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


We will do touch on the topic here with matters relating particularly experts steles discoidal. In religious orders, in fact, cross emblems are legion, the fact that almost all have felt the need, they have changed several times depending on the history of the order and they were sometimes more, depending on the hierarchy, depending on whether they were male or female congregation, etc..
Attempting a cluster list would be a lot of work that certainly remain incomplete and very difficult to carry out due to lack of sufficiently accurate and indisputable records as discussed below. So we shall consider only those often mentioned in our specialty funeral monuments.
Croix Malte

MALTESE CROSS : The cross that seems to have no problem was, however, very often misunderstood by both lexicons and glossaries by the authors. It is the cross arms of Malta became the emblem of the Knights of Malta when they took this name after Charles V had sold their island in 1530. This is a cross with equal arms splayed, whose ends are dovetailed. In chronology it involves a date quo 1530.

Croix Templiere

TEMPLAR CROSS : What it is, it involves a 1312 ad quem date, year which saw the complete disappearance of the order. This shows that the confusion between the two would be much more regrettable. However, the risk is great, because the property of the Templars after their eradication were devolved to other levels, especially the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, which then became known as the Knights of Rhodes and then again, later, that of Knights of Malta. The time superposition of these orders in the same land has already led many interpretations as much risky. Various iconographic documents we have are difficult to attribute with certainty and equally difficult to date, and each author has retained his under personal criteria. For some, it is the Latin cross, for others, the Latin cross pattée for some Greek cross with flared cross branches, or the Maltese cross, however after three to four centuries, or that has a double cross .
The Order of the Temple has been responsible for all the sins of Israel, peace to his ashes and did not charge him with all the crosses we do not know what to do. At present, the terminology "Templar Cross" as the more temperate "Cross Templar tradition" is highly contentious and avoid both a one-time work on the issue has not established an unmistakable typology. For now, all that is known with certainty is that it was red in accordance with the requirements of Pope Eugène III and probably there was no codification of form. Indeed, the requirements are also known to cross the color of other kinds: white field of the mouth to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem following the instructions of Pope Innocent II in 1130, green for the Order of Saint Lazarus Black the Teutonic Knights, the importance given to the color may suggest that it was just the only way to distinguish these emblems as otherwise would have been specified at the same time.

Croix de Jerusalem

JERUSALEM CROSS : It must mean the cross arms of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, a gold cross potent and confined to small crosses, one of which Baudoin gave the port emblem as the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. This cross was proof of that pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. It was worn pinned or sewn on the garment, also medal.

(Musée de Cluny, Paris) (Photo Geo)

"How can you worship the cross on which death is the son of God ?
Who would be stupid enough to worship the stick hit him ?"

Perfect words in 1320.

CATHAR CROSS : even more contentious than the Templar cross because it seems that the Cathars had never need a special cross emblem. For some, like Mr. Vidal is a simple Greek cross large-pawed and flattened be characteristic of the Cathar cross. For others, such as R. Dorbes and D. Roche is a Greek cross with twelve pearls. For R. Nelli "Cathar cross attested," it does not say by whom, and why, is a Greek cross surmounting an inverted V.
As seen, the proponents of a specific cross the Cathars not agree. In reality, no text on trial inquisition made ​​the slightest allusion to a particular cross and no demonstrations attempted to justify is really credible, the arguments are only assumptions, unverifiable sources regarding assumptions, they are all easily explain quite orthodox. This emblem seems to be a figment of the imagination that we must allow tenants at all costs an unconditional esotericism and tourist offices.
Croix Huguenotte

HUGUENOT CROSS : Recognized as a sign of belonging to the Reformed Church, it is evidently subsequent to the Reformation, known mostly as a pendant. It looks like a Maltese cross more or less typical, Beaded eight points and haloed, halo that sometimes being a fleurdelysée crown. It may also include, hanging from the bottom, a little dove or a tear, not to be confused with the Honorary Cross of the Order of the Holy Spirit is present as well, but where the dove, mandatory, is represented at the crossroads branches.

Croix Papale

PAPAL CROSS : Because constituting the emblem of the sovereign pontiff. This is a double cross to which was added a third tie, the longest in the lower part; probably hierarchical reasons, the double cross is already known as patriarchal, it was also proposed recall of three successive crowns adorning the tiara once conical.

(Pope Jean Paul II, Vatican City)


CROSS ANTHROPOMORPHIC: You can not specify here an extremely variable type. Specify only one means by that a cross made ​​in order to symbolically unite the cross and crucified. So this is an area where the trapped subjective is a big place, this is an ideal field for our colleagues who would like to cross swords, So we will use this terminology after mature reflection.


We just consider the most varieties of cross encountered in the study of funeral monuments, religious art, numismatics, etc.. No doubt this list is not complete and can not be, if only because of the imagination and creative opportunities for artists.
We recall, however, that its main purpose is mainly to provide a uniform basis of the authors start to draw their attention to the liability incurred by using lightly terminology may have implications they do not suspect, d 'now avoid confusion and too frequent mistakes in the past.

Courtesy Leo BARBE (Bulletin of the Federation Archaeological Herault 1979)

Edition : © SD 2013 with Dreamweaver CS6