previous next
ātrĭum , ii, n. acc. to Scaliger, from αἴθριον, subdiale, since it was a part of the uncovered portion of the house (but the atrium of the Romans was always covered); acc. to Varr. L. L. 5, § 161 Müll., from the Tuscan town Atria, where this style of architecture originated; cf. Paul. ex Fest. p. 13 Müll.; and Müller, Etrusk. 1, p. 254 sq.; but better from ater, acc. to the explanation of Servius: ibi etiam culina erat, unde et atrium dictum est; atrum enim erat ex fumo, ad Verg. A. 1, 730.
I. The fore-court, hall, entrance-room, entry; that part of the Roman house into which one first came after passing the entrance (janua); cf. Vitr. 6, 4; O. Müller, Archaeol. III. § 293, and Etrusk. above cited. In earlier times, the atrium was used as a dining-room, Cato ap. Serv. ad Verg. A. 1, 726. Here stood, opposite the door, the lectus genialis, Hor. Ep. 1, 1, 87; “here sat the housewife with her maidens spinning,Arn. adv. Gent. 2, 67; “here clients were in attendance,Hor. Ep. 1, 5, 31; Juv. 7, 7 and 91; “and here hung the family portraits and other paintings,Plin. 34, 8, 19, § 55; Mart. 2, 90; Val. Max. 5, 8, 3; Vulg. Matt. 26, 58; ib. Marc. 14, 54; ib. Joan. 18, 15 al.Poet. in the plur., of a single atrium: “Apparet domus intus et atria longa patescunt,Verg. A. 2, 483; so Ov. M. 14, 260; Juv. 8, 20 al.Meton. for the house itself: “nec capient Phrygias atria nostra nurus,Ov. H. 16, 184; id. M. 13, 968.—So of the entrance-room in the dwelling of the gods: dextrā laevāque deorum Atria nobilium (as it were clients, v. supra) valvis celebrantur apertis, Ov. M. 1, 172; Stat. Th. 1, 197.—
II. In temples and other public buildings there was often an atrium, a hall, court: “in atrio Libertatis,Cic. Mil. 22, 59; Liv. 25, 7; 45, 15; Tac. H. 1, 31; Suet. Aug. 29: “Vestae,Plin. Ep. 7, 19, 2; “also called atrium regium,Liv. 26, 27; cf. Ov. F. 6, 263; id. Tr. 3, 1, 30: “atrium tabernaculi,Vulg. Exod. 27, 9; ib. Lev. 6, 26: “in atriis Domūs Dei,ib. Psa. 91, 14; 134, 2; “Smith, Dict. Antiq.—So atrium auctionarium,an auction-hall, auction-room, Cic. Agr. 1, 3; so Inscr. Orell. 3439; and absol., atria: “cum desertis Aganippes Vallibus esuriens migraret in atria Clio,Juv. 7, 7. Such halls were the Atria Licinia, Cic. Quinct. 6, 25: ATRIVM SVTORIVM, the shoemakers' hall, a place in Rome, Calend. Praenest. Inscr. Orell. II. 386.
hide Dictionary Entry Lookup
Use this tool to search for dictionary entries in all lexica.
Search for in
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: