You are on page 1of 19


HE title “The Constantinian Basilica” is deceptively simple and general. But it
seemed the best to choose for the paper when read at the symposium "The Age of
Constantine,” and I have kept it for publication as well. Its generic character implies
that the discussion to some degree must remain summary and cannot concern itself
in detail with questions regarding the date, the building history, or the
reconstruction of individual buildings. The monuments are but few and known by
and large only through scant remains or through contemporary and shortly later
descriptions, often obscure. This evidence, archaeological and literary, could not
well be incorporated in the text. It had to be relegated to footnotes, copious and at
times lengthy. The buildings, as reconstructed from this evidence, could then be
used to exemplify the problems of the Constantinian basilica. Likewise, the generic
title was chosen so as to establish clearly that the discussion was not to be limited to
basilicas built for Christian congregations. Obviously, such Christian basilicas play a
significant part in the Age of Constantine, both in number, in the attention paid
them by the Emperor, and in their impact to this very day on church planning in the
West. But Christian basilicas under Constantine must not be seen in isolation. They
want to be viewed within the framework of the genus basilica; and this genus
comprises many more besides Christian basilicas. Lastly, the discussion of the
genus must touch upon a number of complex questions which lurk behind the
bland title: the place of the basilica within the frame of public building in Late
Antiquity; the role of the emperor—and in particular the role of Constantine—and
of other governmental and non-governmental bodies in financing and planning
such building in general and basilicas in particular; the stylistic criteria and the
architectural vocabulary appropriate for the various categories of private, public,
and religious building; the differences between various types of basilicas, Christian
and non-Christian; the variations within these subspecies and their causes, whether
functional or social; and the stylistic elements characteristic either for all basilicas
or for certain groups within the over-all genus. I am not sure that any of these
questions can be answered at this point. But it ought to be possible to make a start.
No Constantinian basilica is better preserved than the one at Trier and few are
more closely linked to Constantine. 1 Built between 305 and 312 while Constantine
as Caesar resided in Trier, it was the great audience hall of the adjoining palace
where the Emperor would sit in state to receive homage and dispense justice, the
sedes iustitiae} While the palace has disappeared, the
W. v. Massow, Die Basilika in Trier (Simmern [Hunsrück], 1948); W. Reusch, "Die Aula Palatina in Trier,”
Germania, 33 (1955), 180£E.; idem, Die Basilika in Trier (Trier, 1956); Frühchristliche Zeugnisse im
Einzugsgebiet von Rhein und Mosel, eds. Th. K. Kempf and W. Reusch (Trier, 1965), 144ff. (henceforth quoted
as Kempf-Reusch, op. cit.).
* The date of construction is ascertained by a coin of 305, found embedded in the mortar of one of the walls
(“Jahresbericht des Rheinischen Landesmuseums Trier. Untersuchungen, Basilika," Triere


but as the dominating element in a group of buildings. . a date in the first half of the fourth century nevertheless has been proposed by A. now SS. 1952].. 2. [Heikel]). 7 [Leipzig. Die Basilika in Trier. H. 2 [Paris. Ph. 35). * The narthex and the flanking courtyards and porticoes are discussed in some detail in Kempf. op. and one hundred feet high. note i]. 1 [Rome. In function. 92f. 22. cit. used to be attributed to Constantine on the basis of an inscription supposedly read in the sixteenth century (Corpus lnscr. 14 ff. it seems. 13 [1938]. cit. illustrated by Massow. 240). lit by presumably large windows. above. But in plan and elevation Constantine's basilica can be reliably reconstructed (fig. C. largely because of the pattern of this revetment. adjoining the Lateran palace in Rome. Corpus Basilicarum Christianarum Romae. and it is possible that the trusses of the basilica were never concealed. This pattern is transmitted by a drawing of Pirro Ligorio (Vat. enveloped by porticoes. see also K. Philos. The existence at Trier of a coffered ceiling remains conjcctural. 192.. five niches in the apse wall bore ornamental glass mosaic. known from Renaissance drawings. Giovanni. 6.Reusch. 1958]. pavement slabs. and friezes. op. 170ff. Klasse. the window* jambs w rere each decorated with a painted ornament. 3). and plentifully lit by large windows: two tiers of nine each in either nave wall and two more tiers in the apse." Trierer Zeitschrift. A huge hall. K. geometric patterns. . still stands to its full height of one hundred Roman feet (figs. But a coffered ceiling may well have existed: witness. ed. 1902]. the coffering. Ugonio." . 4). Reusch. must be thoroughly qualified. the repeated references to coffered ceilings in Constantinian churches contained in Eusebius. 1937ft. by small fragments of a mosaic inscription on the arch of the apse. finally. 22 f. each of four windows. now lost but still read by R.) provides the evidence regarding the outside galleries and the finishing and decoration of the outer walls. separated from each other by an arcade of short. 240ff. “Die Aula Palatina in Trier” [as supra. The walls carried a marble revetment of many colors rising in successive tiers to the upper row of windows and articulated. Galletier. 141. As at Trier. 4 Below the windows a marble revetment in two tiers. was redecorated.. differed in length. cit. Rodenwaldt. A truss roof spanned the nave. found below the twin cathedral (Kempf-Reusch. green-speckled columns raised on pedestals.].. 25 f.3 Only traces of all this splendor have been found— fragments of mosaic. last by Borromini. Berve [Berlin. lat. I.. idem. in the panegyric delivered before Constantine at Trier in 310 (Panegyric VII. then. iron clamps in the walls to fasten it. panels. op. on the floor. 1. two on either side. from the south basilica of the cathedral (ibid. 1958. are comparable to what must have existed at Trier. seventy feet wide. the painted coffering of the palace hall. Heikel. and its existence is confirmed by P. in Pantgyvtques latins. unpublished). 147L 7 The pre-Constantinian and Constantinian remains preserved below and incorporated in the walls of S. now' S. 1646-1651. henceforth quoted as Corpus Basiliearum). were carried by high trabeated colonnades. Historia delie Stationi di Rotna (Rome. later transformed into the Church of SS. roughly three hundred Roman feet long. Delbrück and dated by him 312 (H. articulated as it is by forceful blind arches. Kempf).. w ?as coated with gray plaster. This light and fluid interior. 36 and IV. D. The aisles. dowel holes. (see also idem. attractive to modem eyes. the contrast was not as stark as it seems at present. while the lack of such incrustation in the window zone as shown in the drawing suggests a covering of mosaic or painted stucco (fig. And in plan they differ. Sedlmayr. Die Basilika in Trier. 2). by inlaid pilasters. cit. 14. coffered ceilings. and the walls seemed but a colorful membrane. it is terminated by an apse but slightly raised above nave level. nei muri vi restano vestigij di incrostature di tavole grandi di marmo.. 356ff-)* at all tenable. 148f. the upper one articulated by pilasters. But wall decorations of Constantinian date in Rome. 4 The Severan hall on the Forum. by the reference to a sedes iustitiae. 85. certainly at Trier. Krautheimer. sheathed by their revetment in marble. pavement slabs of white and dark marble formed a geometric pattern. the interior was simple and filled with light. 73). 5 Nor did the mass of the building rise in quite the stark isolation in which it is seen today. has been rebuilt time and again.7 The nave. Rather than being an audience hall. Constantine built another basilica. Vita Constaniini. quoting a letter by Th. c. it was to serve the Christian bishop and his congregation as their cathedral. 94.. and painted plaster. Giovanni in Laterano 3Zeitschrift. New York University. Narrow courtyards.. Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller. The brick surface of the wralls. While the attribution of this inscription to the building has been recently doubted. possibly under Constantine. 3439. mosaic. über das Leben Constantins. Lai. and. henceforth quoted as Eusebius. Four Late Antique Rotundas: Aspects of Fourth-Century Architectural Style in Rome. there followed a zone of painted stucco or possibly mosaic. s W. covered the walls of nave and apse. 58 (Eusebius' Werke. Cosma e Damiano. 267ff. though poorly. recently completed. likewise painted. 1147). * The remains of the decoration of the walls and of the original pavement are extensively discussed and.” Das Neue Bild der Antike.. both possibly hidden by flat. their piers originally crossed by wooden galleries. E. op. flanked the basilica on either side. at first glance. 6 These enveloping structures obviously made the basilica appear still more powerful. 141. by the identity of the brick stamps with those used in constructing the castrum at Deutz which an inscription dates 310 (Reusch. Its upper walls.). for instance III. fig. another the apse. a narthex extended in front.-histor. though repaired. thesis (Institute of Fine Arts. but originally of Severan date. the two basilicas seem vastly different from each other. noff.. Cosma e Damiano. 178v: “ . then.). indeed. The assertion of late antiquity's esthetic enjoyment of the bare brick walls of its public buildings (G. However. a few capitals of the inlaid pilasters. The apsed hall on the Roman Forum. 18 (1949). Spätantike Wandsyste>net Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften. j943]. and friezes. “Romische Staatsarchitektur. 14. “Die Aussengalerien der sogenannten Basilika in Trier. begun in 312/313 and completed before 320. two hundred feet long and one hundred wide from wall center to wall center. w'as terminated by a semicircular apse and flanked by four aisles. 7 [Munich. preceded by a forecourt. fol. 32. ed. ed. 1964. seems to clash sharply with the massive exterior. widely. and Kempf-Reusch.rbasilica. The church at the Lateran. Frazer. i. but they also caused it to be seen not in isolation. Sitzungsberichte. 1588).. rightly so in my opinion. possibly. see also Reusch. V. and revetment. Die Basilica in Trier. A few years after the basilica in Trier had been completed and immediately after his conquest of Rome in October 312.

Colini. Krautheimer. cit.. 9. and everything suggests that in the West. H. 364ff. 29I). Corbett. 8 [Groningen. rose over fifty feet high and were lit by semicircular windows.. On the other hand. 6 (1929). one above each arch of the separating arcade. The aisle arcade in both soffits and spandrels carried marble revetment. Felice [Carmen 27]. 11 [1934]. 2. like those once existing at St. considered unusual his having depicted in the church of St. Studies on Old St.ologia Crisiiana. Peter’s. believed the cycle to date back to Constantine. vs. 166ff. Peter's and S. 129. in duobus parietibus templi historias veteres et novas desxgnavit. C. thirty odd feet high. fig. Interpretatio Synodi VII Generalis (787) (Migne.. A new reconstruction. Paolo fuori le mura and still extant at S.Krautheimer and S.. 1957. low wings projecting from the inner aisles—‘aisle transepts’ that may have served as sacristies. op.. Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture. figural cycles on nave walls became customary sometime in the latter fourth century. Corbett. can only be conjectured. cit. 7ff. The outlines.. Goldschmidt. lower. on eye witness reports preceding Borromini’s remodeling (entablature of nave colonnade). even the gradation of light. Maria Maggiore.pingere sanctas raro more domos. Josi. and S. must have been designed for some kind of decoration. The apse mosaic at St. H. Kirsch -seems likely that the Lateran cycle also dated from the fifth century as did the figural . The location of the find in the nave unfortunately does not prove that they belonged to a Constantinian revetment of the nave. "La decorazione costantiniana della Basilica Lateranense. A. but thirty feet high and lit by only a few windows in the side walls. 2 [Loeb Classical Library. Saint Pierre et le Latran. • Anastasius Bibliothecarius. idem. on the other hand.. Wilpert. Pelican History of Art (Harmondsworth. stepped-up volumes of nave and aisles. 289): Constantinus Magnus . 8 (henceforth quoted as Krautheimer. . hinc Adam de paradiso exeuntem. C. Paulinus of Nola. when the apse of St. it is worth noting that none of Damasus' many poems intimate the existence during his pontificate. 346ff. the outer aisles. Folge. R.” Rivista di Arche. 83f. S. in R. is to appear in R." Römische Quartalschrift. esp. 62). However. J. 1966]. cit. . R.. aedificato . Malmstrom and R. .. Josi. the proportions. is composed of forty-nine tituli presumably reflecting a typological cycle of Old and New Testament scenes existing in a Roman church or else intended for such a cycle (in Prudentius. templo Salvatoris Romae.10 There is no trace of such decoration in any Roman church prior to 357. Peter’s presumably received a mosaic with the traditio legis}1 Hence it 8 Hooks for fastening the revetment were. Peter’s probably was decorated with a traditio legis (J. Scoperte nella Basilica Costantiniana al Laterano... M.” Cahiers Arch. lighter. Scoperte nella Basilica Costantiniana al Laterano (Rome. Since the inscription below mentioned an (unnamed) son of the founder Constantine. Josi-Krautheimer-Corbett. More frequently it has been linked to Constantius II and thus dated 351-361 (E. as late as 400-403. preserved on the fragment of a spandrel of the aisle arcade found in 1934 (Josi. H. ed. and on a new interpretation of the survey drawings prepared by and for Borromini (height of outer and inner aisle. 2. fragment of spandrel of aisle arcade). level of nave windows.. 33 (1957). 543 ff. 366-384. 16).. Indeed. tall. 1953]. “La Basilica Costantiniana al Laterano: Un tentativo di ricostru.3 RICHARD KRAUTHEIMER have been presented by E. the interplay between the widely spaced.. 25. 79ff-. J . cut off by short.” RACrist. 1934). 44 [1936]. and trabeated nave colonnades and the narrowly spaced. as long as the nave. E. from the dimly lit outer to the inner aisles and from there to the plentiful lighting of the nave. Prudentius* Dittochaeon. Krautheimer and S. 9 But the cycles at St. PL. 1965). 338. fig.. . “Christus als Lehrer und die Gesetzesübergabe. a biblical cycle did exist at the Lateran and was believed to be the original Constantinian decoration. written at the same time. 45ff. Krautheimer and S. and quicker arcades.” Antiquity. 11 (1934). Paolo. Accad. 59ff-.). he. outside and inside.. Corbett. 10 [1959]. presumably from the revetment of the walls.height and lighting: the inner ones. Archaeologica Traiectina.. 10 The earliest references to such cycles in the West are well known. idem. “Le coffret en ivoire de Pola. T. at least by the second third of the fifth century such cycles were commonplace in Rome. also noted the find of a batch of thin slabs of yellow marble. which is in the press. op. 1940]. Felix an Old Testament cycle: . 12 [1961]. fig. di Archeologia. and in part still are.. Jongkees. Maria Maggiore date from the second third of the fifth century. 41 (1965). Rom. “Scoperte nella Basilica Costantiniana al Laterano.animantibus adsimulatis. Thomson. of such cycles in Roman churches. which I hope will be final. 62f.zione. spacing and proportions of aisle arcades and of nave colonnades) . 1965) require revision. esp.." RACrist.Josi. Kollwitz. et inde latronem in paradisum intranUm.densieg. 8 and likewise the vast surfaces of the nave walls below the window’ zone. “The Constantinian Basilica of the Lateran.” RACrist. It is based on the archeological evidence (foundation walls. and 34 (1958)..). Paulinus' Churches at Nola [Amsterdam. but not before the middle. 3. 34 (i960). If not at that time. in collaboration with R. Bud. op. col. The decoration.). the tentative reconstructions presented in the latter two papers as w'ell as in R.. esp. are clear: the broken.(Carmen natale de S. 53S. it has been connected sometimes with Constans II. Stapleford. 1944). 157ff.” Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst. who ruled the West 337-350 (J. the slabs lay in the fill spread to carry the pavement when it was relaid in the seventeenth century (Josi. “Das Traditio-Legis-Bild und seine Nachfolge. were much shorter.. 335ff. Scoperte. Davis-Weyer. “Note Lateranensi. 7 (Vatican City. Storia e Topografia del Celio nell' aniichitd — Memorie Pont. then. remains of walls of the outer aisles and windows. cit. Peter’s. Like the spandrel of the aisle arcade. in RACrisi. 201 ff. One is apt to think of a cycle with biblical scenes in wall painting or mosaic.

[New York. in my opinion. Giovan. 1717.mosaic of the apse. as listed s. The columns rose close to the side walls. s.. it was the throne hall both of Christ Basileus and of the bishop. at a distance of but 1. the possibility of plaster revetment also at the Lateran should at least be considered. or the nave maybe higher and provided with clerestory windows. or indeed. 152 f. Petri Romae. The variations.. Vegio. L. on the longitudinal axis. cit. 4 [1951]. basilica in Thesaurus linguae latinae. 1959]. However. Ward Perkins.. including work on the apse mosaic and.” Atti III Convegno di Storia dell' architettura (Rome.. . finally. 166). as reception halls in the houses of the wealthy and consequently. thus intimating a transversal or central reading of the plan . Du Cange." Papers of the British School at Rome.. 22 (1954)» 69ff. The tribunal for the presiding magistrate may project into the nave or an aisle. ibid. were apparently linked either to the specific function or to regional custom. soon. for markets.. on both one long and one short side. 7 M The variety of functions assigned to the Roman basilica is best attested to by the epithets linked to the term. or they are placed on one short side. 15 On the other hand. cit.50 m. Within the context of the origins of the Early Christian basilica the entire problem of the basilica has been discussed by myself in "The Beginnings of Early Christian Architecture. ed. 850. 2 (Leipzig. just as the basilica at Trier was the seat of the Emperor’s Divine Majesty. 3 (1939). op. Glossarium. the seat of his local representative. but it may well have been and probably was aniconic (see infra. op. tomo 1 (Turin. 191. and thus recalling the hall at SS. small or large. cit.D.s. presumably donated in 428/429. ia Buddensieg. two. as early as Vitruvius' time. Duchesne (Paris.. 127fr. after 354 (Buddensieg. by J. Basilicae S. cit. the apse vault of St. for military drill. or apses sheltering tribunals may extend outward from one. tritnma. the walls articulated by rows of freestanding or semi-engaged columns. x. cit. Constantine’s inscription on the triumphal arch (Quod duce te mundus. 3i6and fig. convincingly reconstructs a barrel vault carried by the walls and the columns instead of the 5baum. Peter and St. SS. Sezione III. x. 6 Le Liber Pontifcalis.. Thus. 31) must date from Constantine's reign. P. interrupted since 337 or shortly thereafter. with bibliography. Passim. Differences and resemblances between the basilica at Trier and that at the Lateran become understandable when viewed against the background of the architectural genus to which both belong. loc. English trans. for judiciary sessions. indeed. as witness the basilica at Izmir. . 1752. perhaps in a triple layer. 1886-92) (henceforth quoted as L. chap. Private and palace basilicas in wealthy houses and in imperial residences —the audience hall in Domitian’s Domus Flavia on the Palatine or the second-century basilica found below Constantine’s basilica at Trier—were as a rule single-naved halls terminated by an apse. Crema. Crema. Cosma e Damiano or the basilica at Trier. trimitum.. was probably of Carolingian date—if indeed it ever existed. op. given the plaster revetment of the outer walls found at Trier and in Roman public monumental building in general. x... 6). topped in the window zone by ornamental mosaic or painted plaster.. 1 [AA. Similarly. 1761 ff. vol. closely related to stoas and open along one side. the inscription once read on the arch of the apse (in.. 1959). “Constantine and the Origins of the Christian Basilica. 1 (London. the Lateran basilica is a church and it served bishop and congregation for regular religious services. Vegio. is described as ex trimma auri fulgentern. All these variations were fully developed by the first and second centuries A. 1946). Also. thermae. op. 486ff. Its original significance. and E. 1225ff. “Die Ursprünge der christlichen Basilika. Nave and aisles may be of one height." The Review of Religion. the completion of the nave. True. note 13). cit.. I." held in Munich in 1951 (Kunstchronik. op. I would even suggest Constantius' visit to Rome in 357 as a likely date when work at St. freestanding or contained by an apse. Nash. as throne rooms in imperial given unmistakably by M. As varied as these functions were the plans: single-naved halls with or without apses.P. 1940).. and temples. 180.. the latter parallel to or envel oping the nave on four sides: broad and short. Similarly. a mosaic decoration was begun in the apse. 17 . 365. B. 11 centro monumentale (Rome. col. 172.). (henceforth quoted as Ward Perkins. 14). L'architettura romana = Enciclopedia classica. Discussions over these last thirty years have clarified the original function of the genus basilica : a hall designed for large gatherings—of the township.v. In fact. a triplewoven cloth (Ch. 1950). unless determined simply by local conditions such as adjoining streets. an over-long plan. showing Constantine offering the church to Saint Peter (Jongkees. L.. halls with two naves .arcu absidae super altare\ M. Peter’s. Junii 7. 97ff. as lobbies adjoining theaters. Paid. 5 The earlier Constan. was taken up again.. more precisely. cit.). the interplay of differences and resemblances between the basilicas at Trier and at the Lateran might be stressed. and the only feature the overwhelming majority of basilicas seem to have had in common was the timber roofing in all its parts and the presence of at least one tribunal. 1 (Stuttgart. see also ibid. in his absence. by the discussions at a symposium. following G. His representative. halls composed of a nave and aisles. and this interplay prevails in the function as well as in the design of the two buildings. De Rebus antiquis. note 32). 6 Thus it seems possible that the decoration of the nave as well was planned as an aniconic design: a geometrical pattern in marble revetment or painting. in particular in Italy.16 while a short broad plan may be characteristic for basilicas in the West. The Tombs of St. Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome. Langlotz. Peter's.IV G. originally accompanied by a figural composition.) or. in Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum. Hence. or. or very long structures (figs.tinian apse decoration was apparently aniconic—ex auro trimita—gold foil in all likelihood. 62] and Jongkees. 176). Entrances are placed on one of the long sides. 1961-1962). The meaning of trimita remains somewhat in doubt.v. op. v.) was not.. according to the donation list (L.P.. Whether or not the walls on the outside were bare brick or covered with plaster remains a moot question.noni. 1900). 5. the location in arcu rnaiore ac triumphali. 12. 1954) I by E. or three flanks of the building.7 Rather than the differences alone. leads one to interpret it so as to mean gold foil. 316. . the aisles may or may not be surmounted by galleries. The variety in planning is illustrated by L. . appears to prevail among forum basilicas in the Hellenistic East. no. But at the same time. Lugli. Roma Antica. and Duchesne's remarks. “La Basilica dei Flavi sul Palatino. The one supposedly seen in the sixteenth century.

Any civic basilica carried religious connotations coupled with its ordinary functions. 194 and report in Bull. Naumann and S.). Städte Pamphyliens und Pisidiens ^Vienna.24 By the turn of the third to the fourth century. iff. esp. On the other hand.9 The throne room. 69fr. destroyed in A. 1954.D. market-places.. Roman antiquity thought in terms of a hierarchy of architectural categories and subcategories. was eo ipso religious ground. At the same time. forbaths. and "Insignien und Tracht der römischen Kaiser. 26 [1958]. the basilica sotterranea at Porta Maggiore in Rome of the first century A. .D.) 9Augustine. “The Caesa.. dating as late as A. see also the basilicas at Beyrouth (J. “Die Agora von Smyrna.). The presence of the emperor. such as thermae. g6ff. and at Aspendos (K. Lauffray. 1941]. adjoining the Temple of Venus and Roma as rebuilt by Maxentius. But they each also carried their appropriate plan. v. 33." (H. public architecture—from monumental thermae. entablatures. quaestio 15: St christianus debet in balnexs lavare vel in thermis. fig. vocabulary. the basilica of Julius Piso at Makhtar.. However. H.). 16b) where Jews are forbidden to build with the heathens . (Migne. and imperial palaces to utilitarian warehouses and barracks.. 18 R. public assemblies.. Niemann. and stylistic concept: temples and funerary buildings. . 142 f. the borderlines between religious and secular. vaulting or coffered ceilings. Christian Attitude towards the Emperor in the Fourth Century [New York. these genera were determined by the function of the building. public basilicas of prominence in Rome or in large provincial cities. 1890-1892]. “The Beginnings of Early Christian Architecture" (as supra." Istanbuler Forschungen. the basilica retained its flexibility. that is. belonged chiefly to this public realm. 8 Even thermae basilicas sheltered his statue or that of some other divinity.MO**-). the tradi tional basilica types became obsolete. possibly the reception hall of the Roman governor. Basilicas. Société Nationale des Antiquaires de France [1954-1955]. Kantar.there are three[kinds of]basilicas. iff-. Lanckororiski and G. 116. at Cremna (ibid. while the opposite end was occupied by an apse which. frequently surmounted by galleries. 183). on three sides of the nave. Ward Perkins and M. 353 ff. 35ff. for treasuries. 11“ Gordon.. where the divine majesty revealed himself in the flesh. 487. 167Ü.10 Quite consistently the Talmud forbids Jewish masons to work on a basilica. Primarily. On the one hand. Gordon. A. 4 [*95*3» 115) views the building as having originated in three successive stages. . cit. Setton. but the latter is not infrequent in the Eastern provinces either. 13 [1932]. 50 (1935). while religious building and its dependent categories remained remarkably conservative. “Forums et monuments de Beryte.. single-naved or composed of three naves and vaulted. at other times timber-roofed. The change was long prepared. is described as a huge basilica with double aisles and galleries. whatever their specific function. 300 it went through a phase of break-up and revitalization. “Die Aula Palatina in Trier” [as supra. PL. du Musée de Beyrouth. they were thus close to the realm of the State religion and. 362t. as a tool of political-architectural propaganda.23 Mystery cults and funerary collegia ever since the first century had evolved new variants: small. a n d similarly a passage in the Talmud (Abodah Zarah. 49 (1934).” PBSR. But their position and hence their vocabulary were more flexible than in most other categories. Gerkan {Kunstchronik. only the foundation walls are known (W. of course.reum at Cyrene. I mention only Severian of Gabala's statement (as quoted by K. broad type. beyond the pale of the Establishment.5 RICHARD KRAUTHEIMER older reconstruction with flat ceiling (e. op. Reusch. Alföldi’s still basic papers. since 8Krautheimer. L. But it is permitted to build with them dimisiot (state buildings ?) and public baths. XLVX. a stadium and a bema. “Die Ausgestaltung des monarchischen Zeremoniells am römischen Kaiserhofe. Of the second-century basilica in Trier.a basilica [if to be used as] a gradum (Law court ?). domestic architecture— from the highest class of private mansions to apartment houses and farm buildings. However. 330.. in effigy or in the flesh. 7 [1944-1945]. far more numerous than I knew then. 10Suffice it to refer to A. 17 Ward Perkins.D. basilicas approached purely utilitarian building and partook of its unadorned design. and by A. “The Basilica and the Stoa in Rabbinical Literature. bring out the contrast of the Hellenistic longstoa basilica and the short.“ Art Bulletin. 137^-. and t h e a t e r s . Passages in support of the thesis are. 76f. in quibus sacrifcatur simulacris.” Rom. shared the architectural vocabulary of the temples of the old gods and of the sacrum palatium: colonnaded orders. The architects of Maxentius when laying out his Basilica Nova attempted to revitalize the genus by adopting a plan heretofore customary in thermae: 25 a hall flanked on either side by three barrel-vaulted niches and covered by three huge groin vaults seemingly resting on powerful columns. and throne rooms in imperial palaces neces sarily reflected the splendor of the Empire and its divine ruler. 22 Third-century synagogues in Galilee were built with aisles. Ep. Ballance. for thermae. note 1]. civic. the renewal of the genus was complete. but always terminated by an apse—witness.g. cit. Law was dispensed and business deals legally concluded before the effigy of the emperor's divine genius—its natural place being one of the apses of the basilica. esP. Lugli. note 14). cit. both in function and in plan. The synagogue at Alexandria.—this latter explained as warehouses or public markets. stone masonry (genuine or imitated in stucco)..for heathenkings. i28f. and any basilica was. and the temple of the Matronae at Pesch near Trier. op. and throne basilicas had been obliterated . B. As soon (however) as they reach the arch where they place an idol. col. op.D. 17 (1950). and Ward Perkins and Ballance. or carried the connotations of.. judiciary. they must cease to build. had become increasingly the predominant element in any basilica.” Rom. the last Christian.). the origins of which Ward Perkins sees in Italy. 196) that “it is necessary to set up the statue of the emperor in law-courts. cit.” Bull.. . at Cyrene (J. this thermae plan was modified by changing its axis to a longitudinal one: a narthex preceded the east end. for a market/’ 11 Eventually the genus itself was transferred to religious building. like other genera of public buildings. but the short spur walls projecting inward from the flanks of the hall must have carried freestanding or possibly engaged columns comparable to those in Domitian's basilica. curiae. Mitt.. Under the impact of the emperor cult. op. a sanctuary of the god on earth. 144). Mitt. 362:. whether "for heathen kings. But I see no evidence for this...

. L. . La basilique pythagoricienne de la Porte Majeure [Paris. 1935]." and provided with galleries for the women (S. <>6ff. generally accepted. The third-century date suggested by Kohl and Watzinger. Lehner. 23 H.. see also M. 34 The basilica at Makhtar.). Picard. op. The temple at Pesch is discussed by H. E. op. has occasionally been doubted (A. cit.. 72^ Gordon. Sukka. The presence of galleries is ascertained by finds of smaller columns or of a staircase in five or six of the Galilean synagogues (Sukenik. .169ft.313.-G. i. 1922]. Avi-Yonah. and. but M. erected in a d 93 by the iuvenes of the town for the assemblies of their collegia. 115). cit. The Ancient Synagogue of El-Hammeh.century synagogues in Galilee. 1926]). 5i*>): a "diplostoon. 26 However. op. Carcopino. et Belles-Lettres [1945].). The Ancient Synagogue of El-Hammeh [Jerusalem. M. op.)... 1. Sukenik. 360 f. 185ff.. Antike Synagogen in Galiläa (Leipzig. whether Neo-Pythagorean or not (J. Kunst. "La basilique funéraire de Julius Piso a Mactar. 1957]. 72)..." Comptes-Rendus Acad. sheltered the colossal statue of Constantine. about a d 200 was transformed into a funerary basilica (Ch. having one stoa within another stoa. and idem. Synagogale Altertümer [Berlin-Vienna. Schneider.. but it should be noted that the reconstruction with clerestory. Geschichte der Juden im Zeitalter des Talmud (Berlin. 125 (1919). E. Watzinger. as Frazer. Bab. 1916). is by no means certain (ibid.” Bonner Jahrbücher. the Basilica Nova remained a hap ax legonienon. has discussed the departure from the traditional basilica type in the Basilica Nova and its possible reasons. Sukenik.. 1962). 76.. cit. Krauss. more recently. 1934). like a great basilica. But one of the passages was composed seventy. Inscr. . 261 f. Kohl and C.Constantinian date. certainly built for a mystery cult.. 4 [1951]. The 8a The Alexandria synagogue is known only from a passage in the Talmud (Yer. see the following note. Civitas Mactaritana [Paris. cit.. 74ft. i88ff. Ancient Synagogues in Palestine and Greece (London.and third. L. "Der Tempelbezirk der Matronae Vacallinehae bei Pesch. Avi-Yonah kindly confirms my opinion that they certainly are of pre. the other 150 years after the destruction of the building and may well contain or indeed be compiled entirely from features drawn from second..chronik. 148 ff. see Nash. V. 55 ab.. For the basilica at Porta Maggiore.

W. [as] longitudinally colonnaded halls (italics mine)." PBSR. "II Palazzo di Massimiano Erculeo di Piazza Armerina. i8ff.. however.” Institutum Romanum Norvegiae. of the exterior with stucco imitating stone masonry. 1959 ?]. "Zur Frage der römischen Apsiden. on the basis of a fifteenthcentury drawing.1959 [Bonn. 12 (1932). with L'Orange and Lavin. 28 By then. and both date from 300 or slightly later. and it was strictly longitudinal. V. 194 ff. 8. naz.. Calderini e R. 207 ff. cit. 1961].” Riv. A date of construction under Maxentius. 11-12 [1963]. La mosaique aux chevaux de iantiquarium de Carthage. I incline toward an early fourth-century date.” Studi in onore di A. timberroofed or with a flat ceiling. 29 Thus.. cit. 75f. Reusch and H. 7) is another. the favorite type for all kinds of basilicas—at least in the Western part of the Empire. Nevertheless. Other examples of such single-naved apsed audience halls of fourth-century date are found on Luka Tolade near the Yugoslav coast (E. H. by A.. iff. 1921). 28ff. 3 [Milan.. are still found in the monograph of A. "Die Konstantinsbasilika in einer Zeichnung Francescos di Giorgio und der Marmorkoloss Konstantins des Grossen. "Intomo al palazzo sull’ isola di Meleda. d’Archeologia e Storia dell' arte. N. esp. and recent proposals suggest a succession of building operations and periods of decoration extending from 310 to as late as 360-370 (G. 7. Minoprio. the single-naved. idem. J. Reusch. Milteimeer raum und in Deutschland.27 The basilica at Piazza Armerina is one example. I79ff.” Scritti di storia dell' arte in onore di Mario Salmi [Rome. L'Orange.” Atti della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia. P. apsed basilica became des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts. the reception hall in the Sessorian Palace in Rome. The placing of Constantine's colossal statue in the apse at the short west end of the nave (H. A Carandini. *7 Ward Perkins. his palace and throne room in particular. Cagiano de Azevedo. "I proprietari della villa di Piazza Armerina. see Frazer.” Dumbarton Oaks Papers. 25 ü. The shift from the original longitudinal to a short transversal axis.” quoting as examples Domitian's basilica on the Palatine and the one in Hadrian's villa. "Konstantin 313. Cosma e Damiano. W. 37ff. 67 [1952]. "Horti Spei Veteris.” Commentari.” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. the . and thus basilicas whatever their specific function.). 2440. I. *8 The date of construction of Piazza Armerina. But while I see them primarily as single-naved. "Die Basilika St.” Palladio.. formerly assigned to the years 306-312 and interpreted as a villa of Maximianus Herculeus (G. Kähler. Memorie. Archeologische Studien van het Nederlands Historisch Instituut te Rome. 2of.” (fig. basilica: witness the apsed hall on the Roman Forum.THE CONSTANTINIAN BASILICA 7 The best summary of the building history of the Basilica Nova and the most thorough description of its design. as well stresses the longitudinal element prevailing in palace basilicas. "I cosidetti tetrarchi di Venezia. certainly for the construction of the basilica... Tagung der Koldewey-Gesellschaft. 185. 64 (1959). op. 2 [1965].” Jahrbuchpredominant basilica type by 300-320 was a single-naved structure. though not too emphatically. now SS. first suggested by G.. Seminario di Archeologia e Storia dell'arte greca e romana dell’Uni versitä di Roma..S. La villa imperiale di Piazza Armerina [Rome. Salomonson. he inclines to view them "under the early Empire. The emperor and everything pertaining to him. 1964]. 1954. the so-called “Templum Veneris et Cupidinis. . idem. "Nuovo contributo alio studio del Palazzo Erculiodi Piazza Armerina. i6off.Grossbauten im Moselraum/' Trierer Zeitschrift. 13 '1962]. for the apsed hall in the Sessorian Palace has again been proposed. 1954]. was intended primarily to replace the original Maxentius grouping of the Basilica and the Temple of Venus and Roma by a new focus provided by the Via Sacra and the imperial palaces on the Palatine. were viewed increasingly as the responsibility as well as the property of the emperor. the type spread beyond the confines of private and palace basilicas. 164ft—the first thorough study of the building. 1956]. 9 [1959L 19fr) and at Metz (W.. 17 [1963]. Buddensieg. "Contributo alia storia edilizia della villa romana di Piazza Armerina." Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst. MacMullen. Lavin. preceded by a narthex and terminated by an apse.3 (1955). op. I37ff. or indeed a fifth-century date (M.. including the revetment of the interior with marble and painted plaster. Colini. Ricerche sullo stile e la cronologia dei mosaici della villa di Piazza Armerina = Studi miscellanei.) has been definitely established. 18 [1949]. 593ff. Acta. is again under discussion. the plan remained customary in palaces of the emperor and his representatives and in lavish houses and villas. progressively were considered ever more sacred. Paribeni.. at any rate. 1965]. 192f. 13 (1962). Developed in wealthy domestic architecture among reception halls and throne rooms. 1st. M.). T. In the course of the fourth century it apparently took over wholesale the realm of the civic. Pierre-aux-Nonnains in Metz. Gentili. 1 [The Hague. Mylius.). with clerestory lighting and an apse at one end of the long axis. "Roman Imperial Building in the Provinces. Rivoira. Dyggve. effected about 320 when the apse to the north and the porch to the south were added. This is but natural. esp." Neue Ausgrabungen im Nahen Osten. Palatium Sessorianum. by T. "A Restoration of the Basilica of Constantine. 1961-1962 [Rome. At the same time all monumental public architecture.. Architettura romana (Milan.. Lugli. and in part that of the religious. iff.). "Antioch Hunting Mosaics and their Sources. 650. M R.

J. note 4). where also stucco ornament was seen still in the sixteenth century (". Delle antichità della città di Roma [Venice. 1898]. "Die Basilica des Junius Bassus.. opp.). Ciampini. Indeed. quaestio 182. "Notes sur le développement urbain en Afrique du Nord. The walls shone with marble revetment. 1 ff... Migne.Festschrift für Julius Schlosser (Vienna. and for a long time confined to. col. based on the inscription of an ex-consul Junius Bassus. the interior is unified. Vetera Monimenta. 1 (ed.. and it contrasts sharply with the traditions which had dominated public monumental building in the Roman world through the third century. The building is known best through the numerous sixteenth-century surveys showing the elevation of the walls and their marble revetment (Hülsen. quoting L. Février. part 1. 2i). holding office in 317 and 331 respectively. Günter. PL. 22 iff. it may refer only to the raised tribunal of a secular basilica. op. The suggestion of religious connotations implied by the subject matter of this decoration was proposed in conversations by G. to Augustine basilicas normallywere longitudinal: .32 It is a concept of architectural design. the realm of domestic interiors... the one in the Sessorian Palace.. 62). Cosma e Damiano. and in the apsed hall in the Sessorium (supra. note 30. 1927)." RACrist. about A.. and mosaic in many colors. 9 (1932). 18. “Zur Entstehung der altchristlichen Basilika. A remark by Palladius. 14 (1964). Wand. Schmitt [Leipzig. or else. op. Riegl. Fenster und Licht in der spätantik-frühchristlichen Architektur [Munich. Similarly. yet separate from it. 71.lateribus longioribus brevioribus frontibus. note 2]. may likewise refer to the longitudinal plan of a basilica. passim). 1 [Rome. Whether 90 Chr. note 28). (as supra. see also G. in the hall of SS. p. 223t.D. Cosma e Damiano (supra. regardless of the plan : ut (scil. To me.” Gesammelte Aufsätze [Augsburg.. note 2). . (Quaestiones in heptateuchum. Its plan is clear and simple. 81 P. 6 and i6f. note 28). 91 ff. the Basilica of Junius Bassus. Opus agricultural. It was attached to the palace.. I accepted that date (Corpus Basilicarum. developed in. 660). 34. c.. inclined toward the second Junius Bassus (who died in 359) and thus toward a date of construction between 331 and 359. A. and Lugli and Ashby. It was the Seat of Justice Incarnate. Becatti.g.". . ioov). is in doubt since there were two consuls of that name.) or of Constantinian church building in particular (e. II. two civic basilicas at Djémila dating from 360-367. but I begin to wonder whether the attribution to the first Junius Bassus and hence a building date about 320 are not preferable.d. cit. who is working on the problem in connection with his study of the marble-revetted "loggia” near Porta Marina at Ostia. op.30 lastly. "La basilica di Giunio Basso sull' Esquilino. C. .Cahiers Arch. citt. the residuals of a classical vocabulary. I.Basilica of Junius Bassus.. painted plaster.g.con belli ornamenti di pietre e stucchi. the hall of SS. 330. had been woven as a mere inlay. 32 Interiors filled with plentiful light and enclosed by plain walls shining with marble and mosaic have frequently been claimed as principal features of late antique building in general (e. cit. 300. cit. Hülsen. But they are so far unknown in the East .. 1690}. [as supra. Lugli and Th. but rather the over-all category basilica and within it a variant predominant in the West by a. a wine cellar) basilicae ipsius forma cakatorium habeat loco altiore.. I). I2fï. 4 and pl. The date of the basilica. 166. Fauno.-A. ground hallowed by the presence of the Divine Majesty as Law-Giver. Sedlmayr. Colini. large windows in the apse or in the side walls of such halls and marble revetment unarticulated by columns and entablatures are ascertained in the West at Piazza Armerina (R. Lugli and Ashby. 1552]. a reception hall though hardly private and presumably endowed with religious connotations. Ashby.esp. these elements seem to characterize not so much late antique architecture as a whole or Christian basilicas specifically. 1929].31 Constantine's basilica in Trier represents the type to perfection both in function and design. 53ff. sicut pleraeque basilicae. G. This emphasis on light and on a colorful treatment of the walls the basilica at Trier shares with the contemporary or slightly later single-naved basilicas: the one at Piazza Armerina. into which flat pilasters and friezes. 1. the light plentiful. 1965). in the Junius Bassus basilica (supra..

on the other hand. where possible. by entablatures. at any rate in the western parts of the Empire. the Baths of Diocletian and those of Constantine in Rome. : I think no longer in terms of one single source. and more often than not.. Duval. Grabar (“La basilique chrétienne et les thèmes de l'architecture sacrale dans l'antiquité.in temples. After 300. Maxentius’ Basilica Nova. vaulting was not considered out of place: witness Domitian’s audience hall. My paper overstresses the impact on the formation of the Christian basilica of the forum basilica and its religious connotations. note 14) and Ward Perkins' essay on the origin of the Christian basilica [op. curiae.. focuses too exclusively. In Constantine's age the concept apparently dominated all upper class domestic building.. note 7). igff. and other elements of the traditional classical vocabulary are the rule.) and of F. 4 (1951). and in palace basilicas. such interior spaces. to the category of public building most closely linked to the Emperor—basilicas of any kind.. . forum basilica. Windows. by implication.). 1 ff. the interiors dark. “Le Palais de Dioclétien à Spalato à la lumière des récentes découvertes. Constantinian church building becomes understandable only within the context of this renewal of the genus basilica in both function and design and its dominant place in public monumental architecture. W. especially the contributions of A. whether forum basilicas or palace basilicas. 106ff. but 1. Even in basilicas. entablatures. this articulation by classical membering gives way to a design focussed on unified simple space. From there it may have spread.” as quoted supra. since the passages between columns and walls in Domitian's basilica. on a direct derivation of Christian basilicas from imperial audience halls.stehung der Basilika und Entstehung des Kirchengebàudes. I feel. Deichmann ("Ent. 7 (1962). 76 fi. the painted plaster in the window zone of the Nova. churches in a provincial backwater or built by a poor congregation might adopt plans common among low-class secular basilicas: halls with a single nave or with three naves . Only 83 An excellent survey of the innumerable hypotheses regarding the origins of the Christian basilica proferred since the fifteenth century was compiled some years ago by N.” ibid. and the colorful membranes of the walls. freestanding or projecting from the walls.33 Constantine was raising the Church from obscurity and persecution to the highest rank within his scheme of the Empire and of the universe..'' ibid. by vaulting. 76. but view it as a new creation within a genus long established and about a d 300 in a process of renewal. Regarding my own paper (“The Beginnings of Early Christian Architecture. wide. esp. "Les origines de la basilique chrétienne..50 m. where they existed. coffered vaults. or thermae. Outstanding among recent studies of the problem are the discussions and papers presented at the Munich symposium summarized in Kunstchronik. by niches.” Bull." L’Information d'histoire de l’art. The marble revetment on the walls and piers. But this is the background against which the Constantinian basilica must be viewed. monumental architecture. the type among reception halls is so far unique. In categories of building less tradition-bound. Ward Perkins. cannot in my opinion be interpreted as aisles. serve as a mere backdrop for the traditional articulation by columns. in Maxentius’ rebuilding.). it seems to me in retrospect that both our opinions are in need of revision. whether it served as audience hall. which he views not only as longitudinal but. abundant light. and. 1954). My own present position regarding the origin of the Christian basilica under Constantine is laid down in Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (supra. were small. interiors were articulated by colonnades. hence its buildings must fall into the sphere of public. colonnades. 98f!. projecting entablatures. as frequently composed of a nave and aisles. ii3f.THE CONSTANT IN IAN BASILICA 9 . Indeed. articulated by traditional classical members. or church. cit. for the origins of the Christian basilica. ibid. in the first century at any rate. Whether or not it ever penetrated the domains of public architecture in the eastern provinces had better be left open at this point. Duval. While one of the reception halls at Spalato presumably had this plan (Ward Perkins. are retained only by the more conservative architectural genera : the temple of Venus and Roma. also N. 97ff-. Société Nationale des Antiquaires de France [1961].

13 85 For Constantine’s policy with regard to church buildings. Crisogono in Rome. 34 (Gottingen. as did the Basilica Ulpia. and church building soon becomes the foremost of the Emperor’s activities in the domain of public monumental building. Basilica Constantiniana. . that of basilicas. Dörries. Corpus Scrip..Imperial participation in the construction or decoration of Aquileia cathedral has been suggested by H. C. op. when choosing a simile 12 For S.). large. most recently S.. 14 Eusebius. 1953)* 2°9 ff. Mirabella Roberti.. 16 Even where he is not so personally involved as in the foundation of the church of Golgotha. who impatiently urges the Bishop twice to report right away and to him in person.13 His letter to Bishop Makarios of Jerusalem in 325/326 formulates it expressis verbis: the church on Golgotha was to be built at public expense. 1893]. see Corpus Basilicarum. cit. (Heikel. Ill." RACrist. dominium ecclesiae catholicaeIn quo. 3. after all. Crisogono in Rome or the cathedral in Aquileia. its maintenance was secured from real estate ceded from the imperial fiscus. 12 or they might cling to the tradition of domestic architecture. regarding the construction of churches "at the expense of the Imperial Treasury. 1 (Heikel. Kahler. 26 [Vienna. the fourth century clings to architectural categories and the appropriate vocabularies." . As a public building. and resplendent with precious materials and decoration. “A Note on the Arrangement of the Early Christian Buildings at Aquileia. off.. 16H. of course. Die spätantiken Bauten unter dem Dom von Aquileia (Saarbrücken. 15 Constantine merely expands this principle to include church building.torum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum. 17“ In Optatus Milevitanus. and it was “to outshine the finest buildings in any city and to be more beautiful than any basilica anywhere”—thus assigning it to the domain of public monumental building and within it." Acts VII Ititernational Congress jor Christian Archaeology (in the press). and especially those founded by the Emperor. in Göttingen. 91 ff. 14 Public building. 215): litteras dedi ut domum bonorum nostrorum transgredi faciat. Krautheimer. Wissensch. Appendix. 1957)» but I remain unconvinced. it bore the name of the imperial founder. (as supra. and the adjoining imperial palace was ceded to the Roman bishop as his residence. (ed. and M. But the policy it represents is Constantine’s own: it is he. 17 Like all of antiquity before. d.-hist. X. to be shared between the provincial government and the Imperial Treasury. 144. see R. the cathedral of Rome at the Lateran occupied the site of a former army barracks. Ill.. Das Selbstzeugnis Kaiser Konstantins. The policy thus initiated in 312/313 was apparently established both de facto and de iure by the last decade of Constantine's reign. 76f. C. 85.loco sumptu ftscali basilicam erigi praecepi-----Similarly Eusebius.of equal height. "Constantine's Church Foundations. Klasse. Philol. Constantine or his ghost writer. V. 32 (1956). Akad. De schismate Donalistarum. C. i. financed and supervised by their representatives and a powerful instrument of imperial policy and propaganda. Churches higher up on the social ladder. But the expansion is decisive. Corbett. V. 99 ff. he orders it to be built on public ground and at public expense. it was laid out on a large scale and provided with precious furnishings. must be prominent." Studi aquiUiesi (Aquileia. for centuries had been a primary responsibility of the emperors. such as S. 34 3 Abhandl. note 29). “Considerazioni sulle aule teodoriane di Aquileia. for Aquileia. The letter to Makarios may well have been composed by the Christian desk in the imperial chancellery.. for example in the construction of the basilica ecclesiae in a small North African town.). 15MacMullen. 1954).

22Theodosiani Libri XVI. 54ft. they adopted also in lay-out and construction the basic elements of the type: a simple plan and timber-roof. quam in Constantina civitate iusseram fabricari. uses terms such as pcKjitaos vecbs or pcroiAttoî oIkos instead of paaiXiKf).19 But they were also audience halls of the Lord. thinks of what to him was a traditional religious building—a temple front carried by twelve marble columns and surmounted by a pediment. crosswise. The church on Golgotha. timber-roofed. in Gelasius Cyzicenus. oil.18 However. When Egeria saw the church fifty years later. leges I. Tyre and Jerusalem. 23.." Mil. 7. 19In Optatus Milevitanus. ed. G. comparable to the sanctuary where the living god-emperor received the obeisance of his subjects. it also establishes the church as the throne room of the Emperor of Heaven.. 29 (1953). thin-walled. she noted as Constantine’s gifts also mosaic. and allowing for a plan easily expanded lengthwise and.. loc. 192ff. to the Pilgrim of Bordeaux.P.. as witness two decrees of Constantine exempting building workers from civic duties.1 ff. Since churches were basilicas in function. . Voelkl. 85. "Constantine's Churches at Antioch. II. 18711. Churches must be numerous. IV.. as in the Basilica Nova. "Die konstantinischen Kirchenbauten nach Eusebius. .basilicae quern cymiterium constitua 20 48 Itinerarium Burdigalense. 38 (Vienna. 1.clesiasticorura Latinorum. (Migne PG.. 21L. Notes on Architectural Terms. one wants to remember that neither to Constantine nor to anyone. Université SaintJoseph.hornavit auro.THE CONSTANT IN IAN BASILICA 11 for the Christian Church. capable of holding large crowds.basilitam ecclesiae catholicae. Th. 2 (Berlin. XIII. and of a coffered gilded ceiling. I232ff. COl. L. Mommsen. 38 (1962). They were meeting halls for the congregations (basilicae ecclesiae) or meeting halls for burial and funeral rites (basilicae quae coemeteria). of marble revetment. 202: . impressive through size. tit. in Itinera Hierosolymilana.20 and Eusebius. and silken textiles with gold borders. and vaulting. Church building was a tool aimed at impressing on the Empire and its neighbors the power and splendor of the Christian God and His Church. dedicatory church inscriptions time and again employ the term aula with its aulic overtones. musivo et marmore pretioso. I. through added aisles.). dated 334 and 337 respectively. 1905)." RACrist. . Churches rather fell into the class of basilicas and the reasons are twofold. Downey. whether pagan or Christian. ed. in the early fourth century a church was a religious building of the same character as a temple. 22 Basilica construction recommended itself... Speed was essential . Lib..11 The terminology not only conforms to the high-flown language of encomia and poetry . 21 Similarly. II. 1898). Historia Concilii Nicaeni. These elements obviously coincided with Constantine’s Church policy. and lavishly appointed. 23 Constantine’s gifts to his 18Oratio ad sanctum coetum. Corpus Scriptorum Ec.. P. . Geyer. eucharistic vessels of silver and gold. 23dicam de ornatu fabricae ipsius quam Constantinus. The savings in cost would be spent more profitably in terms of political propaganda on precious decorations and furnishings. is “basilica id est dominicum” . was slow and costly and required skilled labor — a scarce commodity... Constantine’s letter to Makarios of Jerusalem is explicit: he suggests for the church on Golgotha—and no bishop worth his pay would fail to understand the imperial command—the use of columns.

such as S. Christian basilicas under Constantine are set off as a distinct group from their non-Christian cousins.47 Basilicas. and shifting its direction to the longitudinal axis. subdividing it by two triple arches. who died ca.). 329-330. Oettinger. and they do have in commo 24Reusch and Mylius. Contrary to my earlier dating of the remodeling of S. 400 for the apse. Crisogono trans Tiberim in Rome. 12ff. adopted verbatim by Constantinian church planners. (supra. they are viewed. note 28).) and at Szombathely (Steinamanger) (Acta Savariensia. (supra. and lighting fixtures of silver. for St. as meeting halls and audience halls. 1 [1943]. Colini. 19f. and lavish decoration. foundations in Rome and elsewhere convey the same picture of glitter: for the Lateran. only exceptionally are basilica plans. ca. They belong to the category of public monumental building: they are erected with the Emperor's financial and political support as part of a political program..naved. the single. used by Constantinian church builders. Das Werden Wiens [Vienna. 1. I would at present assign the entire remodeling to the last years of Helena. then. esp. lists as churches apsed halls of similar date excavated in Vienna (K. large candlesticks of gilded bronze.. and with large windows—customary by 310 in sumptuous public halls—is rarely. (supra. At the opposite end of the social scale. 25** Corpus Basilicarum. cit. and Sedlmayr. 165fr.24 Only a variant occurs: in the Sessorian Palace in Rome a third-century hall was transformed into a church —S. the donation lists of the Liber Pontificalis enumerate silver altars or offering tables. a huge cross of pure gold. In no case are reasons given for the original Christian character of the buildings. and 51. Croce in Gerusalemme. and I remain much in doubt. 1840. op. op. note 2). Peter's. apsed hall with marble-sheathed walls. . and they share essential features with these other basilicas such as size. or in a distant province such as Istria. 150. cit. have suggested that the apsed hall at Metz was built as a church in the late fourth century. 25ff. light fixtures of silver hanging and standing in the nave and aisles. as customary by 300. built under Constantine for Christian congregations fall in most respects into the same class as basilicas laid out for any other function with the support of the Emperor. note 28). like other basilicas. 350 for the cross arches. and hanging gold crowns. Croce in Gerusalemme— by adding an apse to one of its short sides. 25 As a rule. however. simple construction. op. Yet. they list an altar of gilded silver set with precious stones. 1951J. that is ca. if ever. topped by painted plaster. Plain singlenaved halls or halls with three naves of equal height make their appearance on a low social level of church building.

trabeated or arched.51 In Rome. 67 ff. there is the more recent thesis presented by Sedlmayr (op. Ward Perkins. probably after 324. 1954. ii2ff.A. contained in the donation list. op. Its churches. Sebastiano o nits nave and double aisles clashed against the clumsy. 53 The year 333 has been suggested as the date for the beginning of construction at St.26 In function. cit. Finally. and short projecting aisle—transepts (figs. passim) : late antique architecture in general is characterized by well-lit rooms with large arched windows. and Jongkees. W is sense haften. note 32) .. by now well known ("Hypothèse sur la date de la basilique constantinienne de Saint-Pierre à Rome.. Apollonj Ghetti. 197. op. 23ff.. while playing on a common theme. cit.. u6f.. B.. they select arbitrarily a number of buildings as typical. 182 ff. Peter’s and the impending demolition of the graveyard below. single-naved halls or in basilicas with large clerestory windows. At best. note ii). dated 349. Ward Perkins. Seston. also Klauser.). On the other hand... like the Lateran. whether resting on arcades supported by piers or on colonnades. op. "Das Goldkreuz am Grabe Petri. d. to the completion of and the placing of mosaic inscriptions of Constantine on the apse arch and the triumphal arch. cit. Frazer. and chronological differences between major groups of Christian basilicas. and thus prior to 329/330 (R. “Der Raumcharacter der altchristlichen Basilika. op. and thus after 324 (Piganiol. burial place and funeral banquet hall. 33f. op. tall transept-cum-apse designed to shelter the shrine of the Apostle. Peter's in a paper by W. 4. below the transept and the adjoining part of the nave. note 11). 153ff. Jongkees. different in height and length. Toynbee and J. Ferrua. 4 [1951]. 1954.). A. B. cit. but I remain sceptical. op. as do Toynbee and Ward Perkins. 152L. Seston’s hypothesis was based on a decree of Constans. Phil. E. . Anzeiger. or else. 1951). These last two Sedlmayr considers as specifically Constantinian and Christian. it seems possible to suggest that variants fall into groups determined to a large degree by external factors such as liturgy or workmanship. Peter’s (M. it differs from the cathedral at the Lateran where the congregation met for 9* . obviously prior to 337 (Toynbee and Ward Perkins. which reinstated punishment for violationes sepukri if committed after 333. A Graphic Reconstruction of Old St.62 It has often been taken simply as a second edition of the Lateran . then. functional. op. St." Cahiers Arch. cit. cit. op.. but this is doubtful. that is at S. 85. E. and they disregard social. Josi. cit. 8). the church—and possibly even the transept—was apparently not yet in use in 354. Kirschbaum (Vatican City. Kirschbaum.. Gall and Deichmann at the Munich symposium.M. 40 Krautheimer. thesis. cit. Perhaps—very tentatively—some major differences in style can be explained as regional traits or as characteristic for the early and late years of Constantine’s reign. 61 In my opinion all these theses suffer from severe shortcomings: they are based on material often poorly known and poorly dated.) and has been frequently accepted—for instance. The clerestory with wide windows has been claimed as one of these features (Riegl.-histor. 1957. op..53 and serving as a pilgrims’ church. Begun more than a decade after the Lateran. 2 [1947]. the Lateran basilica had established a type: nave. note 2. to the donation by Constantine and Helena of a huge golden cross.” RACrist. cit. (as supra. regional.. though with regional differences. the difference has been seen in the stress placed on the longitudinal axis of the Christian basilica (E. Peter’s on the Vatican is known. vary widely in plan and design (fig. Kunstchronik. Attempts have been made time and again to establish a set of stylistic features proper to Chris tian building under Constantine as against older and contemporary non-Christian architecture. takes a different view.). no. 12 [Vienna. 1965. 200. 1959. that is. 152f. semicircular apse. from this Seston assumes that a (lost) decree of Constantine issued in 333 had lifted such punishment temporarily in connection with the beginning of work at St. was developed for Christian church building. J.. unpublished).” Osterr.8 A). BS Esplorazioni sotto la Confessione di San Pietro.50 Nor am I convinced that stylistic concepts common either to all Constantinian architecture or to all Constantinian church building can be established at this point. Egger. by wall revetment and by the resulting "decorporealization" of wall and space—elements all found in apsed.. op. finally. by Kirschbaum. The Shrine of Saint Peter (London-New York. since the feast of the Apostle was still celebrated in catacumbis. 1956). Ahad. pairs of aisles on either side. only from old records and illustrations and from recent excavations. New York University. A. cit. Kirschbaum. 1959].. as supra. C. I think it far more likely that 333 marks the termination of work on the foundations in the graveyard area. 13 [1936]. erroneously dates Helena's death 335-337). 272ft. (as quoted supra.THE CON ST A NT IN IAN BASILICA 13 na number of elements. The Age of Constantine knows no such norm. M. cit. Klasse. The start of building operations I would still link to the landholdings in the eastern provinces. as supra. But it is not before 350 that a standard type.ed.

as it were. 1913). Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts (Berlin. 25 (1954)* 47°ff. 1904). though of equally simple design. E. “Recent Discoveries at the Church of the Nativity. The archaeological evidence. 8 C).Studii Diblici Franciscani Liber Annuus. J. 3. Eusibe de Cisarie.. each with atrium. 29 67 Eusebius. 77 (1946). 221 ff. rose near the opposite west end of the precinct. Oulton and H. Bardy. and his description is far from clear. in the first place Eusebius. and to a larger part on the literary sources. Acta Universitatis Gotoburgensis. But it was formed by two basilicas parallel to each other. who interprets hemisphairion as the half dome of an apse. “Excavations in the Atrium of the Church of the Nativity. 12 [1961/62]. L. Abel. 55 and 73 [Paris. 15 ff. 8 B) too differs from that of the Lateran. 31 [Heikel." Cahiers Arch. and by G.. the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. 5 (1935-1936). begun in 325/326—the Holy Sepulchre.C. 26ft. (ed. 1932]. both aisles are the same height. 80 R. Krautheimer. Harvey. Philological Assoc. Peter’s (fig. 1633).” ibid. and this rotunda inside was enveloped by twelve columns. X.. 1 (Göteborg. Other covered cemeteries in Rome. Jérusalem. and have become open relieving arches over the separating aisle arcade. by trabeated columns in the basilica maior at S. III.. perhaps after the middle of the century—which might explain the hodgepodge of pilfered columns and entablatures. 1905]." 0eoAoyia. 14 [1963/64]. 1914). are U-shaped. 4. was apparently similar in proportion. Its nave was flanked by double aisles on either side and these were surmounted by galleries. which apparently projected from the walls and carried silver vessels. 8E). since our knowledge of the basilica rests entirely on Eusebius' description and its interpretation.E. While still incomplete. 108. Vincent and F. Sebastiano. while a forecourt preceded them. Göteborgs Högskolas Arsskrift.I. framed by either a rotunda or by a semicircular colonnade under the open sky.regular services on all feast days.. 5 [Stuttgart. 6 (1936-1937). Lorenzo. 75ff. 1952). note 1. and vol. It was approached from a colonnaded propylaeum at the east end. the walls of the aisles were sheathed with marble. What is clear is that the church had a nave lit by clerestory windows. esp. and the greater simplicity of its over-all design. and. "Trierer Domgrabungen 1943-1954.). vol. nave. was again designed for regular services.nach den ältesten literarischen Zeugnissen. III..” ibid. and 63ff. Kaiser Konstantin und die christliche Kirche (Leipzig. 92]). four aisles. W. delivered in 316/317. LVIII. The most convincing interpretation of the literary material has been given by E. These are the very proportions of the other major sanctuary built by Constantine in the Holy Land." Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine. The Ecclesiastical History. 28 Paulinus’ cathedral at Tyre is known only through Eusebius’ dedication sermon. The Sepulchre. the windows of the inner aisle have slipped down. the nave was short and flanked by double aisles on either side (fig. 28 The most complete among the many preliminary reports on the excavations of the twin cathedral at Trier and its history remains still TTi. (Heikel. The Plan of the Constantinian Church. In the present context they can be disregarded. 3 (1934). 2930. 2 [Loeb Classical Library.. on the other hand.. The plan of St. an atrium." ibid. V..C.4 ’ A1 nap' Euaeßfco £££6poct tcov £kkXt]ctig)v Tffe TTaAcncrrf vt)s. 2. begun presumably about 326. 87 (1937)... 22S. and J.). but it remains in doubt what the oikoi and exedrae mentioned by Eusebius as being along its flank looked like." Transactions Amer. 27 R. and this in turn led to an atrium fronting the basilica. the basilica is known only through Eusebius’ ekphrasis. Here too. preceding this. 398ff. but the colonnades of nave and aisles correspond with one another in number and placing. nor is it clear whether the entire complex was enclosed by a precinct wall. though much larger and provided with a nave. 2ff. Sepolcro.The date 316 or 317 for the consecration of the cathedral of Tyre has been proposed by E. iff. Wistrand. ed. in contrast to the earlier Lateran basilica. Histoire Ecclisiastique. 1952. Calvary. 9). 890." Neue Ausgrabungen in Deutschland... “Basilica of the Nativity. Not only is it provided with a transept. begun in Constantine’s last years or early in Constantius’ reign. J. the cathedral (fig. idem. idem. has recently been supplemented by the investigations around the Sepulchre undertaken by V. the aisles linked by an ambulatory and the nave defined by piers and arcades at S. Schwartz.. 61 On a smaller 88 The letter to Makarios is dated 325/326 through the reference it contains to the acting prefect Drakilianus (Eusebius. a half dome. Nothing so far indicates whether or not the aisles were surmounted by galleries. Harnack. An attempt to visualize the exedras and oikoi mentioned has been made by D. 130 (Sources Chritiennes. W. 81... who was vicarius orientis in 326 (Pauly-Wissowa. T. . Konstantins Kirche am Heiligen Grabe. Lawlor. 68 Kempf. Hamilton. 29 Certainly Constantine’s buildings on Golgotha. a colonnaded propylaeum. 11 (i960). 1: Jérusalem Nouvelle (Paris." Archaeologia. 8 D. i960]). 2 (Leipzig. Corbo (“Gli edifici della Santa Anastasis . against the earlier date 314 or 315 as suggested by A. 1958). sheltering the Grotto of the Nativity. Downey. two aisles. H. True. "Mensa-Coemeterium-Martyrium. becomes evident. G.-M. but the lay-out goes back to Constantine’s late years. 368 ff. See. the nave terminated in a structure covered by a hemisphairion. two aisles. first established by H. his studies raise new questions regarding date and design of the colonnade and the rotunda at the Anastasis. iv. Die Chronologie der altchristlichen Literatur. however. “Nuove Scoperte archeolo. Real-Encyclopädie. scanty and confined to the areas of the propylaeum and atrium at one end of the complex and of the Holy Sepulchre at the opposite end.58 While all these elements are attested to by both archaeological evidence and by Eusebius’ and later descriptions. like the one at the Lateran. 7 ff. 37ft.giche nella Basilica del S. 60 The Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. 63fr. “The Church of the Nativity. and hence presumably a rotunda. and rectangular chancel lined with cubicles along its east side. nave and aisles (and the atrium) probably date after Constantine’s death. Discovery of the Remains of an Earlier Church. The reconstruction of Constantine’s buildings at the Holy Sepulchre is based in part on the archaeological remains. Bethlehem. 59 The site suggests a plan not much longer than wide (figs. suppor ted on high columns. K. “On Some Post-Classical Greek Architectural Terms. Pallas. An octagon rose at the end of the nave and aisles. but the possibility deserves consideration. and the basilica—were enclosed in one precinct. Richmond.). 1958.27 In Trier. V. and galleries.

for the celebration of the Eucharist. 1965. Schultze.nianische Sophienkirche.. Second Report [Edinburgh. The Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors. "Die vorjusti. that the building was started between 335 and 337. op. 15. the social and economic standing of the patron and the prestige he was able and willing to confer on the structure were obviously determinant factors in influencing the design. H. Interpretation and dating of the elements excavated still awaits further study. cit. Talbot Rice [ed. would. 1957]): Pesch (see supra. the type seems to have survived in Constanti nople and Salonica through the fifth century. in buildings of his foundation. small. M. for covered cemeteries in Rome—a local phenomenon. therefore. Bruce-Mitford [New York. they were low. Where custom demanded a lengthwise division of the congregation (the men on one side. terminating the nave. 77ft. I 9* . idem. Evidence. It is not mentioned by Eusebius. 12. at the pinnacle of the social scale. On this point. 1958]. in Art Bulletin. II.. or for that matter. as established by Constantine's time. Schneider. a requirement which in Constantinian church planning coincided with the architectural tradition which by 300—at least in the West —viewed basilicas of any function or type as longitudinal. <2 It has been claimed that clerestory windows were common in basilicas not destined for Christian use and at times antedating the fourth century. altar. basilicas with nave and aisles in a higher stratum. though with strong regional variations. Indeed. However. and not to be compared with the huge windows common in Constantinian times. eccles. cut stone in the Holy Land and at Tyre. it is hardly conceivable that Constantine would not have thought of providing a cathedral for Constantinople. e. 1928].” Byzantinische Zeitschrift. given its distance from the outer windows of the aisles. or in separate rooms near the altar. and. I agree with Sedlmayr. 23 (1941)» 2371?. London (W. [Heikel]) limits himself to general remarks regarding Constantine's activity in building churches in his new capital. like S. The church is first mentioned by Socrates (Hist. the front wall of the atrium. 63 All these elements must be considered in interpreting architectural variants such as twin cathedrals. I feel that practical solutions should be exhausted before interpreting the size of these windows and the abundance of light thus provided by reference to the Sol invictus (Sedlmayr) or to Christian stress on light and enlightenment (Riegl. 37. w'hether the transept of St. cit. however. the Easter Chronicle states that Constantine had laid the foundations around 336. 36 [1936]. perhaps the placing of the catechumens—during their part of Mass and after dismissal. palace churches.THE CON ST A NT IN IAN BASILICA 15 When presenting a reconstruction of the church in Krautheimer. church basilicas could be single-naved only where the congregation was small. Where clerestory openings can be ascertained. the seating of the congregation. Peter’s or the octagon at Bethlehem . generally demanded a longitudinal axis of congregation. Alongside such primarily practical or functional factors. in Vitruvius' basilica at Fano or in the Basilica Julia. Local building practices and natural resources dictate the choice of structural materials and the techniques of workmanship: concrete faced with brick or opus listatum at Rome. and reconstruction drawings frequently show rows of windows in the clerestory: Ladenburg (R. With J. Die Grabung im Westhof der Sophienkirche.]. B. F. such reconstruction is rarely supported by archae ological evidence. aisles would lend themselves to such segregation. (supra. A large congregation would require a structure expanded sideways. Ward Perkins (in D. Intertwined with such variations of local liturgical practice and church planning is the variety of church types assigned to different ecclesiastical functions in Constantinian times and slightly later: for the regular services of a resident congregation... for the Sermon (where customary). or a central plan as in such structures as the Golden Octagon at Antioch. Basilika [Berlin-Leipzig. single-naved halls without apses on a low social level. full brick at Trier. The roots of both constant and variable elements are many and are determined more often than not by external factors. 64). This would seem to suggest that the Hagia Sophia was not yet under construction when Eusebius last visited Constantinople in 335. fig. Croce in Rome. the placing of the clergy seats. 61 The date of the beginning of work on the first Hagia Sophia has yet to be established. and clergy during services. On the other hand. who (V.). apsed structures. the timing of the offerings by the congregation —before the service or between tnissa catechumenorum and missa fidelium. or rotundas. the movements of the clergy—for the Readings. The hierarchy of these categories further causes such covered cemeteries usually to be less lavishly appointed than cathedrals. external factors—liturgical or practical—exert their impact on the variable elements in Constantinian church building. the women on the other). op. or rooms attached to the chancel area. octagons. I still think it possible that the rear wall of the early fifth-century propylaeum. The nave. huge apsed halls plentifully lit and sumptuously appointed. see A. Mith. w'ould have to be lit by clerestory windows in basilicas without galleries. Liturgical custom. both documentary and archaeological. I did not yet consider the possibility of its having had galleries. belongs to Constantine's original structure rather than to Theodosius II's rebuilding. op.raeum. note 2). Keck. C. The Emperor. the church plan appears to have been modified by local variations in liturgical custom: the site of the altar. that is. Grimes. [Berlin. scale and with but two aisles. L. 16) as being under construction under Constantius. cit.g. ed. the placing of the offerings—outside the church. atria. in Recent Archaeological Excavations. and since roof construction limited the width of the nave. aisle.). 55f. insist on the grandeur and splendor appropriate to his position and to state buildings of the highest class.transepts. transepts.62 Similarly. Lorenzo. Istanbuler Forschungen.C. large structures attached to the body of the basilica. R. review of E. it seems—U-shaped basilicas such as S. Features common to all high-class Constantinian church building—the lengthwise direction and the combination of nave and aisles—thus interlock with elements which vary from building to building: twin cathedrals. Sebastiano or S. as a rule. for palace churches. and I suspect. Hagia Sophia. is but scanty (A. 1941]). the extension by aisles was a natural solution. then. Swift. note 24). on the altar. Comparably. On the other hand. 61 for martyria.

.. notes 112. III. since the church was completed only in 341. The gilded roof tiles at Antioch are referred to by John Chrysostomus (Migne. op. the terrain. they are preserved only in fragments and usually only in their foundation walls.68 hence. note 10]. IV. the carved and gilded cofferings in the basilica on Golgotha and in the Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople. and thus it became— beginning with. Architecture. IV. 181 ff. 318 ff. 50. the exterior was covered with stucco imitating stone construction. G. XI. 115. note 28'.class church building throughout the fourth and into the fifth century. Peristephanon. the structure must have been well advanced by the time Eusebius described it (V. and the light reflected by all this glitter.. loc. the gilded bronze tiles on the roof “shining afar”.pleted in 341 (Downey. multi colored mosaic. 344. gold. 49-54.dentius revels in describing gilded coffered ceilings. 159). presents a picture less clear than the figurative arts: the monuments are few. see G. Certainly the glittering lavishness and the monumentality of highclass public architecture is what Constantine wanted to impart to church building. note 14).Church Type. . buildings more often than other works of art depend on local conditions and other external factors. at first glance.\ A. although particular facets of the question have been well dealt with: e. Kunstwissenschaft. refer ring to the Apostles Church at Constantinople (Heikel. Wright [Loeb Classical Library. 67 A. 94). F. A. 1957)» passim. Sanctuaires chrétiens de Syrie (Paris. Nazianz und Nyssa. g8f. I think it very possible that also in brick construction. 36 (Heikel. on the piers of the ambulatory.think it very possible that the doubling of the aisles at the Lateran. T.C. 12 (Munster.. W. 141). Jerome. Goldschmidt [as supra. customary in Rome. throughout the twenty-four years of Con- .. 92 f. 50 [Heikel. Sebastiano. 71. v ii ix. 32.. reflects a desire to emulate the great secular basilicas built by past emperors in the capital—the Basilica Julia and the Ulpia. V. Die Platzanordnung im Gläubigenraum der altchristlichen Kirche (Münster. 1. 38 (1962). finally. Pru. cit. Dynes. Sebastiano. Stylistic concepts. 342 ft. 58. Thomson (as supra. cit.C. 141). and altars or altar vessels studded with jewels.67 In the interiors. Ep. 1963). 11 (1962/64). F. A History of Antioch (Princeton.. note 50. Drerup. gilded ceilings. Mathews. 36 (1913). Kunstchronik. H. 71 Where economy forbade such luxury. 47f. at St. 7a Gunter. aside from functional considerations. Lassus. Bartoli. passim. III. The gilding obviously would date a few years after Constantine’s death. 175) and Jerome. cit. "Über Pastophorien und verwandte Nebenräume. both quoted by Downey. 1931). note 10). as had been the case in Diocletian’s Curia Senatus. see supra. Eusebius. A similar marble imitation existed in the north hall of the twin cathedral at Aquileia (ibid. Orbis Antiquus. Bandmann. XII.). Peristephanon. 70 H. the fragment of a painted imitation of marble revetment has survived. 1954]» 2I4> Paulinus of Nola. 324). 58 (Heikel. the furnishings in silver. XII. 94. But on closer view.. 327. 1947). The contrast." Repertorium f. regarding churches in general. 69 hence. 13 (ed. 46. "The First Christian Palace. 52 (Selected Letters of St. the other was concentrated predominantly in Rome and extended. vs.C. 4 (1951) (supra. cit. Chronicle. Peter’s. attacks the profusion in churches of marble. M For S. p!s.’' Kunstgeschichtliche Studien für Hans Kaufmann (Berlin. Curia Senatus (Rome. (as supra. Ep. 98!]) in 337 or slightly after. 40 ff.).). "Die Oktogone von Antiochia.: and. Selhorst. But the intention of lavishness remains. 31. it turns out rather to spring from different concepts prevailing among church leaders and at Constantine’s court during the first and the second half of his reign. a substitute took its place: at S. Croce. 36. 1 fl. M Eusebius. in his more ascetic mood. «« Eusebius. 1961). Jerome. though not necessarily through Constantine—the aim of high. op. Begun in 327. note 10]." Marsyas. and on Golgotha. note 32). ad ann.70 From there it had penetrated palace and public building.tinian church planning leads onto slippery ground. and Jerome.. ° Research into the interplay of liturgy and church building has hardly been started. PG. vs. vss. Peter’s in Rome (Prudentius. referring to Antioch. stantine’s reign.g. Vber den Ausstattungsluxus in der romischen Architekiur. thus. III. hence. To go beyond the impact of these varying external factors on Constan. are hard to grasp. the materials available.. they are known through ekphraseis that require interpretation. the marble revetment of the walls and the marble columns.. 73fr. 71 Prudentius.C. through the fourth century A. *957)> *9ff-.72 as in so many middle-class houses from the first century B. Thomson [as supra. V. 66 Indeed. marble columns. ed. Birnbaum. appears to be the familiar one of East against West. 32. "An Early Roman Chancel Arrangement and Its Liturgical Functions. 51. and was com. This somewhat garish abundance of shimmering and expensive materials had evolved from the tradition of luxurious design in Roman mansions. more recently. 20. 215 ff. for obvious reasons. V. Monumentality in his eyes was guaranteed by the size of the structure and by the massiveness of the exterior: hence the emphasis placed in Eusebius’ descriptions on the incredible height of Constantine’s churches. and gilded bronze listed among Constantine’s donations to Roman churches. n8f. [as supra. was the first to point out the fragment of marble imitation on a pier in the ambulatory of S. Stone imitation in stucco was common in Rome through the third and into the fourth century: witness the great palace hall of the Sessorium and the Basilica Nova of Maxentius (Colini. the liturgy prevailing. col... 3246. or else. III." RACrist. For Antioch. II. ed. Downey. the impression is dominated by the glittering lavishness of materials and appointments: hence. op. But two groups seem to stand out in Constantinian church building: one centered on the churches built under Constantine’s aegis in his late years in Jerusalem and Constantinople. though with variations. J. 85 hence also the stress on the heavy stone construction “shining like marble” of the basilica on Golgotha.D.C. note 3. 31-42. Certainly of post-Constantinian date was the gilded roof of St. ed.

the Hagia Sophia at Constantinople. the precedent set in the West by singlenaved throne rooms filled with light and offering wall space for marble revetment and aniconic decoration in mosaic or painted plaster. 9 (1960-1961).” Cahiers Arch. and this basilica. Dyggve. 15 (1965). But. one such pocket was the group of synagogues in Galilee. Apollinare Nuovo was certainly a covered basilica. Represented first by Constantine’s and Constantius’ Hagia Sophia. the former position being taken by P. The design of the interior was determined instead by the large surfaces of the nave walls.” Marsyas. it is reflected to perfection as late as 463 by the Church of St.75 From Jerusalem this church type. It must be noted. Indeed. 1941). given its late date. and the adoption of the type at the Lateran must be viewed as a new departure. the most greatly admired imperial forum basilicas. represented in the mosaic at S. 300 had become obsolete.. The concepts of order and correspondence and the arti culating function of colonnades and entablatures count little. and it is possible that it reflects an audience hall once existing at Constantinople. proportion. but the few traces preserved in the aisles at the Lateran and at S. the picture must have been determined by the superimposed orders—or the one colossal order—of columns flanking the nave. the design and its execution were apparently the work of an architect well versed in the building techniques of Rome and rooted in architectural concepts prevailing by 300 in the West. seems to have been brought to Constantinople in the thirties. by A. the changes having been required by liturgical practice. the wish to provide plentiful light in the nave..31 Whatever its source. the Magnaura. the marble revetment on the aisle walls acted as a backdrop. 31E. wide-spread among forum basilicas and occasionally among other groups of basilicas as well. On the other hand. Lampl. this would be the most attractive explanation.D. 54. Developed in the early years of Constantine’s reign. the reversion to an impressive. But it remains in doubt whether it was or was not provided with galleries. the stylistic features of the basilica on Golgotha can be envisaged but vaguely from Eusebius’ description. Theodoric's building shown at S. The basilica composed of a high nave and low aisles appears to be. John in the Studion convent (fig. but a basilica erected under the Emperor’s personal and direct sponsorship is likely to have had origins more august than a few small provincial synagogues. an early Constantinian type 30See supra. thus forming a mere backdrop for the colonnades of the nave. no palace basilicas of this type are known. if obsolete.and third-century date.THE CON ST A NT IN IAN BASILICA 17 The churches built or begun during the last twelve years of Constantine’s life—the basilica on Golgotha. and it seems not too far-fetched to suggest that Constantine’s architects in Jerusalem turned to such models with their imperial connotations in laying out a basilica erected under imperial auspices and designed to serve as a throne room for the Emperor of Heaven. esp. secular basilicas with low' aisles and large clerestory windows had existed in the West—witness the thermae hall of S. They survived only in out-of-the-way pockets. one recalls (including perhaps the last-named) basilicas with galleries (fig. interpreted the building represented on the mosaic as a “basilica discoperta” and linked it to the layout of the audience hall in Constantius' palace in his new capital. whether genuine or imitation. 6ff. a basilica with galleries. After all. Their handling in Constantinian times remains conjectural. It may have stemmed from many factors: the practical need to expand the structure sideways for a large congregation. 160. Ravennaium Palaiium Sacrum (Copenhagen. columns and trabeations and their articulating function. that basilicas with galleries.70 but they were rare. In constrast. In the Lateran. As in earlier basilicas of second. about a. however. 9* . This was destroyed in 532 and nothing is known of its plan or elevation. the Lateran cathedral represents a much simpler and a far less conservative variant on the general theme than the basilica version with galleries.. were provided with galleries. then. 12. 10): the exterior is bulky. 207 ff. nave and aisle colonnades differed in number. 9).d. In a way. the interior is short and squat with the nave only slightly higher than the galleries and articulated vertically by superimposed colonnades. might have been influenced in its design by churches with galleries. however. the latter by N. the Severiana in Lepcis Magna. This is possible. Pudenziana. in particular 253. Duval. Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna. Marble revetment was necessarily confined to the walls of the aisles. materials. unfortunately. note 24. and the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem—were. “La représentation du Palais d’après le psautier d'Utrecht. They were obviously variants on two-storied basilicas of pre-Constantinian times. and there it takes solid roots. A mosaic decoration could have been placed only in the short and dark top zone of the nave and on the dome of the hemisphairion. To be sure. model may well parallel the prevalence in Constantine’s administration of a retrospective trend in the last years of his life. except perhaps the one of Theodoric. the Julia and the Ulpia in Rome. and the entire design stresses the structural elements. 30 Thus the architects who designed the basilica at Jerusalem with galleries may have done so simply because a local model was at hand. There is one more alternative: the basilica on Golgotha might have drawn on palace basilicas provided with aisles and galleries. Sebastiano strongly hint at the possibility of their having been designed for marble revetment. “Schemes of Architectural Representation in Early Mediaeval Art. and position.

locally available. fictitiously at least. speak only of “Eustathios (or Eustachius) the presbyter from Constantinople through whose zeal the martyrium . 315L) and. apparently following him. 3. De Boor [Leipzig. Chronographia (ed. the number of pilgrims to be expected. and the liturgical requirements locally prevailing.. 5828 = A. finally. rather. ad. PL. the first under the year . the cross-shaped Holy Apostles in Constantinople. In building the church on Golgotha. while materials and labor not so available and extraordinary expenses will be procured by the imperial chancellery. the new simplified designs still vary widely. 77 The building then rises in an interplay of forces. Within these limitations. the size of the congregation. Empire under the auspices of the Christian Emperor of the West. A few years later. others variable locally or regionally: the Emperor’s insistence on monumental public structures. For these tasks an architect was needed. as at Tyre. possibly an architect or else a representative of the imperial treasury or chancellery. a formula with but two aisles became the rule. 288 ff. in examples previously erected. no bishop could have prepared without expert help the technical specifications such as type and amount of materials or of workmen. the new' plan with its tall. and the presbyter Eustathios from Constantinople. 576) in their chronicles. In specifying such precious materials. The Bishop is ordered to prepare an estimate of the materials and labor required. But it is the Bishop who determines quantity and quality of the materials to be gathered and the number and type of workmen needed. the Roman type seems to be developed freely as part of the regeneration of the genus basilica which takes place about 300 primarily in the West of the Empire. Based on this estimate.D. two men were involved: Zenobius. or martyria such as Constantine’s own martyrium. Constantine’s architects designed his churches—basilicas adapted to local conditions and demands. secular or ecclesiastical. developed from the framework of the traditional genus basilica: a policy which tallies with his general aims of achieving revolutionary ends without disturbing the traditional framework demanded by a mass culture. 33). after all. Once evolved at the Lateran in 313. 51. Prosper of Aquitaine (Migne. aim. col. note 45. the local authorities are to provide the materials and workmen. and specifically referred to as an architect. only the ecclesiastical authorities on the spot knew the terrain. by imperial fiat or. as had been done occasionally in times past. 328. 1923]. his acquaintance directly or by hearsay with the building type. either a local one or possibly one dispatched by the Emperor. the latter under a p 336. whether local or brought in from the outside. Eastern planners in Constantine's late years appear to concentrate their inventiveness on church designs other than basilicas— octagonal palace churches like the one at Antioch. J. yet expressive of the grandeur of the imperial founder and of the triumph of the religion he had taken under his protection. In contrast to the revival of second-century models in the late Constantinian churches at Jerusalem and presumably at Constantinople. he acts as the Emperor’s delegate for the construction. the local requirements as set forth in secular building by the governor or his delegate. and it may be important that this inventiveness in the West is focussed entirely on basilica plans. resplendent in precious materials. The wide variety in Constantinian church building finds its explanation in large part in the administrative procedure adopted by Constantine in his church foundations. 74 Corpus Basilicarum. some constant ” Theophanes. the materials locally available or procurable from abroad. However. mentions both "the presbyter Eustathios from Constantinople and Zenobius. conversely. the Bishop necessarily would lay down other essential requirements to be met by the building. both skilled and unskilled. the architect who on Constantine's order built (this in the singular!) the martyrion of Jerusalem. the background of the architect. nor could he draw up final plans or supervise construction." Jerome {Eusebii Pamphili Chronici Canones Latine evertit.. in charge of financing or providing materials. the most complete source. 340. Constantine was following a practice established since at least the second century in appointing a local dignitary to prepare and supervise the construction of public buildings. insisting on the position of churches at the very top of public monumental architecture. as the representative of the local church. Fotheringham throughout the Empire. . In Constantine’s days. ed. In the East. takes the initiative in building the church. it is his letter to Makarios which sets forth the procedure. dimmer aisles rapidly became common property both in the West and in the East. Constantine’s building policy. well-lit nave and its low. in church building by the bishop.evolved in the West and specifically in Rome. [London. approaching the standard basilica types which prevail all over the Christian world beginning with the second half of the fourth century. that it was invented simultaneously more than once. In this respect. The Emperor. K. on the contrary. Again. as has been suggested. Constantine obviously follows his policy of ranking church buildings among the highest class of public architecture.Hieronymus. C. On the other hand. the basilica type occupies church planners to but a minor degree. but I doubt that it was spread. Its plan could be easily adapted to local needs and where less space was required. 1883]. from his name a Syrian or Palestinian. the wealthy and ambitious bishop of Tyre would have had information about the great cathedral under construction in the capital of the 74 See supra.

696ff. vela vides. Silviae peregrinatio. then.. presents Eustathios as Constantine’s liaison officer in Jerusalem. Ministerium autem omne genus aureum gemmatum.” Studia Patristica. 1752. Telfer.. 76: . Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres..THE CON ST A NT IN IAN BASILICA 19 in Jerusalem was built. ”44 Frequently used through the fifth and sixth centuries. cf. 1753. he copied in its entirety a more complete early source.” The question is... in Itinera Hierosolymitana (as quoted supra. nos. thus turning Eustathios instead of Zenobius into an architect.. Diehl. auroclava oliserica sunt. 1761. 1759. note 42). or whether. "Constantine's Holy Land Plan. as I think likely. 1 = Texts und Untersuchungen. while Prosper and Jerome dropped from this or a similar early source the name of Zenobius.. 1957). Quid autem 9* . but beyond that considers both Eustathios and Zenobius as “members of the imperial staff that was bringing Constantinople into being. 63 {Berlin. 44 S. whether Theophanes elaborated on a simple original statement like the one found in Jerome. 1756...