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The uppermost component of the 3-part entablature, resting on the other two components, the architrave (the bottom most portion) and the frieze (the middle portion), forming a continuous eave. Greek term: Geison.

Description: The cornice is comprised of three parts: the bed-moulding, the corona, and the sima. Some authors refer to the cornice as the geison (the eave), and do not include the sima (the roof gutter) as part of the cornice. The word sima (cyma) also describes a molding form often used at the upper edge of the cornice block, and this seems to have caused the variation in cornice definitions.

The function of the cornice was to create an overhang and thus throw water off the roof and away from the structure below. The underside, or soffit, has a visible downward tilt similar, but not always identical to, that of the roof. A single building can have a cornice with both raking and horizontal parts. The raking cornice slants upward to follow the slope of the triangular pediment; the horizontal cornice follows the edge of the roof along the long sides of the building. In the earliest Doric architecture the raking cornice usually differed in height and moldings from the horizontal cornice. In the Ionic order, the raking cornice was usually identical in form with the horizontal cornice. Ionic cornices are frequently elaborated with other moldings as well as brackets, modillions, and dentils.

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