Learn more about Throne
A throne is the official chair or seat upon which a monarch is seated on state or ceremonial occasions. "Throne" in an abstract sense can also refer to the monarchy or the Crown itself, an instance of metonymy, and is also used in many terms such as "the power behind the throne."
 Thrones in ancient cultures
Thrones have been the symbol of monarchs and gods since ancient times. The throne was used for coronation ceremonies and to lift the king up above all others present. Thrones were since then directly associated with royal power.
The Greeks (according to Homer) were known to place additional, empty thrones in the royal palaces and temples so that the gods could be present when they wished to be. The most famous of these thrones was the throne of Apollo in Amyclae.
The Hittites considered thrones to be gods themselves.
The Bible mentions many thrones. God was seated upon a throne and so was King Solomon (as God's representative on earth): "Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold" (Kings 10:18).
In the New Testament, Jesus promised his Apostles that they would sit upon "twelve thrones", judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). John's Revelations states: "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away"
The Angel Gabriel also refers to this throne in Gospel of Luke (1:32-33): "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
In the Old Testament Isaiah mentions the same throne: Isaiah (9:6-7): "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the Throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."
 Ecclesiastical thrones
- main article: cathedra
The very term Holy See, officially used in diplomacy for the Vatican, clearly presents the papal position as a throne; indeed the Holy Father is an elected monarch, both under canon law as supreme head of the church and under international law as head of state -styled sovereign pontiff- of the Vatican City State (symbolic remnant within Rome, for convenience, of the Papal State, that was for centuries one of the largest political powers on the divided Italian peninsula). The throne upon which the Pope is traditionally seated is located in the apse of the St. John Lateran, his cathedral.
The pope was also carried on occasions in a portable throne, the sedia gestatoria, originally part of the elaborate, ostentatious pomp believed to be the most direct heir of pharaonic splendour including fans made from ostrich feathers, but it was abandoned by pope John Paul II. Even Saint Peter, the first pope, sat on an armchair, the cathedra Sancti Petri, the relic of which is kept in Saint Peter's Basilica.
However, an ecclesiastical throne is not at all unique to the pope: every bishop of the Roman Catholic Church and most bishops of churches where episcopal offices exist (mainly Orthodox and Anglican) also largely maintain a tradition stretching back to Antiquity) to sit on a throne, called cathedra, traditionally in the apside, which symbolizes his power to teach the faith (hence the expression "ex cathedra", from the explicative authority, notably the extremely rarely used procedure required for a papal declaration to be 'infallible' under Canon law; in several language the word deriving from cathedra is commonly used for an academic teaching mandate, the professorial chair).
After this cathedra (throne), which can be as elaborate and precious as fits a secular prince (even if the prelate is not a prince of the church in the secular sense), his main church is called a cathedral; the word basilica -from the Greek basilikos 'royal'-, though in Roman Antiquity a secular public hall, now refers to the presence there of a papal canopy, part of his regalia, and applies mainly to many cathedrals and Catholic churches of similar importance and/or splendor.
 Thrones in feudal times
In European feudal countries, monarchs often were seated on thrones.
On the Indian subcontinent, the term gadi was reserved for the throne of a Hindu princely state's ruler, while their Muslim colleagues throned on a musnaid, even though both were in the shape of a divan.
In the 'regency' (nominally an Ottoman province, de facto an independent realm) of the Bey of Tunis, the throne was called kursi.
 Thrones in modern times
In some countries today which retain a monarchy, thrones are still used and have important symbolic and ceremonial meaning. However many modern day monarchies have dispensed with the usage of such symbolism as crowns, thrones and coronations.
Among the most famous thrones still in usage are St Edward's Chair, on which the British monarch is crowned, and the thrones used by monarchs during the state opening of parliaments in the United Kingdom, Denmark, The Netherlands, Canada, and Japan (see above) among others.
Some republics use distinctive throne-like chairs in some state ceremonial. The President of the United States sits on a distinctive high-backed white-clothed chair in the Oval Office in the White House when meeting distinguished visitors in front of the media.(The visitor sits in a matching chair.) The President of Ireland sits on a former viceregal throne during his or her inauguration ceremony while Lords Mayor of many British and Irish cities often preside over local councils from throne-like chairs.
 List of named thrones
- The Throne of Apollo in Amyclae
- St. Edward's Chair in Westminster Abbey, London, where British monarchs are crowned. It at one time contained the Stone of Scone (also called the Stone of Destiny) upon which the Kings of Scotland were crowned
- The Throne of Charlemagne in the cathedral at Aachen, Germany
- The papal sedia gestatoria
- the Dragon Throne of the Emperors of China
- the Chrysanthemum Throne of the Emperors of Japan
- the Phoenix Throne of the Kings of Korea
- the Lion Throne of the Dalai Lama of Tibet
- the Lion Throne of Sikkim
- the stone throne of King Kasyapa from SriLanka  from the 5th century citadel of Sigiri
- the stone throne of King Nissankamalla from Sri Lanka  from the 12th century Polonnaruwa kingdom
- the Peacock Throne of the Mughal Emperors, later became:
- the Peacock Throne of the Persian Shahs
- the Takht-e Marmar of the Persian Shahs
- the Peacock Throne of Korea
- the Peacock throne at Montchobo, then at Ava, ancient capitals of Burma
- the Saridhaleys 'ivory throne' and the sighsana 'lion throne' of the Maldives sultanate
- the sandalwood throne, at Bikaner Fort
- the throne of David, at the Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion, in Axum, ancient capital of orthodox Coptic Ethiopia
 Other uses
- In slang, a common sit-down toilet is also called a throne.
- One of the Angel choirs is an order called Ophanim or 'Thrones', said to carry God's heavenly throne - other choir names expressing power in secular terms include Powers, Principalities, Dominions
 See also
 Sources and references
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