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[prit-n-ee-uh m] /ˌprɪt nˈi əm/
a public building in ancient Greece, containing the symbolic hearth of the community and commonly resembling a private dwelling in plan, used as a community meeting place and as a lodging for guests of the community.
Origin of prytaneum
1590-1600; < Latin prytanēum < Greek prytaneîon, akin to prýtanis prince, ruler, chief Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for prytaneum
Historical Examples
  • And if I am to estimate the penalty fairly, I should say that maintenance in the prytaneum is the just return.

    Apology Plato
  • And he took the Sappho from the prytaneum, the work of Silanion!

    Life of Cicero Anthony Trollope
  • The leaf was accordingly placed in a vessel of water, to preserve its freshness until Clinias returned from the prytaneum.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • If Athenian, he was entitled to a place by the magistrates in the prytaneum; if a Spartan, to a prominent station in the field.

  • On the evening of the day of assembly a great banquet was held in the prytaneum, or Town-hall of Athens.

    Callias Alfred John Church
  • Here in the prytaneum (Rolland's life is full of such mystical word plays) the young man found a friend.

    Romain Rolland Stefan Zweig
  • The court in the precincts of the prytaneum, to the north of the Acropolis, was only of ceremonial importance.

  • A prytaneum in a Greek city was a building belonging to the community, on the altar of which was kept the ever-burning fire.

    Plutarch's Lives, Volume II Aubrey Stewart & George Long
  • The proper reward is that I should be maintained in the prytaneum as a public benefactor.

  • The Colacretae, who had done this work before, remained in authority over the internal expenses of the prytaneum.

British Dictionary definitions for prytaneum


noun (pl) -nea (-ˈniːə)
the public hall of a city in ancient Greece
Word Origin
Latin, from Greek prutaneion, from prutanis, prutaneus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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