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n. (context historical English) A wooden statue used as a cult image in Ancient Greece.


A xoanon (, ; plural: ξόανα xoana, from the verb ξέειν, xeein, to carve or scrape [wood]) was an Archaic wooden cult image of Ancient Greece. Classical Greeks associated such cult objects, whether aniconic or effigy, with the legendary Daedalus. Many such cult images were preserved into historical times, though none have survived to the modern day, except where their image was copied in stone or marble. In the 2nd century CE, Pausanias described numerous xoana in his Description of Greece, notably the image of Hera in her temple at Samos. "The statue of Samian Hera, as Aethilos says, was a wooden beam at first, but afterwards, when Prokles was ruler, it was humanized in form". In Pausanias' travels he never mentions seeing a xoanon of a mortal man.

Usage examples of "xoanon".

Not for the first time she found herself wondering if there was another like Xoanon running this world too.

If the Welsh were like the Tesh, who were the Sevateem, and where was the all-powerful Xoanon hiding this time?

The image borne in procession was clearly the xoanon which was brought by Pegasus from Eleutherae.