Although Byzantium was originally founded as a Greek colony in 667 BC and named after the Greek King ‘Bizas’, the Byzantine Empire is the term used to describe the East Roman Empire (or Nova Roma) of which the capital was named Constantinople in 330 AD after Constantine the Great (above).
From this point on until the capturing of Constantinople in 1453 by the Ottomans, the synthesis of classical Greek, Roman and Christianized Roman culture created unrivalled achievements in art, architecture and magnificent jewelry.
The Knights Templar were the next to borrow the same christian symbols that became their insignia and seals. Crosses such as the one on this item became symbols of power, mysticism and the crusades. This cross is a more ornate version of the most common Cross of the Knights Templar known as 'cross pattee' in French (templar crosses that broaden outwards away from the center). The original purpose of this relic was decorative or a form of insignia.
|Material||Solid Sterling Silver|
|Length (top to bottom)||40 mm (1 and 37⁄64in)|
|Width||38 mm (1 and 1⁄2in)|