(crown of light). Crowns of candles or tapers, or, as they were often called, phari, in distinction from canthari, or oil-lamps, were at an early date suspended in the choir; they were circles, covered with tapers or lamps, hung by chains or ropes from the vault. We extract the followihg account of them from Walcott, Sac. Archaeol. s.v.:
"At Tours a standing lamp, with three tapers, is a lingernig relic of the custom in France, where glass lustres are now common, but the hanging crown has been revived in England. At Aix-la-Chapelle there is an octagonal crown of the latter part of the 12th century, which was the gift of the emperor Frederick Barbarossa; it is made of bronze gilt, and enamelled, and supports small circular and square towers, which serve as lanterns, sixteen in number; between them are courses of tapers tripled, making in all forty-eight lights. It appears to descend from the dome, as from the vault of heaven, over the tomb of Charlemagne. Another crown of great beauty, the gift of bishop Odo, brother of William of Normandy, adorned the choir of Bayelux, until its destruction in 1562. The earliest on record is that given by pope Leo, which was made of silver, and had twelve towers and thirty-six lamps. Another, of cruciform shape, given by pope Adrian, was hung before the presbytery of St. Peter's at Rome, and lighted with one thousand three hundred and seventy candles. Constantine gave a pharus of gold' to burn before St. Peter's tomb; and Leo III added a lustre of porphyry, hung by chains of gold, to burn before the confessio of the apostles. Sixtus III gave a. silver pharus to St. Mary Major; Hilary presented ten to St. John Lateran; and Walafrid Strabo mentions one hanging by a cord before the altar at St. Gall. At Durham, in the 12th century, we read that in honor of St. Cuthbert lights were arranged like a crown round the altar, on the candelabrum, and lighted on greater festivals. This is the earliest instance in England. Crowns had little bells, called clamacteria, pendent, from them. The corona, the luminous crown or circlet of lights, whether a single hoop or a tier of many, is the most beautiful of all modes of lighting — hanging and flashing like a cloud of fire before the sanctuary in some grand cathedrals, such as those suspended in the midst of the choir of St. Remi at Rheims, Clugny, Toul, and Bayeux, and representing the heavenly Jerusalem, with its gates and towers and angelic warders. The crown of Hildesheim, of the 13th century, is of large dimensions, and is enriched with statues; thirty-six oil-lamps burn upon the double gateway towers; seventy-two wax tapers, arranged in threes, blaze on the intermediate battlements. When these hundred and eight lights, like diamonds of living fire, are seen from a distance, they fuse into a disk-like glory, or a sun. In the Greek churches of the present day there is often a wooden cross, hung with ostrich eggs, suspended from the dome, which, almost in mockery of ancient splendor, is furnished with lights upon festivals. Formerly hanging phart burned before the altar; a lustre of seven branches in the centre of the church, and twelve lights on the sides of the chancelscreens. The lights arranged along the rood-beam were only another form of the crown, in a right line instead of a curve. Three or seven lights typified the divine graces, and twelve the Glorious Company of the Apostles. At the Temple Church (Bristol) there is a beautiful crown, with twelve branches; on the top is the Blessed Mother and the Holy Child, and under them are St. Michael and the dragon. A luminous cross of copper, with intersecting arms, and oil-lamps hanging by chains, of the 13th century, is suspended under the dome of St.. Mark's (Venice), and is lighted on great festivals. A perpendicular crown, formerly at Valle Crucis Abbey, and now at Llanarmon, has a figure of the Blessed Virgin, canopied, and four tiers of branches for lights."