AskDefine | Define adytum

User Contributed Dictionary



From (aduton) "shrine", neuter substantive form of (adutos) "not to be entered" < α- (a-) "not" + δύω duō) "I enter"


adytum , pl. adyti

Extensive Definition

The adyton (Greek: Άδυτον) or adytum (Latin) was a restricted area within the cella of a Greek or Roman temple. Its name meant "inaccessible" or "do not enter". The adyton was frequently a small area at the farthest end of the cella from the entrance: at Delphi it measured just nine by twelve feet. The adyton would often house the cult image of the god. Adyta were spaces reserved for oracles, priests or acolytes, and not for the general public. Adyta were found frequently associated with temples of Apollo, as at Bassae, Clarus, Delos and Delphi, although they were also said to have been natural phenomena (see the story of Nyx). In modern usage, the term is sometimes extended to similar spaces in other cultural contexts, as in Egyptian temples.

See also


  • Broad, William J. The Oracle: The lost secrets and hidden messages of ancient Delphi. Penguin Press, 2006.
adytum in German: Adyton
adytum in Spanish: Ádyton
adytum in French: Adyton
adytum in Italian: Adyton
adytum in Hungarian: Adüton
adytum in Dutch: Adyton
adytum in Polish: Adyton
adytum in Portuguese: Aditon
adytum in Swedish: Adyton
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1