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Derived from the Latin word cathedra meaning throne the cathedral signifies the seat of the bishop at the center of the diocese Worthy of their administrative role such buildings were usually quite grand situated on hallowed sites and replete with symbolic elements Humanities NovDec95 Vol 16 Issue 6 When viewing a cathedral one tends to see them as magnificent sometimes stark monuments erected to worship God in a grand setting This was indeed a major purpose of the cathedral It is easy to overlook other functions and aspects of cathedral life which to the fourteenth century mind would be almost as important Cathedrals trained and educated junior clergy they housed and accommodated pilgrims and other important visitors they had complex financial relationships with their other cities in which they stood they were centers of excellence for craftsmen and inspired innovation The cathedral reveals medieval symbolism technology theology and knowledge and reflects the changing political social and economic forces and conflicts surrounding its construction Humanities NovDec95 Vol 16 Issue 6 Socially and politically the cathedral played an important role both within itself as a school for junior clergy and as an example to others The community of a cathedral ranged from lay servants through junior choristers up to the aristocratic levels of the canons Further they were functioning communities who interacted and often mirrored their social standards The cathedral were the major economic centers they brought in large sums of money from its sees and would then spend this on a variety of goods services and buildings The cathedrals would be important not only to the city in which it stood but also to a large section of rural community The new styles of architecture coupled with money available inspired and allowed innovation Some of the most exciting aspects of the cathedrals such as the scissors arches or delicate flying buttress came through the need to stop the central tower from collapsing and as
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