An entablature refers to the superstructure of moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns, resting on their capitals. Entablatures are major elements of classical architecture, and are commonly divided into the architrave—the supporting member carried from column to column, pier or wall immediately above; the frieze—an unmolded strip that may or may not be ornamented; and the cornice, the projecting member below the pediment. The structure of the entablature varies with the three classical orders: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. In each, the proportions of the subdivisions (architrave, frieze, cornice) are defined by the proportions of the column in the order. In Roman and Renaissance interpretations, it is usually around a fourth of the height of the column. Variants of entablature that do not fit these models are usually derived from them.
L. Brent Vaughan Hill's Practical Reference Library Volume II (NewYork, NY: Dixon, Hanson and Company, 1906)