Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Art Online. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 27 January 2020

Well-head [puteal]locked

  • Eugene Dwyer

Extract

[puteal]

In its most essential form, a screen-wall or parapet, analogous to a precinct wall, surrounding a taboo place in the Greek and Roman world; also a means of enclosing a well or pit (Lat. puteus) in the earth. One type, a bidental, signified a place struck by lightning, consecrated and enclosed by the priests, where propitiatory offerings were made to the lightning. The puteal Libonis (untraced) was a bidental in the Forum Romanum: it appears on coins as a parapet, circular in plan, adorned with garlands, lyres and the hammer of Vulcan. It is typical of the architectural type commonly employed by both Greeks and Romans as well-heads. Larger well-heads, such as the one found at the Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia at Praeneste, sometimes took the form of a circular parapet supporting a monopteros. Alternatively, the well-head or parapet itself was sometimes surrounded by a monopteros or tholos (circular columnar buildings), as in the well (perhaps a ...

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.

G. Wissowa, W. Kroll and K. Mittelhaus, eds: Paulys Realencyclopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, 10 vols and suppls (Stuttgart, 1894–1978)
Enciclopedia dell’arte antica, classica e orientale, 7 vols and suppls (Rome, 1958–73)