The study Leo BARBE (Bulletin of the Federation Archaeological Herault 1979)


The symbols on the discoid steles, the most common is without doubt the cross can be in many forms and it is in the interpretation of its typology and terminology that seems to reign the greatest confusion, and some are are deceived by reusing uncontrolled inaccurate qualifications previously used other by light, because they saw no importance in this, others because it fit well with their theories, others because the terminology used previously sinned by lack of definition and precision. To give pain to anyone we will not give the reference abusive, faulty or misunderstood that we encountered so far uses, a full study would probably not need to prove much, but we advise everyone to make the corrections necessary to progressively so that subsequent uses are not based on shaky foundations. It will not stop unless the symbol of the cross is often treated by artists whose inventive faculties are almost endless which is also known aversion to any rule, codification or imperative brimeraient their creative genius, number of crosses to find this out is standard terminology for both codified whatsoever. This is not a reason to throw the handle before the ax and to limit the inconvenience to which we have alluded, we will try to put in the user's hand using a cluster list as much as possible the terminology most current far but after checking its validity, its clear limits established if the terms are lacking, reported and recommended contentious cases, finally, after having accompanied by illustrations enough to make it easily understandable and without possible confusion now.


Back to Christian antiquity, described by the chroniclers of the time, found depicted in the catacombs, they are the basis of all decorative or symbolic varieties developed later and do not pose many problems.
Mfr 20
GREEK CROSS: quadrata authors of antiquity. It is characterized by equal and straight arms. By its perfect symmetry, this is the guy who has the most tried Artist and Symbolist.


MFR20 Montferrand stele (Aude)

Croix latine
LATIN CROSS: capitata ancient authors, to distinguish the following type may be older, which itself has no head. Latin because much used by Christians of the Latin world that by Eastern Christians of the Greek language. The lower leg should be significantly longer than the others, it is for this reason that heralds say "cross Haussee" but this terminology should remain their particular.
Mfr 13
TAU CROSS: from the Greek name of the letter T which figure perfectly: It is the cross patibulata former gallows most common for criminals of the time. The oldest known representation as crucifixion, the Palatine, known as the crucifix blasphemous uses the tau cross.


MFR13 Montferrand stele (Aude)

Croix 5

SWASTIKA : gammata because equal branches and bent seem to be made ​​by all uppercase letters gamma. Prior to Christianity, this representation existed as a solar symbol. It is called swastika when she appears with a dextrorotatory and sovastika movement when the meaning is retrogyr, but this terminology may be used only undoubtedly pagan context or prior to Christianity. For Christians who have used this symbol in times of persecution because he wore the cross in the hiding, it was a "swastika" and not cross a solar symbol. Maybe they were also seen in the secondary branches a symbol of the four Gospels united to the Cross of Christ, as well as in the four points which often confined to the Greek cross about the Latin cross, which is just a hypothesis, but it is a fact that until the Renaissance symbol held a place that we can not imagine today.

Indian Temple Mauritius

Croix St Andre
CROSS OF ST ANDREW : because it was that the execution of the disciple of Jesus who set without nails, he died after two days. His name in ancient texts is decussata or because it looks like a Greek cross, inverted, or perhaps by its resemblance to the decussis : X sign given the number 10.
Croix 6
CROSS OF SAINT PIERRE : given this name to a Latin cross inverted upside down, because the martyrdom of Pierre who would not have the honor of dying as Christ and asked to be crucified upside down by tradition . It was also said that he died crucified horizontally and is know representations of horizontal Latin crosses. Anyway, these two types are very rare.


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