1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Parapet
PARAPET (Ital. parapetto, Fr. parapet, from para, imperative of Ital. parare, to cover, defend, and petto, breast, Lat. pectus; the German word is Brustwehr), a dwarf wall along the edge of a roof, or round a lead flat, terrace walk, &c., to prevent persons from falling over, and as a protection to the defenders in case of a siege. Parapets are either plain, embattled, perforated or panelled. The last two are found in all styles except the Romanesque. Plain parapets are simply portions of the wall generally overhanging a little, with a coping at the top and corbel table below. Embattled parapets are sometimes panelled, but oftener pierced for the discharge of arrows, &c. Perforated parapets are pierced in various devices—as circles, trefoils, quatrefoils and other designs—so that the light is seen through. Panelled parapets are those ornamented by a series of panels, either oblong or square, and more or less enriched, but are not perforated. These are common in the Decorated and Perpendicular periods.