The basilicas are surrounded by cemeteries, which are full of coffins, all of stone and covered with mosaics.
These examples show the influence of those architects who, in the 6th century, built the splendid basilicas at Sanaa and elsewhere in Arabia.
The Romanesque churches, still reminiscent of antique models, had preserved all the simplicity of the ancient basilicas with much more than their grandeur; but the taste for religious symbolism which culminated in the 13th century, and the imaginative genius of the northern peoples, transformed them into the marvellous dreams in stone of the " Gothic " period.
About 403, some years after his return from the East, Vigilantius wrote his celebrated work against superstitious practices, in which he argued against relic worship, as also against the vigils in the basilicas of the martyrs, then so common, the sending of alms to Jerusalem, the rejection of earthly goods and the attribution of special virtue to the unmarried state, especially in the case of the clergy.
The earlier churches of Genoa show a mixture of French Romanesque and the Pisan style - they are mostly basilicas with transepts, and as a rule a small dome; the pillars are sometimes ancient columns, and sometimes formed of alternate layers of black and white marble.