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Eastern Medieval ArchitectureThe Building Traditions of Byzantium and Neighboring Lands$
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Robert G. Ousterhout

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190272739

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190272739.001.0001

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Rome, the Domus Ecclesiae, and the Church Basilica

Rome, the Domus Ecclesiae, and the Church Basilica

Chapter:
(p.2) (p.3) Chapter One Rome, the Domus Ecclesiae, and the Church Basilica
Source:
Eastern Medieval Architecture
Author(s):

Robert G. Ousterhout

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190272739.003.0002

The church basilica adopted in the period of Constantine (after 312 CE) followed the model of Roman civic basilicas and audience halls—that is, it represented a building type without specifically religious associations. Moreover, the basilica form could accommodate large crowds internally and could be easily distinguished externally from pagan temples; their construction literally put Christianity on the urban landscape. Many replaced “house churches” of the pre-Constantinian era or were situated near the graves of martyrs.

Keywords:   Rome, domus ecclesiae, basilica, church, Dura Europos, martyrium, cemetery basilica, catacomb, synagogue, Constantine, Tetrarchy, Edict of Milan

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