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Glossary
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pagan

A pagan is a person who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew. A pagan may be a worshiper of a polytheistic religion or may profess no religion.

palette

small slab of stone used for grinding cosmetics in pre-dynastic Egyptian times; later, large ceremonial palettes bearing carved reliefs commemorated important events.

palmetto

stylized palm leaf used as a decorative element

palmiform

in the form of a palm leaf

parchment

the skin of a sheep or goat prepared as a material on which to write

Pascha

Passover; feast of Easter

pasha

Turkish military or civil title of high rank

patera

ancient Roman containers in the form of a shallow bowl without handles, often with a base whose center is pushed up into the body; used for offering libations at religious ceremonies or for drinking

Patrashil

The Patrashil is a stole, or vest, that is worn by the priests of the Coptic Church. It is made of white linen and is decorated with religious drawings on the chest.

Patriarch

The Patriarch is the Bishop of Alexandria. The Patriarch has authority over the other bishops of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

pectoral

large piece of jewelry, usually in the form of a trapezoid, worn on the chest

pediment

triangular unit surmounting the facade of a building, used as decoration in Greek architecture

pendant

an ornament or piece of jewelry attached to a necklace or bracelet

Persea tree

magical tree on which the gods wrote the name of the kings at coronation and jubilee festivals to assure them that their names and their lives would last forever

Peshent

also known as the Double Crown, representing the whole country (Upper and Lower Egypt), and worn by royalty

pikstyr

Coptic word meaning the spoon used in the Sacrament of the Eucharist

plumes

large feathers, usually worn on a crown or headdress

polychrome

having many colors

porphyry

rock of feldspar crystals embedded in a compact dark red or purple groundmass

portico

an entrance of a building with columns topped by a ceiling

praenomen

first or given name

Praxis

portion of the Acts of the Apostles

Ptolemaic

The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt from 323 BC to 30 BC. It was a Macedonian or Greek dynasty in origin.

pylon

massive facade of a temple consisting of two towers that are joined by a gate; pylons are the largest part of the temple and were mostly built last.

pyramidion

A small pyramid placed on the top of a pyramid, an obelisk, or a tomb

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