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Pectoral Cross
(175 words)

[German Version]

The pectoral cross represents a special development of the encolpion (pectorale), otherwise usually rectangular or oval, which Christians as well as pagans and Jews used as an ornament in antiquity. Although long worn by other secular and religious notables, by the 12th century the encolpion and pectoral cross were becoming increasingly a mark of episcopal office. Since 1570 the pectoral cross has been part of the mandatory attire of bishops. Since the 18th century, priests in the Orthodox …

Cite this page
Plank, Peter, “Pectoral Cross”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 20 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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