1 the chair of state of a monarch, bishop, etc.; "the king sat on his throne"
2 a plumbing fixture for defecation and urination [syn: toilet, can, commode, crapper, pot, potty, stool]
3 the position and power of one who occupies a throne
1 sit on the throne as a ruler
2 put a monarch on the throne; "The Queen was enthroned more than 50 years ago" [syn: enthrone] [ant: dethrone]
EtymologyFrom (thronos) “chair”, “throne”
- The ornate seat a
Queen sits on
for formal occasions, usually placed on a raised dais in the throne room.
- He approached the throne reverently.
- The lavatory or
- She’s on the throne.
- In the context of "Biblical tradition": The third highest order of angel in Christian angelology, ranked above minions and below cherubim.
- In the context of "music": A type of stool used by drummers.
- Arabic: كرسي
- Bosnian: presto
- CJKV Characters: 位, 祚, 陛
- Croatian: presto
- Czech: trůn
- Dutch: troon
- Esperanto: trono
- Finnish: valtaistuin
- French: trône
- German: Thron
- Greek, Ancient: θρόνος (thronos)
- Hebrew: ,
- Hungarian: trón, trónus, trónszék
- Indonesian: singgasana, tahta
- Interlingua: throno
- Italian: trono
- Japanese: 王座 (おうざ, ōza), 玉座 (ぎょくざ, gyokuza), 王位 (おうい, ōi)
- Kurdish: text
- Latin: thronus, sedem
- Macedonian: престол
- Malay: geta
- Norwegian: trone
- Old English: gifstol, setl
- Persian: (sarir)
- Polish: tron
- Portuguese: trono
- Russian: трон, престол, стол
- Serbian: presto, престо
- Slovene: prestol
- Spanish: trono
- Swedish: tron
- Turkish: taht
lavatory or toilet
third highest order of angel
- Dutch: troon
- French: trône
- Italian: trono
- Japanese: 座天使 (ざてんし, zatenshi)
- Norwegian: trone
- Russian: престол
- ttbc Arabic: (sirīr)
- ttbc Icelandic: krúna
- ttbc Latin: thronus (1)
- ttbc Romanian: tron (1, 2)
- ttbc Turkish: tahta
A throne is the official chair or seat upon which a monarch is seated on state or ceremonial occasions. "Throne" in an abstract sense can also refer to the monarchy or the Crown itself, an instance of metonymy, and is also used in many terms such as "the power behind the throne".
Thrones in ancient cultures
Thrones have been the symbol of monarchs and deities since ancient times. In some cultures, an early form of the throne was used in coronation ceremonies, or to lift the monarch up above all others present. Thrones have ever since been associated with royal power.
The Greeks (according to Homer) were known to place additional, empty thrones in the royal palaces and temples so that the gods could be seated when they wished to be. The most famous of these thrones was the throne of Apollo in Amyclae.
The Romans also had two types of thrones- one for the Emperor and one for the goddess Roma whose statues were seated upon thrones, which became centers of worship.
The Hittites considered thrones to be gods themselves.
Thrones and the BibleThe word "throne" appears in the Bible 176 times ("thrones", in the plural, appears 9 times). God is described as seated upon a throne in the manner of kings, as a sign of his sovereignty over creation.
In the Old Testament, King David and King Solomon (as God's representative on earth) are depicted upon thrones: "Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold" (Bible verse 1|Kings|10:18|HE).
Isaiah mentions the same throne: (Bible verse |Isaiah|9:6-7|HE): "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the Throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
In the New Testament, the Angel Gabriel also refers to this throne in the Gospel of Luke (): "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
Jesus promised his Apostles that they would sit upon "twelve thrones", judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Bible verse |Matthew|19:28|KJV). John's Revelation states: "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away" (Bible verse |Revelation|20:11|KJV).
The Apostle Paul speaks of "thrones" in Bible verse |Colossians|1:16|KJV. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, in his work, De Coelesti Hierarchia (VI.7) interprets this as referring to one of the ranks of angels (corresponding to the Hebrew Arelim or Ophanim). This concept was expanded upon by Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica (I.108), wherein the thrones are concerned with carrying out divine justice.
In Medieval times the "Throne of Solomon" was associated with the Virgin Mary, who was depicted as the throne upon which Jesus sat. The ivory in the biblical description of the Throne of Solomon was interpreted as representing purity, the gold representing divinity, and the six steps of the throne stood for the six virtues. Bible verse |Psalm|45:9|KJV was also interpreted as referring to the Virgin Mary, the entire Psalm describing a royal throne room.
From ancient times, bishops of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and other churches where episcopal offices exist, have been formally seated on a throne, called a cathedra (Greek: κάθεδρα, seat). Traditionally located in the sanctuary, the cathedra symbolizes the bishop's authority to teach the faith (hence the expression "ex cathedra") and to govern his flock.
"Ex cathedra" refers to the explicative authority, notably the extremely rarely used procedure required for a papal declaration to be 'infallible' under Roman Catholic Canon law. In several languages the word deriving from cathedra is commonly used for an academic teaching mandate, the professorial chair.
From the presence of this cathedra (throne), which can be as elaborate and precious as fits a secular prince (even if the prelate is not a prince of the church in the secular sense), a bishop's primary church is called a cathedral. In the Roman Catholic Church, a basilica -from the Greek basilikos 'royal'-, now refers to the presence there of a papal canopy (ombrellino), part of his regalia, and applies mainly to many cathedrals and Catholic churches of similar importance and/or splendor. In Roman Antiquity a basilica was secular public hall. Thus, the term basilica may also refer to a church designed after the manner of the ancient Roman basilica. Many of the churches built by the emperor Constantine the Great and Justinian are of the basilica style.
Some other prelates besides bishops are permitted the use of thrones. For instance, abbots and abbesses. These are often simpler than the thrones used by bishops and there may be restrictions on the style and ornamentation used on them, according to the regulations and traditions of the particular denomination.
As a mark of distinction, Roman Catholic bishops and higher prelates have a right to a canopy above their thrones at certain ecclesiastical functions. It is sometimes granted by special privilege to prelates inferior to bishops, but always with limitations as to the days on which it may be used and the character of its ornamentation. The liturgical colour of the canopy should correspond with that of the other vestments. When ruling monarchs attend services, they are also allowed to be seated on a throne that is covered by a canopy, but their seats must be outside the sanctuary.
In the Greek Orthodox Church, the bishop's throne will often combine features of the monastic choir stall (kathisma) with appurtenances inherited from the Byzantine court, such as a pair of lions seated at the foot of the throne.
The term "throne" is often used in reference to Patriarchs to designate their ecclesiastical authority; for instance, "the Ecumenical Throne" refers to the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
Western bishops may also use a faldstool to fulfill the liturgical purpose of the cathedra when not in their own cathedral.
Papal ThronesIn the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope is an elected monarch, both under canon law as supreme head of the church, and under international law as the head of state -styled "sovereign pontiff"- of the Vatican City State (the sovereign state located within the city of Rome established by the Lateran Treatyin 1929. Until 1870 the Pope was the elected monarch of the Papal States, which for centuries constituted one of the largest political powers on the divided Italian peninsula). To this day the Holy See maintains officially-recognized diplomatic status, and papal nuncios and legates are deputed on diplomatic missions throughout the world.
The throne upon which the Pope is traditionally seated as Bishop of Rome (the Cathedra Romana), is located in the apse of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, his cathedral. The throne upon which he sits as Pope is in the apse of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Enshrined above this throne is an armchair believed to have been used by Saint Peter, the first pope. This relic is known as the Cathedra Sancti Petri (Chair of Saint Peter).
In the past, the pope was also carried on occasions in a portable throne, called the sedia gestatoria. Originally, the sedia was used as part of the elaborate, ostentatious pomp surrounding papal ceremonies that was believed to be the most direct heir of pharaonic splendour, and included a pair of flabella (fans made from ostrich feathers) to either side. Pope John Paul I at first abandoned the use of these implements, but later in his brief reign began to use the sedia so that he could be seen more easily by the crowds. However, he did not restore the use of the flabella. The use of the sedia was abandoned by Pope John Paul II in favor of the so-called "popemobile" when outside. Near the end of his pontificate, Pope John Paul II had a specially-constructed throne on wheels that could be used inside.
Prior to 1978, at the Papal conclave, each cardinal was seated on a throne in the Sistine Chapel during the balloting. Each throne had a canopy over it. After a successful election, once the new pope accepted election and decided by what name he would be known, the cardinals would all lower their canopies, leaving only the canopy over the newly-elected pope. This was the new pope's first throne. This tradition was dramatically portrayed in the 1963 film, The Shoes of the Fisherman.
Thrones in feudal timesIn European feudal countries, monarchs often were seated on thrones, based in all likelihood on the Roman magisterial chair. These thrones were originally quite simple, especially when compared to their Asian counterparts. One of the grandest and most important was the Throne of Charlemagne in the "Imperial Cathedral" (German: Kaiserdom) at Aachen, the site of the coronation of 30 German kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Byzantine emperors made use of much more elaborate thrones, often guarded by stone lions. The emperor was initially seen behind a series of silken screens, which would be pulled aside if the foreign visitor was sufficiently important. As the throne was approached mechanical lion would roar and organs would play. On reaching the foot of the throne, the suppicant was forced to prostrate and touch his head to the ground, and the throne would rise into the air, so that when the visitor raised his head from the ground he would be astounded.
The medieval Russian Tsars also employed Byzantine ceremonial with regard to throne-room etiquette. The most famous throne of Muscovy was the Ivory Throne of Ivan IV "the Terrible". Dating from the mid-XVIth century, it is shaped as a high-backed chair with arm rests, and adorned with ivory and walrus bone plaques intricately carved with mythological, heraldic and life scenes. The plaques carved with scenes from the biblical account of King David’s life are of particular relevance, as David was seen as the ideal for Christian monarchs.
In the Indian subcontinent, the term gaddi (pronounced /gəd̪d̪iː/, also called rājgaddī) was reserved for the throne of a Hindu princely state's ruler, while their Muslim colleagues throned on a musnad (pronounced /məsnəd̪/), even though both were in the shape of a divan. In the Mughal times the throne was called Shāhī takht (pronounced /ʃaːhiː t̪əxt̪/), while traditional Sanskrit name for the throne was singhāsana (lit., seat of a lion).
In the 'regency' (nominally an Ottoman province, de facto an independent realm) of the Bey of Tunis, the throne was called kursi.
During the Russian Empire, the throne in St. George's Hall (the "Greater Throne Room") in the Winter Palace was regarded as the throne of Russia. It sits atop a seven-stepped dais with a proscenium arch above and the symbol of the Imperial Family behind (the two-headed eagle). Peter I's Room (the "Smaller Throne Room") is modest in comparison to the former. The throne was made for Empress Anna Ivanovna in London. There is also a throne in the Grand Throne Room of the Peterhof.
Thrones in modern times
In some countries today which retain a monarchy, thrones are still used and have important symbolic and ceremonial meaning. However many modern day monarchies have dispensed with the usage of such symbolism as crowns, thrones and coronations.
Among the most famous thrones still in usage are St Edward's Chair, on which the British monarch is crowned, and the thrones used by monarchs during the state opening of parliaments in the United Kingdom, Denmark, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia, and Japan (see above) among others.
Some republics use distinctive throne-like chairs in some state ceremonial. The President of the United States sits on a distinctive high-backed white-clothed chair in the Oval Office in the White House when meeting distinguished visitors in front of the media.(The visitor sits in a matching chair.) The President of Ireland sits on a former viceregal throne during his or her inauguration ceremony while Lords Mayor of many British and Irish cities often preside over local councils from throne-like chairs.
List of named thrones
- The Throne of Apollo in Amyclae
- St. Edward's Chair in Westminster Abbey, London, where British monarchs are crowned. It at one time contained the Stone of Scone (also called the Stone of Destiny) upon which the Kings of Scotland were crowned
- The Throne of Charlemagne in the cathedral at Aachen, Germany
- The Ivory Throne of Ivan the Terrible
- The papal sedia gestatoria
- the Dragon Throne of the Emperors of China
- the Chrysanthemum Throne of the Emperors of Japan
- the Phoenix Throne of the Kings of Korea
- the Lion Throne of the Dalai Lama of Tibet
- the Lion Throne of Sikkim
- the stone throne of King Kasyapa from SriLanka http://www.andrews.edu/~vyhmeisr/pictures/Sri%20Lanka/pages/P1010123.html from the 5th century citadel of Sigiri
- the stone throne of King Nissankamalla from Sri Lanka http://lakdiva.org/codrington/chap04.html#nissanka from the 12th century Polonnaruwa kingdom
- the Peacock Throne of the Mughal Emperors, later became:
- the Peacock Throne of the Persian Shahs
- the Takht-e Marmar of the Persian Shahs
- the Peacock Throne of Korea
- the Peacock throne at Montchobo, then at Ava, ancient capitals of Burma
- the Saridhaleys 'ivory throne' and the sighsana 'lion throne' of the Maldives sultanate
- the sandalwood throne, at Bikaner Fort
Thrones of kings and emperors
Thrones of the popes
- In slang, a common sit-down toilet is also called a throne.
- In religion, a niche in an altar piece for displaying the Holy Sacrament is called a throne.
- In music, the stool used to sit behind a drum kit is often called a throne.
- One of the Angel choirs is an order called Ophanim or 'Thrones', said to carry God's heavenly throne - other choir names expressing power in secular terms include Powers, Principalities, Dominions
Sources and references
throne in Breton: Tron
throne in Bulgarian: Трон
throne in Catalan: Tron
throne in Czech: Trůn
throne in Danish: Trone
throne in German: Thron
throne in Spanish: Trono
throne in Esperanto: Trono
throne in French: Trône
throne in Indonesian: Tahta
throne in Italian: Trono
throne in Dutch: Troon
throne in Newari: गडी
throne in Norwegian: Tronstol
throne in Polish: Tron
throne in Portuguese: Trono
throne in Russian: Трон
throne in Simple English: Throne
throne in Finnish: Valtaistuin
throne in Ukrainian: Престол
throne in Chinese: 御座
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