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basilica

basilica (bəsĬl´Ĭkə), large building erected by the Romans for transacting business and disposing of legal matters. Rectangular in form with a roofed hall, the building usually contained an interior colonnade, with an apse at one end or at each end. The central aisle tended to be wide and was higher than the flanking aisles, so that light could penetrate through the clerestory windows. The oldest known basilica was built in Rome in 184 BC by the elder Cato. Other early examples are the Basilica Porcia in Rome and one at Pompeii (late 2d cent. BC). Probably the most splendid Roman basilica is the one constructed during the reign of Maxentius and finished by Constantine after 313. In the 4th cent. Christians began to build edifices for worship that were related to the form of the basilicas. These had a center nave with one aisle at each side and an apse at one end: on this platform sat the bishop and priests. Basilicas of this type were built not only in Western Europe but in Greece, Syria, Egypt, and Palestine. A good example of the Middle Eastern basilica is the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem (6th cent.). The finest basilicas in Rome were St. John Lateran and St. Paul's-outside-the-Walls (4th cent.), and San Clemente (6th cent.). Gradually there emerged the massive Romanesque churches, which still retained the fundamental plan of the basilica.

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"basilica." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Basilicata

Basilicata (bäzēlēkä´tä), region (1991 pop. 610,528), 3,856 sq mi (9,987 sq km), S Italy, bordering on the Tyrrhenian Sea in the southwest and on the Gulf of Taranto in the southeast. It forms the instep of the Italian "boot." Potenza is the capital of Basilicata, which is divided into Potenza and Matera provs. (named for their capitals). The region is crossed by the Lucanian Apennines; its main river is the Bradano. Because of a dry climate and a scarcity of groundwater, farming is difficult, although it is the occupation of most inhabitants of the generally poor region. Olives, plums, and cereals are grown, and sheep and goats are raised. There is also some fishing. The transportation network is very limited, and commerce and industry are minimal, except in the Pisticci zone where a chemical plant is located. Natural gas also has been discovered near Matera. Basilicata corresponds to most of ancient Lucania and to part of ancient Samnium. Rome took the region in 272 BC; it later passed in turn to the Lombards, to the Byzantines, and (11th cent.) to the Norman duchy of Apulia, of which Melfi (now in Basilicata) was the capital. Although later a part of the kingdom of Naples, Basilicata was controlled by virtually independent feudal lords. Malaria, still a scourge on the coasts, caused the flourishing coastal towns to be abandoned in the early Middle Ages. In the 20th cent. there have been reclamation works and social and land reforms in Basilicata, but many of the inhabitants have emigrated to foreign countries (especially the United States) or have taken jobs in the industrial cities of N Italy. The region has suffered numerous earthquakes.

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basilica

basilica (pl. basilicas or basilicae). Roman building-type with a clerestoreyed nave, two or more lower lean-to aisles on each side of the nave, and an apse at the end of the nave, originally for public functions, but later adapted for Christian worship, and the precedent for medieval church design. Early basilicas include that of Trajan in Rome (c. AD 113), and the very important Constantinian basilica of San Pietro, Rome (begun c.333), the model for Christian churches for nearly two millennia. The latter building had two aisles on each side of the nave and a lateral transept between the apse and the nave to accommodate the large numbers of pilgrims wishing to venerate the shrine over the martyrium containing the remains of the Apostle; a narthex in front of the nave and aisles; and a very large colonnaded atrium with a central fountain for ritual washing. Attached to the south transept were two mausolea, both rotundas. Thus San Pietro (destroyed to make way for the present church) had all the prototypes of a medieval cathedral, including the chapter-house attached to the transept, and the cloisters. Basilican therefore means having the characteristics of a basilica.

Bibliography

Krautheimer (1986);
Ward-Perkins (1981)

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"basilica." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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basilica

basilica a large oblong hall or building with double colonnades and a semicircular apse, used in ancient Rome as a law court or for public assemblies. The name was then applied to a building of this type used as a Christian Church; in Rome, it designated specifically the seven churches founded by Constantine. Basilica is also the name given to certain churches granted special privileges by the Pope.

Recorded from the mid 16th century, the word comes from Latin, literally ‘royal palace’, and from Greek basiliskē, feminine of basiliskos ‘royal’, from basileus ‘king’.


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"basilica." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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basilica

ba·sil·i·ca / bəˈsilikə/ • n. a large oblong hall or building with double colonnades and a semicircular apse, used in ancient Rome as a court of law or for public assemblies. ∎  a similar building used as a Christian church. ∎  the name given to certain churches granted special privileges by the pope. DERIVATIVES: ba·sil·i·can adj.

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"basilica." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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basilica

basilica Roman colonnaded hall used for public business; also an early Christian church based on this design. The main characteristics of a basilica church, established by the 4th century ad, were: a rectangular plan with a longitudinal axis, a wooden roof and an e end, which was either rectangular or contained a semicircular apse. The body of the church usually had a central nave and two flanking aisles.

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"basilica." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Basilica

Basilica. A Christian church building, derived in form from Roman empire buildings. In R. Catholicism, it is a title given to four (‘major’) churches in Rome, and to several (‘minor’) churches in Rome and elsewhere.

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"Basilica." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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basilica

basilica XVI. — L. — Gr. basilikḗ, sb. use of fem. of basilikós royal, f. basileús king.

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"basilica." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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basilica

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"basilica." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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