Greek Religious Jewellery | The Orthodox Cross
The Orthodox Cross actually goes by a few different names. It’s also referred to as the Russian Cross, Byzantine Cross, and the Suppendaneum Cross. Though every culture within the Orthodox Christian religion has a slight variation, the basic idea is still the same. Aside from that, the Greek religious jewellery is also slightly different than the jewellery in the Russian Orthodox tradition. Here’s more information
Origin of the Cross:
Did you know that the cross was a symbol that was used well before Christianity? For example, the Roman goddess Diana is often depicted with a cross around her head. Also, both the Egyptians and the Hindus considered the cross to be a symbol of abundance. Each of these cultures had a different viewpoint of what it meant. It is now a well-established symbol of Christianity.
Did you know that the cross really wasn’t considered a standardized symbol of Christianity until the beginning of the Byzantine Empire? It was the Emperor Constantine, who founded the capital city of Constantinople, who advocated its use. Archaeologists haven’t been able to uncover evidence that the cross was worn as a symbol before them. However, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t used as a symbol of Christianity. Since this was a prosperous Empire, the symbol of the cross evolved. Archaeologists dating back to the early days of the Empire, which was around 300 AD, have uncovered many examples of cross jewelry.
Greek Religious Jewellery:
In order for the cross to be considered truly Greek religious jewellery, all four arms need to be of an equal length. This is different than other depictions of the Christian cross, where the length is a lot longer than the width. By 4th Century AD, this cross was commonly used throughout Greece and the Byzantine Empire. Note that the Russian Cross often has a third bar in the bottom of the cross. This style isn’t all that common in the Greek Orthodox tradition.
Sign of the Cross:
As you can see, the cross is an important symbol in Orthodox Christianity.