Friday, 29 April 2016

The Forum

Roman engineers rebuilt much of Ys while building its sea wall. They called its central square the Forum although it was never a market place. At this Forum, Lir and Taranis Ways cross and there are several Roman-style public buildings:

the temple of Taranis;
basilica for Imperial officials when present;
the temple of Mars, now a church.

The Council of Suffetes meets in a chamber in the basilica. At the centre of the Forum is a triple-basined fountain with mosaics of dolphins and sea horses. At festivals, oil is pumped through and set alight. The Mars temple faced south so the Christians have made a new entrance in the western side. Why? From the Andersons' notes, it seems that Christianity then functioned more like a mystery religion:

clergy lower than bishops could not baptise or consecrate bread and wine;
baptism was done only once or twice a year;
children were not usually baptised;
believers not yet baptised could enter a church only as far as the vestibule;
they were dismissed before Communion began.

The single priest has a supply of consecrated bread and few believers, most not yet baptised.

Gratillonius is the new Roman prefect but has also become the King so he resides in the palace or the King's House, not in the basilica or a house near it.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The Christians of Ys had a door cut in the western wall of the former temple of Mars because it was customary for Catholic churches to be oriented west to east. That is, the priest and congregation would face east, the direction it was believed Christ would come at His Second Coming.

While it was customary in the fourth century for many catechumens to postpone baptism as Christians, it was not universal. Infant baptism was equally as old a custom and was more and more the preference (the Christian scholar Origen declared infant baptism was an apostolic tradition).