Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Nimbus

 Nimble as Ninepence.Nim’ini Pim’ini. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Nimbus
 
characterises authority and power, not sanctity. The colour indicates the character of the person so invested:—The nimbus of the Trinity is gold; of angels, apostles, and the Virgin Mary, either red or white; of ordinary saints, violet; of Judas, black, of Satan, some very dark colour. The form is generally a circle or half-circle, but that of Deity is often triangular   1
        The nimbus was used by heathen nations long before painters introduced it into sacred pictures of saints, the Trinity, and the Virgin Mary Proserpine was represented with a nimbus; the Roman emperors were also decorated in the same manner, because they were divi.
 


 Nimble as Ninepence.Nim’ini Pim’ini. 

 
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