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View looking west, down the central nave, in the interior of the Basilica. At the far end is a two–story podium where the judicial tribunal met. To the right of the columns on the right was the north nave, and to the left of the columns on the left was the south nave—both of which were probably covered.
The Basilica is one of the most important civic buildings at Pompeii; it was built between 120 and 78 B.C. It measures 80 x 180 feet. Initially the structure was a public market, but in the first century A.D. it was converted to the "seat" of the law courts of Pompeii. It is composed of three naves; the central one of which was probably open to the sky. At the west end was a podium where the judicial tribunal met.