). Literally, a
fastening of any kind. It was applied specially to the joining together of
the extremities of a piece of wood, so as to give it the shape of a bow; and hence it came to
signify anything of that shape, such as a bow, an arch, or a wheel (Hes.
; Herod.iv. 72.
) The next transition
of meaning is to anything vaulted (for example, ἡ ὑπουρανία
, the vault of heaven
247 B); and
in this sense it was adopted in architecture, first, for any building or portion of a building
of a circular form, or vaulted (Epist.
ii. 17.18), and more especially for the
circular and vaulted end of a basilica (Paul. Nol.
). In Christian churches the apse came to mean the end of the
choir, where the bishop's throne was placed.