Other Free Encyclopedias » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Barley to Bellows, George Wesley



Basilica, in its earliest usage, large public building of ancient Rome of characteristic rectangular layout, with a central area (nave) separated by rows of columns from 2 flanking side aisles with high windows. At one or both ends was a semicircular or polygonal apse. This design was adopted as a basic pattern for Christian churches from the time of Constantine (4th century A.D.). The term “basilica” is also a canonical title for certain important Roman Catholic churches.

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