Croix, Fn I Salib, PERS.
Kreuz, GER Cruz, ST Croce, IT The symbol of the circle and the cross, under every variety of circumstance, in Egypt, Africa, Britain, China, Scandinavia, and America, in every age, by every people, from the dawn of secular history to the present hour, has been held by all in the same superstitious veneration, has been honoured with the same distinguishing rites, and has always expressed the same doctrine or mystery. Divine potentiality WŁ13 sometimes indicated by two or more sceptres arranged at right angles or quadrinally, with the nave of a wheel, or a simple circle, or six or eight round stars, at the point of intersection, with other orbs or ornaments. Osiris by the cross gave eternal life to the spirits of the just. With the cross Thor smote the head of the great serpent. The Muysca mothers laid the children beneath a cross, trusting by that sign to secure them from evil spirits. The cross-cake, says Sir Gardner Wilkinson, IVRS the hieroglyph for civil ised land, obviously a land superior to their own, as it was indeed to all other mundane territories ; for it was that distant traditional country of sempiternal contentment and repose, of exquisite delight and serenity, where nature unassisted by man produces all that is necessary for his sustenta tion, and whose midst was crowned with a sacred and glorious eminence,—the umbilicus orbis ter rarum,—towards which the heathen in all parts of the world and in all ages turned a wistful gaze in every act of devotion, and hoped to be admitted, or rather to be restored, at the close of this tran sitory scene. The Crux ansata is the earliest known form of the cross. It is commonly called the key of the Nile, because often seen on Coptic and Egyptian monuments. It was very similar to the Roman letter T, with a roundlet or oval placed immediately above it, and signified hidden wisdom or the life to come. It was used by the Chaldteans,
Plicenicians, Mexicans, and Peruvians; doubtless it was intended to denote the solar and terrestrial spheres. And, subsequently, sOvereigns each adopted the circle, associated with it the cross, and this symbol of royalty is in use with every king of Europe. The Chakra in the hands of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, is a modification of it. In Egypt and China it was used to indicate a laud of corn and plenty ; and, when divided into four equal segments, it -was the symbol of the primeval abode of man, the traditional paradise of Eden. The cross, says Colonel Wilford (As. Res. x. p. 124), though not an object of worship amongst the Buddhists, is a favourite emblem and device amongst them. It is exactly the cross of the Manichees, with leaves and flowers springing from it, and fruit also, it is said. It is called the divine tree, the tree of the gods, the tree of life and knowledge, and productive of Whatever is good aud desirable, and is placed in the terrestrial paradise.
The pre-Christian cross is not unfrequently associated with a tree or trees. The sign of the cross began to be used by Christians in the fourth century, and is described by Lactantius as an impregnable fortress to defend those impressed with it, for such the devil cannot approach. The use of the pre-Christian cross either in the form of the handle cross of the .Mediterranean districts, or the swastika ± of the Buddhists, was widely spread amongst ancient peoples, anci i,t is in use at the present day over all Buddhist and Hindu counties. Mr. W. King has described many cruci form monolithsat Mungapet, in the Paluneha taluk, on the right bank of the Godavery on the road to Hanameouda, in the Nizata's dominions.—Journal Bengal Asiatic Societal.