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Celtic Cross


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Do you know where the Celtic Cross comes from?

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Celtic Cross

  1. 1. Along with the Claddagh and Harp, the Celtic cross is one of the best known Irish (or Celtic) symbols. They are important reminders of the Irish heritage.
  2. 2. An instrument having an upright triangular frame consisting of a pillar, a curved neck, and a hollow back containing the sounding board, with usually 46 or 47 strings of graded lengths that are played by plucking with the fingers.
  3. 3. Major Components: -Cross base - Intersection - Ring - Capstone Crosses are decorated with a series of panels, which usually cover the majority of the cross and traditionally are used to show important biblical scenes, or to highlight elements of Celtic design and art. At the intersection of the cross, the ring is added, giving the Celtic cross its classic and world-renowned look. Most crosses feature a pierced ring, but there are variants that do not have any open space between the inner circumference of the ring, and the cross intersection.
  4. 4. Although the Celtic cross is tightly associated with Christianity today, this was not always the case. In fact, the Celtic cross pre-dates Christianity, and has its origins in an older religion. As Ireland converted to Christianity, the cross remained an integral symbol, and as such, it took on new meaning. It is generally thought that St. Patrick and others responsible for Ireland’s conversion to Christianity sought to use symbols that the Irish were already familiar with, thus making the transition easier and more accepted.
  5. 5. In Ireland (as well as in Great Britain), Celtic Crosses began appearing as early as the 7th century. Often, these large stone crosses were erected by Irish monks. These wonderful crosses were normally used as boundary markers, for example where parishes intersected, or as monuments surrounding monasteries, cathedrals, or churches.
  6. 6. The Ardboe Celtic Cross, County Tyrone
  7. 7. The Kells Celtic Cross, County Meath
  8. 8. Celtic Cross of the Scriptures, County Offaly
  9. 9. St. Kevin’s Cross, County Wicklow
  10. 10. The Celts were a group of peoples that occupied lands stretching from the British Isles to Gallatia. The Celts had many dealings with other cultures that bordered the lands occupied by these peoples, and even though there is no written record of the Celts emerging from their own documents, we can piece together a fair picture of them from archeological evidence as well as historical accounts from other cultures.
  11. 11. British Isles Gallatia
  12. 12. The people who made up the various tribes we’re talking about were called Galli by the Romans and Galatai or Keltoi by the Greeks, terms meaning barbarian. Celt is derived from the greek Keltoi. Since no soft “c” exists in greek, Celt and Celtic were pronounced with a hard “k” sound. However, later it was decided that British Latin should have different pronunciation from other spoken Latin. Therefore, one of these distinguishing pronunciation differences was to make many of the previously hard “k” sounds move to a soft “s” sound.