Throne

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Origin

Middle English trone, throne, from Anglo-French trone, from Latin thronus, from Greek thronos

Definitions

  • 1a : the chair of state of a sovereign or high dignitary (as a bishop)
b : the seat of a deity

Description

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".

The depiction of monarchs and deities as seated on chairs is a common topos in the iconography of the Ancient Near East.

The word throne itself is from Greek θρόνος (thronos), "seat, chair", in origin a derivation from the PIE root *dher- "to support" (also in dharma "post, sacrificial pole"). Early Greek Διὸς θρόνους (Dios thronous) was a term for the "support of the heavens", i.e. the axis mundi, which term when Zeus became an anthropomorphic god was imagined as the "seat of Zeus". The Achaeans (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.