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Eastern Orthodox / Greek Orthodox / Byzantine / Russian Cross

The Eastern Orthodox Cross (also known as the Byzantine, Greek Orthodox or Russian Cross) is a variation of the Christian cross, commonly found in some Slavic Eastern Orthodox Churches, as well as in the Eastern Catholic Churches of Byzantine rites, and in the Society for Eastern Rite Anglicanism.

It has three cross beams and is distinctly different from other Christian crosses.  

It is believed that the top beam, also found on the Patriarchal cross, represents the plaque with the INRI inscription, though such upper beam rarely has any inscription (it is just symbolic of a titulus).

The bottom beam represents a footrest, a foot-support (suppedaneum) that seems to have appeared first in Eastern Christian art in the 6th Century. While the purpose of the suppedaneum was to support the weight of the body, it unclear if such a device was part of Jesus’ cross.  

Liungman, Carl G. (2004). Symbols - Encyclopedia of Western Signs and Ideograms. Ionfox AB. p. 140. ISBN 978-91-972705-0-2.
Thomas, Robert Murray (2007). Manitou and God: North-American Indian religions and Christian culture. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 121–122. ISBN 978-0-313-34779-5.
Zielinski, Siegfried; Link, David; Wagnermaier, Silvia; Eckhard Fuerlus; Gloria Custance (2006). Variantology 2: On Deep Time Relations of Arts, Sciences and Technologies. W. König. ISBN 9783865600509. Retrieved 28 March 2014
Pastoureau, 13-67. Neubecker, 106-107.
Murray, 296-297

Greek Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
Byzantine Orthodox
Russian Orthodox
Russian Cross

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