Saint Paul's Basilica, triumphal arch.
Saint Paul's Basilica
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dedicated to: St. Paul the Apostle
built: c.320ad
major restorations: 386ad, 1220, 1823
relics: body of St. Paul
Constantine felt a certain affinity with Saint Paul, both men considered themselves apostles of Christ despite never having met him in the flesh. Both felt themselves legitimized as Apostles by a vision in the sky of the resurrected Christ. Both saw the cross as a fundamental symbol of the power of God. So when Constantine came to build the Basilicas that would introduce Christianity to the wider populace, Saint Paul was one of the principle protagonists, just as his letters and acts would be prominent in the official Bible produced at the Council of Nicea. Apocryphal writings speak of an epic contest, together with Saint Peter against magicians which culminates in the beheading of Paul and crucifixion of Peter. The Basilica is said to mark the position of Paul's burial site.