Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in Athens
The British Museum is dedicated to human history and culture, and is located in the Bloomsbury area of London. The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician, the museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759, in Montagu House, on the site of the current building. Although today principally a museum of art objects and antiquities. Its foundations lie in the will of the Irish-born British physician, on 7 June 1753, King George II gave his formal assent to the Act of Parliament which established the British Museum. They were joined in 1757 by the Old Royal Library, now the Royal manuscripts, together these four foundation collections included many of the most treasured books now in the British Library including the Lindisfarne Gospels and the sole surviving copy of Beowulf. The British Museum was the first of a new kind of museum – national, belonging to neither church nor king, freely open to the public, sloanes collection, while including a vast miscellany of objects, tended to reflect his scientific interests.
The addition of the Cotton and Harley manuscripts introduced a literary, the body of trustees decided on a converted 17th-century mansion, Montagu House, as a location for the museum, which it bought from the Montagu family for £20,000. The Trustees rejected Buckingham House, on the now occupied by Buckingham Palace, on the grounds of cost. With the acquisition of Montagu House the first exhibition galleries and reading room for scholars opened on 15 January 1759. During the few years after its foundation the British Museum received several gifts, including the Thomason Collection of Civil War Tracts. A list of donations to the Museum, dated 31 January 1784, in the early 19th century the foundations for the extensive collection of sculpture began to be laid and Greek and Egyptian artefacts dominated the antiquities displays. Gifts and purchases from Henry Salt, British consul general in Egypt, beginning with the Colossal bust of Ramesses II in 1818, many Greek sculptures followed, notably the first purpose-built exhibition space, the Charles Towneley collection, much of it Roman Sculpture, in 1805.
In 1816 these masterpieces of art, were acquired by The British Museum by Act of Parliament. The collections were supplemented by the Bassae frieze from Phigaleia, Greece in 1815, the Ancient Near Eastern collection had its beginnings in 1825 with the purchase of Assyrian and Babylonian antiquities from the widow of Claudius James Rich. The neoclassical architect, Sir Robert Smirke, was asked to draw up plans for an extension to the Museum. For the reception of the Royal Library, and a Picture Gallery over it, and put forward plans for todays quadrangular building, much of which can be seen today. The dilapidated Old Montagu House was demolished and work on the Kings Library Gallery began in 1823, the extension, the East Wing, was completed by 1831. The Museum became a site as Sir Robert Smirkes grand neo-classical building gradually arose
They were originally part of the temple of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. In 1801, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin obtained a permit from the Sublime Porte, from 1801 to 1812, Elgins agents removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as sculptures from the Propylaea and Erechtheum. The Marbles were transported by sea to Britain, in Britain, the acquisition of the collection was supported by some, while others, such as Lord Byron, likened Elgins actions to vandalism or looting. Greece disputes the subsequent purchase of the Marbles by the British Government, in November 1798 the Earl of Elgin was appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of His Britannic Majesty to the Sublime Porte of Selim III, Sultan of Turkey. According to Lord Elgin, the answer of the Government, Lord Elgin decided to carry out the work and employed artists to take casts and drawings under the supervision of the Neapolitan court painter Giovani Lusieri.
According to a Turkish local, marble sculptures that fell were being burned to obtain lime for building, although the original intention was only to document the sculptures, in 1801 Lord Elgin began to remove material from the Parthenon and its surrounding structures under the supervision of Lusieri. Pieces were removed from the Acropolis, the Erechtheion, the Propylaia, the excavation and removal was completed in 1812 at a personal cost of around £70,000. Elgin intended to use the marbles to decorate his house in Scotland. He sold the Parthenon Marbles to the British government for less than the cost to them, declining higher offers from other potential buyers. As such, they represent more than half of what now remains of the sculptural decoration of the Parthenon. As the Acropolis was still an Ottoman military fort, Elgin required special permission to enter the site, including the Parthenon and he stated that he had obtained from the Sultan a firman to allow his artists access to the site, but was unable to produce the original documentation.
However, a document claimed to be an English translation of an Italian copy made at the time was presented by Elgin in its stead, and its authenticity has been questioned, as it lacked the formalities characterising edicts from the sultan. The document was recorded in an appendix of an 1816 parliamentary committee report, the committee permission had convened to examine a request by Elgin asking the British government to purchase the marbles. The report said that the document in the appendix was a translation in English of an Ottoman firman dated July 1801. In Elgins view it amounted to an Ottoman authorisation to remove the marbles, the committee was told that the original document was given to Ottoman officials in Athens in 1801. Researchers have so far failed to locate it despite the fact that the Ottoman archives in Istanbul still hold a number of documents dating from the same period. The parliamentary record shows that the Italian copy of the firman was not presented to the committee by Elgin himself but by one of his associates, the clergyman Rev.
Philip Hunt. Hunt, who at the time resided in Bedford, was the last witness to appear before the committee and he went on to explain that he had not brought the document, upon leaving Bedford, he was not aware that he was to testify as a witness
A pendentive is a constructive device permitting the placing of a circular dome over a square room or an elliptical dome over a rectangular room. The pendentives, which are segments of a sphere, taper to points at the bottom. In masonry the pendentives thus receive the weight of the dome, prior to the pendentives development, the device of corbelling or the use of the squinch in the corners of a room had been employed. Pendentives were commonly used in Orthodox and Baroque churches, hagia Sophia Squinch Heinle, Schlaich, Jörg, Kuppeln aller Zeiten, aller Kulturen, Stuttgart, ISBN 3-421-03062-6 Rasch, Jürgen, Die Kuppel in der römischen Architektur. Entwicklung, Konstruktion, Architectura,15, pp. 117–139
History of Roman and Byzantine domes
The History of Roman and Byzantine domes traces the architecture of domes throughout the ancient Roman Empire and its medieval continuation, today called the Byzantine Empire. The domes were customarily hemispherical, although octagonal and segmented shapes are known, and they developed in form, use. Early examples rested directly on the walls of round rooms and featured a central oculus for ventilation. Pendentives became common in the Byzantine period, provided support for domes over square spaces, Nero introduced the dome into Roman palace architecture in the 1st century and such rooms served as state banqueting halls, audience rooms, or throne rooms. The Pantheons dome, the largest and most famous example, was built of concrete in the 2nd century, Imperial mausolea, such as the Mausoleum of Diocletian, were domed beginning in the 3rd century. Brick ribs allowed for a structure and facilitated the use of windows in the supporting walls. Christian baptisteries and shrines were domed in the 4th century, such as the Lateran Baptistery, Constantines octagonal palace church in Antioch may have been the precedent for similar buildings for centuries afterward.
His Hagia Sophia and Church of the Holy Apostles inspired copies in centuries, domes over windowed drums of cylindrical or polygonal shape were standard after the 9th century. In the empires period, smaller churches were built with smaller domes, exceptions include the 11th century domed-octagons of Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni, and the 12th century Chora Church, among others. Rounded arches and domes distinguish Roman architecture from that of Ancient Greece and were facilitated by the use of concrete and brick. By varying the weight of the material in the concrete. But concrete domes required expensive wooden formwork, called shuttering, to be built and kept in place during the curing process, formwork for brick domes need not be kept in place as long and could be more easily reused. Roman domes were used in baths, villas and they were customarily hemispherical in shape and partially or totally concealed on the exterior. A variety of shapes, including shallow saucer domes, segmental domes. The audience halls of many imperial palaces were domed, domes were very common over polygonal garden pavilions.
Construction and development of domes declined in the west with the decline, in the Byzantine period, a supporting structure of four arches with pendentives between them allowed the spaces below domes to be opened up. Pendentives allowed for weight loads to be concentrated at just four points on a more practical square plan, domes were important elements of baptisteries and tombs. They were normally hemispherical and had, with exceptions, windowed drums
In Christian iconography, Christ Pantocrator refers to a specific depiction of Christ. Pantocrator or Pantokrator is, used in context, a translation of one of many names of God in Judaism. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek as the Septuagint, in the New Testament, Pantokrator is used once by Paul. Aside from that one occurrence, John of Patmos is the only New Testament author to use the word Pantokrator, the most common translation of Pantocrator is Almighty or All-powerful. In this understanding, Pantokrator is a word formed from the Greek words πᾶς, pas, i. e. all and κράτος, kratos, i. e. strength, might. This is often understood in terms of power, i. e. ability to do anything. Another, more literal translation is Ruler of All or, less literally, in this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek for all and the verb meaning To accomplish something or to sustain something. This translation speaks more to Gods actual power, i. e, the Pantokrator, largely an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic theological conception, is less common by that name in Western Catholicism and largely unknown to most Protestants.
In the West the equivalent image in art is known as Christ in Majesty, Christ Pantocrator has come to suggest Christ as a mild but stern, all-powerful judge of humanity. The icon of Christ Pantokrator is one of the most widely used images of Orthodox Christianity. Some scholars consider the Pantocrator a Christian adaptation of images of Zeus, the development of the earliest stages of the icon from Roman Imperial imagery is easier to trace. The image of Christ Pantocrator was one of the first images of Christ developed in the Early Christian Church, in the half-length image, Christ holds the New Testament in his left hand and makes the gesture of teaching or of blessing with his right. The gessoed panel, finely painted using a wax medium on a panel, had been coarsely overpainted around the face. It was only when the overpainting was cleaned in 1962 that the ancient image was revealed to be a high quality icon. The left hand holds a book with a richly decorated cover featuring the Cross. An icon where Christ has a book is called Christ the Teacher.
Christ is bearded, his brown hair centrally parted, and his head is surrounded by a halo, the icon is usually shown against a gold background comparable to the gilded grounds of mosaic depictions of the Christian emperors. Often, the name of Christ is written on each side of the halo, as IC, christs fingers are depicted in a pose that represents the letters IC, X and C, thereby making the Christogram ICXC
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros, Apollo has been recognized as a god of music and prophecy, the sun and light, poetry. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. As the patron of Delphi, Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the gods custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, as the leader of the Muses and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became an attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE.
The name Apollo—unlike the related older name Paean—is generally not found in the Linear B texts, the etymology of the name is uncertain. The spelling Ἀπόλλων had almost superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era and it probably is a cognate to the Doric month Apellaios, and the offerings apellaia at the initiation of the young men during the family-festival apellai. According to some scholars the words are derived from the Doric word apella, apella is the name of the popular assembly in Sparta, corresponding to the ecclesia. R. S. P. Beekes rejected the connection of the theonym with the noun apellai, several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most often associated Apollos name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι, in the ancient Macedonian language πέλλα means stone, and some toponyms may be derived from this word, Πέλλα and Πελλήνη. The role of Apollo as god of plague is evident in the invocation of Apollo Smintheus by Chryses, the Hittite testimony reflects an early form *Apeljōn, which may be surmised from comparison of Cypriot Ἀπείλων with Doric Ἀπέλλων.
A Luwian etymology suggested for Apaliunas makes Apollo The One of Entrapment, Apollos chief epithet was Phoebus, literally bright. It was very commonly used by both the Greeks and Romans for Apollos role as the god of light, like other Greek deities, he had a number of others applied to him, reflecting the variety of roles and aspects ascribed to the god. However, while Apollo has a number of appellations in Greek myth. Aegletes, from αἴγλη, light of the sun Helius, literally sun Lyceus light, the meaning of the epithet Lyceus became associated with Apollos mother Leto, who was the patron goddess of Lycia and who was identified with the wolf
Vergina is a small town in northern Greece, part of Veroia municipality in Imathia, Central Macedonia. It is now a unit within Veroia, with an area 69.047 km2. Vergina is best known as the site of ancient Aigai, the first capital of Macedon and it was here in 336 BC that Philip II was assassinated in the theatre and Alexander the Great was proclaimed king. It is the site of a royal palace and of many rich ancient tombs. The objects and paintings found in the tombs at Vergina are of high quality. A museum now contains Philips tomb and a new museum is being constructed for the palace, the existence of an early Macedonian fortress named Aegae is reported by Justin, and was long identified as Edessa. Only with the discovery of substantial remains near Vergina, just east of the Haliacmon, in 1976, ancient sources give conflicting accounts of the origins of the Argead dynasty. Alexander I is the first truly historic figure and, based on the line of succession, herodotus says that the Argead dynasty was an ancient Greek royal house led by Perdiccas I who fled from Argos, in approximately 650 BC.
Indeed, Aigai never became a city and most of its inhabitants lived in surrounding villages. From Aigai the Macedonians spread to the part of Macedonia. From 513 to 480 BC Aigai was part of the Persian Empire, the city wall was built in the 5th century probably by Perdiccas II. At the beginning of the 4th century BC, Archelaus transferred the Macedonian capital north-east to Pella on the central Macedonian plain. Nevertheless, Aegae retained its role as the city of the Macedonian kingdom, the site of the traditional cult centres, a royal palace. For this reason it was here that Philip II was attending the wedding of his daughter Cleopatra to King Alexander of Epirus when he was murdered by his bodyguard in the theatre and his was the most lavish funeral ceremony of historic times held in Greece. Laid on a gold and ivory deathbed wearing his precious golden oak wreath. The bitter struggles between the heirs of Alexander, the Diadochi, in the 3rd century adversely affected the city, in 276 BC the Gauls of Pyrrhus plundered many of the tombs.
After the overthrow of the Macedonian kingdom by the Romans in 168 BC both old and new capitals were destroyed, the walls pulled down and the palace, theatre, in the 1st century AD a landslide completely destroyed the city. However excavations prove that parts were inhabited in the 1st century AD
It is principally known from classical antiquity, but remains in occasional use in some countries. The crucifixion of Jesus is a narrative in Christianity. Ancient Greek has two verbs for crucify, ana-stauro, from stauros and apo-tumpanizo crucify on a plank, in earlier pre-Roman Greek texts anastauro usually means impale. New Testament Greek uses four verbs, three of them based upon stauros, usually translated cross, prospegnumi, to fix or fasten to, crucify occurs only once at the Acts of the Apostles 2,23. The English term cross derives from the Latin word crux, the Latin term crux classically referred to a tree or any construction of wood used to hang criminals as a form of execution. The term came to specifically to a cross. The English term crucifix derives from the Latin crucifixus or cruci fixus, past participle passive of crucifigere or cruci figere, Crucifixion was often performed in order to terrorize and dissuade its witnesses from perpetrating particularly heinous crimes. Victims were left on display after death as warnings to others who might attempt dissent, Crucifixion was usually intended to provide a death that was particularly slow, gruesome and public, using whatever means were most expedient for that goal.
Crucifixion methods varied considerably with location and time period, in some cases, the condemned was forced to carry the crossbeam to the place of execution. A whole cross would weigh well over 135 kg, but the crossbeam would not be quite as burdensome, weighing around 45 kg. Upright posts would presumably be fixed permanently in place. Objects used in the crucifixion of criminals, such as nails, were sought as amulets with perceived medicinal qualities, while a crucifixion was an execution, it was a humiliation, by making the condemned as vulnerable as possible. Although artists have depicted the figure on a cross with a loin cloth or a covering of the genitals. Writings by Seneca the Younger state some victims suffered a stick forced upwards through their groin, despite its frequent use by the Romans, the horrors of crucifixion did not escape mention by some of their eminent orators. Frequently, the legs of the executed were broken or shattered with an iron club, an act called crurifragium.
This act hastened the death of the person but was meant to deter those who observed the crucifixion from committing offenses. The gibbet on which crucifixion was carried out could be of many shapes, at times the gibbet was only one vertical stake, called in Latin crux simplex. This was the simplest available construction for torturing and killing the condemned, however, there was a cross-piece attached either at the top to give the shape of a T or just below the top, as in the form most familiar in Christian symbolism
A tessera is an individual tile, usually formed in the shape of a cube, used in creating a mosaic. It is known as an abaciscus or abaculus, in early antiquity, mosaics were formed from naturally formed colored pebbles, but by 200 BCE cut stone tesserae were being used in Ancient Roman decorative mosaic panels and floor mosaics. Marble or limestone were cut into cubes and arranged into representational designs. Later, tesserae were made from colored glass, or clear glass backed with metal foils, the Byzantines used tesserae with gold leaf, in which case the glass pieces were flatter, with two glass pieces sandwiching the gold. This produced a golden reflection emanating from in between the tesserae as well as their front, causing a far richer and more effect than even plain gold leaf would create. Vitreous glass These are manufactured glass tiles made to a uniform shape and they are made by molten glass being poured into trays and fired. An imprint of grooves is made on their underside for help with adhesion to cement when fixing, ceramic tesserae These are the cheapest range of bought materials and can be glazed or unglazed.
The glazed ceramic tiles have the color painted onto the top of the clay, the unglazed or body glazed version has the color mixed into the wet clay so the color runs through them. Smalti This is the classic mosaic material and it is opaque glass fired in large slabs in a kiln and hand cut with a hammer and hardy chisel into small cubes. Their irregular finish makes them a wonderful reflector of light and this material is best used working straight into cement and it is produced in Venice and sold by colour and weight. Gold smalti This tile is made with gold and silver leaf sandwiched between two layers of glass and fired twice in the kiln to embed in the metal. Mirror Mirror adds great depth and sparkle to a mosaic and it is cheap as offcuts from a glass cutting shop are often free. Use mirror glue as this protects the silver on the back of the mirror, stained glass Known for its translucent qualities stained glass is available in opaque form. It comes as large sheets that can be cut into sections with a glasscutter.
It can provide areas of larger pieces for variety and contrast. Household ceramic tiles & china Colours and surfaces are limitless and can add wonderful texture, tessellation — describes tessellation patterns Mosaic — describes techniques for assembling tesserae into a design Mosaic Glass Tile – Terms and Definitions
Hosios Loukas is a historic walled monastery situated near the town of Distomo, in Boeotia, Greece. It is one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art, the monastery of Hosios Loukas is situated at a scenic site on the slopes of Mount Helicon. It was founded in the early 10th century AD by the hermit, Venerable St. Luke, the hermit was famous for having predicted the conquest of Crete by Emperor Romanos. It was unclear if he was referring to Romanos I, the emperor at the time, however the island was actually reconquered by Nicephorus Phocas under Romanos II. It is believed that it was during the reign that the monasterys Church of the Theotokos was constructed. The main shrine of the monastery is the tomb of St. Luke, originally situated in the vault, the monastery derived its wealth from the fact that the relics of St. Luke were said to have exuded myron, a sort of perfumed oil which produced healing miracles. Pilgrims hoping for help were encouraged to sleep by the side of the tomb in order to be healed by incubation.
The mosaics around the tomb represent not only St. Luke himself, the Church of the Theotokos, the oldest in the complex, is the only church known with certainty to have been built in mainland Greece in the tenth century. This centralized parallelogram-shaped building is the oldest example of the type in the country. The walls are opus mixtum and display curious pseudo-kufic patterns, the Church of the Theotokos adjoins a larger cathedral church, or Katholikon, tentatively dated to 1011-12. The Katholikon is the earliest extant domed-octagon church, with eight piers arranged around the perimeter of the naos, the hemispherical dome rests upon four squinches which make a transition from the octagonal base under the dome to the square defined by the walls below. The main cube of the church is surrounded by galleries and chapels on all four sides, Hosios Loukas is the largest of three monasteries surviving from the Middle Byzantine period in Greece. It differs from the Daphnion and Nea Moni in that it is dedicated to a military saint.
The Katholikon contains the best preserved complex of mosaics from the period of the Macedonian Renaissance, the complex is not complete, the original image of Christ Pantocrator inside the dome is missing, as are the figures of archangels normally placed between the upper windows. There is evidence that the monastery was reputed all over Byzantium for its lavish decoration, apart from revetment, carving and silver plate and mosaics, the interior featured a choice assortment of icons, silk curtains, and altar cloths. Only a fraction of items are still in situ, most notably colored marble facings. Notwithstanding the losses, the Katholikon gives the best impression available anywhere today of the character of an interior in the first centuries after the end of Iconoclasm. Beneath the great domed Katholikon is a crypt, accessible only by a stairwell on the southern side
The Latin word basilica has three distinct applications in modern English. The word was used to describe an ancient Roman public building where courts were held, as well as serving other official. To a large extent these were the halls of ancient Roman life. The basilica was centrally located in every Roman town, usually adjacent to the main forum, the term came to refer specifically to a large and important Roman Catholic church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope. Roman Catholic basilicas are Catholic pilgrimage sites, receiving tens of millions of visitors per year. In December 2009 the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City set a new record with 6.1 million pilgrims during Friday and Saturday for the anniversary of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Roman basilica was a public building where business or legal matters could be transacted. The first basilicas had no function at all. The central aisle tended to be wide and was higher than the flanking aisles, the oldest known basilica, the Basilica Porcia, was built in Rome in 184 BC by Cato the Elder during the time he was Censor.
Other early examples include the basilica at Pompeii, probably the most splendid Roman basilica is the one begun for traditional purposes during the reign of the pagan emperor Maxentius and finished by Constantine I after 313 AD. In the 3rd century AD, the elite appeared less frequently in the forums. They now tended to dominate their cities from opulent palaces and country villas, rather than retreats from public life, these residences were the forum made private. Seated in the tribune of his basilica, the man would meet his dependent clientes early every morning. A private basilica excavated at Bulla Regia, in the House of the Hunt and its reception or audience hall is a long rectangular nave-like space, flanked by dependent rooms that mostly open into one another, ending in a semi-circular apse, with matching transept spaces. Clustered columns emphasised the crossing of the two axes, the remains of a large subterranean Neopythagorean basilica dating from the 1st century AD were found near the Porta Maggiore in Rome in 1915.
The ground-plan of Christian basilicas in the 4th century was similar to that of this Neopythagorean basilica, the usable model at hand, when Constantine wanted to memorialise his imperial piety, was the familiar conventional architecture of the basilicas. In, and often in front of, the apse was a platform, where the altar was placed. Constantine built a basilica of this type in his complex at Trier, very easily adopted for use as a church