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HEMICY´CLIUM (ἡμικύκλιον), a semicircle, is used in much the same senses as EXEDRA (q. v.). 1. A recessed seat, either semicircular in shape or, sometimes, a smaller segment of a circle; Vitruvius (5.1.8) describes one built by himself, which was 46 feet long and 15 deep; it formed the tribunal of a basilica (Guhl and Koner, ed. 5, p. 527). 2. A hall or colonnade furnished with such recesses, and employed for purposes of conversation, either in private houses (Cic. de Am. 1) or in places of public resort; coupled with palaestrae, as a sort of clubs for social meeting and gossip (Plut. Alc. 17, Nic. 12). In this sense it approaches the meaning of LESCHE (Hermann-Blümner, Privatalterth. p. 126, n. 5). 3. A semicircular stone or marble alcove in the streets or squares of a town, or in the open air generally. Two such are still standing in the Street of Tombs outside the walls of Pompeii, near the gate leading to Herculaneum; one of these is figured by Rich s.v. a third is at the back of a small apartment open to the street (Mus. Borbon. xv. tav. 25, 26). Another, containing a fountain, is in the grounds of a Roman villa at Euren near Trier or Trèves (Guhl and Koner, p. 576). 4. A convex sundial, figured and described under HOROLOGIUM

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hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Plutarch, Alcibiades, 17
    • Vitruvius, On Architecture, 5.1.8
    • Cicero, De Amicitia, 1
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