Reliquary of the True Cross (Staurotheke), late 8th–early 9th century Byzantine

From MetMuseum

Relics of the True Cross on which Christ was crucified were quickly and widely distributed after its legendary discovery in the fourth century by Saint Helena, mother of Constantine, the first Christian Roman emperor. Throughout the medieval period, such relics were housed in precious containers and venerated by the faithful. This finely made small box decorated with cloisonné enamel and niello is one of the earliest examples of such a reliquary.



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