High, approached on either side by a flight of steps leading to the top; this block, which Curtius supposes to have been the primitive altar of Zeus "T ' w ros, may be safely identified with the orators' bema, 6 X Wos Ev 7-?7 IIUKvL (Aristoph.
Plutarch's statement that the Thirty Tyrants removed the bema so as to face the land instead of the sea is probably due to a misunderstanding.
The oldest stage-building was erected in the time of Lycurgus; it consisted of a rectangular hall with square projections (1rapauKs vca) on either side; in As= front of this was built in late Greek or early Roman times a stage with a row of columns which intruded upon the orchestra space; a later and larger stage, dating from the time of Nero, advanced still farther into the orchestra, and this was finally faced (probably in the 3rd century A.D.) by the " bema " of Phaedrus, a platform-wall decorated with earlier reliefs, the slabs of which were cut down to suit their new position.
We know only that to his persistent attempts thereafter to get his proposed verdict accepted by the people, came their fatal answer, " Thou art not Caesar's friend," and that at last he unwillingly ascended the bema (in this case a portable judgmentseat, brought for the day outside the Praetorium), and in such words as Ibis ad crucem" delivered Him to be crucified."
The electi celebrated special feasts; but the principal festival with all classes was the Bema (31ima), the feast of the "teacher's chair," held in commemoration of the death of Mani in the month of March.
Thick, and at the angles of an inscribed octagon are chapels formed in the thickness of the wall, and roofed with wagon-headed vaults visible on the exterior; the eastern chapel, however, is enlarged and developed into a bema and apse projecting beyond the circle, and the western and southern chapels constitute the two entrances of the building.