temple(redirected from Kshetram)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Temple,city (1990 pop. 46,109), Bell co., central Tex.; inc. 1882. In a rich blackland region, Temple has grain and textile mills, railroad shops, and plants that make computer printers and terminals, furniture, and school and office supplies. Several state and federal agencies have agricultural research centers there. A campuse of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine is in the city.
temple,edifice or sometimes merely an enclosed area dedicated to the worship of a deity and the enshrinement of holy objects connected with such worship. The temple has been employed in most of the world's religions. Although remains of Egyptian temples of c.2000 B.C. show well-defined architectural forms, it seems likely that temples were hewed in living rock at a still earlier age: the cave temples of Egypt, India, China, and the Mediterranean basin may be viewed as later developments of such primitive shrines.
In Egypt in the New Kingdom impressive rock temples were hewed from cliffsides, the finest being the great temple of Abu-SimbelAbu-Simbel
, village, S Egypt, on the Nile River. Its two temples were hewn (c.1250 B.C.) out of rock cliffs during the reign of Ramses II. To avoid the rising waters caused by the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s, the colossal statues of
..... Click the link for more information. constructed by Ramses II. In the developed structural temples of Egypt a doorway, flanked by monumental towers or pylons, led to an unroofed open court, generally surrounded on three sides by a colonnaded passage. Beyond the court lay the majestic hypostylehypostyle
, the chamber in Egyptian temples in which a number of columns supported a flat stone roof. Forming the chief and largest inner space of the temple, it was entered from the outer courtyard and, in turn, gave access to the holy of holies and the small inner sanctuaries
..... Click the link for more information. hall and a variety of chambers preceding and surrounding the holy of holies. From the temple entrance to this innermost sanctuary the various units diminished progressively in size and height, while the direct outside light was also reduced. The typical temple later accumulated additional pylons, courts, and rooms, the entire group being enclosed by a massive wall. Only monarchs and priests had access to the chambers beyond the hypostyle hall. The New Kingdom was the most active period of temple construction, although the grandest temple, that of Amon at Al Karnak, was begun much earlier.
Babylonian and Assyrian Temples
In the ancient Babylonian and Assyrian periods of W Asia the temple, or zigguratziggurat
, form of temple common to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. The earliest examples date from the end of the 3d millenium B.C., the latest from the 6th cent. B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. , was a square pyramidal structure about 300 ft (90 m) high built up in successive, inclined terraces, sometimes as many as seven; with accessory buildings it was enclosed by walls. At its summit was a chamber that served both as a shrine and for astronomical observations. Glazed colored bricks faced the walls.
The temple of Solomon at Jerusalem, the only known monumental structure of the ancient Hebrews, consisted, according to biblical descriptions, of entrance pylons, courts, and a naosnaos
, inner portion of a Greek temple, enclosed within walls and generally surrounded by colonnaded porticoes. In it stood the statue of the deity to whom the temple was consecrated.
..... Click the link for more information. , a large rectangular chamber, giving entrance to the holy of holies, which housed the Ark of the Covenant. Its several destructions and reconstructions (one by Herod in 20 B.C.) have rendered unrecognizable any remains of the original edifice. The workmanship, characteristically Phoenician, was of stone, timber, and metal. The temple of Herod, to which Jesus went, was destroyed A.D. 70; its ruins have symbolized to the Jews their dispersion.
The Dorian immigration (before 1000 B.C.) was a prelude to the building of Greek temples, at first made of timber and sun-dried brick. The superb stone and marble buildings on a defined floor plan were achieved in the middle of the 6th cent. B.C., although the most perfect examples, like the ParthenonParthenon
[Gr.,=the virgin's place], temple sacred to Athena, on the acropolis at Athens. Built under Pericles between 447 B.C. and 432 B.C., it is the culminating masterpiece of Greek architecture. Ictinus and Callicrates were the architects and Phidias supervised the sculpture.
..... Click the link for more information. (5th cent. B.C.), came later. The Greek temple customarily stood in a temenos, or sacred enclosure, along with accessory shrines, colonnades, and buildings housing the temple treasures. It was built not as a place for assembled worship but as the dwelling for the deity, whose colossal sculptured representation was placed in the naos, and illuminated by the daylight entering through the tall entrance portal. In larger temples, to support the roof lintels, two interior rows of columns divided the naos into nave and side aisles.
The Roman temple, while based upon the Greek type, retained elements from Etruscan architecture, as in its deep front portico and its elevation upon a high base, or podium, whose wings extended forward to flank the broad entrance steps. The Maison Carrée at Nîmes, France (1st cent. B.C.), the best-preserved Roman temple, is the common pseudoperipteral type, with engaged columns or pilasterspilaster
, in architecture, upright supporting member, attached to and projecting slightly from the face of a wall and equipped with a base and capital like a column; also, a similar form used decoratively.
..... Click the link for more information. attached to its walls. Unlike the long narrow Greek naos, the Roman cellacella
, the portion of a Roman temple that was enclosed within walls, as distinct from the open colonnaded porticoes that formed the rest of it. It corresponds to the naos in Greek temples.
..... Click the link for more information. was nearly square in plan. Of the polygonal and circular temples the circular pantheonpantheon
, term applied originally to a temple to all the gods. The Pantheon at Rome was built by Agrippa in 27 B.C., destroyed, and rebuilt in the 2d cent. by Hadrian.
..... Click the link for more information. at Rome (2d cent. A.D.) with its magnificent dome is the most remarkable. Many temples, particularly those of the Eastern colonies, as at Baalbek in Syria, had magnificent settings of entrance courts enclosed by colonnades.
In India the most ancient remaining temples are the rock-hewed monuments of the Buddhist period (c.255 B.C.–c.A.D. 300); important groups exist in W India, east of Mumbai. The typical interior is a vast cave divided by lavishly sculptured rock piers into nave and aisles; the sculptured facade, hewed from the cliff face, has a single huge opening to admit light. The principal Indian temples are gradual accretions around a sacred site, forming a religious center comprising shrines, cells for priests, and accommodations for pilgrims. The expression of symbolism is of paramount importance in both structure and ornaments.
Far Eastern Temples
In China the characteristic temple differs from the form of a dwelling only in its size and richness. Besides the temple a Buddhist monastery includes a relic shrine, a pagoda, a library, and quarters for the monks. In Japan the temple harmonizes with the picturesque landscape in which it is set, with architectural emphasis on an unsymmetrical grouping of torii (sacred gateways), shrines, pagodas, and terraces.
See also Greek architectureGreek architecture
the art of building that arose on the shores of the Aegean Sea and flourished in the ancient world. Origins of Greek Architecture
Palaces of the Minoan civilization remain at Knossos and Phaestus on Crete.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Roman architectureRoman architecture,
structures produced by the ancient Romans. The Etruscans
The origins of Roman architecture can be traced to the Etruscans, who migrated from Asia Minor to Italy in the 12th cent. B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Indian art and architectureIndian art and architecture,
works of art and architecture produced on the Indian subcontinent, which is now divided among India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In the Western world, notable collections of Indian art can be seen in the British Museum, in the Victoria and Albert
..... Click the link for more information. ; Chinese architectureChinese architecture,
the buildings and other structures created in China from prehistoric times to the present day. Early Architecture
As a result of wars and invasions, there are few existing buildings in China predating the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).
..... Click the link for more information. ; Japanese architectureJapanese architecture,
structures created on the islands that constitute Japan. Evidence of prehistoric architecture in Japan has survived in the form of models of terra-cotta houses buried in tombs and by remains of pit houses of the Jomon, the Neolithic people of Japan.
..... Click the link for more information. ; pre-Columbian art and architecturepre-Columbian art and architecture,
works of art and structures created in Central and South America before the arrival of Europeans in the Western Hemisphere. For many years the regions that are now Mexico and Guatemala and the Andean region of South America had been the cradle
..... Click the link for more information. .