FASCIA (Latin for a bandage or fillet), a term used for many objects which resemble a band in shape; thus in anatomy it is applied to the layers of fibrous connective tissue which sheathe the muscles or cover various parts or organs in the body, and in zoology, and particularly in ornithology, to bands or stripes of colour. In architecture the word is used of the bands into which the architrave of the Ionic and Corinthian orders is subdivided; their origin would seem to have been derived from the superimposing of two or more beams of timber to span the opening between columns and to support a superincumbent weight; the upper beam projected slightly in front of the lower, and similar projections were continued in the stone or marble beam though in one block. In the Roman Corinthian order the fasciae, still projecting one in front of the other, were subdivided by small mouldings sometimes carved. The several bands are known as the first or upper fascia, the second or middle fascia and the third or lower fascia. The term is sometimes applied to flat projecting bands in Renaissance architecture when employed as string courses. It is also used, though more commonly in the form "facia," of the band or plate over a shop-front, on which the name and occupation of the tradesman is written.
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