The Dance on the Cross?

The Dance on the CrossOn this panel on the 9th century Market Cross of Kells, three persons are depicted with their legs closely interlaced. Helen Roe (1988) suggests that it can be “interpreted as representing torments reserved for sinners.”

Others have pointed out that it hints at the possibility that a brotherhood of masons were responsible for the manufacture of the cross and that they evolved into the Freemasons of today.

An enquiry into the history and ritual of Freemasonry found a clear survival from the long-forgotten days of a mason’s guild dance and a suggestion that masons were very involved in wrestling, as carved on several High Crosses... Alan Nowell.

Come and see these crosses for yourself and speculate on the meanings of the panels …

3 thoughts on “The Dance on the Cross?

  1. It doesn’t look like torture or wrestling to me. Theres a suggestion of intimacy in the way their heads lean into each other, I think. To me it suggests a close bond of some kind, perhaps whoever was buried there was one of three close brothers/ sisters, or a beloved member of a small, close-knit family unit. Just my thoughts, looking at it as a human being rather than archaeologist or historian. 😊

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Ali … Prof. F. Henry’s drawing shows how the figures are holding staffs – have a look at this.Dance on the Cross

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s