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Glossary of Art History Vocabulary Words from Chapter 11

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ambulatory
A covered walkway, outdoors or indoors; especially the passageway around the apse and choir of a Church.
(chapter 11)
apse
A recess, usually singular and semi-circular, in the wall of a Roman basilica or at the east end of a Christian church.
(chapter 11)
catacomb
Subterranean networks of galleries and chambers designed as cemeteries for the burial of the dead.
cathedra
Literally, the seat of the bishop, which the word cathedral is derived.
codex
Seperate pages of vellum or parchment bound together in one; the predecessor of the modern book.
cubiculium (cubicula)
A chamber in any Early Christian catacomb that served as a mortuary chapel.
diptych
A two-paneled painting or altarpiece; also an ancient Roman, Early Christian, or Byzantine hinged writing tablet, often of ivory and carved on the external sides.
Eucharist
In Christianity, the partaking of the bread and wine, which believers hold to be either Christ himself or symbolic of him.
mausoleum
A central-plan, domed structure, built as a memorial.
narthex
A porch or vestibule of a church, generally, colonnaded or arcaded and preceding the nave.
nave
The central are of an ancient Roman basilica or of a church, demarcated from aisles by piers or columns.
nimbus
A halo or aureole appearing around the head of a holy figure to signify divinity.
orant(s)
In Early Christian art, a figure with both arms raised up in the ancient gesture of prayer.
Torah
The scroll containing the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew scriptures.
tesserae
Tiny stones or pieces of glass cut to desired shape and size to use in mosaics to create design and composition.
transept
The part of a church with an axis that crosses the nave at a right angle.
(chapter 11)
Vellum
Calfskin prepared as a surface for writing or painting.
(chapter 11)
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