December 14, 2007

Xystus (Architectural term)

Xystus was the Greek architectural term for the covered portico of the gymnasium, in which the exercises took place during the winter or in rainy weather etc. The Romans applied the term to the garden walk in front of the porticoes, which was divided into flower beds with borders of box, and to a promenade between rows of large trees.

"Xystus" was used, by extension, to refer to the whole building containing the gymnasium and portico, as in the xysti of Jerusalem and Elis.

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