Basilica of St. John Lateran

Basilica of St. John Lateran

Overview
The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran , commonly known as St. John Lateran's Archbasilica and St. John Lateran's Basilica, is the cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 of the Diocese of Rome
Diocese of Rome
The Diocese of Rome is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy. The bishop of Rome is the Pope, who is the Supreme Pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church...

 and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. The official name, in Latin, is Archibasilica Sanctissimi Salvatoris et Sanctorum Iohannes Baptista et Evangelista in Laterano, which translates in English as Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Ss.
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Encyclopedia
The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran , commonly known as St. John Lateran's Archbasilica and St. John Lateran's Basilica, is the cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 of the Diocese of Rome
Diocese of Rome
The Diocese of Rome is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy. The bishop of Rome is the Pope, who is the Supreme Pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church...

 and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. The official name, in Latin, is Archibasilica Sanctissimi Salvatoris et Sanctorum Iohannes Baptista et Evangelista in Laterano, which translates in English as Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Ss. John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran, and in Italian as Arcibasilica del Santissimo Salvatore e Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano.

It is the oldest and ranks first among the four Papal Basilicas or major basilica
Major basilica
Major basilica is the title given to the four highest-ranking Catholic churches: St. Peter's Basilica, St. John Lateran, Saint Paul Outside the Walls, St. Mary Major . All of them are located in Rome, Italy. St...

s of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 (having the cathedra
Cathedra
A cathedra or bishop's throne is the chair or throne of a bishop. It is a symbol of the bishop's teaching authority in the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, and has in some sense remained such in the Anglican Communion and in Lutheran churches...

 of the Bishop of Rome). It claims the title of ecumenical mother church
Mother Church
In Christianity, the term mother church or Mother Church may have one of the following meanings:# The first mission church in an area, or a pioneer cathedral# A basilica or cathedral# The main chapel of a province of a religious order...

 among Catholics
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. The current archpriest
Archpriest
An archpriest is a priest with supervisory duties over a number of parishes. The term is most often used in Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholic Churches, although it may be used in the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church instead of dean or vicar forane.In the 16th and 17th centuries, during...

 of St. John Lateran is Agostino Vallini
Agostino Vallini
Agostino Vallini is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Vicar General of Rome, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006.-Biography:...

, Cardinal Vicar
Cardinal Vicar
Cardinal Vicar is a title commonly given to the vicar general of the diocese of Rome for the portion of the diocese within Italy. The official title, as given in the Annuario Pontificio , is "Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome"...

 General for the Diocese of Rome. The President of the French Republic
President of the French Republic
The President of the French Republic colloquially referred to in English as the President of France, is France's elected Head of State....

, currently Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

, is ex officio the "first and only honorary canon" of the basilica, a title inherited from the Kings of France, who have held it since Henry IV of France
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

.

An inscription on the façade, Christo Salvatori, indicates the church's dedication to "Christ the Saviour", for the cathedrals of all patriarchs are dedicated to Christ himself. As the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, it ranks above all other churches in the Catholic Church, including St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

 in the Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

. For that reason, unlike all other Roman Basilicas, it holds the title of Archbasilica. The cathedral itself is located outside of the Vatican boundaries, within the city of Rome. However it has been granted a special extraterritorial status as one of the properties of the Holy See
Properties of the Holy See
The properties of the Holy See are properties of the Holy See which are regulated by the 1929 Lateran Treaty signed with the Kingdom of Italy. Although being part of Italian territory, all of them have an extraterritorial status, similar to those of foreign embassies.- Outside Vatican City but...

. This is also the case with several other buildings, after the solving of the Roman Question
Roman Question
thumb|300px|The breach of [[Porta Pia]], on the right, in a contemporaneous photograph.The Roman Question was a political dispute between the Italian Government and the Papacy from 1861 to 1929....

 with the Lateran Treaty. The Lateran Basilica is adjacent to the Lateran Palace
Lateran Palace
The Lateran Palace , formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran , is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main Papal residence....

.

Lateran Palace



The basilica itself stands over the remains of the Castra Nova equitum singularium
Castra Nova equitum singularium
The Castra Nova equitum singularium was an ancient Roman fort in Rome housing part of the emperor's cavalry bodyguard. The site of the fort now lies beneath the Basilica of St John Lateran....

, the 'new fort' of the imperial cavalry bodyguard. The fort had been established by Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus , also known as Severus, was Roman Emperor from 193 to 211. Severus was born in Leptis Magna in the province of Africa. As a young man he advanced through the customary succession of offices under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of...

 in AD 193, but following the victory over Maxentius
Maxentius
Maxentius was a Roman Emperor from 306 to 312. He was the son of former Emperor Maximian, and the son-in-law of Emperor Galerius.-Birth and early life:Maxentius' exact date of birth is unknown; it was probably around 278...

 (whom the Equites singulares augusti had fought for) at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge by Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

 the guard were abolished and the fort demolished. Substantial remains of the fort lie directly beneath the basilica nave. The rest of the Basilica site was occupied during the early Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 by the palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

 of the gens
Gens
In ancient Rome, a gens , plural gentes, referred to a family, consisting of all those individuals who shared the same nomen and claimed descent from a common ancestor. A branch of a gens was called a stirps . The gens was an important social structure at Rome and throughout Italy during the...

Laterani. The Laterani served as administrator
Administrator of the Government
An Administrator in the constitutional practice of some countries in the Commonwealth is a person who fulfils a role similar to that of a Governor or a Governor-General...

s for several emperor
Emperor
An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

s; Sextius Lateranus
Lucius Sextius
Lucius Sextius Lateranus was a Roman tribune of the plebs and is noted for having been one of two men behind the Lex Licinia Sextia, permitting him in 366 BC to become what is often considered the "first plebeian consul"...

 was the first plebeian to attain the rank of consul
Consul
Consul was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic...

. One of the Laterani, Consul-designate Plautius Lateranus, became famous for being accused by Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

 of conspiracy against the emperor. The accusation resulted in the confiscation and redistribution of his properties.

The Lateran Palace
Lateran Palace
The Lateran Palace , formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran , is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main Papal residence....

 fell into the hands of the emperor when Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

 married his second wife Fausta
Fausta
Fausta Flavia Maxima was a Roman Empress, daughter of the Roman Emperor Maximianus. To seal the alliance between them for control of the Tetrarchy, in 307 Maximianus married her to Constantine I, who set aside his wife Minervina in her favour. Constantine and Fausta had been betrothed since...

, sister of Maxentius
Maxentius
Maxentius was a Roman Emperor from 306 to 312. He was the son of former Emperor Maximian, and the son-in-law of Emperor Galerius.-Birth and early life:Maxentius' exact date of birth is unknown; it was probably around 278...

. Known by that time as the "Domus Faustae" or "House of Fausta," the Lateran Palace was eventually given to the Bishop of Rome by Constantine. The actual date of the gift is unknown but scholars believe it had to have been during the pontificate of Pope Miltiades
Pope Miltiades
Pope Saint Miltiades, also called Melchiades , was pope from 2 July 311 to 10 January 314.- Origins :He appears to have been a Berber African by birth, but of his personal history nothing is known.- Pontificate :...

, in time to host a synod
Synod
A synod historically is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not...

 of bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

s in 313 that was convened to challenge the Donatist schism
Schism (religion)
A schism , from Greek σχίσμα, skhísma , is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization or movement religious denomination. The word is most frequently applied to a break of communion between two sections of Christianity that were previously a single body, or to a division within...

, declaring Donatism as heresy
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

. The palace basilica
Basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...

 was converted and extended, becoming the residence of Pope St. Silvester I http://www.secretsofrome.com/laterein.html, eventually becoming the cathedral of Rome, the seat of the popes as bishops of Rome.

The Middle Ages



The official dedication of the Basilica and the adjacent Lateran Palace was presided over by Pope Sylvester I in 324, declaring both to be Domus Dei or "House of God." In its interior, the Papal Throne was placed, making it the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome. In reflection of the basilica's claim to primacy in the world as "mother church", the words Sacrosancta Lateranensis ecclesia omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput (meaning "Most Holy Lateran Church, of all the churches in the city and the world, the mother and head") are incised in the front wall between the main entrance doors.

The Lateran Palace and basilica have been rededicated twice. Pope Sergius III
Pope Sergius III
Pope Sergius III was a pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 29 January 904 to 14 April 911. Because Sergius III was possibly the only pope known to have ordered the murder of another pope and the only pope to have fathered an illegitimate son who later became pope , his reign has been described...

 dedicated them to Saint John the Baptist in the 10th century in honor of the newly consecrated baptistry of the Basilica. Pope Lucius II
Pope Lucius II
Pope Lucius II , born Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso, was pope from March 9, 1144, until his death Feb 15, 1145. His pontificate was notable for the unrest in Rome associated with the Commune of Rome, and its attempts to wrest control of the city from the papacy.-Early life:Gherardo Caccianemici...

 dedicated the Lateran Palace and basilica to Saint John the Evangelist in the 12th century. However, St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist are regarded as co-patrons of the Cathedral, the chief patron being Christ the Saviour himself, as the inscription in the entrance of the Basilica indicates, and as is tradition in the patriarchal cathedrals. Thus, the Basilica remains dedicated to the Saviour, and its titular feast is the Transfiguration
Feast of the Transfiguration
The Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus is celebrated by various Christian denominations. The origins of the feast are less than certain and may have derived from the dedication of three basilicas on Mount Tabor...

. That is why sometimes the Basilica will be referred to by the full title of Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and of Sts. John Baptist and John Evangelist in the Lateran.http://www.vicariatusurbis.org/BasilichePatriarcali.asp The church became the most important shrine in honor of the two saints, not often jointly venerated (but see Peruzzi Chapel
Peruzzi
The Peruzzi were bankers of Florence, among the leading families of the city in the 14th century, before the rise to prominence of the Medici. Their modest antecedents stretched back to the mid 11th century, according to the family's genealogist Luigi Passerini, but a restructuring of the Peruzzii...

, Santa Croce, Florence). In later years, a Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 monastery
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 was established at the Lateran Palace, devoted to serving the basilica as a devotional
Place of worship
A place of worship or house of worship is an establishment or her location where a group of people comes to perform acts of religious study, honor, or devotion. The form and function of religious architecture has evolved over thousands of years for both changing beliefs and architectural style...

 to the two saints.

Every pope from Miltiades occupied the Lateran Palace until the reign of the French Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

, who in 1309 decided to transfer the official seat of the Catholic Church to Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

, a papal fief that was an enclave within France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. The Lateran Palace has also been the site of five Ecumenical council
Ecumenical council
An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice....

s. See Lateran council
Lateran council
The Lateran councils were ecclesiastical councils or synods of the Catholic Church held at Rome in the Lateran Palace next to the Lateran Basilica. Ranking as a papal cathedral, this became a much-favored place of assembly for ecclesiastical councils both in antiquity and more especially during...

s.

Lateran fires


During the Avignon papacy
Avignon Papacy
The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven Popes resided in Avignon, in modern-day France. This arose from the conflict between the Papacy and the French crown....

, the Lateran Palace and the basilica began to decline. Two destructive fires ravaged the Lateran Palace and the basilica, in 1307 and again in 1361. In both cases, the Avignon papacy sent money to their bishops in Rome to cover the costs of reconstruction and maintenance. Despite the action, the Lateran Palace and the basilica lost their former splendor.

When the Avignon papacy formally ended and the Pope again resided in Rome, the Lateran Palace and the basilica were deemed inadequate considering the accumulated damage. The popes took up residency at the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere and later at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
The Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major , known also by other names, is the largest Roman Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy.There are other churches in Rome dedicated to Mary, such as Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, but the greater size of the...

. Eventually, the Palace of the Vatican was built (adjacent to the Basilica of St. Peter, that already existed at the Vatican since the time of Constantine), and the papacy moved in; the papacy remains there today.

Reconstruction


There were several attempts at reconstruction of the basilica before Pope Sixtus V's definitive project. Sixtus hired his favorite architect Domenico Fontana
Domenico Fontana
Domenico Fontana was a Swiss-born Italian architect of the late Renaissance.-Biography:200px|thumb|Fountain of Moses in Rome....

 to oversee much of the project. The original Lateran Palace was torn down and replaced with a new building. On the square in front of the Lateran Palace
Lateran Palace
The Lateran Palace , formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran , is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main Papal residence....

 is the largest standing obelisk
Obelisk
An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top, and is said to resemble a petrified ray of the sun-disk. A pair of obelisks usually stood in front of a pylon...

 in the world, known as the Lateran Obelisk (weight estimated at 455 tons). Its manufacture was started by Thutmose III
Thutmose III
Thutmose III was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. During the first twenty-two years of Thutmose's reign he was co-regent with his stepmother, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh...

 and it was erected by Thutmose IV
Thutmose IV
Thutmose IV was the 8th Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, who ruled in approximately the 14th century BC...

 before the great Karnak
Karnak
The Karnak Temple Complex—usually called Karnak—comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings, notably the Great Temple of Amun and a massive structure begun by Pharaoh Ramses II . Sacred Lake is part of the site as well. It is located near Luxor, some...

 temple of Thebes
Thebes, Egypt
Thebes is the Greek name for a city in Ancient Egypt located about 800 km south of the Mediterranean, on the east bank of the river Nile within the modern city of Luxor. The Theban Necropolis is situated nearby on the west bank of the Nile.-History:...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. Intended by Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

 to be shipped to Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, the very pre-occupied Constantius II
Constantius II
Constantius II , was Roman Emperor from 337 to 361. The second son of Constantine I and Fausta, he ascended to the throne with his brothers Constantine II and Constans upon their father's death....

 had it shipped instead to Rome, where it was re-erected in the Circus Maximus
Circus Maximus
The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire...

 in 357. At some time it broke and was buried under the Circus. In the 16th century it was located and dug up, and Sixtus V had it re-erected on a new pedestal on August 3, 1588 on its present site.

Further renovation on the interior of the basilica ensued under the direction of Francesco Borromini
Francesco Borromini
Francesco Borromini, byname of Francesco Castelli was an architect from Ticino who, with his contemporaries, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Pietro da Cortona, was a leading figure in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture.A keen student of the architecture of Michelangelo and the ruins of...

, commissioned by Pope Innocent X
Pope Innocent X
Pope Innocent X , born Giovanni Battista Pamphilj , was Pope from 1644 to 1655. Born in Rome of a family from Gubbio in Umbria who had come to Rome during the pontificate of Pope Innocent IX, he graduated from the Collegio Romano and followed a conventional cursus honorum, following his uncle...

. The twelve niches created by his architecture came to be filled by 1718 with statues of the apostles, using the most prominent Roman Rococo sculptors.

The vision of Pope Clement XII
Pope Clement XII
Pope Clement XII , born Lorenzo Corsini, was Pope from 12 July 1730 to 6 February 1740.Born in Florence, the son of Bartolomeo Corsini, Marquis of Casigliano and his wife Isabella Strozzi, sister of the Duke of Bagnuolo, Corsini had been an aristocratic lawyer and financial manager under preceding...

 for reconstruction was an ambitious one: he launched a competition to design a new façade. Over 23 architects, mostly working in the current Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 idiom competed. The putatively impartial jury was chaired by Sebastiano Conca
Sebastiano Conca
Sebastiano Conca was an Italian painter.He was born at Gaeta, then part of the Kingdom of Naples, and apprenticed in Naples under Francesco Solimena. In 1706, along with his brother Giovanni, who acted as his assistant, he settled at Rome, where for several years he worked in chalk only, to...

, president of the Roman Academy of Saint Luke. The winner of the competition was Alessandro Galilei. The façade as it appears today was completed in 1735. Galilei's façade however removed all vestiges of traditional ancient basilica architecture, and imparted a neo-classical facade.

Architectural history


An apse lined with mosaics and open to the air still preserves the memory of one of the most famous halls of the ancient palace, the "Triclinium
Triclinium
A triclinium is a formal dining room in a Roman building. The word is adopted from the Greek τρικλίνιον, triklinion, from τρι-, tri-, "three", and κλίνη, klinē, a sort of "couch" or rather chaise longue...

" of Pope Leo III
Pope Leo III
Pope Saint Leo III was Pope from 795 to his death in 816. Protected by Charlemagne from his enemies in Rome, he subsequently strengthened Charlemagne's position by crowning him as Roman Emperor....

, which was the state banqueting hall. The existing structure (illustration, below left) is not ancient, but it is possible that some portions of the original mosaics have been preserved in the three-part mosaic of its niche: in the centre Christ gives their mission to the Apostles, on the left he gives the keys to St. Sylvester and the Labarum
Labarum
The labarum was a vexillum that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧, formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" — Chi and Rho . It was used by the Roman emperor Constantine I...

 to Constantine, while on the right St. Peter gives the papal stole to Leo III and the standard to Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

.

Some few remains of the original buildings may still be traced in the city walls outside the Gate of St. John
Porta San Giovanni (Rome)
Porta San Giovanni is a gate in the Aurelian Wall of Rome, Italy, named after the nearby Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano.-History:It is made up of a single grand arch built for pope Gregory XIII in "opera forse" by Giacomo della Porta or, it is argued, Giacomo del Duca, who had collaborated...

, and a large wall decorated with paintings was uncovered in the 18th century within the basilica itself, behind the Lancellotti Chapel. A few traces of older buildings also came to light during the excavations made in 1880, when the work of extending the apse was in progress, but nothing was published of real value or importance.

A great many donations from the popes and other benefactors to the basilica are recorded in the Liber Pontificalis
Liber Pontificalis
The Liber Pontificalis is a book of biographies of popes from Saint Peter until the 15th century. The original publication of the Liber Pontificalis stopped with Pope Adrian II or Pope Stephen V , but it was later supplemented in a different style until Pope Eugene IV and then Pope Pius II...

, and its splendour at an early period was such that it became known as the "Basilica Aurea", or Golden Basilica. This splendour drew upon it the attack of the Vandals, who stripped it of all its treasures. Pope Leo I
Pope Leo I
Pope Leo I was pope from September 29, 440 to his death.He was an Italian aristocrat, and is the first pope of the Catholic Church to have been called "the Great". He is perhaps best known for having met Attila the Hun in 452, persuading him to turn back from his invasion of Italy...

 restored it around 460, and it was again restored by Pope Hadrian, but in 897 it was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake— ab altari usque ad portas cecidit "it collapsed from the altar to the doors"— damage so extensive that it was difficult to trace the lines of the old building, but these were in the main respected and the new building was of the same dimensions as the old. This second church lasted for four hundred years and then burned in 1308. It was rebuilt by Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

 and Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII , born Jacques Duèze , was pope from 1316 to 1334. He was the second Pope of the Avignon Papacy , elected by a conclave in Lyon assembled by Philip V of France...

, only to be burned down once more in 1360, but again rebuilt by Pope Urban V
Pope Urban V
Pope Urban V , born Guillaume Grimoard, was Pope from 1362 to 1370.-Biography:Grimoard was a native of Grizac in Languedoc . He became a Benedictine and a doctor in Canon Law, teaching at Montpellier and Avignon...

.

Through these various vicissitudes the basilica retained its ancient form, being divided by rows of columns into aisles, and having in front a peristyle
Peristyle
In Hellenistic Greek and Roman architecture a peristyle is a columned porch or open colonnade in a building surrounding a court that may contain an internal garden. Tetrastoon is another name for this feature...

 surrounded by colonnades with a fountain in the middle, the conventional Late Antique format that was also followed by the old St Peter's. The façade had three windows, and was embellished with a mosaic representing Christ, the Saviour of the World. The porticoes were frescoed, probably not earlier than the 12th century, commemorating the Roman fleet
Roman Navy
The Roman Navy comprised the naval forces of the Ancient Roman state. Although the navy was instrumental in the Roman conquest of the Mediterranean basin, it never enjoyed the prestige of the Roman legions...

 under Vespasian
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

, the taking of Jerusalem, the Baptism of the Emperor Constantine and his "Donation" of the Papal States
Donation of Constantine
The Donation of Constantine is a forged Roman imperial decree by which the emperor Constantine I supposedly transferred authority over Rome and the western part of the Roman Empire to the pope. During the Middle Ages, the document was often cited in support of the Roman Church's claims to...

 to the Church. Inside the basilica the columns no doubt ran, as in all other basilicas of the same date, the whole length of the church from east to west, but at one of the rebuildings, probably that which was carried out by Clement V, the feature of a transverse nave was introduced, imitated no doubt from the one which had been added, long before this, at Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
The Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls , commonly known as St Paul's Outside the Walls, is one of four churches that are the great ancient major basilicas or papal basilicas of Rome: the basilicas of St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Peter's and Saint Paul Outside the Walls...

. Probably at this time the church was enlarged.

Some portions of the older buildings still survive. Among them the pavement of medieval Cosmatesque
Cosmatesque
Cosmatesque, or Cosmati, is a style of geometric decorative inlay stonework typical of Medieval Italy, and especially of Rome and its surroundings. It was used most extensively for the decoration of church floors, but was also used to decorate church walls, pulpits, and bishop's thrones...

 work, and the statues of St. Peter and Saint Paul
Paul of Tarsus
Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

, now in the cloister
Cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

s. The graceful baldacchino
Baldachin
A baldachin, or baldaquin , is a canopy of state over an altar or throne. It had its beginnings as a cloth canopy, but in other cases it is a sturdy, permanent architectural feature, particularly over high altars in cathedrals, where such a structure is more correctly called a ciborium when it is...

 over the high altar, which looks so utterly out of place in its present surroundings, dates from 1369. The stercoraria, or throne of red marble on which the popes sat, is now in the Vatican Museums
Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums , in Viale Vaticano in Rome, inside the Vatican City, are among the greatest museums in the world, since they display works from the immense collection built up by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries, including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and...

. It owes its unsavoury name to the anthem sung at the papal enthronement, "De stercore erigens pauperem" ("lifting up the poor out of the dunghill", from Psalm 112).

From the 5th century there were seven oratories surrounding the basilica. These before long were incorporated in the church. The devotion of visiting these oratories, which held its ground all through the medieval period, gave rise to the similar devotion of the seven altars, still common in many churches of Rome and elsewhere.


Of the façade by Alessandro Galilei (1735), the cliché assessment has ever been that it is the façade of a palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

, not of a church. Galilei's front, which is a screen across the older front creating a narthex
Narthex
The narthex of a church is the entrance or lobby area, located at the end of the nave, at the far end from the church's main altar. Traditionally the narthex was a part of the church building, but was not considered part of the church proper...

 or vestibule, does express the nave and double aisles of the basilica, which required a central bay wider than the rest of the sequence; Galilei provided it, without abandoning the range of identical arch-headed openings, by extending the central window by flanking columns that support the arch, in the familiar Serlian motif. By bringing the central bay forward very slightly, and capping it with a pediment that breaks into the roof balustrade, Galilei provides an entrance doorway on a more-than-colossal scale, framed in the paired colossal Corinthian pilasters
Corinthian order
The Corinthian order is one of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric and Ionic. When classical architecture was revived during the Renaissance, two more orders were added to the canon, the Tuscan order and the Composite order...

 that tie together the façade in the manner introduced at Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

's palace on the Campidoglio.

Holy Steps



The Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs), wooden steps that encase white marble steps, are, according to Roman Catholic tradition, the staircase leading once to the praetorium of Pilate at Jerusalem, hence sanctified by the footsteps of Jesus Christ during his Passion
Passion (Christianity)
The Passion is the Christian theological term used for the events and suffering – physical, spiritual, and mental – of Jesus in the hours before and including his trial and execution by crucifixion...

. The marble stairs are visible through openings in the wooden risers. Their translation from Jerusalem to the complex of palaces that became the ancient seat of popes in the 4th century is credited to Saint Helena
Helena of Constantinople
Saint Helena also known as Saint Helen, Helena Augusta or Helena of Constantinople was the consort of Emperor Constantius, and the mother of Emperor Constantine I...

, mother of the Emperor Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

.

In 1589, Pope Sixtus V
Pope Sixtus V
Pope Sixtus V , born Felice Peretti di Montalto, was Pope from 1585 to 1590.-Early life:The chronicler Andrija Zmajević states that Felice's family originated from modern-day Montenegro...

 relocated the steps to their present location in front of the ancient palatine chapel (the Sancta Sanctorum). Ferraù Fenzoni
Ferraù Fenzoni
Ferraù Fenzoni was an Italian painter mainly active in Todi. He is also called Il Faenzone after his birthplace ....

 completed some of the frescoes on the walls.

Lateran cloister



Between the basilica and the city wall there was in former times the great monastery, in which dwelt the community of monks whose duty it was to provide the services in the basilica. The only part of it which still survives is the 13th-century cloister
Cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

, surrounded by graceful twisted column
Column
A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a vertical structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. For the purpose of wind or earthquake engineering, columns may be designed to resist lateral forces...

s of inlaid marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

. They are of a style intermediate between the Romanesque
Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...

 proper and the Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

, and are the work of Vassellectus and the Cosmati
Cosmatesque
Cosmatesque, or Cosmati, is a style of geometric decorative inlay stonework typical of Medieval Italy, and especially of Rome and its surroundings. It was used most extensively for the decoration of church floors, but was also used to decorate church walls, pulpits, and bishop's thrones...

. This beautiful cloister dates to the early 13th century.

Lateran baptistry



The octagonal Lateran Baptistry stands somewhat apart from the basilica. It was founded by Pope Sixtus III
Pope Sixtus III
Pope Saint Sixtus III was pope from 31 July 432 to 18 August 440.The name of Sixtus is often connected with a great building boom in Rome: Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill was dedicated during his pontificate and he built Santa Maria Maggiore, whose dedication to Mary the Mother of God reflected...

, perhaps on an earlier structure, for a legend grew up that Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

 had been baptized there and enriched the structure. (He was actually baptised in the East, by an Arian
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

 bishop.) This baptistry was for many generations the only baptistry in Rome, and its octagonal structure, centered upon the large basin for full immersions provided a model for others throughout Italy, and even an iconic motif of illuminated manuscript
Illuminated manuscript
An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniature illustrations...

s, "The fountain of Life
Fountain of Life
The Fountain of Life, or in its earlier form the Fountain of Living Waters, is a Christian iconography symbol associated with baptism, first appearing in the 5th century in illuminated manuscripts and later in other art forms such as panel paintings....

".

Papal tombs




There are six extant papal tombs inside the basilica: Alexander III
Pope Alexander III
Pope Alexander III , born Rolando of Siena, was Pope from 1159 to 1181. He is noted in history for laying the foundation stone for the Notre Dame de Paris.-Church career:...

 (right aisles), Sergius IV (right aisles), Clement XII Corsini (left aisle), Martin V (in front of the confessio); Innocent III (right transept); and Leo XIII (left transept), by G. Tadolini (1907). The latter was the last pope not to be entombed in St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

.

A dozen additional papal tombs were constructed in the basilica starting in the 10th century, but were destroyed during two fires that ravaged the basilica in 1308 and 1361. The remains of these charred tombs were gathered and reburied in a polyandrum. The popes of the destroyed tombs were: Pope John X
Pope John X
Pope John X, Pope from March 914 to May 928, was deacon at Bologna when he attracted the attention of Theodora, the wife of Theophylact, Count of Tusculum, the most powerful noble in Rome, through whose influence he was elevated first to the see of Bologna and then to the archbishopric of...

 (914 - 928), Pope Agapetus II
Pope Agapetus II
Pope Agapetus II was Pope from May 10, 946 until his death in 955, at the time when Alberic II , son of Marozia, was governing the independent republic of Rome under the title of "prince and senator of the Romans."...

 (946 - 955), Pope John XII
Pope John XII
Pope John XII , born Octavianus, was Pope from December 16, 955, to May 14, 964. The son of Alberic II, Patrician of Rome , and his stepsister Alda of Vienne, he was a seventh generation descendant of Charlemagne on his mother's side.Before his death, Alberic administered an oath to the Roman...

 (955- 964), Pope Paschal II
Pope Paschal II
Pope Paschal II , born Ranierius, was Pope from August 13, 1099, until his death. A monk of the Cluniac order, he was created cardinal priest of the Titulus S...

 (1099–1118), Pope Callixtus II
Pope Callixtus II
Pope Calixtus II , born Guy de Vienne, the fourth son of William I, Count of Burgundy , was elected Pope on February 1, 1119, after the death of Pope Gelasius II . His pontificate was shaped by the Investiture Controversy, which he was able to settle through the Concordat of Worms...

 (1119–1124), Pope Honorius II
Pope Honorius II
Pope Honorius II , born Lamberto Scannabecchi, was pope from December 21, 1124, to February 13, 1130. Although from a humble background, his obvious intellect and outstanding abilities saw him promoted through the ecclesiastical hierarchy...

 (1124–1130), Pope Celestine II
Pope Celestine II
Pope Celestine II , born Guido di Castello, was pope from 1143 to 1144.-Early life:Guido di Castello, possibly the son of a local noble, Niccolo di Castello, was born either in Città di Castello, situated in Paterna Santa Felicita upon the Apennines, or at Macerata in the March of Ancona.Guido had...

 (1143–1144), Pope Lucius II
Pope Lucius II
Pope Lucius II , born Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso, was pope from March 9, 1144, until his death Feb 15, 1145. His pontificate was notable for the unrest in Rome associated with the Commune of Rome, and its attempts to wrest control of the city from the papacy.-Early life:Gherardo Caccianemici...

 (1144–1145), Pope Anastasius IV
Pope Anastasius IV
Pope Anastasius IV , born Corrado Demetri della Suburra, was Pope from 1153 to 1154.-Early life:He was a Roman, son of Benedictus de Suburra, probably of the family of Demetri, and became a secular clerk. He was created cardinal-priest of S. Pudenziana by Pope Paschal II no later than in 1114...

 (1153–1154), Pope Clement III
Pope Clement III
Pope Clement III , born Paulino Scolari, was elected Pope on December 19, 1187 and reigned until his death.-Cardinal:...

 (1187–1191), Pope Celestine III
Pope Celestine III
Pope Celestine III , born Giacinto Bobone, was elected Pope on March 21, 1191, and reigned until his death. He was born into the noble Orsini family in Rome, though he was only a cardinal deacon before becoming Pope...

 (1191–1198), Pope Innocent V
Pope Innocent V
Pope Blessed Innocent V , born Pierre de Tarentaise, was Pope from January 21 to June 22, 1276.He was born around 1225 near Moûtiers in the Tarentaise region of the County of Savoy, then part of the Kingdom of Arles in the Holy Roman Empire, but now in southeastern France...

 (1276). Popes during this period whose tombs are unknown and who may have been buried in the Lateran basilica include: Pope John XVII
Pope John XVII
Pope John XVII , born John Sicco, and the son of another John Sicco, was born in the region of Rome then referred to as Biveretica...

 (1003), Pope John XVIII
Pope John XVIII
Pope John XVIII was Pope in Pisa from 1004 to 1009. He was born Fasanius at Rapagnano, near Ascoli Piceno, the son of a Roman priest named Leo....

 (1003–1009), and Pope Alexander II
Pope Alexander II
Pope Alexander II , born Anselmo da Baggio, was Pope from 1061 to 1073.He was born in Milan. As bishop of Lucca he had been an energetic coadjutor with Hildebrand of Sovana in endeavouring to suppress simony, and to enforce the celibacy of the clergy...

 (1061–1073).

John X was the first pope buried within the walls of Rome, granted such a prominent burial due to rumors that he was murdered by Theodora, during a historical period known as the Pornocracy. Cardinals Vincenso Santucci and Carlo Colonna are also buried in this church.

Twelve Apostles


The twelve niches created by Borromini's architecture were left empty for decades until 1703 when Pope Clement XI
Pope Clement XI
Pope Clement XI , born Giovanni Francesco Albani, was Pope from 1700 until his death in 1721.-Early life:...

 encouraged the completion of the decoration, by sponsoring a competition to select the designs for larger-than-life sculptures of the apostles. The chosen sculptural designs were by some of the most prominent late baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 sculptors in Rome, including:
  • Camillo Rusconi
    Camillo Rusconi
    Camillo Rusconi was an Italian sculptor of the late Baroque in Rome. His style displays both features of Baroque and Neoclassicism. He has been described as a Carlo Maratta in marble.-Biography:...

Andrew
Saint Andrew
Saint Andrew , called in the Orthodox tradition Prōtoklētos, or the First-called, is a Christian Apostle and the brother of Saint Peter. The name "Andrew" , like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the 3rd or 2nd century BC. No Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him...

Matthew
Matthew the Evangelist
Matthew the Evangelist was, according to the Bible, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus and one of the four Evangelists.-Identity:...

James the Greater
John the Evangelist
John the Evangelist
Saint John the Evangelist is the conventional name for the author of the Gospel of John...

  • Francesco Moratti
Simon the Zealot
Simon the Zealot
The apostle called Simon Zelotes, Simon the Zealot, in Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13; and Simon Kananaios or Simon Cananeus , was one of the most obscure among the apostles of Jesus. Little is recorded of him aside from his name...

  • Angelo de' Rossi
James the Less
James the Less
James the Less is a figure of early Christianity. He is also called "the minor", "the little", "the lesser", or "the younger", according to translation. He is often confused with James the Great and may or may not be James the Just.- Sources :...

  • Giuseppe Mazzuoli
    Giuseppe Mazzuoli (1644-1725)
    Giuseppe Mazzuoli was an Italian sculptor working in the Bernini-derived Baroque style. He was born in Volterra and trained in Siena but spent his most of his adult working life in Rome, where he was accepted into the workshop of Ercole Ferrata and where he died...

Philip
Philip the Apostle
Philip the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia....

  • Lorenzo Ottoni
    Lorenzo Ottoni
    Lorenzo Ottoni was an Italian sculptor who was commissioned by the papacy and various noble houses of renaissance Italy.-Life:Ottoni was born in Rome in 1658 and spent the majority of his life in the city....

Thaddeus
  • Pierre-Étienne Monnot
    Pierre-Étienne Monnot
    Pierre-Étienne Monnot was a French sculptor working mostly in Rome in a late-Baroque idiom.Monnot was born at Orchamps-Vennes, Doubs, Franche-Comté, and brought up at Besançon. Trained at first by his father, he was apprenticed to a sculptor at Dijon, then developed his style during a decade in...

Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

Paul
  • Pierre Le Gros the Younger
    Pierre Le Gros the Younger
    Pierre Le Gros was a French sculptor, active almost exclusively in Baroque Rome. Nowadays, his name is commonly written Legros, while he himself always signed as Le Gros; he is frequently referred to either as 'the Younger' or 'Pierre II' to distinguish him from his father, Pierre Le Gros the...

Bartholomew
Thomas
Thomas the Apostle
Thomas the Apostle, also called Doubting Thomas or Didymus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is best known for questioning Jesus' resurrection when first told of it, then proclaiming "My Lord and my God" on seeing Jesus in . He was perhaps the only Apostle who went outside the Roman...


Roman Catholic liturgy


In the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church, November 9 is the feast
Calendar of saints
The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the feast day of said saint...

 of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran (Dedicatio Basilicae Lateranensis), often referred to in older missals as the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Saviour (or the holy Saviour). In view of its role as the mother church of the whole inhabited world, this feast day is celebrated as a Feast in the present universal calendar of the Catholic Church.

Archpriests of the Basilica of St. John Lateran


The post of archpriest was created by Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

 ca. 1299.

List of archpriests of the Lateran Basilica:

  • Gerardo Bianchi
    Gerardo Bianchi
    Gerardo Bianchi – was an Italian churchman.He studied law at the University of Bologna and became canon of the cathedral chapter of Parma. Pope Nicholas III in the consistory of March 12, 1278 named him Cardinal Priest of SS. XII Apostoli...

     (ca.1299–1302)
  • Pietro Valeriano Duraguerra (1302)
  • Pietro Colonna (1306–26)
  • Bertrand de Montfavez (1326–1342)
  • Giovanni Colonna (1342–48)
  • Pierre Roger de Beaufort
    Pope Gregory XI
    Gregory XI was pope from 1370 until his death.-Biography:He was born Pierre Roger de Beaufort, in Maumont, in the modern commune of Rosiers-d'Égletons, Limousin around 1336. He succeeded Pope Urban V in 1370, and was pope until 1378...

     (1348–70)
  • Ange de Grimoard
    Ange de Grimoard
    Angelic de Grimoard was a French Cardinal, and the younger brother of Pope Urban V.He joined the Order of Canon Regulars of Saint Augustine at Saint-Ruf. In 1358 he became prior of St.-Pierre-de-Dieu. In 1362 his older brother Guillaume was elected Pope Urban V and named him bishop of Avignon in...

     (1370–88)
  • Pietro Tomacelli
    Pope Boniface IX
    Pope Boniface IX , born Piero Tomacelli, was the second Roman Pope of the Western Schism from November 2, 1389, until October 1, 1404...

     (1388–1389)
  • Francesco Carbone
    Francesco Carbone
    Francesco Carbone is an Italian football defender, who currently plays for U.S. Foggia.-External links: **http://www.tuttocalciatori.net/Carbone_Francesco...

     (1389–1405)
  • Antonio Caetani (1405–1412)
  • Oddone Colonna
    Pope Martin V
    Pope Martin V , born Odo Colonna, was Pope from 1417 to 1431. His election effectively ended the Western Schism .-Biography:...

     (1412–1417)
  • Alamanno Adimari (1418–22)
  • Guillaume Fillastre
    Guillaume Fillastre
    Guillaume Fillastre was a French Cardinal, canonist, humanist, and geographer.-Life:...

     (1422–28)
  • Alfonso Carillo de Albornoz (1428–34)
  • Lucido Conti (1434–37)
  • Angelotto Fosco (1437–44)
  • António Martinez de Chaves (1444–47)
  • Domenico Capranica
    Domenico Capranica
    Domenico Capranica was an Italian theologian, canonist, statesman, and Cardinal.He was born in Capranica Prenestina. After studies in canon and civil law at Padua and Bologna, under teachers probably including Giuliano Cesarini, he received the title of Doctor of Both Laws at the age of twenty-one...

     (1447–58)
  • Prospero Colonna
    Prospero Colonna (cardinal)
    Prospero Colonna was a cardinal-nephew of Pope Martin V , whose election ended the Western Schism. Colonna was excommunicated for a period due to his rebellion against Martin V's successor, Pope Eugene IV, becoming one of the few excommunicated cardinals...

     (1458–63)
  • Latino Orsini
    Latino Orsini
    Latino Orsini was an Italian Cardinal.He was of Roman branch of the Orsini family and the owner of rich possessions, He entered the ranks of the Roman clergy as a youth, became subdeacon, and as early as 10 March 1438, was raised to the Episcopal See of Conza in Southern Italy...

     (1463–77)
  • Giuliano della Rovere
    Pope Julius II
    Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

     (1477–1503)
  • Giovanni Colonna (1503–08)
  • Alessandro Farnese
    Pope Paul III
    Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...

     (1508–34)
  • Giovanni Domenico de Cupis
    Giovanni Domenico de Cupis
    Giovanni Domenico de Cupis was an Italian Cardinal, created by Pope Leo X in the consistory of July 1, 1517.He was Crown-cardinal of Scotland. He was a friend of Ignatius Loyola....

     (1535–53)
  • Ranuccio Farnese
    Ranuccio Farnese (Cardinal)
    Ranuccio Farnese was an Italian prelate, who was Cardinal of Santa Lucia in Messina, Sicily from 1545 to his death in 1565....

     (1553–1565)
  • Mark Sitticus von Hohenems (1565–95)
  • Ascanio Colonna (1595–1608)
  • Scipione Caffarelli-Borghese (1608–23)
  • Giambattista Leni (1623–27)

  • Francesco Barberini (1627–28)
  • Girolamo Colonna
    Girolamo Colonna
    Girolamo Colonna was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and member of the noble Colonna family.-Biography:...

     (1628–66)
  • Flavio Chigi
    Flavio Chigi (1631-1693)
    thumb|250px|Cardinal Flavio ChigiFlavio Chigi was an Italian Catholic Cardinal and Duke of Ariccia. He was Cardinal-Nephew to Pope Alexander VII and became a powerful political force inside the Roman Catholic Church during the latter half of the 17th century.-Early life:Flavio Chigi was born 10...

     (1666–93)
  • Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni
    Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni
    thumb|Cardinal Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni.Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni was an Italian Catholic Cardinal and Cardinal-Nephew to Pope Clement X.-Biography:...

     (1693–98)
  • Fabrizio Spada
    Fabrizio Spada
    Fabrizio Spada was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, and served as Secretary of State under Pope Innocent XII.-Life:...

     (1698–99)
  • Benedetto Pamphili
    Benedetto Pamphili
    Benedetto Pamphili was an Italian cardinal, patron of the arts, composer and librettist.-Life:...

     (1699–1730)
  • Pietro Ottoboni (1730–40)
  • Neri Maria Corsini
    Neri Maria Corsini
    Neri Maria Corsini was an Italian nobleman and nephew of pope Clement XII, who made him a cardinal in pectore at the consistory of 14 August 1730 - his creation as cardinal was made public in December 1730. He exercised several roles in the Roman Curia, notably the Supreme Tribunal of the...

     (1740–70)
  • Mario Marefoschi Compagnoni (1771–80)
  • Carlo Rezzonico (1780–81)
  • Francesco Saverio de Zelada
    Francesco Saverio de Zelada
    Francesco Saverio [de] Zelada was a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, born of a Spanish family, who served in the Papal Curia and in the diplomatic service of the Holy See....

     (1781–1801)
  • Leonardo Antonelli
    Leonardo Antonelli
    Leonardo Antonelli was an Italian Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.A native of Senigallia, Antonelli was the nephew of Cardinal Nicolò Maria Antonelli...

     (1801–11)
  • Bartolomeo Pacca (1830–44)
  • Benedetto Barberini
    Benedetto Barberini
    Benedetto Barberini was a Catholic Cardinal and Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals.-Personal life:...

     (28 April 1844 – 10 April 1863)
  • Lodovico Altieri
    Lodovico Altieri
    Lodovico Altieri was an Italian Cardinal and Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.-Biography:Lodovico Altieri was born as the son of Paluzzo Altieri and Maria Anna di Sassonia in Rome. He was ordained on 24 March 1833. He was created a Privy chamberlainby Pope Leo XII...

     (1863–67)
  • Costantino Patrizi Naro
    Costantino Patrizi Naro
    Costantino Patrizi Naro JUD was a long-serving Italian Cardinal who became Dean of the College of Cardinals. Cardinal Benedetto Naro was his great-uncle.-Biography:...

     (1867–76)
  • Flavio Chigi (December 24, 1876–85)
  • Raffaele Monaco La Valletta (1885–96)
  • Francesco Satolli
    Francesco Satolli
    Francesco Satolli was an Italian Roman Catholic theologian, professor, Cardinal and the first Apostolic delegate to the United States.-Biography:He was born on 21 July 1839, at Marsciano near Perugia...

     (December 16, 1896 – January 8, 1910)
  • Pietro Respighi
    Pietro Respighi
    Pietro Respighi S.T.D. JUD was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and Archpriest of the Basilica of St. John Lateran.He was born in Bologna and received the sacrament of confirmation in November 1850...

     (January 10, 1910 – March 22, 1913)
  • Domenico Ferrata (April 7, 1913 – October 10, 1914)
  • Basilio Pompilj
    Basilio Pompilj
    Basilio Pompilj was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Vicar General of Rome from 1913 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1911.-Biography:...

     (October 28, 1914 – May 5, 1931)
  • Francesco Marchetti-Selvaggiani (August 26, 1931 – January 13, 1951)
  • Benedetto Aloisi Masella
    Benedetto Aloisi Masella
    Benedetto Aloisi Masella was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Discipline of the Sacraments from 1954 to 1968, and as Chamberlain of the Roman Church from 1958 until his death...

     (October 27, 1954 – August 30, 1970)
  • Angelo Dell'Acqua
    Angelo Dell'Acqua
    Angelo Dell'Acqua was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Vicar General of Rome from 1968 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1967.-Biography:...

     (October 7, 1970 – August 27, 1972)
  • Ugo Poletti (March 26, 1973 – January 17, 1991)
  • Camillo Ruini (January 17, 1991 – June 27, 2008)
  • Agostino Vallini
    Agostino Vallini
    Agostino Vallini is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Vicar General of Rome, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006.-Biography:...

     (since June 27, 2008)


See also

  • Colegio de San Juan de Letran
    Colegio de San Juan de Letran
    The Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Letran College, or simply Letran is a private Roman Catholic institution of learning located in Intramuros, Manila, in the Philippines. The college was founded in 1620. Colegio de San Juan de Letran has the distinction of being the oldest college in the...

    , a Philippine
    Philippines
    The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

     school named after the church.
  • Early Christian art and architecture
    Early Christian art and architecture
    Early Christian art and architecture is the art produced by Christians or under Christian patronage from about the year 100 to about the year 500. Prior to 100 there is no surviving art that can be called Christian with absolute certainty...


External links