It would appear that the term _stauros_ is so generic that one cannot
determine with precision exactly what type of object was intended in
accounts of the crucifixion. The Greek word seems to cover everything
from a simple stake to a "Tau" (T) cross, as well as other types including
the cross in the form generally accepted (now) as standard.
This matter is complicated somewhat by possible influence from the
Egyptian use of the _ankh_, the symbol of life, depicted as a cross with a
loop or circle above the crossbeam. It is found both in pre-Christian and
early Christian Egyptian art. It may have influenced the cross used
in Egyptian papyri as an abbreviation for _stauros_.
In addition, there seems to have been a strong tradition favoring the
"Tau" cross. It would seem, however, that none of these can be definitely
accepted as the form intended in accounts of the crucifixion, which, to
repeat, could be anything from an upright simple stake to some form of
pole and crossbeam combination.
Does anyone have any confirmatory or contradictory comments?
- Re: Stauros
- From: Michael I Bushnell <email@example.com>