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Basilicas Posted by on Oct 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

There are a few basilicas that remain from Ancient Roman times. In Ancient Rome, a basilica was used to define a public building placed in a forum. Nowadays a basilica has come to mean that the building is a church.

The Basilica Aemilia was built in 179 B.C. Today, only remains of the Basilica remain, but a complete rendition of the Basilica can be seen on the coins that have survived in that period. The Basilica Aemilia was heavily destroyed by Alaric the Visigoth in 410 A.D., but in its heyday the Basilica was a thriving place of business.

The Basilica Julia was built in 46 B.C. All that remains of the Basilica is a column, some steps and remnants of a rectangular foundation. When it was first built, it was lined with shops selling all sorts of meat, wares etc. The Basilica was also the location of civil courts. People came to plead their cases before a public audience.

The northern aisle of the Basilica Maxentius is all that is left of the Basilica. The Basilica used to be a meeting hall, a place to discuss politics, and a court house. The Basilica was white, and lined with statues of the gods. When Mussolini came to power, he added several propaganda images on the walls. This resulted in some damage to the original structure of the Basilica.

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