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omphalos (plural omphaloi)
- An ancient religious stone artifact, or baetylus, used to denote the direction of the "center" of the world.
- The theological proposition that the world was created with certain indicia of a history which had not actually occurred (such as the humans who had never been connected to umbilical cords being created with navels).
- The navel.
- A raised central point; a boss.
- The center or hub.
- 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, page 17:
- —Rather bleak in wintertime, I should say. Martello you call it? —Billy Pitt had them built, Buck Mulligan said, when the French were on the sea. But ours is the omphalos.
- 2014, T.C. Boyle, The Collected Stories Of T.Coraghessan Boyle:
- Here I was, embosomed in the very nave, the very omphalos of furtive femininity—a prize patron of the women's restaurant, a member, privy to its innermost secrets.
- 2015, Glanville Downey, History of Antioch, page 183:
- The place in which this statue stood, Malalas writes, was called “the omphalos of the city.”