pulvinar /pəl-VIY-nər/. noun. A cushioned seat in a temple, or at a Roman circus or other public spectacle intended for use by the gods (or, in their stead, any royals that happened to be around). In anatomy: a bump on the back of the thalamus. From Latin pulvinus (cushion).
“The ‘pulvinaria’ were the cushions, or couches, placed in the temples of the Gods, for the use of the Divinities; which probably their priests (like their brethren who administered to Bel) did not omit to enjoy.” (Henry Thomas Riley)
“In the pre-Augustan period the pulvinar would have been simply a wooden platform, raised up some distance, upon which the images of the gods or the cult objects representing them were placed and from which they would have ‘watched’ the games.” (John H. Humphrey)
Select Synonyms: cushion, pillow, hassock, bum roll, pillion.