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December 14, 2007

Adyton

Location of the adyton within a temple
Location of the adyton within a temple

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.

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