Secular and Military Buildings

Charalambos Bakirtzis

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Secular and Military Buildings

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  • Middle Eastern Languages



While religion permeated every aspect of life in Byzantium, secular buildings served the needs of private and public life even without a religious character or an ecclesiastical use. The early Byzantine city, from the reigns of Constantine I (324) to Justinian I (565), represents the final phase of the Graeco-Roman city and together with its orthogonal grid featured large monumental secular buildings of public life. The advent of Christianity resulted in the gradual transformation of the orthogonal grid, and altered the function and aspect of public buildings and spaces. The secular buildings erected in early Byzantine times had the same architecture of the Hellenistic and Roman periods and employed the construction techniques of the Romans, but they assumed a different character via contraction, simplification, and practicality. This article describes secular and military buildings in the Byzantium Era, focusing on administrative buildings, private residences, industrial buildings, infrastructure, buildings for health care and entertainment, and city layout.

Keywords: Byzantium; secular buildings; military buildings; architecture; infrastructure; industrial buildings; administrative buildings; private residences

Article.  4652 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages

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