> On Mon, 18 Jul 1994, Donn Leatherman wrote:
> > The Roman implement for death by 
> > torture was called "crux" in Latin.  This term unambiguously means 
> > something which crosses (in T, X, or traditional "cross" shape).  2) 
> > Further, the Roman writers (including non- and pre- Christians) used 
> > "crux" as a translation of stauros, just as their Greek counterparts used 
> > stauros as a translation of crux, implying a pragmatic equality of 
> > concepts.  In the 1st century, a stauros (when the term is used of the 
> > instrument of execution) was a wooden cross, though not necessarily in 
> > the traditional form.
 It appears that the Latin word "crux" is not so unambiguous as one might
 think;  I find it defined as a wooden frame or stake for crucifixion, and
 historically it appears that the Romans used a range of devices, all of
 which can be called _stauros_ in Greek or _crux_ in Latin.  Thus my
 impression that our current understanding of the term is the result of
 tradition, and that apparently we cannot know for certain the precise
 nature of the device intended by the word _stauros_ in the NT.  Does that
 seem accurate?