Oculus

From Academic Kids

Oculus is the Latin word for eye. The word Oculus remains in use in certain contexts, most commonly as the name of the round opening in the top of the dome of the Pantheon in Rome, Italy, and less often in reference to other round windows.
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Oculus_of_the_Pantheon.jpg
The Oculus (top) in the dome of the Pantheon, Rome
The interior of the Pantheon in the 18th century (Painting by Giovanni Panini)
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The interior of the Pantheon in the 18th century (Painting by Giovanni Panini)
The opening of the Oculus in the Pantheon is and has always been open to the weather, allowing rain to enter and fall to the floor, from where it is carried away through drains in the floor. In this picture, sunlight streams through the opening striking the lower part of the dome. The bright opening and the surrounding smooth concrete above the coffering bears a resemblance to an eye, giving the opening its Latin name Oculus, which is retained.

While oculus is not in common use in English, words derived from it such as ocular (relating to the eye) are, primarily in medical and optical fields. Also, the terms Oculus Dexter (right eye), Oculus Sinister (left eye), and Oculus Uturque (both eyes) are used in medicine, usually abbreviated OD, OS, and OU, respectively.

In archaeology, oculus is the name of a motif found in western European prehistoric art. It consists of a pair of circular or spiral marks, often interpreted as eyes and appears on pottery, statues and megaliths. It may represent the watchful gaze of a god or goddess (see dolmen deity for example) and was especially common during the Neolithic.

For the music group Oculus (see http://oculusband.com ) the word has come to signify the window to the soul.pl:Oculus

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