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Cross Shapes

There are many shapes of crosses. The Latin cross, the commonest, has an upright longer than its transom. With two transoms it is called an archiepiscopal or patriarchal cross; with three it is a papal cross. A cross widely used by Slavs and by others of Eastern rites has two transoms and a slanting crosspiece below. The Greek cross has equal arms. St. Andrew's cross is like an X, and the tau cross is like a T. The Celtic, or Iona, cross bears a circle, the center of which is the crossing. The Maltese cross and the swastika (an ancient and widely diffused symbol) are still more elaborate.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Christianity: General


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