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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

HE also raised at Constantinople many sacred buildings of elaborate beauty, in honour of God and the saints, and erected a vast and incomparable work, such as has never been before recorded, namely the largest edifice of the Church, a noble and surpassing structure, beyond the power of words to describe. Nevertheless I will endeavour to the best of my ability to detail the plan of the sacred precinct. The nave of the sanctuary is a dome, supported by four arches, and raised to so great a height that the sight of persons surveying it from below can scarcely reach the vertex of the hemisphere, and no one from above, however daring, ventures to bend over and look down to the floor. The arches are raised clear from the pavement to the roof: but within those on the right and left are ranged columns of Thessalian stone, which, together with other corresponding pillars, support galleries, so as to allow those who wish, to look down upon the performance of the rites below. From these the empress also, when attending at the festivals, witnesses the ceremony of the sacred mysteries. But the eastern and western arches are left vacant, without any thing to interrupt the imposing aspect of so vast dimensions. There are also colonnades under the before-mentioned galleries, forming, with pillars and small arches, a termination to so vast a structure. But in order to convey a more distinct idea of this wonderful fabric, I have thought proper to set down in feet, its length, breadth, and height, as well as the span and height of the arches, as follows:—The length from the door facing the sacred apse where are performed the rites of the bloodless sacrifice, to the apse, is one hundred and ninety feet: the breadth from north to south is one hundred and fifteen feet: the depth from the centre of the hemisphere to the floor is one hundred and eighty feet: the span of each of the arches is * * * feet: the length, however, from east to west is two hundred and sixty feet; and the range of the lights seventy-five feet. There are also to the west two other noble colonnades, and on all sides unroofed courts of elaborate beauty. Justinian also erected the church of the holy Apostles, which may dispute the first place with any other. In this the emperors and the bishops are usually interred. I have thought fit thus to take some notice of these and similar matters.








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