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The statue of Pallas Athena (etymology 1) in front of the Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna, Austria

Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin Palladius (of or relating to Pallas) +‎ -an (suffix forming adjectives from nouns). Palladius is derived from Pallas (from Ancient Greek Παλλάς (Pallás, epithet of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom), from παλλακίς (pallakís, concubine), most likely from Proto-Indo-European *parikeh₂ (concubine; wanton woman)) + -ius (suffix forming adjectives from nouns).[1]


Palladian (not comparable)

  1. (Greek mythology, rare) Of or relating to Pallas, an epithet of Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
    • 1644, John Milton, Areopagitica; a Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Vnlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England, London: [s.n.], OCLC 879551664, page 21:
      [I]f in this the moſt conſummat act of his fidelity and ripeneſſe, no years, no induſtry, no former proof of his abilities can bring him to that ſtate of maturity, as not to be ſtill miſtruſted and ſuſpected, unleſſe he carry all his conſiderat diligence, all his midnight watchings, and expence of Palladian oyl, to the haſty view of an unleaſur'd licencer, perhaps much his younger, perhaps far his inferiour in judgement, [...]
      The reference is to olive oil. In Greek mythology, Athena is regarded as having created the first olive tree.
    • 1828, [Algernon Herbert], “Ba-bel”, in Nimrod: A Discourse on Certain Passages of History and Fable, volume I, London: Printed for Richard Priestley, OCLC 10465932, pages 192–193:
      I dwell upon this point, in the view of explaining and, as to one letter, correcting a memorable passage of Sophocles concerning the Palladian olive tree; in which he says, that it is a plant, preserved by Jove and Athena, in order to confound the enemies of Athens, and adds "that no man, young or old, (i.e. now or ever,) shall render it vain and of none effect, by pointing it out with his finger to the Persians."
    • 1893, George Gissing, “A Camp of the Reserve”, in The Odd Women [...] In Three Volumes, volume I, London: Lawrence & Bullen [], OCLC 8786792, page 145:
      She threw forward her arms, as if with spear and buckler. Miss Barfoot was smiling at this Palladian attitude when a servant announced two ladies, Mrs. Smallbrook and Miss Haven.
      Athena, a goddess associated with warfare, is often depicted in art wearing a helmet and wielding a spear.
    • 2004, Trevor McNeely, “Rhetoric, Theater, Poetry, and Shakespeare”, in Proteus Unmasked: Sixteenth-century Rhetoric and the Art of Shakespeare, Bethlehem, Pa.: Lehigh University Press; Cranbury, N.J.; London: Associated University Presses, →ISBN, page 50:
      Where mentioned at all in historical discussions it [Elizabethan drama] is typically in passing, with the primary focus either on the continuity that Tudor drama has with the medieval folk drama, or simply on that drama itself, as virtually a Palladian birth in the reign of Elizabeth [I], fathered indeed by the great Zeus of the Renaissance [William Shakespeare], as most commentators recognize, but in whose original inspiration the contribution of the discipline of rhetoric specifically is not apparently of special moment.
      Athena is described as having been born fully armed from the forehead of Zeus.
  2. (by extension, rare) Of or relating to knowledge, study, or wisdom.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

A 16th- or 17th-century portrait of Italian architect Andrea Palladio (etymology 2) by Alessandro Maganza
Palazzo Chiericati, a Renaissance palace in Vicenza, Italy, was designed by Palladio and is thus an example of Palladian architecture (etymology 2, sense 1)
A Palladian window (etymology 2, sense 2) of Lemon Hill, a mansion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA[n 1]

From Italian Palladio, the surname of Andrea Palladio (1508–1580) +‎ -an (suffix forming adjectives from nouns).[2]


Palladian (not comparable)

  1. (architecture) In the style of the Italian neoclassical architect Andrea Palladio.
    • 1735, Alexander Pope, “Epistle IV. To Richard Earl of Burlington.”, in The Works of Mr. Alexander Pope, volume II, London: Printed by J. Wright, for Lawton Gilliver [], OCLC 43265629, lines 23–26 and 37–38, pages 40–41:
      You ſhow us, Rome was glorious, not profuſe, / And pompous Buildings once were things of uſe. / Yet ſhall (my Lord) your juſt, your noble Rules / Fill half the land with Imitating Fools: / [...] / Conſcious they act a true Palladian part, / And if they ſtarve, they ſtarve by the Rules of Art.
      Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington (1694–1753), is noted for bringing Palladian architecture to Britain and Ireland.
    • 1841 June, Frederick East, “The Palladian School of Architects”, in The Civil Engineer and Architect’s Journal, Scientific and Railway Gazette, volume IV, number 45, London: Published for the proprietor, [] H. Hooper [et al.], OCLC 1038142909, page 179, column 1:
      His [William Kent's] claim to this fellowship to the Palladian school rests upon the felicitous manner in which he caught its sentiment, and the rich and varied assistance he threw into the Palladian structure.
    • 1849 October, “Chapters on Stained Glass.—No. II. [William] Warrington and [Charles] Winston.”, in The Ecclesiologist, volume VII, number XXXVIII (New Series; volume X, number LXXIV overall), London: Published under the superintendence of the Ecclesiological late Cambridge Camden Society; [printed by] Joseph Masters, [], published 1850, OCLC 1051232242, page 96:
      We can quite, therefore, go to the length of thinking that perhaps the most suitable churches in which to revive the mosaic-medallion window are the Palladian churches of London. [...] Surely Romanesque and Palladian are homogeneous deflections from classical art, and are not unreasonably interchangeable.
    • 1935, David M[etheny] Robb; J[ames] J. Garrison, “American Architecture from Its Origins to 1870”, in Art in the Western World, New York, N.Y.; London: Harper & Brothers publishers, OCLC 1079809855, page 206:
      The Palladian window of the end wall is a masterpiece, however, in its admirable proportions, its relationship to the wall and the restrained decorative quality of the details. It is deserving of admiration in its own right as well as being historically interesting as the first appearance of the Palladian motive in American Georgian architecture.
    • 1990 August, John Welcome [pseudonym; John N. H. Brennan], chapter 16, in A Painted Devil (Ulverscroft Large Print Series), London: William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., →ISBN, page 290:
      It [the house] was Palladian of a sort, since even I could see it was not good Palladian. Too high for its width, its portico was stunted and the wings which ran out on either side were too short and too low to give grace and style to the elevation.
    • 2005, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Unexpected Blessings, paperback edition, London: HarperCollins Publishers, →ISBN:
      And he had always thought that a Palladian villa set in a verdant English park was a very beautiful sight. He saw it as the perfect marriage of a building with nature.
Derived terms[edit]


Palladian (plural Palladians)

  1. (architecture) An architect who designs buildings in the Palladian style.
    • 1967, Howard E. Stutchbury, “Conclusion”, in The Architecture of Colen Campbell, Manchester: Manchester University Press, OCLC 905454438, page 144:
      What is quite certain that Georgian Palladianism without him [Colen Campbell] would have developed later and would have been quite different, and the legacy of the English Palladians, accepted but rarely acknowledged by their most adventurous but no more dedicated successors, would have been less rich.
    • 1994, Hanno-Walter Kruft, “The German-speaking Regions in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries”, in Ronald Taylor, Elsie Callander, and Antony Wood, transl., A History of Architectural Theory from Vitruvius to the Present, New York, N.Y.: Princeton Architectural Press; London: Zwemmer, Philip Wilson Publishers, →ISBN, page 172:
      [Peter Paul] Rubens' credo could be a rubric for [Joseph] Furttenbach's work. He is not a Palladian like [Heinrich von] Schickhardt, but takes up Italian Renaissance architecture in a both geographically and temporally broad span, attempting to make it a model for Central European requirements.
    • 2015, Cedric D. Reverand II, “Nicholas Hawksmoor: The Other English Baroque Architect”, in Cedric D. Reverand II, editor, Queen Anne and the Arts (Transits; Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650–1850), Lewisburg, Pa.; Lanham, Md.: Bucknell University Press; The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, →ISBN, page 227:
      To compound the problem, when the collaborations were over and [Nicholas] Hawksmoor came into his own, as it were, designing six churches by himself, the neo-Palladians were coming into fashion, displacing, and even dismissing, their baroque contemporaries.
  2. (architecture) A building or an architectural element (for example, a window) designed in the Palladian style.
    • 2001, Alastair Gordon, “Epilogue: Past Perfect”, in Weekend Utopia: Modern Living in the Hamptons, New York, N.Y.: Princeton Architectural Press, →ISBN, page 166, column 1:
      Anything [i.e., any type of window] with a rounded top became known as a Palladian and was seen as an instant evocation of history, status, class, and tradition. In some cases, an oversized Palladian filled an entire facade of a house.
    • 2002, James Charles Roy, “The Work of Angels”, in The Back of Beyond: A Search for the Soul of Ireland, Boulder, Colo.; Oxford, Oxfordshire: Westview Press, →ISBN:
      From the outside, Strokestown House is a most attractive building. [...] And unlike some of the monster Palladians in this country, places like Castletown or Powerscourt, both near Dublin, Strokestown, being in the uncivilized west, is a far more modest proposition and thereby more appealing and approachable.


  1. ^ From the collection of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., USA.


Further reading[edit]