Centuries before the Christian era, crosses were used as pagan emblems. Early Christians did not employ the symbolism of the cross, which came into general use three centuries after the death of Jesus and has since come to be recognized around the world as a symbol of sacrifice and redemption. This fascinating book begins with legends, and proceeds to an exploration of the many facts, myths, and curious customs and superstitions connected with the history of the cross. In simple, direct language, this volume recounts the notable events and stories of people whose lives are interwoven with the symbol of the cross, such as the crusaders, who wore heraldic crosses as emblems of valor and bravery. Numerous illustrations depict the variety of forms and uses of the cross, as well as the symbols that appear upon many crosses, and the text traces their similarity and significance to the symbolism found in religious paintings, mosaics, and stained glass. The history, the legends, and the art and symbolism with which the cross is intimately connected form the keynote of this study, which is presented in a reverent spirit and a manner accessible to readers of every background.