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PAX (Lat. for " peace ")

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Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 977 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PAX (Lat. for " peace "), the name given in ecclesiastical usage to a small panel or tablet decorated usually with a representation of the Crucifixion, which in the Roman ritual was kissed at the eucharistic service by the celebrating priest, then by the other priests and deacons, and then by the congregation. The " Pax " is also known by the names osculalorium, tabula pacis and pax-bred (i.e. " pax-board "). The use of the " pax " dates from the 13th century, and it is said to have been first introduced in England in 1250 by Archbishop Walter of York. It took the place of the actual " kiss of peace " (esculum sanctum, or osculum pacis) which was in the Roman Mass given by the bishop to the priests, and took place after the consecration and before communion. In the Greek Church the kiss (eipipm, b..Qaavµbs) takes place at the beginning of the service, and now consists in the celebrating priest kissing the oblation and the deacon kissing his stole (see F. E. Brightman, Liturgies Eastern and Western, 1886). Owing to disputes over questions of precedence the kissing of the pax at the service of the Mass was given up. It is still used at times of prayer by religious communities or societies. In the 15th and 16th centuries much artistic skill was lavished on the pax, and beautiful examples of enamelled paxes with chased gold and silver framesare in the British Museum. Though the Crucifixion is most usually represented, other religious subjects, such as the Virgin and Child, the Annunciation, the figures of patron saints and the like, are found. In the " Inventarie of the Plate, Jewells ...and other Ornaments appertayning to the Cathedrall Churche of Sayncte Paulo in London," 1552, we find two paxes mentioned; one "with the ymage of the Crucifix and of Marie and John all gylte with the Sonn alsoe and the Moone, the backsyde whereof is crymosin velvett," and another " with the ymage of our Ladie sett aboughte with x greate stones the backsyde whereof is grene velvett " (Hierurgia anglicana, pt. i., 1902). PA X0 [Paxos], one of the Ionian Islands (q.v.), about 8 m. S. of the southern extremity of Corfu, is a hilly mass of limestone 5 M. long by 2 broad, and not more than 600 ft. high. Fop. about 500o. Though it has only a single stream and a few springs, and the inhabitants were often obliged, before the Russians and English provided them with cisterns, to bring water from the mainland, Paxo is well clothed with olives, which produce oil of the very highest quality. Gaion (or, less correctly, Gaia), the principal village, lies on the east coast, and has a small harbour. Towards the centre, on an eminence, stands Papandi, the residence of the bishop of Paxo, and throughcut the island are scattered a large number of churches, whose belfries add greatly to the picturesqueness of the views. On the west and south-west coasts are some remarkable caverns, of which an account will be found in Davy's Ionian Islands, i. 66-71. Ancient writers—Polybius, Pliny, &c.—do not mention Paxos by itself, but apply the plural form Paxi (IIaEol) to Paxos and the smaller island which is now known as Antipaxo (the Propaxos of the Antonine Itinerary). Paxos is the scene of the curious legend, recorded in Plutarch's De defectu oraculorum, of the cry " Pan is dead " (see PAN).
End of Article: PAX (Lat. for " peace ")

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