Processional crosses were widely used in the
Byzantine era in liturgical processions, military
campaigns and imperial ceremonies. They were
also offered to religious foundations as votive
gifts. This elegantly shaped example is fashioned
from a sheet of bronze with engraved
ornamentation. Each of the flaring arms ends in
two circular finials. The piercing at the bottom,
filled with iron deposits, probably indicates that
the cross was once attached to a base.
In the centre is an imposing representation of
the archangel Michael, standing in frontal view.
Above the figure, a Greek inscription identifies
the chief of the heavenly host. The style is highly
abstract, particularly the saint’s elongated face.
This is framed by a halo and a small but delicate
set of wings are also present. Dressed in a long
ankle length robe, the saint adopts a highly
unusual pose, resting his weight on his toes. The
robe itself is divided into panels and adorned
with dot and wave motifs. This elegant piece
impresses us with its simplicity and offers a
unique insight into the world of medieval