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On this page: Barbitos – Basanos – Bascania – Basileia – Basileus



something by them. So Martial, in rallying a fop, who had tried to dispense with the barber's ser­ vices, by using different kinds of piasters, &c., asks him (Epig. iii. 74), Quid facie/it unyues? What will your nails do ? How will you get your Jiails pared? So Tibullus says (i. 8. 11), quid (prodest) unaues artificis docta subsecuisse manu ; from which it appears that the person addressed was in the habit of employing one of the more fashionable tonsors. The instruments used are referred to by Martial. (Epig, xiy. 3§, Insiru- tnenta tonsoria.} [A. A.]


BASANOS (Pdffavos). [tormentum,]

BASCANIA (paffKavia). [F^sciNUM.J BASCAUDA, a British basket. This term, •which remains with very little variation in the Welsh " basgawd," and* the English " basket," was conveyed to Rome together with the articles denoted by it. We find it used by Jwenal (xii. 46) and by Martial (xiv. 99) in connections which imply that these articles were held in much esteem by the luxurious Romans. [J. Y.]

BASILEIA (/Bacn'Aeia), a festival celebrated at Lebadeia, in Boeotia, in honour of Trophonius, who had the surname of Ba^iXeus. This festival was also called Trophonia — Tpotyavia (Pollux, i. 37) ; and was first observed under the latter name as a general festival of the Boeotians after the battle of Leuctra. (Diod. xv. 53.)

BASILEUS (j8a<n\6ife). [REX.] BASFLICA (sc. aedes, aula, portions — /3a<rt-\ik^, also regia, Stat. Silv. i. 1. 30 ; Suet Aug. 31), a building which served as a court of law and an exchange, or place of meeting for merchants and men of business. The two uses are so mixed up together that it is not always easy to say which was the principal. Thus the basilica at Fanura, of which Vitruvius himself was the architect, was entirely devoted to business, and the courts were held in a small building attached to it, — the temple of Augustus. The term is derived, ac­cording to Philander (Comment, in Vitruv.\ from jScwnAeus, a king, in reference to early times, when the chief magistrate administered the laws he made ; but it is more immediately adopted from the Greeks of Athens, whose second archon was styled apx&v fiaffttevs, and the tribunal where he adjudicated ffroa. /3acTi/\.6Jos (Paus.i. 3. § 1 ; Demosth. c. Aristo-geit. p. 776), the substantive aula orporticus in Latin being omitted for convenience. The Greek writers who speak of the Roman basilicae, call them some­times (rroal jSacaAiKcu, and sometimes merely

The name alone would make it highly probable that the Romans were indebted to the Greeks for the idea of the building, which was probably bor­rowed from the crroa /3a<rUeios at Athens. In its original form it may be described as an insulated portico, detached from the agora or forum, for the more convenient transaction of business, which formerly took place in .the porticoes of the agora itself ; in fact, a sort of agora in miniature. The court of the Hellanodicae, in the old agora of Elis, was exactly of the form of a basilica, [ agora].

The first edifice of this description was not

ere<'A until b c. 184 (Liv. xxxix. 44) ; for it is

ly stated by the historian, that there were

licae at the time of the fire, which de-

so many buildings in the forum, under the

<3 of Marcellus and Laevinus, b.c. 210.


(Liv. xxvi. 27.) It was situated in the forum ad­joining the curia, and was denominated basilica Porcia, in commemoration of its founder, M. Porcius Cato. Besides this, there were twenty others, erected at different periods, within the city of Rome (Pitisc. Lex. Ant. s. v. Basilica), of which the following are the most frequently alluded to by the ancient authors; — 1. Basilica Sempronia, con­structed by Titus Sempronius, b. c. 171 (Liv. xliv. 1£>) ; and supposed, by Donati and Nardini, to have been between the vicus Tuscus and the Velabrum.

2. Basilica Opimia, which was above the comitium.

3. Basilica Pauli Aemilii, or Basilica Aemilia, called also Regia Pauli by Statius (/. c.). Cicero (Ad Att. iy. 16) mentions two basilicae of this name, of which one was built, and the other only restored, by Paulus Aemilius. Both these edifices were in the forum, and one was celebrated for its open peristyle of Phrygian columns. A repre­sentation of this one is given below from a coin of the Aemilia gens. (Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 24 ; Appian, B. C. ii. 26 ; Plut. Caes. 29.) The position of these two basilicae has given rise to much con­troversy, a brief account of which is given in the Diet, of Biog. Vol. II. p. 766. 4. Basilica Pom­peii, called also regia (Suet. Aug. 31), near the theatre of Pompey. 5. Basilica Julia, erected by Julius Caesar, in the forum, and opposite to the basilica Aemilia. (Suet. Calig. 37.) 6'. Basilica Caii et Lucii, the grandsons of Augustus, by whom it was founded. (Suet, Aug. 29.) 7. Basilica Ulpia, or Trajani, in the forum of Trajan. 8. Basilica Constantini, erected by the emperor Con-stantine, supposed to be the ruin now remaining on the via sacra, near the temple of Rome and Venus, and commonly called the temple of Peace. Of all these magnificent edifices nothing now re­mains beyond the ground-plan, and the bases and some portion of the columns and superstructure of the two last. The basilica at Pompeii is in better preservation ; the* external walls, ranges of columns, and tribunal of the judges, being still tolerably perfect on the ground-floor.

The forum, or, where there was more than one, the one which was in the most frequented and central part of the city, was always selected for the site of a basilica ; and hence it is that the classic writers not unfrequently use the terms forum and basilica synonymously, as in the passage of Clau-dian (De Honor. Cons. vi. 645):—Desuetaque eingit Regius auratis fora fascibus Ulpia lictor, where the forum is not meant, but the basilica which was in it, and which was surrounded by the lictors who stood in the forum. (Pitisc. Lex. Ant. 1. c. ; Nard. Rom. Ant. v. 9.)

Vitruvius (v. 1) directs that the most sheltered part of the forum should be selected for the site of a basilica, in order that the public might suffer as little as possible from exposure to bad weather, whilst going to, or returning from, their place of business ; he might also have added, for their greater convenience whilst engaged within, since many of these edifices, and all of the more ancient ones, were entirely open to the external air, being surrounded and protected solely by an open peri­style of columns, as the annexed representation of the basilica Aemilia from a medal of Lepidus, with the inscription, clearly shows.

When, however, the Romans became wealthy and refined, and consequently more effeminate, a wall was substituted for the external peristyle, and

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