EMPYREAN (from the Med. Lat. empyreus, an adaptation of the Gr., in or on the fire, ), the place in the highest heaven, which in ancient cosmologies was supposed to be occupied by the element of fire. It was thus used as a name for the firmament, and in Christian literature for the dwelling-place of God and the blessed, and as the source of light. The word is used both as a substantive and as an adjective. Having the same Greek origin are the scientific words "empyreuma" and "empyreumatic," applied to the characteristic smell of burning or charring vegetable or animal matter.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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