The Romans liked to make a statement with their buildings. Although they are ruins today, many former structures from Ancient Rome scream, “We are here and we are mighty.” You can’t helped but be impressed at what those ancient builders could do with hunks of stone. And if you want big, if you want impressive, head to the Forum in Rome where you can feel dwarf by the might of the Basilica of Maxentius.
Basilica of Maxentius Fast Facts
- Basilicas were large open buildings where political matters and other affairs were conducted out of the hot Roman sun. The large open space of these buildings eventually gave their name to grand cathedrals. People may have been praying for a good business deal or to win an election, but that was about as religious as ancient basilicas got.
- Emperor Maxentius ruled for only six years (306 to 312 AD) and spent most of that fighting for recognition as rightful emperor against Constantine. Constantine eventually won out due to his ability to manipulate Roman politics.
- The Basilica of Maxentius covers 100 meters by 65 meters and now consists of three huge porticoes with decorated ceilings that measure about 30 meters high.
- The original roof, which fell in an earthquake in 1349 used cross vaults to create an airy feeling in the stone monstrosity.
Have you been to the Roman Forum or seen other Roman ruins? Which ones made you feel like a tiny speck of human flesh?
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TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE TRIALS OF HERCULES: BOOK ONE OF THE OSTERIA CHRONICLES AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCILS.