Basilica of Maxentius (Rome, Italy) : Close view of a single arch, from the south

Creator:
unknown (Ancient Roman)
Published/Created:
Forum Romanum, Rome, Lazio, Italy
306-313
Physical Description:
39 x 25.3 x 86.6 m (nave)
Date Depicted:
9/15/1994
8000 BC - 499 AD
Materials:
brick
concrete
marble
Notes:
It was begun by the Emperor Maxentius (reigned AD 306-312), possibly following the fire of AD 307, which severely damaged the nearby Temple of Venus and Rome, but was only completed, in slightly altered form, after his death in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (AD 312). The Senate subsequently dedicated it to his victorious rival Constantine. The collapse of the nave and south aisle in the medieval period created the imposing ruin visible today. Unlike most earlier basilicas, which had internal colonnades and trabeated timber roofs, the Basilica of Maxentius was built with brick-faced concrete walls and concrete vaults, to a design based on the frigidaria of the Imperial thermae. The nave (82.6 x 25.3 x c. 39.0 m) was roofed with a triple groin vault decorated with oval and octagonal coffers and lit by arched clerestory windows. It was the largest vaulted space ever created by Roman architects. Three parallel barrel-vaulted chambers, 15.8 m deep and averaging 23.6 m wide, connected by broad arched openings, formed each aisle and acted as buttresses for the piers supporting the central vault. In front of these piers stood giant Corinthian columns with fluted monolithic shafts, 15.8 m high, in Proconnesian marble, which appeared to support the vault but were almost entirely decorative. The last remaining column was removed by Pope Paul V in 1613 to its present location in front of S Maria Maggiore in Rome.
Variant Titles:
Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine
Topics:
Architecture -- Italy -- Roman -- (YVRC)
Culture:
Roman
Accession Number:
1A3-R-R-BCM-A3
Genre:
architecture (AAT)
churches: basilicas (AAT)
Format:
Image
Content Type:
Sculptures, Models, & Architecture
Rights:
Copyright Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc
The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
Access Restrictions:
Yale Community Only
Digital:
architectural exteriors; rulers and leaders; City planning; Roman Empire; government; civic building construction buildings; basilicas; complexes; sites (locations); archaeological sites; excavations (sites) arch
Source Creator:
Gilchrist, Scott
Source Title:
Archivision Module Three
Source Created:
2878 Chamonix, Montreal QC
Archivision, Inc.
9/15/1994
Source Note:
Purchase, Visual Resources Collection, May, 2011; photographer Scott Gilchrist
Yale Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Digital Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Local Record Number:
4152
Number of Scans:
job 4152-aa
OID:
10159851
PID:
digcoll:1832830