Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Basilica of Maxentius (and Costantine)

 The Basilica of Maxentius is one of the greatest buildings of ancient Rome that we can admire today. It was built at the beginning of the IV century A.D. by Maxentius who has been emperor for few years before being defeated by Costantine. It was occupying quite a large area and what we can see today from Via dei Fori Imperiali is just a small aisle of the whole complex. Inside there was a huge statue of Costantine (modelled from a previous one of Maxentius) and few parts of it survived. Just the head of this statue is 2.6 meters of height! Going towards the Colosseum, just at the end at the right of the monument, you can see the immense vaults of nearly 25 meters. These vaults, because of their greatness and harmony, have inspired many Renaissance artists. All the rest of the construction was lost during an earthquake occurred in the IX century and the materials have been used for the decoration of the old St. Peter.

                       Basilica of Maxentius, internal part

Basilica of Maxentius, external part