Online Encyclopedia

ORB

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 164 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ORB, a circle or ring (Lat. orbis), hence a globe or disk or other spherical object. It is thus used, chiefly poetically, of any of the heavenly bodies, including the earth itself (Lat. orbis terrarum), or of the eye-ball or eye. The " orb," also known as the " mound " (Lat. mundus, " world "), consisting of a globe surmounted by a cross, forms part of many regalia, being a symbol of sovereignty (see REGALIA). In architecture the meaning to be attached to the word " orb " is doubtful. It is usually now taken to mean properly a blank or blind window, and thence a blank panel. If so the word represents Lat. orbus, " bereft of," " orphaned," fenestra orba luminis. It is also identified with a circular boss concealing the intersection of arches in a vault.
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