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flutherother's avatar

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

Asked by flutherother (27093points) December 9th, 2012

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

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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.

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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.

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