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Flashcards in Byzantine Vocab Deck (13)
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Catacomb

An underground cemetery consisting of tunnels on different levels, having niches for burials, urns, and sarcophagi, and often incorporating rooms (cubicula).

1

Loculi

Loculi is an architectural niche that houses a body, as in a catacomb, hypogeum, mausoleum or other place of entombment.

2

Cubiculum

A small private room for burials in the catacombs.

3

Medallion

Any round ornament or decoration. Also: a large medal.

4

Lunette

A semicircular wall area, framed by an arch over a door or window. Can be either plain or decorated.

5

Mosaic

Images formed by small colored stone or glass pieces (tesserae) affixed to a hard, stable surface.

6

Tesserae

Small pieces of stone, glass, or other material that are assembled to create a mosaic.

7

Pendentives

The concave triangular section of a vault that forms the transition between a square or polygonal space and the circular base of a dome.

8

Squinches

An arch or lintel built over the upper corners of a square space, allowing a circular or polygonal dome to be more securely set on top of the walls.

9

Trompe l’oeil

A manner of representation in which the appearance of natural space and forms is recreated with the express intention of fooling the eye of the viewer, who may be convinced or fooled (at least for an instant) that the painted subject actually exists as three-dimensional reality.

10

Icons

An image in any material representing a sacred figure or event in the Byzantine (later the Orthodox) Church. Icons were venerated by the faithful, who believed them to have miraculous powers to transmit messages to God.

11

Iconoclasm

The banning and/or destruction of icons and religious images. Iconoclasm in eighth- and ninth-century Byzantium and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Protestant territories arose from differing beliefs about the power, meaning, function, and purpose of imagery in religion.

12

Pantocrator

Christ represented as the ruler of the universe.