- A Christian church building having a nave with a semicircular apse, side aisles, a narthex and a clerestory.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Ba*sil"i*ca (&?;), n.; pl.
Basilicas (&?;); sometimes
Basilicæ (-sē). [L. basilica, Gr.
basilikh` (sc. o'iki`a or stoa` fr.
basiliko`s royal, fr. basiley`s king.]
1. Originally, the palace of a king; but afterward, an
apartment provided in the houses of persons of importance, where assemblies
were held for dispensing justice; and hence, any large hall used for this
2. (Arch.) (a) A building
used by the Romans as a place of public meeting, with court rooms, etc.,
attached. (b) A church building of the earlier
centuries of Christianity, the plan of which was taken from the basilica of
the Romans. The name is still applied to some churches by way of honorary
Ba*sil"i*ca, n. A digest of the laws of
Justinian, translated from the original Latin into Greek, by order of
Basil I., in the ninth century. P. Cyc.
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Basilica, the code of laws, in 60 books, compiled by Basil I., and
Leo, his son and successor, first published in 887, and named after the
Basilica, a spacious hall, twice as long as broad, for public
business and the administration of justice, originally open to the sky,
but eventually covered in, and with the judge's bench at the end opposite
the entrance, in a circular apse added to it. They were first erected by
the Romans, 180 B.C.; afterwards, on the adoption of Christianity, they
were converted into churches, the altar being in the apse.
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