The word ‘Adytum’ (pronunciation -add-it-em) means ‘not to be entered’ or ‘inaccessible’. It is a Latin word derived from the French word αδυτον. The word ‘Adytum’ consists of the prefix ‘a’ that means ‘not’ and root word ‘duein’ that means ‘to enter’.
‘Adytum’ refers to the innermost part of the temple where entry is prohibited to all people except priests. It is the farthest ‘cella’ inside the temple from the entry point where the cult image of the god is located. It is the innermost sanctum sanctorum of the temple, and is the venue for ritual, magic or occult activities.
The Temple of Apollo in Delphi is known for the famous ‘Adytum’, a cellar that measures nine by twelve feet. The ‘Adytum’ at the Temple of Apollo was accessed by oracles, priests or acolytes.
Another famous Adytum is the temple of Solomon, known as the ‘pagan Adytum’. ‘Paganism’ refers to a group of cultic or spiritual practices of a particular group pf people or a polytheistic religion.
The Adytum located in a small temple in Pompeii is located at a few steps above the level of the temple and is similar to the altar of modern-day churches.
In modern time the term Adyta (plural of Adytum) is used to refer to prohibited places inside temples and religious places such as those found in Egypt. It is also symbolically used in order to refer to any mysterious place that is inaccessible to the public.