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Historical and Artistic Terms

Words, Words, Words

Ambo: a pulpit (pl. ambones)

Ambulatory: curving aisle around the apse of a church, usually lined with chapels

Ancona: a painted or sculpted altarpiece, especially one set in an architectural frame

Atrium: entrance court of an ancient Roman house or an early church

Arca: a monumental tomb or sarcophagus

Baldacchino: baldachin, a columned stone canopy over an altar

Basilica: a rectangular building, usually divided into three aisles by two rows of columns. In ancient Rome, this was the common form for law courts and other public buildings, and Roman Christians adopted it for their early churches. Today, the term is an honorific in Catholicism, meaning an important church endowed with special privileges.

Borgo: from the Saxon burh; a suburb or village

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Art and Culture

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls