Early Christian Architecture flashcards |

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Catacombs

Underground cemeteries. Made because Christians disapproved of cremation.

Torah

A scroll containing the laws of God for the religion of Judaism. Considered as the old testament in Christianity.

Lunette

An oval or circular opening to admit light in a dome or a semicircular panel containing a window, mural, or sculpture. It may be crescent-shaped or semicircular.

Mausoleum

Buildings erected to contain the tombs of important people.

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Drum

Rotunda that holds a dome.

Nave

Center area of the church.

Side aisles

In a basilican church, the portion set parallel to the nave, generally separated from it by columns or piers.

Transept

The north and south arms of a basilican church.

Arcade

A series of arches carried on columns or piers. Series of columns.

Centrally-planned

A building in which the sides are of equal length and in which the main space is symmetric. May be square, circular, or polygonal. The most important feature of a centrally-planned building is the open space at the center of the building, developed around a vertical axis.

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Longitudinal axis

A building designed along an horizontal axis.

Baptistery

A building, normally octagonal, used for Christian baptism.

Martyrium

Buildings erected as memorials to commemorate saints or sites of special importance to the Christian faith. When of major importance, they were attached to a tomb or shrine.

Greek-cross plan

Cross with equal sides.

Ambulatory

The curving passageway behind the choir of a church, often used to connect the radiating chapels.

Cathedral

A church that contains the seat or cathedra of a bishop.

The Good Shepherd Sarcophagus, Rome, Late 4th Century CE

Stone casket with a engraving. Shows a figure of Christ, enlarged to show his importance.
It depicts the Eucharist. The message is through the crucifixion of Christ, the faithful are promised Salvation.

The Basilica at Trier, Germany, 4th century CE

Church in a basilica. Basilicas were cheap to construct with local materials. Incense cones were used to get rid of evil spirits. Clergy and the priest work at the church. Eucharist (communion) is practiced here. Everything was symbolic.

Old Saint Peter's, Rome, c. 318-322 CE

Begun as a martyrium to mark the tomb of St. Peter. Has a basilican plan with double aisles on each side of the nave and a transverse element or transept projecting beyond the side walls and extending across the nave in front of the apse.

Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, c. 432 CE

Typical conegational church. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Columns in marble made of Spolia. No transept, only an apse.

Mausoleum of Constantina Rome, 350 CE

A brick structure. Narthex - waiting area, vestibule, and area to gather before they go inside at the front of the building. Interior contains a ambulatory aisle. Was an annular barrel vault. Has a drum - portion of a building of a rotunda wall that pops up and holds a dome.

Orthodox Baptistery, Ravenna, Italy c. 458 CE

Had a font - held water for baptism. Had 8 sides.

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy, c. 425 CE

Centrally planned. Uses the Greek cross plan - cross with equal sides. The blue mosaics symbolized night. Alabaster windows - small windows to let in some light. Mosaic: "Christ as the Good Shepherd".

Mosaic: "Christ as the Good Shepherd" Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy, c. 425 CE

Mosaic that depicts Christ as Roman, young, and beardless. Also depicted as a shepherd.

"Harvesting the Grapes", Mausoleum of Constantina, 350 BC

A mosaic of an grape festival.

Mosaic

An image or art created by an arrangement of pieces of tile, glass, or stone.

Tesserae

Pieces of glass used in mosaics that were not smooth.

Constantinople

Originally Byzantium, name was changed when Constantine moved his capital here. City sits on the Bosporus. The modern day city is now known as Istanbul.

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