The term “basilica” is related to the word for king, basileus; basilical halls were so named because they were often used as courtrooms, public hearing rooms and even throne rooms, long before the basilica was adopted as the typical plan for Christian churches. These large public halls were rectangular in shape, with an entrance in one of the shorter walls and a semicircular apse in the opposite wall. Two rows of columns often separated the hall into a wide central aisle flanked by two narrower side aisles.