My Photos: Italy -- Mosaics -- Ravenna -- Basilica di San Apollinare Nuovo

Basilica di San Apollinare Nuovo
Late 5th Century AD

Theodoric the Great was an Arian Christian.  During his reign over the Ostrogothic Kingdom, Theodoric had this basilica, as well as the Arian Baptistry, built so that the Arian Christians of Ravenna could have  a place of worship separate from the Orthodox Christians.  

Arianism is the belief that Jesus was the Son of God, was created by God the Father, and was distinct from God the Father.  For periods of history, this belief was considered heretical.

The mosaics along the left side of the basilica depict a procession of 22 female Martyrs, led by the Three Magi.  The Virgins are shown each holding a crown in her hands, which symbolizes martyrdom.

The figures are moving from the city of Classe, shown with walls separating the city from the harbor,  toward Mary and Child, who are surrounded by 4 angels.  The 3 Magi are named Balthasar, Melchior, and Caspar.  This is thought to be the earliest example of these names being used in Christian art.



Sections of the mosaic wall, as well as the gateway into the city,
have obviously been replaced.








Above the mosaic band of the 22 virgins, is a band of 16 prophets,
evangelists, and saints, like above.

The topmost band of mosaic panels on this left side wall depicts
13 stories, parables and miracles from Jesus' life.

Jesus is shown as a young man in these mosaics.

View the mosaics along the right side of the basilica here.

All photos are copyright protected property of  Brenda Pokorny unless otherwise noted.
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