Open main menu

Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/451

There was a problem when proofreading this page.
Bk. I. Ch. II.

side of the nave, borrowed from some ancient edifice, instead of seven, and these support a horizontal architrave instead of arches.

In the thirteenth century the apse was destroyed and a long nave added in that direction, so that the altar was placed where the entrance was originally situated. Making due allowance for these changes, it is probable that the annexed woodcut faithfully represents the arrangements of the building as it stood in the sixth century, and is interesting, not only for its own sake, but as representing the class of church erected at Jerusalem and elsewhere at this age, of which so very few specimens now exist. It contains also the germs of much that was afterwards reproduced in Gothic churches. The upper gallery, after many modifications, at last settled into a triforium, and the pierced stone slabs in the windows became tracery—but before these were reached a vaulted roof was introduced, and with it all the features of the style were to a great extent modified.

The church known as that of Sta. Pudentiana is one of the very oldest and consequently one of the most interesting of those in Rome. It stands on substructions of ancient Roman date, which probably formed part of the Thermæ of Novatus or the house of the Senator Pudens, who is mentioned by St. Paul at the end of his Second Epistle to Timothy, and with whom he is traditionally said to have resided during his sojourn in Rome. The vaults beneath the church certainly formed part of a Roman mansion, so apparently do those buildings, shown on the plan, and placed behind and on one side of the sanctuary; but whether these were used for Christian purposes before the erection of the church in the fourth century is by no means certain. In plan the church remains in all probability very much as

282. Plan of Sta. Pudentiana. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in.

283. Section of Sta. Pudentiana. (From Hubsch.[1]) Scale 50 ft. to 1 in.

originally designed, its most striking peculiarity being the segmental form of the apse, which may possibly have arisen from some peculiar

  1. "Altchristlichen Kirchen nach Baudenkmalen und alteren Beschreibungen," von D. Hubsch. Carlsruhe. 1862.