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Terms Definitions
principate the system of rule established by Augustus; established constitutional monarchy- "ruler by law"
aqueduct artificial channel for conducting water over a distance
fresco a durable method of painting on a wall by using watercolors on wet plaster
megalographia term for any art representation that is life sized. ex. Villa of the Mysteries
cubiculum room, bedroom
tetrarchy rule by four; the system of government established by Diocletian (284-305) in which the Roman Empire was divided into two parts, each ruled by an "Augustus" assisted by a "Caesar."
Diocletian Roman emperor who was faced with military problems, when that happend he decided to divide the empire between himself in the east and maximian in the west. he did the last persecution of the Christians
clerestory The fenestrated part of a building that rises above the roofs of the other parts. In Roman basilicas and medieval churches, the windows that form the nave's uppermost level below the timber ceiling or the vaults.
vellum calfskin, type of paper
parchment lambskin, type of paper
chancel area around the altar of a church for the clergy and choir
diptych a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on two panels (usually hinged like a book)
pendentive An inverted, concave, triangular piece of masonry serving as the transition from a square support system to the circular base of a dome.
mandorla Almond-shaped body halo that acts like an orb to separate Christ from human realm.
iconoclasm a challenge to or overturning of traditional beliefs, customs, and values, any movement against the religious use of images
codex an unbound manuscript of some ancient classic (as distinguished from a scroll)
hijra The Migration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in A.D. 622, marking the founding of Islam
imam (Islam) the man who leads prayers in a mosque
iwan in Islamic architecture, a vaulted rectangular recess opening onto a courtyard
jihad a holy struggle or striving by a Muslim for a moral or spiritual or political goal
kaaba (Islam) a black stone building in Mecca that is shaped like a cube and that is the most sacred Muslim pilgrim shrine
Koran the sacred writings of Islam revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad during his life at Mecca and Medina
mihrab (Islam) a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the direction of Mecca
minaret the tower attached to a mosque from which the muezzin, or crier, calls the faithful to prayer five times a day
minbar is a pulpit in the mosque where the Imam (leader of prayer) stands to deliver sermons
mosque (Islam) a Muslim place of worship
muezzin the Muslim official of a mosque who summons the faithful to prayer from a minaret five times a day
muqarnas stucco decorations of Islamic buildings in which stalactite-like forms break a structure's solidity
maqsura in some mosques, a screened area in front of the minrab reserved for a ruler
qibla wall the wall of a mosque that faces Mecca; the wall Muslims face when praying
sahn Open courtyard where you prepare to worship before entering mosque
ribbed vault vault that resembles a groined vault but has ribbed arches
compound pier a pier with a group, or cluster, of attached shafts, especially characteristic of Gothic architecture
bay a small recess opening off a larger room
corbel (architecture) a triangular bracket of brick or stone (usually of slight extent)
arcade a structure composed of a series of arches supported by columns
corbel table A row or course of corbels used for decoration or to provide support, as for a parapet.
triforium In a Gothic cathedral, the blind arcade gallery below the clerestory; occasionally, the arcades are filled with stained glass
pier buttress a solid mass of exterior masonry that opposes the lateral thrust of an arch or a vault
flying buttress A free-standing support attached to the main vessel (nave, choir, or transept wall) by an arch or half-arch which transmits the thrust of the vault to the support attached tot he outer wall of the aisle.
rose window A large round window on the west façade or transept, containing tracery that became more elaborate as the Gothic era progressed
tracery ornamental stonework holding stained glass in place, characteristic of Gothic cathedrals
lancet window a tall, narrow window crowned by a sharply pointed arch
chevet the east or apsidal, end of a Gothic church, including the choir, ambulatory and radiating chapels.
duomo the dome designed for the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (span 150ft, height 308) built by Filippo Brunelleschi
sinopia is a reddish-brown ocher-like earth color pigment used in traditional oil painting. It is used for the cartoon or underpainting for a fresco. It is composed of iron oxides, from a kind of clay or quartz called sinople.
tempera method of painting in which the colors are mixed with egg yolk or other substances, instead of oil
gesso white coating made of substances such as chalk, plaster, and size that is spread over a surface to make it more receptive to paint
altarpiece picture or relief representing a religious subject and suspended in a frame behind the altar of a church. The altarpiece is often made up of two or more separate panels created using a technique known as panel painting.
Tympanum the surface enclosed by the arch and lintel of an arched doorway, frequently carved with relief sculptures.
Archivolt the continuous, arch-shaped molding, often in concentric bands, following the contour of a Romanesque or Gothic arch
Lintel horizontal beam above the doorway
Trumeau in church architecture, the pillar or center post supporting the lintel in the middle of the doorway.
Jamb the side of a doorway or window frame. The jambs of the portals of Romanesque and Gothic churches are frequently decorated with figure sculpture.
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