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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:
The Life of Constantine with Orations of Constantine and Eusebius.: Chapter XXXII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXXII.—That he instructed the Governors concerning the Beautifying of the Roof; also concerning Workmen, and Materials.

With respect to the ceiling 3264 of the church, p. 529 I wish to know from you whether in your judgment it should be panel-ceiled, 3265 or finished with any other kind of workmanship. If the panel ceiling be adopted, it may also be ornamented with gold. For the rest, your Holiness will give information as early as possible to the before-mentioned magistrates how many laborers and artificers, and what expenditure of money is required. You will also be careful to send us a report without delay, not only respecting the marbles and columns, but the paneled ceiling also, should this appear to you to be the most beautiful form. God preserve you, beloved brother!”



The word used is the technical “camera,” meaning properly a certain style of vaulted ceiling, but here it is perhaps the generic ceiling if the specific word below means panel ceiling.


This is the word for the Lacunaria or panel ceilings, a style of ceiling where “planks were placed across these beams at certain intervals leaving hollow spaces” “which were frequently covered with gold and ivory and sometimes with paintings.” Compare article Domus, in Smith, Dict. Gr. and Rom. Ant. The passage may mean either “with respect to the ceiling…whether…wainscoted” or “with respect to the Camera…whether panel ceiled.”

Next: Chapter XXXIII