Religion Past and Present

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(315 words)

[German Version]

A ciborium (Gk κιβώριον/kibṓrion) is a type of canopy over the altar. It is made of solid material and usually rests on four pillars (see Liturgical vessels, fig. 6). Similar structures already existed in pre-Christian cultures and were especially erected over thrones and tombs to underline their sacral significance. Essential for the understanding of the ciborium's symbolism is its hemispherical form, which can resemble a pyramid or tent when viewed from the outside. Structures of this type began to appe…

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Ivanov, Vladimir, “Ciborium”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 20 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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