MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN CONVERT’S CROSS NECKLACE, 9th CENTURY
Gilt bronze. Complying with Charlemagne’s order that all conquered peoples convert to Christianity under penalty of death. The Franks rose to power and in 800 AD. Charlemagne was the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Northern Europe and later Italy fell to his armies. The condition for peace was acceptance of Christianity, under penalty of death. Conversion was effective and Northern Europeans, primarily Saxons, wore small crosses to affirm their Christianity. This cross is one of those, dating 800-900 AD. 7/8" height, some loss from burial. Professionally conserved with the gold overlay restored and mounted on a modern gilt neck chain for contemporary wear.