Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Lateran, St. John of (San Giovanni Laterano), one of the chief Roman basilicas (q.v.), was built by Constantine about 333 on the site of a palace belonging to Plautius Lateranus, who was executed by Nero. It was completely altered by Sixtus V. (1586), who erected the present structure from designs by Fontana. The five oecumenical councils called Lateran (1123, 1139, 1179, 1215, 1518) received their name from being held in the church.