Epiphanios was the Bishop of Salamis from 368 to403AD; it is believed that it was during this period the first basilica was built. Because two major earthquakes hit the city in 331AD and 341AD, it would not have been built before. Once completed archaeologists believe that it could have covered over 100,000 square feet making it the largest basilica on the island.
One tradition says that the basilica was built on the site where Barnabas was martyred. According to Acts of Barnabas, he was taken out of town and burned by the hippodrome.