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Medium sized metal cross, with a small protrusion on their bottom that allowed their placement on a base or a procession staff, served the needs of the imperial court, the military, and the church. At the same time, though, several of them expressed personal devotion, such as this cross of Leontios and Savvas, dedicated as a token of gratitude to the Holy Trinity. The bust of Christ in the intersection of the four cross-arms, that was rendered in gold-plate, and punctuated with niello, enhances the cross’s symbolism of victory and salvation. The full-body image of the Mother of God on the back-side must have also been important to the donors of the cross, who probably yearned for Her intervention.


Details

Cast and engraved copper alloy with gold-plating and niello
Sixth – seventh century
Height 46 cm
St. Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine, South Sinai Governorate