Eco the Bibliomane

Reading Foucault’s Pendulum is a humbling experience for anybody who considers themselves remotely knowledgeable. Umberto Eco, I doff my hat to your erudition.

prior (n):

  1. an officer in a monastic order or religious house, sometimes next in rank below an abbot.
  2. a chief magistrate, as in the medieval republic of Florence.

telluric (adj):

  1. of or relating to Earth; terrestrial.
  2. derived from or containing tellurium, especially with valence 6.

apothegm (n): a short, pithy, instructive saying; a terse remark or aphorism.

zeugma (n): the use of a word to modify or govern two or more words when it is appropriate to only one of them or is appropriate to each but in a different way, as in to wage war and peace or On his fishing trip, he caught three trout and a cold.

sefirot (n): in Kabbalah, the ten attributes that God created through which he can manifest not only in the physical but the metaphysical universe.

stylite (n): one of a class of solitary ascetics who lived on the top of high pillars or columns.

simoom (n): a strong, hot, sand-laden wind of the Sahara and Arabian deserts.

Baphomet (n): an idol or symbolical figure which the Templars were accused of using in their mysterious rites.

reliquary (n): a repository or receptable for relics.

proscenium (n):

  1. the area of a modern theater that is located between the curtain and the orchestra.
  2. the stage of an ancient theater, located between the background and the orchestra.
  3. a proscenium arch.

fauteuils (n): an upholstered armchair, esp. one with open sides.

Calvary (n):

  1. Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified. Luke 23:33.
  2. (often lowercase) a sculptured representation of the Crucifixion, usually erected in the open air.
  3. (lowercase) an experience or occasion of extreme suffering, esp. mental suffering.

thurible (n): a censer used in certain ecclesiastical ceremonies or liturgies.

purulent (adj): full of, containing, forming or discharging pus.

vermeil (n):

  1. vermilion red.
  2. metal, as silver or bronze, that has been gilded.

decan (n): any of the three divisions of ten degrees within a sign of the zodiac.

caprine (n): of or pertaining to goats.

immure (v): to enclose within walls; confine.

conventicle (n): a secret or uanuthorised meeting, especially for religious worship, as those held nuy Protestant dissenters in England in the 16th and 17th centures.

bibliomane (n): bibliophile.

grimoire (n): a manual of black magic (for invoking spirits and demons).

stria (n):

  1. a slight or narrow furrow, ridge, stripe or streak, especially one of a number in parallel arrangement.
  2. (architecture) a flute on the shaft of a column.

kermis, kermesse (n): a local, annual outdoor fair or festival, often for charitable purposes.

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