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Eastern Orthodox/Hystory of the Eastern Orthodox cross


I was wondering if you could tell me when the bottom bar on the Eastern Orthodox cross became slanted instead of strait. I have been trying to research the subject, but the most I have found is "The lower crossbeam represents the footrest (suppendaneum) to which the feet of Jesus were nailed. In most earlier representations (and still currently in the Greek Church) the crossbar near the bottom is straight. In later Russian and other traditions, it came to be depicted as slanted, with the side to the viewer's left usually being higher" from wikipedia. Any information you could provide me with would be appreciated. Thank you.


There several versions of the three bar cross in use.  The most literal shows the bottom bar as a wedge of wood attached to the vertical beam.  This form is best represented in three dimensional Roman Catholic crucifixes.  Orthodox crosses span the spectrum from a literal wedge to a flat footrest beam to the angled beam.  The last is most often identified as the typical Russian design, though it is clearly Byzantine in origin.

Since he tilted footrest was already in use by the tenth century, the transition obviously happened before then.  It is impossible to establish exact dates for the origin of the various designs, as much evidence was destroyed during the iconoclastic period (about 5th through 7th centuries.)

The latest version, a three bar cross with a tilted lower beam, is becoming popular with many Orthodox Christians because it is so distinctly Orthodox.

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