Cross, 3rd-12th century
Copper alloy
5 5/16 × 2 15/16 × ½ in. (13.5 × 7.5 × 1.3 cm)
3-D Object/Sculpture
X 490.122

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Worn as personal adornment and expressions of piety, pendant crosses from the Byzantine era survive today in large numbers, attesting to their broad use throughout all levels of society. Crosses were produced in a wide variety of materials, with gold being the most desirable and expensive. The vast majority of Byzantine crosses, however, were made of affordable material such as copper alloy (bronze or brass). To Christian believers, the simple cruciform shape served as a powerful symbol of Christ’s suffering and death by crucifixion, while the miracle of his resurrection held the promise of salvation.