thc ca pital types usco in San Vitalc wcre slightly old-fashioned

when compared to strictly contemr){)rary examples from Consmminople. '.;0 O n the orner hand, nearly identical capitals together with impost blocks wece used at the Basil ica Eufrasiana at Pocee, built in the ;;05, 3ml Illay ellen have been exported there from Ravenna. '~' Regardless of where they

' J<


weTC made, the new and different style helps to make the point that this building is linked to the capital city of the empire. Elahorate C()rnices run around the waUs and piers of most partS of the building; they mark changes in dccol1l ti vc material or changes in architcrtura l space. Some are extremely ornate, especially the one JUSt Oclow the mosaics in the apse, and all seem 10 be closely related to simila r examples from the cast, leadingtothcoonclusion thn thcy, too, WeTC imponcd. Addi tional material scnt from the East, although probably shaped and fUlishcd at Ravenna, includetl the sbbs uf marble that werc use<[ as waH revenncnt. M arble rc,etmcnt covered the lower portion of the walls, up to the level of the sprin ging of the arches of the lower cencral arcade, the narthex, the ambulatory, and the central piers, and was also used in the chapels flanking the apse. T he revetment that we see in t he church today is mostly restored, but enough of the original survives to show that twO types of marble were used: ProconJlcsian ma rble, which is white with gray veins, an d ma rble from lasos in Caria un the west coast of Asia M inor (cipoflinQ nnw), which is a magnificent deep red color with white veins. '.1' Spectacula r effects were created by setting two panels sliced from t he same bloc k side by side so that t he veining panerns appear mirrored (Fig. 8: ). Such panels were thL'11 surrou nded by !Tames of ~pla j n" Proconnesian marble. T he nineteen t hcentu ry TL'Storations on the pi ers in the central core h,,路c obliterated traces of how the original was laid out, but in the outer ambulatory walls enough remai ns to show that th ~ re,路etment was lai d in two zones with a horizontal cornice between them just below the Ie-el of the win dows (see Deichmarm 's reconstruction, Fig. 81). I~J In the apse, the wall below the rone of the mosaics was covered with an elaborate venl'Cr made of Opll$ smile. T his was entirely remo\"\:d in the 1540'>, but some of the elementS were in good enough condition that thL")' were moved to different parts of the church. Descriptions written before the removal enabled Ril"Ci to recognize thest: !TagmcntS for what they were, and he used them to reconstruct the incrustation that now appears on the wall (1'1. VIla). Thectntral feanlresare large roundelsofporphyry, enclosed in rectangular panels made up of smallt'T marble pieces and mother of pearl; these were surrounded probably by a plain marble field (tod ay a pink mar_ hIe has been used), and the rectangular panels were sepa rated by pilasters o f gTL-.;:n serpentine marble ClIT\路ed with fluted pilasters and Corin thian ca pitals.'+! \ Ve do not know what was above these (lands; today an opus staile !Tie'-t setS the lo >.one off !Tom the elaborate cornice above. Below the opus stail, panels ran the 5]'lthnmor/, or bench for the clergy, with the episcopa l throne at the cen ter; these also are today restored in l'roconncsian ma rhle to appmximate their presumed original State.


Little is known ahout the materials tllat covered putS of the walls that did not L'1lrry marble or mosaic, hut in a few arcades (PI. Vlb) and wiIl(low arches, and in the southern triangular \'estibu Ie of the narthex, Stucco work of very high quality has survived.'45 ' ·Ve ha\'e alreacly seen, especi ally in the Ortllodox Baptistery, that StuCCO on walls was used for e\'erything from abstract patterns to architectu ral and 6gu ralmoti fs. Since it is morc fra gile than marble or mosaic, and since it leaves fewer traces, we call say mueh less about it". Stuc(."O, unlike marble, must be worked in si tu, and from the elaborate geometric and vegetal patterns that sun'ive we L'1l1l sec the high qu,llity of StuCCO workshops in Ravenna at this time. In the absence of other evidence, srueeo or plaster decoration has also been proposed for all of the wall surfaces about which we have no o th er information , but there is no e"idence about what forms this decoration might have taken, whether Hal or three-dimensional, or whetl1er and how it would have been painted. "!'" Finally, t.he floors, like tile rest of the church, were richly decorated with mosaic. The layout of the octagonal core L"Onsisted of eight trian!,rular slices, divided by marble strips, radiating Out from a central medallion. Six of these segments were remade between 1539-45 in an OpliS sl'fril( pattern that reproduced the layout of the earlier Roo r amI milized fragments of older mosaics (some dating to the twelfth ccmury) as part of the design; the remaining two Seb'lllcnts were made in 1701 . The e~-cavations of 193 I


8 • . S3n Vi",lc. rc~onstruetion

,, ( t1,~ origi nal

"'3ri>lc r~""IJ II""t o n the o me r "'~lIs

o( the ,,,"bubroty (Odd",,,,nn, tY7 6• !,I. 47; l"ou rtesy FrJn z Slein~rVcrlag.

Srllttg:1n. Germ",lY)



revealeJ two segments of the original mosaic, 80 em hdow the later floor; the entire level was then lowered to the original b 'el, and the eighteenthcentury scgl1lcnt~ were路replaced by lhe origi nal (restored) mosaic. The floor

currently in the prcsbitcry and apse was created between ' 9' [-36. ' ~ ~ Overall , it is dear dlH the sculptural and decorarive elements help [0 denne a hieral'chy of space in the church. The most elaborate elementscolumns, capitals, ilIl()()St blocks, and opus sufii/' - are use<1in the presbitery,

while the least original arc


in the gallery arcade of the central (;Ore. 'is

Finally, we shOU]I] note that San Vitale, like other churches in Ravenna , had a full complement of liturgical furnis hings, including an altar, rlelicatcly can'ed transennae (now in tht,> Mllseo Nazionale), and a ri/lorimll, all made ofProconnesian marble. One can easily see how important Julian's !6,ooo gold .,-olidi were to this project!

Mosaics. T he brilliance of the mosaics in the pn:sbitery and apse of San Vitale is oven vhclming, :I1l.1 no reproduction can do j11Stice to the su btle colors and to the ever-changing effects of light. T he arch leading into the pn:sbitcry, the walls on either side, and the valdts and apse arc covered with SOllIe of Ravenna's finest mosaic work, which, although many times restored , still display the effects and the iconography created in the sixth centu ry. Color, predominantly green and gold, is used to achieve subtle eftects; '~;] the faces o f many of the figures are wOl路ke(1 with a marvelous attention to physiognomic detail. [ 50 A range of imagery is displayed, inci llding depictions of the impt:ria l court, scenes fro m the Old T cscament, Old and New T esta mem holy figures, abstract but symbol ic ornament, and the central tlg111路e of Christ fl anked by Vitalis and Ecdesius. Much of the imagery is related to the celebration of the Eucharist [hat took place ill this space, but there is plenty of o ther symoolk meaning ~s well. These images have provide<] material for generation~ of stholarly interpretation, as we will sec. Ont: interesting gut:stion is whether there were o r igi n~ll y more mosaics that have now been lost. There were a l mostcert~inly mosaics in rhe narthex and in the dOllles of the round chapels flanking the apse. 15 ' We have no idea what material .Ittorated in the semiilomes aIllI the main dome of the cort:. Mosaic workmen wcre not hwki ng in Ra\'cnna in this period, and it seems almost inconceivable that the .[ome shou ld not also have been covere.[ with mosaics. As we have seen in the baptisteries, Ravenna's mosa icists were perfectly capable of creating a mosaic design for ~ dome. However, no traces of mosaic have eyer heen found in or around these areas, which have been lllallY times restored; the earliest desc ription of the dome, from the earl y sixteenth century, reports figures made of gro"ril1lictI1l1 opu.,-, but this could rder to fresco as well as mosaic. '5' The question th us remains open.


Scholars have identified at least twO different sixth-century styles for San Vitale's mosa ics. In addition to technical differences of mosaic artistry, the fi rst style uses gold for scenic backgrounds and glass tcsser.e for alll>3rtS of human figures, including thd r skin, whilc the second style uscs green for scenic backgrounds an d stone tesserae for the skin ufhuman figures. ' >! The first style is used in the apse mosaies, the vault of the presbitery, and the top of the arch that leads from the presbi tery in to the core, whereas the second style is used on the walls of the presbitery, the lower parts of the presbitery HI;;h, and for the hea,ls uf Maximian and the man who stands between him and Justinian. Some r.cholars ha~e interpreted the two styles as deliberately different modcs of representation, with the more natural istic hackgrounds and figures suitable for Old Testament subjectS and the more hieratic, formal poses with gold backgrounds for the Christian images in the apse . 'H While it is possible that this might have been in the minds of the ,,路orkshop responsible for the Old Testament scenes, it is more likely, as pointc<1 out by I. AndrccS<.~I-Treadguld and \ V. Treadgold, that these phases simpl}' correspond to two periods of work, mc first dated to beforc 545 and the second to between 5楼i and 549. '" Given that the war and the plague intervened between these twO building periods, breaks and even changes in thc workshops do not seem unlikely. The mosaics in San Viale today are nO! entirely original. ,,6 As we have already S<.'Cn, the bui lding wcm through periods in wh ich it was damaged and nut well maintained, and others in which it was restored: in the twelfth to fourteenth centuries; the sixteenth century; the late eighteenth cenrury; and thcn the more ur lcs. scientific programs uf restorations in the 18505, 189QS, 19305, l垄os, and then from 1988 to the I)resent. By coml>3ring today's mosaics with drawings and paintings !]lade at variuus times, and also hy conducting a dose analysis o f the mosaics themselvcs, the tesse .... e, mortar, and othcr fcarures, scholars ha"c learned much about their history. In th~ periods for which we have documentation, it is clear that parts of the mosaics were continually falling off the walls. It is therefore assumed that in most cases the medie'路al and Renaissance modifications were replac<:ments for damaged sections. Such interventions, made for unknown reasons at various times, will be nOtl"" in the dl'SCTiptiuns below, as it is essential to understand, when we look at mo saics, what is original and what is not.' ll

Tbe Apse. The halfdorneofthe apse fcaruresat itscentera beardless Christ seated on a blue globe (Fig. 83). He wears a purple, gold -bordered tunic and mantle with a prominen t dITIJUJ" Z, and a halo inscribed with a gemmed cross surrounds his head. In his Icft hand Christ holds a r.croll closed with the seven seals uf the Apocalypse; his right hand extends a lTown toward the martyr St. Vit:.llis. Red and blue clouds float in the gold background above




Christ's head, and I.Icllcath the globe the Four Rivers of Pawlisc flow out from the rocks. Christ is llankcII hy tW() winged angels (Iresse!1 in white who hold staffs in the crooks o f theiT arms. Both angels face away trom Christ ami gestu re toward the ou termOst figures on whose shoull{crs they lay [heir hands. O n our left, (Christ's right), we see St. Vitalis (labeled SCS VrrALIS), who holds out both his cO\'ered ha nds to receive the crown offered by C h rist. H e is portrayetl as a gray-haired IIlail with a halo, dressed

in BYl.:lllti nc coun costume, with a

on his shoulder, a white tun ic, and a pattcrnc({ (h/(l/JIYs clasped by a fibula (the part of his body legmmtuII/

below the waist W:15 en tirely remade about 11 00 ; originally, he was probably rlressed like rhe officials next to J ustinian, with a slightly more elaborare mamle).'511 O n our rigln, we see a bishop I~beled as ECLESrvS EPIS, dressed in purple chasuble (the lower part o f his costume is likewise a medieval re placement) and prominently wearing the pl/lliulII over his shoulders. I-Ie is shown as a round-filccu man with graying hair (his tonsure is also a med ieval mod ifica tion). lj ~ H e holds a model of a centrally planned build ing, ob\'iously Sa n Vitale itself. which he offers to Christ with both covered hands. 'f his is one of the ea rl iest examples of the depiction of a patron offering a church and indicates the perceil'ed importance of Ecdesius's role in tounding Sa n Vitale. ' 00 All of tilt: ligures stand on a roc ky lanllscape of severallevds in which lilies and roses bloom. T he apse is lx)rdered by a broad arch, tleco.路ated with a pattern of intersecting cornucopia, with a gemllled Chi-Rho monogram in a mecbll ion upheld by eagles at the apex."''' The enrire com position is then surrounded by another border of medallions and leaves against a green backg rou nd, with yet another bonIer of blue and green gems and pearls against a red background. The duet' large windows of rile apse ar~ l)Clow this SCt'Ilt'j a ll tilt' strips between them arc rep resented in mosaic gold columns entrusted with gems and mother of pearl. Colu mns of the same type are used to frame the panels on the left ~n d right walls of the apse that de pict the processions of the imperial COllrt. Above the heads of the fig\1fes in the north pa nel is a coffered ceiling, while the top o f the right panel is bordered by a fa lse cornice dq)ieteG in mosaic. In the left (north) panel, we see at the center the emperor Jus tinian (PI. Vn a). I-Ie is dressed in a whi te tunic ;lnd a purple chlllm)'S, which is embellished with a large gold-em uroidered and gemmed 10"';011, and which is clasped at his shoulder with a brooch featuring a large red stone SUrrmmdeo by pearls. O n his feet we can see the famo\lS reo and purple shoes, worn only by emperors, wh ich indeecl stand Out among the feet in this image. 011 his head the emperor lVears a hea\')' crown set with red and blue gems and pe31"1~ (tile top of which is a twelfth-century modification), ,(,' Witll pairs of pearl pe1lf1i1i1J dangling on either sidc. ,lIltl his head is surrounded


by a gold halo outlined in rc.:L In his hands Justinian holds a large gold paten , which he uffeTS in the directiun uf Christ. The face of this empt'TUr is very distinctive, as indeed are all the faces in this paneL The ruddy, jowly, dean-shaven face with short dark hair is assum~-d to be] ustinian because he was the only emperor who reigned during the period in which the church was constructed and the images made, but since it docs not resemble other portraits o f him, we do nOt lmow the source of this phy<>iognomy. J ustinian , like the other figurcs in this pand, is not turned toward Christ, but instead fact's outward, and is thus venernting Christ and being prcsented to vieweTS at the same time. , 6) On the emperor's left (our right) is a bishop labek-d MAXIMIANVS. The heads of both Maximian and the man hetween him and J ustinian , along with the name, were inserted at a slightly later date than the original production of the mosaic, which can be discerned because the faces arc made of stone rather than glass tesserae (Fig. 8-{). Andr~"'""5C\'-Trcadgold and Trcadgold argue that the mosaic originally depicted Bishop Victor, and was made after the Byza ntine rCOJnqucst of Ravenna in 540, specifi_ cally after Belisarius's rerum to Ravenna in 544. '~ T he archhishop wears a white tunic with a gold cha suhle over it, and, like Ecclesius in the apse, the pallium prominentlydrapc{! INcr his shouldcTS. Hc holds in his right hand a gemmed gold cross. His physiognomy is perhaps the most distinctive of the


8 J. San \r,I2I<,

moso.icsof lhe '~ "h of<h<

."",,(photo C. Copen"""" )


group: he appears as a u;l lding figurcwith ulazing blue eye!> and a slight hea rd on his Jean, intenSe face, The perspective in this cotllJXIsition is vcry ambiguous, which is probably (lclib(,>rar(,>; from the position of the feet, l\'laximim ~eems to lead the entire procession, closely followed by twO deacons, dressed alike in white, who hold a jewel-encrusted Gospel boclk and a censel' burning incense (the tOnsure of the (leacon on the left is a t\1ielfth-cenrury modification). "'5 Justi nian is the first secular figure in the procession, ami he is followe<\ by members of his court, first three aristocratic officials and then five or six soldiers (altogether there arc twelve or thirteen figures in this scene, surely anum ber chosen to represent the apostles), 1M On J ustinian's left, bctwl.'en him and Maximian, we see the head of a heavy- face<! man with gray hair, wt!arlng a (bllllll)"" clasped by a gold nuula , presumably sim ilar in rank to the twO younger-looking men on Justinian's right, whose white cb/flllIides with purplc t.thlirl and I.'lIlbroidcre<\ seglllwf<1 on their shoul(lI.'rs mark them as officials of the Court, The ove or ~ ix soldiers arc (mind in a much morc undifferen tiated duster behind shields bearing the Chi-Rho monogram; thl.')' wear short. brightly hued tunics and have gold tores around their necks, indicating perhaps their barbarian origin; '('7 over their shoulders they bear long S]kars, T hese are tht! sold it!rs who have recently cOllqut!red Ravenna, and their presence here at the shrine of the city's martyr integratt!S them into the Ravennate com munity. The facing panel depicts an empress and her court. presumed to be Justinian's wife, Theodora (PI. Vll b), This imllge has more complex composition than the facing panel. At the eastern edge, the jeweled column Ranks an enD),,,,'ay screened by a curtain, with a marble fount~iu ill front of it. A beardless lIlall of high rallk, possibly a eunuch, wear ing a white tunic and gold chlamys with purple ftlhiiQII, raises one arm to open the curtain as he turns toward the empress. A ~ttond man, dressed ill a white tunic and Cb/"lf1yS with pu rple tflldiQII, wi th cmbroidercd S"tJlIl'lIfil at his shou lder and knee, srands imml.'diatc1y next to rhe empress; rhe pair al1(\ a fcmale attendant are framed b}' a marble niche with a shell-shaped conch. the apex of which is directly above Theodora's hcad Y)~ The empress herself wears a white undenlress with a jewe1etl hem, jewde(l shoes, anti a purple ch/mJlj'S with the im;lgcs of the three J.\1agi offering gift~ to Christ de picted ;It the hem; the cblill1lYS is a male CQurt cOstulIle that wa~ also worn by empresses. '"'9 Theodora's shoulders arc cover ed by an claboratt.! jt.!wclcd collar. Shc also wears a narrower emerald necklace with dangling earrings of emerald, pea rl, and sapphire, and on her head she wears ~ high jeweled crown with long pearl pelldi!ia. t 7<> Her face is rather narrow and she too has a halo oucline/l in rt!d. She hold~ a goi/l chalice t!ncru.~ted with gems which she extends in offering to thc C;lSt, On Thco(lor;l's left stand seven wornell;



8+ San Vi",le. fTlO<licof'he

north.pse ..-.11, J ... il,h~of ,\i>ximi'n

the first twO are allotted more space than the others, who crowd togt'ther on the right.hand si de, perhaps to echo the arrangement of the men opposite, T he faces of these women are less differentiated than those of their male counterparts, but their dothing is much more splendid, displaying a range of texti le patterns, l'Olors, and designs; interestingly, some of them have embroidered srgmmtd on their mantles or tunics, The six women at our right have walked through another entryway, which has a short curta in of red, white, and blue stripes above it. \Vho arc all these people, and what are they doing? First, i( is clear that what we see is an idea li zed presentation of an emperor, empress, and thei r courts at an l'Cdcsiastica I ceremony, rather than a depiction of a spe<:iii.., t'vent. J ustinian and Thcodol1l never visited Ravenna, but neither had the emperors and empresses depicloo as offering gifts in the apse of San Giovanni Evangelista. By now the depiction of imperial or royal couples, along with their hishops, in the apses o f churches had become quite common in Ravenna, and perhaps the new regime ,,'anted to follow the lead of Galla Placidia in this respeel. ' 1' The halos around the heads of the imperial oouple arc not unusual; in this period tht')' referred to imperial power that was eternal and derived from God. '7' The inclusion of a bishop is certainly in tended to emphasize the connection between Ra"enna's archbishops and their imperia l sponsors, especially important at the time of the T hn'C ChaptersContTQVersy. Maximian, who, according to t\gncllus, was initially unpOlmlar in R;l\'cnna, perhaps had b'ood reason to modify the mosaie and depict himself to emphasize his connection with Justinian and his officers,


As for the other figures, their indivi(lualistic facial featu res 113V<.' led many scholars to pr()pose that they toO had specinc j(lentities that would have been recogn izabk- to their contempoT<uies. As A. M:cClanan notes, scholars who anempt these identifications simply look in rhe sources for individuals of the right ages to correspond to rhe figures in the mosaics. '" Given the number of important Bp.a ntine leaders who are known to have lived or passell through Ravenna in the 540s, it is perfectly possible that the men next toJustinian might havc Ixcn Bclisarius and the gcneralJohn, and that the wOlnan next to Th<,"odora might have been Bcl isarius's \vife Antonina, but there is no way of knowi ng for certain. '-of i\IcClanan has also noted that individual ized facl.'S serve to create a hiera rchy among the figures in the sallle way thH the costumes do, without necessarily being "real" portraits; in other words, the mon: importanr the figure, the more individualized a face he has.' H \'\ ie can nOte that St. Vitalis also hns an arresting countenance, and certainly his was not intended as an actual portrait (although the artist might have mOllcled it on a real person). \,Vben it comes down to it, \ye really can not know who these people are, but we" and sixth -century viewers, conclude that they are important. \Nhat e\'em these scenes commcllIorate has likcwise been rhe topic of heated discllssion , although, as S. J\1 acCormack and J. Dt"tkers have pointed out, the images are capable of bearing several meanings at once. 路.,6 Deich mann propose<1 that the imperial cO\lple is oA-ering ves~el~ on the occa5ion of the dedication of the chu rch, while, at the other Cxtrellw, Dcrkers notes that the act of offering is a generic illustration of imperial piety.';' Other schol:lfs, noting the strongly li turgical appearance o f the bishop and deacons at the head of tbe procession, bave read tbe panels as depicting a church cerelllon~', ' 7~ anll the lea(ling candidate, as propose(1 by T . Mathews, is the First Entnlll(."c of the liturgy, the procession before the celebration of the Eucharbt. The order of tht: procession (derivc(1 frolll tenth-century texts but thought to be based on earlier ceremonial) includes the bishop preccded by the Gospels and incense, together with the emperor, and followed by his guard <lnd coun.'-!I Justinian would be proceeding to his seat adj~cent to tbe altar, while Thcodor~ and her ladies. who are not, strictly speaking, SUPIX)secl to he in rhe sanctuary at all, are shown in the act of le:l\'ing this space, pcrh<lps in the ;ltriul\l or narlhex <lbout to enter the stairwell that will take them up fO their places in the gallery.ll0 There are, however, several problems with this interpretation, the chief one being that the Const<lntinopolitan linlrgy docs not mention any role for the emprcss. rS, Strieevic's suggestion that me imperial figure, are presenting the bread and wine for the Eucharist makes more sense, bu t not, as he proposed, ncc.essarily correSllOll(ling to the Grear Entrance at COllStalltillople. but sim ply


in accordance with the ordinary Eucharistic lit\lrgy, ill which men anti women ofl-路er these items in order of their rank. ,.<I, Theemperor and empres~ (unlabeled, and thus also able to be interpreted as generic sym bois for imperial rule) eternally afl-er the holy gifts to Christ and to Sr. Vital is, rll) while the prominence ofM~xiIllian underlines the role of tbe bishop as intermediary berween God and ruler. r8.j \,Ve should also note rhe interesting fact that, colltrary to mOSt liturgical in formation that we have, and t ontrary to the mosaics in Sant'ApoJlinare Nuovo, the male procession is on the left (north) side and the women ~re on the right (south) . In general, the sou th side was considered the more highly favorl.'d , which is why it waS known as "thl.' men's sidl.'" in liturgical texts; however, here the designers seem to howe taken their lead from the depiction of Christ alHllhe fact that St. Vital is is on Christ's right side (the north). The male procession is thus lell by the upper-class mnle military figure of Vital is in the apsl.', on Christ's right, while the female procession eorrcspond~ to Bishop Et:ciesius. \~/C do not know whether in this church the men and wOlllen of the congregation would. contnlry to the usuallitu rgical praeticl.', have stood on the sides that correspond to the imperial panels, or whether, standing on their usual places, they would have been able to look across ,he apse to see the imperial panel corresponding to their gender. 'Ss

The Presbitery. T he prcsl>itery is a soaring space whose vault fiscs aoo\'c the level o f the apse, bur not as high as the dome (compare Fig. ifJ ). h communicates with the central core through a high arched opening, with th c ambu lawf}' and galleries th.rough tTi pic-arcaded opellings surmounted by lunettes, and with the apsl'! through a lower arch that is topped by a tympanum tha t abo contains a triple-arched set of windows. All of the surfaces aoove the It:vel of the columns are sht:atht:d with glittering 1Il0~3ies, depicting a variety of subjects. Most of them arc organ ized symmetriea lIy around an cast-west ~xis, nnd in some casl.'s also a north-so uth axis. r86 T he mosaics of rhis space emphasize Old T estament typology, which was a feanlre ofju stinianic art in other conte.I:(S also, as we have seen on the Throne of Maximian. ,S; Here the typology i~ derived from the examples used in Paul's Epistle to thc Hebrews. From the 0 1(1 Testament scenc.s in the oottom Z{lnt:S to the depicrion of paradise in the v3ult, apostles, eva ngelists, and C hriSt and ChriStians completely surround their Old Testament predecessors, visually making the point thn the O ld Law was a precursor for, and overtaken by, the New. On the north and south walls or the presbitcry, the lunettes aoove the arca(les contain depictions of scenes from the Oltl Testlment that were

' ..


viewed as precursorsof the Eucharist. On the north wall (Fig. 86) the lunette contains t\\'O scenes from the life o f Abraham: his fceding of the three strangers at Mambrc (Gen. 18:1- 15) and the Sacrifice oflsaac (Gen. 22:1 13). The first scene takes up the majority of the lunette; at the center, the {hree >trangers, dressed in white and with gold halos, arc seated at a table un which are three laaves of bread inscribed with crosses. T ",0 of the strangers raise their hands in blessing, the third gesrures to the bread. A tree to the left spreads its branches over them; beyond the tree Abraham, with white hair and bend, dressed in" ~hurt brown nlnk with what looks like. pallium tied around his waist, offers a cooked ca lf to the visitors, while his wi fc Sarah (dres5<.-d in the same costumc as ThOO<1ora', coml).1nion,) stand, laughing with one hand to her face in a smalll.hatched hut (the tllbnwculum). The right side of the lunette depicts Abraham, now dressed in white mantle and tunic, in the aet o f raising his sword to saerifice his son Liaae, who wears a short brown tun ic and is Imt'eling, bound, on the altar. From a cluster of red and blut clouds in the 51..1', the Hand of(".o<.1 appears telling Abraham to saeri fice instead the white ram that an he seen at his fcct . All of the actions in the lunette take place in one green landscape whose parts are "ariously defined hy ehanges in the ground line, hy bushes and clusters of rocks, and in which li lies and roses bloom, as in the apse. The lunette of the south waillilwwisc depictS twO st.-enes from the Old Testament, united by a common altar in the center (PI. V1h). The alt~r itself is made uf four lulunnettes uphulding a rl"Ctangular slab, and is covered with a purple underclOlh and a white-fringed altar doth with an eightsided embroidert-d applique on the front. On th e altar are set an elaborate ehaliee and two round loaves o f Eueharistic bread; above it, amid clouds of red and blue, the Hand of God descends with thumb and first and fourth fingers extended. On the left side stands Ahel, labeled by name, dressed in skins with a scarlet cloak over his shoulder; he raises a lamb in offering (Gen. 4'4)' B..,hind him is a tree and a hut that is almost idtntical 1;0 the one in which Sarah stands on the opposite wall. On the right, Melchisedek the Priest- King (Gl"Tl. '4" 8-1 0), haloed and dressed in an eastern -looking g;mnem, '8!i holds up a third round loaf of bread. Behind him is a representation of a temple, 3n elaborate building with Auted columns flanking a door and upholding a pediment, with what looks like the superstructure of a basilica b<!hind it. Again, lili.." and TOSl:S bloom at th.., feet of th.., actors. Above these hmettes are a seril'S of portraits of figures from the Old and New T estaments, the juxtaposition of which emphasi1.e the role that typology plays in the applieation of Old Testament CJ<amples to Christian thought. On the north wall, flanking the lunette on the left (west) side is IEREl\UA [Jeremiah ], white haired and bearded, who stands reading an open scroll nCJ<t to a sort of tower on which rests a ero .... n; opposite him on

85. Son \"1,01< • • ".nn oidc uf ,nc ~"''''Y'rd. (photo I""i_ M tllr Ku",,_ g<ocnichte dcr Joo." .... Guten-

I!<rj( Uni"",... MoiRZ. Bildd .. onb"nk)


86. Son \"1""<. mooo", of ,he north J""'>hi''''Y nll,;ncluJ_ ing the .tor)' of J\b.... t..m(rhow E. V">cc)



the south wall is [SAlAS ll saiabJ, like Jeremiah but with a close(! scrolL On



sides of the lunettes we find three S<.'tnes fmm the life of Moses,

who is depicted as a bcudlcss young man (labeled NlOSE on each sick). On thl,> north wall Moses, stand ing in a rocky landsca pe, receives the law from the I b nd of God that issues from the divine clouds, while looking back to rhe SCetle of sacrifice. Below his feet, a crowd of men repreSellt the I sraelites at the foo t of Mt. Sinai. On the opposite wall we again find J', 'loscs, here depicted twice: in the upper stene his bod}' faces the lunette as he tics his sandal, but he OIrl1 S his head to look over his shoulder at the T-I:lI1d orGad 3g:1in emerging from douds; all either side arc burning hushes. Below this scene is another depiction of Mmes with three sheep, one of which he feeds while hold ing a scroll with hismher hand. T he tr iple depiction of Moses contains dear comparisons to Christ and also perhaps f(J the emperor. ,8<; \Ve shoul(1also note tha t Moses, the prophet;;, Abraham, Ah!.'!, and Aldchiscllck all appear as types of the priesthood ofChrisr in the Epi~tlc to the Hebrews. Tn the upper zone, flanking the winclows that open into the gallery, arc thl.' four I.'vangclists Wig. 86). On the north wall we see o n the left- John, white headed and bear(led, his eagle above his head, seated in a landscape reading a codex with the words SECliN D UlMI IO HA1'lNEM, his wridng desk in front of him . On the right is L uke, his ox above him, seateel in the same lancbcape next to an open tub, or rtlP,)I, of scrolls, displaying an open codex with the worcls SECUNDl/7\,[ LUCi\. O n the south wall on the left is Marthew, who, like Luke, sits in a landscape next to his desk aoci a mpiol of scrolls wri ti ng in a codex, in an illegible script th;lt may he imended to be H ebrew, '?O looki ng at his symbol , a winged man , who gestul'es toward the evangel ist's heall; anll finally on the right, i\hrk, seated with his writing utensils on his desk, displaring an open codex with the wonts SECUNDUM J\'[A RCUM anti gt:Sturing to hi~ symool, the lion , above him , with his other hand. All of these biblical malc figures wc~ r wh ite tunics ~nd mantles and are haloetl; all except 1I10~es are depicted as ol(ler men with white haLr and beards. It has becn suggestcd that tbe portrai ts of tbe eva ngelists were derived from an ill ustrated Gospel boo k; such a manuscript does not sur\'ive from the sixth century. but Carolingian manuscripts that include such portraits lila}' have been derived from late antique exemplars. '0)1 All the cV3ngcl im either look up to or gesture towa rd thcir sym bolic beasts which seem to communicate with thcm (t he lion roars, the ma n reaches om). Overall, as B. Brenk h;lS poimed Out, the depictions of the evangelists correspond very closely to ,lerome's prologue to the Gospels. T hey arc seated in landscapes, and the beasts theIllseives, derived fro m Ezekiel I :5- 13 and then Revelation 4:6-7, arc 01(\ Testament symbols that were taken to


prefigure the fo ur Gos pels. J~' Moreover, in the foreground of each evangelist's landscape there runs a river wh ich may represent the Four Rivers of Paradise that also flow from the feet of Christ in the apse and which wcre viewed as a symbol o f the Gospel teachings spreading through the world. 'Ii) That the Ol d T estamenr figures are forerun ners o f the new is obvious and hel ps to integrate the rest of the O ld Testa ment imagery into the Christian meaning of the church. On the soffit of the arch that leads frOI\1 the presbitery into the centra l <:ore o f the church, between clalxlrate bonler~ we find medallions with the busts o f the apostles (Fig. fl t ).'9-4 At the summi t of the arch is Christ (almost I.'ntircly resrared), shown hen.' 3S be;l nied, holding a book, wl.'aring p11rple, and set against a gold background, with a cross-inscri bed halo. The image is correctly viewed when looki ng cast, that is, by a viewer standing beneath the dome, from where it can be perceived as aligned with th e lamb in the apex of the vault and C hrist in the apse, a complete set of the three different ways that C hrist \.:Oul(l be represented. The apostles, on the other h ~n(l , arc de picted with their heads toward the vllult, so that they can he \' iewed from either side; the borders of thl.'ir medallions alrl.'rnate white and gold, and their heads, surrounded b~' gold halos, are set against a bright turquoise background . T heir names arc written in white o n either side of their hends. In additi(JIl to the apostles, the brother-saints Gervase and Prouse are also depicted at the bottom of the series, a~ tollows: South


PC l rus

P~ ulus

Andreas lohannis Bartolomc[usl

b cobus Phi lippus Thomas


b cobus Al[ph'leus]


Simon Chan{ant:usJ P rorasl us


As we havc discussc(1 in the previous chapter, the repre~e n tation of the apostles here is similar to earlier examples foun d in Ravenna - somc arc old , some yOllng, some bearded, some beardless. T he only (:o nsistem types are Sts. Peter. Paul, :md A.nd rew. Gervase and Pro tase, as befi ts their status as sons of Vital is, are shown as beardless youths. Andreescu-Treadgold has shown th at twO te;JIllS of mosaicists were;Jt work here, presumabl~' working from the same scaffolding, one on the nor th side and one on the south; as a result, the \)urller elements do not li n e up exactly. '95 On the eastern tympanum, above thc apse arch, abstract ornament Surnmnds the windows. On the ha1mche,s of the arch of the apse, Jerusalem



and Bethlehem are depicted as walled, gL'ITI- and pearl-encrus!t..J cities abo,-c date palms (Fig. 87). Surrounding the triple-arched windows are grapevines that emerge from large haskets at the bonom, and acanthus \~nes springing from chalices above the capitals of the window colonnt1.tcs, all set against a dark blue background ..Much the same motif(heavi[y restored) is found on the lunettes alx'c the triple-arched openings to the gallery to the north an d south, where the scroll ;s an inhabited grapevine. Directly beneath the triple-arched open ings on al l three walls, a pair of winged angels, Hoaring horizontally, hold up at the ccntcr a medallion; on the east wall th isront:.lins a !'aycd eight-arm cross, while on the north and south thc medallions contain gemm~-d crosses with A and Q dangling from the anns. \Ve finally reach the vault of the prest.itt'ry, which is divided into four scrtions by decorative bands that follo'" the groins of the vault, and that contain peaeocks and flower- and fruit-filled plant motifs (Fig. 87). The four triangular paJlcis have altcrnating green an d gold backgrounds and are filled with brightly colored a~.nth\lS scroJl$ inhabited by a variety o f birds in the gold-ground fields and anima ls in thc grl'Cn-ground oncs. ' Y'l In the cent~-r of each field, 3 winged angel stands on a blue globe' 97 with arms upraised to support the centnll medallion in which is fuund the Lamb of ('.0<1 with a gold halo against a dark bluc background, surrounded by twenty_si x gold and si lver stars. The lamb is aligned to be viewed by 9:lmeone facing cast. Altogethcr, the i mages illustrate Rcvelation 5: ! 3: "And c'-cry creaturc, which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as arc in the sea, and all thaI are in them: i heard all saying: To him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, benediction, and honour, and glory, and power, fur ever and ever.'''¢

Tbt Overall Musair Program. The imagery in San Vita le's preshi lcry and apse, when considcred together, has a coherent program that reflects both mid-sixth-<xnnlry politk.1 and theological currents and the liturgical meaning of the Eucharist. While individual studies of the decoration have t~..,ded to emphasize one aspect of the program at the c:cpense of the others, the faet that all the ideas work together enables the decoration to be both timcly and timek'ss . The chang",... made to the decoration by Maximian emphasize the significance of the politk.1 program for the building's patrons. Justinian and Theodora, Maximian and Ecdesius, and the other contemporary people are linked to the biblical figures. Moses has been interpreted as a reference to leadership, and thus a model fur Justinian. 'W ('.0<1 speaks directly to Moses, isa iah, Jeremiah , and the apostles - and perhaps also to Justinian and J\'iaximian? Th~ parallels draw attention to the priestly role plaYl-d hy


' <9

87. s"n V,l2Ie, ,rd1.nJ.~ul!

of the j><e>hi<ery(photo C

the <,-""pcror and empress, which was perhallS useful giwn J ustinian's desire to resolvc long-stlnding Christologil"31dcbatcs. SoI11C symbols S(.'CI11 pointed ly 10 cl11phasi'.c Orthodox, anti-Arian doctrinc. signifil"3nt in a church that was built whcn Arians wcre still an active pr<.--scncc in Ra,路cnna. "'" Thc many repetitions of the numbt:r 3 ~ the "lagi on Theodora's cblilfltyf, thc str:.lngers at Marnbre who, in Genesis, represcnt God alternately as thrl"e and as one fi gure,'OJ the hwes of bread on both al tars, the different depictions of Christ ~ t'lnllhasize thc .I'rinity and its consubstantiality. The o!i~ Rho monogram, the cross with the alpha and OllK'gll (indil"3ting that Christ is co-eterna l with God the Fath~r), and csp.:d.lIy

' ""'I""''''''''')



the rayed eight-sided cross, ma), also have had anti-Arian associations. "" Sts. Vitali~, Gen'Jse, anll PrOt:lse were aSSQciatc<{ with Am brose I)f Milan, who was famous fOr his contrQ\'crSICS with Arian rulcrs.,oJ i\;lost convincing is the fact rhat the mos~ics In rhe prcsbircry can all be connected to thl,' Episde to the H ebrews, a text that was rejected by sOllle Arians beca use it seems to say {hat the Son is of one substance with the Father .'04 The overarching theme that links all the mosaic images from the floor to the vault is Offerings to GOII. JOS T he scenes depicted were vlc\VcII as ty r es, or forcsha (lowings, of the Et1ch~ristic offering; the relevant hih] ical texts arc invoked in the Canons of the Roman and i\'lilancse mass,'.,o and are specifi cally identified as such in the I~ pistle to the I-Iebrew~. The offering me u phor was in fact fully multidimensional, since the offering o f the Eucharist was enacted at the church's main altar just below t he mosaics; the liturgical drallla bmh enhallced a11(1 was enhanced by the imagery ahow it. In the v3ul t, all crea tion offers praise; ill the ap~e, Ecclesius ofl"ers the church, Ju ~ti ni a n 3nd T ht,'odora offer the chalice allil paten, 31l1{ the three Magi on Theodora's rooc offer their gifts. In the lunettes o f the prcsbitcry, Abel's is the offeri ng acceptable to Gml, Mc1chisedek o ilers bread and wine, Abraham feeds the dlree strangers with three loaves o f bread, and olfers lip his son on all altar. h l these conAated scenes, the central element is the table 0 1" altar, ahove which the H and of God I"tteives the offerings, while in the background aTe the tal>ernade ami the tem ple. Thus Old and New T estament narratives arc linked to the real-life world of tht;' coun, the bishop, and the Eucharistic celebra nt, which themselves become p:lrt o f universa l Christian history, existing outside of ti me and space. H '::' Nlosaics and participants arc un ited by the Lam b in tbe vauh of the presbitery and by Christ in the apse, to whom all the gifts are ultimately preselltcd.

Another s m ~ 1l church sponsored privately by J ulian the b ~nker and a man named Bacauda was (Ie(licared to the archangel .M ichael.,aa In mediev;ll docu mell {S it is call t;'d San Michele;1I Afr;t;,.ro; Agnellus says that tht;' church was in the region known as Ad Frigiselo. Th is curious term is pro bably a refercnce to the famous shri nes of St.lvl iehael in Phrygia."") T he ch urch was loear!;!!l just east of the junction of the Paden na and the Flumisellum, and thus imlllediately to the west of the Arian episcopal complex; its west facade probably opened onto the street that ra n alo ngside the Paden na."o It continued in use u ntil sometime before the early nineteenth century when itwas sold to a fishmonger. A sketch made in 1842 shows the su rvi ving apse mosaics and part o f the nave; in 1844 the llIosaics were sl.)lll to King Friellrieh \Vil hdm IV of Germany, L~ken down and removed to Venice, where a


• " t • •


"' "




. 0




n..~onsrru(tion was m~de and sent to Berlin; mOSt of the originals art now lost.' " After this the building slowly deteriorated and had almost entirely disappeared by '904; todayon lythe lower parts of the apse are visible, ~long with parts of the east and north walls (the site is now occupied by a elothing shop in whose walls thcse fragments can be seen). P. Grossmann perforllll"l:! a derailed Hchitectural survey of the surviving building, allowing him to reconstruct its original rorm. '" The church was a basi lic;J with a nanlle:<, nave, and single aisles (Fig. 88). The nave was separated from the aisles by a triple arcade rormed not of columns, but of llla~nry piers (in the fiftl'Cnth century, when the c;Jm panile was built, the south uC"ade was replaced with columns; at the same time or slightly latcr, the floor Icvel was raised)."! T he fact that there were only twO frcest:lnding piers meant that the inteTt."olumniations were wider (avcragc 4.0 meter) than was usual for a colonnadc. This is thc only examplc in [t:lly o f a basi lic;J with pi ~rs; lumparison5 have OC"CIl proposc<1 with sC\"cral larger churehcs erected in Syria at this [ime, "~ but B. Bren k more plausibly suggests thn the pil"TS simply represent an ad hoc ~lution for a quickly built church, also seen in the lack of perfect right angles and precise mcasurcments. ' 'J The proportions of thc building, with a grcater width- length ratio than is usual for a Ravcnnate basi lica, arc sim ilar to those round in the Arian cathedral. ,,6 The apsl: had five sides externally and was pierced by three windows, as was usual for ]{avennate basilic;Js. The church was built of the so-cal led Julian bricks." 7 rart of thc original mosa ic floor, from the eastern corner of the north aisle, was excavatl'" in L930; covercd with a simple goomcrrie pattern and madc of tcrra cott:l, marblc, and limestone, it has affinities with contemporary floor mosaics in Ravenna, Pesaro, and elsewhcre.' ,8

88. &on Mk ho:l. in Ajrid"", rIon of origi .... l Lo)'OUl (after Or<nk, ,ooi)



Agnellu!> reportS the dedicatory inscription in the \'3\I[t of the apSe: H ~\'i ng n:ccjl'co l~nc fits (1""Lfiri(l) of rhe 'lJ'Ch'lngcl ,\'I it h'lc ]. B~c:luda Jrld Julian h ~ ,'(' made from rhe fonndationS:llld dcd icHed [th ischun;h] 011 7.\b y, the fourth year ;Lfh;r the consubhip of B,1~ililiS (he yOull£,.... r vir d,'ri...,·inllls consul. in tht: !:Idl indiction [dIe yeu 5451.

Agnellus claims that Bacauda was the son -in-law of Julian and that he was buried ill a nearby tower, but in fact we know nothing about him, although two men with rhis name arc known to have been political appointees of ThcOOcric."9 Nor do we know why he and Juli an together might hal'c sponsored this church, although it(;ame about because thc.'Y both attributed sOllle act of beneficence to St. Michael. The inscription is curious because no bishop is mentioned as having consecratl:d the church; and il1(lee{] there was no hishop ofRavennn ill Mny of 545.:' ° As already lIoted, this church was hastily built and secms to havc been hastily dedica ted. 'l-Vhat rn ight have been the need for such haste? I would suggest that the hnanl from which Michael preser.<cd these two mcn was the plague, which struck Ravcnna in 543 or shortly aftemard .' '' St. ;\lichael the archangel was known by the mid- sixth century as a healing saint and his shrines in Phrygia were famous ror their healing miracles.'" Si nce the time of ConSta ntine many churches and shrines had been dedicated to Nlichael in and arQun(1 Constantinople and Justinian rebuilt and l·nlarged three of thcl\1. o,:; Veneration of Michael appea rs in haly in the late fifth cenOIT)': Pope Symmachus (498-5 '4) enlarged a church detlic3ted to St. Michael in Rome, and other churches cledicated to the al·changel existed by the latc sixth cenol ty in Perugia , Naples, and Monte Gargano (the latter, accoH!ing to later legend, existed from 4-91)." .1 Our church in Ravenna belongs in this s~llle period. Although the sLOry th~t St. Michael sayed Rome from the plague of 590 ~eems to (la te only to the th irteenth century,"'> .I ustin ian 's reconstructions arc suggestive of one rca· son for the archangel's populari ty in the Ill id-si~ih century. As we will sec, the mosaic imagery in San Michele ind icate~ that it was indeed a church dedicated in the wake orthe plague of 54.1."6 The mosaics of Sail Michele have a remarka hle history. Up()1l their n::Jllov;l1 in 1844, they were taken to Venice, where the mosaic restorer Giovanni ;\ll oro ma{te a reproduction uase(1 on drawings alltl some original fragments. In '9°4 this restoration was installed in the Kaiser- Friedrich 1\luse\1l11 in Berlin (now called the Bode i\hlseum),';7 ~' here it remains today (Fig. $9)' T heonly su rviying o riginal fragments from this church 3re the heads o f two angels now in the Musco Provinciale in Torcello and the head of a beardless Chr ist in the Victoria and Alben Museum in London. n~ The mosaics in Berli n were, for most of the twentieth cetHury, considcrc(\ to Uc



89' 53" Michd ~ in A/ring;(},

mosaicoftl,," 'PS" and tri _ umph"I,rch, now in The Sknlpt ur~nsa""n lun g u"J '\llI.~~u u\ rur

IJyzont;nisdTc Kunst.5 t udid"" .' b,scc n 1';U Ikrlin, Berlin , G~rm:"')' (rour-

I<'S}' Ui1d;orchiv I'rcu5~i5(:hn

Kul[urlw:s it7./ Art Rcw n",c,NY)

(he restored originals, and only a study by I. Andreescu-Treadgold in 1988 revealed that the entire \\'ork in Berlin was a reproduction. "9 Nevertheless, this reproduction was based on (!rawings made as early as Ciampini's V('!,.m /It/QllillU:lltll of 1699, as well as dr3wings made in situ before the removal. ' 3째 W'e can thus say a few things about the iconography found in the church, even if dctails should nm be consitlcrcd reliablc.'3T Thc surviving mosaics co\'crea the vault of the apse and the upper part of the triumphal arch (Fig. 89). In the apse, a beardless Christ, dressed in a purple tunic and mantle with a halo inscribed with a jeweled cross,'3' hdd in his right ham! a processional cross and in his left an o pen book that bore the inscription, "''''hoeller has seenll1e has seen the Father: J and the Father arc one" (3 conAation of John '4:9 and 10:30).'1; Flanking Christ and FJcing him stood the archangels Michael (left, but Christ's Tight) anti Gabriel, labe!ed by name; each was dressed in \I white tunic and mantle with clavi, was winged, and held in his leEr hand a staff, with his right hand rais~d in a gesrure ofb!essing or acclamation. !\I! th ree figures stood 011 a narrow grassy landscape strewn with flowers, against a solid go!,! background , T he apse was bordered by a band of acanthus leaves and doves with the Lamb of God in a medallion in the center; the sections of the triumphal arch were surrounded by bands of blue and white gems against a red field. On the haunches of the triumphal arch that flank the apse stood Sts, Cosmas (left) ami Damian (right); alx)\'e th~ aJls~ vault, ill the center, was a b~ard~d Christ seated on :1 thronc and holding a book, nankcd again by tWO


archangds and then on either side oy thrL'C anti four angelic figures olowing klOg trumpets, all standing with their feet partly hidden hy red and blue clouds. Many aspects of the~c mosaics aTe similar to Other contemporary examples from Ravenna. A triumphal Christ holding a book and processional cross is 3150 seen in the narthex of the CIIpt'II,! {lj'ciuescovill'.''''1 The angels flanking Christ are similar to those found in SatH'Apollitlare Nunvo from the OstTogothic period, atHl also from the apse of San Vitale, where in hoth cases they form part. of a heavenly court. The present:e of 3 beardless Christ, a lam b, anti ,1 bearded Christ likewise reRects imagery in those two churches, f.'Spccially in San Vitale, and may, as propose{\ oy C. Rizzardi, reflect two concepts of Christ fou nd in the Book of Revelation .'J'; T he landscape in [he apse, representi ng paradise, is very similar to those in San Vita le allli Sant'Apollinare in Classe. St!>. Cos1tlas and Damian, whose cult had recently been itltrodu(.;(.'(1 into haly, arc also found in the mosaics of the mpd/n {/rCn 'rl路'Q,,路i/r. The archangcb G~br iel and M ichael arc foun d in Sllnt'Apollinllre in Classe. There are also many similarities between this mosaic and those in the Basilica b lfrasiana in Porec, both in the layollt and in the figures of archangels flanking rhe throne, ' )r, Interpretations of the meaning of these mosaics usuallr locus on theif anti-Arian, Trini tarian content.:37 The inscription in the book held by Christ conflates twO passages from John that wert: used by Orthodox theologians to argue for the consubstamiality o f the Son and the father. nS The ju xtaposed images of Christ, with l\1"O facial types bllt dressed the saJlle way, emphasize his divinity and his identity with the EIther, as does the apocalyptic imagery ofthe triu mphal a,'Ch. l)":, \Vhile anti-Ar ian image!}' is de riglleur in Justinianic buil(lings ill R3\'etHla, it is likely that these images were also closely rdatt(l to the reason for the ch urch'~ fou ndation, As alread}' noted, St. ,\I ichad was venerated as a healer ill the sixth century, and Sts. COS1\13S and Damian, de picterl on the triumphal arch, were also medical sa ints !4D T his cluster of healing saints must surely be related to the danger through which J ulian ami Bacauda had passed . III Revelation 1 ~:7 the archangel M ichael and his armies battle the (Iragon, ;I creature that ill the sixth century had become a metaphor for plague, '4 t Moreover, the angels with trumpets must Ix: the o nes described in the Book ofUcvelation (see chs. 8-1 0), !0I' in which the rnlll1pet of the sixth angel releases afflictions (p/:rg(u) that kill a thirti of the e~rth 's people, and is to be tolloweo by the seventh tnlmpct annOllllcing the Last J udgment, Thus, imagery derived from the Book of Revelation is certainly suitable for a cburch erected after the epiticmic of 54.\-4, dedicated in thanksgiving to the archangel i\t ichael.


Nlaximian is famous today for the churches he completed and dedicated; but Agnellus praises him especially for the church th;lt he built entirely himself, dedicated to St. Stephcn.:路H \'\le learn that this c;hurc;h was large and splendidly decorated, and it is all the more remarb lJle, then, that we know absolutely nothing about it outside of Agncll us's text.'+! It seems to havc b(.>cn in cxcellent repair in the ninth cennlry, h\lt no later documents mention it or its loc;!tion. No fragments of marble or other materbls are assigneu to this chu rch; no location has been identifleu for it. no excavations have revealetl any part of it. A~ we see what Agnell us says, we will see how remarkable this is . The church of St. Stephen was l()(;ated "not far from the postcruln Ovi/iQl/i.f," thus in the northwest corner of the city, somewhere around Santa Croce. I t thus fornll.'d part of the large e,路c1esiastical complex that h,l(liJcen growing up in this area since dle tillle of Ecclesius. Agnellus gives me tle<l ication inscription lor the church: In honor of holy \lna Inosr bles.';cd fir-a marty r Stephen, Bishop iVh~il11j~n, :<;I.'rvam of Christ, by GOd'5 gr.lce built thi~ church frolll rhe fOll lldJtiolls Jnd dedicated it on I I Dec. in th e f<)lIrreenth indiction, in the ninth ye;lr ;Ifi'er the consulship or Ba,ilius me youngtr [the ~'e"r 55 0].

In the dedicatory poem fou nd around the bonier of the triumphal arch , we lea rn tha{ "'when the glea ming moon was new for the eleventh time, {he church which hall heen begun shines established in beautiful col1lpletion~; in other words, the whole chu rch was com pleted in cleven months. Agnellus goes on to tdl a StO ry (}f how the workmell't build the church until Maximian gave them materi als; this Ill;!)' have been invemell by Agnellus to explain the inscription . In an)' ca~e, these eleven months would inclulle the time aftcr the completion and dedication o f Sam'AI}()llinarc in Classe. \-\le assu lllc that this church was a basilica because of Agnellus's mention of a mmeris trihulla (his term fo r " apse") and of columns. j\hlximian attached smaller chapel s ( IIIQI/lI,,路ttl'i,/) to the north and south sides of {he church (one is specifically rlc!;cribcd as pllrtl' v imnllll , thus on the suuth). As for the decoration, Agnel1us tells us that Ma .~iJtlia n "furnished it most beautifully, and in the vault of the apse his image is iixed in multi-colored mosaic, and is surrounded by wonderful glass-wor k.'" ' Ve must thus imagine an image of I'I h ximia n, perhaps presenting the chmch to Christ, li ke the image of Eccles ius in San Vitale. The chapels "all appear marvelously wi th new gold mosa ics and various other stones fixed ill plaster," o bviously another splendi{l presentation. Maximian's monograms appear on




the Clpitals, again like the monograms of Vicwr in San Vita le. One gets the feeling that after completing San Vitale, Maxirnian " 'anred to ha"c a church with his stamp all over it! Finally, Agncllus SlIys that Maximian gathered together the relics of the following twenty s;!ints and martyrs and plal'Cd them in the church: Peter, Paul. Andrew, Zacharias, John the Baptist, John the Evangciist, James, Thomas, Matthew, Stephen, Vincent, Lawrence, Q uirinus, Florian, Emil_ ian , Apollinaris, Agatha, Euphemia, Agnes, and Eugenia. T his list is so I,rc<:ise that it must come from a SOUT('C in the chun;;h, and while it could have been a list or inscription, it is tempting to think that these saints may have been pictlln-rl (perhaps in ml-dallions? pcrh a]J'l in procession along (he walls of the nave?) in the church. O"I"~M

ClI ll MC II â&#x20AC;˘.s

Se"eral other churches in and around Ra'"enna arc said by Agnellus to han: heen restorC<.1 in this period and 50me others arc mentioned by him under circumstances that make it likely they were bui lt in the later sixth century. At 50me point prior to 560 a church " 'liS built in honor of SIS. John and Paul in the northwestern part of the oppidum. In this church the [loet Venantius Fortunatus, praying in front of an image o f St. Martin, " 'liS cured of an eye afHiction, as he records in his poem ahout the life of that saint. '-I; The existence of the church is al50 confinned by an inscription on its ambo which dates to 596, now in the lI-tuseo An;ivCSI.:ovile; the church on (he site today is medieva1." " Another church built at this time is mentioned in a papyrus document dating to the year 546, which lim the donation of l)rolJoCrty to a baTilicn TIll/eli Vieloris &v(rTlluu); Agnellus mentions the "porta s.ancti Victoris~ in the Life of Max;mian as located near the northern wall o f the city, JUSt east of the P adenna. '~; Remains of a medieval church with this dedication existed in this location until \\'orld \VaT 11 . Archbishop M :uimian rcsto .....~l a church of St. Andrew which w¡"s kx:ared ;11 the rrgio Hnrultmll, thus in the old &f!pidum 50uth of the jOJSu AmniT, not far from the cath~-dra1. ' -18 According to 1\gnellus, "having rem{)\.'ed the old wooden columns made of nut rrees, he IMaximianl filled the church with columns of Proconnesian marble.~'w The church "liS completely rebuilt around the year "Xx>; studies in the ,8205 showed that an earlier church had been builton top of older Roman buildings dating from the first to (he fifth century, but there is no evidence for the original dale of the church.' lo I( was a basilica with, oddly, its apse orien ted to the north; it is possible that it ,,'liS Originally a Roman building that was fL'Used.' ; ' The cleventha:ntury basilica was 40 melers long an d lO meters wide, with a triumphal arch ~UPIK)rte<:1 on l...,lumns like San GiO\'lIIlni Ev:angclista, and a co!onnad~ of nine columns per side. Ten of the oolullms were OfProconllesian marble


and twO of dpollino mHO from lasos (3S in San Vitale); the impost capitals featured ajeurcarving, and other marble fnlgments in dicate that the impost bloch had the monogram of "laximian on them. 'l' T here is no evidence in Italy for churches with columns of wood,'H but it seems likely that Maximian Set up the columns. Perhaps a pred~'\."CSsor >tarred the church and he had to finish it. \Ve should not forget that in these years, Archbishop Agnellus sponsored major modifications to the mosa ics ofSant'Apollinare Nuo'路o. Agncllus also rebuilt l>arts ofSant'Ag;m, which dated origimlly the late fifth century, where he had served as deacon and where he was later buried.'H t\ colonnaded atrium "lIS added, the apse and vault were completely rebuilt using Julian bricks and tubi fittili filled with mom r, as in San M ichele ill Africmo, andchamhcrs Ranking the apse were addl-d, accessed from the aisles.'" The apse later fell in m earthquake in 1688; fragments of polyChrome StucCO and rtpus smile 113\'e been found in excavations.,,6 A drawing made a few years before the earthquake, when the mosaic was already in ruins, depicts a bearded Christ scated on a throne with a cross-halo, holding a elosed book in his left hand and gesturing with his right, flanked by angels, against a gold background, with a landscape along the bottom.' H The image was thus similar to the Christs on the nJ<'e wall of Sant'Apoliinare Nuovo and in the apsc of San M ichele in Afri';"v." s BishopJohn [ had been buried in Sant'Agata in the late fifth century, and he was now depicted in the lower part of the apse, in the al1; of saying mass; thus the rl~onStr\lction by AgnclIus was part of the genera l [Tend of valorizing earlier bishops of Ravenna. '59 An ambo and other fragments of carved marble dating to the sixth century also survive from in Sam'Agatl.

Church Blfilding ill Clnsst! Classe l"()ntinued to thrive in the late sinb l-ent\lry, at least as far as we can tell from the evidence of church building there. Construction continued at the Petriana complex: Archbishop Agnellu~ oversaw the mosaic dl"OOration of twO fflonostmo . or small chapels, attacht'<l to d,e I'etriana baptistery and ded icated to St. Matthew and St. James. The inscription attributes the decoration to servants of God "who were l05t and found again with the aid of God," perhap~ a reference to the war or the rt'Con\"ersion of Arians to Orthodmy.'60 I'etcr [II, Agncllus's successor, was buried in the chapel of St. James in a Proconnesian marble sarcophagus. ,6, \Vork also continul-d on the church at the Ca'Bianca; the second bui lding phase consisted of external porticoes along the aisles and apscd chambers and their eastern cnds. ,6, A monastery dcdkated to Sts. John and Stcphen "lIS thc subje<:t of a jurisdictional dispute at the time of Pope Gregory I and is mentioned in




two of his lcucrsi Agncllus says that it was "located across C;lcs~rca in the former ci ty of C Jasse ... ,IIJ In addition to these SlructUT{.'S, a number of large, richl}' decorated basilicas were buil t in and around Class!! to honor Ravenna's earliest bishops. Vlhile Apollinaris had been venerated at least since the tiJlle of Peter Chrysologlls, we hear nothing about the sanctity of Elellchadills, Probus, anti Severus until their churches ~'-ere constructe.l, although in some cases

we learn that smal ler chapels existed on the site. San Severo was bui lt within the walls of Classc, but the others formed a group I kilomctcn south of tha t city's walls on the site of form er Roman cemeteries. Visitors to Ravenna wouln hay!,' passed this imposing complex on their way north along th!,' 'mil Popilill and their first imprt'ssion of the city would be the alHilluity alld importanct: ot' Ravenna's bishops.

Several of clle Ravenna's earliest" tJishops arc said by Agndlus to have lx:cn buried in basilicas to the :;ouch of Clas~e . ">4 Six early bishops were huried in a basilica dedicated to St. Probus, the seventrl bishop in Agnellus's list; St. Ekuchadius, the fourth bishop, along with t\vO of his succeSSOrS, was buried in a basilica that borc his name, which latcr documcnts imply was locate(l next to the hasilica of St. Probus. ,I,) Both of the,se churches di~ap颅 pcarcd after thc thi rtccnth ccntury, although a ninth-century riJ,orilllll from St. Eleuchadius still ~urviws in Sant' Apollinare in Classe (Fig. 104).'% The earlie~ t ;;JiMr of these saints date to the late tenth century when the relics weTe tra nslated TO the Ursi3n3 and are based on t he LPRj路ln it is impossible to know why these particular saints were Ilcemell worthy of hasi licas in thc sixth ccntury or whethcr thcir vcneration bega n carlicr than this. Agnellus says that the church of St. Probus was next to the narthex of St. Euphemia fld 1J/,/I"(' , which was dcmolished in his day, and onc stade (approximately d~o m) :;outh of Sant'Apoliinart: in Classe, :(,8 Maximian is said to have decorated St. Euphemia with mosaic and to have " presen'ed the body of bl essed Probus with the Q[her bocl ies of the holy bishops with aromatics and placed them fittingly, and {m the facade of that church he decorated the images ofblcsscd Probus and Eleuchadius and Caloccrus with variou~ mosaics, and under their feet you will find ... '" (rhe inscription is unfo rtu nately lost froIll the manuscript of theLPR).路0 The fact that Probus and 拢Ieuchadius were tlepicted on the same church is COllhlsing, unless the bishops were burie.1 ill separate chapels attachetl to a larger basilica. T he relationsh ip of St. Euphemia is also confusing, although it was obviously a dift'crenr structure. In the 1950s, from 1964- 7, and again in thc carly 19705, a site 180 III somheast of Sant'Apollina re in Classe was investigated hy various types of e.xcal'acioll (Fig. I). G. Cortesi, who conducted the twentieth-century



excavations, reronsrructed the plan of a very large building, 70 x 32 m, ",hich is larger than any of the kno",n basi licas in the area. An a pscd chapel extended to the south, apparently added in a semnd stage of ("(lnsrruction, ",hile additional small rooms "'ere clustered to the ",cst of the atrium. No date> !.>cyond ,·cry general ones in the fifth and sixth century "'ere obtlined.'7'> Cortesi subsequeml y pro]"ICI5Cd that the building had not been a basi lica church but a large U-shaped bui lding of a type kno"'n in Rome as a comurrriu11t, or funerary basilica.'?' Both proposals seem "cry uu likcly, and, in fact, Cortesi ex~.vated only a very smali]>art of the ("(lmplex. Until further eAcavations can be carried out, all that can be said is that the structure "'as large and elaborate.'l' Finally, Agnellus adds the odd stlternem about the church orst. Probus: "And in no churches inside thc city of Ravenna or Classe is the mass celebrated over the people except in tbis one alone.''' Il The mention of the mmll sup" popu/um suggests that an older liturgical practicc w.JS maintlined only in this basililo, but it is not dear ",hat the phrase means. A. Testi-Rasponi suggested that it refers to a praycr said by the bishop over the people, the umr;6 SUP" pofJul/l11l !mown from liturgical manuscripts, ",hile G. Gerola noted that else",here Agnellus says the bishop stlnds "before the altar" (Ilnu Ilfrllre) during the mass, hence ",ith his back to the congregation, and explains the mmll fliP" popufum as meaning that the bishop faced the congregation only in St. ProbUS.'l' Ho"'ever, thcories deri,·ed from this suggesting that St. Probus w.JS the "first l.thl"<:lral" of Ravenna are entirely unfounded.'ll

The centerpiece of Christian "·orship in the Classe region , both gl'Ographically and symbolic~lIy, wa, the church dedicated to the first bishop of R,-'cnna, SI. Apoll inaris. ' ;<i Pcter Chrysologus devoted a sermon to his saindy prl·(k~cssor, '77 and there may already ha'·c been a shrine to him at the site when Bishop Ursicinus (S33-6) dcrided to build a large basi lica in his honor. '18 Thc site was the location of one of Classc's many Roman era cemeteries, and so it is entirely possible that, sometime in tile second century, Ravenna's first bishop had been buried there. '79 The carly sixth century ",as a time in ",hich many episcopal sees contructed histories in which the legend of the founding bishop a kl)' part of claims to antiq uity. Ursicinus's foundation took placc in this atmosphere during the reign of Amalasuintha and thus before Ravenna's S<.'e "'as ekvatcd to archiepiscopal sratus. Certainly Maximian en thusiastically mntinued and c:cpanded Ursicinus's original concept to creatc an imposing shrine to the memory of Ravenna's episcopalleaders.,110 In the mid-sixth century Apollinaris was re,·ered as Ravenna 's founding bishop, and it "'as only later that he 3C<.Juired the stanIs of a martyr. This



lIlay have resulted from a misinterpretation of Peter Chl)'sologlls's sermon, which first says that ApolJinaris is Ravenna'S only martyr, but then say.~ that he desefVI:.'s the title of martyr even though he did not dieof wounds inflicted on him; in other words, he was 110T a martyr" ST The ins(:riprion on his tomb, set up at the time of Maximian, calls him "'priest (JIIn:nlos) and confessor," and in the apse of the church. as we will see, he is not depicted receiving a crown, as would have been usual for a marryr.'s, By the ninth century, however, AJXtllinaris was (.'()l1sidcrcd a martyr. Agnellus took his vcrsion of the story of the saint from a text known as the P,mio S, !I{IQl/iIlfWiJ, in which the saint's martynlolll is narTated. There has been considcrable scholarly discussion about the date of the PaUlO, hilt since some of its details differ from those cOllllllemorated by .Maxim ian in other contexts, it seems most 1i.ke1)' that it was written in the seventh CC1l[ury during the autocephaly <.'ontrovers},. ,81 :\S onc of thc most illlPOrt1Hlt churches of Ravenna , Sam' ApoJ]inare in Class..:: has a historyofalmost constant allditions, modifications, and rcstoratio ns; at the same time, its loca tion far to the south of the city of Ravenna has meant that it \\'as notably s\lbjc(:t to depradation and neglect, cspecially after the decline of the city of ClasS拢' in the eighth century, The very fact that it sun'ived at all, when none of the other churches in or outside of C1asse did, is an indication of its uni'Iue importance.'$4 Archbishops from the late sixth century onward were burie(1 in AJXlllinaris's church, ~nd Archbishop John 1I (578--95) and the exarch SlI1ar~g. dm built and decorated with mosaics a chapcl dedicated to Sts, l'vtark, i'I'Iarcellus, and Felicula, Roman sa ints whose relics, according to the poem on its facade, were donated by Pope Gregory 1. Tbis is thougbt to have been a chamber at tile southern t:'l1l1 of the narthex tllat was completely destroyed in the ninctcemh celltury,,8S In the late seventh cenlUry. Archbishop Maurus translated the body of the sa int from the narthex to the centcr of the church (ill 1J/rdio t""'plt), and his successor Reparatus made important modifications to the apse and its mosa ics.'&> Archbishop Damian (69~ -70 8 ) donated an episcopal throne that st(Xld at the baek of the apse. A ring crypt was constructed in the apse at an unknown date, perhaps undcr Maurus or perhaps in the Carolingian period. : ~, The r(Xlf anti Ilarthc:o.: were rcnovatctl betwcen 81 0- 16 under the sponsorship of Pope

Leo UL' BS Muslim raiders sacked Classe in the mid- ninth century, and Sant'Apollinare in Classe musr have been a primary target, since su bsequently Apol1inaris's relics 3re said to have been moved to Sant'Apollinare Num路o inside Ravenna's walls. The church was nor abandoned, however, since a (:ampanile was huilt perhaps in rhe rentll century Oil tile north side of the n;H'C. About' 1000;\ R;}vcnnatc noblc namcd Romuald cmcrc<1 the reformed



Bene{lktine monastery at Salll'Apollinare in Classe, although he latcr left and eventually founded a new order o f Benedictine monks, the Camaldolesians. Sant'Apollinarc in Cl assc became one of the main churches o f Romuald's order in "JR, and a major serics o f alterations arc (l(M;1.lnHmtcd in I I 73- .f, when the relics o f the saillr were supposedly rediscor ered under the altar in Classe.JN9 At some point the tloor level was raised byapproximately 44 e111. D espite the presence of a monastic community, 1158 the church's fahri(路 was reported to bc in had cond ition, 31111 around, 450 much of the m,lrblc frail) the basilica, including the wall revetment, QPII,<,<railr fr01l1 wall and floors, and furnishings werc carried to Rim ini by Sigismon(lo i'vlalatesta, where they can still be seen 3S part of the Tempio Malatestiano. D uring the Hartle of Ravenn a of 151 ~ the abbot was killed while defend ing his monastery. which wns ~;ubsequently plundered again, after which the TlIonks abandoned the site for the s:lfcty of Ravenna. T hey took the relics with them, and thL,)' werc only re turned in ,65+ A ncw w3VC of renovations lastccl most of the eighteenth century ancl indudecl the current wall revetm ent in the 3pse 3nd the pla ster ancl paintcd medallions with the portraits of Ravellna's bishops in the nave and aisles. However, when Ravenna became pnrt of Napoleon's empi,re, Ihe monastery was dissolved in 1797 an(1affairs reached a low point. with gras~ growing in the nave, green molll on the mar ble, ancl wi ncloll'S ei ther blockeclup o r exposed to the clemen ts. Restoration activity began in 1870 ancl took off uncler the leaclership o f Corraclo Ricci after 1897. The atrium was excavatecl, the narthex and parts o f the nave walls reh uilt, hut then the church suffered fu rther da mage in ' '''orld \-Var U. Excavations wcrc unclert,lken as part of a second wave o f restOrations after 1949, the apse alllinarthex were excavated in the 1970Sand 1980s, and work has continue!l on ooth the build ings and mosaics up to the presem.'90


Architecture and Sculpture . Sa nt'Apollinare in Classe is, as E. Russo has calle(1 it. "the Parthenon of wooden-roofed basilicas," the largest and gra ndest still slln'iving in the Ravenna area .'y' Located direcdy cast o f the ViII PopiJill, which determined the orientati()Il of the site, the hasilica was originally prccedc(1 by a narthex that had rectangular towers to the north and south (totlay the southern one is gone and the current narthex an(1 northern tower were completely reco nstructed in 1908- 9 (Fig. 9Q )."9' By {he nin th century, at least, {he road seems fa have deviated from irs origina l route and a colonnaded atrium (3 2 x 2+50 meters) had been built in from of {he narthex .:?' A curious fea ture, known only in this basilica, is the presence of small semicircular niches at the western end of the aisles. JUSt inside the entrance, whose purpose is unknown.


..... ,. ... . '





+------ -- - - ". go. S3nt'_ Apullinare in

Cbs"", phln, including the bkr c~ lnpanilc n"rth ,ide (nna"lazzoni.

On th~




The church proper conSists of a nave with single aisles scpanncd by arcades of [welve columns. [ n addition to the three doors leading from the narthex into the nave and aisles, this church also had three doo rs each 011 the north and south exterior walls of the aisles.',,"1 At the eaStern end of the thurch is the apse, polygonal exrcrnally and circular on the interior. Flanking the apse arc square, apsed chamuers, :H.'CCSSC{\ both from the aisles and frolll the exterior of the church and provided with numerous win(iows. Two sma ll rooms were squcczl:d in between each chamber and thc apsc, the we~tern of which was two stOried and not visible from inside or Outside the church; these spaces, like the ones in the c<lpella l1rCilll'l'{()vile, tIlay have llt'en used tor secreting church treasure.:') The pl an, a basilica with chamoers flanking the n;lrthex ;1111.1 the apse, is very similar to that of San Giovanni Evangdista, anll it is likely that imitation of rhe earl ier oasi lica was intcntion;!l .,q6 The church was bui lt of J ulian bricks, usi ng masonry tcchniqucs that arc almost identical to those used in San Vitale. ""; O n the exterior, the surface of the walls was articulated by pilasters that formed an arcade surrou nding the windows, as was usual in mOst Ral'ennate churches (Fill, 91). As in San \ 'italc, the apse was vaulted with brick f'Jther than with mbi }ittili.


9 " Sant', ;\[>OlIin31'" in C:bss~, "kw of .h~ ~~I~rior


tl,e soutl,,,ast ("hom C. L


Today the apse is raised over the crypt, approached by a large staircase [hat was built in 17~ 3 (PI. Villa). Originally, the floor level, as in other lare antique basilicas, would have been at most a step or twO above the level of the nave. Excavations ha\'e revealed a large bema, Qr platform, that originally extended from the apse almost I ~ meters into the nave, which would ha\'e been surrounded by f1mlSl'lII/fI/!. Three fragments of floor mosaic ha\'e been excava ted inside the church. Those found in the nave were 35 centimeters higher than those in the aisles, although there is no evidence that they represent a repaving, so it is possible that originally the nave floor was higher than the aisles. 'QH The mosaic fragment from the western parr of the southern aisle includes a fragment lJf an inscription tx.n nmcrnorating a donation by secular figures, and Agncllus reportS that the epitaph ofi\r\aurus was likewise made of mosaic in the fl oor. '9'1 A.~ 3t San Vinle, Sant'Apollinare in Classe required shiploads of marble imported from the Sea ofMartnara. Agnellus comments about Sant'Apollil13re in Classe: "'No dlUrch ill any part of Italy is similar to this one in precious stOnes, since th c}' glow at night almost as much as thc}' do during rhe dny. " 100 indcc{1 the nnve arcade is mnde of somc of the most spCL'tncular Proconn esian marblc columns to h3ve survivell anywhere (Fig. 75). The horizontal swi rls of the veins arc Illatched by the swirl ing naUlre of composite windblown acanthus capitals, also of Proconnesian marble and carved with very delicate details. The fact that they sholl' no signs of shipping damage indicates thnt they must have been carved on the site (Fi g. 91 p o, The impost bloch arc plain, decorated with crosses in shallow



" ,91. "an! Apo llinarc in CI:l_,,,,. c~,lu"'n lllJ1it:.1 uf Ih" composite " 'ind "Iown ~("~n(hU5

ry!,c (photo C. L. Stri ker)

relief, but the (:olumn oast:S, unlike others in Ravenna, nrc decorated on all

four sides with geometric designs (Fig. 75). Originally the wal ls of the aisles, the apse, and the west wall were covered with Proconncsian marble wall rcvcnnenr. Finally, the large marble sa rcophagi that to(1ay line the walls of the aisles were moved here from tlte narthex, 3nd most them contained the bodies of Ravenna's archbishops (Fig. 102). lO' The glow reported by Agnellus may also h;l\'c been due to lhe 'lmplc light


that flooded rhe basilica. The apse has five large windows; in addition, twelve large windows are found both at grounrllevel and above th e nave arcarle on each side of the building. \-Vhen they were being restored to their original form in 1899, wooden framc s for rectangular glass panes wcre fount! in twO or them, datin g perhaps (Q the original building. JQ\ The basilica was thus full of light, which refiectell off the polish ell marble and the sparkling glass tcsserae of lhe mosaics, creating dazzling effects.



9 J.


ApoIli".",in, vic'" of the ' ["'" and ,riumrh> I.n:h

Mosaics. Although Sant'Apollinare in Oas.~e almost ~rtlin ly had mosaic decoration on its na"e walls, today only the mosaics of the triumphal arch and apse have survived. Although th"'"'ie have heen damaged and heavily restored (in the [9705 red mosaic lines were added to indicate which portions uf the mosaic were original),!"" we have a good idea of their y~.



ing) from .... Iovou.jÂť< .... Uof S""fApo/Ji".r< in <bose, ÂŤXI")' in '~ ,\ \0""" ;\;, z.iorulle, Ito,'e""" (co",. t<Sj'SQprint<n'

Jrn", [><T i Beni Mchi''''tonici e P.., .. ggi,;ti<i Ji R,,"<ntu




original iconography an(l style. Moreover, during rcsrora(iuns undertaken in '948- 9 ~nd '9jc>-3. some ()f the apse mosaics wefe removell, revealing the walls underneath, on which were sketched in rcd paint the outlines of a mosaic design (r ig. 94)' A wooden peg sticking om at the center of the medallion served [Q mark the cemer of the vault during the mosaic's COllstruction )<'>'i Remarkably, the sketch on the lower part of the apse did I10t correspond to the extant mosaic, indicating that at some point the design was changed. This .rillop;r represents the only evidence we have for wnrkshop proccdllfcs from this pcri()(l and tor the aims and intcrc~ts of mosaic designers, whicb heightens the importance of this church and its dt.'cornivc program. Vvllile the mosaic program in the apse vault dates to the mid- sixth centtlry. other surviving mosaics in the church were made later (Fig . 93). T he lIlosaics of the triulIlphal arch were largely made or remade l>etween the seventh and the twelfth centuries, exc(.'pt for two panels that (Icpicr rhe 3n'hangels, which appear to belong to the original program. The upper lcvels, in particu lar, may date to the rebuilding ohhe roof in the ninth century or may belong to the sevcnth ('enUlry)"'" The mosaics o n the lower side-walls of the apse also date [Q the late seventh century or later and are heavily restored. \-Vhat we (10 nor know is what was originally on those surfaces. It is possible that when the mosaics were remade the Ilesigners were reproducing tht: original design, at least to some degree. In any case, the later mosaics reAect motifs and iconographical details found in Ravenna's great fifTh- and sixth-cennll'Y churches.

The Triumphal Arch. In the top zone in thc center is a medallion with a bearded, haloell Christ Ilressel! in purple, holding a book ill his left hand and making a gesture of blessing with his right (Fig. 93)' The medallion is set against a dark blue background tha t is filletl with rell and blue douds, and Roating in these clouds are the winged, haloed upper torsm of the four beasts that symboli7..c the evangeliSTS, holding their books: from the left John's eagle, Matthew's man, Mark's lion, and Luke's ox. Below this zone, the arch ofthc apse has been c1elTcrly utilized as a mountain, on the green flanks of which stand t"..ell'e sheep, proceellillg frOIll the walled cities of Jerusalem on the left and Bethlehem on the right. The gold sky aoovc them is likewise filted with {\i\'ine clouds. On the haunches of the arch arc date palms (almost entirely restored in 1906-7), and on the sides of th(.' vertical part of the apse arc the archangels M ichael and Ga briel holding banners on which are writren (in Latin) the Greek words "'agiosagios agios" (Holy, Holy, H oly), a rcferencc to the heavenly hosts of which they arc the leaders)'" The angels Ilate to the llli l l-~i..\:th century amI ar e dres~ed not in white, ;ls in ;III the other depictions of them in Ravenna, but in the imperial



95. Son,'-

ApoIlinac< in 0 â&#x20AC;˘ ..." ,be T .. ,,,figu,,",ioo\ mosaic in the 'p"" ...",h,

mcJ.llion fl.nkcJ tor "1"""., lsai.h, ,heH.ndof GOO(,""'e),

....Jthr<'<m<p 'opr<SCnting '1",,01 .. (photo


costume of white tunic, purple chkmrys, and r~..:! shoes,l08 Uclow them busts of the evangelists Mawew ~nd Luke were made in the twelfth cenrory, \Vc have seen the four evangelist symbols appear in the mausoleum of Galla Placidia and the rnpdln nmvtsrovifr, the clouds in San Michele in AfridS(() and San Vitale, the sheep proceeding from the holy cities in San Vitale, and the archangels in scveral churches, We cannot say, therefore, whether the artists oflater cenrories were inspin..:! bymosaics from other Ravennate churches or from the original concepts in this church, A~

Vault, The vault of the apse contains a striking and eompletely original desigll (1'1. Vlll b), The central element is a medallion containing a jeweled gold cross with a tiny lJ.t,arded bUSt of Christ at its l't:ntcr and the words IX8Vl: above and SALVS " IVNDI below it (Fig, 95 )' The cross is set against a light blue sl,:y set with ninety-nine gold stars,!'''! the alpha and omega, and is surrounded by a red and gold jeweled border. The wholc medallion floats in a scene that is hal f gold sky and half green landscape, Above the cross, the Hand of God points dO"11 toward it, and divine clouds fill the gold background, Floating in this sly arc two malt figure> depictl..:! from the waist up, wearing tunics and mantles that float in the hrec~c, on the left, youthful and beardless, is Moses (Iabek-d l\'QYSES) and on the right, with white hair and beard, is Elijah (labeled I-lbEL YAS). Their right hands gesture toward the cross. Standing in the upper pan of the landscape and Ul' at the lTOSS arc three sheep, one on tbe left and two on the right. The entire scene is a very curious depiction of the Transfiguration,




the e\,ent dcscri lled in rhe Gospels (Man. r7:1--<), Nlark 9'1-8, Luke 9:~8 )6). In the narrative, Jesus takes hj~ disciples Peter,Jame.~, and John up Mt. T aoor, is transfigured (h is face and his white garments radiate light), and speaks to i\'ioscs and Elijah, arrer which thc.'Y arc overshadowed by a hright cloud and spoken to by God the Father, who says, ~This is my Son, whom Ilo\'e; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" In this mosaic, the three disciple-witnesses are shown as sheep, and instead of a glowing Christ we

ha \'c the cross in the medallion. Gospel figures arc not the only witnesses to this Transfiguration: below the medallion stands the titul;lr saint ofthc church, Apol1inaris, dressed as an archhishop in a gold chasuble, white robe, and pallillm, with white tonsured hair and beard,]'" identified by na ille as SAI,lCTVS APOLENARIS. He stands with both arms raised in a gesture of prayer, the pose adopted by the bishoJl at rhe beginning of the Eucharistic ceremony.' " H owever, t\pollinaris docs not look up at the Transfiguration scene or the cross, but out into the chu n路h. He is flanke.l on the baseline of the \'~ult by twc1ve more sheep, sepJrated hy clusterS of white 1ilies with red roses under their feet; the number 12 implies the apostles. hut since three of the apostles are also depicte(l above, these sheep lIlay be intended to represelll Apollinaris's cong regatio n) " Peter Chrysologtls, in his sermon on t\pollinnris, says, "behold as a good shepherd he stands in the mi(lst of his flock, '" and this seems to have been the efreet intended by the mry.;aic's creators. The efi't.'Ctin;n of the image can be seen in a story told by Agnellus. in which Ravenna's clergy Hee to Classeand implore their tounder rosave them from a rapacious bishop: "I-Ioly Peter gave you [Q us as a shepherd. Therefore we arc your sheep." JI' All the figures stand in a l'lnrlscape tha t is filled with rocks, rather fantastic trees. atHl a variety of birds. Different shades of green also add variety and texture to the scene. The arch of the apse is filled with a pattern of geometric and tIoral elements ami binls that was m3.1e in the seventh centuryY " Restora t.ions of the apse Illosaic> in 1948-9 and 19iO-! revealed the underd rawings. or sillopic that represent the original design of these mosaics, paimed directly 011 the bricks (I'rg. 94禄 )' ~ Today these drawings. carefully removed, can ue viewed in the l\lu~eCJ Nazionale in Ravenna . On the upper part of the ap>;c the dimensions of the medallion with the cross were lightly sketched, although when it was actually in t1lo~ic it was 10 cm larger than the drawing. No sillopic were fou nd UlU!er th .... other elements of the Transfiguration scene, so we Illay wonder whether originally the meaning of the cross was something different. On the lower part of the wall, the sketches show tha t originally there was to be another cross in the center, flanked by peacocks, birds confronting t'a'ies, and plant~, amI a horder above atHl below, all motifs known from other mosaic and sculpted jmages in Rave nna )'/';


It is likely that this lower {lecorJtion was never eXl'Cu fed in mosaic, but th~t the rl~n was changed, perhaps Vict(Jr or Maximian, Uc)th of whom recognizerl the potential for visually enhancing the episcopal irleology of this church .JI' Vie will renl rn to this (luCsrion in the next section. J\hny of the iconogrdphical elements, symbols, and themes in this llIosaic cnn be compa"ed to those from other contemporal')' monuments. T he Transfiguration appears in other apse lllosait's ofthis perio{l; the only one that survives is the example in the church in the monastery of St. Cath erine at Sinai in Egypt, spomored h;.: Justi nianyR The Sin~i mosnic, howcver, docs not include any extra figures and (e:ltures a conventional image of Christ at the center, as do al most aII later images of the scene.l'? Two-wne compositions ill which the figures in the lower zone look up at a divine c\'ent allove art: depicted on StnallllmpllIIm', o r lIasks for hol<ling holy ligUills, from the Holy Lan{1 that date to the fifth JIlII si.xth centuries ami may rdh'Ct large-scalf.! works of art at thf.! major pilgrimage sites thcreY '" Jew-clccl crosses werc a common motif in latc anti!]llc art, and we havc alrearly seen se\'eral examples in Ravenna; a jeweled crass was also all actual objl'Ct pn:sent in churches and used in liturgi('al processions)" Notwith standing these similarities, no other representation o[fers this particular combination of elements which has led scholars to argue that there must be some parti('ular theological meaning attached to itY ' Man}' scholars have attempted to explain the meaning of Sant'Apollinore in Classc's apse 1I10saic by emphasizing its eschatological, visiona~', or liturgical dimensions, usually by referring to patristic exegesisYl 'l'hllS, for example, the substitution of the cross fo r Christ can be read as emphasizing the connections between the T rans6guration and the Crucifixion; as alluding, along with the paradisiaca l landscape, to the Transfiguration as the prefiguration of the Se('(md Coming; as reprcsellling Chrisl's overa ll history; and/or as reflecting the cr05S that stood on the altar (luring the performance of the liturgy)'-I In fact, just as in I>iblical exegesis, there Jre numerous possible interprefations, any anrl all of which may be viable. If may not be pos,ible to know what the mosaic's creators intended when they rlesigned it; and in fact, as we have seen, parts of the rlesign were significantly mollified during the course of the work. Base(1 on tile e\'idence from the silllJpie, it seems th;lt o rigin;ll1y the designers had planned ;1 centra l cross flanked by figures, perhap~ Apollinaris and a tounder-bishop, with an abstr;ICt rlesign below. "" hen the plan was changed to emphasi~e /\polli naris, somcone came up with the clever idea of using the cross as the foca l poi nt of a Transfigu ration scene, a subject that was gaining popuhnity in J ustinian's empire. Thc resltlt was a \'ertical axis (Apollinaris praying to the cross) and a horizontal axis (the Transfiguration), with tile cross as the link octween the two. Whichcver theological meaning was imcnded in itially,



surely the designers would h;lve wekomc\l the muldni lle of mcanings gcner:lted by different viewers. As with other mid-sixth -century Orthodox churches, sOll1e motifs in Sa nt' Apollinare's mosai('S Illay rcpn::sent a specifically anri-Arian thL'Ology, although here this theme seems more muted than in some of the orher churches. Hfhile the 'fransngllration can represent the momen t of cOllSubsuntiality between the Father and the SOIl, 1:5 the Arialls probably interprctc(l God's words on Mt. Tabor as depicting Christ's lesser status, since God has to tell the apostles to listen to him, T here arc certainly groups of th rees: three bands gesturing to the crosS in the apse, three sheep, three fig1lres at the altar in the right panel (although thes!.' may not be original), but they do not seem overt. The <lrchangels on the triumphal arch hold banners with the Trisagion pra}'l~r (Holy, Holy, I-Ioly), also perhaps Trinitaria n amI representative of the eastern Liturgyy6 As we have seen for San Vitale, the three Old Testament figures at the alt~r all rclate to the E.pistle to the Hebrews. Ovc r~lI, however, ~nti-Ari~n theology docs not seem to phi}' a prominent role in this church.

Apse Willdow Zon.e. The mosaics of the winJow zone of this church highlight the various roles of the bishops of Ravenna, 3S betits a church (leJ icated to their founder Y ' Within the soffits and jambs of the window arches are mosaic columns and geometric borders, now remade on the basis of fragments found there. Between the five wi ndows we fi nd fOUf notable bishops of Ravenna, labeled by name (Fig , 96); from left to right, these arc Ecclesius, Sancrus Se~'e ru s, Sanctus Ursus, anll Ursicinus, Each is Itressed "pollinal'is above aDd bolds a jeweled book in his left band , while his right is raised in blessing. Severus ami Ursus, identified as 路'sancrus," stand in a niches Aanked U}' jcwelet\ colullllls, surmounted by golt\ conches, beneath which are suspenl\el\ curtains and votive crowns; Ecclesius and Ursicinus h ~vc the same frames, but their columns are hrown and theif conches arc green, Certainly the pres!.'nce of four bishops holding books must be intended to evoke the four e \'angelisl~ Y ~ 8m why these four bishops? MlIximiall, who was wel l "crsed in the history of the sec, must have selected them as his most nota ble predecessors; the presence of historical a nJ contemporary bishops, ;llong with the founder St. Apol lin;lris. all wearing the pI/Ilium, provides an abbreviated history of the see, linking the great bishops of the past to the present. Ursus was the founde r of the cathedral , bm nor otherwise venerated, as far 3S we know; SCVCfllS'S cult was obviou,ly growing, as he would be honore(\ with his own church at the end of the n:nulry. Ursicinus was the founde r of dle church, and his predcccssor Ecdesius was dearly seen at this time as a major figure , although we have no information linki ng him di rectly with this ch urch. ~"I \'\ 'h y was Peter



?6. Son" · "1'011;""", ;n

a ..... Sl. Apol . li ",,'; •• oo (\eft to ';ght)


ops Ecd'-';us, St. S••• rus, St. U" ... , ....t Ursicin",

Chrysologus not represented? Perhaps in the sixth century he w~s not as famous locally as he would latcr becomc; his ool k ction of scrmons .... as only edited and publ ished by Archbishop Felix in the euly eighth <:enrury, and Agnellus .... rote the first version of his biography in the ninth . T he two panels on the outmOSt walls of the apse wcrc madc, or remade, in the S<.'Venth eentury or later.JJo \Ve do not know whether similar representations wcrc here originally, but it seems that the bter anists tool.: their inspira tion from the mosaics of San Vitllle ,!J' These mo saics have also been hcavi Iy restored. 'I' O n the left .... al l, wc see a scene set ben-·cen jeweled mlunms with an open curtain hehind. In the center an archbishop stands next to all emperor; both arc halol'd (Fig. 97). The archbishop is dressed like .11 the other archbishops in th is church; the emperor wears a pUTj)le chlamys with gold tllbiioll over a white tl.!n;c. To the right of the archbishop we see first another 3r<:hbishop, without a halo, who receives from the emperor a scroll with the word privi/rgill written on it; behind him stand a priest in a gold chasuble, then two dcacons bearing censcr and pyxis. O n the left, twO more hNds S<.'em also to reprCSL'llt emperots, since thL')' are abo halClot'd (the ir bodies, now drL"Ssed like the figures next to J ustinian in San Viti Ie, arc entirely restored). A final figure, holding what seems to be a dboriu1J1 on a purple-co"ered pillo .... , stands behind them (his body below the waist is Ijk~wise completely restored). \Vhilc the composition and fonnal elements clearly r<:l1ect the San Vitale panel, the ,..:ene depicts a sp,_'<;ific historieal moment, the granting of privileges to Ra"cnna's chur<:h by a BY£3.ntine clllperor or group of cmperors.


97. Sant'_ '\I>olIi"31'<: in CI~~sc.

mQ ...~i c QIl Ihe IlQrth ",,,II Qf .he "f'S<: . lcpiL1_ ,nl: cl111"'rorS

wim A,.., .. bish0f> RCf>arorus

V.' hal c\'cm thiS was is thc subject of debate. Agnellus reportS that the image depins the granting of a set of privileges uy Emperor Constantine IV (668-85) and his brothers Hcraclius and Tiberius to Archbishop Rcp~ra颅 OlS (67 1-7)' Below th is image was the inscription "This ReparaOls, tha t he might be a comrade to the saints, made new det'Orations for this hall, to blaze through the ages," and above the heads it read, "Constantine the senior emperor, l-leraclius ami Tiberius emperors.";路I) The specificity of the privileges listed b}1 t\gnellus suggests that he S;lW a document listing them ) )4 However, Deichmann argued that by Agnellus's (by part of the inscription was missing, and that instead the scene clcpicts the gr31lt o f autocephaly made to Bishop Maurus by the emperor Consu ns II, installed by Reparatus to com memorate his own role as me ambassador who obtained the privilege.Hi T his was a significan t event in Ravenna's history and will be discussed 3t greater length in the following chapter. The lIlost we can say is



S~,,! '足

AllO liiua ..... in C lasS<) . ,uos:,i c on !he s(U uh w~11 ohh c~l'sc

dcpicting /\lod. ,\ Idc hi""del.:, ~ nd Ab.-.,Il,,,, and Isaac (f)h o!o I n~ti"'t Rir K unstgc:;c hichtc dcr Joh~"ncs Gutenb"rg Uni_ wn;it1it lainz. Bilddatcnb;,nk)


that Reparatus was active in a number of IlOlitical events and commissioned the mosaic to commemorate them. Facing this scene is a conlhtion of the hlllerrc mosaics from San Vitale, again vcry heavily rcstored_ H~ Between jeweled columns and backed by a curtain, we see an altar idcntically laid out to thconc in San Vitale, with Abel [0 me leftofferinga lamb, Abraham and Isaac [0 the right, and NIc1chisedek (identified by name) in the center, with the Hand orGad descending from dOUils to the left (Fig. 911). Scholars do not agree whether this depiction originally goes back to the time of the church's construction, or whether it dates from rhe rime of Reparanls's mosaic opposite. Given that rhe latter was so clearly inspired by the mosaics of San Vitale, it would not be out of place for both to date to the same period, but by the same token the offering mosaic's correspondence with those of San Vitale can also argue for a sixth-century date.Hi The olfering figures emphasize the role of the bishop, the successor of Melchisedek, 11ft presiding at me altar dirtttly in


front of the mosaic, As in Sail Vitale, they unite thc actors in the lirurgic<ll drama with the figures Ilepicte,l around them, giving a,I,litional meaning to both . Over time, therefore. rhe mosaic~ of Sant'Apollinare in Classe came to represent the various functions of the archbishop, from his liturgical role to his political importance to his statliS as heir of Apollillaris and thus ultimately of Christ. The program brilliantly reinforced the ~tatuS of tile archbishops as they rose in importance, and wou ld contain the seeds of their aspiratiom in the following centuries. SAl' SEVERO

The church dedicated to Ravenna's fourth-century bishop SeH:'rus was the last major COllstrucrion undertaken ill Classt: in the s~\1:h century. I \') Begun by Archbi~hop Peter 1LI sometime after 570, it was completed by his successor John U and (1cIlicated in 581. 1-10 T he church was located I kill to the north of the recently com pletc!l Sant'Apollinare, just in~ide the city walls of Classe. "" The building relllained in usc through the eighteenth century (its mon~stery was \lsed as a residence by the Ocronian emperors in the tentll century), was partially rebuilt in 1468 and again in 1754. but was entirclr dcstro}'e<1 hy IR2 0 .J 4 ' The site was t:xcal'att:J in 1964-7, in the 19705, in 1981 '""91, ami is now the suhjc<:t of new investigations. These operations ha\路e re\路ealed a complete ground plan (Fig. CJ9) and some of the mosaic Aoors of the sixth -centur}' church, o,'erlying an earlier chapel and before that. a veTy large Rom~n bath com p lex .'''~ Agnellus says that John moved the body of the sa int from the adjacent chapel of St. Ru fillo , on the south side, into tbe ch urch ; H~ excavations have indet:d revealed a suite of rooms to the south of the western end of the church, inciu{ling a small reetangularcc11 measuring 6.6 )(, 5,9 III with a western apse, connttte!l to the main church by another room ami having an ad(jirional room or rooms farther to the south. These rooms were originally thought to date to the sixth cenOlry, bur hal'c recently been Tedated to the fifth, J45 [ n addition, a s<}uare room with mosaics from the fifth or early sixth centuries was found under the floor of the basilica lind has been suggested as the earlier chapel dedicated to the saint, although it could also have heen somc other son of buil{\ing. l i~ The main church measured 6-1. 7 x l7.3 1l1t:ters (inclw.ling the apse, narthex, and walls). T he buil(ling had a nave flanked by single aisles, with a nanhex and an apse that ~'as polygonal externally, circular internally, T he nave was 1!'35 m wide, JUS t over twice the width of the aisles and thus in perfect accord with the dimensions of most other Ra vennatc basilicas. The foundations, at least, were made of reused Roman Oricl.:, ami no remains of Ju lian orick!> have OCCll assoct.ltc(l with the site, Remains in the apse arca


' OS

99- San S<,..,ro, Cl=e, ground pbn of the lot. ";nh-ÂŤn,ur), bo,ili<~

{il'oClooingi.. uJt4) .... l t t.e ea ri icrehal"'l. toth â&#x20AC;˘ ..,.,th, ..



jilil ' o 5

, 10m

of both rubi fiw,/i an d glass tesserae in green, bl ue, red , gold, and silver indicate that the church was ~imilar in this resp<.x:t to other~ of its class. From the sur.'iving remains, it is deduced that the nave colonnade included Tl columns)"7 Excavations also reveak"<l that an unusually large btmn, or platfOnn, extended from the apse 7 m imo the church, and from this a sokn, or elevated walkway, led farther cast TO whcre an ambo would have been placed ).R Almost half of the siXth -<xntllry mosaic pavements from the na ve and aisles were uncovered during c>;cavations; they consist of a series of r~'Ctanglllar polychrome fllpptri, each of which had a different geometric pattern; several ofthcm includ~"<l birds, fish, an d other animal motifs)"" As a whole, this structure was about the same size as its neighbor Sant'Apollinarc; it represents the continuing ambitions and financial re5Ource~ of Ravenna's church at the end of the sixth cenulry, but it was to be the last large church built until the nimh cemu,)',

m'coled from ",<>,~,ioos (.ft .. ,\ t . ioLiISt0I'I'M.";,

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Ravenna, ca. AD 840 (at the time of Agnellus)

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By the year 600, Ravenna had finally lIecome a notable city. \Vi tl! n 10o-year history as a ca pital, a leading Illember of the i,.'Cdc~i a sti('aJ hierarchy, and an international port, aod <:ontaining splenil!(1 monuments {;I)mmcmor~t足 ing its politica l lind ecclesiastical history, the city had ;lchicvcd elite status, l.'specially at a time in which so many other formerly great citics, not It:ast Rome, hold d r asticall~' declined. Until this poim, Ravenna's fortunes had gone in a completely opposite dirt:Ction fr0111 those of the Tcst o f western Euro~. But alas, fate was fina lly to catch up with Ravenna, and if the build ings remained in relatively good ('onelition tor the lleA1: 150 year'S, the port, the population, and the infrastru cture began a slow decline. The Frankish t:mperor C harlemagne viewed Ravenna, arou nd Roo, as an im pressive capital, wo rthy of emu];nion; hut me fact that ht! was able to re move precious bu ilding ma terials from the city fOl' his own capital of Aachen shows that Ravenna was no longe.r a living, growing capital, a museum of past glory . There are a number of reasons why the early seventh century marks a crucia l division in the fortunc~ of Ravcnna. ' Archat:ologists point to this period as rhe rime whcn impons and c\'idence ofcom lllerce, e5pccially with mt! East, declines dramatically; this was linked to the silting up of tht! harhor ofCia sse, a process whose effects began to be felt at this time. Political evems aft!:r 600 also reduced the e.lIlpire's capacity to invest ill the. Slllall imperial province in Italy, except for a short-Jived rcvival under COllStans U. Ben ign neglect call be a good thing; in Ravenna a starus {IUO was maintained tor more than a century, probably to the a([vantagc of the ci ty 's inhabita nts. It may o nly be hisrorians looking at earlier evidence of greatness who see mis period as a time of decline and stagnation. Cenainly Agnellu~, writing at the end of this period, dis plays linle regret abou t the current status o f his city. He depicts a cOllllllunity and its leat!ers still engaged wLth a large ou tside wo rl(\, actively engaged in all ongoi ng histOric;}! process.




The doser we come to the ninth century, the more potentially useful Agnellus becomes as a SOurce for Ravenn~ '!; hi~t()ryt althnugh in many <..'lses his stories arc opaque. One o f Agncllus's themes was the riva lry between thl,' archbishops of Ravenna and thl,' popes, which reached its height in thl,' seventh and eighth centuries. AgneIlus demonstrates Ravenna's long, proud history and uses it to justil)' the independence of his church fr0111 Rome. This riva lry also strongly influenced OUf other lIlain source for the period, the Roman Lihn POlltijiCl'/is, which wma ins information that directly COJltradicts Agncllus's accounts. \"ic cannot, however, sim ply rcjL'Ct Agncllus as an ah istorical partisan, sincc the Roman text \\';lS just as propagand istic on bchalfofrhc popes.' Both t<.'xtS rogethcr, along with Paul the Dea<..'on路s llisfQri(1 umg(JINIrtiomlll, which narrates evems up [0 the year 785, enable us to write a fairly comprehensive political history of this period. f:fowever, information nbout social, religious, and culturnl acuvity in Rnvellna in this pcriod is much more rcstriw:(I. A firc destroyed rhe episcop~1 archive ~roun(1 700, and thu~ most of the 3 I documents thar survive fo r the period 600-800 da te to the later eighth century) Several of these arc presen'ed b("'C:llIS<.' in the late tenth cenOiry they were mlJied into a regisrer of dee(is known as the Codex BI/iJII1"IIS o r the Bn'Vlill'il/lIl t:rdrsillt' RIlLJr"llllllriJ".-4 Recent archaeological investigations, especially at the Via D'M.eglio and Pm!ert: Chiavichetta sites, have revea led long se(]uences that include this period, and prQvicle invaluable information alxlUt certain aspecb of Ravenna's life, but they represent only I;"\\"O areas of a large inhabited rcgion. Conclusions abollt the u rbiln fil bric and inha bitants of l{a\'enna in this period therefore rem;lin h}1)()thetic;l1.

Ravenna, Capital of the Byzantine Exarchate The yc~ rs bctwecn 600 and 750 rcprescnt one of thc most intercsting periods of Ravcnna 's history, one rhilt 5.1 W fundamenral changes in thc political alignment of centr~llt~ly ) In 600 the major players were the Byzantines and the Lom bards; by thc i50S itwas the Franks and the popes who dominawd Iraly. Ra venna, as the seat of the exarch, remained a political centcr, but in the rourse of the 150 yc.lrs the Byzantine administration bt:(.'a me illcrt:asingly irrelevant. By the time the Franks ("Qnllllen:{! Italy, it was once again Romc, not R;lVenna, that was thc centcr of political activity. At the start of t hc seventh cenOlry, t hc l..ombilrds and the Byzantines were reaching an equilibrium in Italy. Although the Lombard king Agilulf went on the offensi\fc against the Byzantines, thrcatening Rome in 5Y3 -4, coullterthreatencc! by the prefect Rom3nus in 595 with short-term truces negotiated sevcral times before his death in 616. after 619 therc w;}s a


twenty-rear period of peace in which both sides consolidated their territories and estahJi~hed defemes. 6 T he Byzantine administration tortified 01(1 centers and founded new towns along the border with the Lombard kingdom, notabl" n Ferrara, Comacchio, and Argcnt3iscveral of thcse wen: new establishments be<.'ause, as we will see, the branches of the Po had shifted since the Roman period ) T he Lombarcls undel' King Rothari resll med the ;1tt' in 641 anil conquered Genoa all/I the region around it, defeating the e:.:arch Isaac's army in64 z, bur Ravenna and thc PCllta(X)lis were spared. In the early ~eventh century, the government in Con~tantinople had more serious things to wOrry about than the fate of its It,}li;]11 colony. Invasions by Slavs, A\'ars, Ihdgars, and Persians led to internal dissension, exacerbated by the finan cial crisis that had resulted from Justinian's combination of tOO many wors and depo pulation because or the plague. The invasions cut the land routes between Constan tinople amlluly and also reduced, over tillie, the number of ships that sailed in the !\'Iediterranean; from now o n, it wOIII(1 take milch longer (thrce to ~ ix months) to m~ kc the journey:'! T he em peror NI auriC(: (58~ -60 :: ) introduced hscal lind military reforms that were so vastly 1l1lpoPIllar that he W;JS finally murden:d; his S\H:cessor Phocas introd\lCed a reign ofrerror that w~s only ended when H eraclius (610- 41), son of the governor of Africa , captured COllStantinople ;J 11I1 had PhOCllS executed in turn. The Persian empire, resurgent under ambitious new rulers, had taken the opportunity in the meantime to capture Egypt, Syria, and much of Asia Nlinor, and, along with the Avars, besieged Conmntinople in 6:6 . Most o f Heraclius's am:ntion during his long n:ign was directed toward dlC defeat of the Persiano; and their northern allies, and then, fi nally, the new Arab armies. Moreover, from the 6305 unti16Ro the Byzantine emperors suppo rted the doctrine of monothditi.~Il1, a c()m promise betv.'een the Illiaphysirc ,md the Chalcedonian positions 011 thc nature of Christ that was not satbfactory to either side; this put the emperors theologically at odds with the popes and the western church. The Arab threat likewise preoccupied most Byzantine rulers until thl;' mid-I;'ighth cennll"}'. Italy was nor exempt from the empire's troubles. Slavs and Avars attackeel the northeast corner of the exardulte in the period fi 10- 19 and within the territory there was a continual series of revolts against imperial authority . In 616, the cX<lrch John and other offidals werc killed in an upheaval o f lInknown Ca\lst: .... Heradius sent as the new eorch ÂŁIemherius, a eu nuch who punished the rebels, put down a revolt in Naplcs, 10 and signed a treaty with Lombards by which the imperial government paid th('m massivc tribute. Rayenna seems to have gone to Eleurherius's heael ; in 619, although a eunuch, he tried to make himself emperor, bllt hc was killed on the way to Rome by $OlIle ofhi~ army.' r The exarch Isaac held power for eighteen years (625--13), the longest of all the cxarchs; his epitaph, in Greek ;}nJ


RAVEN N A CAPITAl. AD 600- 850

Latin, still survives on an early fifth-century sarcophagus that he reused (Fig. 101 ), in San Vitale, which n:a<ls: " I fere lies he who w~s k~dcr of the Jl1l1y and who for 18 years kept Rome and the \ Vcst s~fe for thl."" SC"rcne sovl.""rdgns: Isaac. support of thc emperors. grc'lt glory of all Annenia. descencled as he was from glorious Amlcnia n stock. Aftcr his glorious death his wise wife Su~ann~h griel'eJ withuut ,",case, like ~ pure dO\'e, depri"ed of her husbmJ whu t..y his m ighty deeds acquired fame ill East ami \Vest, si n!.:e frolll th!.: \.vcst and the East he led his annics.

Isaac loyally supported the emperors, which caused him to be im'olved in the monothclitc controversy against the JX)pes. In fi39, the ch(lrm/(IrillJ Mauridus led his troops [0 sack rhe L~teran treasury, with rhe participation of Isaac; when in 643 l\'1auricius decided to side with the popes, Isaac led his ar1tty to Rome, captured and beheaded Mauricius, and displayed his heau in the circus at Ravcnna. 1l Olympius. another eunuch exarch, was scnt to arrest Pope Martin I because he woulll not au:ept the imperial dogma. Olympius, howcver, changed si(les, allying with the pope. T-Ie died in Sicily in 652, and in 653 the new exarch, "rh~'Odore Calliopas, arrested Pope .Nlartin for campI icity in lilt" revolt and sellt him to Constantinople, where he was condemned and died in exile. '4 Consuns n Pogonaws (641 - 68), the grandson of Heradius, inherited at age eleven an empire at extreme risk o f invasion from the Araos and Sla\'s. The carl}' years o f his reign saw the loss of Egypt, parts of North Africa, and various Meoiterranean islanos to the Arabs. Although he managed to hold o ff the Slavs. his religious policies and his murder of his brother ma(le hiJll vcry unpopular in Constantinople. In tbe summer of 66 ~ he carne west, first tl) Greet:e and then [11 66 3 into Italy, the fi.n temperor to set foot 011 the peninsula since 476. Apparently he had decided to abandon Constantinople and transfer the imperia l residence to Sicily. Natura!!y, this would have had many important tepercussions for the gOI'efllmcllt of Italy. Const:lns U fought and negotiated with the Lombards as he marched north from Taranro to N aples, and then to Rome, where he stayed only twelve days. He did not visit Ravenna, but he certainly took an interest in its bishop: in 666 he issued an t'diet ct"lllct'ding the right of autoeephaly, or indepemlence from the popes of Rome, which will be discussed furthcr in the nC.\7t section. After Romt' Const:ms malle his way to Sicily and established his court at Syt;lCUSC, where he was murdered in his b;Jth in the summer of 668. Back in Constantinople, Byzantine military leaders establ ished Constans's son as Constantine IV (66B-85), amI the Italian experimenr was over. '5 After 668, there was a shift in political alliances in ByzmHine h aIrY' \Vherea~ earlier the Ilopes and rhe exarchs had hall independent relationships with the emperors, now thcse two p~ rtics werc frequently aligned.



101. S1I1 Vi .. l< â&#x20AC;˘

...""",.,.gus of ,he<nrdl..""


(d,I4))' ' 'rfy fifth.cenmry

"ithKÂĽ<nthC<1ItIllJI i.-..cripboo, (ptio<() C Cr>i1e>1""""j

sometimes 3g..inst imperial poliq'. Moroover, the loc~1 ariSto":Ta~'Y in Italy, who controlled the anny in Ra~enna, e:.ened their own authority more and more, rendering the foreign cxarchs essentially powerless. The most obvi ous examples of the change are the mempts to forcibly bring the pope to Constantinople. In 653 Theodore Call iopas had suecessfu lly apprehend~"tl Pope M artin. But in 693, when the empcror Justinian II sent his protosplltbllrius (commander) Zacharias to bring Popc Scrgius to Constantinople, the Ravenna te army m~rched to Rome to defend the popc. Zacharias was fUrred to hide under the pope's bed, and he ultimately returned to the capital empty handed. In 701, in a similar situation, the army of Ravenna protected Pope John VI from the enreh Theophy12cr. 1 ; The eighth century was a time of great confusion and upheaval in Ita ly, both for ecclesiastical and politic:.J1 reasons. ,8 Justinian I [ was furious about Pope Sergi us's defiance of his summons to his ~uuncil , but he was also deeply unpopul ar al home. and in 695 he was deposed, his nose and lOngue were slit, and he was sent into e~ile on the Black Sca coast. '9 Justinian esca l~'(] to the Khazars , and, aided by the Bulgars and Slavs, was rerurned to power in 705 . He made peace with Pope Constantine, but he also inaugur:lted a bloodhath upon his enemies, and among the victims were certa in Ra\"Cllnatc leaders, induding Archbishop Felix, who were arrested, brought


RAVENNA CArlTAl. AD 600-850

Constantinople, and variously IOrrured.'o AgnelJus says that cilis evem precipitated an uprising in Ravenna, led by one of his ancestors, 3 man named George whose father had been arrested and taken to the capitaL The new cxarch. John Riwcopus, landed not in Ravenna but in Naples, and only came to Ravenna after cx~"Cuting severa l officials in Rome, whcre~ upon he died a nasty death (rurpissimll mrnt~ IKcubuit), possibly murdered by the rebels," \Vhen J ustinian was eventually m\lrder~xI in 711, his head was brought to Italy and displayed in Ra"cnna and Rome, and his SlIccessor Philil'picus g:wc rich gifts to Felix." The violence of the previolls dcradcs apparently made many [talians fccl that they could do withollt the Byzantine empire, although it is interesting that very few seem to have W:afllL'<lIO become part of the Lombard kingdom. From 7" to 7'7 there was politica l turmoi l in the East, but in 7'7 Leo U1 restored order and repellet! an Arab siege of Constafllinople. In order to pay for Byzantine administration in Italy, hc imposed hca'}, IlIxes on the Italians; he all'O, starting in 7!6 or 7! 7, began to promulgate Iconoclasm, an anti -imagc religious policy, which alicnatcd much of thc western Church including the prclates of Ravenna and Rome. T he Lombards had begun to attack the cxarchate starting in 717- 18, when the Lombard Duke FaroaJd of Spoleto took Classe, but returned it to "the Romans" at the order of King Liutprand; Liutprand himself captured Oasse slightly later. ') The port was rt"tUrncd to thc new cxarch, Paul, but in 7!i, apparently in thc l"(lntcxt uf an upri,ing against the imperi al polky of Iconoclasm, ur perhaps in resentment of greatly increased taxes, Paul was kil led in Ra,·enna . '~ After the death of Paul, the aggressiw popes Gregory II , Gregory III, and Zacharias staked their claim to be the rulers of the fonner eUTChate, as T. Noble has demonstrated.'s Emperor Ll'O []] scnt another e~rch, Eutychius. who made an alliall<:e with Liutprand against the pope, then Liutprand madc peacc with thc pope, thcn Eutyehius allied with the popc against Liutprand. Local leaders were in charge in Ra,·enna and Eutychius was initially not accepted; in 731 Leo III sent a naval rdid against Italy wh ich must haw Ix."en making for Ravenna when it foundered in the Adriatic!6 The Lombards under Liuq)rand became more and more aggressi,·e; Eutychius was ewnffially rccci,·ed in Ravenna, but the city "'35 capturetl in 739 by a Lombard army, and the archbishop, exarch, and leading citi zens had to Ike to the Venetian SWam]lS, whenl"C, at the request of Pope Gregory III, they retook Ra,·enna with the f1~t of the Duke of Veni~!; LiUlprand attacked Ravenna again in 743, and aga in Eutych ius and ArchbishopJohn V (at least according to the Roman Lib" prmtifirillir) asked G regory's successor Zacharias for hcIp.'8 Upon Liutprand 's dcath in 744, Ralchis signl'<la peace treaty for "all Italy" with the pope, hut in 749 h~ abdicated in favor uf his brother Aistulf, who aggressiwly att3cket! the Pentapolis. The Lombard anny tool.: Ferrara, Curnacchio, and finally, in 75 ' , Ra\"\."nna , whereupon to


llyzantine rule in northern Italy ceased. ' 9 Aistul f was impressed by Ra,·enna and may ha'·e intended to make it his capi tal, issuing his first diploma "in palatio" On Ju ly 4, 75 I, hilt the popes had other ideas. [n 755 Aistulf was compelled by the Frankish king Pepin to relinquish the city and it went not to the B)'7..antines but to the ))())JC5. Ra\·cnna ·s days as a ",pital were owr.

Archbishops and Popes: The Autocephaly Questio n In the se.-cnth and eighth centuries the popes became effectively secular as well as religious leaders in both Rome and their territory. Ravenna's archbishops, residing in a city in which the secular authority of the exarells was constantly present, did not have the opportunity to assume the same kind o f allthority, hilt som~ of th~m clL":lrly envied their papal rivals. The struggle o,·er the status of Ravenna's archbishops that had begun in the late sixth l...,ntury was raken up apin in the mid-seventh, and evennJally developed pol itical as well as ecclesiastical dimensions) " In 6.p Ravenna acquired a nL'll" archbishop, M aurus, who Sl...,ms to have had ambitions exceeding even those of his predecessors. "-hurus initia ted a historical project to demonstrate his see·s importance: as we have already seen, the Pilmo of Apollinaris may well date to his reign, and so may the fulse D iploma of Valentinian Ill, which purports to be the documen t tha t conferred metr(ll)()liran status on Ravenna's bishop in the mid- fifth century.!' Agnellus tells us that Maurus "went [0 Conscmtinople on many occasions, SO that he might free hi s chun;h from the yoke or domination of the Romans." We ha ve no way of verifying these \"O}';)ges, but we do know that in 666 Constans IJ, who had recently come to [taly, granted a priv_ ilege (tyPUJ) nf autou~phaly, or independence from Rome, to the see of Ra"cilna. Th e privilege stated that the archbishop of Ravenna woul d be ~"On5l.~raled by three of his ~uffrugan bishops rather than by the pope and that he would not be subject [0 orders from the pope.!' Presumably this change was intended to weaken the influence of the popes in the Italian church; not surprisingly, Pope Vitalian stronglyohjecred to the decree and excommu nicated "-hurus, who in return removed the pope's name from the liturgy in Ravenna ) ! "-hurus's SUCCCS50r Reparatu5 l"Qntin Ul-d his policies and recei,'~-d tax concessions from the emperors in Constantinople; Agnellus tells uS that these privileges were commemorated in the mosaic in the apse of Sant'AIXlllinarc in (Fig. 97).li The Roman Librr prmtiflflllh, on the other hand, tells us instead that the church of R3\'enna was reconciled with Pope Donus, after which Rel>.:lratuS died )' Most schola rs have tended to bdieve the Roman \·crsiol1, but there is no real reason to prefer it to Agnellus's al"COunt. )6 H owl'VCr, it is true th at autocephaly did not last long: ,\hurus's


RAVENNA CArlTAl. AD 600-850

second successor, Theodore, although conseeratcd in Ravenna , resuhmitlt'd Ra"enJla'S church to Pope Aguho in 680, and returned th e rypus of autocel'haly to Pope Leo ll. ll y 682, the emperor Constantine IV ha d issued a decree fonnally rt"\'Oking it.J7 Stovcrul of the archbishops of the eighth century, notably Felix and Scrgius, continued the struggle fur autonomy with limited success. Upon his consecration at Rome in ~, Felix refused to sign a document guaranIt'Cing Ihat he would not disturb the unity of the church; in Justinian Irs sweep o f Raven nate leaders Feli x was arrestC<.1 and taken ro Constantino),le, where he was blinded. \Vhen J ustinian was murdered in 7' t, Felix returned to Ravenna, where he reignt-d for another fourtt"Cn years. T he Roman Lib" ptmtifolllh tells uS that Felix had rebelled against the authority of the pope and portrays his capture and blinding as divine punishment. Agnellus l11a kes Felix one of the saintly hishops of Ravenna; no mention is made of a quarrel or rcoonciliatioll with Rome, but the entire story is set in the franle o f Ravennate-llyzantine politics. Sinl"t' Agnellus's aClvunt is a reaction against the ~ery anti-Ravennate bias of the Roman text, it is not clear what "really happened,,,;g Felix's successor J ohn V St"Cms to have been of the I'TO-papal party; the Roman Lih" ptmtificlllh statCS that John and the exareh jointly appealed to Pope Zacharias to save the city and the Pentapolis from the Lomhanls. Zacharias ani\'t'd secretly in Ravenna, celehrated maSS in Sant'Apolli narc in Classe, and then procct.-ded to Pavia where he talked King Liutprand out of anacking,19 T. Noble points out that this passage in the Libff pmtifUillis indicates that the popes thought of Ra~enna and the CXaTchate as part of their "flock;" in other words, under the control of Rome.""

After (he Exarcha(e After 75 J, the stmggle for l'Ontrol of the former exarchate im'Oke<1 the papacy, the archbishops of Ravenna, the Lombards, the Byzantines, and the Franks, in various combinations. After this point, it becomes difficult to discern exactly what Ravenna's archbishops were after; on the one hand, there had always been tx:clesiastica l autonomy, but after 751 that issue seems to have been superseded by the concept of outright rule in the exarchate. Ocl"3sionally the archbisho)" "'ere all il-d with the popes, as o,'er konoclasrn. In 73 t, 1>01'1' Gregory III held a council at Rome that condemned Iconoclasm, attended by Archbishop John V, ",hile in 769 Pope Stephen III convened a council at Rome to rejeer the Acrs of the Iconoclastic Council of Hiercia, al which a deacon John represented the dying Archbishop Scrgius.4' But for the mOSt part, anta,,'lmism to )'"pa l authority was the principle that guided Ravennate polities.~'


Many of the political currenrsof the time can be seen in the evenrsof the reign of Sergius (744--0), who was archbishop throughout th is particularly complex period. Sergius was mnj,CCnlted at Rome after a mnteste<.! clection, and when he returned to Ravenna the clergy refused to work ""ith him. T he political situation was t'Xu-emely delicate, an d Sergiu> seems to have supporte d the Lorn hard ling Aistulf, who held Ravenna from 75 1- 5.4 ) Stephen II, consecrated as pope in 751, appeak-d to both Byzantines and Lombards for the "rel1Jrn~ of Ravenna but made no headway. Stephen turne d to Pepin, tht new kingofthe Frank~, who entertd Italy with an 3nny and lUrctx! Aistulf to give Ravenna and its territories uhaek" to the pope. It is significant that the Roman Ub(T p,mr;{l(lIlif says outright th at Pepin gave the exarehate to SWllhen, along with keys an d hostages.+! Sergi us , who must have opposed this outcome, was sent to Rome by the pro-papal faction of Ra"ennate ci tizens. where he remained for twO year; until the death of Stephen II in 757:!l Sergius seems to ha"e come to tenns with the next pope, Paul, with whom he con~pired to arrest another (or the j.a me?) groul' of Ravennate officials, who weTC taken to Rome where Agnellus says that they died. 46 Th e end of Sergius's biography in the tPR is missing, as is most of that of his successor Leo. From the Roman Lib" p61lrifoll/i. we learn of yet a!l(l{hcr contested election in 76<;, this time involving the clergy, the Duke of Rimini, the w mbards, tbe pope, and tbe Clrolingians. Leo, the succes.~ful candida te, ""as the choice of Cha rlemagne, and no friend to the popes:+7 With the ~un queSt o f the Lomba rd kingdom by Cha rlemagne in 774, previous power relationships were changing again . Ra.'enna was caught berwe<:n Cha rlemagne 's kingdom in Ita ly and the emerging pol itical entity that would la ter be known as the l' ajla] States. T. Noble idt'11ti6es the politiell l situation of Ravenna at this time as a "double-drarchy": uon the one hand pope and king shared rule, an d on the other han d pope and archbishop divided authority.",8 Throughout this turbu le nt peri od, R a~enna's leaders maintained a poli~"y of denying the popt: 's authori ty. Severalleuers from Pope l ladr ian to Charlemagne complain that Archbishop Leo had sent an embassy to Francia to discuss Ravenna's autonomy and had ~'VCn gone to Francia himself, after which he had refused to acknowledge authority."9 After Lco's dea t h, a group of Ra"e nnate illdi.(! (officials) Ijke.... ise complained to Charlemagne in i83 .l째 Something smnge happcn~xl aftt:rthc death of An;hbishopGratiosus in 789, perhaps a contest~xl c!tction or even lVo'O rival archbishops; Pope Hadrian wri tCS that he has iuSt inter\"e n~xl in the election ofGratiosus's successor (who is not named), and asks Charlemagne not to listen to uwieked and lying lips" speaking Out against the pope)' In the ea rly ninth century, the bishups al'parendy (l1rr ied fa"or with the popes and the Clrolingian emperors in order to bolster their authority both



RAVENNA CArlTAl. AD 600-850

within and beyond tht~r local jurisdiction. Archbishop M artin (ca. 8 J 0- [8) sen! messages to Cha rlemagne, "and the emperor was pleased." Martin was summoned to Rome by Pope Leo III in 8J ; - 16, but feigned illness <;0 that the Carolingian rcprcscnt:.ltivc assi gnt"<l to the case could not make him go; POpt: SWj)hcn IV, however, tOlmc to Ravenna and celebrated mass together with Marrin in the Ursiana.l' Pctrona~ (ca. 8[S-37) pursued a pro-papal pol icy: he recei'"t-d a privi lege from Pope Paschal J in 8'9, and la ter anended a counci l held in Rome in 8z6 by Pope Eugene IU J Pctronax's SlIccessor George (ca. 837- 46), on the uther hand, n:I'rcsente<1 the anti-J>apal party. He was the godfather of the emperor Lothar's daughter at her baptism, and wen t to Francia, aga inst papal advice, apparently in order to gain influence with Lothar's brother Charles the Bald; at the Battle of Fontenoy of 141 he lost a large part of Ravenna's treasure and historic documents.H At this point Agnellus's text brea ks off, but we know that later an :hbishops continued the struggle against the popes. Despi te their best efforts, Ravenna '5 leaders were never able really to riv:ll the popt:S, whose "I>apa l StitcH was bast."<l on the foundations of the old exarchate.

Ravenn a's Byza ntin e and Post-Byzant ine E lite From the sununary prcscnted above, and from the few other sou rces av:lilable to us, we are able to deduce some things about the people who inhabitl"<:1 and ruled Ravenna .55 Whereas in Rome the disappearance of the Senate in the late sixth century presen ted an administrative power 'llcuum that was quickly filled by the popes., in Ravenna the secular adrninisrration was a continuing presence. Certain ly the archbishops were acquiring ever more power and prestige; the episcopal palace, for example, contin ued to be en larged in the seventh and eighth centuries even as constr uction elsewhere in the ciry had dl"Clined , which follows a pattern seen in other cities. j6 But in Ravenna the secular administration and the military continued to play an importln t role in fl-gional government, and thus in the li fe of the city.!' If tile episcopal palace was one pole of the city, then the cxarchal l>a lace, probably in the same structurt.'S inhlTited from the Ostrogoths, was another. The politieal/adrninistrativclrnili tarysystem cstlblished for the cxarehatc by the early seventh century seems to bave operated in much tbe same way tllroughout its history. The hcad of the Byzantine administration was tile exarch, always sent from Constantinople, who might be a military official li ke Isaac, a eunuch burea ucrat li ke Eleutherius, O I}1npius, an d Eutyehius, or some other go"emment functionary. Serving under the exarchs were duke~ (duCt!) uf J>rovi n~-e~, based in major cities (Rome, Naples, Rimi ni, C\'cntually Vcnicc), and ill smaller towns authority was exercised by tribuncs (rribum). Dukes and rribunes pe rformed both military and civil duties, and


they, along with the lower-level officers and troOps, administrators., clerks, and tu col lectors were drawn primarilyfmm the loca l population, although on OCClsion one might he sent from Comt:mtinople. T. Brown sees a deterioration in the sophistication of the bureaucracy in the seventh eentllfY and later, but ~oycn in these later pcriod~, the )l.Tibes, cler1.:s, rnbdli(f1l(J, notaries, and others remained laymen, indicating that education was availableoutsideoftheehureh. 5s Rawnna did not have a duke, but was govem~-d dircrtly by the cxarcha l ad,ninistration. The ronn disappears from view after the mid- se\'enth century,J9 but we do find in Ravenna men with the tide iutfrx, which literally means ~judge" but in the sevemh and eighth centuries was used to designate any sort of government official, or indeed any memher of the leading class of 13ndowners.60 It was these landowners who made up the army, military service hcing expccted as a condition of their starns. As the authority of thc exarehs declined, it was the dukes, in their local territories, who emerged as leading political players; indeed, the fact that Ravenna did not have its own duke e\'emually put the city at a disadvantage in post cxarchate politics, and wc see, for example, the duke of Rimini hecom ing deeply invol\'~-d in Ravenna's cpiscopal elections. We know very little 300ut the actual military organiz.ation; Agnellus provides much of the evidence which comes in the form of naming particular regions of the Lity 1S thc home h,ase of military units and occasionally ll1ention ing barracks. The rehel leader George nameS cleven military I1umcri, or squadrons, that arc to defend Ra\'cnna at the timc of rc\olt against Justinian II, and it is thought that these represent, if nothing else, ninth-centllry militia units within Ravcnna that perhaps had their origin in the early eighth ccmury," The relationship between th e archbishops and the exarchs .... as close. It is possihle that the exarch h.d SOme role in the choice of the archbishop, and certl in Iy the two worked together in legal cases, foreig1] affairs, p.pal relations, and other similar sorts of sitllations. 6 , Church and Sttular leaders were oound together rhrough propeny relationsh ips: church lands ....erc frequcntly lcased out to S/.><;ular individuals as grants of tmpbyuusiJ', in which the recipient ....ould manage the land and pay rent to the church. These could be large estates, granted for three generations, or small plots granted for twenty-nine years.'J T he Ravennate church was one of the largest landowners in Italy, .... ith extensi,'C property in Sicily and in Istria as wcll as in the i'emapolis, and their estatcs product.-d large incomes, .... hich meant in rum that Ravenna 's archbishops "'ere among the most important taxpayers to the impL'Tial government.'" Agncllus relates a Story aoom Archhishop Maurus and his delega te in Sici ly in which he states that the Sicilian estates }~clded 50,000 mf)diil of .... heat and 3',000 b,{)ld wlitfi, of which 15,ooowfidi were sent to Constantinoplc.'j This story, L1nbroidercd by Agnellus but pcrhaps based on a real document, has lx...,n o"eT\ls~-d by




scholars who arc eager to find any kind of nUlllerical figure for the economics of Ravenna's church, out it provably contains;1 kernel of tru th. T. Brown suggests that many of the church's lands were given to it by the imperial government, prttiscly because the chun:h would be a rcsJxmsibll,' steward and taxpayer.66 Finally, the church and tbe IOC'di secular leadership

were bound together socia lly as \\'ell as economiCll Uy because many fa milies prol路idell leaders to hoth; the fierce ly political A.rchhishop Sergius. origina 11}' a Jar military leader, is one example, and Agncllus the historian, whose family members were invu[vc(J in many histOrica l event.'>, is anothcr. 6 ;

The Environment and Urban Life \Ne can relatively easily trace a political and ecdesia~tjcal hj~tory of Ra\lcnna's clites in this period, and we can sec that in the ~cventh and eighth cennlries they were continually 3nll actively involved in the e;>; complex issues of the day. Archbishops plotted, armies marched back and forth to ROllleorout againsnhc Lomb.uds, exarchs wcn:mllrdcn:d. and thcci lY's leaders took and chllllged sides and fougln continually among themselves. Bur what was the urban enVLrOll111cnt in which these C\'en(s took place? And what eft路ttt did they have on the city of Ravenna? The seventh century saw the beginning ofa dramatic l\edine in Ravenna's economic fonunes, some of which was attributable to the state of the Mediterranean 1X"0nomy genera lly, and some of which had to do with tht: state o f the city's harbors, pons, and coastlines (Fig. 6). In the seventh or early eighth ceunuy the hydrological network of the Po river basin underwent ([ramatic changes.I,H New branches, the Pi/dlls Prilllltl"itlS and the 8I1dlll"f'lIllSIEn"dlllllls. rcplaccd the existing courses and now 110ll'cd through Ferrara, cutting off the flow of water to the Padenna amI thus breaking Ravenna 's direct connection to the riverine network. The Badarenu s flowed into the Adriatic north and cast of Ravenna, dose fa the mouth of tht: former Roman port in the northeast part of the city where a new harbor devclopcd.~ T he Padenna did not completely disappear; it perhaps continued to be fed, 011 a smaller scale, by small streams to its norrh. The LUllonc, which had flowed in from the west to the Patlellll;l through the somhern parr of rhe of'pidmJl, now hecame the main water source feeding the canals inside RaveJlna, and sometime before the late nimh century the o[d/ossil ;/mmis ~'as extended to carry ~'ater from the Lamone to the Badarenus, with only a SlIIall branch feeding the canals within the cit}':o 'W e saw in the previous chapter that tempora rily increased water Aow, and thus sedimentation, along with a decline in the kind of centralize' ] government systcm th;lt could maintain artifid,l l watcrways. had rC5ult'cd in the si lting up of the harbor of Classe beginning in rhe mid-shth cenUlry.


W hen direct influx of water from the 1'0 (via the I'adenna) ceased hy the early eighth cenrury, the harbor of Classc completely dried up) ' Archaeological evidence shows that by the early eighth century the city of Oasse had shrunk dramatically), Classc was conquered hy the Lomoords in 7' f 18 and the 720S, and accordin g to Paul the Deacon was destroyed. ?) During the reign of Archhishop John V (726-44) Ravenna suffered a serious earthquake; Agnclhls mentions this disaster in the context of its destruetivc effects at two Inajor churches, Sant'Apollina rc Nuo'"O and the h1.ria lla church in Classe. 'Ibe former "ca~ rebuil t but the I'etriana \lcas not, despite the eflOnsof Ki ng Aistulfin the early 7505,1-1 which underscores the demise of Cia sse in this period. Economically, historians and archaeologiSts agrcc that Ravenna undcrwen t a reduction in its trade, si •. c, and construction history during the cou~ of the se\"Cnth and eighth centurie .... 1l which "cas part of a sL»'cnthcentury economic and urban crisis that was empire wide in the eastern Mediterranean, md wa~ ~causcd by a number of fanOT$, including the Persian and Arah invasions and thc plague.'" While Ravenna's mint produced B~ntine coins in gold, silver, and copper until the Lombard conqucst, after the early scventh century foreign eoins cease to appear in the exarehate, another ind ication that long-distance trade had been drasticall y reduced.17 The archaeological evi dence from sites such 15 the I'odere Ch iavichena in Classe shows ccrdmic imports and a ceramics kiln in usc until the end of the scventh century, after whi<:h activity ceascs.;fi Culturally, Ravenna also experienced a sharp dm..nrum in production after the end of the sixth century. T. Brown has identified from the documentary sources a reduction in the numbers of merchants. craftsmen, bankers, guild members, nota ries, and other people with sp•.'ciali •.ed occupations, and notes that only in the ninth cenrury did such people reappear in documents as individuals of significant rank .;9 From surviving monuments we know that in the seventh and eighth ~"Cnruries Ravenna sustaine<1 an artisan class that was capahle o f imitating, in a crude way, the products of ea rl ier cenruries - for example, the mosaic panels in Sant' Apollinare in Classc, the sarcophagi of Archhishops Felix, John VII, and Gratiosus (Fig. 10Z ), or the ambo presented to the church of St. Andrew at the time of Theodore.So However, when the fam ily of the exarch Isaac wanted a grand sarcophagus for his burial, they reused one that ha d been made in the fifth century (Fig. 101) . There arc traces of literary and scientific enterprises that continued into thc ninth century. A school of medical studies tha t was active from the early sixth century into the seventh produc~"(] transla tions of an d commentaries on the works of I-l ipl'ocrate~ and Galen, especially by a cerrain AgnclIus iatrosoflStd ("medical scholar," not the historian) who worked berwcen 550 and 7<XJ.~1 A remarkable poetic epitaph "cas composed for Archbishop

' '>''

RAVENNA CArlTAl. AD 600-850

" taurus, consisting of miscellaneous lines taken from poems by the fourth{o-fifth-<:cnrury authors Prudentius and Ausonius. g, An ano nymous geog-

raph"... in the early eighth century wrote a cosmography, or catalog o f world gcogr:aphy, thn includes regions, bodies of water, and an exhaustive list of cities from India 1;0 Britain. Th e geographer was proud of his homccilyofRaH~nna: hcealls it nobilimma, like Constantinople and Rome, while Antioch and Alexandria arc fnmrmssimn, the on ly fi n: cities to be w distinguishcd. 8\ Archbishop Felix oversaw the compilation of the r 76 seTmons of PrlXT Chrysolo gus.1!.j Finally, of COUTSe, Agnellus wrotc his hisu>ry in the ninth celltury. Th e population of Ravenna in this period was probably ethnically fai rly homogeneous, Latin-speaking, and local , although wi t h a cenain influx of officia ls and possibly >oldiers ITom t he ellst from time to time. Sj Agncll us provides a colorful description of urhan factionalism, which may refl ect underlying politica l tensions: on every Sunday and hol iday, Ravenna 's citizens form teams that gu outside the city wall s and fight each ot her. Eventually the violence gets out of control. pcople arc killed . others arc killed in revenge, and finally lhchbishop Damian has to lead penitential processions to discover the truth >0 that the wrongdoers Can be punished.86 A. Augenti proposes that in the seventh century Ravenna was le>sdensely ocmpied , with wealthy houses side by side wi th poor, an d burials and gardens found with in the walls. 8? This wou ld conform to the ~ruralization " identified in other [talian towns in this periud,><8 but the evidence from Ra,'enna is not sufficient to establish a more certain piet1.lre at mis time . S. Cosenti no proposes a population for Ravenna in t he eighth and ninth ccn tu ries of 3rOlUld 7,000-7,500 people, which would represell! only a slight decrease from his estima te of 9,000- T0,0<Xl in the imperia l period.So;> On the other hand, perhaps Ravenna's walls had n~ver been completely fi ll ed with dense occupation. This question awaits further archacological study. O ne type of change in the Italian urban habitat that has received a lot of seholarly attention is the byout of houses: there was a dramatic change in the layout an d construction materials of wealthy rt.'Sidenccs between the th ird and {he te nth centuries."" From archaeology we know quite a bit about the layout. construction materials, and decoration of Roman houses, namely that t h,-1' us'Ually contained a suite of rooms on one level endosin g a courtyard or courtyards., were buil t of stone or brick, and had mosaic or stone-tiled floors and frescoes on t he walls. By {he ninth and ten th centuries, as far as we can tell from descriptions of property in dOC'Umcnts. wealthy houses instead eonsis{ed of multistory S{ructurcs bui lt in " 'ood andlor stone, with several buildings arra nged around a centnl cIJUn.9' An;hac<)logkal evidcnce from Brescia and Luni shows sewral structures made of wood



"".500"" j,...uina.-.: in a ...., .. n:oph_ .gtJ,ofAnoh-

bishop Cratiosuo (d,CI. AU 789)

adjacent to one another, on the site of the fonncr Roman forum, l-lo....'c>'cr, there is little evidence, wrinen or archaeological, to explain at what point in the period between the third and the tenth centuries thesc changes became significant. The Via D' A'l.cglio sixth-century housc had an upper story with rnosaies,9' and some papyri from early seventh-century Ra,-cnna describe two-story houses with interior courtyards and porticoes,?) but the cases arc so isolated that iI is diffil"dt to discern o-ends. S, G dichi has nottd that in Ravenna , Roman house types and building matcrials lasted "surprisingl)' late," that is, into the seventh cennlry and perhaps beyond:'" \Ve have indications from Agnellus, at least, that houses were being built in the eighth and ninth centuries within Ravcnna, often out of spolia from older hui ldings, but there is very little evidence ahout whn these houses looke<.1 like. The large sixth-nntury mansion at the Via D'Azcglio sitc was levekd in the seventh century and replaced hy a cemetery and a much smaller and simpler two-room house; a similar house has also been found at the Podere Chiavichetta site in Classc, bui lt within an earlier "'llrehouscY' The p.alace ofTheodt'lic, used hy the eurehs, went Out of use sometime between the sixth and the tenth centuries, with tombs and postholes on top of thc ruins .¢ Sincc no elitc houses dating to this period haw been identified arehat'()logically, we cannot be entirely SIlTe of the meaning of this trend - surely small houses had likewise always existed in Ravenna. Perhaps the wealthy had simply moved to other parts of the city. The ehanged economie and civic cireumsrnncescan be seen most dearly in drastic reduction in church construction during the seventh and eighth ctnturies. Un like earlier secular rulers, the exarchs arc not lTedited with sponsoring large-sca lc construction (indeed on ly Theodore, 678-87, has


RAVENNA CArlTAl. AD 600-850

10). S<.>-co.lled

"1'.1..,., of the 拢Drd.. ," "",u.ily the fac.deof, chu",h dcdi""ro to ,he S..'k).\ m;'l ..dgh," ""mill}" (photo

C. L Striker)

any parronage amibured to him), and in the 250 years after the completion of St. Sc\'crus i n Classc, only one large church was bui lt ill Ra"cnna ,97 T his WlS ~ church dNlicated to the Savior, juSt to the south of the enmmce to the palace. The fim reference to this chu rch is by Agllc11us, and archaCGlogk'ally its remains datt to the eighth or ninth l'eIltllry. While not as large

as earlier hasijicas, this structure had a monumental, twO-STOry entrance (hat ~till survives in modified fann (Fi g. (03 ). It has been proposed (hat it was buill by Aistulf as a new Ilalac-e-church in the moment when he was planning 10 establish his court in Ravenna; and indl'Cd thcre is no apparent reason that any later individual would build a church here."s It could be argued that by the seventh century no more large churches Wtre nectk-d; Ra,'enna and Classe now had a large cathedral; sevcrallargc basilicas in honor of a spectrum of saints, including a Illartyr and the founding bishop; thr~"e or four baptisteries; and many smaller churches and monasteries. Church construction activi ty does not entirely disappear, howcver. Agncllus mentions sc\'enll structures in his narratives that we assume werc built before the c"em he mentions. If this methodology is \'lIlid, we S<."e a pancrn of continuous, if small~scale, ~"Onstruction andlor dcoonltion in Ravenna after 6co. First, several ",MIIst"U" or small chapels, werc built, many of them in Cacsarea, implying that this region had become rather more important; today it is densely buil t up, and linle archaeological investigation has been possiblc, so \\'e do not know thc nature of this OC(lll'ation. Ek...路cn ((rimllr or m~nMt"ill that are not attested before 6co are mentioned either by Agnellus or in a document, as follows:


D,t e

D ....i1,

Onmm",,, of

beL 6'0

Listed in the Mllrtyr<>b>gium .ttributed w J erome.s being in C.csare. in R..'cono.'" Agn.lIus's chureh, Ex.rch "lneodore (co. 67B--687) .nd his wife huried there, "not for fmrn \V.nd.l.ri.., ou,-,i,le the gate ofS1. L.wrence," ,hus in>rco. '''' Archbishof" " louro, .nd Felix were ohbots here, os wer< Agnellu< ond his unde Sergius.' o, Archbish0f" Rep""tus .nd G "ti",,"US ,..ere , hhots here, "not for fmrn the Ovilionparun,h in the ploce which is co.lI ed the Public ,\Iim," n",,,ely in the northwest corner of the city.'"' Theodore the exordl with Archbishop "n ",ooorc built it; fOnnerly it wos 0 syn.gogu., neor \ V.nd.l.ri., in C.csareo.'"' Th'-'<Klore the c.orch buil t it no" to S.nt' Nuovo, not !mown.""

St. Polyeukros Mtmllftrri",,, of


St. "lory, which i~ calle<l ad Hh,brrn1lf

MtmJlrmillm of St. Bortholemew

bef. 64'

Eal.,;" of St. AI'0llin.ris in ",rio

bef. 671

Ea/,riII of St. P, ul the Apostle

67?-6 8 7

MtmJl!urium of St. Theodore the deocon Mmwrmi,,,,, of St. An drew the ,\postle



Archd ..con "ll1eodore .nd Archbishop M.rtin were from this (hurch, "not for from the ud,ri4 Goth""",,, nC"l" the house whim is c.lIed "brini.n •. " outside the northeostern come" of the ~;ty .

AlbMrmi,,,,, of St.John. which is caUed ad

bef. JOo

'"""";"'/11 Mrmilrmill'" of St. Andrew the Apostle, ",·hich is called Imdmmil"" MtmJlrmi,,,,, of St. Donotus, which is c. lIed in AI""",.;"", f:altri4 <>f St. Euph~~ni. in Suwro Calink<>

beL 709



,6, "9, 16"

, '7

64, !l0, '36, '49· I S8

"5, 16 4





P.pyri from co.. 700 list donors .. the fri"';cm'u of the f i l l " ' , " " R;n""",lS John and his wife, wimesscd by Sn-gi,u d'm"friau mmtm Armmierllm.,,,. Gi>-en' lot of tre.sure by loh.nnicis before 70<);' )"~OI.Liov is . hosp""" for the d,leri},. ''''

bef. 7'P'

A story .bout ito .bbot John; locoted "outside the gote of St. L.wrcn"" next to Wond. l.ri.,·· thus in o.",.r" •. ",II

hef. 7'JO<

Agnellu< '"'-1"'rtS the buri.1 of. rel .. i>'. of hi, in this (hun:;h .r the rime of John VI (778--'785), outside the city:. document of "'47 mentions. "mon oS. Eophcmi.c fon. rorlOm S. L.ur.nt;i." which would he in Co"". rco .'''''

", ,', , 0)





Nonc of these structures survives and so we knoll' norhing aho ut their relative size (lr dct:or:ltion. Since we Ib nOt actually kn!)\\' when they WCfe

built, we cannot say anything about the rate of con~tructjol1, except to note that if the dates derived from Agncl1l1S arc (:orrcCl, the eighth century was a panicularly low point, hardly a surprise given the political circumstances.

Church patronage f{Xll:. place in twO other cOlltext.~ also. O ne was resto Ta-

tion: We have already discussed the mosaic panels made by Ar<:hbishop Rcparatus in Sant'Apollinarc in Cla~sc, and Archbishop Martin is said to have restored the church of St. Eu phcmi:l (ld ; h"jl:tI:1fI because it Wll S underwater, no Some chmch furnis hings werc provided; Agncllus d!.'Scrihcs sOllle exam ples, and the previously mentioned elborll/ III for rhe church of St. Elellchau ius, now in Sant'Apoll inare in Classe, was ma(le by a priest nallled Peter during the reign of Archbishop Valeri us (ca. AD 789-810; Fig. 104). In tll!.' late seventh ccmury, a bron"l,c cross was placed at the SUl\lmit of the O rthodox Baptistery, with an inscription com memorating its patrOns Felix (the future archbishop?) and Stephen .'" Fin;I I1),. as already mentioned, Ravenna's cathc<lral ami PpiHOpill'1I/ received additions in the eighlh cemury. precisely the period in which the archbishops were emerging as the lllain amhority figures in the city. Archhishop Felix ad<ie<1 a sw路crorilll1l , or entra nce chamber in which the d ergy assembled before processing into the cathedra l, complete with a poetic inscription; in the Ordo Rm1ll1ll1lJ" I, wh ich records the se\'cmh-cemury liturgy of Rome. the sr."rrfilrilllll plays an important role. 1u Felix also bu ilt a i/()//U/s, some kind of residential builcling. o n the northeast sille of the cathedral. neA1: to the baptistery, which still existcd in the twelfth ccotury, and wa5 destroycd between 11 07 and 1 161. ' ' J Sometime in the eighth century, perhaps also at the time of Felix, a tWO-story set o f arches anJ arcaJes was attached to the outside of the tower that contains the fflpell'1I1r,r..Ir>'ar.1ih. and C. Ricci plausibly suggested that this w~s the 1'i-;"oril/1/1 mentioned by Agnellu5, a Structure tor holding small animals, perhaps incl udi ng a fi shpond (Fig. 64)' "" And finally Archhishop Valerius (ca. 789-810) built a "New I路l ouse. " or a "Doillus Valeriana. " using building material taken from thc Arian episcopal palaces; this st()()d next to the Domlls Pc/iris, allli remains survive within the clirrent palace. ' ' S By the ninth century, Ravenna's archuisho ps had ta ken control of the city hoth IXJliticalIy and topographically. The episcopal complex was the center of urban activity, and the trajectory begun by Maximia n and contimled by his successors hac! reached its ultimate eA-pression. Ravenna was no longer a capital. but reminders of its secular rulcrs werc c\fcrpvhcre, and would imJlress future generations of resillents and visitors alike.


' OS

' ''4. S, nt'"poI li .... '" in G â&#x20AC;˘ ...,. dhqriM'" of

S.. ÂŁI.ucludi"" niIlth c<n'ury AI)

Aftennath : Rave nna, Agnellus, and th e Carolingians A renewed sense of urban civic consciousness in Italy has been attributed to the ninth century: in Verona and M ilan, for example, text5 were produced describing the cities and their major monumcms.,,6 Although it is not usually considered in this con text, Agnellus's tPR is also a text that makes a major argument for civic consciousness. Writing a history of the city th.rough its bishops is a medieval, or at least a late antique, notion. However, although Agncllus is cert:ilinly kcen to trace the ecdesiastkal history of his see, he indudes a surprisingly large amount of infomlation about the secular leaden; an d inhabitants of his city. \ Ve f~"C1 a dear sense of local pride, which T. Brown has called cll1ltptlnilisTl/a: civic conscio usness, awareness o f a citizenry, and other aspect.~ that would indicate that someone was th inking about wha t city life meant in the early ninth century.' '7


tcxt, then, ofiocrs tiS val uaole dues lor concepts of the d~ and urOan development in the early J\1iI1(lle Ages. How (IOes Agnellus present Ravenna's history and docs he pcriodizc any break bl'twecn latc antiquity and the early i\'liddle Ages? Cert~inly in one sense Agnellus's text is designed to emphasize contin uity, in particular the continuit}' of the archbishoploic of Ravenna from rhe first century to the ninth. The archiepiscopal succession is presented as an a lmost seamless progression, occa sional ly marked by the intervention of an emperor or pope. T he bishops regulate the church, build uuilclings, perform miracles, and arc imolvcd in thc secular life of the city. T he crowd of citi7.ens o f Ravenna aIso sta nds as a "ontinuous prescnce within a city whosl.' political afliliadons ch ange over time. It is dear that for Agnellus the dty is not simply a collt'ction of buildings, but a center of population ;n which the inhahjtallt~ are identified as Ravenllate citizens (dl'l'S J&n'r-ll1Ifltl'S ). ,, 8 Th e Ra vennare crowd and its l c~ders feature prominently in many stories ~bout Ravcnn~ ' 5 history up to the ninth century, c~pocially onee By7~1ntinc control of the cit)' h;15 fallen apart. r '9 J ustin ian n kid n;lps not just the archbishop, but <1 150 "all those noble by birth" in the cit}" With the loss of th" leading citizens, a m~n named George (whom Agnellus claims as a relative) orga nizes the remalniler, as well as the inhnbitants of subject cities, into a mil iti a to light oft路 the Byzantine army. "Nollie Ravennate judges," incl\J{ling Agndlus 's great-grandfather, are mentioned later in the eighth century, this time kid n ~pped by the pope. Although, as T. Brown ha~ sho\\'n, the leadership of Ravennate society had changed from the sixth century to th" eighth century, the,e lIof,iJI's still seem to represent urhan Se<"u lar authority, wh ile tbe civ~." - '" the great and tbe lowly and those in the midd le, " as Agndlus describes melll - are an importan t cOllllXlllent of the urban landsca pe. Pol itically, the ancient Roman Empire barely exists for Agndlus. Aside from the fact that Apoll inaris, the KlUnder o f Ravcnna's sec, is said to bc a disciple of St. Peter and to halle died in the rime of Vespasian, there arc no references to me empire before the early fifth cenrury. After that, the city, with the aid o f the bishops, moves fairly smoothly from imperial to 05trogothic ami then to B ~'zalltin e rule; rulers mOlle ill ami out of the pali/timll. The exarch takes quite an activc rolc in thc life of the church and people, mediating in a dispute between archbishop and der~.'y, for t:.xam pJe, Qr serving a~ a judge in a business case involving an abbot. Unfortunate incidents, such as the murcicr of various exarchs, are not mentioned by Agnellus. Contacts between Ravenna and Constanti nople are portrayed as occurring regularl}' up to the cighth century and include private commercia l venmrcs and appeals ill court cases a~ well as official government business.


The urea l in this patrcrn Ol.-"Curs in the eighth ccnrury, and the unraveling of thi ~ imperial relationship is Ilescribed by Agndlus in some detail, as we have seen. It is these ruptures, which occurred in thc contcxt of the I.'nd of By7.~ntine rule in Italy, that for Agncllm mark the end o f the old order and the transition (0 the political situation that he knew, one in which the archbishop was the sale authority figure within the city, although the po pes and the Carolingian emperors lurk off.~tage anilmaJ.:e an occasional nppcara nce. As we have seen throughom this book, Agncllus's teA1: is particularly important for what it tells us about the topography and structures o f Ravenna. 'YVhile he occasiona lly mentions Roma n monumcms (the amphi meater, the .11l1dimll til/oll/ill') in the context of topographical references, he is unintcrested in the J"()lIIllilifal or Ravenm, perhaps because, as the ardlO1oology has shown, there really wasn't any. ' 路Vhat most fascinate him abo ut the physical Structure of his dry ;Irc the late antique mOIl Ul1lenl~ to he found there. Galla P laci d i~, the fifth-centllrY empress-regent who built scveral churches, is one orhis heroi nes. Thcoderic too. who also constructed churc hes and p~ l accs, and whose monumental 5t<lOle had only n.'Cl.'ntly been carried ofl:" by Charlemagne. is another focus of attention. while as for the chu rcht::s bu ilt iJ1 the mid-sixth centurr, San Vitale is "like no other church in ltal y.~ Although in the late anti(IUe period there was a shift in me focus of architectural patronage from secular to ccclcsiastka I buildings, I ,Q in the l.PR we can sc"c that walls, palacC"s, and othcr secular monuments were just as important <l p<lrt ofdle antique fubric as the churches, and continued [(J be important into the ninm century. Of [be churcbes mentioned by AgnclJus, mos[ were s[iU standing, and presumably in use, in the early ninth century. Only four are described as destroyed, although others arc said to lie in lleed of repai r, and AgnelIus describes somt: repairs sponsored by Qutsillers induding tht: popt:5 amI Lomba rd kings. Likewise, although somC" palaces arC" in ruins or arc being clismanrled, the city walls and the main palace arc described in the presem tense, anti Agnellus states that at least one bath was still operating in his day, which seems to indicate that the water supply still functioned at somc Ie\'el. Through the text, then, we get a sense of slightly crumbling glory. If memorics of the Ravenna 's imperial past were apparent on all sides, by the ninth cenOlry they seem ro have inspired tht: ({esirt: to remove pieces in ordcr to appro pria tc some of that glory. One conscq\lcncC" of tllC decaying state of the city's fabric is thar older buildings were often destroyed, or H least mined , for Imilding and decorative materials. The best-known example of such spoliation is that donc by Charlemagnc, but several other imtancC"s of destrut.:tion or removal are also mentioned by Agnellus. H e tells us that

' 97

RAVEN N A CAPITAl. AD 600- 850


he himself dismantled a pa lace built outSide the city by Thoodcric, ill or(lcr to use the building materials for his own house. Bishop Valerius appa rently

did the same thing to two cpi$ropill built by the Arian Ostrogoths; according to Agncllus, rhe dl,'strm:rioll rook place around the yea r 816. A bishop

of Bologna


off" a sarcophagus supposedl}' dating


the tim e of

Apol1imris, and took it ro his own Ch\IITh at Bologna, around 834. 111 It is documented in two places Oth d thall the LPR that Charlemagne took .,.polill, that is, uS/.'(\ buii{ling materia ls, from Ravenna. I " In his ViM KnrQii !HI/gil;, as part of the description of the Aachen Palatine C.hapel, Einhllrd notcs that" ... since he could /lot get columns and marble From elsewhere, he rook the rrouble of having rhem brO\lght from Rome and Ravenna." ", T his is confirmed by a letter from Pope I iaJriall I lO Charlemagne, dating to 787, authori~ing hi m to take "mosaic and marble amI other materi als both from the floors and the walls" of an unnamed palace in Ravenna. " 4 Sinc!.' Ravenna was no longer the residence of a h igh-It.路vel ru ler, it is ohen a~~'1,]Jned that Charlemagne (li~mant!c(l the main Ostrog'othiclexarchal palace. but, as we havc sccn, there wcre several other pa laces inside and ncar Ravenna that may have been meant. In the Aachen chapd. the so-ca lled "thronc of Charlemagne" is made of antique sroIia, as are most o f tht: columns, including some green porphyry and red Egyptian granite. None of these pie<:e~ can be defini tely linke(l to Ravenna, but the rarity and high quali ty o f the stones would justity bringing them all the way fromltaly. "5 Agncllus docs not mention the removal of these building materials by Charlemagne, but he cloes relate an event which took place some fourteen ye~rs l~ter, just ~ftCl路 Charlemagne's imperial coronation . Agnellus tells of all equestrian statue, whose rider was accepted as being Theoderic: Charlemagne took this statue back to Francia and set it up in his palace at Aacht:n J:6 T he prt:Sence o f the statue in Aacht:n is confi rmed by a poem written in 8;9 by \Valahfrid 5tr~bo in which the poel ticscribcs a statue wi t h many correspondi ng featu res in the palace complex at Aachen and interprets it allegorically as a symbol of pride anti greed. "7 Charlemagne was not the last emperor to take spolia from Rave nna. Agnellus describes a large piece of pol ished Ix!r phyry in the church of San Severo, which was taken to Francia on the order o f Emperor Lothar and used as a table in the church of St. Seb~stian; Agnellus knows this beca\lSe he himself was the ont who su pcn 路ised its packing, "but with my heart full of gr i cf." "~ i'a\ll the Deacon, in his gcographyof ltaly, names Ra \'enna as ~nob l estof cities'" (llo/tilissilllr1 fIINfllII ). 5axo Poeta, who in the late ninth century wrote ~n epic poem about C h,l rlemagne, tiescribes Ravenna as "beautifu l" ( pulcnl ) and "famous'" (ji/IlJOSII).' 1'1 If Raven na was noble and beautiful and famous, it was bcca usc of its glamorous latc antique past that \\';lS still so cvitlcnt



in the ci ty. The huildings and infrastructure constructed at the height of Ra'路enna 's po,,",er ""'ere useable and us~-d into the Middle Ages and could servcas inspiration hoth for new rulers with imperial amhitions and fur new generations of Ra\'cnna's own inhabitants. Ravenna in the ninth century was in one sense a relic oflate anti'luity, but it was a relic ",;th a heartbeat, with a civic conr.ciousness that did not need to be reinvented, hut had maintained itself th roughout the centuries in which darl..,ess had owna ken the rest of the Roman world .



Table [. Roman em perors T hroJO'lius I

39' 395

H onori u,

395- 4'3

An;. di""

[J oh.n V,lem;n;,n III j\1,ximi.n


TheOOosius II

IRicimcr -- \'orio'"'l Romulus Augustulu.

4'.1- 455


455- 路m



COO, Leo II Zeno Ano<r:.siu< I J ustin I JlI>1:ini.n [ Justin II Til.erius II Constantine fo.b uricc


l lcr>dius

Consuns II Canst.mine JV J",-rini'n 11 Leontios TiLerius III J ustini.n 11

4)<>-457 457-474


474--49' 49 1- 5,8 518- 5'7 5'7- 565 565- 578 57 8- 581

58 ' -&:>1 6",-610 6,0-64 '

0.,-068 668-6 8 5 68 5-095

"",-0" 6<)8--7掳5 705-"1 [r


7' [- 7'3

Ano<milL< 11

7'3- 7,6

'lneodosiu. III

7 1 6--7'7 7'7--74' 74[ - 775

Leo III Con.tontine V


.... PPENDIX'T .... BL ES

Table" Kingsof l taly Odooecr Theodcric Ath.l.ric Th~~)(lah.d

Witigis J-lild cb.d Emic Totil. Tci.

476-493 493 - 5 16 )16-534 534- 53 6 536-540 540-54' 54 1 54 1 - 5)1 55'-553

T able ,. Exarchs (with .nested titles)

N.rses ('.. g. p,trieius, rroepositus SlICri p.l,tii) l.onginus (procfectus proetorio) Zoeh"i.. (p.t,icius) n.du.riu, (p.tricius, curop" l.tcs) D.",ius (potrieius v.g .. c •• rchus) Sm.rogdus (p"triciu, et e",rebus) J uli." (ex. rebus), (p.rrieius er e,;arehu,•• v.e . v.g.) Gugory (prnef"",m prnetorio v.g.) j ohn (j, .... cfccrus proCtorio ltoli,. v.c.) C.lIicinu, (p.!ricius et eXll rehus) Sm.rogdus (p3tricius Ct ",,"rebus) j ohn (e .. rchus) [ Ieutberiu, (p.trieiu. et cubieul. ,ius) Gregory (potri";us Rom.""",m) I".c (p.trieiu, et .... rehus "]1>eOOOTC Coll iop •• (potricius ex. rchus) p (p.nicius v.g. v.c.) O l}mpiu. (cuhiculorius ct e",rehus) Th<~,Jorc Coll io],"s (po,ricius <~ ex.",hus) Gregory (enrehus) "llIMoTC (p.tricius et c"",rous v.e.) John Pht)"ll (.xo",hus v.g.) no ex.reb 1 "J1>eophylocr (cubiculorius, potricius.~ "", re!lllS I"li.c) no exarchl j ohn Rin>copu' (potricius e, "nrchus) EU,}'chi,,-, (p.rri.oius eo: ...",h,,-,) 5ohol..,icus (cubieulorius, p.tricius et e",rehus 1'.,,1 (potricius <"t " .. ",hus) [ u'}..,hiu, (p.rricius ct ex.rehus)

55[ - 566181 co. 567- 57' 565 or)7o 575- 577


c •. 585-589

5891 590""59'> 595 5911,600 co. 5<]6-599 or 60, co. 601--.608 or 6, 3

6080r61J-<\16 616-<i 19 6 , 9'"""'5' 5 6'5-<>4J 6H-eo. 64) 645- 16 49 649'"""'55' 653-666 666-hef, 678 c •. 678--687 687-<.io;l' or her. 70 [ ~' -7°[

70 [- 70 5 705- 7'0 , '0

7' 0-713


c •. 7'3-<11.7'3.' c •. 7'3- 7,6 7'7- 75 1

Nott: Dem..,J from Brown, '9!4, f'P' '47-41,; Fcrlugo, "L '<>area'o, • [99'; ",J uni,,;. '99li.

I'- 377


Table 4. Lombard kinb'S A1boill Cleph l lnterrcpltlm :\uthari Agilulf A,bloalrl Arioald Roth3ri Rodoald Ari pert I GodClJl:rt Pcrctarit Gl'iJllo~ld G~ribal'[

Pcrctarit CUlliper[ Alahis C Ul1jl~r[

Liutpt:rt Raginl~ ''t

Ari pert II Ansprand Limprund Hildeprand

56 5- 57 1 5F- SH 5i4-5S.~1

584-590 59 0 - 6 [6

616-6:6 6dl--03째 63 6 -6P 65 1 --653 6)3--66 . 66 1 -66~

66 1--66: 66!-67 ' 67 ' 67 [--(lilt! 688-689

689 68 9- 700 7=-7 02 70~

70! - 7 t! 7"

7 11 - 744 744

R~tLhi s


Aistulf D<:sid"rius

749-75 6 756--]i4


Table 5. Bishops uf Ravenna Apollinaris Aderirus t:Jcu~' ilJiU 5

Mardan C"IQC(!("IIS

PrO<;lllllS Probus I O:ltuS L iberius J Agapitus M~ n;e lJj nus


Liberius II Probus II F lorcntill~

Lik rius III Ursus

ca, 40 5-.n I?

P"' .. r I


N eun

ca. 4,0-473

431 - 4)0

E~'llper:ln ril ls


John I

4ii - 494

P eter II

-f'J{- F O

.o\urd i:m


Ecdcsius Ursicinus Victor Ma.l linian

52 2 -53 2 533- 53 6 53 8- 545 546-557





570-57 8

M"ri ni nll

595-606 Oo6--6l; 6zj-Op 6j l -6{!

John 111 John rv Bonus 1\1nurus Re p ~r.ll\'S

TheOllorc D,uuian Felix John V Sergius

57 B- 595

64!-('7 1 67 1 -6;; 677-69 1


John VI

709-7 2 5 7! 6- 744 744- 76 9 ca. ;;o-i7 8 ca. n H-785


ca. 786-789


ca路 7 R9-1h o ca,8 1O-8IB Ca. BIR-837 ca. R.H - R46


l\tarri n Petronax

Geo rge


T able 6. Popes i:'tl<,r

Linus Clems Clctntom Aneclitus E\'u isms Alexa nder Si~1:uS I

Il yginlls Pius I Anil:~nls

ca. 70 ca.85 l'a路 95 ~'I)l)e

ca. 1 00 (',).11 0 ca. 1 10 ca. 13 0 e.l. 140 ta. '45

loa. 160


Col. 170



Victor Zt:ph )' rinu~

c a. 195 19 8/ 9-: 17


11 7- ll1


Urhan I

l!l - l j O

Pun lian AnTero:; F"I],i:1I1 Cornelius Lucius Sttophcn I S; II Dion},sius Felix I EmychiJIl

2.1 0- 2 35

G ~ ius

.\ 'larcellinus

13 5-:36 13 6 - 1 50 "5, -z53 !)3- 1H

254- 257

157- :58 .6(,>-167 268-1 73 "74- : 81 28: - 295


295-3掳3 30516- .106/;

Eu.<;<,' billS

; 08



3 10-3'4 3 1 4- 335


.) 36

Julius 1 Libcrius I feli~ II DamaSus

3H- 3)!


384- 399

Anaslasius I

399- 4 0112 4 o r12 - .P 7 'P i-4 IH 4IS- .pl

I nno<:;CnT I

ZlsilllllS Boniface 1 Cde~ine I

35:- 366

355- 365 3 66 -)84

4 l1 - 路H!

(omlj""cd )

.... PPENDIX'T .... BL ES

Table 6 (ro1ltinlld) Sinus III I.e., I the e",.. Hil.ry Sillll'licius

Felix 111 Gel ..ius Anostosius [I S),numchu, Ilonnisd1S John I Felix TV Iklllifoce II John II

Ag'l'ims Silveri .... Vigili"" I'''] ' giu. r John 111 Hcn<.Jic~


1'd'giu, II G regory r the Gre .. S.bin i.n llonifocc III Honif..,c IV Deusdedit Honifocc V l-1<1norius Severinu, John IV 路l"neodore M.rtin I EugL"C I

Vito li", A,leod"u, Don"" Agotho Le<J \I Iknedict II John V Co"~

Sergius J John VI Jolm VII Si,innius Const.ntine

43'-44掳 440--+6, 461 - 468 46 8--<!23 48 3- 49' 49 2- 40

4垄-49B 498--5 14 5'4-513 5'3- 5'6 5.6-53 0 530--531 533-535 535-53 6 5)6-537 537-555 556-5 6 , 561 - 574 575 - 579 579"190


""""", "",-"


6t!)-6'5 6, 5-6)8

0,0 0,....' 6'P-049 4<)-653 654-657 657-67 2 67'-67 6

671i-67 8 678-681 68路-683 68 4-685


68 7-7 01 70 ' -'7 0 5 70 5-'7 0 7


70 8-] 15 (amfi",,,d)


Grq:ory II G rq:ory III Zach.rias Sttphm II Poul I Stephen III I .. d T;m 1

Leo III Stcph.., IV P"""h.l l Eugene II V. [""tint Grq:ory IV Sergius n

I...,., ,v


7 I S-1J1 7J1 -14' 74 1- 751 751-157 757- 768 768-77' 77' - 797 797-8 ,6 8,~'7

8'7-8'4 8' 4-8 17 8" 81 7-8« 8«-6.., 847-655

Tal>1c 7, Dimensions of R,,'cnna's l>asilic.s N ..'e, aislcs length

• of


rolwnns per row

width (C>1.)

Noye width

, ," " ,"




n ne

U.,; C.thed ... 1(Fig. '0) San Gi"... nni b'angdi.ta. ,.~ ph.", ( r ig. ,,,) S.n Gio'",mi E'""gclista"nd (Fig. I [) St. Agnes Saot' AVro ,\ loggiorc (Fig, , 7) S.nt'AI'0IJinarc NuO\'o (Fig. 46) S.nto Spirito (Ari.n co!hed ... l, Fig, 59) C.'llian"" ( Fig, 0) San Michdc in Afr;ntlll (Fig. 88) S, ot'Al"'llinore. CI.sse (Fig. 9") S.n St,,'ern. Closse (Fig. 99)

Ca. 4"""


" "co. 45"" 4 i""


N.", Onlf basili'" chu"'.... with tu""o, aisleo, .oJ '1-'



co. 500 co,5°O 6th c. eo. 545

nOS----54"" 53"

4,·6 '9-3


35' S


35·5° '+4 6 47-'5

4+ 65

' 4 (4 wws)

" " "

, (pi=)

'4, j



[0. I







5' 5·'











•. •" •., " 00




Aisle width

5' )


)5 S=

'''' '4·5 " 11·35 5'

7· '7


, J.5






" .6

8. I 5


included here; oome J", fro." ch""' .... thot do not ",,,ive tod'f (tl>< Ur<i"". ""thed"l, the C,'Bi.nca, St. Agoco) ar< 'f'<"ul.","", . nd ,II mc-..urc",,"'" a... approxim,"', U '€


One. Introd u('(io n

Chrysos, .005 , PI" 106 T-l, who nutcs dUT ."fill'" imp ..r;' is also commun. Duval, ' 9')j . p. Tl9 · 3 Set' CUrr;o n . • 000, PI" 43-7· 4 This is a ,]tK'Stiull thar 1lI3ny schola rs h3\'C n::ccntl~' disclls.<;<:d; sec most rcccnd~· Sbr.lzzi, : oo(i ; ~1~ ,\ h zza. 1005. pp. 8- 17 : P~ni Ennini, !OO5; ,Inicies in the wl1cnion Sfdr!,- Rrgiar. lOOO, cd. RipolllGun, esp. thuS<.' by J. Arcc amI


S. ('",liehi; Dm"JI, 1!;!J( ; and Curd.:, 19<)3-'11t~rt: is all t:xttnsiw:: l:.iLliognphy on {his topic; set: 111OS( n-ttndy Cun:ic, 1993 ;

and Ihklini LipJlO lis, !OO! , esp. PI" .l!r46. and "~ {h a catalog ofinrli,~dual si tes. 6 Joffe, 199H, p. ,07- MD iselllbeclded," 'lL~orlliJlg to the fit'S1 pr"lxlIlenl oftbi~ tcnn, meant th~t tht: ~apital Wa, re moved (rom existing economic and so<:ial networks, hur J offe notes ,haT in f.ler all ~Ilth t apir9ls wert' fll]]Y embedded in their socio<:conomic matrices. i\ f"w ex~mples fmlll ,'"riou~ hist')rk~l peri/xis inc1udt Al.;hcn~tl·n's tapi tal at T ell c1. Am arn:l in Egypt; Ab basid B~ghd~d;

Washington, DC, USA; and Ll r;lsilia, BF.lziJ. 7 .\hna. ~ oo5, pp. t o- I!, points ou[ that if a city did not h:1I"e a lradilion that gromted it legitimacy, one ha d to be ercoted for it. as happened, most $Ucec,,fuily, at Constantinuple. 8 Chrpus, 1005, pp. 1061- 1? Of the \'a~t schola rly litcr:lt\HC on this ~\lbjcet, sec cspeeiJll)' for Italy La Roce;l, 1')91; Gdichi, 191)4. \VarJ-P.:rkins, ' 997; Brugiolu/Gclidli, L99ll esp. cbs. L ~nd ~ on the historiography of the d.. hatej and Christie, : 006, pp. ISJ- !flo, with com plete bibliography. 10 C..elkhi, ~OO!, p. If! L. I I Brown/Christie, [9$9, PI" 3f!3- 4' 1 1 SIJuatriti. I<)r):, p. S. 13 See Hertt:11i, 1<')99' ",. S~e D djy~nnis, ~(1., woo, PI" 67- 79' 15 Sl' C ibi(l.. pp. I 1- 19. 16 Set' Dcli),annis. MAI)(lu t the Ubrl'polllijim/iJ," 1008. 17 """sin,,, "La fortuna ," InS, anJ ide",. ed .. 1991 . IS See Ropa. ' 9').' : and De1iy~nnis, ed., l oo6, pp.@-'] r.

Nons TO PAGIS 7-15


[9 Vas;"" "L. fonuna," 1978, PI'. lao-I , >0

Ibid., pp. 811--95-

, 1 DeliY"nnis. ed., ,006, PI'· 53-<57. 22 On T ... ,'crsori, see Clarke, '997. PI'. '6sr75; particul. rly imc,,-' is mot"",ri C<01np'rcJ ]hvcnn.·s .n ond .,.chi,,,,,rure fovo ... bly to thot of Rome, showing th" the ri,.. lry cominued into the Rcn.issonce. I J V•• ina, "L. furrun.," '978, p. ''3; No\':l", ,9<)8, PI" '5-16. '4 Iknericetti, 19W. 1'1" 45-7. d<--scrihc" 'he historic.1 writings of Ferretti In

'5 ,6 '7 ,8 '9 )0




H J6

37 3~


40 4'

4' 43

+I 4,

det:lil; the m.nuscripts .re V... Lot. 3753. 4!J68. 5441, 5831; VOl. Uri>. 408; V ... Ib m. '479. '746; ond Fire""" RibL N,,;. 11.1 V. I74_ Deliyonnis, ed., .006, PI" 711--9· Sec esp. Vos;"., "Il,-"cd("tto llaccilini," '978 . Nov ..., ]InS. SeeM.iol~ '9!A esp. p. 376. See e.<p_ Bm';ni, "Principal; Test:.uri.~ 19M: . nd IannUtti, "II mOll""l"o rit_,~ ,!}?ti. Nov . ..., I9¢!. PI'· '3- 5Iannucci. 19')6, "\1 '\lousoleo:' 1'_ 184Sce . good summ.'}' .. http://www.elllilioroll.. gn •. l>enicultunli.;tlindex.ph1.? cn/ I , 511. _nosei'" _dell <'-SOP rin I endcU1.c_i n _("ti Ii._rom. gn •. Vols. I - H (1911 - 19'9); n.s. vol. 1-6"')4- 51 (19J0-39~ Jrclser. vol>. 1_W=5'-100 (195<>----li9); 4th .cr. vol •. 1-4l= I01-1 08 (1970-74), vol •. 10<)-1 56 (1975 - 1000). The excO\·.tions "'ere only po " ially published", the time: recemly the notes, d,..wings, .nd photographs h,,'e l>e<:n publish",1 in Suini, 19'}8; Non"" Pilla,;,,,,,. '001; .lId Augemi, ed .. '00'. Sec espoci.lly Cirelli, 1005. For. deroiled dc,.;ription, see M.llzclli. /Vr"''''''', 1000, PI', )J-4l; ROllcuzzi, 1005, p. )86: .lId I'i.ncastclli. ")0+ Roncuz"; lIotes, Pl'. )~IH}, tho! reee", indLl<tri. 1 cn,..("tion of ,,'"ltCr and methane go< fro", l"'nC3th the ,urf. (., h.. increased the ,..te of .ubsidence to 1 III pcr cemury, but Piallcastelli points nul th.t this high nte Iu, deere.sed .illce the '97os, and is now neorlyb. ck to the origin. l ,..te_ See ROIlCUZZ;, '005 , p. J89 .lId fig. '0: llcnttond_Mom.n.ri, "I)ell>og",fi. ,' 990. Pl' · 4 I- '; ond M.nzd l~ /(go"","", '000. 1'1'. J9-'t'. For example, LPR eM, 8J, 168. ~loSl compreh.nsi,·ely expl.ined by M,nleUi: /Un"""", '000, Pl'. 39-4': sec.1so Forioli, '977, p. 9· J\hM.clli, "Loji;n= ,m,iJ,~ ,00 ' , 1'1" 45-6· Nov.,.., 19'}K -rhe exc .... tions were only p.rri.l ly published.t the time (Ghi"'rdini, 19,6); rccem~·thc notes, dr'''''ings. .Dd photogr.phs I>e<:I1 published in S..-ini, 1998; and No... "" Pala,;""" 1001. Augemi, 100J, .lId idem , "Nuov. ind.gini," }005, o,rtesi, 1978 .lId 1980; RoncuzziIVeggi, l<}6ll. For criticism, of the test -pit """'piing, sec Maioli, '990, p. 383; ~hn,..clli, Rat'n",,,, 1000, n. "9 .nd 1)0; .nd Cirelli, .ooS, pp . '9 .nd 67. M.m.clli, Ruwmra, }OOO, Cirelli, l005 •• lId idem, 1<>OS: the lotter..-os published too lot. to k fully consulted for this book.


46 1l0wersod:lllrowniGnbor, eds_, '999. 47 S'rzygowski's book, Orimt odrr R<m1, published in [9"[, proposed th., early Christian art rl,..".- its inspiration lorgely from eastern Medi,e" n,her th.n clossi,,1 Rom.. n sources. 48 G . lassi, J 930; essenti. lly followed by """y loter scho!.rs; for figuntive .rt, .tt Ri""ardi. "1 mos.ic; ]l"rieul i," ")OS, pp. '33- 549 Stt Dcichm.nn, [9"9. pp. ' 43-6 .nd 353--7, for de"'iled summ.ries of the schobr1y li'entture on the "O rient o.lct Rom~ ,Ieb.te, Rus.'o, "I:u,,,hitenun:· ")OS· 50 \ Vh.rton. [995 , Pl'· 3- 12; .. 1'1'- '53'"9> she no'e. ,h.t in .urwy" of western! ,\-Icdi'er",ne.n . rt, R,,-cnlUl h... Iw.ys occupied.n ".mbivalent center" ... wes,ern OutpOS' of llyzantine .rt: "the locus for the d.ngerous shift from cl. s· sic.l (n.turn). good, mo,..l, .killed. m.sculine) to post cI.ssical (unn.tunl . bod, degener..e. unsk illed, fem.le)_ .. _R.venn.'s .n is good ;nsof... os R,,-enn. '. location is constructed OS the \Vest .n,lp<"<>hl."" .. ic ..·hen i, is c-onstl"llCu-d os the [ost. thOl i-s. the western outpost of Hyzantiurn~ (p_ 1;8)_ 5' Elsner, '0(" . .I' The fund.menlOl mldy is Deiclunann, '9H, 1'1'- 4 [- 5 5, who notes ,h', impost hlocks probtbly origin..,~d os a way of leveling spoliated colunulS .nd c'pi",1s of differen, heights. D eichm."" offeN a few fifth.century . .. mplcs from the Aege.n in order to .how that the fe.tore originated in the [ ost; he rejects the '"'''''pies from S.n Giorgio AI'ggiOTe in Naples by .. ying th .. the date (usu.lIy gi>"<"n at .mun.l 400) is undeterm ined, .nd likewi<e <eem.< uninterested in 'he e-'"mple of Ss. Gio .... nni e 1'.010 in Rome, of .bout the dote. Russo, "L'o",hi'cttuTO:· l005, 1" 9 1.... ggests thot the pheno",en<>n hegon not in O:",st.ntinople .nd the East, but in North Africo. In bght of .",h.cologicol.nd .",hitectUrnl inv"",,igotions since '9H, by which ",-"\'e,..1 of Dcichma nn 's ,",.mpies h,,-e been redated, .nother .tudy of ,hi. question i. w"''''nted, .lthough it i. beyond the scope of the present book. 53 S'"C De Angdis d'o..<:It, '9,11, PI'. '37- 55, for. deta il ed di.<eus.<ion, . nd mOre recently Whitehouse, '988; for comp.,,";'-e moterial, see Russo, 1<)96, and idem, 'OOS ' 1'1'. 9'- 3, .14 On the fifth-century sculp,,"c, sec most recently Forioli. l005 _ 5.1 S.., most recently Christie. ,006, pp. J 3<>---) and ,08- 1,. The debttc is summa rized by B",nl<, '987, .nd Ward.]'erbn., 'm; ]) eichmann, '975 , sow spoli. os more pr.gmatic th.n ')'InOOlic, where .. others, including, e,g_, Krautheimer, '¢" h..'e Sttn .esthetic and ideologic.l o\'CrtOnes, and \Vard. l'erki"s, J 999, OTguCS for IK>th. See .1«, Il r'-""k. 1987; I'cn .. I"-",,o, r995; Kinney. '997 .nd '00[; and Elsner, '''''4. Most of these studies focus on Rome . .16 S.><: M.guire. '¢li, ""1'- PI'· 8- , .I; sec .bo J one">, '998, Pl'· <'-9.

T " .... Ro m.n le,.."nn. S.., e.p. Potitucci Uggeri, '005 ; Ronco""i, '005 ; F.bbri. '<}90, [99[ . and '004; . nd Abn?clli, Rinom,,,,, 1000, PI'. 3 ,-8. , Pot;tucci Uggeri, '005 . 3 S.., Ronco Z7j, '005 ; and Fabbri, [<)90 , for survey, of the geology ond geomorpholo8}' of Ro,·enn. in the prehistoric .n,1 Rom.n periods_ See .bo F.hhri, ,oof, pp, '7- [80 J




4 I' linythe Elder, Hjmma ""lIIra/is, ).10; see F.bbr~ '9!JO, pp. '4-55 See Patirucci Ugg<:ri, 100;, 6g. [. For. deor and roncise d=rip,ion of ,h. " 0'. cou,,", from the pre-Rom.n or:>. 10 the mid-twclhh ccnruT)', set: idem, PI" 0" m itud"" to the ri,'cr Po in the Rom.n period, see FaLLi, '00[, PI" 1011--9. M.nzclli. RIIt'tmIIl, woo, p. 3', slales lh01 con6gur.tions ofthcse "'.{ermurses C1nnot be really mown , On the prehistoric on:ha.,ology of the region around Ravenna, '0'" "ennond Montanari, "[)emog"'r,.,~ '990; .nd Alogn."i, lOOI , PI'· 33--9r.hn7-clli, T?JnJ<1t1ltl, '000, PI'· gS- lOI and '''. esp. for the finds.t the Vi. D'Azcglio .nd Vi. C. Morigi. cxc"".tions.; see .Iso Bcnnond Manton.ri, "L ';mpi.nto," J 9')0; .nd M.nzdli, "R,,' cnn., lit,. ci,,,"," lOOO. Mognoni, lOOI, p. H - but it seems to reod 100 much into the much loter sUtcmcnts of Str:abo, Pliny 01 . 1., to .ssume th .. there were differelll ethnic gmurs in this .re,. On the prehistoric Adriatic cmst. see Mol"'t~ w05 ; on [",Iy genenlly. see, e.g .• Pollonino. [991. On the texnu l sou",.,. for Rom.n R.verm., seeespeci.lly V.nuone, [990; .nd Rut"WlA, lOOO, pp. 1<>--30. S'!':Ibo. GtDgrllpby, 5. L 7 ,nd 5. L [ ,; sec ,\\, '00 [, pp. , 5--9- who notes that Zosimus in his Hist""" NIlI.'R. S. '7, olso soys th.t Thessa~'n' rounded it. See olso Rd"",ehi, [998, PI'. 30~-5. I'liny the Elder. Hi""",, ,wt1ira/is, )'46 (or J. '0); see, ,00 '. 1'1'_'9""J " who proroses thot Pliny should instead be re.d as referring to the Umbri.n ",,,,,,hers of the tribe S,pini •. ['tolemy, GrogrRpby, 3.'. '0, di,.;ussed by, 1995, p. [Ol. Sec Vonuonc. 199", Pl" 5'---1. See Pellegrini . [9')0, ror. complete discussion of this issuc; see .Iso Bermond Monton.ri, "])"",og",fio.~ '990. p . .\9. I>ellegrini, '990, Pl" 7<>--" M.n.udli. 199". notes thot this linking of R..'enn•• nd Spin. goes bod 10 hislOrions ..nd ""tiquorions of the ,ineenth cenmry. Fobbri. '990.1'1'- ll - J; o\1a1luti. 1005. 1'_ 3' - On Spin •• see most re<;e1]tly Rebocchi. e<l .• .nd Hi.nchi, 100'. Rebocchi, [993 .nd 19'fi; Stt .Iso 1'. FobLr;, [990, p. [3. M.nzelli. RiwmnA, lOOO, p. '1 . 1'.lost influenti.lly by 'l 'esti_ Raspon i, cd., [9' 4, Pl'. 116--[ 8; followe<l by llevini, "Le origini," '956; o\1"..-,o ni, 107; Fell •.,,; 1'.1.;. 109; 1'. 1a'3,oni. '970; n'h ers. not.bly. Ahnsuclli. 107 ond [97[. place the origin under Claudius. See M.,17.clli. 1ltn'<1ln8, '000, p. '05, Manzelli. 1ltn'<1ln8, '000, pp_ T 18- '4;, lOO) . Pl'· 34- 5. On the w.Us, «'<' ""l",ci.. lly Fobbri. 1<><>4; ,\ Ionzclh. "u mun." 100 [; III.n,dli, "Le fonificazioni ." '000, pp. )1-8. On lhe chemical m,keup of the mon ... sec o",t./G onifrognon.l00[. On ,he 'YI'c "f bricks, sec Righini, '990. Pl'. ,63-8, : Abnwlli, "Le fortifi _ cazioni." '000. Pl'. 34- S, .nd "Le mun.~ lOOI. Pl'. [1- l4. M.Il7.clli. "u fonific:ozioni," '000, p. 33. The dote hos been contra,·.... i.l. ])eichm.nn. J9fi9, pr. 14- 5•• rgu~'S that the w.ll d,te. to the late second


6 7




[' [,



[5 [6

[7 [8 [9 '0

11 "

1) '4

15 ,6



century, on the basis of the letters st:llllped on the bricks, which he claims would not h ..'e been used in ,his P"" of 1t:l1y in ,he third centu')', C .pdlini, '993, PP, 471f-, describes evidence from ",-'VeN I sites exc>voted in 1?8)4l thot sup]>On the ,hesis of one I.te . ntique or early llledic...1 found.tion for the walls. li e cites the """"ion of".. 11 '"' ..... ted .. Porn S. Vitror" (p. 50) as rut_ ting through .n imperi.I...,,.. house th .. was built in the first or second century .nd abandoned in the th ird. '7 Geliehi. '005, 1" 833- 4' There h.s been Some JiscU$;,m . IKIU' ,,'hother the "",IJ Ihot " 'OS Jisco,'ered " ... j>3"'Ucl to, but nol the same.s. the ..stem w. 1l of 'he r"'-1::mglllor oppid"", enshrined in 'he late .nti'llle w.1I (e_g_, Mainij, "L. To]>Ogr.6 • . " '005, P, 46), hilt other ""bul.n h ..'e concluded thot they do f.1l on the ""me lines .nd thot ,he lotc antique " ..II prot.ably I.rgely follo,,'cJ the poth of the republicon " .. U <A"nzelij, Ril<'t1Ina, '000, pp , '04- 5, .nd Gelichi, '005, p. 83')' ,8 F. bhri, )004, p. 10, esp. n. " , ,h inh th .. thert! w. s • w.1I on the north_ east th.t did not include the w"er<:OUrsel; Manzelli. "u forti(,cozioni," '000, p. )8, and p. 44 n , 5'. also belie,'os th at there was • wall on this side, but leO\'es the qucstion open; see .Iso "lonzclli . i?1n'<"'''', '000, 1'- '05 '9 ,\bnrelli, RAt..""", 1000, pp. 974l. )0 ,\ lognan~ '001, p, )6. )' ,\loln .. elViolonte, '995, pp. " (}-17;, '001 , pp. )(}-7; M.nzelli, "R..enn. , ci,d," '000, p. 6>. 3' T1'llm,mti, 199i ; " 1.n",lIi, "Le fortificnioni." '000, pp. 3 5-6; ide~n, " R.venn •. w," oitt .. ," 1000, p. 6+ ) 3 Stntbo, G'.Vaphy. 5-' _, I; Rchcceh i. 1998, Pl" 3°'- ,; M.nzelli, i?JJVmtliJ, '000, pp, ,,- ) n. 33, nolcs thot there is no concrCle evidence for this, H S<,<, I'.,irucci U ggeri, '005 , Pl" ,8B-:1S; Uggeri, '997; F'rioli,n .. i, '977, p. II. ) 5 For the latter "gument, see CireUi, 1008, P, 67, 36 '[he si,es of Vi, C. "Iorigi •• nd Vi . D'At"glio; see "lan',elli; " J.. fOnn . urhi,," '00', p. 48; .nd Manzelli,i?JJ,,,,,,,,,. '000, p. 66. J7 M. nrelli, "R,wcnn., Wla ci,,~," '000, P, 14, ""d 1000, PI" <)S-101. J8 M.ioli. "L. 'npografi.," 100, _Monzoll i; i?1lV<1lnt1, '000. pp- 6<r70. J9 ,\ l1nrellilG!'OSSigli, '00 t, I" 135· i O ,\ lon,,,lI i, " La fonn. urbis," '001, I" i8; C hris,ie, '9B9, Pl'. I, j-l. C .pdlini, '99), 1', 4', insists thot the evidence is too scattered In deftnitively prove the I"".,;on oft hc w.lI. i ' ,\ hn~elli. f?tn..""" , ' 000. PI" '09 .nd "7. The locotion of the origin.l ,,"'ttle _ mem is controversi.l; for a descriplion of ,he contro"ersy, see F.bbr~ '''04, p. '0. M.nsuell i. '97 ', pT'Ol"""'d ,h., the fin;, h.hi... ,i,m. were . Iong ,he eost b.nk of the P.denn., .nd Roncllui. '99' .nd '00" insists on the existence of a wcll-dcvelopc<l town cas, of the ""pit/11m, which hc says dotes to the fifth 0<11 fUry Be H e Sl1tCS ('005, 1'1', )90-) th .. 'he =t1ngul.r ",.11 of the oppid,tm is simply part of the lot" .ntique " .. U .nd thot the pre-imperi.1 city center ..... s I",,",e..! to the c... of the Podenn •. Roncu",,; .rgu<... (1005, PI" 4<><>- 1 n. 4) th .. the section of ",.nfound in the Ilanco l'o]>Olare exco,·"ion, linked to the Torre Salust ... :tnd to other pieces of " .. 1110 the nonhea." ore all p.rt of the .queducl built by T",j.n, not republic.n at . Il Manldli, i?Jl'L"<1f1l1l, ' 000, 1'- T 17 n_ 378,






Ron cll~zi'$

199" argllme nl$ and

note~ th~r



rem"ins on

which Rone-uzzi is l>~ sing his r('consrrul'lion for the CJs(crn sc..:wr proba My were sixth-fifth century Be, but it is iml)();lsilole to know. 42 On the sources, see .vbnsuelli, 19i1 ; ~nd mOSI com prelu:nsively, V:!tOlone,

1990. Pl" 57"""9' 43 Plutarch. Villi Mllrii,~. 44 Ci<;o;TO, I'ro B"lb~, 50 : " Ib"cnn:l1clJI focJc n to ex populo." 45 See Susini, MLa CJuestione," [968; ;\lId V:ltNone, 19Qo, p. Sll. Man7.em, Rllumllo, 2000, p. 15, suggests insrto aJ th at Ra"cnn a had Roman m u ni~ip a l status aJr"3 J~. hy 89 Be. ci tin g bll.atw, 1968: and T ihiJctri, 19i 3. 46 C. J uliu s Catsar, SrI/lim <'it1ifr, t '5; Suetunius,]rllilll C"#III', eh. JO; Appbn. O( hdla [h路jli, 2' F-5' Appbn also tdls llS t I.89 and 1.91) th nt in 8, BC :Uctdlus

"5<lilcd ;Iround toward R;\\'cnn a and took po~'iC!;Sion ohhc lc\'cl whcnr-growi ng countl)' of Uritn nus," Lut in tht s<:cond c. AD, "hen he was writi ng, R:l"enna W:J$ a mnjoreen ter ~ nd thus proh"hly ~n important topogra]lhieal refercnt. Sec Sllsini. " La qllcsdone," '9ol!. 4i Suetonius, Jlllilli Cumr, eh. 50, .j-8 Suetonius, Dhmi AugU>!Ui. eh. 49; T acitus, A",m/cr, 4 .5; VCb"ctius, Epito",,, u i miliMris. + 3 " 49 On the contrOl''' ,",,'}', see l1olJini, ' 990, pp. 297- 8 and P' 3 Ifl n . ' ; md Tr.lIllOnti,

'997, 50 Appian. D,' /tdlu rit:ih, S.711 :mJ 110; ."ll1llZdli, /l" t路r!lIIII. l ooo, p. l6. 5' T ramonti, '997 , Pl" 12!- 30. 5! Pliny the Eldcr, HisIO,.i" II"II/,."Ii,-, 3'!0 . Sce Roncll7;zi/Veggi, 1968; F'Jhhri, '990, pp. '4- ;; Squau路iti. HJ9~ , pp. 3- 5: and Cire路lli, l oo8, pp. ' sr-1 0. 53 Mansu~lli, '97 I . pp. 33i- 8, app;lrently accepted by .\b nulli, R,i'v rmlll, 1000, p. 13. propo sed that ,.Ill' b rge port thus mentiOlled " ".IS the port of I{:l\'enll:l, an d that the Vatrcnus llow<.' d into the harllnr, but Pliny is clearly ta lking ahemt Spim 15 km to the north. 5-1- FauLri. 1990 and ZOO+ PI" ' 7-11; Ci relli, <008, 1'[1. 19- ~ 3' jl"tit Ul'ci Ugge ri. : 005, pp. : Ro- r, who !'epo,.t, the t'~'Cal'ation of ,r lightbnll~ :1t Ihro Z.welt'l, presumably th" point at which the riverlcanal join~d th" Po . Fabbri, zoo+ p. 30, nOll'S thn it had always heen presumed that a new canal of 15 kill h;ul been Jug between the Po anJ R.wenna, hut thJI this WaS not necessary since the Padusa/Padenm. 3ln'ady eOI'ered most of this route. 55 See most recently Patimcci Ugge ri, :005; at p. Illi ~he notes that this ne rwork was particularly irnport~n t Ue.:auSe in p~ rt~ of the y"ar Ih" AdriHic was not na\'iga blc because of wcather. Ca~siodo rus, V",.iar:, I! .14, writ ing in the midSiXTh c~ nmry, notes thH ships c:ln ahl'ays s:ril hetween R m:nna 'lild Istria, "for when the sea is cius.:: d b), the nging of thc winds, a path through pleasant ril'cr country is opened to }'O\l .... From a distance, whcn their channel C:IllIl()! be Seen, it looks as if they Ithe ships] .Ire moving through t.he li~l ds. "I h er wefe kepr still h), ropes, hut they mm'C drawn by cablcs . .... (trans. Barnish, '991, p. li6). 56 FauLri. !oo.j . p. 30, nutes th:lt it had ahva)'s tx:en presumed tha t :1 can:11 of '5 kilometer:s hOld been dug between the mai n hr.lnch of rhe Po, the E ri d~n "s to the north, and the port, but that this WaS hardly neeessafYsince the P:ldenml alfead}' to\,ercd most of this route ..\ 'lanzdli. R llli e1llUl, l OOO, pp. 2 r !)-2 0 . on the


othcr h.nd. d.ims thot if. ri"cr .nd c.n.~ the P,denn •• nd thefossM AI/grata. flowed south into ,he harbor it would cause m.ssi,·e silting within the h.rhor, .nd th.t these W"ercourses inste.d Howed north from the harhor into the I. goon, .nd the small POrt to the nonh""., of the city. )7 Cirelli. ,008, 1" '0. S8 RooeuzziIVeggi, [¢i8, Pl'. [93- 201; see '" hnzol li. Rr.xmIl1, 1000. Pl'· ["4- 5, ')'-3, . nd ,6[-,. s<>undings in the Mnhem "",tion of R.venn •• nc.r the Pon. er!K>, h..·c ""-e. I",1 • ch.nnel 50 mete,,", wide flank"'l by stmng cement .nd m.sonry embankments of <mImOWll date; its !:ted ...lIS 3-4 meters below the top lev"l of i", emb.nkmen",_Arch.eulogica.1soundings.t \ r, . A_Guerrini, just to the cost of the opp;Jmn • ..,·.. Ied massive cement .nd m.sonry q'''')'S on ei,her side of its COUf'iC to • width of 65 meters. with pottery d.ting to the Ln" .. publicon .od eorly imperia l periods. AI 1 kilomete!'S to the nonh of the cit)' ",.11 il cxp.ndcd 10 . width of over '00 m.lers. 59 Roncu,."i/Veggi, 1¢i8, PI" 10<>- :; ",.n,."lIi , RiR'fmla. ' 000. pp. 83-~; ~ hioli, "L., ~ "'OS, p. 47. F.bbri. 200+ p. '90 proJlOS"'l the hypothesis th.t this sm,ller pon " '" for commerci.l use in contrast to the lorger militory pon of Clo"",_ Bee.use the Rocc. occupi.. the site, li ttle c.n be known .hout it. 60 Pliny the Elder. fiiJfflrill1llltunlliJ 36. t8; Ll'R oh. 39. 6 [ Bennond Mootonori, "L'impi'n!o," [9QO, p. '40. 6, ~ lonlclli. '005 . 63 S.,<, esp. M.ioli. 19')0, for the dctoil",] de,.;ription on which the following is bosed. ~4 ~ lonzolli, "La fono. urbi.," '001. p. 54, sugg"""" that the >cC<.>nd-e<:ntury works were connected with the emperor T .-.j.n·s in Doci.; "'hio~. "Vic d·,cque. · '001. p. "0, proposco; tho, they took ploee during the reign of Hodri.n. 65 Jord.nes, Gru<a. ed. Al ommscn, [ ~81. '9.148- 5 [: "c!.ssem doc.n .. ",m quin 'luogin .. n.vium Dione refCT,,", e tutissim . dudum crcdehOlur re<:ipere .to_ lion •. " On the Ron.. n imperio l Aeet, .c. esp. Bollini, [9')0; .nd F.-. .. incli , '00; . 66 S.., Fabbri. 100;, 67 F.-.ssin~~'i. '005.1'. 68. 68 Notiria Digni',,"'''': "prncfccrus d . ssis R"'e,,notium, rum ruris ciu"km civ_ ilati. R,verm ••. " Susini, "R,verm. e il mondo." 199"', PI" [33""4; .nd V .. ruone. t9QO, 1'. 59· 6<) Susini, I<jI8 , .'," D cichm.nn. 198<). p. I 3 I. 70 F.-."inetli, 2005. p. 6<). 7 1 Li>lcd in G i.comini. "An.grofc dei dossi.ri. " 19')0, p. 3' 1_ 71 Frossinctti. 1005. p_68; Don.ti. 1005; Bollini, 19')0. 73 Published ,nd discussed in Susini. " lJn cOl.logo doss;'rio." J 08. 74 This list is derived from Bol lini, [9')0, p. 3 [, _ 75 Bollini, '005. p. 1'7. 76 Bollini, 1<)<jO. I'P.I9Q.nd3,6. 77 ,\1oioli. "Vi. d'OC<Ju,." looJ. p . 110; .c•• lso M.iol~ [9')0; Monzelli. "L. fonm urbis," '00[, p. S+ 78 M.ioli, 1991. pp_ 501- 1 1_


Nons TO rAG,S Jo-JJ


79 M.ioli, 1001 , [>[>.4[-1; idem,"La [op<lg!':lfi.," '005, P.49.

80 Maioli, "Approvvigion.menti,~ ' 005, p. '7~ set: M."suell~ I ?Ii'; and M. iol~ La . 'iDa rommlll, I~. 81 I'or > dcuilcd ,wnm.ry, sec "janzcll~ R.rt'tnna, }OOO. 8, I'or en"'p ic. Tacirus, A"",,/e., 1.58; 1.6,; m."y rcft,n-nc<s to the Acc< of R",'enn •. 8) I'or ex.mple, M.rti, I, l;p;gr""", and 3-57 <b. d w,w·), 3-93 (frogs), and '3.' I (.sp.",gus), Siliu~ l .. licus, "'mit", S. 1 00 ("); Pl iny 'he "1der, Hi!«tritJ "alll",liJ '+34 .nd [9-54 (veget. bles) . Interes.ingly, ..p.r:>.gus requires wcll_d1"Jl incd soi l to grow, rem.f'S on ;n,lic.,;o!l that the ternin ... os no' .11 mushy .round {he city.


84 S~" esp. Rig\lini, ' 990. 85 S{",bo. Grogr~pby, ).1.7. 86 Vitruvius. Dr ~rdJ;It<Nlrll I: "oxempl.. outcm huius rei G.llic •• p.llld« j>ossunt esse. qll>c cin:um <:cingunt > Altinurn, R,,'cnn.m, Aq uiiei.m, . li. que qu,e in oiusmodi locis mun icipio .un! proxima I'"ludibus, quod hi.... tionihus h.bont incredibilcm solubri .. tenL" 87 \r,tru"';o., Dt IlT'Cbiumffa ' -9-' , , "cst .otem m ..imc id ron.ide"... R,,·.nn.e, quod ibi omnia ope ... et publico et privat. sub fund.",en,;' eius generi. h,be.n, 1'.10<." 8~ M.nzeni, Riwmna, '000, pp. '0' and '05. 89 Righini, '9<)0, 1'1'. 15~1. 90 I'.bbri, ' 9<)0, Pl" '5- ,6; Manum, /We"",,,,,, 1000, Pl" ] ' - I . 9' M,nzdlilGrnssigli, 100', p. ' 47. 9' "-hn,,,,Jli, "La fonn' orbi.," 100', 1" 50; ><e , Iso Johnson, ,';;] . 93 E. L. Rocca, '99' , interprets the inscription to referto ~ 1 BC, .Ithough it h.d previously been rc.d as referring to ~ 3 He. 94 M.nsueUi, ' \)67 ; Capellini, ''f87; Christie, ' ¢l9,"-lonzelli,"Le fOMific.rioni," 1000; .Iso M.nzelli, Rtnon",,,, '000, Pl" 9'-4. The inscription re,d, "Ti. CI.u,liu. D rusi F. ("... Aug. CC""'nitus I' ont. ,\11<. T r. Pot . II Cos. D.-sig. 1111 Imp. III 1'.1'. Dedit." 95 M.n.uell~ '07, p. '01; F.bbri, '004, Pl" " .nd '7, citing M.nzolli, "Le forti(IC.~ioni: '''''''' see .Iso "hnzeUi, Rav",,,,,, ''''''', 1'- ,06, .nd idem. '005, 1'. 39· Imen-stingly, this ",orbl. decoration does not scem to h,,'o I)(..:n contem!",,,,ry ,,;th the britk interior of the oreh , implring thot the deco"'tion (presum.bly hy Cl.udi",) ....... ppli ed to • pr~existing structure. See 1\ lan ""lIi, " Le fonifi_ ",,>.ioni," 1000, 1" ,8, citing M.Mud li, 107, p. '9'. 97 Iknnond "ionton.. i, "L'impi.",o," '99"> p. "7," lou.otti, "~7.p. ",, pro1"-"""1 th>tthis T01ld, the tU""''''nl'',.1so 0"",",1 'he fom. LimriUl, inten;<."Cting with the ("'"tN" .nd then le.ding to the Porn Asian> _ 98 Iknnond ,\ Ionl:ln.ri, "L'impi.nro," '99"'> p. "7; M.nzclli , iI4t'f"tl''''' 'ooo, PI'. o't6--7'; ,\lanzellilGrossigli, 100'. 1'. '36. 99 Montevecchi, "La "rod.," '004. '00 Set ,\1.n1.c11i, /W,wma, '000, Pl" 100-;, .nd ide,"" "I monum<",ti l'",,\uri," 1001. The evidence is "ery scanty; sc"orol of tho sixteenth - to ninetecnth remuty scholars who wrote histories of R,,,,enn. identified the loe.cions of such structure'S, but their infonn>'ion come from Agnellu. or from t0l"'gT.phit.1 references in much I"er docwnents. For example, Agnellus (Lf'R cII. 1) ,ells




101 1o, 103 ]04 105

106 107 108 "'9

us that, Temple of Apollo, which .tood by the Port. Am.,., was demolished by the p.. y~rs of St. Apollinoris; he tool.: this infonn>tion from the sixth- or S<....,·e~ th-c<!ntury Passio of ApoUinoris (see below. Chopter 6) , but it i. not clear wh",her ,he infonn ..ion i. ocru .. tC or merely 1 h.giog .. phieol ropes. 'Inis pOSS:lgt: olso soy< th .. the omphithc ..... r w.s just outside the Port> Au ...... , but we do not know ot wh.t dot. such • structure would h,,·. been constructed, .nd no ,race of it survi ...,,; for c"Oml"' ... tivc ",",eri.l, ....., Cirelli. ,008, PI'. 38--9. Thi. l0C3tion is on 'hc present Vi. Guerrini ; see "h n7"lIi, "L. form. Un);s. '" '00[, p. 5'; ,\ lanzelli, Rn""",,,. '000. PI'· 104- 5. Su,ini, [<}88 . Nov.roIS ...sini, '001,1'.85, ,\ 12nzelli, "Lo fonn. urbis,~ ' 001, p. 5" Th. sixth-cemury A""". V"ks, 7' . tell. us, "He flneodoricl restored the oqueduct of Ro...,,,,,., "'hieh the tuler T .. jon h.d m.dc, o"d , flcr much lime intro.1""",1 WneT. ... ~ p... t~ [<}88, l'I' . P-4· Idem, Pl'. 44~' ,\]an,elli, "Lo fonna urbis," ' 001, pp. 5' and '000, PI'. , '4-,6; " lonzell;, "Le forti(,c.rioni: '000, Pl' · 30-' · G.leni, '005 , p. SsJI. Idem, PI'. SsJ'"""4; ,\ 101l1,,IIi1C... ssigli, '001, pp. I 3~ ....12nzd li. I/.ot-m,w, '000, pp. 65-71; Mom.vecchi. ed .. "La ,I ... d.,'· 2004. Both the B.nco 1'0]>01.", .nd thc Vi. D'A1.cglio .ites .ddcJ hypoe.ust ,ooms. " bn~elli, "t o fonn . urhis.~ ' 00 ). pp. iI - I.

" 0 1[1 ,\ lonzell;, 1003 ,pP.55~. 1 1, Vitrm';us, I>' Arrbi"ctnra ' .9, [6, "h,,"<: 'uteln re' P.dum R"'enn'm depor_ t.tur. in coloni.'tri, I'i""ri. Ancon.e reliqui'que, qu.e sum i~ e. regiono, ,mmieipiis p.. ektur.~ 1 [3 ,\ hu•. '005 , p. '0, esp. n. 64. 1 [4 Beml0nd Monlo".ri, "L'impi.nt o," [9')0, PP.'41-8 . 1'5 '\hi oli, "\'i,·"re.·· '00'. Pl" '7~; Stoppioni. )005, 1" ,,8. 1 [6 ,\loiolilStoppioni, 1987, PI'. '7--9. 1 [7 ,\ bioli, •Appro .... igion.memi, ·· ' 005 , PI'. '74-5. S"'l'pioni, '005, in 0 d", ailed snldy of th """,mie evidence from R.venna, concludes t~.t olive oil wos never on impo""'''' im]>On, ,,·hil ... th ... impon of wine incr.,.sed d.. motically in th ... firs, and ""mnd "enturies AD. Fisl, SO""e con.. iners, which oftcn make up an inlport.nt mm]>Onent of imported ccrnmics, were likewise rel,ti"ely sc.rce, .Ithough hecOlning • bit more frequent in ,he S{)COnd .nd .,.rly third "enturic•. Cont:lC1$ wi,h the Aegc..n we,e muc~ more commOn th.n wit~ ,he western ,\ledit,r .. n.,.n. 1 18 Rch~""hi, "Gr~"<:id e Greci.~ 19']8, Pl" loti-[ 5· 1 [9 Idem, pp. 3' 4- '5; referring to Rehecchi, [978. ]'0 ,\ Ianzelli, K,n'tnna, 2000, Pl'. ' 4<>-1. I I I Idem, p. , [0, M.ioli. "Citt' dei morti," lOO' . 1'. l43' Cirelli, "",s, 1'. '0, would "guo Ih.1 the Iod of bridges is evidence thOl there,..os no can.l. I" Gi'c",))in i," An.g .. fe dei cit"dini ",·enn.ti," '<)90. 1'3 ])on't ~ [9')0, p. 475· ] '4 M:mzelli, "Lo fonn. urbis.~ 2001, p. 541'5 Herodi.n. Ilmo'1 of lh, Rcmt01l Empi,.. 8·7. [, and lIisroriJl AUK"''''' 0110 ,\1"",mini '4- 5 . nd 13, and Ma.rin"" rt BalM",,, 1 [-1 '; see Neri, '99", p. 543.


Nons TO PAGES 36-37


I , 6 Eutropius, Bm!imi'l1I1, 9.7; Jerome, ehron;""" • . 1 '77: "G,l licllus in oilmen I.sciv;,m dissoluto Genn.n; Roven".", usque venerum ... " repeated in the sixth century by Jord.n"" R...,4"". ,87 (1'_ 37)' -Genn.n; et Abni C.lIi. , d'1,,,,oo.nt... R",cnn.m usque ,-enern"" Grociam G mh; '·'St:lwrunt.~ I , 7 L."..nrius, I"N ",.nih ... ptntt1l'M""" '7 , ' - 3, cited hy Ncri, '990, p. 54" ,,8 Ncri, [99"- p. 54" 119 Christie, [989> p. J 17; citing "l'h01""''', ' 9~ i , PI'. 11 7-30. Sec.1so Dci"h",.nn, Ijl9. PI" '3<)- 1. '30 C:mtord~, 19"1, pp. [6 [- 4. Guad.gnucci, :007. p. 7. notes th.t .. some point hefore 398 • new province, Pi"''''''', wos spli' olf and [>3rt of the diocese of Itaha S,ob",hiClma under Ihe ,<Ifis R"",," in Rome, hut by 40' FLnninia "pj(rtlll'" Il>l"onurinm were r<"1IIlitcd .... p.rt of /til/ill Ann ..",riil. S(.., . lso Ncri, 1990. pp. 540-1, who suggests rh.! the ch.nge in telTitori.I.Ui.nce may have something to do wim ,i.-.lry between Rome .nd Mil.n in the blcr fourU! <"Cntury. 131 Neri, 1990> pp. 543---6 .nd S7(}-I. 1 P For whot follow .. see Fr:lssinetti. 200;. PI'· 7(}-7. 113 f{i""'a A"g,ma. Didi,,, J"jiam" 6_ IH liollini. 100" p. 'H, who no,.,. mot in any fewer fun.rary monuments from the thirJ C<11tury bee.use these ore the ones most li~dy to he reused in the m.""i,·e huilding of the fifth century; but in ony case still some inscriptions for civili.n.. JUSt not for mil;",ry personnel. t J5 I'nt~,incni, '005, p. 7], pmv;,I<... surnm.ry of the ,rgumcnts. 136 See ,\ ,"cG oorge, '003, PI'. 306---[ t. I J 7 RuncunilVeggi, 108, 1'1'_ " (}- I '; F.bbri, 1990, 1'_ ';; Fobhri, 'OO~, 1'- J J I J8 F.bbri. '004 . p. ]1; Cirelli. '008, Pl'. [9""'0. '39 M.m.elli,"La fonn. uroi,," 1001, p. 54140 MoioliiStoppioni. I '}S7, Pl'. ;6-6], dote only the find. from the c.metcries " Clt deUe Vigne o.nd C. Lung> to the fourth cenmry. On lot •• ntique buri.1 p'ttern' .mund R,nnm. see Cirell; , ,008. Pl" "4- 30. 14' Monzelli." La fonn. uroi ..·' 2001, p. 54; lI1anzellilGrassigli, 200 [; M.n.ell~ Rillm",,,, '000, PI'. 66--7' .nd '364i; Cirelli, 1008, p. 5'. Chronologicolly, these "P. I.ce of·lbeoderic.·· .b.n~oned ofter 0 fire in the second h.lf of the second "<11tury; E.. oni lI.ccinetti, .lnndoned pem.!'" in the e. rly third c<"rury; Port:> Cybo, .b."dol\cd in the thin! crntllry; L.rgo Firen1.", Sonto Croce, Sont'Andre. Maggiore, .lnndoned ,t the end of the thin! century (S",,,, Croce destroyed by fire); I'opol.r., modified in thin! century, destroy«1 hy {,rc in . , rly f"uTth c<""tuf}" 141 \r,. l)'A1.eglio: ,\1on""lIi, RPt-mM, '000, pp. 66--8; UPIAI: idem, pp. Ill-I]; .nd Gclichi. '000, pp. ,,6-- ' 7' Russo, " U~o nuova pr<>posto." ",>OS. in"c.d ""gg.... th.t construction o~d modi{,cotions to the .ite called the "p. loce of'll,ooderic" wetc continuous from the second to the sixth c<11turies, .nd inclu,led new rooms ond pon-ments in the e.rly to mid- fourth centlll)'. Russo klllo,,", Dcichm.nn in identifying thi .. r .. os the seat of the p",rftrmu/ams, but docs not thcn \\·11.0 w", m<><lifying the struCtures in thc founh centul)'. 143 This question is of fundomento l importance fo, the choice of R,,·cnn. os on in,]>eri.l residence," we will S<:e in me following ch.pter. M.n1."'li, IWt~n"", '000, esp_1'1'_ '09"""[ I, followi~g BeTti, 1976, pp_ 1(}-'9> esp_ PP- .6--7, cl.ims




'44 ' 45 146

' 47 148 ' 49

ISO ' 5' ' 5' ' 53 '54

, 55


' 57

' 5S


th,t this .re. "'os .bandoned het"'cen the second .nd the fikh centuries,'s , result of the deveiol"nmt of cemeteries to the ",st of the fo<ra AUKIut" • • nd the conse<Juent remo,.. 1of the inh.bitonts to newl y developed oreos to the nonh, west •• nd south of the city. H owe"er, D.iellm."". '\)89, pp. 61 and 67, OSSlUlled th at ,he building h.d ken contin ually uo;cd in thc third and fourth centuries as the pr"rI"";""" or milito,), h ..dqu,ners. Russo •• Uno nuo'.. p ropost • . " 100" PI" '74--<S; .nd Augen, i• • A",hcologi. c topogNfi .," 1005. PI'. 7-' 3, now 1'1 0<. the ",<:on,1 construction ph • .., SOme ,ime in the ~lUrth centu,),. 1000, PP·13S--4L " h n,ell i, "I.. form . urbis.~ ' 00 ' . p_ 54F.bbri. '004 , p. 33. citing "hioli, [9'}0. O rulli. '991. ,\ 1on""lI i, "L. form. urbis," 100[ . p. 54; .nd " hn,el\i, /W';mw. 1000, pp. '36-8· Stoppi oni, '005, 1" , JO. Fordiscussion .nd bibliog .. phy, see D eliy:mni .. ed., 1006, pp. 39-4" Mmsi. ed., '9"' - 17, vol. 3. PI" 39 . nd 4" For good .umm.ries. see " lnwtti. 191M; and Pi card, [\)8S, PI'. , ,6-••. St. Probus (LI'Reh .. 3 ""d 8) . nd St. Eleueh.dius (LPR eh. 4). LPK ch. I; Lanzon~ '9'0--1', 1'1'. no--.¢; and T es,;_ Rasponi , cd .• 19'4. pp. 36-7 n. '4. 63 n. 7, .nd n. 7. S", CSf",ci.lly Dc;"hm"nn, '\)89. 1'1'. ,65---'7, who notes that ncither the churt:h of St_ Pm!.us nOr the C .. ni.n~.. , hoth south of C ia ..",. <>luld h"'e been ' he original churt:h of the bishop. On St. Euphemia adArimm. see 1I. ldini Lippoli.. "' •• c h·I"'"," '004pp . 94- 7. Sec D c1ir.nnis, ed" LPK eh . H. Agnd lus does say th 11 ""rious ea rly bishops wcre buried in the b ••ilica.ofSt. Probus (cbs. 3. 6, 7, 8. 9. [0. [1 . , ,). St. Eleuch.dius (cbs. 4, 5, 7). or next to the Church of the Apostles (cb. ,,), but he does not "'Y that the eI",,,,h,,, Were built at the time of their dea,hs, . nd inde<"! hoth the logic of the text . nd arch.cologie.1 in,"estigotion shown tlUll some of these structures were built much later. U 'fl ch_ '; B.ldin i Lippoli •. "Lo chies.,~ '004-



Th ree. ]{.." nna and the Weste rn [n, peroes. AD 4 0<>-4 119 E.<peci.lly O iY"'l'iooorus of' l hehes (preserved in th e Ilif,/i",/ma of Photius written in the n inth cen'u,),). S<»,om<'J1 . "---<>sim u" . nd O r<>si us. For . f..irly complete list of sources for G. II. !'lacidi • • see the mU)' in ,\1artind'le. ed., 1980, pp. 888-<). , Horlow. '004. 11 is quite not.ble th.t even S. L Dost. whose 1968 biog .. phy of thc ""'press r"",.ins tI,e most . uthoriutive English "",,,,,ent of her life. is not .ble to do much mort: thon spcculotc .bout tant. lizing reference. in these l.conic sources. See . Iso Connor. '004. 3 On the d.w. sec R"hen ich, ' \)85 , 4 l---'lSimu .. Hjs, ...;" N(It'a, 5'38.[, who used the account of O l}mpiooorus of Thebes. implies th., G alla hod alw.}'s secrt:tly h .. cd the woman who .. ised her (Oost. [<}68, pp- 83-<5). 1

NOTES TO ]'AGES 44- 48


5 Olympi(>l!onls (If Thebes, BiMit"h~"1) fl'. 33. Ag:lin. ~ f~nr" hint ah<;>ut imp(;riu l man-j~gcs and the rok of wOll1en or docs it juSt rcA<:ct the unti~

Honorian politics of th e ~uthor? 6 It is possible that Olrrnpiodoru~, ",11OSC dlronid~ is our main sou rce for these CI'ellts, accompanied th.: army t.hat reinstated Galla and Valc ntinian; M:<: -''btthtws. :<)75 . PI" 382-j. '111<1 id<:U!, 1970. 7 Sec, e.g., H olum, 1'.181 . PI" 1-2; ~nd 'Jbomp,on, 1996. PI" [45--6. Sourr.:t'-s

include the fifrh -cenmr}' Priscus (Fr~gnlent 15), :mrl the

sixth -~nrury

ans Marn.-Jlinus Comcs (Chrrmiroll, a. 434) ,md Jo rJ'ln<:s {Grliw ] 28).

22 )-..j.;

histori Ru"",,/{/

If L:gend rdls dIM th<: p01.te llwde llll <:1I10tion:.] :'1-'1-"'= :1. 1'llld conl'jn~ed Anib nut to sad, R ome, and the sanK' Icg~'.nJ Was ITpeated for various other cities in Anila's path. including R ~\,\:l1na , which noes seem to have ocen spared (LPR c h. jil. E.ith.:r An i!.l ..... ,llly could 1Jt: sW'lyed 1» ' supplication from Christbn hishops or this hec"111e a tOp.lS of episcopal hagiography; 5CC Pi7.arro, 1995, PI'. 1° '1 - 1 I, ami cf. also j~phus's STOTy of ,\lc.~"nder rhe Grea T all d j enlsalcm , ]=iibAmiqlllliu 11.3~ [-3S1 ' 9 Thcrc is an cnomlOUS bibliogr.:tphy now on the end of thc Roman Empire in The m:ST; two recenT studies th,,( t<)Cus speci(ic.lly 011 The ]l<'riorl from 455 to 493 arC" Henning. [9(19. and MacGcorge, !OO3 ' 10 \VesTern s.c nators :llld generals: Petroni\L~ M"ximus (4 55), Avirus (4U-f», Majorian (457-61), LiLius Sel'erus (46 1- 5), Olyuriu~ CH~), and Glyc.:rius (473- 4)' [astun generals: AtlThemi us (46 i-7 ~ ) and j ulius Nep'lS (4i o/S80). [I CW{i'.\· ThrodushlllllS V1I .1 3. 15; see G illen, ~OOI, tor a complete li~t of imp<:rial ed iCTS and the phces they were issued in rhe fifth centu ry. [l G ilktt. :001 , PI" 13 9-41 lIl1d l Si. ZosinlUs, Hiflari fl NQ;J(I V.~ 7-3 I. mentions H o norius's changc of rc sidcIK'C to Ravenna ~s hap]xning in 408. [} Rd'uge<:s ned from Rom" {() R~l'enn'l Ix:foT<: and aft"r {h" Visigothi" sitgt , fo r e., ample. Pope Inn'.......:nt I - Epii/o{,1 16 (l'L : 0.5 19); Orosi us. Adll(nm pllgl/1/0J 7·39· [4 Socrates 5<:holasticus. H iJ1un(/ E«1t'sitIJ1i( / VJI. ~ 3. 15 S'juarriti, 199~ . PI" : - 3. Fabhri. lOO4, p. 35 n. 48, amI idem, [991 , Pl" g- II , note I.h1ll by the fifth et nwry R:l\'enn ~'s mnrshes ~l1d swamp;; were drying II!, whieh might h.: why [he city had become more accessible. 16 j ordanes, Gnim, 29 ([48-50). 17 Pn:...... opius. De bcllu GUlbl(U V.1. [6- 18. cited in Christi .. , [989. PI" I '4- 15' !8 SquaTriti, 1')9~. p.:; GilleTT, lOOI. Pl'. 16 1 - ~. 19 Deidllll'IIUl, *Cosmnrinopoli e Rllvt'nna, " 198: ; supported by Gillen. 1001, PI" [6t -~ . l O Sotinel, :00"" p. 6i. It Cose ntino, !OO5, p. 4 2S . I ! Ncr;, 1990. :U1d.'h 7J:I., ~oo 5 . PI" 8- 10; Arsl"n. 1005. 1'.195· I } M'lTl zc l1i, RI/WnJlIl , 2000, p. 241 ; sec G<: lichi, :000, p. 118. 14 For e., ample, Kr'lUthdme r. 1983 . l5 LPR eh.!. :() !'.brazzi, :006, PI" 48- 5° ' !i LPR eh. 40. IS Cbudian, Dr VI erm$. Hrm. ; see Gillttt, lOOT . p. [39.


19 Gelosius, Fpistolat ,6,10, ed, Andr""s 'Ibiel, lWm~"""'m /"",Iijimm gm";"lIt rI q"" lid M! IrripWt ""'t, I (B",niewo : 1868), pp, 40S--{i, written in 495, 30 G illett, '001 , 1'_ 141, .dmits thot .ftcr the ']eoth of Stilicho in 4Q8, Honorius mowd more or k'Ss pennant",ly to l{o,'enn •. 31 Cf. Wickham, '?ii" p. , 6. Gillrtt, '00' , Pl'. 133-4, .umm,ri,""s schol.rship on the history of {he remo~.1 from Rome, going to (he third century. J' Thi. i, • qU"'tion th .. schol . rS h,,'c debated; .c<: most ,<'<'ently M .... ,.1.i, ,006; .!so Ma •.1.. , ' OOj , Pl" 8-17; Ennini, '005; .rticles in the col lection SrMt IVgillt, lOOO, cd. RiJ>OIVGurt, especially those by J. Arce .nd $ , Gelichi; .nd D",.. I, '997. 33 Sc<: most recently Kelly, 1998, 1'.164; .nd Kulikowski, '000. Jot Imerestingly, the Notitill Diglti'"ntm ~ordy memio"" either Al ilan or R,,'enn •. Flotb pl.ces ore listed as loc.tions of we.~ing f.ctories, Alil.n h.s. government storehouse .nd R,,·enn. is • mili,,1")' .nd • n".., but neither cil")' is soid {o h,,'e • mint .• Ithough we know th .. hoth cities mint"'] gold coins in ,he n.m<" of the emperors (see below). The NOlilill DignirllNtm ~Sls mints in the west for Siscia, Aquileia, Rome, L)-",IS, Artes, .nd Trier. ' I'nis omission is curious; P.nvini Ros.ti, '978, expl.i"" the mints of Mil.n .nd R.~enn... somehow sptti.1 . nd outside of nonn.1 government channels, .nd notes thot Ravenn • • nd Milo" did not min' bronzc coi"., .. did the others. Sc<: also Arsb". '005 . 35 ,\lcConnid:, '000, 1" [40, saY" [,500, citing Deichmann , [9S9, pp. "4- '5 ("'ho docs not gi,'e this figure, but cstimat'" , tot,1 pop ulotion of Ro\'enn. m.d" up of nonmili",1")' .nd their families 01 .bout 5,000 pe,,",ms). Deiclunann in tum ci,es Jon es, '04, 1'. 366, who estimOles 3,000 gu.rds and .n e,'en I.rger number of civili. n staff. Cos<.'Tltino, '005 , 1'_ 4", b.",,] OIl Justini.n·s """,i,mi. for V.nd,1 Africa, <stim.. es 600 bu",,,,,,,,,,,, from the mid-fifth to the ""rly sixth c<:nml")'. 36 Deidunann, 1?iI9, pp, [08-'5, folto".. Jooes, [¢~, 1', ,67: "When in tronsit the CWlit~II" must have been packed for miles with thousands of troopers of the guor,l .nd dcrlts of the mini«rics ... , ~ 37 See Jon es, '914, I, Pl'. ,66-73; Gilteu, '00 [, PI" 133""4; and Kelty, l004, csp. PI'. [87-9" Kdly st:lles, "To be sure, this roocelltnnon of J>Ower " ... to • g,,"11 extent.n inevi""hle result of the e>1.b~shment of .n instirution.liled bureoucr. cy whose senior official. were residem in the imperi.1 capi",I" (p , '9,), which l>rcslbncs tI,e conc"!,, of a c'pi",1 a' residence of the go,'crnm<'Tlt. 38 Li ebeschuctz, lOOO, PI', , 0- 1>; McConnid:, '000, Pl'. [35- 4'; De ichm.nn, '9il9. PI" 70 ,I\d ,08-1;. J9 Sc<:, for " .. mple, Pi",ri, {?ill, p. 645' "An", Ie d<'plocem<'Tlt de I. cour, toute I'"istocrn tie du se",,'ice in'peri.1 se t",n,fere iI R.~enna.~ BOlh I' ietri, PI" 647--8, .nd M.tthews, '975, 1'- 359, cite the c, ''' of Petron ius " b rimus, who held m.ny go,'emrnent !'O"itions between 4 16 .nd 443 (Martind.le, ,.,so, PLR£\"ol. ',I. V. M.ximu< "j, but ot,ly the rescripts .pecifically lOCI'" him in R,,'enn., .nd Pi etri notes, n. 6, thot some of the pr>etorion prefects ",em to h.H becn based in Rome. 40 Pi <~Ti, '?ii" 1'1" 654-6; 01\ the " T""ph'gi, s"" esp. L''''rtmce. '945; Kolt",it1} Herdejiirgen, 1979; .nd Dresken -\Vcil.nd, 1995, PI" ,,8-,6; .nd on i~ol)' co",,'illg, Stt Volbach, [977; and A\.rtiniJRiZ1.. rdi, ed., I9'}0, although in bet for ivol")'-co ..... ing . ttributions to R.,'enn •• ", only bypothetic.l. 4' M.",,,,,.i. ,006, p, 53.





4; De;chmann, 1989, pr. I 14- 1} . estimates 'I tor,11 po:>pulution of about ) ,000 persons, while C05Cntino, l(XlS, pp. "[ [- I 2, c::stj m~tc s 9,000--1 0,000. 43 Shlonius Apo lljn~ris, £pi,'/b/,/(: 1.8 .• , ";":gri de~llIbuhn T medici iac<:ll l , ~lgenT halnea domicili a conRagmnt, sitiunt "iv; l1~tant sepulti, vigilant fures dormiunt potcstatcs, facncranru r dcrid Syr; pSOIllullt, nc!!Otiatorcs militant mil ircs nc go-

timlur, srudent pilae SdlCS, ;1!eat iu"<.'nes. annis eunu~,hi , jim!ris f(x:(ltrati." 44 Sec, fur c.~aJJlplc, Pit-tTi, 1991 , pp. !S8"""'S), uaso:d on the N oti/III d'W,ilfUl/1/!. 45 There is.1Il e~1:ensive hihliogr.lph), on this tOllie; see lllost recentl), C urcic, I ~_~ ; an d Baldini Lippulis, 1001 , ""1>' pp. 19-'1-6. and with " catalog ofindil·iJual sit<:s. 46 Sec D agron, IgNi and ?I'lango, 198, . 47 See k li"lIIu ('" pil"/~, 199u; Ausonius, 01'110 IIr/Jilln/uloitifllll , vii k,\'lediobnu1l1." 48 Farioli Campanati, "Ra\'mna, C on,,-tannnopoli;' ' 99 2, p. ' 50. and idem, 2005,

p.16. 49 LI'R C\•• l7 . 14- 5, 40-l . 50 Christie, 19£11). 1'1'. 11 ;- dL 51 Fadoli Call1panati, kRlIn:nna. ConsnurinoJ)() Ii.·' r 992, a rlmir~ that h cranaly~is is unseu on Agncllus's lIluch bter info1111:1tion. F On the wails. sec most eomprl·hensivciy 'huro/Novara, eus., !OOO; Gcliehi, 1005; Ci relli, !ooB, pp. 55-67' 11l<:~. n.mdamc nr;ll srunics ('('[n ain Christie/G ibson, 198B, lind Christie, 199<). 53 Sec Christie, I?S.}. 1'.118. CallCllini, If/Ri , PI" 86-7. notes that th e location of tht: walls, which I'rt:"'UIJUll>ly JdintJ rht: dty's pOl>lrrilflll , or sm:reJ boun d~ries. n"IY ha\,.. lud to he kept for juridical purpo5;es. 54 Geliehi, :005, esp. p . 830; Ch ristie, 19H9. p. 115. :\ de tailed study of The remains w,jsmade in 19O5!.>Y Ga<:tano Sa\'ini, who include d dr.lwings and d.::scrip tions of sur.ions rh'lT 1m: now lOST (C hrisri ... 1989. p. [ 17). The most com prehensin: his(Ory of Ih.:: d<'b:l{C about (hc ""~ l1s is Gdichi, 1005 . 55 G~lichi, !OOO. pp. [[7-1 8. 56 LPR eh. 40. 57 Tcsti - RI1~1'0ni, cd., l<)l4, I'P' 1[ 5- 18 ~nd tab le 3. 58 Christie, 1981), p. 128. 59 Sec "sp. Cirdli, N08, PI" 55-67. Although, ,lS S. Gelichi dt'!/,:3ntly {I"scribes ( 2 00). p. 8 l9). "Qm! has th~ impr~s~ ion that th~ J~bate is cuming round un itself agl1ill. Ia,<, a urob uros" (~ r.l1lta~tk ~nim~l tli:ll <',ltS its own t:lil). One still fi nds rek r~n<:e s in schohlrly lit"ramre tQ later additions to this wall :It the time QfOdoacer or Theod",ri c, e.g., .\hioli, ~ Le mUfa." 2 000, and idem, ~La topografia." ~OO5 , 1'1" 50- I. 60 Chrisrie , 1989. p. I } o . 61 C"ppellini, 1987 ; .\bO'l;elli. " Le forrificnzioni," l OOO, p. l 8. r " ri oli Cnmp" nati, "Ra\' enna, ConstantinopoJi," [992, pp. 140- 1, not.::s that the name Porta 1\ 111'0::" is lirH "nested by :\gnelhls, bur "rglles lh ut SlIeh a name would ha\'e no signific;l[}ce in ,he nimh c", n"II'Y, lind thus must h,w<: bee n "ppli<:d earlier, most likely in thc fifth eenmry. For com palisoll, recellt srudic~ have proposed thut t il<' Golden G arc in Constantinople W,lS oligiMlly built as a frccst:lnoing triumph:l l "rcll in honor of T ht:odosius I. aroun d 388, and tll~n incorvo r.Jtcd into the w:I lls huik hy 111eodosiu~ II afte r 4 '3; see B:Irdill, "Golden GaTe," 1 999. 6 ! Gdichi, ~oo5 , 1'1" 8.16-7 . ""futing ChristidGihson, 1<)88, PI" Ilh - ,1 . who stated thJ t the WJlls were m ~dt': mainly of new hri eks, ~lth ol1 gh of ~ typ" differ<:nt from those u~d in the fifth -ce nmry churches of th e city.


63 Gelichi, !oo;, p. 8.n, nOteS th ~ t this need nN me:m th ~t the w3115 were buil t


65 66



69 70



i3 74

in ~n emergency, but simply Ih~t l>ricLs wcri.路 reu~d for re~sons of economy. A mysterio\1s st~tch of ~pp~f('ntly (Iefensi"e \\~\lI s fou nd just to the nordl of S~nta Croce in 1989 and published in Capdlini, 1993 , wOllld seem to predate thl."" fll!! circuit. Gtlichi. lOO; , "'ho suppon:~ tht proposal uf Christie. 198Q, thal the full cin:lIit uf tht'st' ",;,11, was uu ilt ;It on~ till1t'. C.bristie, t<)SQ, 11P. 13 5-Q; the date ~~ repe:lted in i,iem, 2006, pp . .13 ! - 3' l':luuri, 2004, pp. 3i"""9. Bollini, 19<;0, p. 306, suggests th:lt wth R:wenna ami Class<: hJd walb built in thc third century, like Ri mi ni. Gdichi, :000, PI" I 18- w; Fauuri, ! 004. p. N , notes that 1\"I;.n"l<::lli, ~L:1 forma urbis," !001, p. ;6, ~"tatcs tha t whl'n RaVl'nna became a capital, it already had the city wa!!s. Sc\"Cral other~cholaJ"5 ha"e st~ted in a speculative but llnsui)stnnriated w:ly that Ibvellll1l's walls must h,lVe already t~ist e" in 4掳 2: set Bollini. 11)90, p. 306; .\"Iaioli, !OC4, p. 13: .' bioli, "' L a topogr3 Iia,~ ~ 005 , PI" 50- I . Chlldi.lIl, PlllI~g:,,"i{l/s dirt//.< HOII~rio AlIglI,'W S'~I'1I1111 (ollmli, CIll'mill,' "I1Il1innl lS-4!H : "dixit ~路t mtiqu3t muros l'gressa Raucnna"." Zosimus, Hi.<tori" No,'o Vl .7-l-""""9'3 i SoWmen, H;star;" Ecdnitlrtim IX.I!. S~c Gillet!. !oo r, p. '4' ~ncll\. 'I !. Ont fina l, pU7..1.ling piece of el'id"nte that has not L.~tn u.<,td in this dis"u.~siol1 is th e Pcutinger .\lap, on wh ich Rawnna is shown as 3 city with W;llls and towers. -111~ Pcur.inger l'hp is a thirtetnlh-t:entufYcOp)' of an e'lrlit"r world IIIllp whose pmrotyp-e i~ variously dated f!'OlIl the first ro the nhuh cenrury (for rhe r1l0~t lTcellt di:.cussions of the dati ng. ~e Salway, !OO); 1nd AI1;.1I, lOO) . C'll1 the map lJ.c used to Jatc Ra"enml's walls, or "icc "ersa? Early interprttations of the' map and irs infonn:lrion suggesTed a daTe fo r iTS PI"O[()TYpt berween 330 md 31S!. '111is argument, 11l:1de without rderellce to the dc pictjOll of i{;LH'nna. would imply that R~\'c nn~'s w;Jlls were already hui lt in till' f"urth "cnrur), (S(:c Dilke', 19B7). OtheJ"5 havt 'ltg-ued thac the pl"Ocotypt or a f('\'isiun mUSI have t..:en mnde "ft<:r the early lifth century hee~ u:;c R:"'enn~\ w'llb didn't exist ('arlier (a"b'llt!d hy Le\'i!Lel'i, 196;: s,,'" also AJ"IlaLld, 1990; \-Veb"r, 198\.1. p. 116: and Salwl}'. !005, p. 1!5 and n. 37). AI Lu, . 005, fin,lly. has rc""ntly ~rgued th ~t the: map WaS hasc{l {In Roman written itineraries and was madc in the Carolingian p<:rioJ, whtll, of co urse, R3\'tilil:l'S w,llis h~d long existed; hut Alhu (Ioe~ not really explain how the ma1:er of th" map, using tenual itiner:lriC![, would Im ow how CO depict individual citili's with w:llls or not. '\l anz~lIi, JUW.:IIIIII, 2000, pp. ! 38- 4 I: Gtliehi, !OOj, p. B.8 n. ~ 3; set' also Gelichi, lOOO, PI'. 116- 17, who notes that onl!' the Vin D'A>;eglio ~ite has matli'da1 from che fourth cenetl!)'. l'rassin"ti, 19!.15; .'hnzdli, R(WN11I{/ , !OOO, p. liS. Th"rc has bt"n along JeUa1" :lbout the relative legal st ams of R:lI"ellna ~ nd C lasse. Scemming from the idenfil"ieMioll in the ta rly si:l.1h-eennlll' mosaic in S'ITlf'Apoliin'lre NuoI'o fhat iden tifies a (It,i/or Cfarse. schobrs have attempted to determine whethcr C lass<: was :1 distinct politic,,1 entity in the 5ixth century, nnd, if so, ho'" f:lr hne1: th:1\ status goes. Sin(-e the "vidence "onsi~[S of one fragmentary in~ ri pt ion that conuins the wo rd 1<"1/".拢><', n reference in the fifrh _ee(lrury NOlil;ll Digniftl//ll!/ has been lTsed to identify fill,.I17/1 (lviltls as a ~p'lrmc city of C 1 ~ssc (Susini, "La 'lu,.stiolle," I 968), but oth"rs han Jisput"d this (Frassinetti, 1005 , p. 76). Augemi, "Archtologia e topografia," 1005, p. n. Gdichi, lOO;, Pl" il3il -Q.


Nons TO PAGES 54-57


75 In addition ro !hose mentioned . I)(}>"e, .Iso Zosimus, Hislffrill NUl"l V,'7: "Ravenn • ... is ",lied lUten.<: it is surrounded by w",or ... ~; see M .g_ n.m, '001 , 76 Sec 1\1.,2.0, 1005; Sidonius Apolliooris, EpimJllr l. 5 ..,d I. 8; see .Iso in VI!. , ]", in on Q,it:ll'h., "you dcsl'iseJ the popul ous terriwry of swampy r",,/,"'=_1 R..'enn." .. " 77 I'ohhri, 'WI. 78 '005. PI" ,811.; Fob!.ri, '99' . p. '9,

79 So:;uOIriti, '99', p. 8; "".n>.elli, R1tt~n"ll, 1000, esp. PI'. 1 ">--1 , ; Cirelli, w08, 1'. 67; but Augen!;, " R, venn. e CI.sse; il n>e<:onto." ,00(\, p. 30, on the "o ntr",y, SOY' tho! the fo= Aug"srp probably so:ill fllnctioned in the lime of Theodoric, without funher expl.runion. 80 lipm. l. 5.5. 81 F.bbri, [99' . PI" [8-19 •• od '004, PI" 45-4 8, The firs, refe"""cc to • palat;"", in R.wnn, COmL'" from the A,,,,,,),,,,,,,, VII/_ mimllS ",.,.. postn1... , 1'. in reference 10 T heoderic.


8J cr. Kelly. '998, PI'. 84 Neri, [<;190. p. 543. lists V. lemini.n I in 365 .nd V. lemin i.n 11 in 378 85 1~",·iusMcrob.udes, C"rm;na I . nd 11 (t- IC II AA [4 , I'P. 3-4): ",e Oost, '91'5, Pl'· 4--'7: C lm'cr, 197 ' . Pl'· [7- [9: lh n ,es, [974: . " d 11. ldini L ippolis, [997· T he poems list members of the imJICri.1 f.mily "' • banquet; it must be emph.,.;,..,d thot the poe"" do no, soy th ot ,hey He describing pictures ... ther th.n • living family scene, . nd th ot there is no evidence ,h.. ,he pietun.'S wen: I"'-"'ed in R..,eruto - this is merely an . ssumptio" hosed OIl the ideo th ot V. I<'lltini." III lived in R.venn • . 86 M ..ius of A' -enches, Chrvn;CiJ, •. 49) (,wGIl 55. [[, 1'_ '33) : • __ . oc;cisu, cst Odov. ""r rex . reg<: ' n ,eudcrico in Loun:to;" An"". 1'"/,,, 55 (AIGIl 55 9p. 3'0): • . . . su.'Theoderic"" cum 100000reml in L.uretum pervenientem gtadio imeremit ." These chronicles, re prob.bly reloted to the chronicle hy Arehhi<h"p ,\ Ia.rimi. n ,h ot was Agndlus's soun::e: """ Ddiy:mni<. cd., ,006, Pl'. ,6-3 0 . 87 F.rioli C.mJl"ltoti, " RO\'elUl', Const:l.minopoli,~ '99', 1'1" '4[----4: on ,he D' phne pal ""e in Const.ntinople. see D.gron, '9H, 1'1'_ 9'- 4: .nd B.nlill, "G r"'" I).lou.~ ' 999. 88 Ihldini L ippoli<. '997, PI' . 1- ). 89 C. Ric<:i h.d interpreted Agnellu.'•• <:count of G .lt. I'locidi, going by night to S.n.. Croe" (LPK eh . 4 [) to mc.n ,h .. ,hen:: "'''''' I...·• l>Cen on .clj.eent ]>. 1:."e• • n,1 wh<'Tl Rom .n .<'rm in' were diSC""ered hene>!h S. n' . Cn"'. in 19'5--'7, ,hey were interpreted os the H onorian 1"'1,,,.,. Hut there i. no need to interpn.1 Ag~ ellus i~ this ""y; ,",e Herti, '976, PI'. W- 5; No,''''.' '988; Deichm . nn . ,'}89. Pl'. 49""50; Port., [99', Pl'. '7 [ - l; .nd RIn'<1f1W,

'000, p. '0' . 90 DuVltl, "Comment reconn"tre," [978, . nd ' 997, Pl'. [4[ - ' : for. refu"tio~ see G elichi. '000, p. [ 10 n. 5. 9' I">T ,h" deor"" "'pl. ""ion of the building phose<, se" Augen, ;, "An:heologi. e topogrnfio," '005 . Pl'. 7-'3, who argues, Pl'. " -, , thot whot he idcmifies as Ph. se , dates to ,he founh century. but soys that i, i' po,,,ible '0 dOle it to the Honori.n period, with Ph . se 3 doting to the mid-fifth C<:ntu'Y_ S<e .Iso Dciclull . nn. [!}Ii9, Pl'. 58--J0; B.ldin; LipIXlli<, [997; M .nzcll ilGrnssigl~


9' 93

94 95


97 98 99 100




104 105

'00[; Russo, "Un. nuo .... proJ>O"t. ," '005, pp. 174-6; .nd Cirelli, ,008, PP·78- 8S· LPRchs. 94 .nd ['9' C.mpon . ti, "R.,.enn., O:>n.o;.ntinopoli," [99'. Pl'· '+' - 3· 'llle southern rorridor . round the ro"rty.rd wos 1'.ved with mosoics dq,icr_ ing circus, mythologico~ .nd hunting scenes. B.ldini Lippolis. [997 , dOles the circus m",.i", to the period of·l1,rodenc. hut Augen';, "Arehoologi, c topogn/i,," ' 005, dot"" th ..'JT1 to the fourth century, thus ]",fore the .m....1of the imperiol roUrt. Ort.lli, [99[ , p·17!. The mintsofRome and Mil.n oominued to pro<hoce ooins throughout the fifth century; Aquilei.'s mint oominued umil +'5; see ,\NI.n, '005 , 1'1'. [95-{i. Mlan. l005 , Pl'. '97- l01, who notes th" the ooins minted in R,,·enn •• fter 455 .re less widely distributed in other areasof Europe, in f""Orof roins minted .. Milan; this fits with G illett's argument thot R","nna wos not I"'ing u«-d OS • copitol in this period. LI'Ree. "5 and [6.+. For Ihe dcarest c"I'licotion of Ihese documents, see Augemi. "Archcologi. e topogm/i,.~ '005. Pl'· '3- 31. l)eich"uru,. [9il9> 1'1'. H-{i· The idcntificotion os the mint is not without contTO\..,rsr; for .11 of the arguments . nd hihliogrnphy. see Augenti, "Archeologi. e ropogr:>fi.," '005, Pl" l 3- 3 ,. Deichmmn (, 9~ Pl" 54-6) h,d uguod thot the p.pyrus of 57'. which identified. no.. ry os "h. bens stalionem.d moni"m .uri in ponicum SIleri p.lot;" ( rj.der 11, no. 35, p. , , ,), mc>nt thn the min' mu.;t hove heen in the ponico of the p,l.ce, thus to the cost of the pl41t4 "",;..., but Augemi .hows that it is more 10gic.1 to ...... d this p''''' ge .. me, ning tI", the nO/my h.d his sl"ion in the p.n of the ponico of the p.bee near the mint, which WlIS >cross the slreet. s."" esl" V'"", 1005: .nd I lumph rey, ,<)86. pp. 578-{i38, who documents cireu'iCS for Nicomedi., Trier, Simtium, Mil.n, Aquilei., Thes.,oIonikc, Ami och, ond .ccqns. eirrus in Rovenn.; but Du .... l. [~n , 1'1'. 'loS--] ,nd 'H. notes thot t~e evidence for Ihe linhge of cirrus ond pal.ce i. not >trong in other tet ... reh,l ,"pitols, ineiuding R, venno. Sidon;us Apollin.ris. Co..",i"" '3 Ad erm",,,j,,,,,, lines 3'311. (MGH 1M 8. Pl'. '5711.). While, '005, p. "35, repeats. conIDlOn ."",nion thol this circus must I", in R..'enn., ,, thot is where the emperor resided, G illen. '001. Pl" I,~ .nd esp. n. '33 , refu,,,s this .s;enion. LihN- pqntifialu, Vil4 Tbtodori, (Inns. Davis. B",,* ofPrmti/fi. p. 0). See Vespig, '00" Pl" '140-1, ond . tsojohn."n, '988, p. 83 and n. "0, for I"..t n;mh -<;cnlUry references to the cirrus. Despite severn I .",enions, neither the Anonym'" Va/"ia",,, parr "",stricr ch. 67 nor C , ssiodorus's Clmm;ra • . 5'9 (MGH 1M Xl, ed. Mommsen, p. 161) ,Iescribes games or mees held in honor ofEuthorie . 1 Ravcnn., only"' Rome; see Gillett, '00[ . p. 160 n. '33. I.PR c. " ond e. '53: Dcieh",.nn, '9il9> 1" 40. The e.r~esl such reference d.les 10 ¢o (Fmtuzzi, [So[, 1.1 50- I); see John son, '988. p. 83 n. , [0, for other referenees. including the thi n eenth-eentury C/mmjciI tk Cil·itau ""~"I""'. ,..hich "'Y" th.t Theodcric "c"l'le';t mumm c;v ;",is, quo usque '"PUt e;reo et them,," (ed. t- Iumtori. RIS I. '. p. 575)'


Nons TO



108 TO? 110 III

I rl

1 13 1 14



60 - 62

D~ glJb~'III"'-O/l( Dd \11. 9: ". __ p3/"S ~unr Rom~n~e plehi.. in circo, p~r.; Sllnt populi Raucnnatis in th~ntro." Humph rey, I <,)86, Pl'. 580 ~nd 6 36; the only ex~ ptioJl S to north-south orienT~ ­ tiOll were ill cities with prcexlsTing f:u:;eTrm;k;;. Hu mphr~y notes, p. 306, ThJt the snlJllest l:nown impcrLlI-pcriod eireus, ;\t GeTas;l. had 3n arena !44 meters long. J uhnson. H)SR. p. 83_ Cirelli, ~oo!J , pp. 9O--l , who makes this ~uggestion because there i.~ no archgeoiogic3J ""iJ"nc" at all from this p3rt u f th" city that mi ght cuntradict it. Malla. !oo5", p. II; ~nJ Cosentino, :()05", Pl" 413-15. Sidonius ApoJJin llris, Epii/.1.5.6: ~nisi quod , cum sese hin c salsullI f'Ortis p~l­ ah"'s impingen·t. hine cloaeali pulte foss~rum Jis<:ur,u lyntrium \'emila t3 ipse lemarl languidus lapsus unlf)ns nallticis cuspidihlls foraminato fundi glmino sordiibretuT, in lI1edio undarum sitit'L~rnus, 'l ub nus'l u,un ~d aquaedltCIUUII1 liquor in teger ,;el ci~te m" defaecabi lis vel fOilS inriguus "clllUTeus inlil1li~." Prado 19RR. p. ! I; which iseollfiroled in the Allonyln\l~ V~lcsbn\lS'S de$Cri prion of 'nlcodcric's fC'S[()r'ltion of the a'lu"duet, I / UDII. VtJ/,'s. 7 I ; SeC below, Chapter 4. For hibliography, s('c C h:lplCr I. About the cult of St. Lawrencc, sec, for eu mplc, Nordstrom, 19;3, PI" 1 7 ~2 3: Le"is, 1973 , Pl" .! 141'1'.; ~nd Nauroy, 19A? , Compare, for example, the b3silic~ and puems by Po~ D amasus (366---84), Amurose 's UiSCllssion of L]\\'T.:nce in D~ I)fficiis 1.41 aod ~ .18, and his H)'ll1n i 3, Dc S_iAtll'm/ill (PL Ii, co11. 1116' 7), the poenl wrinell in n al"Qund 405" by Pnldenril15, PO'iSICpblllJ(J1I ~ , th" (Ollscru"tion of another l>asilic'a ill RUIlIi: by Po~ Six[Us HI (43l -40), :I .>enIlOJl in his honor by Pop<: Leo I (440-61); ;lnother senll0n fa lsely anrihuTCQ to 1{,1I'c:nn;I's own Bishop Peter Ch rysologlls, $l'n/1O 135, IH,d some sort of Ravenna conm'C[ion, as it hadlll.:comi.· put of Felix's collcc·tion ill the eighth ..:en[Ury (set Oli,'ar. ' o;Nz, p. 1(9). See Deil:hmann, 197 4. PI" 75-; ' In ROllle, V3J<:ntinian III and 1"'11<: Sheus 1II huilt ,md endowed a b'lsilica de dicated to ST. Lawrence; sec UIl.." pDlJliji,·IIIi..,

V. Si.\11

m. 5-6 .

I 16 Augu stine, Srl7lll1llr; 3~ l: ~ ... ad glonosi martyris laurenrii memoriam, quae ;!pud rnUenn;Ull nu~r colloc<lu est, sicu! ~udiuimus .... " On the datt , sec: Oci<:hmann, I 1l7<.i , p. 337, ci ting KUn>:clmann, 11)3 I , p. 508. 117 On Lauricius, :;ee Martindale, PLRE l, 1980 , pr· 65"9-60. lIS Knmh" imer/Curci(', 1986, 1'1'. 51-4I 19 tPR ehs. .04-6; ."Ce De1iyannis, trans., lOO4. PI'. 136-8 and notes. The re lics of Stephen, considered ro h~\' e been the jJf5f martyr. were discovered in ,p :;: and ... nshrineJ in CunstmtinopJ~·, J<:rus;1lcm, and Rome in thc fifth century (...::e e5p. Chlrl:, :9\1l). while Gervase an d l' rof~sc were m~rtyrs of i\filan whose veileration Ill!d been promote.1 by S{. Ambrose. 11 0 LPR eh. 36: "Lauricius huius dedicauit sun di" tertia Kat. Octohris, Theodosio quinto clecil110 ef Placido V:!h; ntio i,mo." IV :tugg. conss. I l I -Jbt: LPR 1l1Hnuscri pt ha~ Opilius; Deichmann, 19i 6. PI" 33,---8, assumes that the nO\m e must h3"e be"(l Opili .... Th.,,.'C' are ;l r l.,,,st 4 ru., n 11:1I11ed Opilil) known from th" Ia tcr fifth and sixth centuries who h"ld the h ighest g~)\'em m cnt positions un dl· r the emperor.; and Theoderil'; S~e .\Inrtindale, 1980, I'LRI!. l , PI'· 80i-9· III Dcichm;1nn, I 1l7(), p, 340.



113 See 0",,1, 108, p. ,65; Letters;6 and 58 in the LetTers of Leo I the Gre.t (PL Sf, colI. 85?-66)· 1 '4 Se<: Oost, 108. PI'· ,;6-61 ; G.ll.·. p.rticip.tion in Roman church .ff.irs i. reported in the Ukr pontifital;s. V. B""ifotii I.nd V. Slm III. "5 Lihn" f"'ntifoalil V. M"n;,,; , .nd V. AgatlmlliJ 4, "in domo Pl.cidi.e"; V. C""mmt;n; 5."' p.l.tio in Pl.cidi... " M'gd.lino, '001, p. 60, proroses thot the hollS<) wos inherited [,y Gall. '. gt:>nddoughter Plocidi • • nd pcth ' I" then by her daughter Aniei. Juli . n•. 116 On GaU . ', church p.. ro'''ge. see esp. llruboker, '997 , Pl'. 53-<ir. "7 Con,"nriu, of Lyon . Vira "'>Uti C"""mi (written in 475- &». chs. 35- 44; Genn."",'. vi,it to R,venn' i. probobly doted to 436--"7 (Inompson. 19B~, Pl'· )7-<i6). I ,8 Holum. '977. ond idem, '98,. Pl'. I '9""30; Rizzordi. ' 11 ,\ lo"soleo l'lne solemn," Iw6, p. 114. "9 I.PI{ ch •. 4' - I. '7.•nd 41. 130 LPRch. 51; see below. ' 3' LI'N ch. 4" This stonn probobly h.ppened, as Deichm.nn condudes (1974. p. 94), during G.ll,'s return trip with th .rmy in 4'5; while cr{l!l;,ng the Adri.tic from S.lon. to R.venru, the .nny's Oe<:t ""OS hindered by • storm (Soct:>t"" Schol.S!:icus, fin •. &d. 7·' 3). I j l "[ne publicotion. on Son Giov.nni EVllngelisto ore Grossm.nn. 104; Dcichm'nn. '974, PI". 93-1 '4; F,rio1i C" np.n.ti, 1995' "-"ngot:>, '000; . nd "r..USS<>. -"h'"ettu...." '005. Pl" >03- '4' I 33 Deiclunann. 1974, PI". 101- '. In Ill) the church wos gi"en • l,vish new Set of flo'" lnosoK:s thot commcmo...tcd. '",ong other thing>, the Fourth CTU>.de, including the .. ck of Const:.ntinople; see Forioli . ! 99;. 'H Nov ....., " L.. 11...·<11"... rdo_impcrio le," '00 I. Pl'. ,67- 7'; F. rioli Compo".,i, 199;· 135 See most comprehensively Deichm.nn. '974 , Pl'. 103-'7, ,,;th. campleteaH .Iog of ". ch pi""", . nd .L.., No'....., "].'",\i1i,.i. di culm," '001 . Pl'. ,88"9; .nd Z.notro, "Practi", del reimpiego," '005. pp. I '44-5 , "'ho notes thot the colwlU" c. me from .. leo .. tWO different buildings. 1 36 lI.usso, "L ·.rchitettu ... : '00;. pp. >1 1- 1, . '3 7 I)eichma,m, 1974, p. 10., for examl,le, the n.nh"" of St. JoI,,, Stoudios in CoII''''ntinople, ca. 4C>O, wo< subdivided with sm.lI" .. the north .".1 south end. rhot communicated with the oisl... '38 LPI{ ch. 147' " ... in .ngulos ipsius introiti.... " It should he pointed OUt thot the site on which the church ..... huilt cont:r inc~1 • ccmc~ery th .t w.s used from Ihe fir>t-flfth centuries AI), ",e M.nulli, RPwtma, '000, pp.14O"1. I 39 Grossm.nn . 1964, p. , ,8. 140 Grossm.nn. '0+ 1'. , 18. suggests that the spolio illcluded twe"ty_four complete set.... which is why rhe church .nd n.rthex were built in this w.y. 14 1 '[nose who propose 0 d.te in the 4Jos include De Angelis d'Oss.t. SIIOJ;. 10'. 1'1" t4- 18, and Rus...,. "L'.rcftit<~rut:>,~ ,005, Pl" 104-<i. 1,,,,,,1 on the f.ct th.t there is not much difference in the l""els of the origin.l n,,'e floor .nd of the .,rium, thus they must h"'e heen built close together in time (. lthough if the church were in continuous lIS<). thi.l.d of difference in lcvels might not be SO significant, Forioli Comp.".,i, 1995, p. '5) ' A date., the time of Il i;hop ,\Iorini.n ca. 600 (Oeichm.nll, 1974, p. 10) is bosc-d on f... gments of mosaic



Nons TO PAGES 65-67


.pp.rently cont.ining the of t\i.rini." <595-<>06); h"""over, these "'cre not found in the new western section of,he n ••·~. Cms.m.nn, '0+, does not suggest. d. te for the modiflc.tion._ 14' LI'R eh. ' 47; Agn.llus is here telling. Story thot tool< 1'1."" in the eighth """mI)'. It is worth noting ,hot .coording to Agn.!lus the noury llil.ruo;, who tells the story, was to be buried in the narthex; .hhough Agnellus up th is <tory (<<.., Deliy.nn; .. ' ....ns., "'''4, PI'. 9-' 0), the kotur5 of San Giov.nni !;Vllngeli.," that he <1"""';1,,-,, mu." C<>ITcsrond


ninth-century con<ii,io"s,

F.riol;"". t;, '995. pp.lS--<i. '4 J Interesti ngly, these column, were of different m"., i.] .. 'he one on the north being g",nite ond the one on the south "irollino m.rbl., how",-cr, 't least in the thine..,,,,h century ond possibly corlier their diffct<'fIcc would not be no,icoo, as they were co"ered ",;th si )"er (D eichm.nn, 197.h p. 107). 144 See most comprehensively Deichlllann . 1974. pp. !}8-10<>; and Russo, "L'. "'hi'rttu.... ,~ ><>05, Pl" t , 1- '3· 145 Deichlll. nn. 1974. p. 99; Russo, "L"rehilettu.... ," '005, Pl" , , ' - 13; lh. com p,n,i,·. eJUmple is found on the ex,erior of the fourth-c<ntury ch.pel of S.n Aquilino in M il .n. which h" be"" .ttributed 'he p,'ron'ge of PI.cidi.; see Lewis, t973. 146 Smith. ·'11IC Side Ch. mbers," '990; in " Fon" ond FUllcrion,~ she dis_ cusses the side chambers.t S.m. Croce, S.n Vitole. S.m 'Apollinor. Nuovo, Apollillare ill CI.sse, San" Ag ... " h ggiore. ,",1,be C .lli.n". b.sili ...... '47 See Deichmmn. '9H. Pl" 95 - 7· 148 Deichlll""n . ' 974. p. 97; follo"'ed by Farioli Camp'I!IOl;. "R..'enn • . ConslOnu -




nopoli," '99'.1" '43 149 bng' .... . '000, Pl'· '7l!--g.

I 50 LPN ch. 4" TrtI(fal""dijirlltilm;s tt mnftnltti(JI1;r "hsit "",Ni loIwmu mllngtluu rk Rll11trm1land Itm! tkdiali"", ,d,';, Jtm(fi l.hll1mis """'gdifU. prescrved in the fifteenth-cenrury CtJd", EslmsU, fo1. 44v-47r, published in RIS L,. Pl" 56771 . G R<>ssi. 1/;!fOrian,m


'5' '53



Libri X (Venic"", '5 71 .n,1 ,,,d cd., V.nice, '589). pp. 10' !!'. The reb'anl p"""ges from Ibese sources published in Deichm.nn, '97f. Pl'. loS-I I; bm a new cdilion of them. with discussion of their dates • • in Zong . ... 1000. 1'_ 176_ Ricci. 1937, 1'. J6 and fig. 7'; .nd Jlovini. '955, 1'. 59. Sce also J'oilpreJC.illet, ' 005. !'P. '08---", for further di..,,,,,,,ion. Deichm.nn . '974. Pl'. " ' - '3. notes Ih01 this depiction h., no Imown iconog .. phic 1"'" Il els, al,hough it is simi I.. to scenes of Chris, gi'~lIg the Law ."d I:~Y" t<. Pc"'~r ami J'm!. "Amore Christ; nobilis .. filius toni,rui SanctusJoh.nnes .re"". vidi,~ is \:no,,"n only from the "'-'C<lnd scnnon .nd i, not 'Iuoted by Rossi; Dcichmann. '97~, p. "4, ..gues Ihot il w .. a scp . .. le horizont al b.nd. OS h .. been rendered kre. ZanS" ... '000.1'. ,8" di;;russcs ,he fOct thot i, is. dose p' .. phrosc of the 6rst "ersc oflhe hymn composed by SI. Ambrose in honor of SI. J ohn the [ ""ngelist, "Amore Chris,; nobilis I [t filius Tonil",i I Arc.n. loh.nnes Dei I !'atu ",,,,,bvi, ""ro" ( Il ymn 6, "d.]. Fnn",ine, '99')' T h" ph",.., fiJ;'" "m;m,; comes from M.rl: J" 7. "G all . I'bcidi, Augusta pro se et his omnibus ''Otwn sol.-il"; Zong . ... '000, 1'_ 184, proposes th .. mi, i. more pl.usible Ih.n his_ RotWtIJlI,1f".


[55 One of tht ~rmons s.~ys, ~sub <Jui l:ms {the p"lms ond ships] in jllllctUr.\ pr3efuti ~reus it,! inve nimus adsignat(l'S I'ep.;us, verum t,mtum super e~ pi t~ imp.:ntorum iJ il'onl!l1." Rossi , how<:I'er, says, ~Er,\[\r '[litem haec imagines in ~1'(:U restl.ldi nis ... :' Bovin i, 195), p. 60, argues that the s~nnon must m~an that the \"trscs r.m di rcetl), arou nd the presumed me dallions; he draws a parallel with the tri1I111phaiarch llIusai<.'S of 5'[l1ta SabilHI in Romt. 'Ilso madt in tht 4! OS :1ni.lnow I~t vu t drawn by Ciam pini in his Vcl""-,/ I\[ulI;mm[lI. Although the Santa Sa bina mosaics are presumed to he e'lfly fi fth century, one of the main pieces of eviJ~l1n. . for this is their simi bri ty to th .... presum .... d arr:mg .... m .... nt at San G iol'anni [vangdistal Dl路ichmann. 19i+ p. [[ 7, sugg...ste <l that th ... meda lliun s Wl"fe in a horizunt ill row Ixneath [he inSl.路 ripri on. Rossi's te.~t, however, pretty clearly st:otes that the meda llions arc in the soffit of th., arch. [56 Ri zzardi, "'I mosaici parict:o li:' !OOS, l'p. ~37-8; Dciehmann. ' (li4 , pp. [15-16. [57 Relxnieh, 1985, sllgg~Sl'i th at the Gn]t ianus 1I"p. w as the full~Ulood brother of Galla Plaeidia; .\1aekic . aThc .Vl"usoleum," 1 995 . p. 40[ . citi ng '\brtin dale, IQllo, PP' 5 1 H, 594. ~no [ [00. whoalsoslIg!!csts that th e '\JCadiu5 of th e inscriptiOIl was dlc SOli of TIleooosius II (p. ( 30) . Oost, [,){.8, PI" ;6-;, suggests that they Wl' Cl' Gall a P lacidia 's dceea~ed brothers, sons of Thcodosi us r by his sceono wife Ga lin (her mothe r); sec Muckie, idem, p. 399. V alell[ini ,m III hild hccll give n the title I/o/!ilirsilllm at the :1ge of one whcll his Jlarent.~ were named al/gtlffi ; O lympiodorus of Thebes, fr. H in Photius, Mp"IJbiMioll 80. [58 .\'LlrtinJ,!le, 11)80, p. t 100; j\ iaeki.:, "T he ,\lausoleUl n:' [ 99S, p. 4掳1. '59 Deichmann , 19i4, pp. 1[4- 16. [00 Ro~~i cites the text as ~ Bcati misctieordcs. qllonialll mi$Crcbimr D eus." This seems to dcril'l' fro m th., Bibh'l llitill, or thl' pr., . Vulgate Lutin Bib].,: ~ Beati misericordes, qllon bm ipsis miserebit"tlr D eus.~ [61 Z:mg;l fa, !OOO, Ill" : 81 - :: ~Sanero ,IC I:><: atissirno al~<)5to lo loh:\(mi e\,;UI geJi5t~e Galla PladJiJ augusta l'um filio sun Placido Vak ntin b no aUb'1.lSW lOt fil ia ~1.Ja Il usla j Gnt:l H onoria august" lilxrationis pericul(or)um maris I'otu m sol vunt." T he insc ript ion is also publishell as CIL XI. z67e. r(o~ l.PR eh. V: "Conuona hoc:, Deus. <Jund <) I~r~ru~ es in Ilubj~; t1 templo 010 in Icrusalem tibi ",拢rerent reges munC.""ra ." The insc ripti on is rep<:at .... d in the scl"und s\"nnon 3nd by Rossi. [63 LPN. eh. l 7i ABndllls S~J' S this im,]ge shows the s']nc(i t~' of bishop. See F3riol; C3 mpan ati. ~ Ra"cnna, Consuntinopoli," r !)<)!, p. [:>9; Deiehmann, H)7'i , pp. [ ~ : - 3; and earlier Gra bar, 1 ~.l U, pp. ~ 8, [ l 5- t:\, 3nd [ 53 - 5' 7..a ng3Ta, : 000, PI" !8<)-9I, suggestS tha t th .... image J . . pictetl_\ll dehi;;.,d~k r.tth . . r thm Peter I, simibr to the exam ples in San Vi t3le and Sam'Ar>ollinarc ;n Cbssc; bllt us we will see, there :m.' specific reasons for th .. depict ion of ,\1elchisedek in thOSe contexts, which in my cas., arc not fou nd in the S:llTIC loc3tion lx:hind th e bishop's thro ne . Also, Agnclllls notes that a depiction of Bishop J ohn 1"":15 found in th ... same 1000:1(;on in 5nnfAg\Lta (LPN ch. 44). Siuce Agnelllls rd:L(eS a sto rr of John eelchratin g mas...; in me presence of an angel, it scems likely th ut S'lrIt'l\ gau had n similar im:lg.; to the one in San G iovanni EV'lrIgelista (:l lthough Naoerth, 19i of, PI" !9-3~ , not.:s tha t ,\gnd lus docs not specifically desc ri he suc h aliturgie~l in",!!:" in S'lI1t'Aga[~). 164 Dcichm ann, 19;4, pp. [[6- l j; Grabar, [Y36. p. !8, assumes that there mu~t han: u.:cn earli.,r Llamp[cs, uut offcrs no Cl'iJencl' for theS<."". 'Iller" arc other





166 167 168 16y


17' [ fl



175 176 T77


eMmples of pictures of imperial f~m ilies in p"bces,:ls we h:lve seen for R,,\'ellll", ami as an' known for th~ p~1aee, L'slx:cially th~ Ch~tkc Gat~, in Con~1:antinopl~. In ROllW, G~lh Pladdi:l ~pp'lren rty Iwl pictures ofhersdf ;IIul her children seT up in the church of S,mt.1 Croce ill Gemsale mme, which would panlllel our example here (sec Kralllhcimcr, 19j7 , p. 168). The earliest such depiction in Constlmtinople W;IS appartntly stt up by tht "mptror Lto I (45 7- 73) in dl<! ~psc of th" chapo:l of Iht: 'Ib"otokos of th" Blach"mae, Lh:picting Le\}. his wife, Verina, and their sons ;It the sides of the enth roned Virgin; see Farioli C;llnpanati, "Ral'enna, Constantinopoli," 199', p. 147, and Mango. 19y8. of all the Ix:atihld<:s (,\lutt. 5), onl)! th<: nn<: ()n ",iJ"t'rirardu CJn IlIle(jui\'o'l:allr ;'flPly to tho~e who :lre rich and powerful in s<)(;iety. In fifth -century exegesis, ",j'''rirorJ", is usually intcrpITt<:d as r<'fcrring to eharity and alms giving; ~c, for example, Leo the Great, Srr11/Qll~ [ 0, [6, 78. and 95; Perer Chrysologus, Si.'1711(/11 8; Valerian of Cirniez's N(l/lljlirs 7, 8, and \) Oll 11I1!1""i(ol'lli,/, whil'h are speeifieall~' addressed to the weolthy. J ohn Chry~ostom, in Hom ily 15/; on Mntrhew, I'.liscs rhe fJllcsrioll of whnt ~.)'oiWOVEI'· means: MHere H e seems to me to spcaL: not ofthosc onl), who show mer<';.' in gi"ing of money, uu t thos..· likewise who arc mn~iful in th~'ir octi()ns." ·'''EVTuV\lO 0;' TOV~ 5'0 XP'1I-'Crr"'v t). ~OVVfas !Jovo1.' h.oi BCKEi MYEl"', 4}..M Kol ToU~ SulnpaY!J,hw1.'." Rlz1.ardi, ~1l .\1Jusolco I The .\busolcum." 199<1, p. 1 I!, and 1993, pp. 3Bil-9l. tPR eh. 41. Zangarn, 1000, p. ~7 0' Ilote~ th~t Agl1 c1Iu.~ offer.; no evi,lcnee for altriLJIlting th~ church to G'llb, and suggests thar it W:1S huill u~' HOllOriU S. See Cortesi, (97)3, pp. 48- 5~; Geliehi/Nm'a,'a, 1995, I'p. 365-6 n. 50; and M~n7.clli, R,WCllllu, !OOO, p. !3 Q. For a deuilc<d aec'ount of the history of the so-called ~mauwlcu lll of Galla Pladdj'I," including illfonn~dol1 :!bout S~nf;] Croce, see bllllllCci, ·'11 m11US(>leo ritrOl'aro," 1996, pp. 198-9. ' Inc main puhlished d~scriptions of this huildin!::, ~nJ in; 31'<.'haeolob')' arc Dtichmann, [974, PP' 51-9; Corttsi, 1978; anJ Gelichi/NOVarJ, 1995· l'or the archaeological hi~tory of the <,;hurch after the sixth ccntu~', S<:e Gdiehi. 1990; and G.. lich.ilN Ol'arn, 1995, I'P· 364- i7' Sec C()rtesi, l yj8, pp. 61-!. I..l:wi5. 1¢9; R i7.7.~n li , "L 'arehitemlrJ," 1996, pp. 131-3 ' From tllc Lo rsch Sylloge: "Fonn,1 <,;n,ds ttmplum est, tcmplum \'ictori.1Cristi! sacra triumphalis signat imago locum." Lewis, I <)69, discusses the meaning of this poem in the context of the newlr developin~ u~ of cross-planned churches in both East and \:1,' .,;;1. Other churche~ from the tifth century that had a ctQs~-!;round phn were likewise dedk;l(ed to al)()srles 'Illd m~rtyrs, sHch as (he Apostoleion :1( COlllO, S~tl{O Stefano 3t Verona, St. J ohn at Ephesus, etc. It is interesting to note that in R:n-etlUa, the church derlic'lted to the ;Ipostlcs (nQw San Fr.mecsco) was built as:, reg\ll~r b~silica, not with a c rucironll ground plan; Ltwis, (969, p. 2 [). Cortesi, I 9i8. p. 66. Gclichi/NO\'nr", 1995, p. 352 , re port th"t this was S('cn in the cxc"""tions wnJucteu U)' Oi Pieno in the 19: 0~. and ag~in uy Cortesi in tllC 19705. Nov:lra, ~ L~ Ra"enna urrlo-hnptriale," ,001 , p. !69. 10 the tenth or el~\' enth l:enhTry, the walls{)f thc chun:h Were rebuil t, thc '11"><: W;lS redone as II scmidrcle, and" crypt was Jug in the chancel: C()rtesi, J Qill, p. 66. 5mith, "Fonn and Function," 1990, pp. 19 1- 5.


179 180 18, 18, 183 184 185

186 187

188 189 1'}O

'9' '9'




10 197

"II 199



Rizz. rdi. "L ·.rchiteuuro.~ [9!JO. pp. 1'9-30. Gdichil1\'ov:aro. 1995. pp. 358--9 n. 31; Stt ]'.... n. [984- 5' Rizz.rdi."L ·.rchitetturo." [9!JO. p. [H. l.nnucci."1l m>usolw ri"O\.. <o." 19!JO. p. [So. Vern i•• "L ·. n.lisi." ' 005. p. 'J '9; ",e.1so GclichiINo ... ro, '995, p. 361. Cortesi. 1978; origin.ll), Di ]'ietro, ' 9'7. Its location i. now co~ered h)' trees .nd > p.rIo:ing lot. I.I'R eh. 41. Gall. ]']acidi. did no' h."" • niece Singlet]i •. OS for OS we know; Testi-R.sponi, [9'40 p. 118 n. 1, proposed thot ,he 10mb seen b), Agnellu, w.s th . t of Suinigi]d., the wife of Odo.~..,r. PO\·. n, 1'}84-5, Pl'. 35'- " GelichiJl\:m.. ro, '995. lkl\';ni, ' 950, like"';", do", not include, northern ch.pd in hi. reconstruction. of the nonhex, Imt Cirelli. ' 008, p. '35. does include it. Nov.",. "I.. Ra."nm "'rdo_imperia l": '00', p. ,f>? GelichiINov:aro. '995, PI'. j5o--s.l'roconnesi.n m.rnle fom,ed. large part of the gr,),-wined nurnle of mi. floor (p. 355). Se<: Deli).. nnis. ,,,,ns., '004. Pl'· 336-7· On stUCCO, Stt below. with reference to me Orthodox B.ptistery. Christ., '9!JO. p. 9', not'" thOl me rcfcrenre to e hri" h.,,;ng no kginning or end is. pointed s",tement of .nti-Ari.n meology; for more on this. see the following ch'p,er. N.u"rth, ' 9N, p. 9'. nO''-'S th . , sillCe this "'p,ession ,ef"n< to 'he cross-sh 'p"d church of S.nt. Croce, .n)' one of me .rches.t ,he crossing might be meant. not n,'Ce""" ,ii), the .rch of the "P'"' . lm.ges of Christ o"erthe dool"Wll)' on the interior of churches ore known from other structUres in R.vCIl">, n.mel), me "m.usoleum of G.II, 1'l"";di . ... the (apr'hI arm~JCt,,-';k. and the I'etrian. ch"rch in Class<:; they "",empli/)' John 10; 7; "[ .m me gotew.), of me sheep ... ~: see Deichmonn. ' 9 74. p. 57. At l""-<t, ,his is how the poem hos heCll in,er]>,,,,,,,[; "''' Deichm.nn , ' 9H, p. 57; .nd N.uerth, ' 974. Pl'. 9[ - 4. r or. discussion of the m .. ning of me, Stt l'oilpr6'Caillet, 1005, Pl'. I J ' - 16; hut meir interpret.tion of me line "german.e mom crimina '0"'''" OS 'eferring to 'he "savage enm .. of me GennatlS" is erroneous. os this c.nnot be the me.ning of gtrmII''''t. N.ue"h. ' 974. 1'1" 93-4' Forioli Cam]>"n"i, "R,,·enn •. Conslllntinopoli," '99'. PI'. '4[ - ' : Rizz.n:li. "II AI.usaleo I ' rhe AI.usaicu", ," '!)96. 1'. "~I. Ulti"'otcl),. i, is. e h,i"i." in''''l',,~ .. ion of Ps. lm 9'" 3; "'" SIllm ..;"u, ' 99 ', wh" nO'CS ,h., ,he repre""nts. trilJllll'h.nt emperor. S,,,, esp. Po... ' ¢I" "h>st recently Riuordi, ·L·.rchitett"ro," [!)96. PI'· "9-)0; Dc Froneovich . '951H): Dc Angelis d·Oss.t, SlIId;, '0' . For e",mple, Bu,·ini. "Note." 195'. foUowed by GelichiINov:aro. '995. p. 357, who describe 00th me stylistic .nd orner .rch.eologicol b.... for proI""",d dates. Dtichm.nn , ' 9 7+, p. 5', soy. !hot • mO," pn-,cise dote C.nnot he identified . Cortesi, [978, p. 56. No" .... "L. Ronl'ln. ,.rdo-imperi.le," 1001. PI'· '7[-), "'y' thot this seems unlikely. gi"en that ;t st.nd. in,;']e the imperi.l " .. U. of 'he city, .nd that under Rom.n l.w buri.l h.d 10 t:l.J.:e place oUlside me " .. Us of.



'0' ,oJ

"4 '05 106 l07



city; hO"'cver, as we will see, m.ny took pl. c. within the fifth-century ...olls from the beginning of ,he fifth celttury. GelichiINm... "" '995, PI'. 364-6llrut..kcr, 1997, p. 61; on C, lIa's work in the Roman church, Stt K",uthcimcr, ' 937, 1'.168. Se. Holum, 1977, ""d below. Deichm.nn, 197~ , 1'.)). J ohnson, 1<)<)1, PI" 336-8. It w,s ,101 Agnellus who identified this chol'd os the buri.ll'lace of G.Il., os most pcople doim; "'. Deli}'.nni" 1000. M.jor I'ublicotions of this building .re lkn'ini, 1950; Deidumnn, [974, 1'1'.6)---<)0; .nd Ri",,,rt!i, cd., 1<)<)6. The n.rthe. wos dcmolis.hcd in 16<», .. which )IOint the origin.1 e"' ... nce wos dosed off .nd 0 new door wos built in the west woU; 'he origin.1 fonn wos restored in 1774. The building was in. hitly ruin<-d "",e hy ,he, R7os, when "-,",,rotion effortS heg.n, cnding in '90 I . The history of the rcstorotions is described in detail hy Iannucci, "II mousolea ri,ro ...."'," 1!)96; .nd Vernia, "L '.nolisi," ""'5, 1'1" I t l ' - 4. For. det. iled di"""",-,,ion of the v.rious ""'torotions of 'he exterior brickwori:, .nd on ,n.lysis of ,he origin.1 mo;;onry, Stt Vernia, "L '.n. lisi," '005, who notes, 1'. thot the thickness of thesc hrich is .p.rticul.rity of this building, but not. unique case, os simil.. bricks ,re found in the other buildings of the perioo. Vemi •• 1", ohscrv", th" ",mc new bricks were llS<-d for ,he heing of the . rehcs. Vern;., "L'anoli,i," ""'5, 1'1'. "30--3'" Deichm.nn, '9H, 1'_ 6«, coil> this the fir;t use of. blind "",.de on • hrick building in, on the b"is of C<lmp.risons with the Adri .. ic eoost .nd Syria. RizlOrdi," L'orchitcttu",; ,!)96, p. '36. For 0 detailed description, see F",nroni, "Il",cchio nord," 1w6, who notes that many of the om.m<'J1ts of p.g.n "'igin On ,hi. sculpture corr...!'ond to the Christion iconog"'rhy of the mos.ics inside the chapel. The uchitr.lve h.d i:Je<,n remm'ed in 1754, hut " ... s then replaced .round [~ see Iannucci, "II ,"."soleo ri'ro",,'o,~ [!)96, 1'1'_173 and [85Scej\ lichelini, "Pign' m ...morea,~ [9!)6. who nmes thot the pinecone h .. never t.....,n ,he <uhjcct of.tudy; it is .<Stlm<-d by D eich11l.nn thot i, dot"" to the I'"rioo of C<lnstruct;on of the ch0l'd. All of thesc window slits h.d heen filled in ot some puint .nd were rcstor<-d hy COTr.lJO Ric~; .mund 'goo; S'-"<-' Iannucci, "11 rn. u,,,le,, Tim","o," 19!)6. p. [88. b nnucc;, '!)96, p. ,88. Vern;., ~L'.n,li,;; '005, p. "10; lonnucci,"11 mausolco," [w6, 1'1'.185--6; Michelini, "Anforc," ,<;)96. RizlOrdi, • L'orchitettu",; ,!)96, p. '37. f or ,rtists, Deichm.nn, [974 , Pl" 11?-9<>. ",ho suggests thot at I""" fi'-e different ",,,.-linen w~r'-' r<"I~>o.ihle f<>T ,he 'I""t\cs in th" tower. r ..ioli Campau",i, "Dcco",zioni," '991. Deichmonn, [974 , PI' . 80--1, osSUln"" thot they are I'rophe"" because, he soys, e .... ngel;,;ts . I""y. hold codices, while prophets hold "-TOil" Yet in the lunettes below ,he dome in this ch'p",l, some of the preswned ol""tles hold scrolls.




, ['


, [4

, '5 ,,6 "7 , [8 '[9 "0 "I


___ Or <I type long known in ;\'l edi rerr<lne~n ~rr; for eX'lm pl"" in the impl""iullI of the H ouse of the T riJ<' nt, on Delos, made in the s.ccond century Be. l ~ 3 Angiolini .:\'\artinelli, 19Q6, p. 153, suggest'S th~t the n~tIIrJ1istic g.whnd represents the world, whereas the g~ometric meander repres<: nts the he'IHnly Jerusalem promoted by Sr. Lawrence. This seems to he stretching iconographic imerpretariun a bit tOO folr. 2 ~4 "Quell1"Ul11oJulll Je~iunat cn'.'u, :Id fontl:, a'lu~rul1l. ita ul',ident aninw mea ad re, Deus." Deer were often used in hartist~ries. most fatllously, silver deer wen: phcl:J in thl: La{l:rm Baptistl:ry in Rome br Pup<: Hibrus I (46 1-8; LP V. Hilfl/'i, cd. D uchesne i.!4). See ;\'bguire. 1 gil;, Pl" )8--<). !! 5 SUl1ull:lrized hy ,\I~ckie , 11)90 . 2 2 6 One uthn intl'rpretation is th~t tht: entire chapd is lilled with apuc:.Ilyptic imagery, and thus the figure is Christ hastening to hum a heretical book (Ri1.l<lrdi, "I ll1o~id parietali." 100 ;, Pl" !39-..0); see Deiehllmnn, 19;.;. p. 75 . for references. !! 7 Sec, for exallJ ple. a fraglllellt of gold gh~<; depicti ng L ~wrenee bc~ring a pro"I:';:5iol1al ero,s, in the j\-Ic[ropoli[~n .\1uscum of Art (Ruge l'S Fund. 19 18), described with other exalllpll:~ by Lewis. [ 9i 3. p. 2 [6 n. '03, !,8 Cf. Nonbtr(im, 1053, p. r 5. There h'IS also been clis'lgrcement Ol'er wherhertlw grill is to be sttn mtrdy J S a symbol for Lawrence's ma l'tyrdom, o f whether th e m{)S.:li" de pict!> the nalntivc act of his running toward it; ~ee Courcelle, 19 .. !:l; :lnd Dt'idmmnn, 1')14, Pl" 75--6, for di sc us~jon. !!9 ,\-h eki,",. 1'190, p. 55, not'"'s rh;}t S[. Vincem is cle picucl :llllong the iD'rt}'1'S in S"nt'AllOllinnl"c KIIQVI), and th~t his relics., according tl) Agnellus (LPR ch. 7 !), were im'luJ"J by Bi~hop M~.~il1lian in his: ehun:h of SI. Stephen: both of thes.:· references d:lte to the mid- sixth cenon·y. ~ 30 Since the .~iXlecnth century the chapd was 11Iemion<;d 'IS tlu;I/J(fIlIlSIlTim1J $<111( /; MluJI-ii; this rirh: is based on a misint~rprcrarifJn of Agndlus; se" D di)'~n ­ nis, ~OOO. Tesri-Rasponi assu<: i'ltc(i the chapel with ,I mUlJ(lrurinnJ S. unln:rtIii FUI"IHQyi, but it has heen shown that this idemilic~t ion was erroneous; sec Oeieil[)1 :lOn , IOli-!, p. 63· ! 3 J Dciehm3nn, I <)j-h pp. 70-2, discussed othcr biblie~l ~nd patristic refcn:n cl:S to the Good Shepherd. ! J2 See esp. Dddun:lIll1, lQ7.1 . pp. ; Z- 5, for ~Il e...h~lIsli\"e list o f ty!""s. ~33 Imperial : Riu;ardi. '993 . pp. 394-;, ~nd idem, ~ Il M~u5olco/The _\'13u _ $Oleum," '996. p. I~ r; dh'ine: after ~1athew,;, '09' , e~p. PI" 10 1-3; Angiolini '\lartin~lli. 10)<)6, p. 159. cumparcs lht: n:pr<:Sc ntation tOApullo and Dionys i u~. ~ 34 Dcichmann , 197·h pp. 74- 5; see M~thc ws, I ')93. PI" 68- 9, who does not, how~\"t:\", d isell~ ollr image. 235 Sec Dekhll1ann, ' Yi4. p. 71; Rizzardi, J993 , p. 395; P:1Si. "Lunt:tta del Buon P:1store:' ' 996, p. ! 1 j. :j6 Dddmnl[lrI, J97>1 . p.B: . ! 3 7 John 4 " 3- "1·': "JeslL<; said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this wate r will ho:thint}' ~g"in, but those wllo drink of till' w,ne r tll;'l I will !{i\'e them will ne ver Ix thint)'. '111c watt:r tllat I wilt gil'c willlxcolllc in th~m a spring of WH(l:r gu~hing up ro cremal l.ife." Re\\ ! l:f,; R( ,IOn the Al ph~ and rhe Ou.ega, the beginning nnd Ihe end. To the thinty I will give wnteras a gift from the spring of the wat<·roflifl:." !j8 See Angiolini ;\'brtinelli, 1 <)9(i, pp. '5;--<i.




! 39 Apoca ln*; Rinanli, "n ;\husoleo IThe Ahusoleum," 1996, p_ I!!. ~nd 1993, p. 'IO l. Planels: Nordstrom, 1953, pp, ~6-7' Ch~ nc c : Dcj ch m~nn , 19H, p. 84, :40 For e x~mple , in {he :!pse moSo!ic of S'lnt~ l'\1den1.hlll~ in Rom e, C3..w o , in the triumph,!1 :!rch mosaics of Santa Maria .M aggiore in Rome, created in the 4JO!i and 440 S. s.:c Dciehmann , ! 974, PI" 116-7路 :41 For ex:ullple, Deichmann. !974, p. 86; followed by Riz:l.ardi. "11 M.3uroleo," 1990, p. I;S n. 76. 14! Applying the correspondences defined hy Jerome (Prt'fil"~ t/J th,' CrWIIIl!'lIIIIry 1m Marthr.;: , II. 59--<)0 ISC ~4! , pp.6..j.-S禄; Dei<.:hmann, .L974, p. 78. notts this para lid, hut on p. 86 he claims that Thc- liv in g crc-atures tl ill not rl'prcscm the Gospels. I'll Nordstrom, 19;3 , PI" : 7-8 . Deichmann, [97"" pp. 84-5, explains the "ision of the cross ~s ~ reference to the Second Coming of Christ. nn interpretation, hc says, th:n is so cltar that other intel"prdations IIlUSt ht wrong. indudin g Ihose interpretations that might include more th~n one meaning. l-l4 5<-e ;\I"ckic. ~S~'mbolism , " 1995, anrl idcm, l 003, who di5CUSf,CS the c:h~pel dedica ,~J 10 St. Victor in .\{ibn, originally" detached cha pel built u"cr tlw gr~vc of St. Victor, which also con tained the tomb of St. Ambrosc's brother S:!cynIS. \10Sf nOlahle in Rave nm! w~~ tlw hurial ch:!pd of Lmricius ~I S:m Lorenzo, dedicated to Saints Stephcn, GCl"\'~5C , and PmtJ5C, that contai ned an imag~ of th~,;e sain l.~ (tPR ch ..16). :45 ltizz<lfd i, L'architeltut""J," 1996. pp. 114- 5, who :llso iJ(:ntilies:1S fun(:rt:a l the pinecone on the roof, the dark CQlor:s of the mo<;"i~ an d the tran~cendent~l .~Yllloolis1ll of the mosaics. 146 Deichmann, I ~n4, p. 65. who notes that these sarcophagi ha~'e lx:"n J~ted from th~ fourth w the su,: th centUl)', and rha{ then:: is no n::~1 w"Y of detennining the tl:lIes abso lutely; Riu.ard i. ~L'architt"lwra," 1996, p. 135, 53)'S tll,l( they sec-m to havc been planned from the stan for the pbc:es the), now occupy. 247 Dtichmann. 197'*, pp. 64-5 . says that thert: is no rt:~son that thcy should not ha"c hecn thert: at the lime of constnlction, despite Ihe fact th at Agncllus d{lt!~n't mention them, hut lS I lta"e shown, De1iy~nnis, : 000 . Agndhl~ clid not ciC$<.,rilxo this chapd at al l. C urrently they arc known "s the sar~'ophagi of Constamios 111, Honorius, and Galla Pi:teiclia, hut thirteenth-century tradi tiolls held dut dlcy colluined either Galh, V~ lenlini~n Ill, ~1nd Honori,L; or Theodosi us (whic h?). his wife, two d,mght"rs, and the p[-ophet Elisha; or Galla, Con.sranfius ITI. ~nd Va lentinbn rn ; see Deliyannis, ~OOO. !48 P3uSeIli. wS 3Tl;or"g(J detto di Costanzo 111" :Lml ~San:ofagl) detto di Onorio." 1996, ~-l9 DeidlilHIlUl, {Qi4 . p. 64; see also ;\'1ichdini, " Pi gn~ rlHlnnorea," 1996, who pro,'idc..s a detaikd history and bi6liography of the motif of thc pinecone :IS a funerary ~ym hol. !50 UeichLlWJlIl, r9H, p. 8:. Cf. J ohn 4:14: MWllOe\,er drinks ofd\e w"ter th:., I shall gkc him will nc,'cr thirst; the Water tha t I shall givc him will hceomc in him a spring of \\"ltc-r we lling up to erefllid lift ." !51 Cf. Psalm lJ' ~ 5Z Cf. Deichm '''lIl'.~ smnm a'1', pp. 8n- i, in whieh he Jrgues that the entire d"co _ rat",'e program is funerary; :ldoptcd by Angiolini Mart inelli, 1996, PI" 149-5 I. 153 Dcidunmn, L9; ." p. 76. who specificall), argues that Lawrence cannot Ixo understood 3S ~n intercess-or for the deceased I;.cfort Christ Ixcau:><:: th en he would hn'e Ixocn found in a diffcr~路nt pose.




~ 54 Deichm3nn , 197.1. p. 64 (followed by Ri~~rdi, IQ93, p. 4(0), den ies th~t there

l55 ~56

lSi 258 l59

lOO 101


would have been such ~n ah~r, ~nd interprets the castemo rientation ~s referring to th e Second Coming of Christ from the e~st, as the Sun of the \Vorld. Rin'lrdi , 1993 , pp. 400- 1. Sec Ho lum. 197" and idcm, 19111, pp. 108-1 0 and 1~9-3 0 ' .\-\ 'lckie. ~· I ·he.\b w;oleu1l\." 1995. Sec Z~nl9r~, ~COQ, esp. PI" 198-304· See Deliyannis, cd., l 006, pp. 101-3 and Ilenericerri, 19')'!, pp. [68-9, For a summ,lry of other dates proposed for the Diplo ma, see Brown, 19i9. p. I ] n. l . O rioli, 19S0, pp. 135-.1-4, provides reasons that it should he d~tcd to the end of Ih", sixlh cenrury. 111e diploma of ValetHinhm is fOllnd in Ih", Codr·.I· Estm,;s, fol. 441', ~n d is published in Ptlpili dip/oJ/uni,; - d . .\Iarini, no. 57 (I" 94); /\ gnelilis Ilscd it as a somec (I.PR eh. "0). It lists the following 5Ces as su1.J.ordin;1tt to Itl\'tnna; Sarsina, Ce><:na, Forlimpopoii, For[i, Faenza, Imob, Bologna, Modena, Reggio, P,Inlla, Piaeen7.;;r, Brescello, Voghen7.a, and Adri". Sec Z1nganl, 1000; and Pab rdy, l004, PI" 10-11. Two ofChl"}'sologus's sur\."i"ings~nnons, nos. 16j and I ij, wae g ivcn on occasions whcn he waS eOl15cerating bishops for other cities. Some han' daim~·d fhM C hry50logus w.s rhe (irst lll<'lropolitun of R~I'e l.1Jhl, and point to his S<:l11lOn liS in which he ""elllS to he saying dut .\brcellinus is the first bishop to he cOllsceraled hy ~ bishop ofRun'nn~. Sec D eliyannis, cd., .:006, PI" 10 ': -.1, for the eomrol'ers)' over whelher the><: sermons lIlean that Chrysologtls w:r~ [he firS/. metropolir:m; see ~lso Palardy, ':004. Pl" 9- 10 . See B~nerieetti, 1995 , pro 65-6; also D cliy.llInis. cd ., .!oo(i. PI" [O~-3. Pe rer Chrysologus was not, 3~ AgllL-lius mahs him, the second bishop named Peter, bllt the (irst Peter, whom Agnellus calls I'eterfllllhus; see De[iY'IJUlis, ed., .!006.

P·99· .:63 Sec Ikne rinrri, 19Q" ~sp. pp. 53- 76. l64 Agnel[us. LPR c. 49, S'IYS thaI it WaS Pope Si.nus III (r. 43~-4o), hut in light of what is known iliJ<lllt Ihe cpis..·ol''') chronology of R;lvcnnu in th~~ period. it b 11l01"e like ly thM he \\~l~ ol'ibint'tlloy Pope Ce lestine I (4': 1 - 3 1); ~et Ddi)"llmis. cd., !006, p. 99. 16j P'llurdy, lOO.! , notes :I lettc'r from Thcouorct of Cyrrhlls to Domnus of Antiodl, wrillen in 4.1 J, which ~inglts out Mihn, .~quild3. and Rnl'tl11ll1 .s the thrCl'le~ding .~l"es of Italy (Epist. I I~ , SC I I [.'¢-57). l66 .. Adest ipsa edam mater eh ristiani perennis et tide lis imperii. '1uae dum tide, opere misericonJiae, sanc tit'ate , in honore trinir<ltis ,"",atam scr.:!atur tt im..itarur eedcsbm , procrea re, amplccri, pos~idere augustom m e ruit trinitutcm." This "rriniry" consists ofV:l1enrillian HI, Con~t".Inti lls m, ancllwrsdf, all ,/IIEII>",i (s.e~ OOSt, 1968, pp. ~66-]). lt shoulJ be noted that Ew;tbius. in his ViM CPlISliJlltilli 1V.,",o, refers to Consmndne's three sons as ,I "trinity of I)iolls SQns." : 67 Sermon 851,; ><:e P:rlllrdy, ':004, p. 8. !r>S Fo r a full diS<:\L~sion of the authentidty of thi~ letter, sec Olil'ar, 196 !, PI" 8994. '1l1e lener is published illl'L 5:, col. 7', ~I[(I 'llso among t.he eOrreSI)(,nd c n("~' of Pope Leo I, as EpiJl. :5, pul,,[ished in I'L 54. eols. 7 J9- 44' 11"9 LPR eh. 39, hur also Procopius, De b..lln GoliJ;,'O V. r. 170 .'Iajnr puhli ~'l tions on the cathedral arc De ichmann. 19;4, pp. 3- 13; and NUVlr:t, UJ Clllldm/f, 19Y7 . : 71 The c hoice of the Anast:lsis as 3 ded ie:ltion is unusual in this pe riod, and would repay lilrthcr in\"Csdgminn: nnly a f~w early churehcs arc kno"11 to ha\'e ho..'en


Nons TO



85- 88

derljc~ ted TO the Anast,'sis ortO St. Anastasi:\ ( l conhlsiOl1 ofirlenrif}' ;ll~ found in Agru::llus, I.PR eh. l3). including one in Rome, one in Beirut (H ~II, l OO+ p. ri ~), ,mil Grego ry Nniunws'sdwn:h ill Consr,lJ)tinople, builT ill the 31:!os as an mni-Ariall foundation (Snee, J 998). Deichrn,mll, I !n6. pp. 301 - 1, contends that mOST ofches..: were n or dedicated t.o thl' An;>..\ T:lsis hu t to St. Anastasia. Sec also l>elow, Chapt<-r 5, aoout tllt ded ic:ltion of til<: Ariau ca(heJr~l.

Sec Ortatli, fl)'}l . i 3 E.'\.;stence of such a porticoed ~rreet in Fariol; CSlllpMlnti, ~ R a"enna , Con~ ~tantinopol i," 1992, p. 144; for the rcfut~tiun of this thesis [,aStoJ on analysis of the tcnth-ccnrury and later docum<:ms on which thi~ interpretation is based, ~e Novar:., Un u"'{li~ nI1mlllO, :000. PI" S5 tmd 66-8. E.\("~\':ltiolls in ~ OO.j n·...ealed ~ row of pilasters along the prescnt Via "hriani that are a~llmed to hal'e formed part of such a via panifllm; -"Cc .\ "1aioli, ~007. pp. ~~3""""9, infoml~ ­ tion as yet unplluli~hed. ! 74 M~ra1.7.i, lOo6, p. 5" ~75 tPR eh. ~3· ~ ;6 As <.' .~plained most recently by Russo. " L' arrhitc::nura," 1005. p. 89; sec also Pa:;i, :005 . p. 48, and Oeichmann, ' 974. pp. 3-4~i7 Sc(' Orioli, :997, who presents ot]",r argum(,llt$ in fill'o,' of a POst -4OO dM.:: for Ursus. Nol';!!";!, La (,1t/tJrnk ' 997. pp. 48-9. suggests that sincl: Zosimus, "[,j/oril/ "ot'n 5-34, says that Stilicho took refuge in a chureh and "'~s in the prt:stnct of tlit Lishop in 408, rhis must mt:m that tht catiu:dn,1 W"S compltted hy that .hte; hut Zosimus d~s not call it the cathed!';;\1 and there " ',,s ce l"t:linl)' a bisl1Qp's church in e:Osrenc(."" before U("5US bu il t :1 new one. :78 For a cumplet.:: dis("ussion or this tkUalC, ~1:e D<.'liyannis. cd., loo6, pp. 9iIOj . N OI'i'r.I, La ,·iJlfrdriJlr. ' 997, p. 48. d~s not :llIswe r rh is question in dther direction. "lthough her work is or{~n cited ~s though she propOS('S:L date before ;]1 l

400 . 279 '111<: following is I:.ased on ::\'o"ar.l, WI



:80 hr~m, PI" 10"-9' lib Oeichillann, {!IN . PI}' 8- 9· ~8! S<:C' No'""r~. WI Ctltlnlmfc. (997, esp. pp. 68-"70. :8] J.\cm, fig. 46, PI" 1..p- 3 and I'p. 70-1. ~84 Furtl.lennurt:, N OI":ln ~ dmjts that with each reslrucwrjn~ of lht cen u·lII n~\"e colonnade materials wcr~' prohably rcus-cd; while some new elcmenfl; may have al~o been introduced, it does not make much se nse that {enrh-Cenhll"Y architec{~ wou ld suddenlr introduce imp");;t [,Iocks which wert: no longer 1'3r( of the arch itccwral "ocabubIY of Italy. ~l:I5 LPR ch. ~ 3 · ~S6 T csti-Rasponi. cd .• '914. p. 67 n. 4. cuuntering H older-EfH,.-cr. cd., 1878, p. !t!9 11. I; on conllllCIllOT:ltion of p;l{ronagc in floo r mosaics j{l northem INlr. s<:e Ctlilltt, 1<)93; see tllso NO"'IN, UI fiJllfl/fl/k, [997. p. :;6. 2117 Novara, I~ (atl~Jral~, (997, pp. 53- 7. ~ 88 LPR ch. <14: "And; n front of his ;m"w,;n a medallion in the Ursian'l chur.::h , where it is fixed in the relluv3ted church, a ctmd le gl<:ams with dear light the whole night long." This staUment h:\$ lerl [Q th e suggestion (T e~ri-Ra~pollj, cd., ' 9:4. p. 131 n. 10) that portraits of RaH:nna's hbhops were depicted in medallions ;llong the nave of the cathcdral, but sin('c :\,'llcllusdocs not ment ion any other such jX>rtrJits, ulis seems unlik~ly; see Oeichmann, ' 97+ p. 9; and No\'~ra. La fllfl/'dra/~, 199i, pp. 57- S.



189 Soxer, [988, esp, PI', Sl<H!9 ond 6'7-46, 1<)0 \\'honon, [987, pp . J;8 and 366; ond esp. \Vh.non, 199;, PI'. 1"-J [; in some cases bopti"'" wo. perfonncd ot the fcost of Pcntecost. 19 ' The .. rliest ease being ,he hou~_chureh ot Du ... Europos in Syrio; sec \Vhorron , [999, ond C ontino Wo"'ghin rt 01., 1001, p . 136. 191 C.ntino Wmghin c' .1., 100[ , p. IJ3-8; Wh.rton, [98;, pp . J67-8, who notes thot this is 0 dc,""lopmcnt porticulorly in the western Medit.,....n •• n. '93 S,,,, Ristow, [9')8, pp. ' 7 - 10 for 0 summ.ry of the diffeTent fonn<. '94 Br=d., [9')7-8· '9; S"" esp. Kostof, [<;165, PI'· 46-56. D<:ichmonn, [974 . PI'· '5- 7, ",d, with . vcry complete bibliog ... phy, Ri5tow, IwS, esp. pp. 10-3. 10 " ... oc"'gonus fon< Cst nlllnerc dignus 00 I hoc nlllnero decuit sacn b. ptismo lis .ul.", I surgere, quo populi. '·e ... salu. rcdiil .... ~ ' Ine poem is prc.,:r'·ed in 0 ninth -century ",.nuscript, the Sylkigr L",yublmlrnsiJ (Cod. V~I. P~/. B;;) 111; see Dcichm.nn. ' 974. p. '5. 1!}7 K... utheimer. [\1-1' , PI'. "-H; Deichmann, [974> pp. 16-7, ..goes without much ",·idene. that there w. s no nll/ukr symbolism of this sort in the use of eight-sided buil din~ os b.ptisteTic'S. 198 Whonon, '!JIll. p. J68 . •nd Camino \Vot.ghin Ct .1., '00[ . pp. '40--'. '99 For. c",nprehen<i,'c .".J)'<i<, see C.ntino W.",ghin et 01., '00 [, Pl'· , 34-4" Deichmann, 1974, p. 16. argoes Ihot Mi l.n'. ond R..'enno's baptisteries were .Imost ,X>lttcrnpo"'ry •• nd thus R,,·cnn.'s mU" h ..,c hcen modeled inste.d on Rome; onother eX311lpl e in which the dote of Ur;us L·.,ries signiflC.nt Conse_ quences for the hi5tOlY of .rehitectu .... l development. If, os J have orgued .hove, Un;us" constructions dote to the 4 'os, "lil.n lx"COmcs • po.,.il>le model once more. 300 Ristow, [998. Pl'. 35-8· 30t Koslof, [9'>5, p. 43· 301; LPR ch. ,6, So, 67, .nd 9" Ari.n Boptistery: LPR ch. 86; S.nt·AI,,,lIin.rc Nuo"" I,PH ch. fl9, for thL~, .n,1 the Ca ·Ili.n"". see the lUI_ lowing chapters. Compore the Lorge numbers ofb.pUs,erics known for Rome in the fifth .nd sinh centuries: "'" C .ntino \Votlghin et . 1., '00[, I'P , '4' 50. 303 The n",in public>lions for the Orthodox (Neoni.n) Bop,istery ore Nordstrom, [953, Pl'· 3'- 54; Mow>tti, [01; KOstof, '9'>5 (,,~th usefuJ bihliog .... phi"" l noles ot PI'. [57-65); .nd Deichm,nn, 1974, 1'1'.17- 47; for 0 good summ.ry of more reecm scholorshil" ""e P'squini, '005. 304 The .hsi.!ioles .1i,l not 0 StTU<.~Unl I I'U'1K>SC. n<>tes Kostof, '05,1" 47,'" con be seen by the foct that the ones on the north ,,·es, .nd southwest sides were Temo,','<J ot some unkno,,,, period, . nd then Testored in the m;.1- nin'"lecnth tions conrlucted by Filippo century (their ""istenee w"" ottested by Lanciani .. thot tim~). 30; Koslof, [9'>5, p. 47; ollhough Russo. "L·orchitellU ... : '005, p. 98, seems to di5.gree. For the postmediev,1 history of the boptistery, see KOstof, 19'>5, 1'1" dl- 30· In the se,'enteenth ,..,ntury • house fuT the T""toT of the cathe_ dral wos buil l .buuing the south side of the bopUs,ery and storehouses .hm ting the north side. V..ious other .lternations were "",de to the structure in the eighteenth .nd nine,eenth eenturi,... including the cre.tion of new windows ond doors and the oltenl.ion or filling in of old ones. The mosaics were restored in the '7?Os. .nd .goin in the ,8;05-7os, .. the same time th ot





107 JOS


J [0

J'I 3" 3 [3

1'4 J '5 3 [6

J [7 J[8

1'9 1'0

J" 3"

3'3 3'4 J'S


the tWO lost .bsidiol .. were .Iso restored .nd the .nached buildings "'cre removed. In the [&}os ,he morble "P'U smi/f, which hod becn removed, wos Kostof. 191'5, PI' , 39-40 .nd 4 )-5, who no,es on obrup' change of mortor a"d 1>rid,·moclulc beginning Oo i' 11l(~e,.., . bove ,he cornice of ,he origin.1 U",ini.n wooden roof. Dcichrnann, '97~ , PI'. '3-4; RuSS<), " L'.rchi'cttU... ,~ ' '''''5, 1'.101. Identified hy ,he ",rn.ins of . ""mice foun d inside 'he e",,,rior ,...11, .nd just ,oo"e the lcyel ohhe springing ohhe dome; see Kostof, 191'5, PI'· 39-40, .nd Veichm.nn, 1974, p, ,8 _ ]""'Iuini, "'05, PI'. 3'8"""9' No ...... , "r... ROl'con. t.rdo·impc ri.le,~ ,""'" p. 163; Russo, "L'.rchi,crtu..."' ''''''5 , 1', ''''''. Kostof, [91'S, PI'. 40---', .rgu<-<I that in th e origin.1 fonn the baptistery h.d only one interior .""de .nd mot theuppcr wne would not been sunnounted hythe hro.d .rches ,hat now support ,he dome; other-;. especially r.h 'Y'oni, !?6!, """1>1.-<1 by Deicbm.nn, 1974, PI'. '[ - ', proposed thOl both WIles "'ere origin.l; see most re.::emly I'o"'luini. "'OS , pp , J'B----? RuSS<), · L·.rehitcttu ... ,~ '005 , 1'_ [01. Kostof. '91'S, pp , J5 ond 4' - J; Doiclun.nn, [974, p. [So Dc Angeli< d'O=" Sffidi, 191", Pl'. J ~B----9. followed hy tllOO, loter ""hol. rs. Kostor. [91'5, p. 3 J;, '974, p. '4· Wharton, '987 .nd '995. It i, u\CO. lly suggested 'hot 'he .I",idiolc on 'he so u,h .." side, ,,'hich now containson .itor, origin.lly likewise boused on . it .. (p''''Iui"i. '005, p. H [) or • throne fm thc hishop (\\1h.rt()n, '987, ]" J64)Deichm.nn , [974, PI'. , [ - I; Kostof, [91'5 , PI'. 36-7; however. Kostof notes Ihot some soy ,hot there wos • door on ..rn not side, bose.! on the presence of brick reli""ing .rehes on each " ..n, which Kostof SO)" ore not origin. l, the id.. of four doors is repeated by p''''Iuini , wo5 , p. 330. From" the founeenth "'n'ury .nd perh .p' ".TlieT, ,he l>'p,i"e1)' ",os linked to 'he",lrll hy • ponico (Kostof, 191'5, pp. 37"""9) ' Deichm:mn. '974 , p. 's· Kostor. l'}6S. pp. '39-40- We do nol know wh.1 provision. were made for " .. ,cr .'Upply in R"'e,l/lo', b'p,is,ery, but gi,'en ,hot the c. thed ..1complcx wos no .. to • " ..,er dis,ribution to,,'cr for the .q ucduct. the 1>'I',i«e1)' wo< probobly connected to tbe city's ",.ter .nd d", ">"tems. LI'Rch , ,8 , Riu'>T<li,"1 mos.ici pari<~.l i ." '005 , p. '4' , n()t<"S ,h .. 'he .I, emotion of colOr! in the depiction ohhe opostle,creotes 0 sense of rotation. See .lso Kostof, [?lis, p. r", .nd in genc", l ]'p. r, , _ , " foT' (k~.iled . n. lysis of the """,position . l ""heme of the b.ptisle1)"s .rchitecture .nd dcco",l;oo _ Nordh.gcn . J98J, p. 8J n. 30. 'rneories thot the lower levels of the bopliste'T dcco"'ti on were corned out e.rlier or loter th.n the mosaics of the dome h"'e been refuted by Koslor, '?65, 1'1" 'OO-J; and p''''I uini, '005, PI" 340-4· \\'h, non, [987, Pl'· 364, 373 - 4· Kostof, I91'S, p. 54· NovOT'. "Ur R"'Cnn ' l·impcT; .le.~ '001 . 1'_ ,65 1" "'Iuini. ''''''5 , pp , J'B----9.




3! 7 Amhrose, D~ i1lcT"'I/~mi)' 3.5. Ko~rof, 1965 , pp. 59- (i I, provides:\ hrief ~na lysis of the:: ,'~rsc~ ami interpretations of them ; sec ~Ilio Deichmann, 1)i7-i> pp. !8-30. 3~8 Kosrof. t965, pp. 61-!, Deichlllann, 19i'l> p. ztl, sa}';; the \lse of Bible "ers<'~ J$ bbds for illlagt:s would go ag;Jil1~r wh'\I we know of early Christian usage. )1') Dl'ichmann, ' 97 .. . pp. )1>-', notl'S v~rio\ls suggest.ions that, together ...:ith the Stucco lih''lHtS in til" zont illllllt:dbltiy aUuvt:, thert were a lOul of twemyIQur prophets (8 + 16). v~ ne n Ihnt tho:: twentr-fvur rep~o::scnt the twenty- four elders of the ApocalYll5e. If one want~ to give these and mher simi lar figUl't'.~ ~ feminist rto3Jing", onto .:ould say, as .1000s V>.'h~rton, 199$. p. 116. that the)' ''l'mbody th.: p~tri~reh"l rontml of the ' Vonl:' 330 D eichlll ~nn, I 'n'!, pp. ! : - 3, discu.'i5<:d th eories ~,bout s\lcll tripli: urcades in l:ltt antiqui ty. 33 1 Thc windows arc currcntly encloscd wi th opnqlll.' glass pancs mark rolook like ~l1ah~ster: this W~~ a n!storat ion of tht: 19300 (Koswf. [<)('5, p. 30). do not know wh~r originally cove red the windows. al though it ..-;)$ <Juite likely gl:tS.'\ th~n\'a.~ nor complerclr translucent. A docul11ent daring to 15 73 ordc rs that rwo of the win dows k Opell<,J. implying- that they h;ltl ~II been hloch'd up at soml' earlie,-point. while two mon° Wl're opened in '78,; weIT ~eetanbTlJbr. In Ihe 1850$ nil ,he windows were op..:ncd :llld restored with :1 ~> rni('ircuL.r upper part (Koswf. 1965. pp. !1-.I). 33 ~ Agnellu, uses the term gips~1I lIITtll/l" for the Ursiana eathedrJI (l.PR ch. ! 3), Santa Croce (ch. 4[), ~nd Sam'Apollinm: Nuo>o {eh. 86): sct: Ddi~"llmis, t rm,;., ~ OO{, p. 3! 5. Stucco suf\" ives in a f ... w pbc... ~ in S~ll Viml ... , and in addi_ tion, frag[nent5 of prohably sixrh-cclltllr), snlcco were e~c:l\':lted at Sant' ,\gat'l; sec Russo, [9ijy, pp. 233 1-4333 [>'lsquilli. 200-', p. H-l-: Kostof, 19<15, pp. 7[-6, suggests th:1{ th ~ com ~lOsirion n;; nects f:1cadc composi tions of buildings, cspccillll~' !C1/nIIU jrWI()' o r thcat.'r backdrollS. 334 Scholars ha\"!;: identified, ]."",ed on fonnal differences between the tigllrt:s, the Il ~nds of ~t least two artists ( Deil'hm~nn, 197 .. , p. 45; Pasquini. ! OO5, pp. llV'\4); Kostof, '9<' 5, liP· 64- 5 and 95-100, identities four grOllps. 335 Kostof, 1.,.6$. pp. 65-6; Pasqu ini, ~OOS . pp. 334-40, refut~s the i(b propost:d hy Vnn l . .\'IulUer, 19YO. that theS<.' snH:~OS were creatcd hy Coptic :lrtists, although she 1I01i:S dl;lt t.he motif o f ,~ollfrolllill g is ultimatdy of I ~anian deri,·ation. 336 P;lsqllini. !OOj, pp. 33 ;-!:I, rliscus.5es specific comparisons. 337 Kostof. 1!J6S · pp. 66- 7 I; Dtichmann. 197'1, pp. 4S-6: \·Vh~rlon. [Ii~i . p. 362 . 338 Other simila r faux-an:hitcctural 7.ones ill mosaic :Irc kllOVo11 from the period: for example,:1t St. George, 111e~salonjke, whos~ mosaics d.lte to Ihe IHe fOllrth or earl), I1fth century: See most n'centi y :"I'asrallah, ~oo5 . 339 &e J anes. 1998, PI" T~9 -3 0 . 340 Nordstrom. lQ53 , pp. 46-5'i ' H I Ocichmann, ' 97-l-, PP'41- 3' 34: Fo r (liSCll5Sion rlfvnrirl\IS theories, see Knstof, 1965, pp. 7~!; nnd Dcichmann, 1'174, pp. 41 - 3; more rec .... ntly, S<: .... \Vh~rton. 198;, pp. 361:1- 75; \Vharton, 1995, pp_ [!6-;; aTld Pasqui ni, ~OO5, p- 333· 343 .'fuu . zS ; [ 9; S\:e Dtoichmann, [9 74, p. 38 . .H4 Kostof, IQ65. p. 83: Petrl/s. Am/I'ms. [,,(olllls Zfl'~"fi. lubmlllu, P;Iipptlf. BIJrlololll(//:i, Imine Zdatf-', SimulI CllIllwrlls, I'lculms .41J~;, :H"lIbFlI.,; Tboll/lIl. PIII/il/!.





340 347


3'1 9 350 35 '


353 354



357 )58

H!i 360 36 1 .;6 2

rAG ~ S

98- 100

This is for the most parr th e lis~ gi"en in .\ '[ an. ' O;~ -5, with the sll~i tution of Paul for Tha,ld.l<'us and of Judas l<;C'ariot for Jmll· the 2.:n[ot. Kostof, 11)6:5> pp. S 3-5 ; comp~re the slight!}· earlier 'll)()Srles in the "m~uS()[eulll of Ga[b Placidi:!," and also the series in thc ,"pd/II IIrrit'rsnn;ilr. ami San Vita[e. Nordsrrom, [fiB , p. J6. Kostof, ,,)65. PI" 89-93 . re"iews the {ht"ories before 1965; Engel1l ~nn, Hj8y. ~nd Riz:wnli, ~ La tlecorazione JUUS1\' a," ~OO[, pp. 9:!--6, indu~1c mono: recent nnes. Dei.·hmann. L!Ji4. pp. 39-40, Others have st:t:n it Inore generally as a gt:sture of homage to C hrisr's uaprism, L·,g .. Eng<:mann. 19R(J ; or to rh<' cm~s ;,t the center of the .-;celie, \Nisskirchen, 1<)9J; ~nd Rizzardi, "LlL dtcornione mUSiV3," ~ OO ', Uut the latt<T e:tpbnation OS,IlIIK'S thn there waS indeed 0 cross in the original mosaic, 111C ~[ (emarive 1:>05.'i ihility, th~t they were olkred to rhe tmpt~' tllTone{s) ShO\\11 in th e lowtr zone, is Lased on tht fact th,1t in the Ari,m Baptistcry (he ~f>Ostlcs do offer their ~ro"11S to such " thron~; sce ChapTer 5. Norchnom, [953, PP' 4,---6, Pas'luini, 2005, p. 333· \Vlnrton , 19S7 , PI" 373-5· Deiehmann , ' 9 :;f. p. 38, thinks that John the Baptb-t's halo, ot lca,,-t. is nat origi",,1. Ri~l,anli, ~L" dec-or;ll.ione tnllsiv"," ~ oo [, ret:cntly prop05<)cI, on (he basisofn ~ompJrison with th~ Arian J~pktion of the s~m~ scene. th~t originally the Orthodox rlepimon harl a bc~nl1e5.~ Chri~ ~nd inc1ud~d the paten; ~he acctpts dl at a drawing of the imagt maJ~ in (690, showing til e cross, the pare". an rl the he:trdlcss Christ, ,'eAeeTS the origi nal depietion. I-lowcver, Kostof (' 965, p. H6) and Dci~hlllann ( J974, p_ B) nt)te th "t no other early Christi,m J~piction of the baptism include's 3 bcard~d Christ or a paten, anJ both arc pro!)"hl)' later ,l(ldirion~ by" pres<:\"emeemh-cem:ury resror<!r. Kostof, 1965, pp. (OJ-{;. Dekhmann, ' 97'" Ill'. 3 3- 4, ;llso cites interpn;t,ltions of the goll.l hacl.:ground ~ the great light th~t came nn thc water upon J csu~'s uaptism. C f.''''h ;nton, I!I95, 1'1'· LlI - Z. $t,e Mn!:,'llir;" IQ!'! ] . i'P' 14, 44- 8, who diSt:usses sistb-ee ntury !llosJics at Tegea an d Qosr-cl-Leuia with such portrn~' n b-. Sec also Spiescr, :00 J , pp. 8-,}, r~print of 1995, regan li ng thl' {kpietilln {,f the Jordon in th~ "pse mosaic ;It Hosios David, of th e m id--5i"th cemury, Sec Ris[Qw, 19),. and J en>C n, ~OOO, Pl" 48 and 8,f; me p"r50nili~ d Jordan hecame e\"en more f>Oplllar in ~i;.:th -centll rr rle piction~ or the haptism. Pder Chl)·;;olog-us. SrnlllJ 160: \Vhanon, ' 995, p . 12 0 ; Kustof. 1965, p. 87, citing Nordstrom, 1953. p • .l.l' Kosrof, 1965. pp·ln -3 · Stc eSp"cbll~' Rizz.:ardi. 200+ who nOld eompari~ns bctwecn R3H'nna 's stn«:f1.1res and those of ochcr cities; ,1100 ;\liller, !OOO, I'P' 33- 7. Rupp, ~OOj , pp, lOS- II, SIJtes ,11M in ~ ner"l episcop" l com plexes strove for nLnclion"Iity rather th an ostentation, hut this docs nor ,;cem tn ha\"~ been the ~asc in R,,"e nnil. See .\Hiller-W it ntr, 11)8y, See i\·HUer. '99' - z ~nd !Ooo. Miller, zooo, 1'1" 5~ -3· m~ior publications on the epismpilflll arc Ri zzarJi. 1004: Milkr, L91) 1- 2, and idem, IOCIO, Pl'. 22 - 33; "Iso Marano, HX'i.



J6J LPRch_ ~J; i\'lil1er, ' 991 - :, p. 149, ~ I [.h ough I do not agree- wi th he r ,md ,,;th 194. tha t we CJn infe r from ,\ gm::llus th at th e rpis>;opilllll Dcichm ann, pred"-te-,I rh e ca!hedr.11, :lS his reference- is t,x. "~g\le for $peci lic me;lJ\ing to be JtT:lChed to it. )64 Rir.zardi, ! 000j , pp. 16l- 7; for other inrcrpretations of the iconography of thts<: irn" ge~. St<: \VickboA', 1 By..) ; \.Vtis. I ¢6; De AIl~ e li s J'Ossat. 197 3; and N:l ucrth, 19i..), PI" 8,-<)l. )65 RiZ7.ardi, 198(}, p. il9iM iller, '99 1- : , p. 150. 366 cf. Rizzardi, loe .. , p. ! 58; th<: <:xampl<:s most ofl<:" compared to Ra"<:nn a arc the H all of N inctccn C<>uchl's in thl:" Gre;1t P;1 \ace of Const;lntinople , a din ing hall wi th sel'en '11'seS e.'ic,n·:lted to the northwest of the I'lil-'~dromt in Constantinopl<: anJ built in the I1fth century (Bordill. 199i . PP' 86""""9), and thl:" I·h ll of Eleven C ouchl:"s huil t in the lare I:"ighth cl:"ntury at thl:" L~teran in ROlllt'"; see in g-enera l Krautheimer, 1')66. 367 A ~cond majorcon~truction, the J(Jm"$lric~lfi" is~aid hy Agne llus to have been begtm hy Bishop E:mp~r.mti\ls ('f 73- 7), ~l[ho\lgh it "~IS only co mpleted Ululer ATl'hbishup .\1aximiatl in tht 5505. AgnelJus quot<:s the dedic atory insc ril'tion thM lists Bishop Peter II ('l-9-+-FO) as the founder. (LPR eh. 75), 50 this building will he considcred in the following clhlpt.<!r; SC~ OcliranJlis, trans., !oo+ p. I ~4


n.+ 368 See Dcichm:lnn, 197(" PI" 35(>- 1; XO~-3r,l, "La Raven na tardo-imperiale," ~OO I , p. z6S; 369 /.PRchs. '5 t an d t 55 (coll~~ and rebuilding attempt); LPR eh. ~ + Fundator ccdesi:le Petria nae, mnf05 per cireuiOlm acd ilicall5, sed nond um omnia compkns. N ulla t(desia in aedifido maior Fuit similis il b 1lC"<luC in longituJim' nee in 'Ilritudine: et ualde e.'iom:l[fl fu ir de preciosis hpidibus ~t tessellis uarii~ dc COr:1t.l C[ l111lde IOCUplet:l( ;1 in aUrQ ,·t 'Irgento <!t lMsculis $;I("ris, qui bus ipse lieri ius~it . lhi assc n mt aA'u issc imagincm Salu3toris dcpictam quam nu mquam similem in picturis homo uidere poHl isstt, super regi;lll1; [-JIl1 speciosissima t'" t as:;i mi lata fu il qua lcm ips<: I1lius D ~i in t,;ame non fastidium, ll\l~ndo gcmibus Imlt'dic:luit. 370 The story th:lt Agndlus telb h:ts a specifically anti- IL"Onodasti~ slant; sec Dclipnnis, '996. 3il Oeid ullann, 1976. p. 350, )7~ Conesi, 196~ ; Nm'ara, "La Ra"c nn a tardo _imperiale." ~ OO I , p. ~65' 37.' Augend, ~N uove indagi ni," ~ oo5. pp. ~ 5O-" .;I,llgenti notes that although Agnellus S;t)'S that the: Petriana was "in dvit3tt C bssis," he u;;t:s the s,lme phra;;c for the basilica of Pmbu$, wh ich was ce rt'linly ou~i <le Classc's wal15. 374 LPRchs. : 9, 1:13, and 91:1 · See Cortesi, 1981 ; and Farioli C~mp:lJ1:1ti. 1986, 375 LPR th o! 1; nuthing moIT is knuwn of thl,; Stru<:turc. 51. Pullio/PoJli() was frolll Cyb:1 b e near Sinnium, the binh pb,,~ of V'lletlrinian I. and thus was nssoci:lted wit h th e imperial t1Ytl;lsTy (h' rioli Campalltlti. ~Rwentl :1. ConStMll inopoli," 199~, p. IF)· 376 C...onesi, 19S~_ 377 Ueid lln:mn, 1'li6, pp. 308-1 8. 3iR LPR chs_ !9-30 :tnd 56, which tdls ,,-Iso of th~ huri:11 there ofRishop Aureli:ln in 5~ I . Dek hm;1nn, H)76, PI" 3 (1)"- 1 0, spc<:ula t ~S th:11 the church was built duri ng the rdgn of H onorius o r Valcntinian Ill, as in the 43°S simi lar ~unstructions weT(: llnJertake n in Rome,


379 Deichm""n, 1976, pp, 3 I I-I + .nd idem, I !}B9, p, '79: . lso Forioli C""'p.nat~ "Ravenn • • 1suoi rapponi," '005, p, 20, 380 '\bu.otti, 19 i 4; Deichm.nn, 1976,PP, 3' 4- 17. J81 LPRchs.J , ."dJ9. J8, See Dcichm.nn, '976, Pl'. '!}B-Joo, for. slbnm.ry of the evidrnce. 383 LPR ch. 44; the apse l".ul! wos rebuilt in the sixth century, so we do not know whcrher th i., which from Agnetl us's description wo< simil" to. depic_ ti<>n of P<~cr Chrysologu.< ;n Son G;ov:mn; t~'''mgelis''', wllS m.d,,;n the late fifth century or O! the time of the rebuilding. J84 See M.u",tti. "L. b>.silic>t ,,"venn"e: ,g67; Deichmann, ' 976, PI" ,83""97; l'icaN, 1978; Torre. 1986; Russo, I!}B9. .nd idem. "L'.rchitettu ...: ""05,

1'1'. I 7<H'>· 385 ']"ne doting of these>e~ is control"e~i.l. sununariud by Smith, "Form and Function," 19'}O. p. 183 n. ,S and p. '99. M.zzotti claimed tho! theY"'ere origin.l to the huilding, wh il e Deichm.nn d..",l th~m to the mid-sixth Cen_ tury; Smith likewise .ccepts them os lotcr additions, largely ba:ouse of the 'rse on the southern chaml>er, which is simil.r to other sixth-century sid.>ers- 1·lowever, the doo~ ot the end of the .isles were port of the origin. l huilding, implying th1t .om. son of rooms exis,ed ,here; the 1pse ""IS . dded to the south em ch. m ber "I" rt of ,he sixth -ern rury rcbuild_ ingofS.nt'Agoto. 386 Deichm1nn , '976, Pl'. ,8"-9' , soy, it is IlOSSihle that origin.tly ,he ,,,,"de ",os supported by piers rIlthcr th.n column<.•s at the si ..h_e<:ntury Son Michele i~ AjHtuco, hut this is b.sed on his assumption that the emire church dotes to the si .. h century, which is not :occepted by most other schol."" e.g,. PiCON. '978, p. ~ ,. h.sed on.n .n.!) of the exc,"'.tions of the otrium. J87 LPN cl" 5!. 388 Deichm.nn, 1976. p. 331. AgnclIn' rCpe>tedly confused the three bishops Peter; see De~J".llnis, ",06, p. 99. J8SO See HIlL 97" The "Im_ enth_et",tury manu'nipt in ,,·hieh the legend is ~.und, llrusscls, Bibliothcque Royole. Codex 6.f, olso comoins Li.,·cs of Peter Chr)"sologus, Severns of 11.0...'''''', o"d mony other saims to whom churches were d",lic>tted in R,,,·cnn., ond must depend on 0 R.vcmute sonrce. Peter D.mi.n, the cieventh-eentury monk and scholor of R.o.venno, preo<hed 1 scnnon (Strmo 65) on lI.rI..,i,n ,hot included the some infonn ..ion. S"" L'qtl:l, 1976, 1'1" ' 74- IH .

See Deich,,,.nn, '976, Pl'· 33'-3 , Gill ett. """' , PI" ' 48- 57"'.1 ,6' - 5' Deichmonn, '911'. E"'cn tod.y ""hoi • .,; compare R"'enn. unf.w". bly to Constantinople. e.g., McCormick, '000, p. ' 36, "By . bout ~'5 the e"15t's new copi"l of Con'tominovle h.d expanded into o"e of ,he elnpire's greates, ci,ies, wher.o, R.vC<ln. """mhlcd ",ther. glorified mili"ry," 394 Ncri, I9'JO. p. 571;M.""a, '005, PI" 10- 11.

390 W' 39' WJ

f u ur. R""c nn o, ,he


ufthe O strugu,hic Kingdum

I Jordanes, Gn;(8 60 (3 16). explicitly tell, his rcoders, "Do not think that I .ddcd or token o""y . nything to "uke ,he Gothic race look good (os you migh,



expect of someone of my .ncestry); I h..,. wrinen just wh.t is in ,he sourc ... If] written it.lJ down •• I h.\"e found it, )' OU will see it redounds notso much '0 ,he credi, of ,he Go,h. os to the credi, of the m.n who conquered ,hem" (,,,,ns, 0' Donne lJ, ! 9Il' ). \ \'hilc ""hoi. rs di..grc. o,'cr J ord.n es'. precise moti". tions, most .gre. th., he was !lot descended from the Goths who went ro 1.. ly, but rJther from those who stored in the Balkons, .nd thot he wos writing for • Rom.nlllyz.ntine .udien,,"; sec, e.g., Croke, '987, 1'1" t>5~ who notcs th"Jord.ncs i. I,-'S$ pro-G othic th.n C.ssiodoru.<, . n,1 enr'-'JT1dy .nti _Ari.n: see .Iso Heather, Gothl and /Wmalll, 1991, 1'1" H-<i7; and Amory, '997, esp. 1'1'- 35- 7 .nd '9' - 3<>7 I S"" Wolfrom, I,..sS, PI', '46-08, J-J "",her, 1995, esp, 1" 149; He.,her, Goth, d'uI R""",tIS, '991, Pl'· '5!)-<i3. 3 The yens of'Theoderic's residence in Consuminople ore somewh.. conjeetu",l, os is hi, .ge, since his bini! dote is not exactly de.r (Wolfr,un, l..s~, p. ,6,). \Ve ~n"w thot he w", them for ten ycar<, from . ge seven to eighteen. Amory, 1997, suggests thot he w.s there from 46'-71; Rorh, 1995, 1'1" '03-4 n. 9, gil-" the dotes os 459-70. 4 Theoderic's educ.tion h. s been the .ubject of some d.b>te, M.ny ""hola", fmd it h.rd to im.gine th .. o prince brought up in ,he palo,," .. Consnuni""ple would not h,,'e I""med how to <"COd (wh" else would he h,,'e heen doing for ten reo ..?), but the evidence in f,,'or is "ery sl im. [,modius, in his ponegyric on Theoderic, t I (ed .• nd Genu.n tronsl. RoIIT, '99i, Pl" 10' -3), stotCS "Fd lle.vit te in gT'-"TT1i<> ci,-ilitotis Gro",-;. 1'TOC'SOg"'l '·'-"Tlturi,~ which M(Klrh""I, '99' ,1" l 4, interpret. os meaning he wos educated in Gree~, . Ithough the ten should .. tu .1Iy he tran. lated, "Gr""",,, p"''''ging things t() come, brought you up in the bosom of dvi/iw, , , ," (tdll"'V;' could ,imply me.n "",i..d," .nd docs not nee.... rily connot" lite ... cy; on the m""ning of rid/i'd' see below). John ,\I.lolas, Cbrrmographio '5.94, writing in Antioch in the lote sixth century.oJ'S "e.v&t>IXC>'; . .. Iv K<->W"T<XV"Tlvoo.rn6MI 6vo-r~11 ""lbvo-yvoVs ... ," which ",,,,,n. more explicitly, "T f'''-'oocric, brought uJ> .nd tought to ",. d in CAm'tontinop!e.... " On the opposing side, Anon. Vlliet. 61 ""yo, • He [Th.eodoric] , although he was illiterote [in/itt""' ....] ... " .nd og. in, 79: "Therefore King ' Ineoderic wos iIlit e... te [inlitt""""I_ , _on .ceount of which he ordered. gold plate to be with the four let,"rs 'Iegi' [I h,,'e read it] CUt imo it; with which, ifhe w. med to sign. documen" the plote wos ploc<.J on it .nd he led his I"'" through it, thot his signorure might 'JI!"'or," Procopius . Iso, Dr ~Ik! Gothi", L1, 16, .oJ'S tint the Gothic elders told Am.l.suinth. thot ' J'ltcoderic h.d con'luered • territ()ry ".!though he had not So much lIS h""rd of1Cttcrs" (K<:dmp Yp<IIll'/rr<o>v o(.rSf &to... 6:l<o-Ilv Ix""'); l'rocopius, Sum History 6, .lso tells thot the emperor Justin I " .... illite ... te . nd h. d to u"". stencil to sign ducumcnts(Ensslin, ''}ofo, ,uggests, "'ther pl.usibl)', ,h.t the iIIite"'tc ruler of A,,,,,,_ Val.., 79 wosJ ustin I, loter mi""opied OS ' I'ltcodetic [earlier proposed by Hodgl<in, vol. 3, ,8S5, p. ,68 n, '1; hut this does not ch, 61), Grundm.,,", 1958. Pl'. '4- )0, disco .... the to]>OS of the un lettered but wise king, .nd argues thot ",.,riors were not eXpc"1<.J to he lite ...",. thus the cvidL"Tlce 'l'lte",leric'. li te",ey is proh.bly correct , More wor~ should be done on the to]>OS of the illite ... t. warrior. (See Rota, l{)ol , Pl" 161 - 3.) 5 Ostrogothic ltoly .nd Ostrogothic R.venn. hOl'. been extensively described ond .n.l)'"lCd, especiolly in the post twemy ye."" .nd lorge nwnkrs of .!"tides,




NOTES TO PAG ES 109- 11 0

books, :mel volumes of collected es.~'\r~ 110ve exh oustively eAl'lored e"ery angle of Gothic cil'ilizJlion. Sec t'''P, Bamish/_\hra7.lj, elk, l OO;; Carl Ie, cd., 1995> C ISfuvl volume, 1993; on Osnogothk R~\'('nna. Ihe f\lnd;\ llIe nt~l ,mide remains J ohnSQIl, 1988. (j The AII(lII)'III'IS VilfrsinllllS 49 !;,lrS that he was scnt by Zeno to pnll'rfJ{llllrr for him in kl[Y (Claude, IO'n , pp. Z4- s);Jordanes. Gtlim 57. has '111<::oJ~ric propO:>~ the expedition, but tht' same author in hi~ RUI1II/IIII, 3'18"""'9, hil S the ide" mi ginare with 2£no. For ,1 .-Ietailed an'llysis or the supposed pact with Zeno, Sto" N eri, 1<)95. pp. Ff-6. who concludes th:1l such a pact prub3b l~' did nut cxi~t, but ThwdC'ric may han: ,aid thH it did to gain Icgitim;ll'Y in Italy. i D~ ""'f~ G"lbjclJ V,l.!! ; ill/l)ll. V,,/u. 49 says rh:.tTheoderic entered [t~[y ~CUlll gent" Gothi~a." H ""thl'r, ' 995, p. '53; .\loorheaJ, ' 9~ .' , pp. 67-8; aoJ \\'01 fnm, H}8f1, p . .: 79 (citing Ens5lin, 1959), say 100,000 tot,,1 lleople enTered It-a ly (\:Volfram has 20,000 w:lrriors); HUrn s, 1 97~ . argw:s for -1-0,000. Am ory. ' 997, p. 41, says the tot~1 numher ofOstrogoths \ws ~O,OOO at most, and believes that most of rhem were soldiers; he douhts Procopius's claim that women ~nd dlilJ~n "am~ too. S At least "ecording to Pn){:opius. De bella Gatbiro V . 1.1 5- ~ 3. 9 lllis is tile STOry told by ProcOpillS, D~ l'elt(J Cothic(J V. I.J4- .'5. and !f1l01l. Vulrr. 5;. both of whom, along with Cassio<iorus, Cbnmiru, a. 493, say that O doaeer W:)$ ploning against T11eoderic, For Theoderk's conquest of ltall', see \-VolfnUl. 19118, 1'1" ;8l - 3, and ,\loorheaJ, '!i'll , pp. [7- 3 [, who prov ides a detail~d analysis of rh~ sourc~s . 10 Sec Cbudc. '993 ' I I Sc~' Shanzcr, 1998. p. .' 3 Z. 11 This is nored by Jord.1Iles. Geli,"" Si . 13 Se(' C LlIl(le, '993 . PI" 30- 1; \Nolfnl11l. 1988. PI" 306-~ 6 . 14 For morc on Th~odcri c ' s title and h3~e of authority, Sl'C Jom'S, HJ6 ~ ; and Neri, ' 995. Set: "Iso Arnold, 1008, t:specially chapters 2 .md 4, who argues th~t 1 1":Olr~ri<: did l'rt: ~m hil1l~df as an clll l'~ror. 15 JolU1~I), 1988, p. 76. This coin is gellt'rally I' ie", ..(l ~s b,wiog been stnleL: in ;00 to connnt:moratt: Tht:odt:ri~'s thirty-yt:ar annil"t:r.;uy and his visit to RUlli'" but Grie rson, '985, repeated in GriefS(ln/BlaeL:hum, '986, p. 3), argues that it was 5tnlCL: in commemoration ofTheO(leric's victory o~'t:r th e F nmL:s and Burg undims in .')09, while Arslan, '9R9 , pp.ll-6, nnd ' 99.\ , p. 5.'0; and .\olctlich, ~OO ..., p. 15. argue that it WlIS srrueL: betv.·ee n T11eoderic's taking control in Italy in 493 and :\nastasius's recogn ition of him in 497. 16 Amll/. Va/a. 11.6+ ~et omnia ornamema palatii, quae O doac:lr Constantino· polim tr:lllsmiser.H, remittit." Odoacer's bck ofinsigni 'l is also mentioned Cassiodorus, Cb"01liw, a. 4 76. 17 C:lssiodf)nls. Cbl"Olli,a ~. ; 00 . [8 See ,\ l<Xlrhead. 11191 . p. 60. ' 9 D~ hdlo gorhilo n. I.~6 and !9: ~1i1} "IT (, 9ruoip lxo5 A6y'!lI-'Ev -ruPa.w05, ~py~ fi1 l3oa l ~NI a~q€h'1l TO::;)V W To\!TI"\ Tij TII-'ij TO ~~ opxils 1")u-50~luI") K,hwv 0';5£1)05 ,,0"0"01}." Johnwn, [!,It'S, p. 7-1-, no\<:, [h:ll many epithets formerl)' uSt:J for e lll (l<'rors we re u~d for him, such as IIlIg ,mlLS ~ml imp~rillm. See on\\' Arn olcl,


w o8. ~o

"In" m~ 3nill g of th" <:thnicity of thl' O strogoths has b<:~n th~ recent ouj"ct of intense srudy; most schob rs now "grec: th"t th e ~Ostrogoths" we re re~l1)' ~ ,,01 kerion of Gothic and other trib•.'s who had only hcen united for the first time


by Theo:><leric before he in\'~ded Jr~ l y. See e~pecLlll~' Amory, 1997. who r~kes the CXtr~ln~' position th~t Ihe m ~i n defining fearun: of Ostrogorhil' ethnicit:' was mer.llhel-Ship in rlbeoderic's ~rmy, reburted most compr<:hensh·e1y hy Heather, ~OQ7. 11 Bicrhrauer, 1975 :md r 97<'1, created ~ map t.h at is subsequently much cited, l'.g .. Ily Ht"tlrher. 1\J<}5 , p. I 56. HitrhrJuer'~ map j~ l>ased 011 linds of "Ostrogothic"l y?", lewdr}' in hurj;o ls, hut in fa<.:! the usc of gr,"'c guud~ ~elllS to h:l,"e ken restricted to a very ~mall number of people in O~trogothic society (on whtlt Ilasis we do not know), and recent ,;cholan have <jtltstiun.::d the attribu tion of l'thnicity based on grave gouds: sec must recently Curta, ~OQ7 . whosummarif.cs th e debMe. ~ ! On thc questiun of whethc r thc Ostwguths Wl·n· allottcd bml (which would invoh"c a complex dr.' isiun of estatcs and f:mlls) or r-ax revenucs, .<CC eSJ>Ccblly Guffart. I '}~O; Ibmish, 191$6: Durl;:! t, HJ'}7; GolTart again. ~ 006, pp. 119---S6. ! 3 See R. mish, 19f1S. !4 Amory. 1997, I'p. So-7R, tT:lces a decli ne in the rhecoric of '-;"i/i/{/$ in Th~()(lcrit' s bt~r


d) 17 !8 ~9



J! 33

34 35 36

37 )8




Saitta, '993 ; Reydelle!. ' 995; and Stilven, '995. S~in;\, 1993 . not~·s thot this toleram:e WJS part orhis eoneepr of tivilililS. [)(b~l/agQlbi(o ll ·( · ~7-3 ' ;Sl'CS:!itt3 . 1993,P· 148. See Ruggini, 1961 ; So rac], 197-I; M"r~u;i. 19911; Cosentino, :005 , Wolfram, !9l).'!, Pl" .88--9. LeITers ~dopr n patton.i~ing [One to other Mh;lrharian" 11.l1ers, elllph ; rhe ~lIperio r ROlm n clIlmTe of Theodcric'~ eOllrt (I4('i :lnd 11.41); in ~nothcr, nJdrcss.::tl to ~·i t izens in newl~' eon<jutrc·d tc rritorits in Gaul, T hcoJc'ric· urges (hem (0 "do[he yoursell'e~ in [he mor"ls of [he tog~ , put ;Iside b~rharism. " (HI. I i ). Other Icners pnlis.:: ~spects of Roman life 'md culmr,,: 1. 10 on ;Irithmctie, 1.1 0 on pantom imes, Ltj on philosu phy nnd wate r doc:L.:s, ILt o on music, 1I1.S [on ch3rio! r.lcing, lll.5l on sm·"eying, IV.5 1 on theater. V ..p (dis~ppro"ingly) on animal sl'..:\:t~d\:s . V il li on a'luedll ct~, and most dOllucntly. nlthollgh writtel) in Ih" IUlue of ·n1tode1ie·~ gr;ln,bo'l Ath~lnrie, VU].!8 on d"ie life, Sec especially .\ '\omigli;ln(), 195): Deiehmann. I yBo; EveretT, !OO3' pp. z J-33: ~nd I'obr", 1995. who notes th'lI most li to:nu)' e\llnlre \\~\S b~sed in Rome, Slnah, '976, identifies geographic~ l wurL.:~ produced at the court ofThcuderie nS sources tor rhe se"emh- or t'ighth-cenrul)' Ra"enn;] cosmography. Set Courcdle, 11/6y. pp. ~73-330; and irb'Oin, 19(15 . See Saitta, 1993 . pp. 103-3 8; '111d La Rocca, 1993 , p. 488. Wolf,,;IJ\l, 1f)t>3, p. )89; S'lj r(a, 19Qj . pp. 104- /0 . CassioJorus. Cbrol/im, 3 . 500. For cxal11plc, Vllrille 1. ~5 , :8, 11.; , 0 1.31, 44, TV.p. VIJ . 15; also Chnmira, 'I. ; 00, which srillo:S th~ t ho: stlrpass;.-(l '1I1c1ent works. On Theodo:ric's building program, see c~r . S"itta, 1993. PI'· 103-38. La Rocca, ' 993 . p. 466. Amm, VI/fef. 1.70; Fn:llo:gu, Cbnmicil :.57: ·'Ci"it:1to:s univo: rsas lluas regc:bat mi.; ope r i~ rest:1urMC cr munire ~olleITi~.'lil1Je fecit. P"latb quoque splendcdis_ sime Ra"enn~l· urbis, Ve ronac ct Papiae, \.juod T icimnll cognomen tuln l·St, fabric-arc iussit . T" ntal· prosp<:rit3tis post rq,.n mn tenuit, p"l'cm cum gentibus vieinas h ~I:>e ns, ut mirum fuissct." See La Roc<:J, [993. Brogiolo, ·· Ideas,'· [999· Sce


NOTES TO PAG ES 112- 115

40 See L~ Rocc3, IQ!:n. PI" .j&:>-+ who perh~p$ clr:lws roo sh~rp C\ disrincrion lx:rwccn Thcodcric's ordering re~wr~ti{ln.~ at Rome .md new tJUildings ~t

R:lI'enn,l. 41 V'l/illT lII.30, tr:ms. Ham ish, p. 60. 4" Varille I.!I, !5. rn'!!r"31, 1V'30' 51. V.g, Vl I.7, 15. Fm hibliography, sec

Johnson, 19SI:!. p. 7i n. 44· LILlI, tr~ns . Bambh, p. 57. J{lhnson. 198>1, p. 7i; Vl1ril1~ rI' J9 CAhallo), III"'H (A ries), 49 (Catnnh), IV .!oJ (Spolcto), Vll l. l9-) O (Panna); Anon. V"les. 7 I for P,wi:. and Verona . Saitta, 199J. p. 10j . La ROCC:L, 1993 , pp. 464- 5 ~nd 484- 5, suggests thaI the omission of dlUrchcs is \"'C3USC that lind of activity did not distin!:,'uish thc king from his aristocratic sllhjects; seclllar parn:mngc, howcHr. hy this time was viewcd as thc proper sph~rt of rulers. Amory, 199,. pp . ·n-71:1· In 1II1ri,1r V .40.5. Theoderie col1lmrods C}1)rian for k.ilOv.<ing three hngllnges: ill VlI1.!I.6-7 anti VIll. Il .5, Athabrk- praises Cyprian for raising his sons as soJdias and to sl"'ak Gothic ("Pucri stirpis Romanac nostr:J.linh'lJ3 llKJUlmtur")j see Amory, 1997, PI" 154- 5' Amory. 1$01/" pp. 155-8. Burns, J9R~, p. 10 1_ On the exact .htcs of the two executions. see Bamish, t9 tl j . This infol11lo1tion i~ found in the Roman LivN' pcwlijillllis, Viti1 ]lJb,IJl'/i$ I 0, which says th at Joho ha d been impriwiled by Theooeric, but th e A1l0IlPIIIIS Vufuitmlls sa~'s only that Tncoderie "declared him an enemy." See Noble. 1$09.1 · !'ieui, IQ~} . p . 664. f(·ferringto VI/rirlr XU.:!. written in 5.17 fWIll Cas.siodonls himsc:lf. RcyJt:l let, IY'p . p. 10. vVolfr;un, 19litt, p . .!91, ('iting- Ensslin, d aims that Theotlerk mO"ed the court aWll}' frOID R,wJelu\a onJ},onee, to Pavin in 508. in order to be closer tothe \\';If 3gainstthc Franb: however, hc is !mown to have becn in Vcrona in 5 I!I, IC3\'ing Euthmic in charge in RaHnna (A1IolI. Vafrl". 8 1- ! , "propter metum !,TCntium", see -'"Ioorh~ad. 19!11 . p. 70), .md in I',wia when the ini ti,d eh:\rges were levied against Bocthius (ibid .• 8,-88). For eXllm ple, Caes~rillS of Aries, a5 recQllnte d in the min.-.;;ixth-centmy Villi Carmrii rpi.-ropi A.rrilll'"1lsis. ehs. )6-40. J ohnwn, lyflH . For eX.llll llle. Ilnder Theoderic gold eoi ns were mimed only in Rome, WherJ;'3S initially silver coins were minted in Ravenna. as wdl as in '\ 'Ubn; sec .\letlk-h. zOO-! , p..18. \Ind Arsbn. 1005, p. ~ ' 3' LI'N. ch. 94. See below for more 011 ,he loc~lion of this im;lge. On city personificntions. sec Biihl. 1995- Thc image th ~t is mosr simibr to the one described by t\gnclhls is found Oil the '/IIiiwriwlI of Kerch (Hennlt'lge Museum), in wll icb an emperor. p<:rhap~ Constantius 11, i~ Jepl(;teu on horse hack between :1 personitic3[ion of Vi(f aria 'lIld :1 shield hen re., see I....:m!.:r-N.:why, !004, pp. 36-S, who discus.,.:~ iconogn phic'll simibril il's with mounted depictions of ~lllpcror"S on coins. Farioli Cm npannti, MRan'nnJ, Con sttlnunopoli," 199!, p. J46, notes Ihi~ similarity and suggests that Agndlus

~J j/ "rj(/I"

44 -15 46



49 50 51

5l 53 5~

55 56 57

58 59






64 65


67 68

69 70 71 7'


misinterpreted such • depiction ofTheoderic as indicating personiflCa,ions of ClUes. Bronze low-denomin.tion coin. were issued by the Rom.n Sen.te with, on the obverse, • helmeted fem.le bus, .nd the legend Im'i"a Rlmta, .pp.rcntly • re,..... 1 of. motif from r'1'ublicon Rome. After ,he deoth of Theodcric (Arsl.n, '005 , p. "3), or .fter the Byzantine copture of Rome in 536 (Grierson/Blockburn, '9il6, PI'. 3'-3), the lnin,ing of Ostrogothic bronze mins """'",1 to R"·<"T1n . , including. d""mrmmio coin that eonuin"d • turn.~_ ted fem.le bust and the legend }-,Iix Rut"""" (flo"'ever, Medich, ' 004, PI'· 48-50. condu,l", ,h., ,he "tlix R4"",,,,, coin. we,,", minted .. Rome u",ler Theoderic). For more on the origin of the /".vi"" /Wm" .nd Frlix Rut~mR lcg<"ds, see Cocchi. ",,,. zioni." '980, who proposes th .. the type defined R""elln. os. new eonsuminople. After R.venn. was lost to the Ostrogotho in 54", there wcre somc '·cry .... re pentanummi. coins minted .t p. vi. wi,h ,he bust . nd Icg<"T1d Fili" T~ml<t. Note .1... >that bri<1« were in Rome under 'Ineoderic with the legend "Felix Romo": see Righini, ' ¢l6. An .... V"tu. 11.80: "Ergo Theodericus d.,o cO,l>,.d .tu Euth.rico Rom •• el R.n",n.c triumph""t"; however, c..ssiodorus. Cbnmica. co. 519> mentio"" circus g.m"" only at Rome, with merely. ceremoni.l ",tum to Ravenn • • fterword . C,,·.lIo, '98 , ; Pietri, '¢l3 pp. 661 - ', .nd idem, 199', p. 304. Pietri, ' 99 ', who notes, p. '<)oJ, that " 'en up_.nd.."oming mem],crs "I new I.milies, who m.dc 'hei r ""ree,,; in R,,·enn., c"<"T1'u>lIy turned to Rome. Vn nodius, Epistolo 5.18 , "'nnen to the semlOr F.ustus N iger, refers 10 ,he l.tter's d.p. rture lrom ina_bil, ""vm"". but he rn,}" mc. n 'hat the city is now odious bee.use F.ustus h •• lcft. Sec .1.., Pietn. 1¢l3; .nd B.rnish. ' ¢l8, PI'. ')1 - 3. Pa"'giri"<t" mention, only Rome. For ex.mple, comp"" the fonnul.e in Vam VII, on the one h.nd, civic .re only fOr Ravenna .nd Romc. not for .ny other cities; hut on the other hondothe .ppoinnnents to Rom" are pr:aised in mo", e"""''''Vnt ,,,nTIS th.n those for Ra"enm; ct. \ rll. 7 .Dd 8 (the Prt"fr.tII'" t'jgilllrnj .nd I) .nd '4 (the romith·,,), in which he chuges the am", of Rome to protect the nwnerous beoutiful public artworh of thot city, bu, .imply commends ,he rom" of Ravenn. to corry OUt ro)'>1 ortIel'!. Certoiniy Ra,'cnn. is viewed os the ""AId city in the kingdom; see, c.g., Y ni;u X.,8 ."d XII.", in ,,·hich the twO cities are p.ired. Polo"" ' 995, p. 354, notes that .Ithough R.venn. houses schol,I'! ."d schools, in Vllria, X' 7, c..«iodorus gi,·cs highest I'",jsc to Ic.ming .t Rom". Cf. B.mish, ' 988, JIP. "7 .nd 151. L. Rocca, 1993, pp. 48'-4, implies that the me,on •• hout construction at Rom" w", .imc,l., .nstocratic Rom."". while th.t at Rat·enD. w.s more .imed.t the eonst.ntinopolit.n .udience. \Volr...m, 19i18,p. '9iI. So<:. e.g .. Budrie.i. '990, p. '''"X La""rd, ' 99 ', p. "'. Deichm.nn, ' 97 6. Pl'. 37 1- ', proposes th.t this WllS huilt by Odo, cer. 1...1.1rd. ' 99 ' . 1'. ,,6. Cosentino, ,ooS , p. 4' I. For enmple. VIlri", VII.", which instructs ,he prinrip"Nu 01 Rome to send key .dvisers '0 ,he court .. R,,·enn •. Pietri, '99' , pp. )<>0-1.



74 l.ozord. 1991 . p. "9· 75 See M.ioli, "Jl complesso .reheologiro, ~ 199f; and Alontevecchi, ed., 1""4; ,h. building to the north nu)' ha>'e continued to be linked to the ne,rb)' church of St. Euphemia; s<'" Ihldini l.ipfJOlis, "l.o chi""," and "1'eriodo b),7.3ntino," 1co4· 76 GrtiCil '9 ([ 5I); Jord.nes is here qooting from someone he coUs "F,vilIs," whO'ie identity is, mystery: .nd ... rel), conl1nentOO on; Kien.<t. [#' <totes thot he mUSt h,.,c heen • C'on'cmponny of j01'<l>n'-" or C ••<iodoru.<. An inscrip,ion th.t seems to conlinn Jord. nes's statement •• urihuting the land red. motion to Theo<leric. w"" c1.imOO by ""''-'Tl'e,,",h-<;enlury' . nd l'ler schol.", '0 have bc<:n reported in 0 m,"uscript; both inscription .nd m.n"""ript . re now lost, ~Ut ,he inscription is report'-" in elL XJ.:.I. R••'C'nn. no. 10. 77 See Iknnond A1ont.n.rilM.ioli. [?8 3: !>loioli. "Ropporti " [995; M.ioli, 1001 ; Augent~ "Nuo"e ind.gini," 1005; .nd idem, "R.venn. e Cl.sse: .n.t.,-"Iogi.," 1006. 78 Esp. Aug"mi, "Ravenna e Closse: . rehcologi.," 1006, pp. 10I~. One striking ..mpho ... f"'gme", found in the UPI,\j """".. tion con",incd . n inscription in Hebrew, .,idene<:., of Jewish mereh.n"" in Ra.-enn., os m.), be ottested on papyrus documents from HO ..nd 54 1; Ott Somekh, 1995. 79 M ..... 'zi, 'WS, PI' , 136--4" 80 See wentino, 1005, pp. 4 ' 5- 19, for. dctoiled stud), of this issue. 8, V",-iat X.,8 .. nd XII"4- the l. tter eonttming SlJPI,lies from ls,ri.; sec ''''>Sentino. '005, p. 4,6, T hom.s H (Klgkin tran,lot", ""m,io " "m)"'l residence at R.wnn.," hilt since in many coses C.ssiodorus uses the "'ord ".Iatill'" !O refeT ,,, thc go,'cm"'<'TlI .n,VoT Ihe roy.l resid<'Tlce, "un,,;. must inste. d the mconmg of "gorri50n" or "," 8, V....ia, Xli .} 1 (,rans. n .. m ish, 199' , 1'. [76 with some modirIC .. ,ion) ..... well :os Xl1.14, S3 V..,.ia, 11.10; Cosentmo. '005 , PI'. 4 [6--17, notes the ""istence of ~a m vari ous citi,-", "flt:lly, .nd e>,id"n"" of bO'rTtarii. OT w.rehouse m. ""rs. in R,v~'Tln1te documen"" and inscriptions, 84 V....ia, Vl.6; 'iCC Cosentino. 1005, pp. 4,8--'9. who . ssumes that Theoderic continued. trod ilion !.>egun eorlier_ 8S DtbtIIoGfJlbitoVI" S.'5 , 86 V",-iat V.,6 .• 150 V.'7 - }0. Sec ,\ louro. cd., 1005, for more on the Acet of Ravenna. 87 h rioli C . mpanoti. "1.0 sculrurll,- }COs. esp. Pl'. ,6--19, 88 llaycrischc S" . t.,),i),liothd" ~ l unich. Clm. 6"" is .n e.ny ninth-cenrury Gospel bool: th.t contains on inocription s. ying thot 0 ""rum I' m-icius h.d emend<>d the 'e" ot Ihe re'lu<..t of lIis),op Ecclesius; IhllS 'his Corolingi.n m.nuscript is .ssumed to !.>e. cop}' of one produced in R,,-enn. in the eorlr si .. h ttntury, ' Ine Or""ius""ript is lIiblio<= Lauren"';,,, , , ].lorence, 65. I. on which .ce Tjiider, [97" : the document of 551 is quoted in full in the nen chapter. 8~ V",-ia, 111.'9' 9" See Dcichmonn, '?Ii9, pp, '''4-8 (monuscripts) .nd 347""9 (ivory; further on iffiry, see Volb""h, 1977); . lso Cov.llo. [99" Deichm.nn cautions in both co.scs th.t there is no solid evidence linking most of the items ottri),ulo<110


9' 9~



95 96



119 100 I Ot I O~

10 j

Ra\,enna. Volb.1ch. 197i, pp _ I o- I!, notes tlut ivorie~ 3ITribmed to R~"enn~ largdyon the uas is of iconographical or srylislK simil.lril.ics with mosai(:s or stone sculptu .... share lU3ny ehar.lclerisrks with works 11I9de in Rome, ,\'lihn. Jnd Constantinople. jI<lrilll' 1.6 and VIl .;, both cited hy \Vatd-Pcrldns, ' 9S4, p. 159. ChnJII;({f a. 500; P,mrgyri(lIs XI.56: "vid"o insperannll deco .... m Ilruiurn cill"riuus n 'enisse o;:t suu civilitatis plenitudine PJhltin~ uui'lue te<:I" rutiJ:,re." In seventh--.::entUl), Fmncin, the historian p<;eudo-F redeg:1r, ;n his Cbrollifll 11. 57 notes of Theoderi<.:, ~Palati3 'lu"'lue splcndedissime R,l\'cnnae uruis, Veronae Ct Papi;le, (IUI)d Tieinul1l cognoment1.ll1l c,t, fabril'are iussit." Sec \Vard-P"rkins, J')R" p. 15H n. 7. As La I{o..--';,', 1\19 .1 , Pfl路 457-9, notes, such btc noticl'S show the cffi.~acr of Theodcrie's propaganda. 11//1)/1 . Va/rI. :.7 1: "P"lariulll llsfjue ad pc,fcenlln fecit , quel1l non dcdica\- it. Portie" circa p,dalium perfe<.:iL" Interestingly, the ap:'>Cs were polygoll,,1 on the c:ncrior and scmiein::u br 0011 th e inwrior, jllst like the apf;t!s of Ravenna's ch llrche~; ")Igenti, "i\ rehcologia," l005, p. '5. Berti. ' 976, pp. ?i-SI; ""e J ohnson, 1988, p. S4' Augen ti "Archeologi:l,~ lOOS. e~p. pp. 13- 16; he d:l!c$ what he c.ll1s Ph"Sl' 4 to the 1 ncoilcri...-Jn pe riod. C:lssiodoru~, Omr;O'll11ll I'di,!";Il!'!' ~Renide t crust" mannorum concolor gelll m is. sp;u'Sum aurum fulgel' in ,_, s, rO(\I1;lS S,Lxorum venas mU5il'i ll1un~r., descri bunt; et tatum met::lllicis colori hu~ eomitul', ubi cerea picrura noOse .1tur." Of eoOurse, thi$ d~s noOt necessarily refer te) the pa b ce a~ Ravenl1~. LPR ch . 94: Ab'Tlellus tl'lls that the statue was mad" fur (h" <.:mp<路ror 2<.:no, but TheoOderic :' pproOpri,,,ed it foOr himself. There WaS cert"inl), all efjueStri,lil slame ofJ llstinian phct d oOn th t AugllstcioOn during his reign . Jnd hc Ill\lr havt a(laj.lted it fmm an c:lrlie r stotu<.: of on~ of th~ -'betxlosius路s. Furthennor(', Jnnlalle$, G"lir,/ 57 (z 9o), Idls Il~ that unoO str lip an equ<:slrian SUIUC of Th"odcric alltr rrgi"1l1 palillii in Constantinople, Ihis h<.:fore ' IbeOlderk Went 10 ita I),. Tnc SC.ltlle in l{al'el\nJ s~em~ to hal'" ~too{1 ill this plate Hodl the I\inth ceotlllY. whe n Charlemagne had it l1rought to his nO'w palaeO' at Aach"n, as rcpurt~d hy AgncUus and in a po<.:m hy \Vah lafrid Slraho (D( il1/l/ghlf le/ridy in V,,:ms ill rl,'llIisgmlli P,IIl11iQ). For" oomplcte discussion of the historiogr"l-'ily of this st~tue "nd it~ ~Tcntu~l re mov,,), see D cliy"nnis, trnns., ~ 004-> pp. 7 ;J.-<), and idem . ed., loo6, PI" 75-"7 and notes. U'R ch. 94路 Dcichmann, ",S9, p. 51 . DIJ\'~ I , 1960, pp. 358--9; Dekhmann. 19;,1, p. 140; Duval, MLu 1I105aifjut."," 1978. PP' 95-6; and Porta. 1991. DcIiF'lOnis, trans., 2 004, pp. 7l-fJ. On ,he context of ,heSt' buildings, see Ort;,IIi, 11)91 , pp. I H - 7; ~nd Sf\lineni, 1004, PI" 356- 9. O n .\1cldob, scc Prati, 19SfI, p. l7, and PI" 56-66; on G ale3 ta. see most recently De ,\1"riJ , ell., lOO4. On 1',,1n7.wIOl, stC Bcnnond ,\'Iontan:!ri, 1,/83 '

104 LPR eh . 39. Agnel1us tells us th,'t he 1",,..;on:111y dism~ntled this palace :md u.<;ed the rnntt'ri.lls to huild \l hOIlS<: for himself in Ra\'<::n na! For an :m;llysis of I hi~ passag<.: from m<.: LPR, sec La Ron'a, ' 903 , pp. 486--7_


NOTES T O PAGES 122- 124

105 Alltm. 11,,1($.7'; C:lssioaorus, Chf"(m ifll,:l. 5 0 ~ : "In rhi~ con~u l $hip lord King

Theodcric brought wate r to Rn\"('nn~, whose aqueJuct he fittingly restored. which h;l([ bt:etl out o f u5I: for ,I long rimt: before." 106 Prnri. 1<)88. p. 17 and esp. PI" ~6-5Q· J ohnson , '988, p. 78. 107 l1arille V'311: ~ Tnn e erit exhihido decol~1 theml~nun. n ille pi!K:inae uiucis fontibu~ nuctu,l],unt: tunc erit quae dilun t :lqua, nun inquim:t, post llU~1I1 buari continuu non sit necesso; . . . si :1\1pot'llldum unda sUluis inRu.,erit, o"' ni~ nostro uierui redduntur nceept:1, qu~n do hllln~n:1~ uitJe nullus eibus grams efficirur. ubi aquarum dulcium pt:rspieuitas non hak tur." lOS Scc f(lr Rome: Coates-Stephens, 1998, e~T" PI" 171-}; for Constantinopi<-: Mango, 1995 , an d ilonoiCrow/Ihyliss, 100 1, 109 VtlrJ(J~ III.y ~ml lo, and V.S. I 10 I agree with Kl'nn cll, ' 9'l." that it is marble workel~ rather than mosaici~ts who are h"'rt" (':111;,<1 11ll1l7l1or.wii. si ne.: tht l,: u <,r goes on to ta lk aoour marble sbhs split and rearranged ~ that their\'einsere;lte pleasing p"ttems. "from artcomes that which eonqllers n~mre: rher weave rh~ discolored sbbs (If marble in rhe must pltasing variety of d'·pictiolls. , .. " This precise fonn of wall r~l'e{Jnent is known from San Vi tale in Ra\' c'nna, and from many sixtb_century ehurchc's in .

Sec Farioli Campanati, ~La scolru)";}," lOO; , p. 1;- 16. Itkolob';C"Jlly, latc nntique rulers liked to as~ociate themseh-es with I lcreules; see Kennell, I 99.h although Ne.:~, 1991 , PI" 161 - 1, poinl!s om tll'lt this ~S/;OCialion .:ndeJ with DiocI.:rian, and ChristLlIl em pe rors did not ~$SOCi 'lre them<;e]ves \\ith the pagan hero. 1 I! V; t ru\'iIlS, De l/l".hitul/Il"lI V.4. II ) 111is is the olily usc of the worJ h,lsilim in the ill/riM; the worJ is usc d rr~ ­ quemJy in Cassiodonos's H i.l'/Qria ral o:.·illSlit (llripJJrlilll, USU'IJJ)1 with the me'llling of "church," bllt somer.imes refe rring to ,1 sccllhlr building such as the Senate asstmbly building ( lo.17.}!). Rocthius nt"Cf uses the word; Enn rnlius uses it only twil"<~, referring 10 churches both times. A1ort: commonly in sixth-century usage gcm:nUy all: rcfnenccs to churches; hut dearly a hasilicn m rn e!1 'Iftn H<'rcul':scollld not be u cbu reh ! On the "ther h:II1([, I)lui/fcil i, nen' r used to rt:r~r to:l room io a palace; the word "ul" is Ilnin"rsally uscJ, and ,Iso uy C:l:;siudortls, for this type ()f SpJCC, 114 LPR chs. "3, 16 . • '5 J ohnson, 1988, p. 78. 116 D)'ggn!. ]/)5, ; ''''ard Perkins, 1984. p . • 6 l; mo:;t recently Kennell, I'J9'" although ht:r connection of the building to the ein::us whose existence, as " 'C: han seen, is based only on med ieval topographical referenee~, is duhious. 117 Th~ first U\~jor SOld)' W:lS H:lII]>t, IQI3; mol'<: recen t eomprt'lwllsive. snl dies in~' l ude Bovini, ' 959; De Angelis J'Ossat. "Un enigma," 1960, Pl" !J3- 111 , H eidenreich/Johanllcs, 197 ', and K.ra\lth cilllcr's r.;view, 197.1; '1110 Dcich m :II111 , 1974, pp, : 11 - 39' ' 1111! lurer history of th ... monument is known only in fragmcnt.~ before the fifteenth centu ry. Agnelllls says (LPR eh. 39) that the m~u:;olcUrl1 \\"15 built "wlwre rJ1(:n: i~ thc 1/IlJllllstrn"IIIII "fSt . .\t1lY which is e~ I1cd At th" Tom b of Kin g Th.:oJ.:rie." "Ill'" im plication of th is stut.:ment i~ that at some poim ~fter rhe si