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(Solved) (Latest ver. Aug 2020) - Dome of the Rock, Hagia Sophia, Old St Peters Basilica

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My task is to conduct a piece for the docents in order to prepare them for visitors questions during an upcoming festival. I am wishing to ensure that they understand the importance of the geographical location of Byzantium in relation to the rise of Islam, Roman Cathlocism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Thus, I have chosen three architectural designs from these three religions (Islam, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy between 300-750 CE.) They include Old St Peters Basilica, Hagia Sophia, and Dome of the Rock. From my understanding Byzantine is vastly important due to its location during this era.

Individuals utilized Basilicas such as Old St. Peters due to the faith or public worshiping of the faith was at one time was reprehensible or illegal. However, with the rise of Constantine it was legal yet the lack of structures for worship Basilicas were utilized for public worship. This was the case of Old St. Peters. As from my understanding it was at one time used a law court with a structure or statue of an emperor which was removed to place the alter. It was a rectangular building with parallel rows of columns or piers that allowed the people to sit during service. This area was surrounded by an outer wall which made or formed the aisle way within the structure. The central space was heightened by a celestory which provided natural lighting within the church. It had a low pitch symetrical or isosceles truss roof. These triangular shaped roof areas covered the side aisleways. Therefore, they were not constructed with great height or other magnificent features. However, they did have religious wall paintings that were more symbolic in nature. they depicted the Holy Father and saints of the faith.

The next area of structures were Hagia Sophia and Dome of the Rock which were both octagon shape and built from inside out. They were comprised with vaulted or high ceilings, domes, engaged and freestanding columns and mosaics depicting their religious faiths. The Hagia Sophia is stated that dome was constructed to provide the illusion as if it is floating on/in air. This structure was comprised with mosaics of people whereas the Dome of the Rock had geometric designs and calligraphy due to their religious beliefs. Additionally, it was constructed where all individuals would be facing an easterly direction during prayer as this again was their belief.

However, I am unclear as to further detail on the architectural design elements of these structures. Thus, any/all guidance would be greatly appreciated. I have researched for information and the more I search the more confused I get as these structures seem to have been reconstructed during later times and I am attempting to research 300-725 C.E./A.D. Additionally, some originally began as one faith and were converted or are being used for another. Thus, I am turning to this for guidance if possible.


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