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Furniture > Ancient > Homes > Roman > Diocletian's Palace > Basilica to Corinthian Hall to Cyzicene Hall

Basilica to Corinthian Hall to Cyzicene Hall

Next to the Alae of the Atrium (H) are two passages (I), which by the Romans were called Androns, and by the Greeks Mesaula, from their situation between halls. There is access from them to several great rooms; they were lighted from the roof, and seem to have been contrived in order to prevent the noise of the Atrienfes, or Slaves in waiting in the Atrium, from reaching the adjacent apartments; and for that reason these apartments have not their entry immediately from the Atrium.

The first of these grand rooms is the Basilica (K), which Vitruvius mentions as common in all great houses, and directs that it should be spacious and magnificent in proportion to the dignity of the proprietor. Diocletian's Architect has been careful to observe this precept ; the Basilica here being such as suited the magnificence of an Emperor. This apartment was alotted for dramatic performances, recitals, music, and such like entertainments, and was lighted from the roof. On the other side of the Atrium, and corresponding to the Basilica, is the Egyptian Hall (L), which, according to Vitruvius, was nearly of the same form with the Basilica, and seems to have been lighted much in the same manner.

Adjoining to this is the Corinthian Hall (M), with regard to which the Architect has observed a rule of Vitruvius, by making the length of the room twice its breadth; and it is highly probable that he has likewise followed his direction, to light it from the North over the roofs of the Exedra and Tetrastyle Halls, in the same manner as we find it often practiced in the Baths at Rome.

Corresponding to the Corinthian Hall, and opposite to it, is the Cyzicene Hall (N), which in every particular resembles the former. These three halls, together with the Tetrastyles, or rooms of four columns (0), Vitruvius calls by the common name of Oeci. They were apartments for eating, and were generally of such a size, as to hold two Triclinia, or tables, with three beds each.

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