American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Variant of hypaethral.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Open to the sky; roofless; not covered in; in the open air, as a court, inclosure, or place.
- In architecture hypethral is specifically applied to a supposed ancient type of building lighted by the omission of a large section of the roof. This notion is based upon interpretations of Vitruvius and the negative evidence afforded until now by the lack of remains explaining methods of lighting among the ruins of Greek temples. It is certain, however, that no Greek temple with its contained art treasures was ever intentionally exposed in this way to the weather. The temples called hypethral by Greek writers were roofless either from accident or from being unfinished. In the smaller Greek temples it is probable that daylight was admitted only by the door, and that it was supplemented by artificial light. In large temples, such as the Parthenon at Athens, of which the cella interior was 100 feet long, it is improbable that the lighting was wholly artificial; but no satisfactory explanation has yet been given of its management. It has been conjectured that such interiors were lighted by a system of narrow open channels in the roof, over the side aisles, or by series of apertures in the roof serving as windows, and capable of being closed. There was no break in the ridge-line of the root, and no superstructure or clearstory rising above the roof. See cut under temple.
- adj. Alternative form of hypaethral.
- adj. partly or entirely open to the sky
“At the four corners were four hypethral chambers, forty cubits square”
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