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Catholic Dictionary




Early Christian architecture of Europe, peculiar to the Latin Church and developed among the Latin peoples of Italy. It first appeared under Emperor Constantine and was used until the eighth century. The churches so constructed had the T-shaped or basilican form and were characterized by architectural plainness. The best examples were the cathedrals of St. John Lateran, St. Peter, and St. Paul Outside the Walls, all destroyed, and only St. Paul's was rebuilt in its original form.