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caldarium, pl. caldaria (Latin)

Premises in the Roman thermae with a hot plunge bath.

campana (Latin)

The bell-shaped core of a Corinthian capital over which are layered the floral motives (acanthus leaves). Also known as calathus.

canabae (Latin)

Civilian settlements in the vicinity of the military camps in the Roman Empire, which later developed as large cities.

capital (Latin)

Head or topmost member of the column, which bears the load of the stone beam (architrave) or of the arch, and transfers the weight to the shaft of the column. The capital origins from the wooden and stone structures in the Ancient East countries and Egypt. It developed in detail in the architectural orders of Ancient Greece and Rome – Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. The decorative development of the capital continues in all subsequent periods.

cardo maxumus (Latin)

The main North-South orientated street (cardo) with the largest width. It usually leads to the North and the South gates of the military camp.

cardo, pl. cardi (Latin)

The North-South orientated street in the Roman military camps and cities.

caryatid (Greek)

Stone pillar, sculptured in the shape of dressed female figure supporting an Ionic entablature on her head. It is a rarely used architectural element.

castellum (Latin)

Small Roman military fortified place, a detached fort or watch tower.

castrum, pl. castra (Latin)

Roman fortified military camp, rectangular in plan, built using the orthogonal street system with perpendicular streets – cardi and decumani.

cavea (Latin)

Large concave surface of the tiered seating area in the Roman theatre where the seats for the spectators are arranged, most commonly in a semicircle. Theatron in Greek.

cella (Latin)

The main inner chamber of the Roman temple. The term is used also for the Ancient Greek temples together with the word naos.

circus (Latin)

Oblong roofless enclosure, semicircular at one end, having tiered seats for spectators on both sides and round the curved end. It was used for races, games and other spectacles.

clepsydra (Greek)

Water clock, a device for measuring the time by the flow of a liquid.

cohort (Latin)

In Ancient Rome – the basic military unit consisting of 360 to 600 men.


Series of columns in a straight line supporting an entablature, free-standing or part of a building.

compluvium, pl. compluvia (Latin)

Rectangular opening to the sky in the centre of the atrium of a Roman house.

cross vault

Also known as groin vault or double barrel vault. A vault formed by the intersection at right angles of two identical (with identical diameters) barrel vaults. It is a feature of the Roman architecture.

crypt (Greek)

Underground chamber most often used for religious services, burial-chamber. In churches the crypt is located under the altar.

cryptoporticus (Greek, Latin)

Underground covered corridor or passageway.

curia (Latin)

The building of the Senate in Ancient Rome.

curtain-wall (Latin)

Part of a straight fortification wall constructed between two adjacent towers.