anthemion

[an-thee-mee-uhn]
noun, plural anthemia [an-thee-mee-uh] .
an ornament of floral forms in a flat radiating cluster, as in architectural decoration, vase painting, etc.


Origin:
1860–65; < Greek anthémion, equivalent to ánthem(on) flower + -ion diminutive suffix; see antho-

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anthemion (ænˈθiːmɪən)
 
n , pl -mia
a floral design, used esp in ancient Greek and Roman architecture and decoration, usually consisting of honeysuckle, lotus, or palmette leaf motifs
 
[from Greek: a little flower, from anthos flower]

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anthemion

design consisting of a number of radiating petals, developed by the ancient Greeks from the Egyptian and Asiatic form known as the honeysuckle or lotus palmette. The anthemion was used widely by the Greeks and Romans to embellish various parts of ancient buildings. The Greeks originally decorated only pottery with the motif, but they soon adapted it to ornament architecture. The single-palmette form appears on acroteria (decorative pedestals), antefixes (roof or cornice elements), and the top of vertical stelae. The continuous pattern of alternating lotus and palmette springing from connecting spirals decorates especially the cyma recta molding of the cornice.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The whole design is crowned with an anthemion, formed in this instance by
  tobacco leaves.
The entrance lobby retains its original pink marble facing with a bronze egg
  and dart anthemion cornice.
Anthemion cresting tops the main roofline and pediment of the north entrance.
Cast metal anthemion ornaments edge the top of the marquee facing while neon
  lighting encircles it.
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