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A Restoration of the Basilica of Constantine, Rome Author(s): Anthony Minoprio Source: Papers of the British School at Rome, Vol.

12 (1932), pp. 1-25 Published by: British School at Rome Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40310435 Accessed: 11/11/2010 18:47
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Fig. i. The Basilica of Constantine, Rome.


in 1927.] [Phototakenbytheauthor
BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE. COLOSSEUM. PALATINE HILL.

VIA SACRA

BASILICA JULIA

as it is To-day. Fig. 2. The Forum Romanum

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME.


By ANTHONY MINOPRIO, M.A., A.R.I.B.A.; Student, 1925-7. Jarvis Henry from the colonnade of the Templeof Venus and Rome. toshow theBasilica Thisrestoration attempts the traditional The new building followed as it actuallyappearedabout a.d. 320, with in of Roman basilica having a lofty type and additions of Constantine, the alterations in an apse, but its vaulting naveterminating than as it was originally rather designed by and aislesresembled hallsof the the central the Maxentian architect.For thisreasonthe Roman thermae closer still,the marketor, to call thebuilding theBasilica hall of author prefers did not Forum. Maxentius Trajan's as in antiquity. of Constantine, as he of his work, live to see the completion ' ad was defeatedby his rival Constantine ' PART I. saxa rubra and methisdeathat theMilvian the afterwards, Bridgein a.d. 312. Shortly History of the Building. thebuildings Senatededicated to Constantine The BasilicaofConstantine last had the the which Maxentius erected, namely, (Fig. 1), ofRomancivil andgreatest wasbegun Templum Sacrae Urbisand theBasilica.2 basilicas, the Maxentius after the fire musthave been this time the building by Emperor shortly By of a.d. 307, whichdestroyed the Temple of well advanced, several butat thelastmoment Venus and Rome and, presumably, other important alterations weremade. Thesewere in thispartoftheForum Romanum a flight ofsteps, addedto thehighportico on buildings a the south new thus entrance side, (Fig.2). forming The work of reconstruction in this area from the Sacra Via, and, opposite it, an apse notonly therebuilding included oftheTemple, built to house the westtribunal, the leaving of a newcivilbasilicato line original but theerection end of thenavefree apse at thewest the monumental to it. This vast a for statue of Constantine colossal approach (Fig. 3). Like the othergreatpublic basilicas,the buildingoccupied a site 120 yardslong by 80 yards the north side the of Via as a Law Court wasusedas a Bourse, deep along building forbusiness Sacra, over the remainsof the Porticoof and as a meeting-place men, parhall and theSpiceWarehousesticularly Nero'smarket when bad the affairs during weather, of Domitian(PlateI.).1 oftheForum to thebasilicas. weretransferred (HorreaPiperataria) from a narrow It was entered road at right The buildingwas frequented not only by it bankers, and moneyestate anglesto the Via Sacra, whichseparated merchants, agents NOTE
1 The Plates are to be foundat the end.
1

2 AureliusVictor,De Caess.Lib., 40. 26.

B 2

THE BRITISH SCHOOL AT ROME


but also by the generalpublic,who changers, were attractedthere by the numeroussmall booths erected for the display of jewellery, works of art and goods importedfromthe East.1 The destruction of the Basilica can hardly be attributed as itsconcrete construction to fire, The highcostof keeprendered it fire-proof. ing so large a building in repair and the of adapting it to meet practical difficulty requirements probablyled to its disuse at an early date. It seems likely that the earththe Basilica quake of 847, which overthrew Aemilia and S. Maria Antiqua,2was responsibleforthecollapseof the roofof the nave. A sketchmade in the fifteenth assigned century, to Bramante,shows that only the northaisle and two columns remained standingat that the time(Fig. 4) . In 16 13, Pope Paul V ordered in Piazza be to erected column onlyremaining di S. Maria Maggiore,where it now stands. Afterthe collapse of the Basilica, the ruins were used in succession as part of a villa garden,as a cattleshed,and as a riding-school forrecruits of the French and drilling-ground 5. Armyof Occupation between 1809 and 181 forthe destrucThese troopswere responsible tion of all the remainingpavement of the Basilica.3 In 1900 the paving of the two late-Imperial streetsand of the Neronian Via Sacra were removedand the groundwas excavatedto its - thatoftheAugustanSacra Via. level present the attenThe Basilica has always attracted as may be tion of antiquariesand architects, of it seen fromthe large numberof drawings made duringthe Renaissance. The similarity in plan betweenthe Basilica and Santa Sofia has been held by Rivoira4 to suggestthat the design of the latter was derived from

Fig. 3. Stages in the Development of the Basilica, showing Departures from the Original Plan.

1 De Ruggiero, R. Ace. Lincei,Ser. V. xxi ForoRomano, p. 390. This practiceof erect- Maria Antiqua. See Rendiconti in the basilicaswas laterforbidden by (1012), p. 765 ; and Duchesne,Lib. Pont.II. 208. ing stallsor workshops 3 Lanciani, Ruins and Excavations, the Codex p. 206. Justiniani (Krueger), 11, 21. 2 S. Maria Nova was dedicated after 847 to replace S. 4 RomanArchitecture, turaRomana,p. 250. p. 208; Architet

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME

the Basilica, and there is no doubt that the temporary with the Basilica and the fourth great barrel-vaultswere an inspirationto mediaeval. They tendedto omit the second, and fourth. Boni3 noted, Bramantein his design for St. Peter's. The and to fusethethird skill made by however, that a fragment of porphyry column great advance in constructive Roman architects since the time of Augustus occurredbelow the Neronian road: and this was accompanied by a correspondingly strikis ing change in taste,and this demonstrated of ornament by the few remainingfragments in the Basilica; but apart from decoration, its fine conceptionand bold executionhave enabled the Basilica Nova to take its place in the history as one of the great of architecture buildingsof the world.

PART II. The Exterior. IV.) As originally built, the Basilica had a ter6" race, 7' wide, runningthe whole lengthof the south fagade,overlooking the Sacra Via. afterwards a Shortly projecting portico,79' o" long,was built againstthe terraceoppositethe middle bay, to which threedoors gave access from thesouthaisle.1 The absenceof bonding that the porticowas an afterthought, suggests but its brickwork is clearlyMaxentian. The portico had four Corinthiancolumns with pilaster responds against the wall, as Fig. 4. This Drawing, now in the Uffizi (No. 1711), can be seen from the holesforthe foundations. was made during the fifteenth century when It has, however, been considered uncertain Two Columns were still in situ. whether theporphyry columnsnow in position if true, would settlethe matter. originally belonged to the portico; but they observation, are accepted here for the following reasons. But the pavement contemporary with the The earlyexcavators realised2 imperfectly that Basilica4 was ' assai malconcio e pieno di therewere fourstreet-levels of lacune,3 and so was that of Nero below it, here, the first Augustus,the second of Nero, the thirdcon- while the area was penetrated by at least one
1 These entranceshave since been filled to a up heightof about 2' o". 2 For the Neronian level, Ashby, Class. Rev., xiv (1900), p. 239: forthe mediaeval,Lanciani, Not. Scav., 1878,p. 341.
Recent Excav. in R. Forum,pp. 169-70.

The Fagade on the Via Sacra.

(Pis. I, II, III,

The othertwo were generally cf. BurtonBrown, recognised, 3 Instigatedby Ashby,Class.Rev.,xix (1905), p. 76, note 2. 4 Lanciani, Not.Scav.,1878,p. 341.

THE BRITISH SCHOOL AT ROME 4 mediaeval well,laterthantheninth century.1the middle bay, where there were three on the southand an apse on the Thusit is easyto attach too muchimportancedoorways which north. to theposition ofthiscolumn-fragment, of corner may have reachedits position verylate,for The smallroomat thesouth-west 2 on this window waslitbya single example,when the area was cleared for thebuilding of the roomsat the CharlesV, in 1536. Finally,all the pre- facade; the projection wasbalanced endfrom themainblock Maxentian by buildings (see Appendix)are un- west at theeastend. of thenarthex suitedto suchcolumns, and theseare of the theprojection at of thebrickwork theBasilica's correct diameter for Owingto the restoration portico. it is not clear The frieze of thisportico the only the southend of the narthex provides a door or a was whether there the dedicaon the for suitable originally building place butit wouldhavebeen at thispoint, tionto Constantine, forthe Basilica window recorded and FanumSacrae Urbisby Aurelius Victor.3 convenient to have a door here,openingon also on a to the Sacra Via. A tile-and-stucco Much of the latterinscription, cornice, 4 round is in Panvinius versions carried was frieze without or by architrave, portico, preserved well with the building and Ligorio,and agreestolerably just belowthesillsof theupper a thesort oftext desired short dedication in orderto forma stringof windows row here, in two lines. The spacingmakesunsuitable course,and wouldjoin the enriched marble 5 of Franklin based corniceof the centralportico. The main thesuggestion and Hafner, found cornice on a fragment withinlaidmetalletters oftileand stucco, bytraversupported in theclivus ad Carinas.Herethearrangement tinemodillions, was on a levelwiththe roof at theeast adoptedis shownin PlateIII ; it does not of the aisles. Partofit stillexists far to but it be cannot faced end. was The brickwork aspire any authority, everywhere the truth. Later, a flight of stepswas with from as may as coursed moulded stucco ashlar, in be seenon theeastwall of theBasilicaabove built againstthe porticoby Constantine orderto make an entrance from the Sacra the narthex (PlateV). In thisit resembled Via. The absenceof bondingagain shows therecently-built CuriaofDiocletian. thatthese werenotpartoftheadditional steps The East Fagade and Narthex. (Pis. V, VI, whose face behind them continues loggia, fully finished.They wereprobably contemporary XIII.) with the northapse. Statues crownedthe The originalentrance to the Basilicawas a and left of theportico bastions to right a narrow street at theeastend through steps, from main the and along the edge of the terraceran a single-storey from narthex projecting balustrade. The side of the Sacra Via was block of the Basilica. There were two enone on lined with dedicatory to thenarthex on thisfa$ade, statues,the pedestals trances of whichwere foundin the excavations of theaxis ofthenave,theother on theaxis on 1882.6 the southaisle. This is shownby the brick The southfa$ade was pierced by fifteenfacing downto in thereveal, which goesright arched windowsin groupsof three corre- the threshold, and by thefactthatthesetwo on thenorth to those are onefoot wider thanthewindows. side,exceptin openings sponding
2 Archiv. R. di StoriaPatria, i (1878), p. 313. 3 Vit. Caess., 40, 6.

1 Ashby,Class,Rev.,xiv (1900), p. 239.

4 C.I.L., vi, 1147.

5 A. I. A. Journal, xii, 1924,p. 79, note 28 : Not.Scav., 1879. was not made by Lanciani. p. 313*/. Note thatthe ascription 6 Not. Scavi, 1882,p. 220-1, and 1879,Tav. vii, also C.I.L., vi, 1653, 1663.

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME 5 and staircase of their The window at 4' 9" above the The restoration walls, sills, however, is largely werecut away in somelate windows street conjectural.The remains pavement, theBasilicato from of a narrow stair seen the as be leading facing. by period, may clearly rooms can be seenascending ofthese ofthenar- theroof The two end windows to thenorth south-west the wall at the of Nero's thexare bothhidden the remains (Plate II). This by wouldhave beena good GoldenHouse; and a largemassof Neronian partofthebuilding is no but of thesethere forlatrines, concrete narthex at this outside the proves position point thebuilding. the tracethroughout round thatthere was never a roadrunning has as been often Basilica, although suggested, to theCannae. (PL I.) a roadmayhavebeenintended.The narthex The Street was facedwith stucco,as is shownby the Belowthewestapse is a cellarapproached totheCarinae inthestreet a doorway absenceofcrampholesformarbleslabs,and through ; vaults barrel is it roofed with concrete restore the Renaissance springalthough drawings two here ing from the wall of the apse and from on thisfacade, columns Nibbyexcavated side of this the north in 1819 and was unableto findany traceof squarepiers. Against late-classical of walls are two column The factthat apse bases or foundations.1 projecting on the level of the fourth-century the selce pavement of the originalroad still brickwork the present level, runsright of thepiersseems street, acrossthe front road, at Augustan From this at lower feet some four an of the point. against applied being theory decisively would their positionand the fact that thereare order. Such decoration of thenarthex of remainsof a cementlining, have run counter to the simpletreatment splayedat the these of inside on the walls, it is the colonnade bottom, the main walls,and, anyhow, the cisternof a of the Temple of Venus and Rome largely evidentthat theyformed fountain. street the ofthenarthex, masked it. Abovetheroof end wall of the nave was piercedby three somebrick voussoirs The Tunnel. (PI. I.) arched ofwhich windows, The north-west be seen. can still angle of the Basilicawas of the Forum Pacis, wall the was themaincornice, built against windows Abovethese street. It was the northward modillions still thus blocking ofwhich ofthetravertine many 12' o" a to build tunnel, above the cornicewas therefore remain. Immediately necessary of lunette similar to those on wide and 20' o" high,in thesubstructures thelargeclerestory A road. the to in order the Basilica and southsidesofthenave. thenorth carry withmanyrelieving buttress large triangular TheRooms at the South-West. theangleoverthe was builtto support (Pis. I, VII.) arches At thesouth-west angleof theBasilicawere tunnel,and run up againstthe rusticated wall of the Forum Pacis, as the small rooms,which must have been ap- masonry mould and crowning ofits blocks in the corner an opening of impressions through proached show. of theserooms the nave. The exactpurpose 2 suggest Hafner is uncertain Franklin and ; Side. of the courtwerekepthere, The North thattherecords thenorth levelagainst and it seemsprobablethattheserooms were The present ground the o" above in somewayconnected withadministration. wall oftheBasilicais 45' ground
1 Nardini,RomaAntica(Ed. Nibby, 1818), p. 279; Nibby, RomaAntica, ii, p. 238, del. 2 A. I. A, Journal, xii, 1924,p. 325.

THE BRITISH SCHOOL AT ROME

level inside the building. The outside of the thebuildingis a smallyard,now closed,where can archesabove thetunnel north wall is accessible at the higherlevel one oftherelieving windows. froma nursery garden approached fromthe be seen under the ground-floor of the aisles roofs Via del Colosseo. TheRoof. On the sloping

Fig. 5. Systemof Construction according to Durm. and would look of the buttresses. The stepis unnecessary There is no evidenceto supportDurm's restoration is roof the to on No ends. shown, west although and east the at way the above pediments clumsyprojecting corner. at the north-west we know that therewas a staircaseon the buttress

From this garden it can be seen that the north apse had a tile cornice supportedby modillionssimilar to those at the travertine eastend,and a tileddome steppedin the usual cornerof Roman manner. At the north-west

the which transmitted were eight buttresses the to thrustof the nave vaulting on piers between the barrelvaults below (Figs. 5, 6). of the north-west From the fallenfragment in the Forumof Peace it may be seen buttress

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME 7 on topofthebuttress ofthenavevaulting thata staircase led to the The large lying fragment that shows aisle roofofthe nave. Possibly in themiddle north all eight of the buttresses bay on laid directly had similar staircases. was covered tiles theroof with as has The circularstaircaseat the north-west bronze and notwith theconcrete, plates one arrived at theroof oftheaislein a recess in the been supposed.2Two piecesof roof-tile, middle ofthebuttress, stillremainin situto from onepassed red, the otheryellow, whence on to the stair on top of the buttress. On provethis. It is clear from the imprints x elevation of theBasilica theconcrete thatthe tileswereparallel-sided d'Espouy'srestored on thebuttresses thestaircases lead to small and werelappedin theusualRomanmanner.

Fig. 6. Flying Buttress of the Nave Vaulting. Note coffering of main vault, to left.

in theclerestory; from tile remainsto show us their these, doorways steps No complete led to theroof ofthenave. From exact shape,but probably presumably theywere of the the inclination of the tops of the remainingusualpattern at each end and a witha flange and a measurement ofthestepson ridge as Durmindicates.3 at thesides, buttresses, thefragment in theForum ofbuttress ofPeace, The gables may have been adornedwith with it appearsthatsomesucharrangement or acroteria. A highbalustrade, might finials butof each as thestaircases foot havebeenadopted, of at the wouldnot a bronze group statuary and a is given overtheaisles, havebeensteepenough to lead directly to theroof to the tress, roof. roof. balustrade to thenarthex
2 On a o Lib. Pont.,Vit.Honorii, 119, iii. misunderstanding
1 vol. i, PL ioo. Fragments Antiques, 3 BaukunUderEtrusker & Romer,p. 325, fig. 353.

THE BRITISH SCHOOL AT ROME

PART III. The disposalof rain-water fromso large an area of roofwas no small matter, but thereis The Interior. this was to show how dealt with. nothing The plan of the Basilica had long been Rain-waterwas usually dischargedfromthe in urban architecture roofthroughspouts in the cornice but the current of the Empire ; and curiae, and was being adopted and area oftheBasilicaroof wouldmake forbasilicae height
A
TEPIDA^'A

comparison

OP THE. THfeMA WITH THE. NAVE Of THE fcASiLKA.

Fig. 7.

this practice undesirable, and one might reasonably suppose that pipes were used. There are no signsof ducts or chases in the so it is possible that lead rainbrickwork, water pipes were fixed to the walls, as at Herculaneum.

wholesale for Christian churches. But the method of roofingthe building, with huge was concrete vaults, durable and fireproof, rarer,and belongedprimarily (see Appendix) to Market-halls and to Baths (Fig. 7). Insteadofthe usual colonnadein twostoreys

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME 9 and taken oneither sideofthenave,there were three byAnderson huge appearin photographs the side aisles 52' o" Alinariabout twenty barrel-vaulted yearsago, before baysforming was brickwork and The barrel vaults o" repaired. deep 79' high. of thin thus consists The wall-decoration weresupported walls and end massive the by in marbles different slabs of the 11' 0" which each thick, applied geometrical by piers, separated on a largescaleto a introduced thebays these, ; thegroined style vaulting patterns, by partly in a columns which Rome in the Augustan age, but usually partly bytheeightmonolithic for frame or architectural stood in front at thesidesofthenave. moulded of them setting, the is dispensed theframe Above each barrelvault and at both ends panels. Here,however, for and thedecoration and with, thestructure lunettes depends itseffect, lightened clerestory between on the contrast lit the hall. The bayswerelighted bothby likewood-veneering, in best success these and by tall arched windowsin the panel and panel, seen to its and Aya Sofia,Constantiexterior wall. Jamissi Kahriyeh treatment, nople.4 Once again, the simpler TheNave. (Pis. VII, VIII, IX, X.) the as in modernwood panelling,reflects ideasoftheage. The pavement oftheBasilicawas ofseveral changed of the clamp-holes different varieties of marble. Fea x saysthat From an examination and shown on one of the Alinari photographs giallo, cipollino,porphyry, serpentino were Of the used. existing pavonazzetto plans (No. 5841) it wouldappear thatthe marble 2 were carried oftheBasilica, to slabs thatgiven up tothelineoftheclerestory by Canina seems above thisline the wallswere window more with the than other sills; agree closely any covered with painted stucco. actualstate and hasthemerit ofgiving figuredpresumably columnsin the nave were dimensions and The Corinthian of thefloor pattern. Caristie marble. They had monoCanina bothshowfive rowsofsquaresin the of Proconnesian shafts nave with seventeen 52' o" long5 with24 flutes. The squares to the row.3 lithic to Canina thesquareswere 12' o" cap was 7' 9" and the base 3' 6" high. The According isnottheoriginal X 12' o" enclosing smaller alternately squares cap at SantaMariaMaggiore smaller.6 and circles; they wereseparated by bandsof one, beingsomewhat entablature of A considerable a different white Carrara, part themarble marble,perhaps ofthe insitu, and somefragments stillremains 3' 9" wide. lie at thewestend of thenave. The The wallsofthenave werefacedwiththin cornice carvedanthewitha boldly slabsofmarble to a concrete attached bedding cymais enriched come and rosettes withbronzeclamps; the holesmade by the mion and the modillions omitted. belowit,thefascia latter being partsof immediately maybe seenin the unrestored were dividedinto lunettes the piers,and the restoration of the pattern The clerestory hasbeenbasedon a study holesas they three by brick mullionswhich supported ofthese
1 sbandita dalla Correcting Nibby ; La Basilica di Constantine Via Sacra, p. 12. 2 Valadier and Canina, Aggiuntee correzioniall9 opera sugli A. Desgodetz, 1843, Cap. vii, di Roma deW Architetto antichi edifizi

4 Lethaby and Swainson,S. Sophia,Constantinople, p. 241, fig.47: cf. Marucchi,Bull Com.,1893,pls. iv, v, forthe hall of Tunius Bassus,consulofa.d. 317. 5 Measurements the columnin the Piazza di S. takenfrom GorhamP. Stevens, Professor of direction Maria columns. tavola the eastern 21. by Maggiore ii, Except, however, 3 Director of the AmericanAcademy in Rome. See Memoirs Caristie, Plan et couped'unepartie du Forumromaine, plan. vol. iv, p. 142,fig.20. Acad.Rome, A. Amer. e correzioni all9 opera . . . deW architecto Canina, Aggiunte 6 Franklinand Hafner,A. I. A. Journal, xii, 1924, p. 185: Desgodetz, cap. vii, tav. ii, 21. . . . dal 1809 al 1837, Bramante,Uff. Arch.,1711 = Bartoli, Disegnidegli Uff,i, pl. Angelini and Fea, //Foro romano the originalcap. xxiv,fig.50 figures plan, give sixteen.

io

THE BRITISH SCHOOL AT ROME

1 bronze tracery,probably in varied patterns, D'Espouy's restorationof the coffering as at Santa Sabina on the Aventine. does not entirely agree with what remainsof Glass was generally used in windowsat this the designon the largefragment in the middle time,but marble and selenitehave also been bay of the north aisle, but it seems to be suggested. Parts of the windows doubtless approximatelycorrect. The diagonal ribs were unglazed to allow ventilation, with weredecoratedwithoval coffers ; one ofthese the out to birds. at the west mass of exists the concrete still on grilles keep and the bend in end ofthe Horrea excavation, on the coffer showsthatit occupied a position a rib. Fromtheroofofthebuildingthelower may be seen just part of anotheroval coffer above the timber beam which supportsthe mass of nave vaulting(Fig. 6). remaining The main ribswere decoratedwitha crude acanthusgarlandin stucco,some ofwhichstill near ofvaulting remainson thelargefragment three the Above nave. end of the the east archwaysleading into the narthexwere three arched windows,and above these again was lunette. the clerestory The West Apse. (PL XI.) Nothingremainsof the decorationof the westapse. There are no tracesof nicheslike thosein thenorth apse, nordo theRenaissance was probably plansshowany. The semi-dome as in the with ornamented hexagonalcoffering north apse. Since the apse was adequately in the windows the big clerestory from lighted, nave, no window need be postulatedtherein, and all lightwould thus fall obliquely on to the colossal statuewhichit held. of a colossalstatue In 1487 eightfragments were foundamongstthe ruinsof the Basilica,2 and are now to be seen in the Palazzo dei Conservatori. The head was long mistaken but thereis in factno forthatof Commodus, doubt thatit is Constantine's (Fig. 8). ' Thus it his after was thatConstantine, victory ad saxa rubra,5added the northapse, into which he moved the tribunal,so that he could place
2 Albertinus, f. 86 ; cf. Stuart de Mirabilibus Romae, Opuse, dei Cat. B.S.R. Palazzo Conservatori, 5-6, 11-14. pp. Jones,

Fig. 8. Colossal Head of Constantine. Now in the Palazzo dei Conservatori. The head measures6 ft.fromcrown to chin.

The ceiling of the nave consistedof three quadrupartite vaults, lightened and ornawere enmented by coffering.The coffers riched with stucco, egg-and-dart and leaf mouldings,and were probably painted and gilded.
1 d' Architecture Fragments Antique,vol. ii, PL 100.

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME


in the apse at the a colossal statueof himself westend of the nave. houseswere During the seventeenth century builtin the ruins of the westapse, as may be seen in Piranesi's etching (Fig. 9), with the remainsof the base of the resultthat nothing statue. However,twoRenaissanceplansofthe

Bernard Ashmole,then Director of Professor of the BritishSchool at Rome. (See Plate 3 thatthefigure was seated, remarks Petersen if and this is doubtlesscorrect, for, the figure were standing, the head would come considerably above the springingof the semi-

IX.)

Fig. 9. The Basilica in the Eighteenth Century. An etching by Piranesi showing the niches in the windowsof the north-east bay, and the house built in of thishouse appear on plates. (Actual State plan. Brickwork the west apse. Traces of the foundations plan.)

Basilica, one by Andreas Coner (1515),1 and not onlyshow anotherby an unknown artist,2 which are the base, but give its dimensions, trulycolossal (Fig. 10). and contemFrom the existingfragments of the statue porarycoins a carefulrestoration was made by the late Mr. Emile Jacot (Rome Scholarin Sculpture, 1925) withthe assistance
' 1 Ashby, P.B.S.R., ii, Pis. 16, 59.
2 Melangesdy Arch.,xi, p. 164, PL iv.

the broader and dome of the apse. Further, accords better seated shorter mass of a figure of the apse whichframes withthe proportions it, and the head comes in its normalposition on the line of the springing. The statue was clearly acrolithic, the materials used being bronze and marble. Presumablya brickcore supportedthe head,
ii, vii, p. 159.
3 Dissertazionidella Serie Accad. Rom. di Archeologia, Pontificia

i2

THE BRITISH SCHOOL AT ROME


Plan of the Basilica by Andreas Coner (15 15). Note base of statueand road round northapse.

Plan by an unknown Sixteenth-century Artist. Note base ofstatueand remainsofthe Golden House. Fig. 10.

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME 13 remains oftheleft or ninetons, while abovethispoint. Nothing which someeight weighed a tratheweight ofthearmswas probably takenby leg above the ankle ; and, following has ditionin seated imperialstatuesas old as thesidesofthethrone.1The throne itself been restored thepaludamentum we havearranged on the model of one of this Tiberius, in so as to it. the Muse de Cairo.2 cover period Boulacq, builtof is shown was probably The figure in belted The base ofthestatue oftheEmperor and doubtless carried a cuirass3 and paludamentum, with brick faced marble, bearing sceptre andglobesurmounted as onmany an inscription recordingthe triumphof bya victory, of his coins. It is usuallythought that the Constantine. handhelda spear,butwe haverestored right a sceptre forthe following reasons. In the TheAisles. (Pis. IX, X, XII, XIII.) first theexisting It seems to be clearfrom plans place,thearmcannothave been highin in of end the the air, fora shallowsocketin the forearmthatthe floor bays the pattern rows belowtheelbowsuggests thatthe aislesconsisted ofthree with three squares immediately A forearm rested on a which in row. and each two rectangles horizontally support, partofthe has been reconstructed can hardly at have been anything but the arm original pavement 6 aisle be of the south it can ofthethrone.Secondly, the west end numerous coins ; prove wereofverdeanticoon oftheEmperor seenthatthesquares thatthetypeofrepresentation and orbwas as wellknown with a whitemarbleband as a giallo ground, holding sceptre theaisles. thenavefrom the spear-holding type. Again,thissolution dividing aisle had a rid of the of the middle of The great gets difficultysupporting bay the north of a colossalarm,whicha spear pattern traces ofwhich vastweight ofsmaller may squares, would There have were even of the largest seen near the north still be proportions apse. to do. Finally, thesceptre and probably to the beenunfitted rows with twelve eight squares balanceto the statuethan row. We havenothing orb give a better to showwhatwas the a silver pattern in themiddle thespear. The diademis copiedfrom bay of thesouthaisle; head on the which most it to that of the bay medallion,4 portrait possibly corresponded closelyresemblesthe presentstatue. The opposite. in the feetsuggests that In the piers,archways absenceofdowelling 35 feethigh gave and thisis confirmed and at either wereno boots,5 there one bayto thenext, by accessfrom ofthesole. The clue to the sideofthese for finish statues. were niches thecareful archways ofthelower had a marble the and niches veneer, arrangement partof the drapery The piers of the insideof the concrete in is givenbythetreatment still remains some of which bedding is with for sockets corner of which and in thenorth-west of the niches leg, right provided the bronze holes show the wooden framework The the carrying building clamp (Fig. 11). were the marble slabs that appliedin a broad drapery. kneewasbareand a dowelholeat simpledesign. The concretegroundof a The right thetopand a squaresocketat the backprove marbleskirting 2' o" highmay still be seen covered the in aisle. the north thatthebronze right leg drapery
(1804- 1904) Recueil de Mmoiresde la Soc. Passy, Centenaire Nat. Antiq. France,p. 379, fig. 1.

1 Thereis a roughly holejustbelow theright tooled thatthesurviving elbow, epaulette ; it is to be assumed parts, being ofa support. thesocket were notconcealed highly finished, bydrapery. probably
4 Bernouilli, Romische b, ii, 3, p. 221, Taf. liitf, Ikonographie, PL 28,No. 12. Mnztaf. Romani, viii,15: cf.Gnecchi,Medaglioni 3 This seems 5 For a military to be indicated dowelhole on statuewith bare feet,cf. the Augustusof by a circular 6 In the excavations of 1819. of the for the Prima Porta. the side right upperarm,apparently fixing
2

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is a absence of cramp holes showsthat stuccowas In the end wall at the north-west circularstairwhichled to the roofofthe aisle; used in place of the marble veneer. The the first fifty steps are stillin good condition, barrel vaults are lightenedand ornamented after whichthewall is brokenaway. The stair withoctagonalcoffers, each 8' o" in diameter, is built in a similar manner to those in the and small square coffers. The sides of the Baths of Diocletian (a.d. 306), and is lighted coffersare enriched with stucco mouldings with small splayed windows. The brickwork whichwere probablypainted and gilded. In therewas a gilded the middle of each coffer in stuccoor bronze. rosette TheNorth Apse. (PL XII.) At the sides of the north apse it can be clearlyseen how the windowsof the original Maxentian buildingwere cut away when the Constantinian apse was added (Fig. 12). An architecturalscreen formed by two columns and two pilasters supporting an of the apse. entablatureran across the front show Two breaksin thewhitemarblethreshold the positionof the columns,1and a pilaster capital and base lie at the side of the apse. A narrow slot in the side of this base and show that a bronze anotherin the threshold screen separated the tribunalfromthe hall. Some large blocksof the marbleentablature stand in the west and east bays. They have architravemouldingscarved on both sides, are only enrichedon the but thesemouldings A slab of the frieze, the nave. side towards RELIEVING ARCH DOOR TO OVER TUNNEL STAIRWAY decorated with a boldly carved Cupid in a Fig. ii. The North-West Bay. garland,has been attachedto the wall to the of remains and holes lines of the double Note westof the apse. clamp the cement and marble ground to which the marble Around the apse, whichis less than a semiveneerwas attached. on which the judges' circle, ran a platform been must have the chairs of in other that is to here superior placed. In the centre parts Basilica,as often upon smallercurvedsurfaces. was a pedestal which probably supporteda In the archwayto the west of the middle statue in the large niche.2 withtwo The wall oftheapse is ornamented bay are two pieces of concretebedding with fouron for niches of flat-headed rows that slots which suggest statues, they originallysupin each row. porteda marbleor bronzescreenor balustrade. each side of the central niche Above the springof the barrel vaults the Betweenthe lowernicheswere small cipollino
1 Franklin and Hafner,A. I. A. Journal, 1924,pp. 322-323, at the S.E. are the remainsof thatthe cipollinoshafts suggest thesecolumns. 2 Franklinand Hafner, op.cit.,p. 324, pointout thatthere if thejudgeis no roomfora stair,whichwould be necessary mentseat wereplaced on thispedestal.

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME 15 the theactualstate at this Ionic columnson brackets, : thattheoriginal supporting point for thedecoration entablature oftheapseincluded whichnow lies on the platformscheme threerowsof niches,1 and that when these belowthem. thatthevaulting are in theiroriginal had beenbuiltit was found Most of the brackets was of too to either the and are of outside, high fit, ; they apse badly positions poordesign the ofthetopoftheapse with carved. The squaresockets highup on either at thejunction side of the central nicheprobably contained a canopyoverthe brackets either supporting statue or smallfigures ofgildedbronze. in the traceof the floor Verylittle pattern marks in but the the concrete apse remains, show thatthecentre ofthedesign was bedding a circle in a square,surrounded by rectangles and smaller squares. Above the second row of nichesare the remains offive more one ; themiddle openings is widerthan the restand flat-headed; the othershave semi-circular heads and nearly reachthebottom ofthecoffering. Mostwriters on the Basilicahave assumed theseopenings to be windows, but thereare twoserious to this, which have objections they chosento ignore. Firstly, the brickbacking ofthesecondopening from theleft to appears be original Constantinian and not an work, of a laterdate. Secondly, thetopsof infilling thesesemicircular headed openings reach to within twoinches of thebottom of the cofferno room for ing, leaving any band, stringcourseor cornice to markthejunction ofthe and the wall. It is to Fig. 12. The North Apse. vaulting impossible believethatan arrangement so unsound con- Showing Constantinianbrickwork built against the window. Maxentian reveal of the and was structionally aesthetically adoptedfor or ornamenting the apse, whenit is lighting obviousthat flat-headed withthe barrel in connection windows or niches roof, or inside, wouldhavesatisfied abandoned therequirements was therefore in every vault. This scheme the fill to decided was and it way. top rowof up It seems, of the and cornice most thatthese nichesand run the frieze therefore, unlikely were ever wall of the of round scheme to screen which architectural openings part any right theexisting the and thefollow- theapse at thatlevel. It can be seenfrom coffering belonged, is as a into fits cornice this of that ing suggested admirably possibleexplanation drawings
1 Theseniches Gothicus Claudius somecare- to traceback to the Gens Flaviathrough mayhave beenbuiltto contain offamily whichConstantine liked and theGordians. fully gradedsystem tree,
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the space between the second row of niches and the springing-line of the vaulting. The is theory supportedby the fact that the two upper nicheson the rightside of the apse still contain the rough concretefilling(Fig. 13). has notbeensatisfactorily This filling accounted for in any other way. It is not difficult to believe that a fillingof this nature, roughly made and not bonded to the brickwork, was

point is two feetabove the pavementof the Basilica. The floorpatternof the narthexis shown on an actual state plan made in 1830 by L. Vaudoyer of the FrenchAcademy.1 It consisted of two rows of squares enclosing circles,with nineteensquares to the row. of the narthexprobablyhad a The interior marble veneer up to the springingof the whichcoveredit. The vaultgroined vaulting ing was ornamentedwith oblong panels in stucco enclosinggarlands,some of whichstill remainat the northend. The east wall of the narthexwas originally built with five windows and two doorways, but the second window from the north after appears to have been blockedup shortly is of exactly as the brickinfilling construction, brickwork. the same type as the surrounding thatthe originalintenIt may be suggested tion was to pull down the adjacent part of the Golden House, and that when this to was abandoned it was impossible intention keep the window open to its fullwidth. Betweenthiswindowand the end one it can be seen that the wall of the narthexhas been built round and over a large mass of the peperino concrete of the Golden House; has beenapplied Maxentianpozzolanaconcrete in to the roughface of the Neronianconcrete marble for the order to give a flat surface veneer. Fig. 13. The North Apse. window is not on the The northernmost nichebelowthehexagonal Showingtheround-headed axis of the northaisle. It is the same width coffers to be filledwithconcrete. ofthe as the otherwindowsand the brickwork niches opening below it is Maxentian,showingthat shakenout of the centraland left-hand during the earthquake which destroyedthe therewas no doorwayhere to balance the one on the axis of the south aisle. All but the vaultingabove it. upper quarterof thiswindowis now blocked TheNarthex. (Pis. VII, XIII.) withbrick-and-block work,whichis, however, worsequalitythan thatused in On enteringthe narthex from the street ofconsiderably presumably through the central doorway one had to the narthexapse, and is therefore with descend threesteps,as the streetlevel at this oflaterdate. The upperquarteris filled
1 D'Espouy, Mon.Ant.ii, PI. 90.

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME 17 House. from theGolden wasaccessible modern roof but it is impos- this work, comparatively is now ofthenarthex sible to say whether theroof this replaced ancient The doorfrom is when or is not. Since window not but this scaffolding available,the filling planned closed, in relation a holein one of itmust staircan be reached to theinterior oftheBasilica through vault. This barrel havesomeconnection ofthenorth-east withtheGoldenHouse. thecoffers On theselinesHuelsen,usingevidence from stairis now the onlymeansof accessto the theLigorio-Destailleur has a roofoftheaisle. plans, composed x window this conjectural plan showing placed on the axis of a long courtin the Golden The Roomsnorth of theNarthex. (PI. I.) some The low walls and the apse in the small House, and, whiledetailsare lacking, such arrangement is no doubtapproximately are room at the northend of the narthex correct. seems it but clearly both afterthoughts, Belowthewindow a segmental-arched open- probablethat the workis part of the coming 5' o" wide and 2' 6" high passesright pletedbuilding. In the north pier between is the wall. far end Its blocked with through and thenorth-east thenarthex bay a staircase wasoriginally rough concreteof uncertaindate. Closely leading narthex the roof of tothe to this is a chute on the was onlybuilt analogous opening up to planned. This,however, south side of the west apse, and this was thelevelofthefifth the when plan was step, intended for use while the Basilica was clearly abandonedand it was decidedto make an in the earliest because entrance stagesof construction, at thispointto thelongand narrow as soon as the foundation forthe south-eastspace2 between the Basilicaand the Golden column ofthenavewas built, thechute would House. It is quitecertain in thatthischange havebeenblocked. Thisfact sheds somelight plancamewhile wasin ofthestair thebuilding on itspurpose havebeenbuilt for the progress ; it must the after and wasnota reconstruction of doubtless from the shovelling away rubbish, was built,becausethe brickwholestaircase HorreaPiperataria whichweredemolished to workof the new construction the is exactly theleveloftheBasilicafloor in this of the part same as that of the small piece of staircase wasthepurpose ofone chute, which building.If this wasbuilt. a similar will hold for the niche other, The new feature explanation was a semi-circular since at the north-east of the Basilica there 13' 6" in diameter with an apsidal vault, waspart oftheGolden Housetobe demolished,29' o" high, House. OrigintheGolden facing as is proved ofNeronian ally the front by theincorporation of this niche was open, but in theeastwall ofthenarthex. concrete did not last long, for it this arrangement the wall builtin exactly a with was closed Stair at theNorth-east. (PL I.) same styleas the narthex apse and pierced In the east pier of the north-east o" a an high. Long afterbay archway15' by circular stairled from theroof ofthenarthex wards, this door in turn was blockedby to the roofof the aisle. There was no stair masonry not of whichthe styleis certainly leadingfromthe groundto the roofof the classical. narthex theback from that The purpose ofthisentrance (seenext page),butit is probable
1 Rom.MittheiL, vii, 1892,p. 291. 2 A small part of the wall on the N. side of this space still existsbehind the apse of the narthex,but not enough has been excavated to reveal the niches shown on the LigorioDestailleur plans (Fig. 14). I was able to reach this wall througha small hole in the apse wall. Neitherthisnor the cross wall at rightangles to it are shown on recentactual stateplans.
G 2

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of the Basilica is obscure and full knowledge thereof will only come by excavation. Meanwhile the followingsuggestionmay be put x to Insteius forward. A collegiateinscription 2 Tertullus, City Prefectin 307, shows that in Nero's Palace lay the offices eitherof Tertullus or of the City Prefecture. The latter is more likely, since the Palace was Imperial in eithercase we are dealing : but property withthe quartersof an eminent official whose

The Windows in theNorth-east Bay. (Pis. II, VIII, X.) The windowsin the north-east bay present are a special problem. The threeupperlights with lessthanhalftheirheight filled to slightly smallniches on theearly shown three apiece,first Coner sixteenth-century (Fig. 10).3 plan by The niches are poorlybuilt of dark red tiles withthatstrong admixture ofyellow tileswhich the Constantinianapse. They distinguishes

Fig. 14. The Basilica and the Golden House. A sixteenth-century plan, probably by Pirro Ligorio, showingthe long wall with niches behind the northeast wall of the Basilica.

duties were much concerned with the new shouldtherefore be ofthesamedate. The tops Basilica. It is not impossible, this that have now then, disappeared,but theirproportions entrancewas designed for the City Prefect's suggest that they cannot have been much own use. For it connectedthe Basilica with higher, whilea markin the revealsshowsthat this group of buildingsand gave access to a a windowonce occupiedthespace above them. small screened room in the narthex, well Their purposeis not certain,but, since their is presumably connected withthe adapted for robing, for the assembling of construction or for of those of acts the below which closing processions, any them,this question bays markedthe transition fromprivateto public is betterpostponeduntilthesebays have been life. described.
1 C.LL. vi, 1696. 2 Mommsen, Chronog. 354, p. 628. 3 Ashby, P.B.S.R., ii, PI. 16.

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME 19 thatall themain it maybe shown thefilling nowto be seenin Further, Unfortunately, of the Basilicawere determined thelower is obviously windows ofPapal date, dimensions of earlierbuildings remains but there in the shown was a stillearlier already by filling, the buildon site ruinedstateon an engraving the Giovannoli By I). planning (Plate by able was to architect in the this in 161 The Al, published way 5. Papal filling,ing in the westwall the arcadesof with itsthree is no doubt connected incorporate buttresses, wall and to buildthesouth withmaking on Nero'smarket-hall theGarden oftheMendicanti oftheNeronian portico, top of the GoldenHouse,whenthiswall had upon thefoundation in a considerable to support a quantity of earth. This, as the thuseffecting saving labour work to demolition and reducing was and material door in the back of the Basilica proves, a minimum not the purposeof the more ancient filling, (seeAppendix). is hardly to be ascertained.It which, indeed, seems highlyprobable that this departure Walls. from theoriginal was governed bythe The methodof buildingthe walls of the design masons oftheGoldenHouse,forthefirst Basilicawas as follows. The master preservation made of an encasement constructed intention to make the Basilica free-standing roughly and mortar tile was notcarried out. ; the fragments triangular in filled the common was then between The factthat thereare marks of windows space by witha hard and durable concrete thatthe labourers above the upperniches thensuggests roof oftheGoldenHouse cameto thelevelof made of lime, pozzolana,brokentile, and tufa.Every theblocking much thetopoftheniches, light-yellow freshly-quarried necessitating a course feet five courses ofthelower halfofeach upperwindow. Pro- 25 vertically) (about tiedin feet two tiles cornicemoulding ofbonding square(bipedales) bably a small horizontal a and afforded suitable of the the two faces wall, crowned theniches, wThich mayhavecontained ofthescaffolding. flat surface for the marble putlocks standing figures. The tiles used are mostly red, but a fair and yellow. Thoseof the number are orange PART IV. added are north apse which Constantine much darkerred. The horizontalmortar Design and Construction. themjointsare oftenwiderthan the bricks in scale selves. The mortar Therewas a verygreatdifference is white limewith irregular betweenthe Basilica and the surrounding walls were The brick of red pozzolana. scraps was the exterior of The and broken building of cement witha ground buildings. covered as was marble4" thick, with theinterior, severe to whichthe marbleveneer by comparison of {opus theusualRomanpractice ; buttheseverity was attached withmetalcramps. sectile) the Sacra Via was Above the spring the fagade overlooking of the barrelvaultsin the ofthewindows, aislesand abovethemaincornice relieved in thenave, by thevariedtracery and possibly forthe was substituted by stucco {opusalbarium) by the terraceand portico, of marble veneer. groups sculpture. to notetheuse ofthetriple It is interesting the building. Vaults, TheBarrelVaults. arch motif throughout ofthesidebayswereconvaults are used The barrel and niches doors, windows, archways themarks of on a timber structed and scale. to giveunity ofthree in groups shuttering,

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Fig. 15. Systemof Construction. [From Choisy,L ArtdeBatirchezlesRomains.]

A RESTORATION

OF THE BASILICA

OF CONSTANTINE,

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21

tile; the space between tenth at every whichcan stillbe seen on the concrete. The bipedales to theface with of the archeswhichmarkthe end of each ringbeingfilled caementa, centering laterbuilt of whichhave been applied flattile-fragments, each bay was carriedby the off-sets,

Fig. 16. The Ribs of the Barrel Vaults. how the double ring of brickswas steppedin orderto take the small square coffers. Showing [From Choisy,U Artde BatirchezlesRomains.]

ofthearch (Fig. 15) . sometimes flat. The twoat thespringing up, formed lapped and sometimes feet These arches had four rings of broken tiles, foot ribs(Fig. 16) , eight apart,were vaulting used to the of laid and bound built on three shuttering together by directly top evenly

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nos. 560, 561. formthe vault of thejvvhole bay. They con- Anderson. Photographs Balloon-view Moris. Moris,R.E. ; reproduced Capt. by sisted of two ringsof brokentiles,connected Bull. Com., 1900, tav. i-ii. = Lanciani, New Tales as in the arches,and it is probable by bipedales p. 234. ofOld Rome, that theywere allowed to set beforethe infill- Moscioni. Photograph no. 20854 (now out ofprint). Romische Gebdlke, 91-102, the Tbelmann, pp. 117-130,figs. better was thus ing controlling poured, xix-xxii. Taff. in the constrains and tendency to movement StuartJones, H., Cat. Pal. Conservatori, pls. i, Cort. 2; creteas it dried. Thus the pouringwould not Gort. v, 13-15, 17-21. be doneuntiltheribshad setand theoctagonal PAINTINGS. moulds had been placed betweenthem coffer View in Gappella Interna,Palazzo Taddeo di. on top of the shuttering.When the concrete Bartolo, del Gomune,Siena, 1414. had set, the vault became a solid mass devoid San Gimignano, Gozzoli Benozzo. View in S. Agostino, of lateralthrust. 1465. TheNave Vaulting. DRAWINGS AND ENGRAVINGS. The ribsof the groinedvaultingin the nave Al, Giovannoli,RomaAntica, 1619,pls. 18, 26. timber were also constructed Foro romano, La Via Le and A. centering. upon Fea, Angelini,G., dal il clivo A double row of bricks on edge were laid Sacra, 1809 al 1837,plan. Capitolino MSS. Destailleur Lanciani, Melanges in stiff with bonding Anonymus, mortaron the centering et d'Histoire, d'Archologie xi, pls. iii, iv; cf. also tiles everytwo feet. The spaces betweenthe vii, 1892,p. 291. Huelsen,Rom.Mittheil., bonderswere thenfilledwithconcrete. When Arch.,1711= Bartoli,Disegni Bramante,Donato. Uff. the ribs had set they were used to support i, pl. xxiv,fig.50. degliUff., and Canina. See Valadier and Canina. forthe coffers the moulds and centering smallerribs of the spaces between. Caristie, Auguste. Plan et couped'unepartiedu Forum surla VoieSacre, etdesmonuments romain with The Semi-Domes were built the Paris, 1821. Apses of Acad. Amer. Memoirs Albert v, pls. Rome, George, Clay, of three ladder-ribs tied together at intervals Van Deman). 61-64 (with to fourfeet,the spaces between being filled monuromanae antiquitatis Cock, Hieronymus, Praecipua with concrete. = xi. Cento Vedute, Bartoli, pl. menta, 1551 CivilisAndreaConeri TheWindow Arches werebuiltin thesameway Coner, Andreas, Architec. Antigua Monume Rome, Soane Museum (London) MS. = as the ribs of the nave vault witha tripleline Ashby, P.B.S.R., ii, pls. 16, 59; c. 1515. of voussoirstied togetherby bipedales every And'Architecture D'Espouy, H. = Desgodetz, Fragments two feetor so. 100 (withGauthier). i, pl. 100,ii, pl. tique, In conclusion,the author wishes to thank Dosio, Giovannantonio, 1669,pl. 8. Reliquiae, Dr. A. Bartoli,Directorof Excavationsat the Du Prac, Etienne. Libraryof C. W. Dyson Perrins, in MS. ibis. 19V, 20 = Ashby, Topographical Study to study Forum and Palatine, for permission Club 1 1 Rome, 58 (Roxburghe Publ., 1916), pls. xvii, the monument,and to acknowledgethe inxviii. valuable help receivedfromMr. Ian A. RichV. L. S., Journal E. P., and Hafner, ofAmerican Franklin, mondat all stagesof the work. xii Institute ofArchitects, (1924), pp. 74-80, 183-188, 322-327. PART V. fol.xxix. Romae, Lanciani, Rodolfo,FormaUrbis List of Drawings and Plates used in connexion Canonici MS. Bodleian Pirro. 138, fols. i8v, Ligorio, of the Basilica. with the Restoration = Ii, pp. 498, fig. 8; 19 Middleton, Archaeologia, Ancient Remains ii, Rome, p. 226. idem, of PHOTOGRAPHS. libridi Architettura Alinari. Photographsnos. 5841, 5841a, 5842, 5843, Palladio, Andrea. / quattro (Venice, iv, 12-13. pp. 1570), 17359-

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME 23 3 byDr. E. B. Van Deman,to whom di Roma,86, 87 = in detail Piranesi,Giovanni Battista. Vedute Battista Hind, Giovanni Piranesi, p. 51, no. 45 (1757), we owe therecovery of oftheplan and aspect p. 68, no. 114 (1774). whichbordered the buildings it, two great di Roma, Scamozzi, Vincenzo, DiscorsisopraVantichit one or pillared market-halls, porticus, two-story 1582,pls. 4, 5. street. Onlythe Scuola d'Applicazione per gli ingegneri,Media Pars on each sideofthe 100-foot us here. The need concern northern fols.2, 6. Urbis, porticus the Serlio, Sebastiano, Libri di Architettura (Venice, 1551), foundation of its outerwall stillcarries iii, pp. 23-24. : therearwallof wall oftheBasilica southern e corre Valadier and Canina. Aggiunte zioni all9 opera thefront still be seen,poking colonnade may A. Desgodetz, di RomadelVarchitetto antichi sugliedifizi outbelowthelate Viaad Carinas ; and travercap. vii, tav. ii, 21. nave south Basilica's floor of the in the tine Van Deman, EstherBoise, A.J.A., xxvii, 1923, pls. iii, piers Amer. Acad.Rome, of the colonnade that the roofs v, pls. 61, 64 (with demonstrate iv; Memoirs Clay). thesmall from rearward derived their support ii, pl. 90. Antiques, Vaudoyer,L. = D'Espouy, Monuments and not from ofthehall proper, squarepiers size. Further, a second rowofpiersoflarger back at leastas faras the thehall extended APPENDIX. (PL I.) northernmost piersvisiblein the excavation under thewest for theHorrea bayof Piperataria The Archaeology of the Site. these of intervals the since theBasilica's nave, interval clear to correspond The first phaseof thesite'shistory exactlyto the Neronian be the to us is represented the is It measurement. thought, buildings flanking by hardly further much Sacra Via, whichhere,at itsupper however, thatthehallcontinued Augustan to a and runs north-west Neronian since south-east, concrete, end, belonging only north, of the large buildingplanned on different lines, changing sharplyto the orientation Maxentian Sullan Forumopposite the westernmost covered by piers already obtrudes, 2 had cement, of the BasilicaNova.1 These buildings wall oftheapsidalroom in theouter walls faced with broken tiles, travertine in theNarthex. and Hall was extensively thresholds and opusspicatum The Neronian repaired pavements, weremostly or shops thatclosedforthe by Domitian,who built there the Horrea offices end theyreceived Piperataria* Part of this buildingmay be north-west night. At their where an additional of with thenaveoftheBasilica, below porticus, square piers recognised round ofrooms a group twonowremaining show arranged travertine, ; and itis clear, remains waterwith central from remains that ofwallsin reticulate an court facing, provided open are notbasedon ofthecourt walls were sucThe themselves the tank. they earlyImperial and cessors ofearlier on the same Neronian the represent setting-out, clearly buildings Augustan of this line. a complete remodelling, by Domitian, rather a built someone as Theseremains of the buried beneath the site, just laydeeply part in thecorresponding Neronian court SacraVia, which has beendescribed similar bay of the
1 Van Deman, A.J.A.,xxvii (1923), pl. iii. 2 Op. cit., p. 400; also A.J.A., xvi (1912), pp. 391 sqq. ; Huelsen, Rom.MittheiL, xvii, p. 95, Taf. i. ; Bull. Com. 1900, pp. 8-13, Tav. i-ii. Ashby,Class.Rev.xix (1905), p. 76, notes the discovery of a mosaic pavementbelow the level of these which can be dated to the first B.C. For buildings, century Amer.Acad. Rome,viii, p. 52. the type, see Blake, Memoirs the of is known else building. Nothing 3 Van Deman, A.J.A. xxvii (1923), pp. 383-424; also
MemoirsAmer.Acad. Rome, v, 1 15-126. no reason to take HorreaPiperatariawith Horrea Vespasiani.

4 Mommsen,Chronograph 354, p. 646, 1. 31. There seems

24

THE BRITISH SCHOOL AT ROME

Porticus across the street. But on thesitethanhas been realised. In planning Margaritaria,1 for his building,the architect took for his main Domitian'sworkdid not remainunaltered, thuscoming of Nero'sporticus, received new piers and door- facade the front the court-yard tanks built against into line with those portionsof it which still jambs, with new waterwall while west of the Basilica is existed, on the siteof theporchof SS. Cosmas the them, arcade which and Damin, further down the street.4 For foundedupon a second-century if as far as as that the the longestnorththe western limit he extends chose tunnel, by nearly had much morenearlycovered to-southarcade, and embodied it as part of timethe horrea the area later to be occupied by the Basilica the mass of the great platform upon which Basilica was put. itself. It is to be noted, however,thatthese this end of the level-floored divided had become Nor did the internal up buildings evidently dispositionof the new the into groups with open courts, no doubt in buildingfromeast to west cease to reflect order to gain lightand to save the expenseof arrangement of the sitein threesteppedlevels, so large an area, to which Nero had which Domitian had inherited from Nero. roofing committed himself. This arrangementwas The presenceof these differing levels poweralso favouredby the original divisionof the fully affected the disposition ofthefoundations at different with floors into three for the main Basilica's bays, building piers, since it was to place theircrushing levels, which stepped up alongside the Sacra impossible weightanyVia as thelatterclimbedtheVelia, thoughthe where near the outer edge of the stepped front it was at the bottom porticorosewitha steadyslope.2 These surfaces. Accordingly, levels were preservedby Domitian, of each step that the architect different of the Basilica with and two can be seen clearly enough in the built his large new plinthsof concrete, while tiled horizontalsurfaces, and carriedthereon excavation for the Horrea Piperataria, floor ofthe third, safelyhis greatcolumnsforthe nave. Nero's ofthe opus spicatum fragments level are to be seen in the three divisions were thus perpetuated,but or easternmost, easternmost translated intotheverydifferent form bay ofthe Basilica's nave. expressed these had the vaulted which covered each division Thus, economically, buildings by bays always been dedicated to commerce. Under in a mightyspan. But once these arrangeAugustus there had been shops, which his ments were made, in logical harmonywith had rebuiltand had decoratedwith previousconditions, it was possibleto lay the successors of travertine. Nero had sub- Basilica floor upon rammed earth, covered a west porticus orbazaar ; only by the thin concretein which the pavetheshopshisgreat for stituted porticus, and in the shell of Nero's buildinghad been mentwas set,thuseffecting, as alwaysin great the Domitianichorrea,Roman buildings,the maximumeconomyin built,and laterrestored, of which the Maxentian architectwished to foundations. The disposition fromnorthto southis not restore the remains, gutted by the fire of offormer the Carinus.3 The purposeof the Basilica now to influenced buildings, by presence com- except in fixingthe site of the south wall. be erected on the site was not entirely mercial, but its form was influencedmore Apart fromthat,it was desiredto give to the by that of the previousbuildings new Basilica the maximum expansion that profoundly
1 Porticus Memoirs Acad.Rome, of disasteris the fireof the Temple of Venus and Rome, Amer. v, pl. 6 1. Margaritaria, 2 Op. cit.,pls. 63, 64. Chron. 354, p. 648, 1. 33. 4 Whitehead, 3 For the havoc of the fireof Carinus in this region,see A.J.A.,xxxi,pl. ii. p. 12. Whitehead,A.J.A., xxxi,p. 17; but anotherpossible source

A RESTORATION OF THE BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE, ROME

25

so finean examplebehindtheForum symmetry permitted,by running its north- furnished 2 has demonwest angle right up against the fire-wallof of Trajan, thoughDr. Boethius the Forum of Peace. The space thus defined strated thattheygo back to Sullan days. Here in plan was then actually trisected, but theproportions as does not quite thescale is smaller, are in the of stresses and distribution third the the central practically appear ground-plan, whichhas neverbeen true beingoccupiedby the span ofthenave's vault, identical,a feature while the lateral thirds go to its supports, of the thermalanalogy. There is a central barrel by a seriesof intersecting namely,the columnswhich carried the main nave, formed and and to the walls of the lateral which these, receivingon ribs, vaults; opposed bays lie two equal act as buttresses to theseribs. Butthisarrange- each side the lateral stresses, ment too has more to do with commercial series of superimposedbarrel-vaulted shops. forthe buildingsthan has been thought, despite the These formthe ideal type of buttress, general agreement that its formhas littleto lower shop is in directcontactwiththe main do with the old-fashioned Basilica,where the piers,while the upper one is separatedby a a corridor, stressesare directlyvertical and are taken seriesof segmental arches,crossing and much morein commonwith which almost may be called flying-buttresses. accordingly, thecentral hallsof Thermae, whenceit is usually Thus it seemsthat,whiletheThermalHall has x indeedaffinities assumedto be derived. For recent withtheBasilica,the common discoveries have enabled an alternative of both is the vaulted market-hall, derivationto be archetype is alreadyrespectably whose history put forward,which seems better than that or atrium, fromthermalhalls, for these are usually of old in Trajan's day. It was the younger different and thearchitect and are surroundedby alternative proportions typeto theporticus, additionalbuildings whichtransmit thestresses of the Basilica, in adopting it for his new overa greatdistance in proportion in theold to thesize of buildingon the siteofNero'sporticus the hall. A more attractive is a fine while that evinced sense of possibility style, modernity, the Basilica is derivedfrom the earliervaulted developingthe alternative tradition alreadyto of which demolitions have his hand. recent market-halls,
1 For this market-hall, see Ricci, // mercatodi Traiano, Rome, 1929, pls. u, 12; Arch. Anzeiger,1929, p. 94, abb. 12; Roma, 1930, p. 513. 2 Boethius, in the forthcoming Acta Archaeologica, iii (!932).

I.

PLAN OF BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE SHOWING A

; SHOWING ALTERATIONS

AND PREVIOUS REMAINS.

PLATE I.

II.

BAS

II. BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE: ACTUAL STATE LOOKING EAST.

j EAST.

PLATE II.

III.

BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE:

ADDITION

2: ADDITIONAL ENTRANCE FROM SACRA VIA.

PLATE III.

IV.

BA<

IV.

BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE:

RESTORED

FACADE ON SACRA VIA.

:ra via.

PLATE IV.

V. BASILICA

V. BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE:

ACTUAL STATE VIEWED

FROM SACRA VIA.

t SACRA VIA.

PLATE V.

VI.

BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE : E

\NTINE: EAST FACADE RESTORED.


3

PLATE VI.

VII.

BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE:

ONSTANTINE:

RESTORED

PLAN.

PLATE VII.

VIII.

BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE : RESTOREI

STORED CROSS-SECTION THROUGH LONG AXIS.

PLATE VIII.

IX.

BASILICA OF CONST ANTINE : RESTORED

TORED CROSS-SECTION THROUGH SHORT AXIS.

PLATE IX.

X.

BASILICA OF C<

X. BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE: PERSPECTIVE OF NAVE AND NORTH BAYS.

\ND NORTH BAYS.

PLATE X.

XI.

BASILICA OF CON

XL

BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE:

WEST APSE WITH COLOSSAL IMPERIAL STATUE.

>AL IMPERIAL STATUE.

PLATE XI.

XII.

BASILIC

XII. BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE: ADDITIONAL NORTH APSE.

NORTH APSE.

PLATE XII.

XIII.

BASILICA OF CO]

XIII. BASILICA OF CONSTANT1NE: ACTUAL STATE LOOKING WEST.

STATE LOOKING WEST.

PLATE XIII.