Bldg., or group of bldgs., on Monte Celio in Rome, named after the family of the Laterani, former owners of an ancient palace which stood on the site. Main bldgs.: 1. Basilica of St. John Lateran; originally called Ch. of the Savior; episc. seat of pope as bp. Rome; meeting place of many councils. 2. Baptistery; founding traced to Constantine* I. 3. Lateran Palace; occupied by popes in Middle Ages; the Scala Sancta (Lat. holy steps; Scala Pilati; 28 steps allegedly ascended by Christ to the praetorium of Pilate and climbed on his knees by M. Luther*) once led to one of its corridors, now leads to the old private papal chapel; largely destroyed by earthquake 896 and fires 1308 and 1360; museum est. on site 1843. See also Lateran Councils; Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, 2.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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