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BAPTIS TINES


277


BAPTISTINES


forecourt. Immersion gradually gave way to in- fusion, though in the South the custom of immersing children in tlie baptisteries persisted long after the North had commenced infusion in the small bap- tismal chapels. When separate baptisteries were no longer needed, the term was then applied to that part of the church which was set apart for and con- tained the baptismal font. The font was sometimes placed in a separate chapel or compartment, some- times in an inclosiire formed by a railing or open screen work; and often the font stands alone, either in the vestibule of the church, or in an arm of the transept, or at the western extremity of one of the ' sles, and occasionally in the floor chamber of the western tower.

The modern baptistery is merely that part of the •church set apart for baptism. According to the Roman Ritual, it should be railed off; it should have a gate fastened by a lock; and should be adorned, if possible, with a picture of the baptism of Christ by St. John. It is convenient that it should contain a chest with two compartments, one for the holy oils, the other for the salt, candle, etc. used in baptism. The form of the early baptisteries seems to have been derived from the Roman circular temples of tombs. And in adopting the plans, the early Chris- tians modified them to some extent, for the internal columns, which in Roman examples were generally used in a decorative way, were now used to support the walls carrying the domes. To cover a large area with one roof was difficult; but by the addition of an aisle in one story, round a moderate-sized circular tomb, the inner walls could be replaced by columns in the lower half, which gave such buildings as these early baptisteries.

The earliest existing baptistery is that of the Lateran, said to have been erected in its original form under Constantine. Throughout the Roman world round or polygonal baptisteries seem to have been constantly employed from the fourth century onwards. In many places the Italians have pre- served the separate building for baptism, while north of the Alps the practice generally prevailed of ad- ministering the rite in the churches. The construc- tion of the baptistery of the Lateran is interesting because of a direct adaptation of the columnar sys- tem of the basilica to a concentric plan. The inner octagon is upheld by eight simple shafts, upon the straight entablature of which a second story of ■columns is superimposed. The original character of the ceiling and the roof cannot now be determined, but the weak supports were hardly adapted to bear a vault of masonry. Although baptisteries and mortuary chapels were generally built as simple cylindrical halls, without surrounding passages, other examples of the two modes of extension are not lacking.

The arrangement of the baptistery requires but brief notice. A flight of steps descended into the round or polygonal font {piscina or jons), which was sur.k beneath the level of the floor, and sometimes raised a little above it by a breastwork of stone. The font was surrounded by a row of columns which supported curtains to insure the most perfect privacy and decency during the immersion. The columns were united occasionally by archivolts, more fre- quently by architraves adorned by metrical inscrip- tions; the eight disticlis in the Lateran baptistery are ascribed to Sixtus III.

The baptistery of Pisa, designed by Dioti Salvi in 1153, is circular, 129 feet in diameter, with en- circling aisle in two stories. Built of marble, it is surrounded externally on the lower story by half columns, connected by semicircular arches, above which is an open arcade in two heights, supported by small detached shafts. It was not completed till A. D. 1278, and has Gothic additions of the fourteenth


century, in consequence of which it is not easy to ascertain what the original external design really was. The structure is crowned by an outer hemi- spherical dome, through which penetrates a conical dome 60 feet in diameter over the central space, and supported on tour piers and eight columns. Thus, if there were another internal hemispherical cupola, it would resemble the constructive dome of St. Paul, London. This baptistery bears remarkable similarity to the church of San Donato (ninth cen- tury) at Zara, in Dalmatia, which, however, has a space only 30 feet in diameter. The baptistery at Asti, if examined with those of San Antonio, will give a very complete idea of Lombardic architecture in the beginning of the eleventh century. More or less interesting examples of baptisteries ex'st at Biella, Brindisi, Cremona, Galliano, near Milan, Gravedona, Monte Sant' Angelo, Padua, Parma, Pinara, Pistoia, Spalato, Verona, and Volterra. There are very few examples in Italy of circular or polygonal buildings of any class belonging to the Gothic age. Bap- tisteries had passed out of fashion. One such build- ing, at Parma, commenced in 1196, deserves to be quoted, not certainly for its beauty, but as illustrat- ing those false principles of design shonTi in build- ings of this age in Italy. In later Romanesque and Gothic periods, in Italy, where the churches were not derived from a combination of a circular Eastern church with a Western rectangular nave, as in France, but were correct copies of tbe Roman basilica, the baptistery always stands alone. In Germany, the earlier baptistery was joined to the square church and formed a western apse. The only examples in England are at Cranbrook and Canterbury; the lat- ter, however, is supposed to have been originally part of the Treasury. It is not known at what time the baptistery became absorbed into the basilica. The change was made earlier in Rome than else- where. A late example of a separate baptistery, which, although small, is very beautiful in design, is in a court alongside the cathedral at Bergamo. This may be regarded as a connecting link between large buildings and fonts.

KossiNG in KirchenleT.. I, 1975-78; Kraus, Real-Encyk., II. 839-843; Kuhn, Kunsti/eschichte, passim; Lowbie, Early Christian Monuments.

Thomas H. Poole.

Baptistines. — I. Hermits of St. John the Baptist. II. Missionaries of St. John the Baptist. III. Sister- hood of St. John the Baptist.

I. The Congregation of the Hermits of St. John the Baptist of France was founded about 1630 by Brother Michel de Saint-Sabine who reformed and united the hermits of various dioceses. He established for each diocese a visitor who was aided by four majors and a secretary. The bishop received the religious when they took the habit and made their profession, and the brothers in a diocese met together once a year. The pious reformer gave the congregation a collection of statutes which regulated their mode of life. The first bishops to make these statutes obligatory in their dioceses were the Bishop of Metz (1633), and the Bishop of Cambrai (1634). Brother Jean-Baptiste who had a great reputation for virtue carried this reform into the Dioceses of Vienne, Lyons, Geneva, Le Puy, and Langres. The Bishop of Langres, Louis- Armand de Simiane de Gardes, added in 1680, for the hermits in his diocese, several ordinances to those of Brother Michel. He established four visitors, one for each division of the diocese and the brothers wore a white habit to distinguish them from vagrant and lax hermits. Brother Jean-Baptiste went to the Diocese of Angers to found the hermitage of Gar- delles; and died there in the odour of sanctity, 24 De- cember, 1691. ^

II. The congregation of missionary priests of St. John the Baptist, called Baptistines, was founded by a