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date: 22 September 2019


  • Catherine Oakes,
  • John N. Lupia,
  • Roger Stalley,
  • Donna L. Sadler,
  • Nicola Coldstream,
  • Hilary Richardson
  •  and Regine Marth


Symbol of Christianity, widely represented in art in a great variety of types, contexts and materials. This article is concerned with the cross as a three-dimensional object, both of the monumental and portable type. Although in its narrow sense the term denotes a cross without the corpus (figure of the crucified Christ), it is also commonly used to refer to a crucifix (a cross with a representation of the corpus), a subject that is covered elsewhere (see Crucifix). The cross was also adopted as the typical form for reliquaries of the True Cross (for a discussion of reliquary crosses see also Reliquary, §I, 1).

Catherine Oakes

Christ’s execution by crucifixion is described in all four Gospel accounts, although none is specific about the shape of the cross. The New Testament Greek word for cross or crucifix, stauros, can also simply denote a post, and does not necessarily imply the cruciform shape of the vulgate Latin ...

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