ENTABLATURE, (French, from the Latin tabulatum, stage, or story.) that part of an order which is supported by the column or columns, and forms the covering or shelter to the edifice. It consists of three principal divisions, viz., the architrave, which rests upon the capitals of the columns ; the frieze immediately above it ; and the cornice at the summit. These divisions, according to Vitruvius, represent the princi pal timbers used in the roof of the timber-building, which he supposes to have been the origin and type of erections in stone. This subject has been already referred to under time title Dome ARCHITECTURE. The entablature either finishes the whole edifice, or so much as has the order applied to it ; and in strictness ought to terminate either in a level cornice, or in a pediment formed of two equally inclined cornices. This rule, however, was not always adhered to by the Romans : for in many of their buildings. we find the onion mince crowned with an attic or blocking, course. The edifices of Balbee and Palmyra were often finished in this manner ; as were even some of the Grecian structures, after Greece had become a Roman province.
The general height of the entablature is equal to two dia meters of the column ; though some authors make the Doric entablature one-third of the height of the column ; and the entablature of the Ionic; one-foul th, and that of the Corint hian Or Composite, each one-fifth of the respective 0011111Ms.
Vignola makes the entablature one-quarter of the height of the column, in each of the orders; but the former proportion of twice the breadth of the base agrees much better with the ancient Grecian examples than the other two. it must be recollected, that in ancient examples of the same Order. the height of the entablature is in some instances more, in others less, than two diameters. In the temple °I'M inerva, at Athens, which is one of the most chaste of the Grecian Dories, the entablature is almost. precisely two diameteN of the column. In the Corinthian or Composite, where the column is ten diameters in height, the proportion found in some ancient examples of later date, one.fifth of the said height, is exactly two diameters of the foot of the shaft.
To find the proportions of the different parts of the entab lature, divide the total height into tell parts, of which give three to the architrave, three to the frieze, and the remaining four to the cornice. This will stand as a general rule, but in the Doric order the proportions are somewhat. different, the architrave containing two-eighths, and the frieze and cornice three-eighths each.
The entablature is also called trabeation ; and by Vitruvius and Vignola, ornament.