"A building which served as a court of law and an exchange, or place of meeting for merchants and men of business. The word was adopted from the Athenians, whose second archon was styled, and the tribunal where he adjudicated the substantive aula or porticus in Latin being omitted for convenience, and the distinctive epithet coverted into a substantive. The first edifice of this description at Rome was not erected until B.C. 182, it was situated in the forum adjoining the curia, and was denominated Bascilica Aemilia, from a medal of Lepidus." — Smith, 1873 This image shows the Ground Plan of a Basilica.