Ravenna Revisited: Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Although it’s said All Roads Lead to Rome the historical narrative of the Western Roman Empire initially takes you to 1st millennium Ravenna when you travel back in time.

Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy.

It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476.

It then served as the capital of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths until it was re-conquered in 540 by the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.

Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards.


The historic byways of the Early Christian narrative in the 5th and 6th centuries takes the scenic route to Ravenna’s “unique collection of early Christian mosaics and monuments”.

Ravenna was the seat of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and then of Byzantine Italy until the 8th century.

It has a unique collection of early Christian mosaics and monuments.

All eight buildings – the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Neonian Baptistery, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, the Arian Baptistery, the Archiepiscopal Chapel, the Mausoleum of Theodoric, the Church of San Vitale and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe – were constructed in the 5th and 6th centuries.

The Early Christian buildings of Ravenna are unique testimonies of the artistic contacts and developments in a highly significant period of the cultural development in Europe.

They constitute an epitome of religious and funerary art and architecture during the 5th and 6th centuries AD.

The mosaics are among the best surviving examples of this form of art in Europe and have added significance due to the blending of western and eastern motifs and techniques.

Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna – UNESCO World Heritage Centre

On the other hand:

The itinerary of Vedic History includes a 1st millennium excursion around the Vedic temples of Ravenna according to P. N. Oak.

Yet another proof of the Rama origin of Rome is that another Italian city, situated on the Adriatic coast, diagonally opposite Rome, is named Ravenna, after Ravan, the great adversary of Rama.

About this Pococke observes “Behold the memory of…. Ravan still preserved in the city of Ravenna, and see on the western coast, its great rival Rama or Roma.”

This Rome-Ravenna pair of cities should prove as conclusive evidence of the Vedic past of Italy.

World Vedic Heritage – A History of Histories – Volume II – P. N. Oak – 2003

Vedic deities Shiva and Ganesh used to be venerated in ancient Italy.

Some Missing Chapters of World History – P.N. Oak – 2010

Ravan is an alternate spelling of Ravana, the villain in the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana


Ravana is the primary antagonist in the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana where he is depicted as Rakshasa (demon) king of Lanka.

Ravana, a devotee of Lord Shiva, is depicted and described as a great scholar, a capable ruler and a maestro of the veena (plucked stringed instrument).


If P. N. Oak is correct then these famous monuments of Ravenna should display some discernible traces of Vedic temple design beneath their Early Christian [re-branding] veneer.

The Hindu temple architecture is an open, symmetry driven structure, with many variations, on a square grid of padas, depicting perfect geometric shapes such as circles and squares.

A Hindu temple design follows a geometrical design called vastu-purusha-mandala.

The design lays out a Hindu temple in a symmetrical, self-repeating structure derived from central beliefs, myths, cardinality and mathematical principles.

The four cardinal directions help create the axis of a Hindu temple, around which is formed a perfect square in the space available.

The circle of mandala circumscribes the square.

The square is considered divine for its perfection and as a symbolic product of knowledge and human thought, while circle is considered earthly, human and observed in everyday life (moon, sun, horizon, water drop, rainbow).

The square is divided into perfect square grids. In large temples, this is often a 8×8 or 64 grid structure. In ceremonial temple superstructures, this is an 81 sub-square grid.
The squares are called ‘‘padas’’. [14]

14. In addition to square (4) sided layout, Brhat Samhita also describes Vastu and mandala design principles based on a perfect triangle (3), hexagon (6), octagon (8) and hexadecagon (16) sided layouts, according to Stella Kramrisch.


This isn’t as improbable as it may sound because explaining away the architectural heritage of Ravenna has presented the mainstream with more than a few challenges.

The course of the transition to Byzantine, the first mature Christian style, cannot be satisfactorily traced while, guided by Roman archaeologists, we continue to regard Rome as a source of Christian art apart from the rest of the world

Christianity itself was not of Rome, it was an eastern leaven in Roman society.

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica – Volume 4 – Byzantine Art

The 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica provides a very detailed description of the Vedic design principles when it’s describing [what it calls] Byzantine Church architecture.

After the 6th century there were no churches built which in any way competed in scale with these great works of Justinian, and the plans more or less tended to approximate to one type.

The central area covered by the dome was included in a considerably larger square, of which the four divisions, to the east, west, north and south, were carried up higher in the vaulting and roof system than the four corners, forming in this way a sort of nave and transepts.

Sometimes the central space was square, sometimes octagonal, or at least there were eight piers supporting the dome instead of four, and the “nave” and “transepts” were narrower in proportion.

If we draw a square and divide each side into three so that the middle parts are greater than the others, and then divide the area into nine from these points, we approximate to the typical setting out of a plan of this time.

Now add three apses on the east side opening from the three divisions, and opposite to the west put a narrow entrance porch running right across the front.

Still in front put a square court. The court is the atrium and usually has a fountain in the middle under a canopy resting on pillars.

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica – Volume 4 – Byzantine Art

If P.N. Oak is correct then the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna would have originally been a Vedic temple with an “open, symmetry driven structure”.

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is a Roman building in Ravenna, Italy.

The UNESCO experts describe it as “the earliest and best preserved of all mosaic monuments, and at the same time one of the most artistically perfect”.


The most common story is that the structure was built by Galla Placidia, who was a well-known patron of the arts, to be used as a mausoleum for her and her family.


The bricked up arches suggests the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia was once very “open”.

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia appears to be aligned with the four cardinal directions but the “cruciform” plan of the structure is not strictly symmetrical.

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is a simple brick, [22] cruciform-shaped structure constructed in the form of the Latin cross and topped by a dome that is concealed by a rectangular tower with a four-slope roof.

The original panes of the fourteen windows were replaced during subsequent restorations.

The exterior is minimally decorated, with ornamentation limited to a blind arcade and a cornice that encircle the east, west, and south arms of the structure.

The façade of the north arm is plain except for a carved frieze over the doorway featuring two large, cat-like animals flanking a volute krater amidst the motif of vine scrolls with bunches of grapes.

[22] Deichmann, Ravenna, 66, notes that the form of the bricks is unique to the monument, thereby making it useless as a tool for dating the building.

Re-Evaluating The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia – Lisa Onontiyoh West – 2003
Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Click to access West_thesis.pdf

The earliest – that of Galla Placidia – now known as the church of SS. Kazario and Celso, must have been erected before the year 450.

It is singular among all the tombs of that age from its wholly abandoning the circular for a cruciform plan.

Chapter V – Romanesque Architecture
The Illustrated Handbook of Architecture – Vol 2 – James Fergusson – 1855


However, upon closer examination of the exterior, it appears the current “cruciform” format was achieved by adding an arch and ornate entrance to one wing of the original Manduka Mandala 8 x 8 grid design during “restoration” [aka re-branding].

The exterior brickwork also suggests the “brick dome” was cleverly concealed by extending it’s supporting brickwork to form “a small quadrangular tower” covered with roofing tiles.

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
This small cruciform brick building was built in the second quarter of the 5th centurv.
It has a plain bare exterior lightened by pilasters that meet in arches and is crowned by a brick dome concealed by a small quadrangular tower.

Advisory Body Evaluation (ICOMOS) – 1996
Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna – UNESCO World Heritage Centre


This Vedic heritage is underlined by the swastika motifs of the interior mosaics.

The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious symbol used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is also known outside these regions as the Hakenkreuz, gammadion cross, cross cramponnée, croix gammée, fylfot, or tetraskelion.

It generally takes the form of an equilateral cross with four legs each bent at 90 degrees.
It is considered to be a sacred and auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and dates back at least 11,000 years.


Which explains why there is no evidence that connects Galla Placidia to the building.

The building was formerly the oratory of the Church of the Holy Cross and now contains three sarcophagi.

The largest sarcophagus was thought to contain the remains of Galla Placidia (died 450), daughter of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

Her embalmed body was reportedly deposited there in a sitting position, clothed with the imperial mantle.

In 1577, however, the contents of the sarcophagus were accidentally burned

There seems to be no evidence to prove or disprove Galla’s connection to the building.


And why the mainstream wants to believe the intended purpose of the building is “unknown”.

It is unknown what the building was intended for when it was built.


Which suggests it’s worth taking a look at some other Early Christian structures…

Gallery | This entry was posted in Heinsohn Horizon, History, Ravenna Revisited. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Ravenna Revisited: Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

  1. Carsten says:

    It is assumed – where remains can’t be uncovered – that many churches were built atop Pagan (which in their pantheon looks quite a lot like the Hindu pantheon) shrines to ease transition from one religious phase to another. The building Pantheon was converted to a church so that other buildings may have seen that change too isn’t surprising.

  2. thx1138 says:

    I suppose you can call the swastika a religious symbol but it is actually one of the Peratt plasma instability morphologies. It appeared during the polar configuration near Venus.

  3. John Miller says:

    Could it not be the case that all this flowed FROM the Mediterranean TO the Indian subcontinent? As an example, we see the swastika on Greek as well as Roman works. Then there’s the fact that Indian saviour figure is called KRISH-na. There’s a clear connection here, but this website has already conclusively proved the unreliability of our “conventional” dating methods.

  4. Here is another mosaic with ‘pigeons on cup’ surrounded by labyrinth design (incorporating swastika? not really). It is 2nd century BCE, really a common motif produced in Roman Cesarea.

    Re origins, homo sapience -like armies- moved on their bellies not on their beliefs. Those came much later, a major source of obfuscation. For the European continent and the near east it is likely the development of the cereals, barley and wheat and their early variants, and then their spread that mark the flow of civilisations proper.

  5. Pingback: Roman Chronology: Credibility Gap | MalagaBay

  6. Pingback: Ravenna Revealed | MalagaBay

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