What began as a collector's fascination with an old altar cross in an European cathedral became this simple and direct history of the cross and the legends, facts, myths, and customs connected with it throughout history. Originally published in 1934 in a limited edition and reprinted here, The Cross: Its History and Symbolism
weaves illustration with fact and legend with custom to create a by no means inexhaustible yet by all means accessible and handy introductory guide to the cross through the ages. Beginning with pagan symbols of the cross centuries before the Christian era, George Willard Benson unearths the cross originally as a symbol of space, earth, and sky. It is this simple equilateral cross which has become known as the Greek Cross -- the symbol of the faith of millions of Christians. Likewise, he surveys other such pagan representations as the Swastika and early forms of the Maltese, Tau, Latin, and St. Andrew's Crosses before launching into the legends and history surrounding the Cross of Christ. As a true collector, Benson adorns his book with samples from his ample collection (now on display at the Buffalo Historical Museum) amidst his discussion of the cross's evolution and modern forms, its sign as protection and healing, and its power in the lives of saints and martyrs. Also included: a helpful appendix explaining the symbols used on the cross and in Christian art.
An Eighth Day View:
Facts, legends, customs, and superstitions related to Christianity's most prominent symbol appear in this unique book. It begins centuries before the Christian era, when crosses were pagan emblems, and traces their association with notable events and people. In simple, direct language, the author describes the cross's many forms and uses. 27 black-and-white illustrations.