Illustrated Architecture Dictionary
The lowest molding which projects at the base of a column and above the plinth.
Etymology: Latin: a bulge, swelling
Resembles a semicircle.
In Egyptian temple architecture, the cavetto cornice generally had a torus beneath, as in the left illustration above..
Its most frequent employment is in the bases of columns; in the Roman Doric order being the lowest moulding; in the Ionic orders there are generally two torus mouldings separated by a scotia [a deep concave molding between two fillets] with fillets [a narrow part of the surface of a column between adjoining flutes].
Both in Greek and Roman bases sometimes the torus is elaborately carved .
Examples from Buffalo:
- Right illustration above: Ionic column - Washington Surplus Center