The epigonation (from Greek, "upon the knee") is a stiff, diamond-shaped vestment worn on the right side by priests and bishops. The epigonation is awarded to a priest upon his elevation to archpriest. It represents a shield, originating from the thigh shield worn by soldiers during the days of the early church. The epigonation holds a dual meaning. First, it denotes the celebrant as a "soldier" of Christ. Second, it symbolizes the Word of God, fighting the wiles of the enemy. The epigonation is known as the "palitsa" in the Russian tradition.