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These pre-Christian figures of the cross have misled many writers to see in them types and symbols of the manner in which Jesus Christ was to expiate our sins.

Such inferences are unwarranted, being contrary to the just rules of criticism and to the exact interpretation of ancient monuments. The stake and the gibbet were more common, the criminal being suspended on them or bound to them, but not nailed.

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He was then, as Plautus tells us, fastened with four nails to the wood of the cross ("Lact.", IV, 13; Senec., "Vita beat.", 19; Tert., "Adv.

Jud.", x; Justus Lipsius "De Cruce", II, vii; xli-ii).

In Greece we have specimens of it on urns and vases of Botia, on an Attic vase representing a Gorgon, on coins of Corinth (Raoul-Rochette, "Mém. In the West it is most frequently found in Etruria. The ansated cross is found on many and various monuments of Egypt (Prisse d'Avennes, L'art Egyptien, 404). XXXI-XXXII and LXX-LXXI), (For further information regarding the resemblance between the cross and the oldest symbolic signs see G. Müller, "Ueber Sterne, Kreuze und Kränze als religiöse Symbole der alten Kulturvölker", Copenhagen, 1865; W. Blake, "The Cross, Ancient and Modern" New York, 1888; Ansault, "Mémoire sur le culte de la croix avant Jésus-Christ", Paris, 1891.) We may add that some have claimed to find the cross on Grecian monuments in the letter (, "gold", or other words indicative of the value of the coin, or the name of the coiner (Madden, "History of Jewish Coinage", London, 1864, 83-87; Eckhel, "Doctrina nummorum", VIII, 89; F. Kraus, "Real-Encyklopädie der christlichen Alterthümer", II, 224-225). In the bronze age we meet in different parts of Europe a more accurate representation of the cross, as conceived in Christian art, and in this shape it was soon widely diffused.

It appears on a cinerary urn of Chiusi, and on the fibula found in the famous Etruscan tomb at Cere (Grifi, Mon. In later times the Egyptian Christians (Copts), attracted by its form, and perhaps by its symbolism, adopted it as the emblem of the cross (Gayet, "Les monuments coptes du Musée de Boulaq" in "Mémoires de le mission française du Caire", VIII, fasc. de Mortillet, "Le signe de la croix avant le christianisme", Paris, 1866; Letronne, "La croix ansée égyptienne" in "Mémoires de l'académie des inscriptions", XVI, pt. This more precise characterization coincides with a corresponding general change in customs and beliefs.

The punishment of the cross was regularly inflicted for such grave crimes as highway robbery and piracy (Petron., lxxii; Flor., III, xix), for public accusation of his master by a slave (, see Capitolin., Pertinax, ix; Herodian, V, ii; Paul., "Sent.", V, xxi, 4), for sedition and tumult (Paul., Fr. "De Pnis", XLVIII, 19, and "Sent.", V, 221; Dion., V, 52; Josephus, "Antiq.", XIII, xxii, and "Bell. dei vind.", ix, "Artemid.", II, xli), exposed to the jibes and insults of the people (Joseph., "Antiq.", XIX, iii; Plaut., "Most.", I, 1, 52; Dion., VII, 69).

Jud.", II, iii), for false witness, in which case the guilty party was sometimes condemned to wild beasts ( Paul., "Sent.", V, xxiii, 1), and on fugitive slaves, who who sometimes burned alive (Fr. On arrival at the place of execution the cross was uplifted (Cic., Verr., V, lxvi).

The cross is now met with, in various forms, on many objects: fibulas, cinctures, earthenware fragments, and on the bottom of drinking vessels.

De Mortillet is of opinion that such use of the sign was not merely ornamental, but rather a symbol of consecration, especially in the case of objects pertaining to burial.

The Buddhist inscriptions carved in certain caves of Western India are usually preceded or closed by this sacred sign (Thomas Edward, "The Indian Swastika", 1880; Philip Greg, "On the Meaning and Origin of the Fylfot and Swastika"). ) of the ancient Egyptians, wrongly called the "ansated key of the Nile".

The celebrated excavations of Schliemann at Hissarlik on the site of ancient Troy brought to light numerous examples of the swastika: on spindle-racks, on a cube, sometimes attached to an animal, and even cut upon the womb of a female idol, a detail also noticeable on a small statue of the goddess Athis. For its presence on Galatian and Bithynian monuments, see Guillaume and Perrot, "Exploration archéologique de la Galatie et de la Bithynie", Atlas, Pl. We find it also on the coins of Lycia and of Gaza in Palestine. II, 178-179) This sign is also found in Pompeian mosaics, on Italo-Grecian vases, on coins of Syracuse in Sicily (Raoul-Rochette, "Mém. It often appears as a symbolic sign in the hands of the goddess Sekhet.

It is certain, however, that it was absolutely forbidden to inflict this degrading and infamous punishment on a Roman citizen (Cic., Verr.

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