Side chambers-rooms flanking the apses of churches-occur throughout broad geographical areas in the Christian East, and within a wide chronological span, ranging from the 5th through 12th centuries. This article, however, will carefully examine the side chambers of only six 5th- and 6th-century churches clustered in the Ravenna/Classe region of the Western Empire. The side chambers of these churches have usually been seen as forming a close typological and chronological group whose existence is thought to prove the Byzantine influence on this late capital of the Western Empire. For this reason, the side chambers are often erroneously referred to as pastophoria. These chambers were not pastophoria, as the word is commonly used by architectural historians when referring to the side chambers of Middle Byzantine churches with specific liturgical requirements. Instead, they vary widely in both form and function; they seem not to be liturgically required; and they seem to have a specific iconography.
Form and Function of the Side Chambers of Fifth- and Sixth-Century Churches in Ravenna
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Janet Charlotte Smith; Form and Function of the Side Chambers of Fifth- and Sixth-Century Churches in Ravenna. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 June 1990; 49 (2): 181–204. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/990476
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