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


There can be no question here, apart from two or three cases to establish a precise classification. The use of a cross made ​​for that particular job does not lead, in fact, the obligation of a type strictly codified in its shape or design. By contrary, some special adjustments are sometimes necessary to perform a specific function and it is these which will allow us to establish a terminology.
Croix 1

MANUAL CROSS : It can be cross all kinds whose characteristic is to have a small handful in the continuation of the main axis, to hold in hand and show it to the faithful. They were used for ceremonies blessing, hence the name cross blessing sometimes given but seems less evocative aspect of the subject, especially since they were also used for ceremony called "kiss of peace". Become rare in the West, they are still in use among the Copts and the Orthodox.

(Coptic fabric from the excavations of Akhmim).

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POLED CROSS : The cross itself can also be of any type and is characterized by a long pole to the show this time above the crowd, the most common I'usage is conducting processions, where processional name sometimes given him but that should not be withheld because too specialized. Indeed, these crosses are also reserved for the reception of the bishop, to conduct the Pope to the Church of the statio, hence the name stational sometimes used improperly, they can also be reserved for the conduct of dead to the cemetery. So we will stick to the proposed terminology sufficiently evocative of the object and does not jeopardize the author by a generally uncertain accuracy.

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STICKED CROSS : characterized by the party extending the lower leg and tapers to a point after a gradual decrease as file to stick the cross in the ground. This guy seems pretty rare, its the most common situation in the sepulchral slabs in relation to a funeral use. Do not confuse this type with cross also equipped with a sharp appendage, but shorter, which would be another, as silk for fixing a missing pole.

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CHEST CROSS : Intended to be worn on the chest, so it must include a ring or hanger. Terminologies "pastoral" and "Episcopal", this function is neither certain nor wholly be avoided. Most notable are the Merovingian and sometimes house a fragment of relic.
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VOTIVES CROSS : Made in pursuance of a vow or as a gift. This type is usually luxurious and also with a suspension ring to highlight in a particular place, sometimes a second ring at the bottom to add extra ornamentation.

(Treasury of Monza, after the Hoppenot).

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CIMETERIAL CROSS : Still large it has other features that its location in the center of the cemetery. It results in a very special ceremony of consecration of the land that now makes it suitable for this purpose. His erection is accompanied by the other crosses, which they are not always the final four points of the compass, to limit the field liturgically consecrated. Hosanna Cross terminology sometimes used in this case should be avoided because it is not very accurate or exclusive.

(Center Cemetery Baraigne, Aude)

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ABSOLUTION CROSS : It's cross found in burials, placed on the chest of the dead or their feet, sometimes sewn to their clothing and having thus many holes for the passage of son . There's a lot of lead, some silver or stone. We do not know exactly the appropriate use, but there are several engraved with formulas of absolution that light enough question. For the crosses are sewn on clothes and are generally thin gold leaf qualification "Lombard cross" used so far as they were especially common in northern Italy will be avoided, we now know in other areas unrelated to the Lombards.

(Gold sewn sheet, Museum of Turin, Italy)

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TRIUMPHAL CROSS : You can reserve this name to two very different but going back to the same time of the triumph of the Church. The first, very large, for the cross occupying the greater part of the apse, whether painted or mosaic. The second rather reserved to the goldsmith, the etrog, numismatics, is characterized by the fact that the cross surmounts the globe.

(The cross here is potent, Merovingian currency)

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ROGATION CROSS : built in rural areas to the cardinal points of the small villages, the use of ceremonies to bless the crops, they are characterized by a large base, a gentle sort of small altar on which offerings were placed.

(Near Baraigne, Aude)

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CROSS OF DEDICATION : These are engraved or painted crosses on the walls and pillars of the church, usually inscribed in a circle, twelve in number and the location of which were made essential ritual anointing, the consecration ceremony equivalent a baptism.

(Near Baraigne, Aude)

RELIQUARY CROSS : Only particular character specific to this function resides in the apartment she has, to house a fragment of relic more or less important.
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CROSS ALTAR : essential from the earliest times to the sacrifice of the Mass, it was known as the previous all styles and all possible decorations. Its main feature, however, has remained the same: a tripod that can be placed on the altar where she could still stay permanently because of his wealth.

(Church Baraigne, Aude)

Finally, cross road, crossroads, fair, bridge, crown, have other characteristics that their location as well as the cross steeple, or the antefixes pinion churches.

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