The Cross is arguably the most recognizable symbol of Western civilization. But what are its historical origins and what happened to it after Christ's crucifixion? In a church outside Rome, a fragment of wood may hold the answer to these questions and could be fundamental to our understanding of Christianity. Focusing on a long-ignored fragment of the Titulus Crucis —the inscribed headboard from Christ's cross—the authors provide evidence that it may date from the time of Christ and was brought to Rome by Queen Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, in AD 328. Their claim is a radical challenge to the modern view that all supposedly holy relics are fakes. Following in Helena's footsteps and drawing together the threads of history, archaeology, myth, religion, and science, this journey through the ancient world may transform your beliefs about early Christian faith.
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