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470
BASILICA

being taken up with the church services and private prayer and study; the lay-brothers carried on the various trades and external works. There is little or no evidence of works of charity outside the monastery being undertaken by Studite monks. Strict personal poverty was enforced, and all were encouraged to approach confession and communion frequently. Vows had been imposed on monks by the council of Chalcedon (451). The picture of Studite life is the picture of normal Greek and Slavonic monachism to this day.

During the middle ages the centre of Greek monachism shifted from Constantinople to Mount Athos. The first monastery to be founded here was that of St Athanasius (c. 960), and in the course of the next three or four centuries monasteries in great numbers—Greek, Slavonic and one Latin—were established on Mount Athos, some twenty of which still survive.

Basilian monachism spread from Greece to Italy and Russia. Rufinus had translated St Basil's Rules into Latin (c. 400) and they became the rule of life in certain Italian monasteries. They were known to St Benedict, who refers his monks to "the Rule of our holy Father Basil,"—indeed St Benedict owed more of the ground-ideas of his Rule to St Basil than to any other monastic legislator. In the 6th and 7th centuries there appear to have been Greek monasteries in Rome and south Italy and especially in Sicily. But during the course of the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries crowds of fugitives poured into southern Italy from Greece and Sicily, under stress of the Saracenic, Arab and other invasions; and from the middle of the 9th century Basilian monasteries, peopled by Greek-speaking monks, were established in great numbers in Calabria and spread northwards as far as Rome. Some of them existed on into the 18th century, but the only survivor now is the monastery founded by St Nilus (c. 1000) at Grottaferrata in the Alban Hills. Professor Kirsopp Lake has (1903) written four valuable articles (Journal of Theological Studies, iv., v.) on "The Greek monasteries of South Italy"; he deals in detail with their scriptoria and the dispersal of their libraries, a matter of much interest, in that some of the chief collections of Greek MSS. in western Europe—as the Bessarion at Venice and a great number at the Vatican—come from the spoils of these Italian Basilian houses.

Of much greater importance was the importation of Basilian monachism into Russia, for it thereby became the norm of monachism for all the Slavonic lands. Greek monks played a considerable part in the evangelization of the Slavs, and the first Russian monastery was founded at Kiev (c. 1050) by a monk from Mount Athos. The monastic institute had a great development in Russia, and at the present day there are in the Russian empire some 400 monasteries of men and 100 of women, many of which support hospitals, almshouses and schools. In the other Slavonic lands there are a considerable number of monasteries, as also in Greece itself, while in the Turkish dominions there are no fewer than 100 Greek monasteries. The monasteries are of three kinds: cenobia proper, wherein full monastic common life, with personal poverty, is observed; others called idiorrhythmic, wherein the monks are allowed the use of their private means and lead a generally mitigated and free kind of monastic life; and the lauras, wherein the life is semi-eremitical. Greek and Slavonic monks wear a black habit. The visits of Western scholars in modern times to Greek monasteries in search of MSS.—notably to St Catherine's on Mount Sinai, and to Mount Athos—has directed much attention to contemporary Greek monachism, and the accounts of these expeditions commonly contain descriptions, more or less sympathetic and intelligent, of the present-day life of Greek monks. The first such account was Robert Curzon's in parts iii. (1834) and iv. (1837) of the Monasteries of the Levant; the most recent in English is Athelstan Riley's Athos (1887). The life is mainly given up to devotional contemplative exercises; the church services are of extreme length; intellectual study is little cultivated; manual labour has almost disappeared; there are many hermits on Athos (q.v.).

The ecclesiastical importance of the monks in the various branches of the Orthodox Church lies in this, that as bishops must be celibate, whereas the parochial clergy must be married, the bishops are all recruited from the monks. But besides this they have been a strong spiritual and religious influence, as is recognized even by those who have scant sympathy with monastic ideals (see Harnack, What is Christianity? Lect. xiii., end).

Outside the Orthodox Church are some small congregations of Uniat Basilians. Besides Grottaferrata, there are Catholic Basilian monasteries in Poland, Hungary, Galicia, Rumania; and among the Melchites or Uniat Syrians.

There have been Basilian nuns from the beginning, St Macrina, St Basil's sister, having established a nunnery which was under his direction. The nuns are devoted to a purely contemplative life, and in Russia, where there are about a hundred nunneries, they are not allowed to take final vows until the age of sixty. They are very numerous throughout the East.

Authorities.—In addition to the authorities for different portions of the subject-matter named in the course of this article, may be mentioned, on St Basil and his Rules, Montalembert, Monks of the West, second part of bk. ii., and the chapter on St Basil in James O. Hannay's Spirit and Origin of Christian Monasticism (1903). On the history and spirit of Basilian Monachism, Helyot, Hist. des Ordres Religieux, i. (1714); Heimbucher, Orden und Kongregationen (1907), i., § 11; Abbé Marin, Les Moines de Constantinople (1897); Karl Holl, Enthusiasmus und Bussgewalt beim griechischen Mönchtum (1898); Otto Zöckler, Askese und Mönchtum, pp. 285-309 (1897). For general information see Wetzer und Welte, Kirchenlexicon (ed. ii.), art. "Basilianer," and Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie (ed. iii.), in articles "Mönchtum," "Orientalische Kirche," and "Athosberg," where copious references will be found.

 (E. C. B.) 


BASILICA, a word of Greek origin (see below), frequently used in Latin literature and inscriptions to denote a large covered building that could accommodate a considerable number of people. Strictly speaking, a basilica was a building of this kind situated near the business centre of a city and arranged for the convenience of merchants, litigants and persons engaged on the public service; but in a derived sense the word might be used for any large structure wherever situated, such as a hall of audience (Vitruv. vi. 5. 2) or a covered promenade (St Jerome, Ep. 46) in a private palace; a riding school (basilica equestris exercitatoria, C.I.L. vii. 965); a market or store for flowers (basilica floscellaria [Notitia]), or other kinds of goods (basilica vestiaria, C.I.L. viii. 20156), or a hall of meeting for a religious body. In this derived sense the word came naturally to be applied to the extensive buildings used for Christian worship in the age of Constantine and his successors.

The question whether this word conveyed to the ancients any special architectural significance is a difficult one, and some writers hold that the name betokened only the use of the building, others that it suggested also a certain form. Our knowledge of the ancient basilica as a civil structure is derived primarily from Vitruvius, and we learn about it also from existing remains and from incidental notices in classical writers and in inscriptions. If we review all the evidence we are led to the conclusion that there did exist a normal form of the building, though many examples deviated therefrom. This normal form we shall understand if we consider the essential character of the building in the light of what Vitruvius tells us of it.

Vitruvius treats the basilica in close connexion with the forum, to which in his view it is an adjunct. In the earlier classical times, both in Greece and Italy, business of every kind, political, commercial and legal, was transacted in the open forum, and there also were presented shows and pageants. When business increased and the numbers of the population were multiplied, it was found convenient to provide additional accommodation for these purposes. Theatres and amphitheatres took the performances and games. Markets provided for those that bought and sold, while for business of more important kinds accommodation could be secured by laying out new agorae or fora in the immediate vicinity of the old. At Rome this was done by means of the so-called imperial fora, the latest and most splendid of which was that of Trajan. These fora corresponded to the later Greek or Hellenistic agora, which, as Vitruvius tells us, was of regular form and surrounded by colonnades in two stories, and they had the practical use of relieving the pressure on the