Definition of Omphalos

Reviewed on 6/3/2021

Omphalos: The omphalos (or omphalus) is also called the umbilicus or navel. "Omphalos" is the Greek word for the navel. The decorative boss protruding from the center of a Greek warrior's shield was also called the omphalos, as was the knob at the center of a yoke. The omphalos was the "center of anything." The omphalos in the temple of Apollo at Delphi was a rounded conical stone; it was sacred and marked what the ancient Greeks believed to be the central point of the earth. They must have similarly believed that the center of a person was their navel -- the omphalos.

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