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Empyrean, from the Medieval Latin empyreus, an adaptation of the Ancient Greek, "in or on the fire (pyr)", properly Empyrean Heaven, is the place in the highest heaven, which in ancient cosmologies was supposed to be occupied by the element of fire (or aether in Aristotle's natural philosophy).
Use in literature
The Empyrean was thus used as a name for the firmament, and in Christian literature, notably the Divine Comedy, for the dwelling-place of God and the blessed, and as the source of light. The word is used both as a substantive and as an adjective. Having the same Greek origin are the scientific words empyreuma and empyreumatic, applied to the characteristic smell of burning or charring vegetable or animal matter.
This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Empyrean". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|