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Battistero Lateranense

The domed octagonal Lateran Baptistery stands somewhat apart from the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, to which it has become joined by later construction. This baptistery was founded by Pope Sixtus III in 440, for a legend grew up that Constantine the Great had been baptized there and enriched the structure. However it is more likely that if he was baptized it was in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire and possibly by an Arian bishop. This baptistry was for many generations the only baptistery in Rome, and its octagonal structure, centered upon the large octagonal basin for full immersions, provided a model for others throughout Italy.



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