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Temples (Pagan)

in many respects resembled Roman Catholic churches. There was first the vestibule, in which were the piscina with lustral water to sprinkle those who entered the edifice; then the nave (or naos), common to all comers; then the chancel (or ady̆tum) from which the general public was excluded. In some of the temples there was also an apsis, like our apse; and in some others there was a portico, which not unfrequently was entered by steps or “degrees”; and, like churches, the Greek and Roman temples were consecrated by the pontiff.

⁂ The most noted temples were that of Vulcan, in Egypt; of Jupiter Olympus, and of Apollo, in Delphos; of Diana, in Ephesus; the Capitol and the Pantheon of Rome; the Jewish temple built by Solomon, and that of Herod the Great.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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