RAVENNA, ra-ven'na: Name of province, city, and archbishopric in northeastern Italy. The city is situated six miles from the Adriatic and seventytwo miles south of Venice. It was a naval station of the Romans under the Empire, and is, next to Rome, the most important city in Italy in connection with the history of Christian art, marking the transition from the early to the medieval from the fifth to the eighth centuries. Under Honorius (402 or 404) it became the seat of empire (402-476) and it was the capital of the Ostrogoth kings after 493 and the seat of the Byzantine exarchs, 539-752. Taken by the Lombards (q.v.) in 752, it was conquered by Pippin in 755 and presented to the pope. Traditionally, the apostle and first bishop of Ravenna was Apollinaris, a disciple of Peter (martyred c. 78). After the removal of the neat of empire from Rome to Ravenna the bishopric was raised to metropolitan dignity by Valentinian III.; and the first archbishop, according to one tradition, was Johannes Angeloptes, who died in 433. The sway of the popes over the city, however, did not continue undisputed; the city was more or less dependent upon the archbishops and these in turn upon the resident emperors or exarchs. The schismatic Archbishop Maurus (648-671) rendered himself independent of the pope and was sustained by Emperor Constans II. For denying the right of consecration he was anathematized and in turn hurled the ban upon the pope. Reparatua (671677) and Theodorua (677-688) received the pallium from the emperor and were ordained by their suffragans. The conflict to maintain a complete independence of Rome continued in varying degrees until the end of the ninth century; and under Henry III., in 1044, Ravenna became a free imperial city and the archbishop an imperial vassal, with the result of repeated conflicts with the papal see see PAPAL STATES). The disturbances between the Guelfa and the Ghibellines resulted in a vacancy, 1270-74. Ravenna was again attached to the papal realm after 1509 and 1815-60. The city has besides the cathedral (built 380) twenty-one churches. Most famous are the baptistery of San Giovanni (430) containing the earliest known mosaics and reliefs of the fifth century; the San Nazario a Celao, or the mausoleum of Empress Galls Placida, patroness of church-building, containing her huge sarcophagus. It is the earliest example of a vaulted cruciform structure surmounted at the intersection by a lofty dome. An example of the Gothic or Arian period is the San Apollinare Nuovo (504) built as the Arian cathedral. Surpassing all is the Byzantine San Vitale (526-547) commemorating the patron saint and martyr and copied after St. Sophia. An interesting and famous monument is the mausoleum of Theodoric the Great, built by himself about 520. It is known as the Rotonda or Santa Maria della Rotonda. The structure served in the Middle Ages as the church of the neighboring Benedictine monastery, but reverted in 1719 to its purpose as the memorial of the emperor. Here is also the famous tomb of Dante (q.v.) who came to this city in 1320. The present ecclesiastical province includes the auffragan bishoprics of Bertinoro and Soiaina, Cervia, Cesena, Comacchio, Forli, and Rimini.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Hieronymus Rubeus, Historiarum libri x., Venice, 1572; G. G. Ciampini, Vetera monimenta, 2 vols., Rome, 1890-99; A. F, von Quast, Die attchristlichen Bauwerke von Ravenna, Berlin, 1842; J. Hare, Cities of Northern and Central Italy, 3 vols., London, 1878; E. Freeman, Historical Essays, 3d series, London, 1879; C. Ricci, Cronache a Documente per la Stories Ravennate, Bologna, 1882 idem, Ravenna, Ravenna, 1902; T. Hodgkin, Italy arid her Invaders, vols., i.-iii., Oxford, 1892-1895; C. Diehl, Ravenne, Paris, 1903; Gams, Series episcoporum, pp. 718-718, and Supplement, p. 5; Muratori, Scriptores., vol. ii (contains the lives of early bishops of Ravenna); KL, x. 820-839.
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