- Refers to a broad range of alloys of copper, specifically any non-ferrous alloy of copper, tin, and zinc or other trace metals. Bronze was made before 3,000 BCE -- possibly as early as 10,000 BCE, although its common use in tools and decorative items is dated only in later artifacts. The proportions of copper and tin vary widely, from 70 to 95 percent copper in surviving ancient artifacts. Because of the copper base, bronze may be very malleable and easy to work. By the Middle Ages in Europe, it was recognized that using the metals in certain proportions could yield specific properties. Some modern bronzes contain no tin at all, substituting other metals such as aluminum, manganese, and even zinc. Historically, the term was used interchangeably with "latten." U.S. standard bronze is composed of 90% copper, 7% tin and 3% zinc. Ancient bronze alloys sometimes contained up to 14% tin.
- Culture, style, and period of the Christian states of the eastern Mediterranean during the rule of the Byzantine Empire (330 - 1453 CE). Byzantine art and culture was carried throughout much of the Christian world, and lasted into the 16th century in eastern Europe. The style is characterized by imperial and religious subject matter, and a movement away from the original Greek naturalistic forms to favor ritualistic stylization, intended to suggest the spiritual. For the culture and style of the Italian and western Mediterranean Christian world roughly from the third to the mid-ninth century CE, use "Early Christian."
- Pieces of metal stamped by government authority for use as money.
- In architecture, refers to detached vertical members, monolithic or built in courses, and made of stone, brick, wood, metal, or another solid material. They are characterized by being slender or narrow in proportion to their height, and of any shape in section. A pillar is typically used as a vertical support of some superstructure, as a stable point of attachment for something heavy and oscillatory, or standing alone as a conspicuous monument or ornament. The term may also be used for a natural pillar-shaped stone or other formation. The usage of "pillar" is broader than "columns," "posts," or "piers," which are basically pillars of particular shapes, proportions, and functions; a "pillar" may be, but is not necessarily, any of these three more specific members.
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