General Question

flutherother's avatar

What is the earliest representation of the cross as a Christian symbol?

Asked by flutherother (21765 points ) December 9th, 2012

The cross is seen everywhere today but what was the first cross used as a symbol of Christianity?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s a decent discussion of the history of the cross in the context you are asking about.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

There supposedly was a “fish” symbol found on several stones in Herculaneum, which was destroyed in 79 AD.

flutherother's avatar

It’s an interesting article. Crucifixion as well as being a very cruel death was a shameful and ignominious one and the very earliest Christians didn’t like to use the cross as a symbol of their faith. @Tropical_Willie Yes, Christians had many symbols to represent their faith but I am particularly interested in the cross which has become the most important one.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The early Christians in Rome could not display the Cross under penalty of death. Therefore they used the fish and other symbols.

Response moderated (Spam)
flutherother's avatar

This mocking drawing showing the crucifixion of a person with a donkey’s head is possibly the oldest representation. Wikipedia mentions it in this article.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther