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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

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

Robert G. Ousterhout

Oxford University Press

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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