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palaestra (Greek)

An Ancient Greek wrestling school or building for athletics. It consisted of an open area, rectangular court surrounded by colonnades with adjoining rooms. Different disciplines such as wrestling, running, jumping, disk and javelin throw, gymnastics were practiced there.

paraskenion, pl. paraskenia (Greek)

Closed premises located on both sides of the proskenion of the ancient theatre that were used for the preparation of the actors.

parodos, pl. paradoi (Greek)

Open entrances at both sides of the orchestra leading towards the theatron in the Ancient Greek theatre.

pastas (Greek)

Column entrance (portico) in front of the main rooms in the Greek house.

pediment (Latin)

The lined with cornices triangular gable following the slopes of the pitched roof of a classical building or a portico. The inner flat triangle (tympanum) is often decorated with sculptures.

peripteros, pl. peripteroi (Greek)

Classical form of the Ancient Greek temple where the central core (cella) is surrounded on all four sides by one row of columns. This row of columns around the temple is called periptery.

peristasis (Greek)

The space between the columns and the cella of the Ancient Greek peripteros temple.

peristyle (Greek)

Open space surrounded by columns, courtyard in the Ancient Greek house, named peristyle, and later in Roman times - an internal garden and recreation space in the typical atrium-peristyle house.

pilaster (Latin)

A shallow rectangular pillar projecting from a wall with no structural purpose, but only decorative one.

pinacotheca (Greek)

Building (or a room) in which pictures are exhibited, picture gallery in Ancient Greece and Rome.

plinth (Greek)

Architectural form, square shaped plate at the bottom of the base of the column.

polis (Greek)

Ancient Greek city or city-state. It is commonly found in the names of towns - e.g. Philippopolis, and in combination with other words - e.g. acropolis, necropolis.

portico (Latin)

Covered porch consisting of a series of columns placed at regular intervals supporting a roof, normally attached as an entrance to a building, but sometimes forming a separate structure.

post-and-lintel system

The major structural system in the Egyptian and Ancient Greek architecture consisting of : vertical bearing elements - posts, columns; and horizontal bearing elements - lintels, beams.

praetorium, pl. praetoria (Latin)

Quarters of the commander (general) within the Roman military camp or fortified place in the city. In Ancient Rome, the praetorium was also a court of law.

prodomos, prodomus, pl. prodomoi (Greek)

Open vestibule at the entrance to the cella or naos of a temple or to the house.

proedria (Greek)

The front rows of the audience in the Greek theatre, most commonly individual stone seats for prominent public figures.

pronaos, pl. pronaoi (Greek)

Vestibule of an ancient temple, the inner area of the portico of a temple.

propylaeum, pl. propylea (Greek)

Imposing monumental entrance leading to an area with a special function - acropolis, themenos, temple or palace complex.

proskenion (Greek)

A raised platform on which actors in the Ancient Greek theatre perform.