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ACROTE´RIUM ἀκρωτήριον) signifies an extremity of anything. It is generally used in the plural. 1. In Architecture it was used originally in the same sense as the Latin fastigium, namely, for the sloping roof of a building, and more particularly for the ornamental front or gable of such a roof; that is, the pediment. (Plut. Caes. 63, compared with Cic. Phil. 2.43, 110, and Suet. Jul. 81.) The usual meaning of acroteria, however, is the pedestals placed on the summit of a pediment to receive statues or other ornamental figures. There were three acroteria, one above each angle of the pediment. Vitruvius says that those over the outer angles (acrot. angularia) should be as high as the apex of the tympanum, the central one (acrot. mediana) an eighth part higher (Vitr. 3.3, or 3.5.12). Some writers include the statues themselves as well as the bases under the same (Salmas. in Ael. Spart. Pescenn. Nig. 12; Bursian ap. Pauly, s. v.), but this appears to be a mistake; in Plato, Criti. 116 D, the pinnacles or flèches of a temple are all that is meant. 2. The extremities of the prow of a vessel, which were usually taken from a conquered vessel as a mark of victory: the act of doing so was called ἀκρωτηριάζειν. (Xen. Hell. 2.3, § 8; 6.2.36; Hdt. 3.59, 8.121.) [p. 1.12]3. The extremities of a statue, wings, feet, hands, &c. (Dem. c. Timocr. p. 738.121; Athen. 5.199 c.)

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hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (8):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 3.59
    • Herodotus, Histories, 8.121
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 2.3
    • Plutarch, Caesar, 63
    • Cicero, Philippics, 2.43
    • Cicero, Philippics, 2.110
    • Suetonius, Divus Julius, 81
    • Vitruvius, On Architecture, 3.3
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