Monday, February 18, 2008


The western wall of the temple mount, sacred place for JudaismThe architectural structure in Jerusalem that was the focal point of worship and the national life of Israel form the 10th century B.C. when it was built by king Solomon, until it was destructed by Rome in A.D. 70. The temple was rebuilt two times and had three periods during which the temples of Solomon, Zurubabbel, and Herod were in existance.

A temple (from the Latin word templum) is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A ‘’templum’’ constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word “ template,’’ a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out on the ground by the augur. Though a templum, technically speaking, is not a “house of the gods” but a diagram that for the Romans linked the geometries of heaven and earth, it was also indicative of a dwelling place of a god or gods. This tradition, of course, dates back to prehistoric times. For the ancient Egyptians, the word pr could refer not only to a house, but also to a sacred structure since it was believed that the gods resided in houses. The word ‘temple’ (which dates to about the 6th century BCE), despite the specific set of meanings associated with the religion of the ancient Rome, has now become quite widely used to describe a house of worship for any number of religions and is even used for time periods prior to the Romans. Stated differently, temple was once a species of sacred structures; today it is, in the English language, often used as a genus.


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