campanile: Italian name for a bell tower, usually one that is detached from the main building.

canon tables: A table of concordance for two or more parallel texts of the Gospels, usually the one compiled by Eusebius of Caesarea in the fourth century.

capital: Decorative element that divides a column or pier from the masonry which it supports.

See also: column, pier, shaft, base, abacus
Types of capital

catacomb: Subterranean burial chamber used during the Roman Empite. Catacombs were used for burial, not only by Christians, but they are usually associated with Christianity because the Christians held services in the catacombs while they were still persecuted by the Romans (First to early fourth centuries A.D., though the persecution was not always severe at all times during this period). Some of the catacombs are decorated with Christian paintings.

Compare with crypt
See also: sarcophagus, mausoleum, memorial brass
centrally-planned building: A building in which the sides are of equal length and in which the main space is symmetrical when bisected laterally and longitudinally. A centrally-planned building may be square, circular, or polygonal. The most important feature of a centrally-planned building is the open space at the center of the building, developed around a vertical axis.
Contrast with longitudinally-planned building

ciborium: (1) A box in which the Host (wafers or bread for the Eucharist) is kept and (2) A canopy resting on columns over the altar.

For definition (1), compare with pxy, see also paten, chalice

cinqfoil: A five-lobed ornamental shape.

Compare with trefoil, quatrefoil

chalice: A cup on a stem, used to contain the ecuharistic wine; the same shape was also used in a secular context

See also paten, pyx

chancel arch: The arch which separates the chancel (sanctuary or choir) from the nave of a church.

See also nave, choir.

chapter house: A meeting place for the chapter or governing body of a monastery or a cathedral.

Other parts of monastery: cloister, refectory, scriptorium

chevron: A zig-zag motif.

See also other repetative decorative motifs

choir: The area of the church between a transept and main apse. It is the area where the service is sung and clergy may stand, and the main or high altar is located. In some churches there is no choir, while in others, the choir is quite large and surrounded by an ambulatory.

See also altar, choir screen
Other parts of a church: ambulatory, apse, crossing, east end, nave, transept, west end

choir screen: A screen, made of wood or stone, usually decorated with painting orsculpture, which separates the choir from the rest of the church

See also choir

clerestory: An upper story of a building with windows above adjacent roofs.

Other parts of interior elevations: arcade, gallery or tribune,triforium

cloister: Part of a monastery; a quadrangle surrounded by covered passages. It connects the domestic parts of the monastery with the church. Usually located on the south side of the church.

Other parts of monastery: chapter house, refectory, scriptorium

cloister vault or segmented dome: A dome placed over a polygonal base. It is not a semi-sphere, but is formed of curved sections which correspond to the parts of the polygon on which it rests.

Compare with pendentive, squinch

codex (plural codices): A manuscript that is sewn together in the form of a book, with a spine and often a cover. The codex form replaced the scroll as the most common form of manuscript in the Early Christian period.

coffer: The sunken area created between the crossing of structural members. Coffers often appear in a flat ceiling or on the interior surface of a dome. They are often the focus of decoration and serve also to lighten the weight of the structure.

colonnade: A row of columns which support horizontal members, called an architrave, rather than arches.

Contrast with arcade
See also architrave, column, pier

column: A cylindrical support, usually structural but often decorative.

Other parts of a column: abacus or impost block, capital, shaft, base
Compare with pier,pilaster
See also applied or engaged column, arcade, colonnade

composite pier: A type of pier that is composed not of a single member but has shafts, half-columns, or pilaster strips attached to it.

See also alternation of support, pier
Other types of piers: drum pier

confessio: A type of crypt which consists of a series of linked passages. The most famous confessio crypt during the Middle Ages was that of Old Saint Peter's church in Rome, which contained the tomb os Saint Peter.

See also crypt
Other types of crypt: hall crypt

corbel: A projection from a wall which sometimes supports (or appears to support) a structural member such as a shaft.

Corinthian capital : A capital used originally by the Greeks in a system of supports called the Corinthian order. The Corinthian capital was developed further in Roman times and used often in the medieval period, again, without strict adherence to the rest of the system. It is decorated with 3 superimposed rows of carved foliage (acanthus leaves) around the capital. At the comers of the capital there are small volutes.

See also: column, capital, abacus or impost block
See also other types of capital

crenelation or battlement: A parapet with alternating openings (embrasures) and raised sections (merlons), often used on castle walls and towers for defense purposes.

crocket capital : A simplified adaptation of the Corinthian capital. The crocket capital was commonly used in the Gothic period.

See also: column, capital, abacus or impost block.
See also other types of capital

cross section: A diagram showing a building as if it had been cut at right angles to the ground plan.

Compare with ground or floor plan

crossing: Area of a church where the at nave, choir, and transept intersect.

See also crossing tower
Other parts of a church: ambulatory, apse, choir, east end, nave, transept, west end

crossing pier: In the interior of a building, a support that is placed at one of the corners of the crossing.

See also: crossing, crossing tower pier

crossing tower: The tower which sometimes occurs above the space at the intersection of the nave, chancel, and transept of a church.

See also: crossing,crossing pier

crozier: A staff carried by a bishop, archbishop, abbot or abbess. It is in the shape of a shepherd's crook, and has symbolic significance connected with the New Testament idea of Christ as shepherd of a flock. The crook and staff of the crozier may be heavily decorated.

See also processional cross

crypt: An underground chamber for relics or tombs.

See also catacomb
Types of crypt: confessio, hall crypt

cubic, cushion, or block capital: A very simple cube-like capital with bottom corners tapered. The block capital is particularly characteristic of Ottonian and Romanesque Germany and England.

See also: capital, column.
See also other types of capital

cusp: A curved, triangular-shaped projection from the inner curve of an arch or circle.