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HOME : Byzantine Art : Archive : Byzantine Bronze Votive Cross
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Byzantine Bronze Votive Cross - X.0038
Origin: Eastern Mediterranean
Circa: 7 th Century AD
Dimensions: 15.75" (40.0cm) high x 9" (22.9cm) wide
Collection: Byzantine Art
Medium: Bronze

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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Though the cross is one of the simplest of forms, it is probably the most poignant. For Christians, the cross is the most potent symbol in existence, representing the earthly suffering, spiritual liberation, resurrection, and eternal life of Jesus Christ. The fact that an instrument of death was turned into a symbol of spiritual rebirth is amazing in itself. This large cross was given to a church as the fulfillment of a vow made by an individual named Demetrios. The inscription in Greek on the obverse reads vertically and then horizontally: “UPER EUCHES DIMETRIOU MERONOS,” and can be translated as: "in fulfillment of Demetrios Meronos' vow;" the reverse is plain. The slender, flaring arms are decorated with small roundels on each corner and are marked off on both faces by incised lines near the outer edges. The tang for inserting the cross into a base or on top of a standard has been reinforced in antiquity, suggesting that it was frequently utilized. We may wonder what were the vows undertaked by Demetrios that the inscription refers to. Sometimes, people suffering from illnesses, upon being healed through the powers of prayer, have shown their gratitude by bestowing gifts to the church. Perhaps Demetrios promised god that if he was healed, he would commission a beautiful cross for the church? This fascinating relic is a glimpse back into the Byzantine age, invoking the spirit of a long departed individual whose memorial may have otherwise been lost to us. - (X.0038)


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