CURTAIN , a
See also:screen of any textile material,
See also:running by means of rings fixed to a
See also:rod or
See also:pole . Curtains are now used chiefly to cover windows and doors, but for many centuries every
See also:bed of importance was surrounded by them, and sometimes, as in France, the space thus screened off was much larger than the actual bed and was called the ruelle . The curtain is very ancient—indeed the
See also:absence of
See also:glass and
See also:ill-fitting windows long made it a
See also:necessity . Originally single curtains were used; it would appear that it was not until the 17th century that they were employed in pairs . Curtains are made in an infinite variety of materials and styles; when placed over a
See also:door they are usually called portieres . In fortification the " curtain " is that
See also:part of the
See also:enceinte which lies between two bastions, towers,
See also:gates, &c . The word comes into
See also:English through the O . Fr. cortine or courtine from the
See also:Lat. cortina . According to Du Cange (Glossarium, s.v . " Cortis ") this is a diminutive of cortis, an enclosed space, a
See also:court . It is used in the various senses of the English " curtain." Classical Latin had also a word cortina, meaning a caldron or
See also:round kettle . It was very rarely applied to round
See also:objects generally .
In theVulgate cortina is used of the curtains of the tabernacle (Exodus
See also:xxvi) . There is some difficulty in connecting the classical and the Late Latin words . The earliest use in English is, according to the New English
See also:Dictionary, for the hangings of a bed .
CURTANA (a latinized form of the A.-Fr. curtein, fr...
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