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A small number of ancient buildings adopted this particular plan, whose symbolic meaning is emphasized by, e.g., Ambrose. We must distinguish first between the plans of martyria where, starting from a central nucleus housing a reliquary or memoria, four small naves were inserted, the E one of which could be used as a sanctuary: examples are the martyrium of Kaoussi at Antioch, the pre-Justinian church of St. John at Ephesus, two stylite sanctuaries with the column in the central nucleus at Qalaat Seman and Mons Mirabilis in Syria, and the sanctuary of Shechem, according to Arculf. Rwanda Subway Map Free cross cruciform churches i.e., with the cruciform plan visible externally were deliberately built it would seem at Milan from the second half of the 4th c. SS. Apostoli and S. Simpliciano and perhaps at Constantinople from the time of Constantine basilica Apostolorum.

A type with the four arms terminating in apses appears in the recent excavations of S. Lorenzo at Aosta, comparable to the basilica Probi in Classis Ravenna and Church III of Iunca Tunisia. The cruciform plan with a free cross or an inscribed cross i.e., inside a rectangle became quite popular in the Adriatic area. At Ravenna the church dedicated to the cross S. Croce has a clearly cruciform plan. The reasons for the choice of this plan do not seem to be related to the dedication to the apostles, as was once believed on the examples of Constantinople, Milan and Gerasa Jordan, since other basilicae Apostolorum do not adopt it. These cruciform churches must be clearly distinguished from churches with transepts see above or with lateral annexes, quite widespread in the early Middle Ages in E Gaul and the Alps.

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