The description of Holy Cross
The Christian Cross, seen as a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus, is the best-known symbol of Christianity. It is related to the crucifix (a cross that includes a usually three-dimensional representation of Jesus' body) and to the more general family of cross symbols. The basic forms of the cross are the Latin cross (✝) and the Greek cross (✚), with numerous variants used in heraldry and in various confessional contexts.
The cross-shaped sign, represented in its simplest form by a crossing of two lines at right angles, greatly predates the introduction of Christianity, in both East and West. It goes back to a very remote period of human civilization. It is supposed to have been used not just for its ornamental value, but also with religious significance. It may have represented the apparatus used in kindling fire, and thus as the symbol of sacred fire or as a symbol of the sun, denoting its daily rotation. It has also been interpreted as the mystic representation of lightning or of the god of the tempest, or the emblem of the Aryan pantheon and the primitive Aryan civilization
During the first two centuries of Christianity, the cross was rare in Christian iconography, as it depicts a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution and Christians were reluctant to use it. A symbol similar to the cross, the staurogram, was used to abbreviate the Greek word for cross in very early New Testament manuscripts such as P66, P45 and P75, almost like a nomen sacrum (nomina sacra). The extensive adoption of the cross as Christian iconographic symbol arose from the 4th century.
The earliest depiction of the Christian Cross may be the Herculaneum Cross which was found in the city of Herculaneum, which was entombed in pyroclastic material along with Pompeii during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Another early depictions of the cross as a Christian symbol is the Alexamenos graffito.
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