صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

S.h.ru,,, whom the eunuch deposed from his post of general in the East. He belonged to the powerful landed aristocracy of Asia Minor, whose pretensions were a perpetual menace to the throne. He made himself master of the Asiatic provinces and threatened Constantinople. To oppose him, Bardas Phocas. another general who had revolted in the previous reign and been interned in a monastery, was recalled. Defeated in two battles, he was victorious in a third and the revolt was suppressed (079). Phocas remained general in the East till 987, when he rebelled and was proclaimed emperor by his troops. It seems that the minister Basilcios was pi i y to this act, and the cause was dissatisfaction at the energy which was displayed by the emperor, who showed that he was determined to take the administration into his own hands and personally to control the army. Phocas advanced to the Hellespont and besieged Abydos. Basil obtained timely aid, in the shape of Varangian mercenaries, front-his brother-in-law Vladimir, the Russian prince of Kiev, and marched to Abydos. The two armies were facing each other, when Basil galloped forward, seeking a personal combat with the usurper who was riding in front of his lines. Phocas, just as he prepared to fare him, fell from his horse and was found to be dead. This ended the rebellion.

The fall of Basilcios followed; he was punished with exile and the confiscation of his enormous property. Basil made ruthless war upon the system of immense estates which had grown up in Asia Minor and which his predecessor, Romanus I., had endeavoured to check. (For this evil and the legislation which was aimed at it see Rohan Ejinur, Later.) He sought to protect the lower and middle classes.

Basil gained some successes against the Saracens (995); but his most important work in the East was the annexation of the principalities of Armenia. He created in those highlands a strongly fortified frontier, which, if his successors had been capable, should have proved an effective barrier against the Invasions of the Scljuk Turks. The greatest achievement of the reign was the subjugation of Bulgaria. After the death of Tzimisces (who had reduced only the eastern part of the Bulgarian kingdom), the power of Bulgaria was restored by the Tsar Samuel, in whom Basil found a worthy foe. The emperor's first efforts against him were unsuccessful (981), and the war was not resumed til) 096, Samuel in the meantime extending his rule along the Adriatic coast and imposing his lordship on Scrvia. Eastern Bulgaria was finally recovered in 1000; but the war continued with varying successes till 1014, when the Bulgarian army suffered an overwhelming defeat. Basil blinded 15,000 prisoners, leaving a one-eyed man to every hundred to lead them to their tsar, who fainted at the sight and died two days later. The last sparks of resistance were extinguished in 101S, and the great Slavonic realm lay in the dust. The power of Byzantium controlled once more the Illyrian peninsula. Basil died in December 102311 the midst of preparations to send a naval expedition to recover Sicily from the Saracens.

Basil's reign marks the highest point of the power'of the Eastern empire since Justinian I. Part of the credit is due to his predecessors Nicephorus and Tzimisces, buj the greater part belongs to him. He dedicated himself unsparingly to the laborious duties of ruling, and he had to reckon throughout with the ill-will of a rich and powerful section of his subjects. _ He was hard and cruel, without any refinement or interest in cultured «^In* a contemporary psalter (preserved in the library of St Mark at' Venice) there is a portrait of him, with a grey beard, crowned and. robed in imperial costume.

bk. xvii. (ed. Bonn, vol. lii., 1897); Cecaumenus. Slralegikon (od. Vasilievski and lernstedt, St Petersburg. 1896); Yahya of Antioch (contemporary Asiatic chronicle), extracts with Russian translation by Rosen (St Petersburg. 1883); Al Mekin (Elmacinus) Hhloria Saracenica (ed. with Latin translation by Erpcnius, Leiden, 1625); "Lawi (Nmellac) of Basil " (e<|. Zacharia von Lingcnthal. in 7m Cratca-Romanum, vol. iii.. 1853); Finlay, Hist, of Greece; Gibbon. Dnline and Fall; C. Schlumberger, L'Efofle byuailine, mrt i. and part ii. (Paris, 1896. 1900) (J. B. B.) .

BASIL (Russ. Vastly), the name of fout grand-dukes of Moscow and tsars of Muscovy.

Basil I. I'lMirvF.vK'H (1371-1415), son of Dmitri (Demetrius) Donskoi, whom he succeeded in 1389, mimed Sophia, the daughter of Vitovt, grand-duke of Lithuania. In his reign the grand-duchy of Muscovy became practically hereditary, and asserted its supremacy over til the surrounding principalities. Nevertheless Basil received his yarluik, or investiture, from the Golden Horde and was compelled to pay tribute to the grand khan, Tokhtamuish. He annexed the principality of Suzdal to Moscovy, together with Murom, Koielsk Peremyshl, and other places; reduced the grand-duchy of Rostov to a state of vassalage; and acquired territory from the republic of Great Novgorod by treaty. In hU reign occurred the invasion of Timur (1395), who ruined the Volgan regions, but did not penetrate so far as Moscow. Indeed Timur's raid was of service to the Russian prince as it all but wiped out the Golden Horde, which for the next twelve years was in a state of anarchy. During the whole of this time no tribute was paid to the khan, though vast sums of money were collected in the Moscow treasury for military purposes. In 1408 the Mirza Edigei ravaged Muscovite territory, but was unable to take Moscow. In 1412, however, Basil found it necessary to pay the long-deferred visit of submission to the Horde. The most important ecclesiastical event of the reign was the elevation of the Bulgarian, Gregory Tsamblak, to the metropolitan see of Kiev (1425) by Vitovt, grand-duke of Lithuania; the immediate political consequence of which was the weakening of the hold of Mutcovy on the south-westero Russian states. During Basil's reign a terrible visitation of the "Black Death " decimated the population.

See T. Schiemann, Riuslond bis ins if. JaMunJnl (Gotha. 1885-1887).

Basil II., called Temnv (" the Bund ") (1415-1461), son of the preceding, succeeded his father as grand-duke of Moscow in 1435. He was a man of small ability and unusual timidity, though not without tenacity of purpose. Nevertheless, during his reign Moscow steadily increased in power, as if to show that the personality t>f the grand-dukes had become quite a subordinate factor in its development. In 1430 Basil was seized by his uncle, George of Halicz, and sent a prisoner to Kostroma; but the nation, dissatisfied with George, released Basil and in 1433 he returned in triumph to Moscow. George, however, took the field against him and Basil fled to Novgorod. On the death of George, Basil was at constant variance with George's children, one of whom, Basil, he had blinded; but in 1445 the grand-duke fell into the hands of blind Basil's brother, Shcinyak, and was himself deprived of his sight and banished to Ugiich (1445)The clergy and people, however, being devoted to the grand-duke, assisted* him not only to recover his throne a second time, but to put Shemyak to flight, and to seize H&licz, his patrimony. During the remainder of Basil II.fs reign he slowly and unobtrusively added district after district to the grand-duchy of Muscovy, so that, in fine, only the republics of Novgorod and Pskov and the principalities of Tver and Vereyt remained independent of Moscow. Yet all this time the realm was overrun continunlly'hy the Tatars and Lithuanians, and suffered severely from their depredations. Basil's reign saw the foundation of the* Soloyctsk monastery and the rise of the khanate of the CrimeaT^In' 1448 the north Russian Church became virtually independent of the patriarchal see of Constantinople by adopting the'practicc'of selecting its metropolitan from among native priests and prelates exclusively.

See S. M. ScJovev, Kitlory of Ruuia (Russ.), (Petersburg, 1895).

Basil III., IvAHOvicn (1479-1533), tsar of Muscovy, son of Ivan III. and Sophia Palacologa. succeeded his father in 1505. A crafty prince, with all the tenacity of his race, Basil succeeded in incorporating with Muscovy the last remnants of the ancirn( independent principalities, by accusing the princes of Ryazan and Syeversk of conspiracy against him, seizing their persons, and annexing their domains (1517-1523). Seven years earlier (24th ot January 1510) the last free republic of old Russia, Pskov, was deprived of its charter and assembly-bell, which were tenl to Moscow, and tsarish governors w#re appointed to rule it. Basil also took advantage o( the difficult position of Sigismund of I'nl.iii.l to capture Smolensk, the great eastern fortress of Poland (1511), chiefly through the aid of the rebel Lithuanian, Prince Michael Gtinsky, who provided him with artillery and engineers from western Europe. The loss of Smolensk was the first serious injury inflicted by Muscovy on Poland and only the exigencies of Sigismund compelled him to acquiesce in its surrender (1522). Equally successful, on the whole, was Basil against the Tatars. Although in 1519 he was obliged to buy off the khan of the Crimea, Mahommed Girai, under the very walls of Moscow, towards -the end of his reign he established the Russian influence on the Volga, and in 1550 placed the pretender Elanyci on the throne of Kazan. Basil was the first grand-duke of Moscow who adopted the title of tsar and the double-headed eagle of the East Roman empire. By his second wife, Helena Glinska, whom he married in < 526, Basil had a son Ivan, who succeeded him as Ivan IV,

Sec Sigismund Herberstain. Rerum Moscemticarum Commentarii (Vienna. 1549); P. A. Byelov. Russian History Previous to the Reforms of Peter Ike Great (Russ.). (Petersburg. 1895); E. I. Kashprovsky. /** War oj Basil III. with Sitismiuufl. (Russ.), (Nyczhin, 1809).

Basil IV., Shctsky (d. 1612), tsar of Muscovy, was during the reigns of Theodore I. and Boris Godunov, one of the leading boyars of Muscovy, It was he who, in obedience to the secret orders of Tsar Boris, went to Uglich to inquire into the cause of the death of Demetrius, the infant son of Ivan the Terrible, who had been murdered there by the agents of Boris. Shuisky obsequiously reported that it was a case of suicide; yet, on the death of Boris and the accession of his son Theodore II., the false boyar, in order to gain favour with the first false Demetrius, went back upon his own words and recognized the pretender as the real Demetrius, thus bringing about the assassination of the young Theodore. Shuisky then plotted against the false Demetiius and procured his death (May 1606) also by publicly confessing that the real Demetrius had been indeed slain and that toe reigning tsar was an impostor. This was the viler in him as the pseudo-Demetrius had already forgiven him one conspiracy. Shuisky's adherents thereupon proclaimed him tsar (loth of May 1606). He reigned till the 191)1 of July 1610, but was never generally recognized. Even in Moscow itself he had little or no authority, and was only not deposed by the dominant boyars because they had none to put in his place. Only the popularity of his heroic cousin, Prince Michael Skopin-Shuisky, who led his armies and fought his battles for him, nnd soldiers from Sweden, whose assistance he purchased by a disgraceful cession of Russian territory, kept him for a time on his unstable throne. In 1610 he was deposed, made a monk, and finally carried off as a trophy by the Polish grand hetman, Stanislaus Zolkiewski. lie died at Warsaw in 1611.

See D. I. llovauky, Tkt Troubled Period at Hit Muscovite Realm

Slavonic Europe, eh. viii. (Cambridge, 1907). (R. N B.)

BASILIAN MONKS, those who follow the rule of Basil the Great. The chief importance of the monastic rule and institute of St Basil lies in the fact that to this day his reconstruction of the monastic life is the basis of the monasticism of the Greek and Slavonic Churches, though the monks do not call themselves Basilians. St Basil's claim to the authorship of the Rules and other ascetical writings that go under his name, has been questioned; but the tendency now is to recognize as his at any rate the two sets of Rules. Probably the truest idea of his monastic system may be derived from a correspondence between him and St Gregory Nazianzen at the beginning of his monastic life, the chief portions whereof are translated by Newman in the Church of tkt Father!, " Basil and Gregory," §§4, 5. On leaving Athens Basil visited the monasteries of Egypt and Palestine; in the latter country and in Syria the monastic life tended to become more and more eremitical and to run to great extravagances in the matter of bodily austerities (see Monasticism). When (e. 360) Basil formed his monastery in the neighbourhood of

Neocaesarea in Pontus, he deliberately set himself against these tendencies. He declared that the cenobitica! life is superior to the eremitical; that fasting and austerities should not- interfere with prayer or work; that work should form an integral part of the monastic life, not merely as an occupation, but for its own sake and in order to do good to others; and then-fore thnt monasteries should be near towns. All this was a new departure in monachism. The life St Basil established was strictly cenobitical, with common prayer seven times a day, common work, common meals. It was, in spite of the new ideas, an austere life, of the kind called contemplative, given up to prayer, the reading of the Scriptures and heavy field-work. The so-called Rules (the Longer and the Shorter) are catechisms of the spiritual life rather than a body of regulations for the corporate working of a community, such as is now understood by a monastic rule. Apparently no vows were taken, but obedience, personal poverty, chastity, self-denial, and the other monastic virtues were strongly enforced, and a monk was not free to abandon the monastic life. A novitiate had to be passed, and young boys were to be educated in the monastery, but were not expected to become monks.

St Basil's influence, and the greater suitability of his institute to European ideas, ensured the propagation of Basilian monachism; and Sozomen says that in Cappadocia and the neighbouring provinces there were no hermits but only ccnobitcs. However, the eastern hankering after the eremitical life long survived, and it was only by dint of legislation, both ecclesiastical (council of Chalcedon) and civil (Justinian Code), that the Basilian ccnobitic form of monasticism came to prevail throughout the Grcck-spcnking lands, though the eremitical forms have always maintained themselves.

Greek monachism underwent no development or change for four centuries, except the vicissitudes inevitable In all thing* human, which in monasticism assume the form of alternations ot relaxation and revival. The second half of the 8th century seems to have been a time of very general decadence; but about the year 800 Theodore, destined to be the only other creative name in Greek monachism, became abbot of the monastery of the Studium in Constantinople. He set himself to reform his monastery and restore St Basil's spirit in its primitive vigour. But to effect this, and to give permanence to the reformation, he saw that there was need of a more practical code of laws to regulate the details of the daily life, as a supplement to St Basil's Rules. He therefore drew up constitutions, afterwards codified (sec Mignc, Patrol. Crate. xcix., 1704-17 57), which became the norm of the life at the Studium monastery, and gradually spread thence to the monasteries of the rest of the Greek empire. Thus to this day the Rules of Basil and the Constitutions of Theodore the Studite, along with the canons of the Councils, constitute the chief part of Greek and Russian monastic law.

The spirit of Greek monachism, as regenerated by Theodore, may best be gathered from his Letters, Discourses and Testament.1 Under the abbot were several officials to superintend the various departments; the liturgical services in the church took up a considerable portion of the day, but Theodore seems to have made no attempt to revive the early practice of the Studium in this matter (see Acoejieti); the rest of the time was divided between reading and work; the latter included the chief handicrafts, for the monks, only ten in number, when Theodore became abbot, increased under his rule to over a thousand. One kind of work practised with great zeal and success by the Studite monks, was the copying of manuscripts, so that to them and to the schools that went forth from them we owe a great number of existing Greek MSS. and the preservation of many works of classical and ecclesiastical antiquity. In addition to this, literary and theological studies were pursued, and the mysticism of pseudoDionysius was cultivated. The life, though simple and selfdenying and hard, was not of extreme austerity. There was a division of the monks into two classes, similar to the division in vogue in later time in the West into choir- monks and lay-brothers. The life of the choir-monks was predominantly contemplative,

1 Specimen passages, and alsqa general picture of the life, will be found in Miss Alice Gardner'! Theodore cj Sludium. ch v.

being taken up with the church services and private prayer and study; the lay-brothers carried on the various trades and external works. There is little or no evidence of works of charity outside the monastery being undertaken by Studite monks. Strict personal poverty was enforced, and all were encouraged to approach confession and communion frequently. Vows had been imposed on monks by the council of Chakedon (451). The picture of Studite life is the picture of normal Greek and Slavonic monachism to this day.

During the middle ages the centre of Greek monachism shifted from Constantinople to Mount Athos. The first monastery to be founded here was that of St Athanasius (c. 960), and in the course of the next three or four centuries monasteries in great numbers— Greek, Slavonic and one Latin—were established on Mount Alhos, some twenty of which still survive.

Basilian monachism spread from Greece to Italy and Russia. Rufinus had translated St Basil's Rules into Latin (c. 400) and they became the rule of life in certain Italian monasteries. They were known to St Benedict, who refers his monks to '' the Rule of our holy Father Basil,"—indeed St Benedict owed more of the ground-ideas of his Rule to St Basil than to any other monastic legislator. In the 6th and 7th centuries there appear to have been Greek monasteries in Rome and south Italy and especially in Sicily. But during the course of the Sih, glh and loth centuries crowds of fugitives poured into southern Italy from Greece and Sicily, under stress of the Saracenic, Arab and other invasions; and from the middle of the glh century Basilian monasteries, peopled by Greek-speaking monks, were established in great numbers in Calabria and spread northwards as far as Rome. Some of them existed on into the iSlh century, but the only survivor now is the monastery founded by St Nilus (c. 1000) at Grottaf errata, in the Alban Hills. Professor Kirsopp Lake has (1903) written four valuable articles (Journal of Theological Studies, iv., v.) on "The Greek monasteries of South Italy"; he deals in detail with their scriptoria, and the dispersal of their libraries, a matter of much interest, in thai some of the chief collections of Greek MSS. in western Europe—as the Bcssarion at Venice and a great number at the Vatican—come from the spoils of these Italian Basilian houses.

Of much greater importance was the importation of Basilian monachism into Russia, for it thereby became the norm of monachism for all the Slavonic lands. Greek monks played a considerable part in the evangelization of the Slavs, and the first Russian monastery was founded at Kiev (c. 1050) by a monk from Mount Athos. The monastic institute had a great development in Russia, and at the present daythcrc arc in the Russian empire some 400 monasteries of men and 100 of women, many of which support hospitals, almshouscs and schools. In the other Slavonic lands there are a considerable number of monasteries, as also in Greece itself, while in the Turkish dominions there are no fewer than i oo Greek monasteries. The monasteries are of three kinds: ccnobia proper, wherein full monastic common life, with personal poverty, is observed; others called idiorrkythmic, wherein the monks are allowed the use of their private means and lead a generally mitigated and free kind of monastic life; and the lauras, wherein the life is semi-eremitical. Greek and Slavonic monks wear a black habit. The visits of Western scholars in modern times to Greek monasteries in search of MSS.—notably to St Catherine's on Mount Sinai, and to Mount Athos—has directed much attention to contemporary Greek monachism, and the accounts of these expeditions commonly contain descriptions, more or less sympathetic and intelligent, of the present-day life of Greek monks. The first such account was Robert Curzon's in parts iii. (1834) and iv. (1837) of the Monasteries oj tfte Levant; the most recent in English is Athelstan Riley's Athos (1887). The life is mainly given up to devotional contemplative exercises; the church services arc of extreme length; intellectual study is little cultivated; manual labour has almost disappeared; there arc many hermits on Alhos (17.2.).

The ecclesiastical importance of the monks in the various branches of the Orthodox Church lies in this, that as bishops must be celibate, whereas the parochial clergy must be married,

tbe bishops are all recruited from the monks. But besides this they have been a strong spiritual and religious influence, as i* recognized even by those who have scant sympathy with monastic ideals (see Harnack, What t'j Christianity? Lect. xiii., end).

Outside the Orthodox Church arc some small congregations of Uniat Basilians. Besides GrottaJerrata, there arc Catholic Basilian monasteries in Poland, Hungary, Galicia, Rumania, and among the Mclchitcs or Unial Syrians.

There have been Uasilian nuns from ihc beginning, St Macrina. St Basil's sister, having established a nunnery which was under his direction. The nuns are devoted to a purely contemplative life, and in Russia, where there are about a hundred nunneries, they arc not allowed to take final vows uniil the age of suty. They arc very numerous throughout the East.

Authorities.—In addition to the authorities for difTcreni portion* of the subject-matter named in the course of this article, may be mentioned, on St Ki-.il and hi* Rules, Monulembert. Mortkt oj t/t* West, second part of bk. ii . and the chapter on St Basil in James O. Hannay's Spirit and Origin of Christian Afonasttcism (190,1). On the history and spirit of Basilian MonacKism, Helyot, lint, drs O-'d't* Religicux. i. (1714); Hcimbuchcr, Ordcn and Konfrteadonen (1407). i., $ n; AM"'- M.irin. /.-••• Moines de Constantinople {1697}; Karl Holl, Enthusiasmus und Butsgnvatt bcim tncchischtu J/ontA(*.*t (1898); Otto Zocklcr, Askfsc und Mdnchtum. pp. 285-109 (1807* For general information sec Wetzcr und Wcltc, Kirchfiuexiion (r>d. ii.), art. " Basili.im-r." and Horzog-Hauck, Realcncyklvptidi* k-J iii.), in articles " Moncluum," " Oricntalischc Kirche,"and ** .'-.;!..-berg," where copious references will be found. (L. C. L>:

BASILICA* a word of Greek origin (see below), frequently used in Latin literature and inscriptions to denote a large covered building that could accommodate a considerable number of people. Strictly speaking, a basilica was a building of this kind situated near the business centre of a ciiy and arranged for the convenience of merchants, litigants and tjcrsons engaged on the public service; but in a derived sense tne word might be used for any large structure wherever situated, such as a hall uf audience (Vitruv. vi. 5. 2) or a covered promenade (St Jerome, / /• 46) in a private palace; a riding school (basilica tqucitris cxercifatoria, C.I.L. vii. 965); a market or itore for flower* (basilica flosccliaria I.'\ .•.','.,•!), or other kinds of goods (basilica vcsti&ria, C.I.L. viii. 20156), or a hall of meeting for a religious body. In this derived sense the word came naturally to l>c applied to the extensive buildings used for Christian worship in the age of Constantino and his successors.

The question whether this word conveyed to the ancients any special architectural significance is a difficult one, and -some writers hold that the name betokened only the tueof the building. others that it suggested also a certain farm. Our knowledge of the ancient basilica as a civil structure is derived primarily from Vitruvius, and we learn about it also from existing remains and from incidental notices in classical writers and ;n inscriptions. If we review all the evidence we are led to the conclusion that there did exist a normal form of the building, though many examples deviated therefrom. This normal form we shall understand if we consider the essential character of the building in the light of what Vitruvius tells us of it.

Vitruvius treats the basilica in close connexion with the forum, to which in his view it is an adjunct. In the earlier classical times, both in Greece and luly, business of every kind, political, commercial and legal, was transacted in the open forum, and there also were presented shows and pageants. When business increased and the numbers of the population were multiplied, it was found convenient to provide additional accommodation for these purposes. Theatres and amphitheatres took the performances and games. MarkeU provided for those that bought and sold, while for business of more important kinds accornmotlation could be secured by laying uut new agorae or Jora in the immediate vicinity of the old. At Rome this wai done by means of the so-called imperial fora, the latest and most splendid ol which was that of Trajan. These fora corresponded to the later Greek or Hellenistic agora, which, aa Vilruvius ullsus, was of regular form and surrounded by colonnades in two stories, and they had the practical use of relieving the pressure on the original forum (Cic., ad Alt. iv. 16). The basilica was a structure intended for the same purposes. It was to all intents and purposes a covered forum, and in its normal form was constituted by an arrangement of colonnades in two stories round a rectangular space, that was not, like the Greek agora, open, but covered with a roof. Vitruvius writes of it as frequented by merchants, who would find in it shelter and quiet for the transaction of their business. Legal tribunals were also set up in it, ihough it is a mistake to suppose the basilica a mere law court. The magistrates who presided over these tribunals had sometimes platforms, curved or rectangular in plan, provided as part of the permanent fittings of the edifice.


According to Vitruvius (v. i. 4, cf. also vi. 3. 9) the building is to be in plan a rectangle, not more than three times nor less than twice as long as it is broad. If the site oblige the length to be greater, the surplus is to be cut off to form what he calls fhatcidica, by which must be meant open vestibules. The interior is divided into a central space and side aisles one-third the width of this. The ground plan of the basilica at Pompeii (fig. j) illustrates this description, tnough the superstructure did not correspond to the Vitruvian scheme The columns between nave and aisles, Vitruvius proceeds, are the same height as the width of the latter, and the aisle is covered with a flat roof forming a terrace (contignatio) on which people can walk. Surrounding (his on the inner side is a breastwork or parapet (pliilcum), which would conceal these promenaders from the view of the merchants in the basilica below. On the top of this parapet stood the upper row of columns* three-quarters as high as the lower ones. The spaces between these columns, above the


FlC. J.—Basilica at Pompeii. 1, Portico (Chalcidicum): 2. hall of basilica: 3. aisles; 4, altar; 5, tribunal; 6, offices.

top of Ihe pluirum, would be left free for the admission of light to the central space, which was covered by a roof called by Vitruvius (v. i. 6) mediana ttstudo* Nothing is said about a permanent tribunal or about an apse.

How far existing remains agree with the Vitruvian scheme will be seen as we proceed. We have now to consider the derivation of the word' basilica," the history of the form of building, and its architectural scheme as represented in actual relics.

The word " basilica " is a Latinized form of the Greek adjective ;;.'.-;.>".,-/, "royal," and some feminine substantive, such as domui, or stoa, must be understood with it. A certain building at Athens, wherein the «/.,<..•*• 0oaiX<fe transacted business and the court of the Areopagus sometimes assembled, was called 0a<rtXetc* <m>A, and it is an accredited theory, though it is by no means proved, that we have here the origin of the later basilica. It is difficult to sec why this was called "royal" except for some special but accidental reason such as can in this rase be divined. There are other instances in which a term that becomes specific has been derived from some one specimen accidentally named. "Labyrinth" is one case in point, and "basilica " may be another. It is true that we do not know what was the shape of the King Archon's portico, but the same name UfapfXciot Oto&) was given to the grand structure erected by Herod the Great along the southern edge of the Temple platform m Jerusalem, and this corresponded to the Vitruvian scheme of a columned fabric, with nave and aisles and clerestory lighting.

Whether the Roman basilicas, with which we are chiefly concerned, were dcn"vc6 directly from the Athenian example, or mediately from this through structures of the same kind

erected in the later Greek cities, is hard to say. We should naturally look in that direction for the prototypes of the Roman basilicas, but as a fact we are not informed of any very early basilicas in these cities. The earliest we know of is the existing basilica at Pompeii, that may date back into the 2nd century B.c., whereas basilicas made their appearance at Rome nearly at the beginning of that century. The first was erected by M. Porcius Cato, the censor, in 184 B.c., and was called after his name Basilica Porcia. Cato had recently visited Athens and had been struck by the beauty of the city, so that it is quite possible that the importation was direct.

Rome soon obtained other basilicas, of which the important Basilica Fulvia-Acmilia came next in point of time, till by the age of Augustus there were at least five in the immediate neighbourhood of the forum, the latest and most extensive being the Basilica Julia, which ran parallel to its southern side, and is shown in plan in fig. 2. The great Basilica Ulpia was built


Fio. 3.—Plan of Basilica Julia, Rome.

(From Bacdckcrt Central Italy, by permission of Karl Docdekn.)

by Trajan in connexion with his fonim about A.d. 113, and a fragment of the Capiloline plan of Rome gives the scheme of il (f'g- 3). while an attempted restoration of the interior by Canina is shown in fig. 4. The vaulted basilica of Maxcnlius or Constantin: on the Via Sacra dates from the beginning of the 4th century, and fig. 5 gives the section of it. The number of public basilicas we read of at Rome alone amounts to about a score, while many private basilicas, for business or recreation, must also have existed, that in the palace of Domitian on the Palatine being the best known. In provincial cities in Italy, and indeed all over the empire, basilicas were almost universal, and in the case of Italy we have proof of this as early as the date of the death of Augustus, for Suetonius (Aug. 100) tells us that the body of that emperor, when it was brought from Nola in Campania to Rome, rested " in basilica cujusque oppidi." As regards existing examples, neither in the peninsula nor the provinces can it be said that these give any adequate idea of


Fig. 3.—Plan of Basilica Ulpia, from Capitoline plan of Rome.

the former abundance and wide distribution of basilicas Northern Africa contributes one or two examples, and a plan is given of that at Timgad (fig. 6). The Gallic basilicas, which must have been very numerous, are represented only by the noble structure at Trier (Treves), which is now a single vast hall 180 ft. long, oo ft. wide and loo ft. high, commanded at one end by a spacious apse. There is reason to conjecture that this is the basilica erected by Constantine, and some authorities believe that originally it had internal colonnades. In England basilicas remain in part at Silchcster (fig. 7), Uriconium (Wroxetcr),

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

in two stories, round it, and some arrangement for clerestory lighting. Later basilicas might vary in architectural scheme. while affording the same sort of accommodation as the older ones. The relation of the civil basilica of the Romans to the Christian church has been extensively discussed, and the reader will find the controversy ably summarized in iiraus'&Gtsfhichfcdrrc/trisiJichfn 7v«Hs/,bk. 5. There is nothing remarkable in the fact t hat a large

agrees with these. In some North African examples, in the church was called a basilica, for the term was applied, as we have

palace basilica of Domitian, and at Silchcster, there are colon- seen, to structures of many kinds, and we even find " basilica"

nades down the long sides but not across the ends. Others used lor the meeting-place of a pagan religious association (Rdm.

(Trier [?], Timgad) have no interior divisions. One (Maxentius) Mitt. 1891, p. 109). The similarity in some respects of the early

is entirely a vaulted structure and in form resembles the great Christian churches to the normal form of the columned basilica is

halls of the Roman Thermae. At Pompeii, Timgad and Sil- so striking, that we can understand how the theory was once held Chester, there are fixed tribunals, while vaulted apses that may


Fig. 5.—Section of the Basilica of Maxenlius or Constantino
(Temple of Peace).

have contained tribunals occur in the basilica of Maxentius.
In the Basilica Julia there was no tribunal at all, though we
know that the building was regularly used for the centumviral
court (Quint, xii. 5. 6), and the same was the case in the Ulpia,
for the semicircular projection at the end shown on the Capitolinc-
plan, was not a vaulted apse and was evidently distinct from
the basilica,

In view of the above it might be questioned whether it is safe to speak of a normal form of the basilica, but when we consider the vast number of basilicas that have perished compared to the few that have survived, and the fact that the origins and tradi

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

tions of the building show it to have been, as Vitruvius describes columned civil basilica of the normal kind.

it, essentially a columned structure, there is ample justification for the view expressed earlier in this article. There can be little doubt that the earlier basilicas, and the majority of basilicas taken as a whole, had a central space with galleries, generally

When buildings were first expressly erected (or Christian worship, in the ^rd or perhaps already in the znd cenlury A.a (Lcclcrc.q, Manuel, ch iii. "Les edifices chreliens avant la paix de 1'eglisc ";, they probably took the form ol an oblong interior

« السابقةمتابعة »