Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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(1,849 words)

The Latin word orans literally means “prayer.” However, in terms of iconography, scholars utilize the term orant (or orante) to refer to the image of a praying person. The emphasis on featuring a person in the prayer position is not uncommon in non-Christian texts, even examples that predate the beginnings of Christian iconography. Virgil most notably highlights the dutiful piety of Aeneas in the Aeneid, particularly in Book 6 as he t…

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Jefferson, Lee M., “Orans”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 25 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2020

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