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Crucifixion can be seen as one of the cruelest acts of torture known to the ancient world.  Many people believed that crucifixion was most deserving of criminals and blasphemers.  Many types of crosses were used to torture the convicts who committed heinous acts; these include a “r” shape, a “t” shape, a "+" shape, and a “T” shape.

        St. Andrew’s cross was made in the shape of an “X.” This type of cross is also know as a “saltier” or “Crux Decussata.” Andrew was the brother of Peter and he did not feel “worthy enough” to be crucified on the same style cross as Jesus.  Therefore, when he requested this oddly shaped cross, he was granted it.

        Jesus was crucified on a common “t” shaped cross. This is also known as: “Latin cross,” “Passion Cross,” “Cross of Calvary,” or a “Holy Rood.” This cross was the most commonly used cross. This cross is the standard cross that most Christians wear and think of when they think of a cross.

        The Greek cross, which is the “+” shaped cross, is also know as the “Red Cross.” This is the most basic form of cross. All of its arms are of the same length. This form of cross appears in many variety of contexts. Some scholars say that all other complex forms of crosses derived from this form.

The “T” cross is also known as the “Tao Cross,” other names include: “Advent Cross”, “Anticipatory Cross,” “Pre-Christian Cross,” “Old Testament Cross,” or “St. Anthony's Cross.” This form of cross is very important to the early Christians. Some people say that it is due to the way blood was put on the Israelites doorposts (blood dripping down from the lamb). Other People say that it is due to the shape of the cross that Moses used to cure all those with snakebites.

These crosses are generally used to crucify convicts that committed heinous acts.  Crucifixion can be seen as the worst of all medieval torture, only the “scum of the Earth” were thought to merit crucified; however, many rulers used the cross as a way to put down any annoyances or rebellions, as with the crucifixion of Jesus.

 

Sources:

Crucifixion in Antiquity - The Jewish Roman World of Jesus - James Tabor

Crucifixion biography .ms

crucifixion: Definition and Much More From Answers.com

Types of Crosses

Bible Study - Crosses

Three Roman Cross Types - ChristianAnswers.Net

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Cross and Crucifix in Liturgy        

Crosses of Ancient Times

C.O.A.T. Homepage

Biblical Archaeology

Roman Whips

The House of Peter

Crosses of Ancient Times

Sketches

Bibliography

Pictures