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abacus, pl. abacuses, abaci (Greek)

Flat-topped plate, the upper member of a capital and on which the architrave rests.

acropolis (Greek)

The highest and fortified part of the ancient Greek cities.

aedicula, pl. aediculae (Latin)

Small shrine of decorative or representative character.

agora (Greek)

Central square in the ancient Greek cities, market-place, most often with irregular geometric layout.

ala, pl. alae (Latin)

In architecture: space on each side of the atrium in a Roman house..

altar (Latin)

Block, high pedestal to perform rituals or to sacrifice offerings to a deity.

ambulatio, pl. ambulationes (Latin)

Covered colonnade or arcade for walks and conversations, most commonly located along the sides of the area of the forum.

amphitheatre (Greek)

Building designed for different spectacular performances. Most often it is with circular or elliptical layout, with tiers of seats for the public.

analemma (Greek)

In architecture: retaining wall supporting the end sector of the tiered seats at stadiums and theatres.

andron (Greek)

Major room, part of a Greek house that is reserved for men.

annulets (Latin)

Ring-like moulding between the shaft and the capital of the Doric column.

antae, sg. anta (Latin)

Piers which terminate the projecting walls of a building with rectangular plan, e.g. a Greek temple.

antefix (Latin)

Decorative element along the eaves of a roof designed to conceal the imbrices.

aphesis (Greek)

Starting line in hippodromes and stadiums.

apodyterium, pl. apodytheria (Greek)

A changing room in Roman thermae.

apse (Greek)

Semicircular of polygonal on plan recess in a building projecting from its external wall, most often used in churches.

aqueduct (Latin)

Engineering structure for artificially conveying water.

ara, pl. arae (Latin)

A small altar for sacrifices.

arcade (Latin)

A series of arches supported by columns or pillars.

arch (Latin)

A curved vertical structure, that spans an opening e.g. between two columns or pillars. Invented by the Romans, the arch is a characteristic structural element in Roman architecture. The classical Roman arch is semicircular.

architrave (Greek)

The main beam which rests on the capitals of the columns, the lowest part of the entablature. The early timber architraves were replaced by marble ones in the Classical Greek architecture.

archivolt (Latin)

A decorative band of mouldings on the front side of an arch following its curve.

area (Greek)

The open space of a Roman forum, most often paved with stone.

arena, pl. arenas (Latin)

The central area of amphitheatres where games took place, often covered with sand.

atrium, pl. atria (Latin)

1. The principal room in a Roman house, to which all other rooms open. In the centre of the atrium there is usually a shallow pool (impluvium) over which there is an opening in the roof (compluvium).

2. The open space in front of the entrance of the Early Christian basilicas, in which non converted gathered.