from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small chapel, as a monument within a church
- n. A shrine open to the sky, sometimes used for sacrificial purposes, or in honor of the divine
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An unroofed space consecrated to a divinity.
- n. A small monumental chapel in a church.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Roman antiquity, a small inclosed space without a roof, consecrated to some deity, containing an altar, and sometimes also a statue of the god.
In that case, the open front and the niche in the back wall could suggest that one is dealing here with a kind of sacellum (or shrine) dedicated to the cult of Marcus Aurelius, to whom the whole complex was dedicated.
The other appellation "sacellum," applied by Boece to the hermit's chapel, is a better known and more classical word than the capellula of the _Scotichronicon_.
Cicero himself has left us a complete definition of the word, for he has described "sacellum" as "locus parvus deo sacratus cum ara." [
If there ever was a statue of the emperor on display in the complex it will either have stood in the central tholos or in a similar sacellum in the center of the north wing.
An original function as a sacellum could also be suggested by the fact that an upper fragment of a statue base dedicated by a [son of At] talos, grandson of Telemachos to a divinity (as shown by the dedication as euchèn), whose name is no longer preserved, was found inside the room.
The still incompletely excavated "niche" in the central part of the back wall suggested an original use as a sacellum (shrine?), of which the later reconstruction still respected the original layout.
The front of room 1 (sacellum?) of the Macellum emerging from the soil.
Here, however, the central shop seems to have been an open sacellum (chapel) framed by pillars that were still found in situ (see website 2006, Macellum, July 10 - August 10); we expect that the north portico -- to be excavated next year -- will contain a total of four shops, two pairs each on either side of the entrance.
Also the material that has been picked out from the sieved residues seems to be very promising, especially in room 2 (a reused sacellum?, see Macellum, August 7-11, 2005) with its large amounts of fish and bird bones.
This is the portal of its temple, through which alone we can gain access to the sacellum where its aporrheta are concealed.