The ancient Etruscans revered the cross as a religious emblem. This sacred sign, accompanied with the heart, is to be seen on their monuments. Fig. No. 27, taken from the work of Gorrio (Tab. xxxv.), shows an ancient tomb with angels and the cross thereon. It would answer perfectly for a Christian cemetery.

The cross was adored by the ancient Greeks and Romans for centuries before the Augustan era. An ancient inscription in Thessaly is accompanied by a Calvary cross (Fig. No. 28); and Greek crosses of equal arms adorn the tomb of Midas (one of the ancient kings), in Phrygia.[344:4]

[Pg 345]

The adoration of the cross by the Romans is spoken of by the Christian Father Minucius Felix, when denying the charge of idolatry which was made against his sect.

"As for the adoration of cross," (says he to the Romans), "which you object against us, I must tell you that we neither adore crosses nor desire them. You it is, ye Pagans, who worship wooden gods, who are the most likely people to adore wooden crosses, as being part of the same substance with your deities. For what else are your ensigns, flags, and standards, but crosses, gilt and beautiful. Your victorious trophies not only represent a cross, but a cross with a man upon it."[345:1]