CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Archaeology of the Cross and Crucifix


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Marucchi, La cripta sepolcrale di S. In the ninth century the crucifix of Leo IV is of importance In the artistic treatment of the crucifix there are two periods: More on the NIV.

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Grisar, "Kreuz und Kreuzigung auf der altchristl. The nymphs that hatch from these eggs may move to other leaves, or move to the roots where they begin new infections in the root form. Procopius we read that he caused a gold pectoral cross to be made, and that there appeared on it miraculously in Hebrew letters the names Emmanuel, Michael, Gabriel. In the earliest Christian life, as can be seen from the metaphorical language of the primitive faithful, the cross was the symbol of the principal Christian virtue, i. The intent of the cross was to generate a hybrid vine that was resistant to phylloxera but produced wine that did not taste like the American grape.

No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. Now remain in my love. Love each other as I have loved you. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.

That is why the world hates you. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. All rights reserved worldwide. You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Of course, the argument is essentially irrelevant wherever phylloxera exists.

Had American rootstock not been available and used, there would be no V. Cyprus was spared by the phylloxera plague, and thus its wine stock has not been grafted for phylloxera resistant purposes. The only European grapes that are natively resistant to phylloxera are the Assyrtiko grape which grows on the volcanic island of Santorini , Greece, although it is not clear whether the resistance is due to the rootstock itself or the volcanic ash on which it grows; and the Juan Garcia grape variety, autochthonous to the medieval village of Fermoselle in Spain.

The Juan Garcia variety remained—untouched by phylloxera—sheltered on the vineyards planted on the man-made land terraces along the mountainous skirts on the gigantic and steep Arribes River Canyon , where the microclimatic conditions discourage the growth of phylloxera.

The sand, sun and wind in this area has been a major deterrent to phylloxera. The wine produced here is called "Vins des Sables" or "wines of the sands". Flooding the vineyards for 50 days kills all the nymphs that overwinter in the roots or the bark at the bottom of the plant. Some regions were so blighted by phylloxera that they never recovered, and instead the producers switched crops entirely.

The island of Mallorca is one example, where almonds now substitute for vines. According to wine critic and author Kerin O'Keefe , thanks to tiny parcels of vineyards throughout Europe which were inexplicably unscathed, some vineyards still exist as they were before the phylloxera devastation. So far, Chilean wine has remained phylloxera free.

It is isolated from the world by the Atacama Desert to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Andes Mountains to the east. Phylloxera has also never been found in several wine-growing regions of Australia, including Western Australia and South Australia. A rare vintage port is made from ungrafted vines grown on a small parcel, called Nacional, in the heart of the Quinta do Noval estate.

There is no scientific explanation as to why this plot survived while others succumbed. Another vineyard unaffected by the phylloxera is the Lisini estate in Montalcino in Italy: Since the winery has produced a few bottles of Prefillossero Italian for "before the phylloxera". Jumilla in southeastern Spain is an important area of ungrafted vineyards, mainly from Monastrell grapes. Those vineyards, however, are not immune to the louse, which is slowly advancing and destroying the fabled Pie Franco vineyard of the Casa Castillo estate, planted in , i.

Large swaths of vineyards on the slopes of Sicily's volcano Mount Etna also remain free of the phylloxera louse. Some vines are more than one-hundred-fifty years old, pre-dating the phylloxera infestation in Sicily — From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Phylloxera is also a genus in family Phylloxeridae. The Prairie Farmer Archived from the original on University of Missouri-Kansas City. Retrieved 3 May The World of Fine Wine. Campbell, Christy, "The Botanist and the Vintner: Powell, Kevin, "Grape phylloxera: Murray CAB International Peter's, and placed in it a jewelled gold cross containing a relic of the True Cross.

Pope Hilarius did the like at the Lateran, building an oratory communicating with the baptistery , and placing in it a similar cross Duchesne. The unvarying characteristic style of cross in the fifth and sixth centuries is for the most part decked with flowers, palms, and foliage, sometimes sprouting from the root of the cross itself, or adorned with gems and precious stones.

Sometimes on two small chains hanging from the arms of the cross one sees the apocalyptic letters Alpha , Omega , and over them were hung small lamps or candles. On the mosaics in the church of St. Felix at Nola , St. Paulinus caused to be written: A flowered and jewelled cross is that painted on the baptistery of the Catacomb of Ponzianus on the Via Portuensis cf.

The cross is also displayed on the mosaic in the baptistery built by Galla Placidia, in the church of San Vitale, and in Sant' Apollinare in Classe, at Ravenna , and over a ciborium from St. In , at Berezov Islands, on the River Sosswa, in Siberia , there was found a silver plate, or liturgical paten , of Syrian workmanship, which now belongs to Count Gregory Stroganov. In the centre of it is a cross standing on a terrestrial globe studded with stars; on either side stands an angel with a staff in his left hand, the right being raised in adoration; four rivers flow from its base and indicate that the scene is in Paradise.

Some learned Russians attribute the plate to the ninth century, but De Rossi , more correctly, places it in the seventh century. In these same centuries the cross was of frequent use in liturgical rites and processions of great solemnity. It was carried in the churches where the stations were; the bearer of it was called draconarius , and the cross itself stationalis. These crosses were often very costly cf. The sign of the cross was made at liturgical functions over persons and things, sometimes with five fingers extended, to represent the Five Wounds of Christ , sometimes with three, in sign of the Persons of the Trinity, and sometimes with only one, symbolical of the unity of God.

For the blessing of the chalice and oblations Leo IV prescribed that two fingers be extended and thumb placed beneath them. This is the only true sign of the Trinitarian Cross. The pope warmly recommended his clergy to make this sign with care, else their blessing would be fruitless. The action was accompanied by the solemn formula, "In nomine Patris, etc. The bishop who performed the ceremony wrote the alphabet in Latin and Greek on the floor of the church along two straight lines crossing in the form of the Roman decussis.

The letter X, which in the land-plottings of the Roman augurs represented, with its two component lines, the cardo maximus and the decumanus maximus , was the same decussis used by the Roman agrimensores , in their surveys of farms, to indicate boundaries.

This sign was appropriate to Christ by its cruciform shape and by its identity in shape with the initial letter of His name, Christos , in Greek. For this reason it was one of the genuine forms of the signum Christi. The use of the cross became so widespread in the fifth and following centuries that anything like a complete enumeration of the monuments on which it appears is well nigh impossible.

Suffice it to say that there is hardly a remnant of antiquity dating from this century, whether lowly and mean or noble and grand, which does not bear the sign. In proof of this we shall give here a cursory enumeration.

It is quite frequent on sepulchral monuments, on the imperial urns at Constantinople, on the plaster of the loculi resting-places in the catacombs , especially of Rome , in a painting in a Christian cemetery at Alexandria in Egypt , on a mosaic at Boville near Rome , on an inscription for a tomb made in the form of a cross and now in the museum at Marseilles , on the interior walls of sepulchral chambers, on the front of marble sarcophagi dating from the fifth century.

In these last instances it is common to see the cross surmounted by the monogram and surrounded by a laurel wreath e. A very fine specimen was found recently in excavations in St. Domitilla's Catacomb on the Ostian Way; it is a symbolical picture of souls freed from the trammels of the body, and saved by means of the Cross, which has two doves on its arms, while armed guards are asleep at its base.

Lastly, in England , crosses have been found on sepulchral monuments. So universal was its use by the faithful that they put it even on household utensils, on medals of devotion , on pottery lamps, spoons, cups, plates, glassware on clasps dating from Merovingian times, on inscriptions and votive offerings, on seals made in the form of a cross, on toys representing animals, on ivory combs, on the seals of wine-jars, on reliquary boxes, and even on water-pipes.

In the artistic monuments the so-called cruciform nimbus around Our Saviour's head is well known. The cross appears over His head, and near that of the orante, as in the oil-stocks of Santo Menna. It is also to be met with on monuments of a symbolical nature: When Christianity had become the official religion of the empire, it was natural that the cross should be carved on public monuments.

In fact it was from the first used to purify and sanctify monuments and temples originally pagan ; it was prefixed to signatures and to inscriptions placed on public work; it was borne by consuls on their sceptres, the first to do so being Basil the Younger A. It was cut in marble quarries and in brickyards, and on the gates of cities cf. At Rome there is still to be seen on the Gate of St. Sebastian the figure of a Greek cross surrounded by a circle with the invocations: In and around Bologna it was usual to set the sign of salvation in the public streets.

According to tradition, these crosses are very ancient, and four of them date from the time of St. Some of them were restored in the ninth and tenth centuries cf. Giovanni Gozzadini, Delle croci monumentali che erano nelle vie di Bologna nel secolo xiii.

The cross also played an important part in heraldry and diplomatic science. The former does not directly come within our scope; of the second we shall give the briefest outlines. Crosses are to be found on documents of early medieval times and, being placed at the head of a deed, were equivalent to an invocation of heaven , whether they were plain or ornamental. They were at times placed before signatures, and they have even been equivalent to signatures in themselves.

Indeed, from the tenth century we find, under contracts, roughly-made crosses that have all the appearance of being intended as signatures. This usage declined in the thirteenth century and appeared again in the fifteenth. In our own day the cross is reserved as the attestation-mark of illiterate people. A cross was characteristic of the signature of Apostolic notaries, but this was carefully designed, not rapidly written.

In the centre were to be seen medallions representing the Lamb of God, Christ , or the saints. Peter's, mentioned above, and again in the silver cross of Agnello at Ravenna cf. All this kind of decoration displays the substitution of some more or less complete symbol for the figure of Christ on the cross, of which we are about to speak. It may be well to give here a list of works bearing on the departments of the subject just treated, and containing illustrations which it has not been opportune to quote in the foregoing part of the article: Now the cross, as it was seen during all this time was only a symbol of the Divine Victim and not a direct representation.

We can thus more easily understand, then how much more circumspection was necessary in proceeding to a direct portrayal of the Lord's actual Crucifixion. Although in the fifth century the cross began to appear on public monuments, it was not for a century afterwards that the figure on the cross was shown; and not until the close of the fifth, or even the middle of the sixth century, did it appear without disguise. To proceed in order, we will first examine the rare allusions, as it were, to the Crucifixion in Christian art down to the sixth century, and then look at the productions of that art in the later period.

Seeing that the cross was the symbol of an ignominious death, the repugnance of the early Christians to any representation of Christ's torments and ignominy is easily understood. On a few sarcophagi of the fifth century e. Paul says, "to the Jews a scandal , and to the Gentiles foolishness". Yet, from the first ages Christians were loth to deprive themselves altogether of the image of their crucified Redeemer, though, for the reasons already stated and because of the "Discipline of the Secret" , they could not represent the scene openly.

The Council of Elvira, c. Wherefore recourse was had to allegory and to veiled forms, as in the case of the cross itself, Cf. A very ancient inscription in the Crypt of Lucina, in the Catacombs of St.

Callistus, shows this picture, which is otherwise somewhat rare cf. The same symbol was still in use at the end of the fourth and beginning of the fifth century. In the description of the mosaics in the basilica of St. Paulinus shows us the same cross in connection with the mystical lamb, evidently an allusion to the Crucifixion, and he adds the well-known verse: In the Catacomb of St. The early Christians in their artistic labours did not disdain to draw upon the symbols and allegories of pagan mythology, as long as these were not contrary to Christian faith and morals.

Callistus a sarcophagus, dating from the third century, was found, the front of which shows Ulysses tied to the mast while he listens to the song of the Sirens; near him are his companions, who with ears filled with wax, cannot hear the alluring song.

All this is symbolical of the Cross, and of the Crucified, who has closed against the seductions of evil the ears of the faithful during their voyage over the treacherous sea of life in the ship which will bring them to the harbour of salvation. Such is the interpretation given by St. Maximus of Turin in the homily read on Good Friday S. Maximi opera, Rome, , A very important monument belonging to the beginning of the third century shows the Crucifixion openly.

This would seem to contradict what we have said above, but it should be remembered that this is the work of pagan , and not of Christian , hands cf. De Rossi , Bull , d'arch, crist. Near by there is another man in an attitude of prayer with the legend Alexamenos sebetai theon , i. See the article entitled Ass. In fact Tertullian tells us that in his day, i. And Minucius Felix confirms this Octav. The Palatine graffito is also important as showing that the Christians used the crucifix in their private devotions at least as early as the third century.

It would not have been possible for Alexamenos' companion to trace the graffito of a crucified person clad in the perizoma which was contrary to Roman usage if he had not seen some such figure made use of by the Christians. Professor Haupt sought to identify it as a caricature of a worshipper of the Egyptian god Seth, the Typho of the Greeks, but his explanation was refuted by Kraus.

Recently, a similar opinion has been put forth by Wünsch, who takes his stand on the letter Y which is placed near the crucified figure, and which has also been found on a tablet relating to the worship of Seth; he therefore concludes that Alexamenos of the graffito belonged to the Sethian sect. With reference to the Alexamenos graffito , which certainly has a bearing on the crucifix and its use by the early Christians , see Raffaele Garucci , "Un crocifisso graffito da mano pagana nella casa dei Cesari sul Palatino", Rome, ; Ferdinand Becker, "Das Spott-Crucifix der römischen Kaiserpaläste", Breslau , ; Kraus, "Das Spott-Crucifix vom Palatin", Freiburg im Breisgau, ; Visconti, "Di un nuovo graffito palatino relativo al cristiano Alessameno", Rome, ; Visconti and Lanciani, "Guida del Palatino", , p.

The crucifix and representations of the Crucifixion became general after the sixth century, on manuscripts , then on private monuments, and finally even on public monuments. But its appearance on monuments up to about the eighth century surely indicates such monuments to be works of private zeal and devotion, or, at least, not clearly and decidedly public.

As a matter of fact, it is noteworthy that, in the year , i. The earliest manuscript bearing a representation of Christ crucified is in a miniature of a Syriac codex of the Gospels dating from A. Therein the figure of Christ is robed Assemani, Biblioth.

Other images of the crucifix belong to the sixth century. A cross belonging to the sixth century is to be found in the treasury at Monza, on which the image of the Saviour is wrought in enamel cf. Mozzoni, "Tavole cronologiche-critiche della stor. Gregory the Great to Theodolinda, Queen of the Lombards. We know also that he gave a cross to Recared, King of the Visigoths , and to others cf.

It is certain , then, that the custom of displaying the Redeemer on the Cross began with the close of the sixth century, especially on encolpia , yet such examples of the crucifix are rare. As an example, we have a Byzantine encolpion , with a Greek inscription, which was erroneously thought to have been discovered in the Roman Catacombs in , and about which the renowned Leo Allatius has written learnedly cf.

The little metal vases at Monza, in which was carried to Queen Theodolinda the oil from the Holy Places, show clearly how the repugnance to effigies of Christ lasted well into the sixth century. In the scene of the Crucifixion thereon depicted, the two thieves alone are seen with arms extended, in the attitude of crucifixion, but without a cross, while Christ appears as an orante, with a nimbus, ascending among the clouds, and in all the majesty of glory, above a cross under a decoration of flowers.

In the same manner, on another monument, we see the cross between two archangels while the bust of Christ is shown above. Another very important monument of this century, and perhaps dating even from the preceding one, is the Crucifixion carved on the wooden doors at S. Sabina on the Aventine Hill, at Rome.

The Crucified Christ, stripped of His garments, and on a, cross, but not nailed to the cross, and between two thieves, is shown as an orante, and the scene of the Crucifixion is, to a, certain extent, artistically veiled. The carving is roughly done, but the work has become of great importance, owing to recent studies thereon, wherefore we shall briefly indicate the various writings dealing with it: Grisar, "Analecta Romana", sqq.

Grisar, "Kreuz und Kreuzigung auf der altchristl. Kunstsammlungen", I , Christ is shown wearing only a loin-cloth: He appears as if alive; and not suffering physical pain. To the left, Judas is seen hanged; and below is the purse of money. In the following century the Crucifixion is still sometimes represented with the restrictions we have noticed, for instance, in the mosaic made in by Pope Theodore in S. Primas and Felician, the cross is to be seen, with the bust of the Saviour just above it.

In the same seventh century, also, the scene of the Crucifixion is shown in all its historic reality in the crypt of St. Valentine's Catacomb on the Via Flaminia cf. Marucchi, La cripta sepolcrale di S. Bosio saw it in the sixteenth century, and it was then in a better state of preservation than it is today Bosio, Roma Sott.

Christ crucified appears between Our Lady and St. John and is clad in a long, flowing tunic colobium , and fastened by four nails, as was the ancient tradition, and as Gregory of Tours teaches: The last objections and obstacles to the realistic reproduction of the Crucifixion disappeared in the beginning of the eighth century.

Part of such a mosaic still exists in the grottoes at the Vatican similar in treatment to that of John VII. Belonging to the same century, though dating a little later, is the image of the Crucified discovered a few years ago in the apse of the old church of S. Maria Antiqua in the Roman Forum. This remarkable picture, now happily recovered, was visible for a little while in the month of May, , and is mentioned in the diary of Valesio. It dates from the time of Pope St.

Paul I , and stands in a niche above the altar. The figure is draped in a long tunic of a greyish-blue colour, is very lifelike, and has wide-open eyes. The soldier Longinus is in the act of wounding the side of Christ with the lance. On either hand are Mary and John; between them and the Cross stands a soldier with a sponge and a vessel filled with vinegar; above the Cross the sun and moon dim their rays. Another interesting picture is that in the crypt of SS. Giovanni e Paolo at Rome , in their dwellinghouse on the Celian Hill.

It is Byzantine in style and shows the crucifix. In the ninth century the crucifix of Leo IV is of importance It is a stripped figure with a perizoma and four nails are used. A similar figure is in the paintings of S. To the same century belongs a diptych from the monastery of Rambona of about the year , and now in the Vatican Library Buonarroti, "Osservazioni sopra alcune frammenti di vetro", Florence , , , and P.

Stanislao, "La casa celimontana, dei SS. Giovanni e Paolo", Rome, To bring this list to a close we may mention an eleventh-century diptych in the cathedral of Tournai , a twelfth-century Roman cross preserved at the Porte de Halle, at Brussels , and an enameled crucifix in the Spitzer collection.

In the artistic treatment of the crucifix there are two periods: We shall here treat only of the former, touching lightly on the latter.

In the first period the Crucified is shown adhering to the cross, not hanging forward from it; He is alive and shows no sign of physical suffering; He is clad in a long, flowing, sleeveless tunic colobium , which reaches the knees.

The head is erect, and surrounded by a nimbus, and bears a royal crown. The figure is fastened to the wood with four nails cf. Garrucci , "Storia dell' arte crist. Valentino", Rome, ; Forrer and Müller, op. In a word, it is not Christ suffering, but Christ triumphing and glorious on the Cross.

Moreover, Christian art for a long time objected to stripping Christ of his garments, and the traditional colobium , or tunic, remained until the ninth century. In the East the robed Christ was preserved to a much later date. Again in miniatures from the ninth century the figure is robed, and stands erect on the cross and on the suppedaneum. The scene of the Crucifixion, especially after the eighth century, includes the presence of the two thieves, the centurion who pierced Christ's side, the soldier with the sponge, the Blessed Virgin and St.

Mary is never shown weeping and afflicted, as became the custom in later ages, but standing erect near the cross, as St. Ambrose says, in his funeral oration on Valentinian: Gregory the Great , Homily ii in Evang. At the foot of the Cross the female figures are symbolical of the Church and the Synagogue , the one receiving the Saviour's blood in a cup, the other veiled and discrowned, holding in her hand a torn banner.

With the tenth century realism began to play a part in Christian art , and the colobium becomes a shorter garment, reaching from the waist to the knees perizoma. In the "Hortus deliciarum" in the "album" belonging to the Abbess Herrada of Landsberg in the twelfth the colobium is short, and approaches the form of the perizoma.

From the eleventh century in the East, and from the Gothic period in the West, the head droops onto the breast cf. In the thirteenth century complete realism is reached by the substitution of one nail in the feet, instead of two, as in the old tradition, and the resulting crossing of the legs. All this was done from artistic motives, to bring about a more moving and devotional pose.

The living and triumphant Christ gives place to a Christ dead, in all the humiliation of His Passion , the agony of His death being even accentuated. This manner of treatment was afterwards generalized by the schools of Cimabue and Giotto.

In conclusion it may be noted that the custom of placing the crucifix over the altar does not date from earlier than the eleventh century. Sources On the crux gammata swastika on Christian monuments and its relation to similar signs on pre-Christian monuments in the East:

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Gregory the Great , preserved at Monza, which is really a pectoral cross cf.

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