THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ATTIC (i.e. “in the Attic style”), an architectural term given to the masonry rising above the main cornice of a building, the earliest example known being that of the monument of Thrasyllus at Athens. It was largely employed by the Romans, who in their arches of triumph utilized it for inscriptions or for bas-relief sculpture. It was used also to increase the height of enclosure walls such as those of the Forum of Nerva. By the Italian revivalists it was utilized as a complete storey, pierced with windows, as found in Palladio’s work at Vicenza and in Greenwich hospital. The largest attic in existence is that which surmounts the entablature of St Peter’s at Rome, which measures 39 ft. in height. The term is also employed in modern terminology to designate an upper storey in a roof, and the feature is sometimes introduced to hide a roof behind.
Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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