Baptism in Florence
The ritual of baptism was a crucial feature of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Florence. This symbolic practice carried both a spiritual and social weight integral for full participation in the fabric of Florentine society. Baptism was not only a means of defense against hellfire, but an introduction to civic society and a foundational moment in each individual’s life. While some of the finer details of the practice are unclear to contemporary scholars, we now know that by 1128 the ritual was performed at the octagonal Baptistery of San Giovanni, located directly across from the cathedral.