Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine

Coordinates:
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Remains of the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine in Rome.


The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine (sometimes known as the Basilica Nova 'new basilica' or Basilica Maxentius) was the largest building in the Roman Forum.

History

Construction began on the northern side of the forum under the emperor Maxentius in 308, and was completed in 312 by Constantine I after his defeat of Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.[1]

The building consisted of a central nave covered by three groin vaults suspended 39 meters above the floor on four large piers, ending in an apse at the western end containing a colossal statue of Constantine (remnants of which are now in a courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini). The lateral forces of the groin vaults were held by flanking aisles measuring 23 by 17 metres (75 x 56 feet). The aisles were spanned by three semi-circular cross vaults perpendicular to the nave, and narrow arcades ran parallel to the nave beneath the cross-vaults. The nave itself measured 25 metres by 80 metres (83 x 265 feet) creating a 4000 square meter floor. Like the great imperial baths, the basilica made use of vast interior space with its emotional effect.
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Reconstruction of the plan.
Running the length of the eastern face of the building was a projecting arcade of archs. On the south face was a projecting (prostyle) porch with four columns (tetrastyle).

All that remains of the bascilica is the north aisle with its three concrete cross vaults.[1] The ceilings of the the cross vaults show advanced weight-saving structural skill with octagonal ceiling coffers.

In modern usage, a basilica has come to be defined as a place of worship; during ancient Rome, it was a combination of a court-house, council chamber and meeting hall. There were, however, numerous statues of the gods displayed in niches set into the walls. The wrestling events were held here during the 1960 Summer Olympic Games.

On the outside wall of the basilica, facing onto the via dei Fori Imperiali, are contemporary maps showing the various stages of the rise of the Roman Empire.

References

1. ^ Roth, Leland M. (1993). Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History and Meaning, First, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 30, 222. ISBN 0-06-430158-3. 
  • The Roman Empire: From the Etruscans to the Decline of the Roman Empire, Henri Stierlin, TASCHEN, 2002, Edited by Silvia Kinkle, Cologne, ISBN 3-8228-1778-3

See also

External links

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Roman Forum: Temple of Vespasian on the left, Arch of Septimius Severus behind the remains of the Temple of Saturn in the foreground. On the right are the three columns of the Temple of Castor and Pollux and the Palatine Hill, and slightly to the left of these is the Chiesa di San
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Maxentius
Augustus in the west

Bust of Maxentius at the Louvre Museum
Reign 28 October 306 -
28 October 312 (in competition with Severus, then Galerius then Constantine - jointly with his father 306-8)
Full name
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This article is about the year 308. For other uses, see 308 (disambiguation).


3rd century · 4th century · 5th century
270s 280s 290s 300s 310s 320s 330s
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This article is about the year 312. For other uses, see 312 (disambiguation).


3rd century · 4th century · 5th century
280s 290s 300s 310s 320s 330s 340s
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Constantine I
Emperor of the Roman Empire

Head of Constantine's colossal statue at the Capitoline Museums
Reign 306 - 312 (hailed as Augustus in the West, officially made Caesar by Galerius with Severus as Augustus, by agreement with Maximian, refused
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Battle of the Milvian Bridge took place on October 28, 312, between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius. Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end the Tetrarchy and become the only ruler of the Roman Empire.
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nave is the central approach to the high altar. "Nave" ( Medieval Latin navis, "ship,") was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting. The nave of a church, whether Romanesque, Gothic or Classical, extends from the entry — which may have a separate
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groin vault or groined vault (also sometimes known as a double barrel vault or cross vault) is a vault produced by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults.
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pier is an upright support for a superstructure, such as an arch or bridge. The cross section of the pier is generally square, or rectangular, although other shapes are also possible.
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The Colossus of Constantine was a colossal acrolithic statue of Constantine the Great (c. 280-337 AD) that once occupied the west apse of the Basilica of Maxentius in the Forum Romanum in Rome.
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Capitoline Museums (Italian Musei Capitolini) are a group of art and archeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the famous Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy.
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aisle is, in general, a space for walking with rows of seats on either side or with rows of seats on one side and a wall on the other. Aisles can be seen in certain types of buildings such as churches, synagogues, meeting halls, parliaments and legislatures, courtrooms, theatres,
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Notable arcades

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balnea or thermae were the words the ancient Romans used for the buildings housing their public baths.

Most Roman cities had at least one, if not many, such buildings, which were centers of public bathing and socialization.
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Prostyle is an architectural term defining free standing columns that are widely spaced apart in a row. The term is often used as an adjective when referring to the portico of a classical building which projects from the main structure.
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pronaos highlighted]]

A portico is a porch leading to the entrance of a building, or extended as a colonnade, with a roof structure over a walkway, supported by columns or enclosed by walls.
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coffer (plural: coffering) in architecture, is a sunken panel in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon that serves as a decorative device, usually in a ceiling or vault. These sunken panels may also be referred to as caissons, or lacunaria.
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niche in classical architecture is an exedra or an apse that has been reduced in size, retaining the half-dome heading usual for an apse. Nero's Domus Aurea (AD 64-69) was the first semi-private dwelling that possessed rooms that were given richly varied floor plans, shaped with
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The Via dei Fori Imperiali is a road in the centre of the city of Rome that runs in a straight line from the Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum, which is itself situated in the Piazza Colosseo.
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The Colossus of Constantine was a colossal acrolithic statue of Constantine the Great (c. 280-337 AD) that once occupied the west apse of the Basilica of Maxentius in the Forum Romanum in Rome.
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