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HOME : Byzantine Art : Archive : Byzantine Bronze Cross From a Standard
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Byzantine Bronze Cross From a Standard - FZ.405
Origin: Bethlehem
Circa: 600 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 6" (15.2cm) high
Collection: Byzantine Art
Medium: Bronze


Additional Information: Sold

Location: United States
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Description
Though the cross is one of the simplest of forms, it is probably the most poignant. For Christians, the cross is the most potent symbol in existence, representing the earthly suffering, spiritual liberation, resurrection, and eternal life of Jesus Christ. The fact that an instrument of death was turned into a symbol of spiritual rebirth is astounding in itself. This is especially true for the faithful, and the Byzantine age was certainly characterized by fervent piety and extreme fanaticism. In terms of religious expression, this lovely cross falls into the category of gentle piousness and deep devotion. Although the image of Christ does not appear on this cross, his divinity is suggested by the appearance of his monogram, “XP,” standing for the first letters of his name in Greek, “Chi Rho.” According to legend, this symbol, also known as the Cross of Constantine, appeared in the sky, influencing the Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity and ushering in the Byzantine era. The small Greek Crosses incised into the top and bottom of the backside also symbolize Christ. This ancient shape of the cross originated from the Chi Rho. Thus, this small cross is symbolic of the crucified Christ as is the monogram incised in the front center. Other letters have been incised along the front, although they have faded over the centuries and are difficult to decipher. Originally, this cross would have been mounted upon a wooden staff and carried by a high priest as a standard, ushering the followers into the church and leading the religious service by the command of Christ himself. - (FZ.405)

 

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