Early Christian

With the Edict of Milan of 313 CE the Roman emperor Constantine (r. 306–37) legalized Christian worship across the empire. Christianity was, of course, already more than 300 years old by this time, but due to their persecution Christians had worshipped in secret and their places of worship therefore remained hidden. Although Christianity was adopted as the official state religion of the Empire only after his reign, Constantine supported it through both political and legal reform and the building of a number of important churches, including St. Peter’s Basilica on the site of St. Peter’s burial in Rome. The temple form, with its overt pagan connotations, was, of course, out of the question as a model for buildings designed for ...

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