Chapter XXXIX.—Description of the Inner Court, the Arcades and Porches.
In the next place he enclosed the atrium which occupied the space leading to the entrances in front of the church. This comprehended, first the court, then the porticos on each side, and lastly the gates of the court. After these, in the midst of the open market-place, 3271 the general entrance-gates, which were of exquisite workmanship, afforded to passers-by on the outside a view of the interior which could not fail to inspire astonishment.
[In front of the larger churches there was generally a street, or open space, where a market was held on the festival of the Martyr to whom the church was dedicated. Regard was also had, in this arrangement, to architectural effect, the object being that nothing should interfere with the view of the front of the church. Vide Valesius in loc.—Bag.]