Good to know
The main symbol of Christianity, which concludes the entire content of the Christian faith, is definitely a cross.
The most numerous of all types of crosses were body crosses, which in the first centuries of Christian history constituted a sign that whoever worn them was a member of the Christian Church. For several centuries after the baptism of Russia believers were wearing such crosses not on the body but on top of their clothes, as a clear indication of practicing Orthodox faith.
Body crosses were preferably molded of copper and its alloys, as the main biblical glimpse Honest Living Cross of the Lord was considered copper snake built by Prophet Moses.
The earliest crosses of X-XI centuries that were found in the territory of Kiev, Hersones and other ancient Russian cities were four sided with equal sides and had no pictures, but simple geometric ornamentation.
In the XII century the forms of body crosses are becoming more diverse. On the front side appears a curved body of suffering crucified Christ, and in the medallions on the transverse bar appear images of Mother of God and St John the Divine.
The crosses of XIII-XVI centuries, along with the crucified Savior the images of Mother of God, Archangels, Apostles and a wide variety saints appeared.
The body crosses geometry evolutes from three ended to twelve ended crosses.
Body crosses or Pre-Mongolian era were often produced in the form of double-arks, in which the particles or remains of the saints were contained.
The crosses were often found, for example, in Uveka - city that was located the 13th century on the ground of Saratov.
In XVI and XVII century image of the Crucifixion on body crosses gradually disappearing, but the crosses themselves obtain more complex and refined form under the influence of "Moscow Baroque".
The average cross bar often portrayed crown of thorns, which over time becomes a special piece called “tsata”.
At the foot of the cross portrayed Calvary (Golgotha), in the depths of which located Adam’s skull, buried here.
It also placed the letters G-Calvary, A G - Adams Head, L R M B Place Where Crucifixion Happened.
The above letter T, indicating spear and walking stick - the means of passion.
This form of body crosses reported from the Old Believers that recognized as genuine the octagonal cross only.
However Old Believers’ body crosses were molded in quadrangular forms while quadrangular cross was embedded inside the octagonal one.
At the beginning of XIX century the form of Old Believers’ crosses, made from copper alloy, silver and gold and beautified by colorful enamel has been reduced to two types: male and female cross.
The back of the crosses always contained praying text (usually housed only a small part of it) -"Yes resurrection of God returns."
Currently a growing number of artists' workshops, manufacturing body crosses, are returning to past diversity of styles. Admirers of church antiques can buy crosses cast by the old forms and styles.
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