One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An enclosure, wall or colonnade around an ancient Greek (or Roman) temple or sacred space; the sacred space enclosed by this. Also occasionally: any wall forming an enclosure.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Phillips's New World of Words. From (i) post-classical Latin peribolus enclosure around the temple at Jerusalem (Vetus Latina, Vulgate) and its etymon (ii) ancient Greek περίβολος enclosing wall, enclosure, in Hellenistic Greek enclosure around the temple at Jerusalem (Septuagint), in Byzantine Greek also enclosure around an early Christian church from περι- + -βολος, after περιβάλλειν to throw round.
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