Talk:Florence Baptistery

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"Battisteria" is a barbarism; the Italian word is "battistero". Since a change had to be made, I added (Florence) since there are many baptistries in honor of St. John, of course. -- Bill 16:09, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • Fair enough. I don't speak Italian. The guidebook I consulted listed it as the Battisteria, which seems to be a name that is in use. -- Necrothesp 18:13, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Can well understand that; no shortage of slovenly books, alas! and of course once something gets into print, everybody says "I saw it in a book" and our collective geese are cooked. I fight this kind of thing every day, and sometimes get trapped by it myself. It's irksome having to check everything all over again, though. Best, B.

Hi, all. According to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), we're supposed to use "the most common name of a person or thing". (The page Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) is also of some relevance.)

Alas, "Battistero di San Giovanni" is definitely not the most common name for that building in the English-speaking world. Doing a web search on pages in English, we get the following count:

  • "Battistero di San Giovanni" - 164
  • "Battisteria di San Giovanni" - 49
  • Baptistery AND "San Giovanni" - 1,330
  • Baptistery AND Florence - 19,400

I used the compound search 'Baptistery AND Florence' to try and weed out references to other baptisteries. I reckon there are that many pages that include "Baptistery" and "Florence" that aren't about the Baptistery. Still, even if you guess that maybe 25% of the pages above are bad hits, it's clear that the predominant name for that building is simply the "Baptistery". (I included the search for 'Baptistery AND "San Giovanni"' to make it clear that it's not being called the "Baptistery of San Giovanni".)

So, unless someone has a cogent argument as to why we should ignore Wikipedia policy in this case, I am proposing to move this page to "Baptistery".

We will need a page about what a "baptistery" is, which I will write; we will need to add a disambig link to that new page to the top of this page. I will also fix all the pages that link to "baptistery" to refer to that new page.

Noel 03:38, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • You can't just move it to "Baptistery". There are many baptisteries in the world, some of them (Pisa, for instance) as famous as Florence's. Baptistery of St John, Florence, maybe? Or Baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence? That's where we run into difficulties by not using the correct name. I tend to prefer non-anglicisation of names of foreign buildings for that reason. -- Necrothesp 12:48, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Hey, I happen to agree with you about using full names (I would love to put e.g. all the Medici articles under their full formal names, with redirects from the popular names), but to my considerable distress (I simply cannot fathom how any other policy on naming of articles is viable or acceptable), that is, alas, not Wikipedia policy.... Please get it changed!

As to the notion that there are other Baptisteries that are as famous as the one in Florence, I would reply "you're joking", but of course you're not. There is simply no way that the one in Pisa is anything like as famous as the one in Florence, whose doors are famed as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) works of Renaissance bronze casting. To confirm that, try doing a Google check, which returns:

  • Baptistery Pisa NOT Florence 862

I included the 'NOT Florence' to cull out sites that are general Italian guides, which I expect say things like "you must see the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Baptistery in Florence". For strict comparison, here is the counterpart:

  • Baptistery Florence NOT Pisa 10,800

The counts above clearly show it's the Florence one that is by far the more famous. Yes, looking at the first ten or so pages of hits for 'Baptistery NOT Florence' (about 33K hits total), it does seem as if the Pisa Baptistery is the most famous other Baptistery - although more than a handful of those pages I looked at were for the Florence one, actually; which just goes to show that it's very often referred to as simply "the Baptistery".

Do you have any issues with the methodology I employed in a 'reasonable' attempt to see what the most common name is? Or are you in agreement that the most common meaning of a simple "the Baptistery" is the one in Florence?

Noel 17:17, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

PS: As to the other possible names (Baptistery of St John; Baptistery of St John, Florence; Baptistery of San Giovanni; Baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence, etc) I would suggest we put redirects at all of them - that will prevent someone creating a duplicate page because they weren't diligent enough in searching. If a conflict happens down the road (e.g. with some other "Baptistery of St John"), we can fix it then.

I almost caused a duplicate myself, when Baptistery still turned up blank (this page is relatively recent, and it's been on my "to-do" list for a long time), which is why I have placed a redirect there until we decide exactly what to do. Noel 17:23, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • No, I would certainly not agree that "The Baptistery" is the one in Florence. It needs a qualifier of some sort. There are baptisteries all over the world - it's just a noun, not a proper name. Saying the article should just be entitled "Baptistery" is like saying the article on the Tower of London should just be entitled "Tower". If I said "The Baptistery" with no context attached then nobody would know which one I was talking about. -- Necrothesp 17:43, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Look, that's an assertion, not data. I can assert the contrary and we can sit here all day getting nowhere.

I'm looking for either i) empirical data, or ii) ideas for improving the (admittedly rough) methods I'm trying to use to gather such data. E.g. you could have said (to use an problem with my method which I earlier came up with on my own, trying to improve the data) something like 'looking for 'Baptistery Florence NOT Pisa' is not going to be very accurate, because you could have been turning up pages that called it the "Baptistery of St John in Florence"'. Then we could do some more searching and turn up:

  • Baptistery Florence NOT Pisa - 10,800
  • Baptistery Florence Giovanni John NOT Pisa - 566
  • Baptistery Florence John NOT Pisa NOT Giovanni - 1,070
  • Baptistery Florence Giovanni NOT Pisa NOT John - 586
  • Baptistery Florence NOT Pisa NOT John NOT Giovanni - 2,470

(And I have no idea why the last four don't sum to the first one - logically, they should, if the searches are working correctly.).

But right now the data, while admittedly rough, seems telling me that English-speaking people are using either "the Baptistery" or "the Baptistery, Florence" (my data doesn't distinguish) a lot more than they are using "Baptistery of St. John" or "Baptistery of San Giovanni".

Do you have any suggestions for ways to improve the data? Noel 19:45, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure what you're trying to prove here. I didn't say you couldn't use "Baptistery, Florence" (although it is an immensely ugly title, which is why I moved it, having initially created the article under that title myself). I simply said that just using "Baptistery" without a qualifier was not helpful, since an article entitled "Baptistery" should be about baptisteries in general, not a single baptistery. Common sense. -- Necrothesp 10:23, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

new photo[edit]

have substituted the pic showing the mosaic ceiling. here the former one: Image:Firenze.Baptistry.ceiling01.JPG regardsTetraktys-English 05:32, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Excellent new photos from Tetraktys are showing up in many art articles! Thank you. --Wetman 06:16, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Mystical personal symbolism of the octagon[edit]

I moved this here, as there is no connection of such ideas with the Florence Baptistery's conventional octagonal shape, which is derived from the Lateran Baptistery's inescapable example:Wetman (talk) 00:36, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

"This octagonal shape symbolizes the "eight day" (in Latin : octava dies). This is the time of the Risen Christ, a time beyond our own time measured in weeks of seven days. It was considered a symbol for the eternal life given through baptism, when one passes from life in sin to a new life in Christ."
This symbolism is clearly stated in the leaflet from the Opera de Santa Maria del Fiore that can be obtained in the baptistry. This leaflet, in my possession, gives detailed information about the baptistry and the cathedral. The concept "octava dies" is also widespread within the Catholic Church (60,200 Google hits). A confirmation of this concept can be found e.g. on this website of the Bluffton University : [1]. Therefore I propose this paragraph to be included again into the main text. JoJan (talk) 14:20, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Standardized spelling Baptistery[edit]

Noticing the apparently random variation of the equally common spellings Baptistry and Baptistery in this article (and other parts of Wikipedia) I felt a decision was needed in the interests of consistency - at least within the single article. After carefully studying the above discussions, and noting that baptistery is the first spelling given in The New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, I am persuaded that baptistery is the better choice here. I have therefore edited the article for consistency and moved it to the changed title. In view of the precedents, I would be very surprised if this were to prove controversial. Cheers Bjenks (talk) 05:25, 1 November 2009 (UTC)