Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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The term “halo” is often used generically to label a family of symbols in sacred art that are in fact distinguishable. Halo derives from the Greek for “disk of the sun” and nimbus from the Latin for “cloud.” Both terms can be applied to the aura that surrounds the heads of holy, divine, and allegorical figures in visual art. Similarly, the aureaole, which is diminutive of the Latin “aurea,” meaning “golden,” can refer either to a hal…

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Awes Freeman, Jennifer, “Nimbus”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 03 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2018

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