from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Plural form of barrel vault.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Roman construction the thrust of barrel vaults had been neutralized by walls of great thickness, that of groin vaults either by the same clumsy expedient or by transverse walls; when the Lombards first threw their transverse arches across narrow aisles, they added shallow exterior pilaster-strips at the point of contact, rather it would seem for decorative than for structural reasons, as the walls already were strong enough to take the slight thrust of the small arches.
Particularly did it differ from the Roman vault in that, while the latter had a level crown, obtained by using semicircular lateral and transverse arches and elliptical groin arches (naturally formed by the intersection of two semicircular barrel vaults of equal radius), the "Lombard" vault was constructed with semicircular diagonals, the result being that domical form which was always retained by the Gothic builders of France because of its intrinsic beauty.
It had been in use in the East for nearly a thousand years before it appeared in the West; it was established in the South France as an effective and economical contour for barrel vaults by the year 1050, whence it migrated to