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Basilica B at Philippi: the Building Phases of an Incomplete Church

Karydis, Nikolaos (2018) Basilica B at Philippi: the Building Phases of an Incomplete Church. In: Korres, Manolis and Mamaloukos, Stavros, eds. ΗΡΩΣ ΚΤΙΣΤΗΣ MNHMH ΧΑΡΑΛΑΜΠΟΥ ΜΠΟΥΡΑ. Melissa Publishing House, Athens. ISBN 978-960-204-375-2.

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Abstract

The Early Byzantine church known as 'Basilica B' at Philippi constitutes one of the rare Greek manifestations of the architectural type of the ‘domed basilica’, a type that plays a major role in the development of Byzantine church architecture. Considered to have started in the first half of the sixth century, the building was probably never completed: as Paul Lemerle demonstrated in 1945, the collapse of the vaults during construction must have brought a premature end to the history of this building. Lemerle attributed this collapse to a defective structure: walls and supports failed to provide sufficient support for the vaults. However, Lemerle and other scholars remain silent as to the reasons why such an ambitious building programme was to be marred by such a structural deficiency. The present paper seeks to fill this lacuna. Based on a new interpretation of overlooked construction details, it provides new evidence for a previously unknown building phase. Challenging Lemerle’s perception of Basilica B as a static architectural form, this study reveals older constructional layers indicative of a more complex building history. Our new knowledge of this history helps to interpret the difficulties and limitations that the architects of Basilica B encountered in their effort to construct one of the first domed basilicas in Early Byzantine Greece.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Philippi, Macedonia, Byzantine Architecture, Church, Basilica
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > Architecture
Depositing User: Nikolaos Karydis
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2016 01:05 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2019 08:35 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/59404 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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