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A raised platform that acts as the foundation for a building, or as a platform for a speaker

engaged column

Columns that are attached to walls


a trough to carry flowing water, if necessary, supported by arches


curved weight bearing structure made of voussoirs and a keystone at the top


wedge-shaped stone blocks found in arches


area between an arch's curve and the framing columns and entablature

barrel vault

an elongated or continuous semicircular vault, shpaed like a half-cylinder

groin vault

formed at the point at which 2 barrel vaults intersect at right angles


deification of a person or thing. In art, often shown as an ascent to heaven or glory, borne by an eagle, angels, or putti.


images formed by small colored stone or glass pieces, affixed to a hard, stable surface


the small piece of stone, glass, or other object that is pieced together with many others to create a mosaic

trompe l'oeil

a manner of representation in wich the appearance of natural space and objects is re-created with the express intention of fooling the eye of the viewer, who may be convinced that the subject actually exists as three-dimensional reality.


A building material developed by the Romans, made primarily from lime, sand, cement, and rubble mixed with water. Concrete is easily poured or molded when wet and hardens into a particularly strong and durable stonelike substance.

triumphal arch

A freestanding, massive stone gateway with a large central arch, built as urban ornament and or to celebrate military victories

composite order

a combination of the Ionic and the Corinthian orders


A Roman town center; site of temples and administrative buildings and used as a market or gathering area for the citizens


A large rectangular building. Often built witha clerestory, side aisles separated from the center nave by colonnades, and an apse at one of both ends. Roman centers for administration later adapted to christian church use.


Any building constructed in a circular shape, usually producing a large open space crowned by a dome


the wall that supports a dome


A round vault over a circular space


in architecture, a circular opening. Oculi are usually found either as windows or at the apex of a dome. When at the top of a dome, an oculus is either open to the sky or covered by a decorative exterior lantern


a recessed decorative panel that is used to reduce the weight of and to decorate ceilins or vaults

Edict of Milan

a letter signed by emperors Constantine I and Licinius that proclaimed religious toleration in the Roman Empire. The letter was issued in AD 313, shortly after the conclusion of the Diocletianic Persecution.

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