Ravenna, Italy

City of northern Italy. An important Roman city, it was the seat of a bishop, Saint Apollinaris, in the first century, and residence of the emperors in 404. From 568 to 752 it was under the rule of Byzantine governors or exarchs. After this period it was united to the dominions of the Holy See, annexed to Venice in 1438, part of the Cispadane Republic in 1797, and finally joined to the Kingdom of Italy in 1860. Among the many martyrs who suffered there were Ravenna is highly important in early Christian and Byzantine art. Besides the Church of Santi Nazario e Celso, dating from 440, there are San Apollinare Nuovo and San Vitale, both due to the Gothic King Theodoric's patronage of art, San Apollinare in Classe, and many others containing rare mosaics. The city is now the center of the archdiocese of Ravenna-Cervia.

New Catholic Dictionary

NCD Index SQPN Contact Author