"Temenos" (polytonic|τέμενος, [Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. "A Greek-English Lexicon Revised and Augmented Throughout by Sir Henry Stuart Jones with the Assistance of Roderick McKenzie". Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940, ISBN 0198642261. "temenes - "a piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain"; II. "a piece of land marked off from common uses and dedicated to a god, precinct"; III. "temple"."] from the Greek verb polytonic|τέμνω "to cut"; plural: temene) is a piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain, especially to kings and chiefs, or a piece of land marked off from common uses and dedicated to a god, a sanctuary,
holy groveor holy precinct: The Pythian race-course is called a temenos, the sacred valley of the Nileis the Νείλοιο πῖον τέμενος Κρονίδα, the Acropolis is the ἱερὸν τέμενος (of Pallas).
The concept of "temenos" arose in classical
Mediterraneancultures as an area reserved for worship of the gods. Some authors have used the term to apply to a sacred grove of trees, [David S. Whitley, "Reader in Archaeological Theory: Post-processual and Cognitive Approaches", 1998, Routledge, 347 pages ISBN:0415141605] isolated from everyday living spaces, while other usage points to areas within ancient urban development that are parts of temples. [Carla M. Antonaccio. "An Archaeology of Ancestors: Tomb Cult and Hero Cult in Early Greece". Rowman & Littlefield, 1995. ISBN:084767942X]
A large example of a
Bronze Age Minoantemenos is at the Juktas Sanctuary of the palaceof Knossoson ancient Cretein present day Greece, the temple having a massive northern temenos. [C. Michael Hogan (2007} "Knossos", The Modern Antiquarian, [http://letmespeaktothedriver.com/site/10854/knossos.html#fieldnotes (Fieldnotes)] .] Another example is at Olympia, the temenos of Zeus. There were many temene of Apollo, as he was the patron god of settlers.
In religious discourse in English, "Temenos" has also come to refer to a territory, plane, receptacle or field of deity or divinity.
*Molyneaux, Brian Leigh &
Piers Vitebsky(2000). "Sacred Earth, Sacred Stones: Spiritual Site And Landscapes, Ancient Alignments, Earth Energy." London, England: Duncan Baird Publishers. ISBN 1-903296-07-2.
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