Tribune (Architecture) - Encyclopedia




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TRIBUNE (med. Lat. tribuna, from classical Lat. tribunal), in architecture, the term given to the semicircular apse of the Roman basilica, with a raised platform, where the presiding magistrate sat; subsequently applied generally to any raised structure from which speeches were delivered and to the private box of the emperor at the Circus Maximus. In Christian basilicas the term is retained for the semicircular recess behind the choir, as at S. Clemente in Rome, S. Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, S. Zeno at Verona, S. Miniato near Florence, and other churches. The term is also loosely applied to various other raised spaces in secular as well as ecclesiastical buildings, in the latter sometimes in the place of "pulpit," as in that of the refectory of St Martin des Champs at Paris. It is also given to the celebrated octagon room of the Uffizi at Florence, and sometimes to a gallery or triforium.

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