Dating coptic crosses

They would not have considered using the image of the cross, a well-known form of execution, any more than someone today would choose to wear an amulet of an electric chair. Gardiner (1879 - 1963 CE) thought it developed from a sandal strap with the top loop going around one's ankle and the vertical post attached to a sole at the toes.The ankh, already established as a symbol of eternal life, leant itself easily to assimilation into the early Christian faith and continued as that religion's symbol. Gardiner came to his conclusion because the Egyptian word for "sandal" was "nkh" which came from the same root as "ankh" and, further, because the sandal was a daily part of an Egyptian's life and the ankh symbol came to symbolize life. Wallis Budge (1857-1934 CE), who claims it originated from the belt buckle of the goddess Isis, is considered more probable but still not universally accepted.

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The cross may have been dedicated to Colm Cille when it was erected and the tradition morphed over time. Presumably either when Columba founded the monastery or when he delivered the cross. The cross was apparently standing until 1750 when it was knocked over in a storm. 162)Because it has no decoration, the cross cannot be dated based on artistic styles. The story of how the cross ended up at Ray is a later invention because, as with the Clontallagh cross above, the cross post dates the time of Colm Cille.

The small cross pictured to the left is on the main road just where the lane that leads to the church site is located. The Ray Cross is located inside the ruins of the Ray Church, where it was moved for protection. It then lay broken in the graveyard until the 1970’s when the Office of Public Works set it up in the church and added support. The story is that Colm Cille traveled to Tory Island, the intended site for the cross, with two companions. When they arrived on Tory, Colm Cille found he had left his prayer book on the mainland.

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There are raised flat panels on the head of the south face of the cross —square in the center and slightly rectangular on the arms. He promised he would given whatever was desired to the companion who retrieved the book. 116-117)Mc Gill tells us of a passage in the Annals of the Four Masters for 619 that suggests Inishkeel may have been a noted monastery in the early 7th century. that Christianity was introduced to Inis Caoil by missionaries, travelling by boat, who were inspired by Coelan of Nendrum.

Fionan went and found the prayer book sheltered under the wings of an eagle. Mary’s has a thirteenth century chancel and a late medieval nave. Connall’s seems to have been constructed in the fourteenth century. He supposes that the early buildings consisted of beehive huts or clochans and small stone oratories. 56)Mc Gill examines in detail the possible identity of St. Possibly the latter originally hailed from the Caol or Achad Cail areas of south Co. We have noted already that Coelan was venerated on a little island in north Donegal and that Tassach, also associated with east Co.

This use of the ankh as a symbol of Christ's promise of everlasting life through belief in his sacrifice and resurrection is most probably the origin of the Christian use of the cross as a symbol of faith today.

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