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An acroterion or acroterium is an architectural ornament placed on a flat base called the acroter or plinth, and mounted at the apex of the pediment of a building in the classical style. It may also be placed at the outer angles of the pediment; such acroteria are referred to as acroteria angularia (angulāria means ‘at the corners’).
The acroterion may take a wide variety of forms, such as a statue, tripod, disc, urn, palmette or some other sculpted feature. Acroteria are also found in Gothic architecture. They are sometimes incorporated into the design of furniture.
The word comes from the Greek akrōtḗrion (ἀκρωτήριον ‘summit, extremity’), from akros (ἄκρος, ‘extreme, endmost’). It was Latinized by the Romans as acroterium. Acroteria is the plural of both the original Greek and the Latin form.
- "acroter". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.
- Greek Architecture glossary
- Acroterium at A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1875.
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