throne


throne
throneless, adj.
/throhn/, n., v., throned, throning.
n.
1. the chair or seat occupied by a sovereign, bishop, or other exalted personage on ceremonial occasions, usually raised on a dais and covered with a canopy.
2. the office or dignity of a sovereign: He came to the throne by succession.
3. the occupant of a throne; sovereign.
4. sovereign power or authority: to address one's pleas to the throne.
5. an episcopal office or authority: the diocesan throne.
6. See mourner's bench.
7. thrones, an order of angels. Cf. angel (def. 1).
8. Facetious. a toilet.
v.t., v.i.
9. to sit on or as on a throne.
[1175-1225; ME < L thronus < Gk thrónos high seat; r. ME trone < OF < L, as above]

* * *

Chair of state set on a dais and often surmounted by a canopy, representing the power of the dignitary who sits on it and sometimes conferring that power.

In Greek history, thrones were identified as seats of the gods; soon the meaning of the word included the symbolic seats of those who held religious or secular power, a meaning common to virtually all cultures. The oldest surviving throne was built into the walls of Knossos (с 1800 BC). Probably the most magnificent was the jewel-studded Peacock Throne of the rulers of Delhi, stolen from India by Persia in 1739 and thereafter the symbol of the Persian/Iranian monarchy. In the late 17th and 18th century, thrones were often made of silver, but later versions tend to be of gilded wood.

So-called throne of King Dagobert I, bronze, from the treasury of Saint-Denis, Paris, probably 8th ...

By courtesy of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris

* * *

      chair of state often set on a dais and surmounted by a canopy, representing the power of the dignitary who sits on it and sometimes conferring that power. The extent to which seats of this kind have become symbolically identified with the status of their occupiers is suggested by the fact that in monarchies the office of the ruler is often referred to as The Throne and that at Papal conclaves, when an election has been made, the canopies are lowered from the thrones of all participating cardinals except the successful one.

      From the very beginning of Greek history, thrones were identified as seats of the gods. Soon the meaning of the word included the symbolic seats of those who held secular or religious power—a meaning common to virtually all cultures, ranging from Benin to the empires of South America. In the ancient world, especially in the East, thrones almost invariably had symbolic magnificence. Solomon's throne, for instance, is thus described in II Chron. 9:

The king also made a great ivory throne, and overlaid it with pure gold. The throne had six steps and a footstool of gold, and on each side of the seats were arm rests and two lions standing beside the arm rests, while twelve lions stood there, one on each end of a step on the six steps. The like of it was never made in any kingdom.

      The throne of the Byzantine emperors was modelled on Solomon's, with the added refinement that the lions were mechanical. In the British Museum there is a fragment encrusted with gold, ivory, lapis lazuli, and carnelian believed to have come from the throne of Sargon II of Assyria (died 705 BC).

      The oldest surviving throne is one that was built into the walls of Knossos (c. 1800 BC), and probably the most splendid of thrones was the Peacock throne of the rulers of Delhi, set with jewels and raised on a dais with silver steps. The appearance of Christianity stimulated the production of thrones in Europe, for not only were they seen as part of the process of endowing kingship with a magical aura through the use of elaborate coronation rites but also many ecclesiastical dignitaries—cardinals, bishops, and mitred abbots—had a right to a throne. Some of the early thrones were incorporated into the stonework of the church, as at Torcello outside Venice; but the oldest, that of St. Peter, which became a symbol of the papacy and which dates from the 4th century AD, is built of oak and ivory and has iron carrying rings (it is now incorporated in a massive structure designed by the architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century). The magnificent ivory throne of Archbishop Maximian (AD 546–556), at Ravenna, is covered with elaborate bas-relief carvings and reflects the structure of late-Roman furniture. The so-called throne of King Dagobert, in the treasury of Saint-Denis in Paris, is a folding stool of bronze, probably of the 8th century but with 12th-century additions made by the churchman and statesman Abbot Suger. The design of the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey has been attributed to Adam, the goldsmith of Edward I; it seems that the original intention was to cast the chair in bronze, but an oak version was made instead, apparently without any alteration to a design intended for execution in metal. In the late 17th and 18th centuries, thrones were frequently made of silver, but later versions tended to be of gilded wood.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • THRONE — (Heb. כִּסֵּא ,כִּסֵּה ,כֵּס; Dan. כָּרְסֵא; cf. Akk. kussû), an elevated chair symbolizing the importance and supreme authority of the person seated on it. Thrones were usually elaborate, made from the most expensive materials, and adorned with… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • throne — THRONE. s. m. Siege eslevé de plusieurs marches, où les Roys sont assis dans les fonctions solemnelles de la Royauté. Throne pompeux. throne magnifique. throne superbe. throne esclatant de pierreries. le throne de Salomon. le throne d Assuerus.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Throne — • The seat the bishop uses when not engaged at the altar Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Throne     Throne     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Throne — Throne, n. [OE. trone, F. tr[^o]ne, L. thronus, Gr. ?; cf. ? a bench, ? a footstool, ? to set one s self, to sit, Skr. dhara[.n]a supporting, dh[.r] to hold fast, carry, and E. firm, a.] 1. A chair of state, commonly a royal seat, but sometimes… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • throne — [ θroun ] noun * 1. ) count a special chair that a king or queen sits on 2. ) the throne the position of being a king or queen: an heir to the throne be on the throne: Queen Victoria was still on the throne then. 3. ) the throne HUMOROUS the… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Throne — Throne, v. i. To be in, or sit upon, a throne; to be placed as if upon a throne. Shak. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • throne — [θrəun US θroun] n [Date: 1100 1200; : Old French; Origin: trone, from Latin thronus, from Greek thronos] 1.) a special chair used by a king or queen at important ceremonies 2.) the throne the position and power of being a king or queen ▪ He is… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • throne — ► NOUN 1) a ceremonial chair for a sovereign, bishop, or similar figure. 2) (the throne) the power or rank of a sovereign. ► VERB literary ▪ place on a throne. ORIGIN Greek thronos elevated seat …   English terms dictionary

  • Throne — Throne, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Throned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Throning}.] 1. To place on a royal seat; to enthrone. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To place in an elevated position; to give sovereignty or dominion to; to exalt. [1913 Webster] True image of the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • throne — mid 13c., from O.Fr. trone (12c.), from L. thronus, from Gk. thronos elevated seat, chair, throne, from PIE root *dher (2) to hold firmly, support (Cf. L. firmus firm, steadfast, strong, stable, Skt. dharma statute, law; see FIRM (Cf. firm)… …   Etymology dictionary

  • throne — [thrōn] n. [ME trone < OFr or L: OFr trone < L thronus < Gr thronos, a seat < IE base * dher , to hold, support > FIRM1] 1. the chair on which a king, cardinal, etc. sits on formal or ceremonial occasions: it usually is on a dais,… …   English World dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.