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In Greek: basileos = king. A building formed by several rows of columns carrying a roof. In Hellenistic and Roman cities the basilica was a public secular building, generally used for sessions of the civil court or as a social meeting-place. In the Byzantine period the basilical plan was taken over by Christian churches, mainly in the form of a hall divided by rows of columns into a nave and aisles. The nave ended in an apse and a bema, and before the church was the atrium.

A Catholic monastic order of Italian origin, founded by St. Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century CE.

A lump of clay or lead used to seal a document. The bulla was attached to the cord tying the document and stamped with the writer’s seal. A seal which was intact proved that the document had not been tampered with. The bulla, bearing the writer’s name and particulars, generally survived long after the document itself, made of papyrus or parchment, had decayed (plural: bullae).

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