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Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/445

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Bk. I. Ch. II.
413
BASILICAS

construction. On the whole perhaps the ratio of height to width is unexceptionable, but the height over the pillars is so great that they are made to look utterly insignificant, which indeed is the great defect in the architectural design of these buildings, and, though seldom so offensive as here, is apparent in all. The ranges of columns dividing the side-aisles were joined by arches, which is a more common as well


275. View of the old Basilica of St. Peter, before the destruction in the 15th century. From Fontana.


as a better arrangement, as it not only adds to the height of the pillars, but gives them an apparent power of bearing the superstructure. At some period during the Middle Ages the outer aisles were vaulted, and Gothic windows introduced into them. This change seems to have necessitated the closing of the intermediate range of clerestory windows, which probably was by no means conducive to the general architectural effect of the building.