A Synopsis of Architecture

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Supplementary Vocabulary of Terms applied to Ancient Buildings

SUPPLEMENT to the vocabulary of terms relating to the public and private buildings, sacred rites and ceremonies of the ancients, described in Section 3.

Ærarium, the Roman treasury.

Altare, the altar dedicated to the celestial deities, usually made of marble or stone, sometimes of bronze; of various shapes; square, circular, or triangular; the figure or distinguishing symbol of the particular deity to whom it was consecrated, was represented on it in relievo; ara, was the altar dedicated to the gods of the earth and sea; it was also a sanctuary or place of refuge.

Catacombs, subterraneous cavities for the burial of the dead; they were very numerous near Rome, and are supposed to have been the resort of the primitive Christians, and the vaults wherein the martyrs were interred.

Choragium, the part in the ancient theatres where the properties were kept.

Hermes, a bust of Mercury without arms, standing upon a high sheath as a terminus, and placed in the public ways.

Hyperthyron, (greek), the architrave and dressings over doors and windows.

Templa, buildings set apart for public worship, and consecrated; ædes, those which were not dedicated to any particular deity; ædiculæ, smaller temples of the latter description; sacella, those uncovered, or with a small opening at the top; fana, delubra, those destined to the mysteries of the ancients.

Supplementary Vocabulary of Terms applied to Fortification

Agger, in the ancient military art, a rampart or bank of earth, boughs of trees, etc., of the same nature as what are now called lines.

Bacule, a kind of portcullis made like a pit-fall, with a counterpoise, usually constructed before the corps de garde.

Battery, the frame or raised work upon which the cannons are mounted in fortification.

Cap, the highest part of the glacis.

Chamber of a mine, a small square enclosure at the extremity of the gallery of a mine, to contain a quantity of powder, in order to spring the mine.

Chandelier, a kind of moveable parapet, made of two upright stakes, with boards to support fascines, in order to cover and protect the pioneers when working in approaches and galleries.

Circumvallation, a line formed by a ditch and parapet of earth round a camp before a besieged place; it is always constructed beyond the reach of the cannon of the place.

Epaulment, any work constructed of fascines and earth for a shelter against cannon.

Fall-gatters, large pieces of wood suspended by cords above the gate of a fortified town, and let fall at once to stop the entrance.

Fore-ditch, that which is immediately at the foot of the glacis, and always filled with water.

Palaska, a kind of entrenchment of stakes covered with earth, used by the Turks to fortify a post.

Park, the space of ground in a camp, surrounded with lines, for placing the pieces of artillery, powder magazines, and other ordnance necessary for a siege.

Saucisson, a mass of large branches of trees bound together; the same as fascines, only, the latter is composed of smaller boughs and twigs.

Supplementary Vocabulary of Terms applied to Gothic Buildings

Ambry, in ancient abbeys and priories, that part where the church plate was deposited, and utensils for house-keeping kept.

Muzzle, the appellation given to the elbows of the stalls, in the choirs of churches, when they are carved with the snouts or muzzles of animals.

Vice, a spiral geometrical staircase conducting to the tower or steeple in a church, or to the upper stories of an ancient castellated mansion.

Supplementary Vocabulary of Terms applied to Modern Edifices

Adit, in a general sense, is the passage to, or entrance of anything; as the adit of a mine, of a theatre, etc.

Aduar, among the Arabians, an ambulatory village, formed of tents, which are constantly moved from place to place.

Baldachin, a canopy supported by slender pillars, used as an ornamental covering to an altar, or a throne.

Buffet, a small cupboard, formerly placed in a dining room, where the table service was kept; a term now used for the refreshment rooms at public places.

Cantoned, a term applied to the exterior of a building when its corners are decorated with pilasters, angular columns, or rustic quoins.

Cemetery, (greek), a burial ground, in which are erected ornamental tombs to the memory of the deceased.

Gradus, the courses of stone rising like steps above the cornice of the tambour of a dome or cupola, whence it springs externally.

Hermitage, the small retired habitation of a hermit, with an oratory attached to it; also a pavilion surrounded by a garden laid out with parterres of flowers, cascades and jets d'eaux, and situated in a retired spot.

Ice-house, a building for the preservation of ice during the summer; it is usually constructed in the form of two cones united at their bases, the lowest is of stone or brick in which the ice is put and the upper surface rather below the level of the ground; the uppermost may be of stone, brick, or wood, and thatched, with its entrance to the north, at the extremity of an enclosed porch; it should be situated in a wood or grove of trees.

Lantern, the ornamental cylindrical wall crowning a dome or cupola; also a clock tower.

Metoche, the space between each of the dentils in the cornice of an order.

Proscenium, that part of the stage in a theatre which is before the drop curtain, the decoration around which always remains fixed, and is usually very ornamental; this part also receives the appellation of proscenium.

Repertory, the room attached to an anatomical theatre, fitted up with cases and shelves to contain and to place in proper arrangement such preparations as are necessary for the demonstrations of anatomy.

Scabellum, a high slender pedestal in the form of a sheath, column, or balustre, insulated, and supporting a statue, ornamental vase, or clock, placed in magnificent halls, corridors, and on the landings of grand staircases.

Shingles, thin pieces of wood used for a covering, cut in the form of tiles, each course lapping over the one immediately below; shingles are now rarely to be found in England; but several stone spires cut in imitation of them may be seen in France.

Spere, the railing placed across the lower end of ancient dining halls, the space enclosed by it to shelter the entrance being called the screen.

Tunnel, a subterraneous vault or arch-way extending in a horizontal direction, with a sloping descent at each extremity, from the surface of the ground, to the level of the road-way in the tunnel. The communication formed between the two palaces on the eastern and western banks of the river Euphrates, at Babylon, by Semiramis, was the only instance of a tunnel of a similar description; one is now being constructed under the Thames at London, of large dimensions; and intended as a communication to the opposite shores for carriages and foot passengers.

Vaulting and groining; a simple vault is an arched roof, formed internally by a portion of the surfaces of a sphere, cylinder or cylindroid, and is never greater than half the surface of the solid:

A groin is the concavity formed by one simple vault piercing another; the most usual species of groin, is that formed by the intersection of two cylinders, or a cylinder and cylindroid: groins are differently named, according to the surfaces of the geometrical solids, which compose the simple vaults:

A cylindric groin, is one formed by the intersection of two portions of the surfaces of a cylinder:

A spheric groin, one formed by the intersection of two portions of the surfaces of a sphere:

A conic groin, one formed by the intersection of two portions of the surfaces of a cone: groins when formed by the intersection of two vaults of unequal heights are expressed by a compound word, the former part denoting the highest vault, the latter the lowest:

A cylindro-cylindric groin, one formed by the intersection of two unequal cylindric vaults:

A sphero-cylindric groin, one formed by a sphere and a cylinder, the spheric portion having the greatest height:

A cylindro-spheric groin, one formed of a cylinder and a sphere, the cylindric portion having the greatest height:

A cono-conic groin, one formed by the intersection of two conic vaults of different heights:

A multangular groin is formed by the intersection of three or more simple vaults of the same height.

Well, a circular vertical shaft sunk to a spring of water, which is brought to its mouth in buckets, lowered and raised by means of a windlass. The sides are cased with stone or brick; this is called steening, and is a security against the compression or falling in of the surrounding earth.





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