Historic Timeline - We welcome links to this page; Please do not rip off this material to your webspace.

Date         Symbol Symbol name and description                                                                                                      Link

2500 BC

Ankh. The symbolic representation of both Physical and Eternal life. It is known as the original cross, first created by Africans in Ancient Egypt.Link

1500 BC

The Tau cross was used in ancient egypt to mark sacred water jars. The tau is a symbol of the god Mithra and the greek Attis. It is also known as the cross of the Old Ttestament because Moses supposedly placed a brazen serpent on a T cross (Num. 21:6 - 9), and according to legend, the Israelites on Passover eve marked their doors with drawn tau crosses to identify themselves as Yahweh's followers. Another name for the T cross is the crux commissa.Link

500 BC

The Greek cross. A common sign in ancient greece, near east and in pre-columbian america. Found on greek coins, statues and persian monuments and tablets. The modernized example of the greek cross is today's red cross.Link

90 AD

The Anchor cross is the symbol of salvation and of the soul which has peacefully reached the port of eternity. It is found in the first century cemetery of St. Domitilla, the second and third century epitaphs of the catacombs, and especially in the oldest parts of the cemeteries of St. Priscilla (about 70 examples in this cemetery alone), Domitilla, Calixtus, and the Coemetarium majus. NT: (Hebrews 6:19) "This confidence is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for your souls."   The anchor is always portrayed with the crossbar with several variations, including the X for cristos (Khristós which means "anointed") and the fish.Link

150 AD

The Fish symbol is frequently found carved on the walls of the catacombs beneath the ancient city of Rome. The Greek word for "fish" is ichthus, and each letter represented a word, namely: I(Iesous-Jesus) CH(Christos-Christ) TH(theou-of God) U(hulos-son) S(soter-savior). The fish thus became a sort of code word during times of persecution, by which believers expressed the conviction, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and my Savior". This symbol can be seen in the Sacraments Chapel of St.Callistus catacombs. The earliest literary reference to the fish as Christian symbol was made by Clement of Alexandria, who advised Christians to use a dove or fish as their seal.Link

312 AD

The Chi-Rho Cross is composed of the Greek letters Chi (which looks like an English "X" and sounds like a "h") and Rho (which looks like an English capital "P" and sounds like an "r"). These two Greek letters are the first two letters in the Greek word "Christos,". While fighting to become emperor of the Roman Empire, Constantine I had a dream one night before a battle with Maxentius and his forces. In the dream Constantine saw the Chi-Rho cross and saw the words "By this sign you will conquer." Upon awakening, Constantine had the symbol put on his helmet and on his soldiers' shields.Link

650 AD

The Latin or "Passion" cross was not assimilated into the Christian religion, until the seventh century A.D., and was not fully authorised until the ninth century. Early churches preferred to represent Christ by the figure of a lamb. In several places the New Testament says that Jesus was hanged on a tree, not a cross (Acts 5:30; 1 Peter 2:24) similar to Krishna, Marsyas, Odin, and Dodonian Zeus. Some early Christian fathers, specifically repudiated the Latin cross on the ground that it was a pagan symbol. 0n a coin of Gallienus, it appeared as the sceptre of Apollo. On the Damietta stone, it set off the words "Ptolemy the Saviour." According to the Greeks, this cross also signified "the life to come" in the Egyptian religion of Sarapis.Link

1000 AD

The Orthodox cross, made up of two horizontal and one diagonal bar crossing a vertical pole, is the symbol of the Russian orthodox church. The upper bar represents the sign "INRI," ("Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews") the mocking title bestowed on Christ by the Romans in the New testament account of the crucifixion. The lower, slanted bar is not just a stylized footrest, but one of the runes alphabet characters ("support"). During the Middle-ages, as Christianity came to dominate Europe runes were used to finally conclude and accept the Christian symbolism.Link...Link

1300 AD

The Papal cross. The official emblem of the Papal Office, it is used only by the Pope himself. The three bars represent the pope's three realms of authority: the church, the world and heaven.Link

1489 AD

The Plus sign. First used in Germany in 1489. This cross means the mathematical term for addition and is used to symbolise 'more then', 'and' or simply 'plus'. Link

1620 AD

The Mason Rose cross. A very old mystical symbol, with 22 petals containing the 22 letters of the hebrew alphabet. Each arm is inscribed with symbols of the three principles of alchemy: mercury, sulfur and salt. As a whole, the symbol illustrats the triumph of spirit over matter.Link