arc2 - Principles of Early Christian and Byzantine...

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Principles of Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture Francesco Cappellari, UF 2009 Early Christian Architecture Early forms of Paleochristian Architecture : 1. The catacombs. An aggregation of labyrinthine underground galleries stratified in several storeys with an horizontal extension at times over 3 miles. It was essentially an underground cemetery conceded to the eye of Roman persecutors. 2. The “Domus Ecclesiae”. A space hidden within or underneath private houses used for the clandestine assembly of the faithful. The domus would typically be organized around a court surrounded by at least these two spaces: a. An assembly area b. A baptismal area with a baptismal fount. The walls would typically be frescoed with scenes from the old and new testament. The “new” Paleochristian church Defined soon after Constintine’s Edict of Milan, 313 A.C. This edict officially recognizes the Christians’ rights to practice their religion. Evolution from Roman Architecture The Paleochristian church takes its basic typology from the Roman Basilica with the following exceptions. Externally: 1. The entry will be moved to the short side of the rectangular plan. 2. An atrium - another typical Roman form – is placed in front of the entrance in axis with the longitudinal layout of the church. The quadrangular atrium, destined to the catechumens, was surrounded by arcades on all sides; the side that directly engages the basilica, will take the name of nartex . Internally: 1.
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arc2 - Principles of Early Christian and Byzantine...

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