• WordNet 3.6
    • n bema area around the altar of a church for the clergy and choir; often enclosed by a lattice or railing
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Bema (Gr. Antiq) A platform from which speakers addressed an assembly.
    • Bema (Arch) Erroneously: A pulpit.
    • Bema (Arch) That part of an early Christian church which was reserved for the higher clergy; the inner or eastern part of the chancel.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n bema In Greek antiquity, a stage or kind of pulpit on which speakers stood when addressing an assembly.
    • n bema In the Gr. Church, the sanctuary or chancel; the inclosed space surrounding the altar. It is the part of an Oriental church furthest from the front or main entrance, originally and usually raised above the level of the nave. The holy table (the altar) stands in its center, and behind this, near or skirting the rear wall of the apse, is the synthronus, or seat for the bishop and clergy.
    • n bema An architectural screen (iconostasis) with a curtain (amphithyra) at its doors, or, as was the case especially in early times, a curtain only, separates the bema from the body of the church. On either side of the bema are the para-bemata, called respectively the prothesis and the diaconicon. These regularly communicate with the bema, and in poor churches often have little more than an indication of separation from it. Rubrically they are often counted as part of the bema.
    • n bema A step; a rough measure of length employed by the Greeks and Macedonians when stadia were paced off, and not merely estimated by shouting. It was considered to be 2½ feet, which for this purpose are practically identical with English feet. In a late form of the Philetæreian (i. e., Pergamenian) system it became as exact measure 2½ feet; but these feet were of the Babylonian cubit, so that the bema was 0.888 meter, according to Lepsius. In the later Jewish system, the bema appears as two royal cubits, or 1.054 meters.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Bema bē′ma the tribune or rostrum from which Athenian orators made their speeches—hence the apse or chancel of a basilica.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. , step, platform
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. bēma, a step.


In literature:

His friends and relatives tried in vain to stop him making himself ridiculous and being dragged down from the bema.
"The Memorabilia" by Xenophon
Looking out from his place at the foot of the pillar, he saw a man standing far off in the lofty bema.
"The Blue Flower, and Others" by Henry van Dyke
His first attempt to speak in public proved a failure, and he retired from the bema amidst the hootings and laughter of the citizens.
"A Smaller History of Greece" by William Smith
Still it rejoiced him to hear the noble truths of democracy delivered as it were from the bema.
"Demos" by George Gissing
The enclosure of the bema, with its columns and entablatures, was of silver gilt, and set with gems and pearls.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4" by Various
The bema is usually a bay added to the eastern arm.
"Byzantine Churches in Constantinople" by Alexander Van Millingen
The bema is generally ascended by steps, and railed off.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Slice 5" by Various
Twice I went to the bema and spoke to those priests and that mangy rabble.
"Hania" by Henryk Sienkiewicz
Greek church, on the south side of the bema or sanctuary.
"Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 1 of 4: A-D)" by Various

In news:

During BEMA 's winter summit, the board of directors presented a $100,000 grant to the Grain Foods Foundation (GFF).
Variety is the theme of BEMA 's 2010 Winter Summit, with diverse sessions aimed at bolstering business.
Brown also served on BEMA 's Convention & Programs Committee for the last five years.
Annual BEMA Meeting Points to Good Health of Bath Enclosure Industry.

In science:

By [Ba:10] and [BeMa:10] when G is definably compact and definably connected, the isomorphism type of G/G00 determines G up to definable homotopy equivalence.
Topology of definable abelian groups in o-minimal structures
In order to exploit the high rates and luminosities, there should—and almost certainly will be—ma jor advances in detection capability.
CP and B Physics: Progress and Prospects