An ampulla
An ampulla was, in Ancient Rome, a "small nearly globular flask or bottle, with two handles" . The word is used of these in archaeology, and of later flasks, often handle-less and much flatter, for holy water or holy oil in the Middle Ages....

 (plural "ampullae") was, in Ancient Rome, a "small nearly globular flask or bottle, with two handles" (OED). The word is used of these in archaeology, and of later flasks, often handle-less and much flatter, for holy water or holy oil in the Middle Ages.
  • Monza ampullae
    Monza ampullae
    The Monza ampullae form the largest collection of a specific type of Early Medieval pilgrimage ampullae or small flasks designed to hold holy oil from pilgrimage sites in the Holy Land related to the life of Jesus, that were made in Palestine, probably in the fifth to early seventh centuries...

     - 6th century, metal souvenirs of pilgrimages to the Holy Land.
  • Holy Ampulla
    Holy Ampulla
    The Holy Ampulla or Holy Ampoule was a glass vial which, from its first recorded use, by Pope Innocent II for the anointing of Louis VII in 1131 to the coronation of Louis XVI in 1774, held the chrism or anointing oil for the coronation of the kings of France.The role played by the Sainte Ampoule...

     - glass, part of the French coronation regalia and believed to have divine origins.
  • The Ampulla in the British Crown Jewels, a hollow, gold, eagle-shaped vessel from which the anointing oil is poured at the Coronation of the British Monarch.

Medicine and science

  • By extension, in scientific contexts, ampulla may mean a dilated segment in a tubular structure. It is used to describe several anatomical structures:
    • Ampullae of Lorenzini
      Ampullae of Lorenzini
      The ampullae of Lorenzini are special sensing organs called electroreceptors, forming a network of jelly-filled pores. They are mostly discussed as being found in cartilaginous fishes ; however, they are also reported to be found in Chondrostei such as Reedfish and sturgeon. Lungfish have also been...

       – electroreceptors in fishes
    • Ampulla of uterine tube
      Ampulla of uterine tube
      The ampulla is the second portion of the uterine tube. It is an intermediate dilated portion, which curves over the ovary.It is the most common site of human fertilization.The word ampulla is from Latin for flask....

    • Ampulla of ductus deferens
      Ampulla of ductus deferens
      At the fundus of the bladder the ductus deferens of some mammalian species becomes enlarged and sometimes tortuous. This portion is termed the ampulla....

    • Hepatopancreatic ampulla, also called ampulla of Vater
    • Duodenal ampulla or duodenal cap
      Duodenal cap
      The duodenal cap or duodenal ampulla is the very first part of the duodenum which is slightly dilated.It is the part which is intraperitoneal and is about 2 cm long.It is mobile and has a mesentery. It is also smooth walled....

       – the very first part of the duodenum, which is not retroperitoneal.
    • Rectal ampulla
      Rectal ampulla
      The rectal ampulla is the dilated section of the rectum where feces are stored until they are eliminated via the anal canal. The caliber of the rectum at its commencement is similar to that of the sigmoid colon, but near its termination it dilates, forming the ampulla....

    • Osseous ampullae
      Osseous ampullae
      The bony semicircular canals are three in number, superior, posterior, and lateral, and are situated above and behind the vestibule. They are unequal in length, compressed from side to side, and each describes the greater part of a circle. Each measures about 0.8 mm...

       – in the semicircular canals of the mammalian ear

  • Ampullae are also bulb-like structures above the tube feet
    Tube feet
    Tube feet are the many small tubular projections found most famously on the oral face of a sea star's arms, but are characteristic of the water vascular system of the echinoderm phylum which also includes sea urchins, sand dollars and sea cucumbers and many other sea creatures.Tube feet function in...

     in echinoderms, and in arthropod
    An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton , a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods are members of the phylum Arthropoda , and include the insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and others...

     male genitals.
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