Narthex


Narthex
Narthex
In early Christian architecture a portion of the church separated from the nave and reserved for those who were not admitted amongst the congregation.

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Narthex
    Narthex
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Narthex
    In early Christian architecture a portion of the church at the west end, separated from the nave by a low wall or screen and reserved for the catechumens, energumens, and penitents who were not admitted amongst the congregation. The narthex was of two kinds, exterior and interior: the former consisted of an open atrium arcade continued across the front of the church; in the latter, the aisle and gallery were returned across the nave. A survival of the exterior narthex may be found in the church of San Ambrogio at Milan; of the interior narthex, in Santa Agnese, at Rome. The outer narthex was sometimes used as a hall of judgment and for other secular purposes, and, after the sixth century, as a place of burial, while the inner narthex sometimes called the matroneum, was used, probably for certain persons of rank or distinction, rather than as a women's gallery. After the abandonment of the atrium in the West, about 1000, the narthex developed by degrees into the great west porch which is so characteristic of the churches of southern France. Among the monastic orders it continued in use down to the beginning of the thirteenth century as, for example. in the abbeys of Cluny and Vézelay. With the full development of Gothic it disappeared, its place being taken by the three great western porches or doorways. Properly speaking, the name should have ceased with the function and the so-called narthex of medieval churches and abbeys should justly be called a porch. For the same reason there is no excuse for the recent revival of the word as a designation either of an exterior porch, or an interior vestibule.
    RALPH ADAMS CRAM
    Transcribed by Michael C. Tinkler

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Narthex — et autres parties d une église Le narthex ou l avant nef est l entrée de l église, un espace intermédiaire avant d accéder à la nef proprement dite. Il peut être au devant du portail, ou entre le portail et la nef (Vézelay), ou faire partie… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • NARTHEX — Graece Νάρθηξ, ferula proprie. Plin. l. 13. c. 22. Ferula calidis nascitur locis atque trans maria geniculatis nodata scapis. Duo eius genera, Nartheca Groeci vocant assurgentem in altitunem. Nartheciam vero semper bumilem. E qua quia prima… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • narthex — (n.) porch at the west end of early churches (used by penitents not admitted to the body of the church), 1670s, from Late Gk. narthex, in classical Greek giant fennel, of unknown origin. The architectural feature allegedly so called from fancied… …   Etymology dictionary

  • narthex — [när′theks΄] n. [LL(Ec) < LGr(Ec) narthēx < Gr, giant fennel: from a fancied resemblance of the porch to the hollow stem] 1. in early Christian churches, a porch or portico at the west end for penitents and others not admitted to the church …   English World dictionary

  • Narthex — Nar thex, n. [L., giant fennel, Gr. na rqhx.] 1. (Bot.) A tall umbelliferous plant ({Ferula communis}). See {Giant fennel}, under {Fennel}. [1913 Webster] 2. (Arch.) The portico in front of ancient churches; sometimes, the atrium or outer court… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Narthex — (gr.), 1) (Narthekĭon), Stab von Ferula communis, einer hohen, in Griechenland, Sicilien u. Apulien wachsenden Doldenpflanze, welchen die Bacchanten (daher Narthekophŏroi genannt) bei den Dionysien führten; von seinem Mark entledigt diente der… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Narthex — (griech.), eine hoch wachsende Doldenpflanze, Ferula communis (s. Ferula), mit knotigem und markerfülltem Stengel, in dem Prometheus nach dem Mythus die Feuerfunken vom Himmel holte. Auch hießen so (Narthekion) die Kästchen oder Büchsen, die zur… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Narthex — Narthex, in der altchristlichen Basilika (s.d.) die schmale vergitterte Vorhalle der Kirche, die für die Katechumenen (die noch nicht in die Gemeinschaft der Kirche Aufgenommenen) bestimmt war. Auch Kästchen zur Aufbewahrung wertvoller… …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • Narthex — (grch.), Doldenpflanze (Ferula), in deren Stengel Prometheus die Feuerfunken vom Himmel holte; Kästchen zur Aufbewahrung wertvoller Gegenstände; in der Baukunst schmale, viereckige Vorhalle der Basiliken …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon


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