Though today we call most Greek religious buildings "temples," the ancient pagans would have referred to a temenos, or sacred precinct. Its sacredness, often connected with a holy grove, was more important than the building itself, as it contained the open air altar on which the sacrifices were made. The building which housed the cult statue in its naos was originally a rather simple structure, but by the middle of the 6th century BCE had become increasingly elaborate. Greek temple architecture had a profound influence on ancient architectural traditions.
The rituals that located and sited the temple were performed by an augur through the observation of the flight of birds or other natural phenomenon. Roman temples usually faced east or toward the rising sun, but the specifics of the orientation are often not known today; there are also notable exceptions, such as the Pantheon which faces north. In ancient Rome only the native deities of Roman mythology had a templum; any equivalent structure for a foreign deity was called a fanum.
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Other articles related to "temple, temples":
... On the Greek island of Delos a Doric Temple of Isis was built on a high over-looking hill at the beginning of the Roman period to venerate the familiar trinity of Isis, the Alexandrian Serapis and Harpocrates ... The creation of this temple is significant as Delos is particularly known as the birthplace of the Greek gods Artemis and Apollo who had temples of their own on the island long before the temple to ...
Famous quotes containing the word temples:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods,”
—Thomas Babington Macaulay (18001859)