Call Number : RR-118

Saint Thomas Crosses

The Pahlavi-Inscribed Granite Crosses of South India

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An Article written by Dr Martin Thomas Antony published in Sahapedia


Pahlavi-inscribed granite bas-relief crosses, found in ancient Christian settlements in South India, are the most ancient artefacts of St. Thomas Christians in India. The script found on these tablets was established as ‘Pahlavi’, a script used to write Middle Iranian languages. Similar crosses have also been excavated in South Asia and as far east as China, suggesting the religio-cultural patrimony of the East Syriac Christians across this vast area. Scholars have studied these crosses and presented in many reputed oriental conferences and published in many academic journals. It has been agreed that these inscriptions were 'unintelligent' copies of an original template by ‘estampage’, a process of lifting a copy of the original by pressing paper onto its inked surface (Winkworth 1929:237–239).

Keywords - Saint Thomas Crosses, The Pahlavi-Inscribed Granite Crosses of South India, Dr Martin Thomas Antony, Sahapedia, Esat syriac Christians, Ancient Christian, St. Thomas Christians in India

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