Cross

Cross

[kraws, kros]
Cross, Wilbur Lucius, 1862-1948, American educator and public official, b. Mansfield, Conn., grad. Yale (B.A., 1885; Ph.D., 1889). He was instructor (1894-97), assistant professor (1897-1902), and professor (1902-30) of English at Yale, where he also was dean (1916-30) of the graduate school. Cross became well known as a literary critic, edited the Yale Review for almost 30 years, and was the author of The Life and Times of Laurence Sterne (1909), The History of Henry Fielding (1918), and books on the English novel. After he retired (1930) from Yale he turned to politics. As Democratic governor of Connecticut (1931-39), he brought about much reform legislation—abolition of child labor, governmental reorganization, and improved factory laws.

See his autobiography, Connecticut Yankee (1943).

cross, widely used symbol. In various forms, it can be found in such diverse cultures as those of ancient India, Egypt, and pre-Columbian North America. It also is found in the megalithic monuments of Western Europe.

In Christianity

The most frequent use of a cross is among Christians, to whom it recalls the crucifixion of Jesus and humanity's redemption thereby. The Christian form of blessing by tracing a cross over oneself or another person or thing originated before A.D. 200. The oldest Christian remains contain drawings of crosses and cruciform artifacts, and the fact that the cross was the Christian emblem before the toleration of Christianity is shown by the vision of Constantine I. His mother, St. Helena, is supposed to have found the True Cross at Calvary in 327, and the event is commemorated on May 3 as the Finding of the Cross. Splinters of the relic are widely distributed and honored by Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. In 614, to the scandal of Christendom, Khosru II of Persia took the largest piece of the relic from Jerusalem. It was restored by Heraclius I in 627; the anniversary of this event is Sept. 14, the Exaltation of the Cross. The relic was lost in the Muslim occupation of Jerusalem. Use of the cross was one of the popular practices attacked by Byzantine iconoclasm and vindicated (787) by the Second Council of Nicaea.

The crucifix—the cross with the figure of Jesus upon it—had already been established in use; at first, the figure was painted or in bas-relief, a style surviving in the Christian East. Older Western crucifixes often presented the Savior reigning, in robe and crown. The realistic dying figure, dating from the Renaissance, is now universal in Roman Catholicism.

Devotion to the cross as a symbol of the Passion is an outstanding development (from the 11th cent.) in the history of Christian piety; it has ever since been an essential part of the public and private religious life of Roman Catholics. Protestants have been generally sparing in using the cross and do not use the crucifix, but the symbolism has been retained in their literature (e.g., in the hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross). The cross was the badge of the Crusades and was adopted as the emblem of the Templars, of the Knights Hospitalers (Knights of Malta), and of the Teutonic Knights. It became important in heraldry, flag designs, and decorations.

Examples of artistic effort spent on crosses are seen in the monumental crosses of market, town, and wayside in Europe (e.g., at Cheddar, Malmesbury, and Winchester, England) and in the wayside calvaries of Austria and Brittany. Some of the finest art products of the Celts were stone crosses. (For the later Eleanor Crosses, see Eleanor of Castile.) Processional crosses (on poles) lend themselves to elaboration. Crosses are also worn for personal adornment. Pectoral crosses and necklace crosses have given scope for fine enameling.

Cross Shapes

There are many shapes of crosses. The Latin cross, the commonest, has an upright longer than its transom. With two transoms it is called an archiepiscopal or patriarchal cross; with three it is a papal cross. A cross widely used by Slavs and by others of Eastern rites has two transoms and a slanting crosspiece below. The Greek cross has equal arms. St. Andrew's cross is like an X, and the tau cross is like a T. The Celtic, or Iona, cross bears a circle, the center of which is the crossing. The Maltese cross and the swastika (an ancient and widely diffused symbol) are still more elaborate.

Fusion of male and female sex cells from different individuals of the same species. Cross-fertilization is necessary in animal and plant species that have male and female organs on separate individuals. Methods of cross-fertilization are diverse in animals. Among most species that breed in water, the males and females shed their sex cells into the water, where fertilization takes place outside the body. Among land breeders, fertilization is internal, with the sperm being introduced into the body of the female. By recombining genetic material from two parents, cross-fertilization maintains a greater range of variability for natural selection to act on, thereby increasing the capacity of a species to adapt to environmental change. Seealso self-fertilization.

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Skiing in open country over rolling, hilly terrain. It originated in Scandinavia as a means of travel as well as recreation. The skies used are longer, narrower, and lighter than those used in Alpine skiing, and bindings allow more heel movement. The standard lengths of international races range from 10 to 50 km (6.2–31 mi) for men and 5 to 30 km (3.1–18.6 mi) for women. It has been included on the Olympics program since the first Winter Olympics in 1924.

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Long-distance running over open country. It developed as a competitive event in the mid-19th century. Though originally included in the revived Olympics, it was dropped after 1924 as not suitable for summer competition (most cross-country races are held in the fall or early winter). The first international women's competition was held in 1967. Standard distances are 12,000 m (7.5 mi) for men, and 2,000–5,000 m (1.25–3 mi) for women. Though rules for championship competitions have been established, world records are not kept because of the varying difficulty of courses.

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In nuclear physics, a measure of the probability that a given atomic nucleus will exhibit a specific reaction (absorption, scattering, or nuclear fission) in relation to a particular incident particle. Cross section is expressed in terms of area, and its value is chosen so that, if the bombarding particle hits a circular target of this size perpendicular to its path and centred at the nucleus, the given reaction occurs. If it misses the area, the reaction does not occur. The unit of cross section is the barn, which equals 10−24 sq cm. Cross-section values for a given nucleus depend on the energy of the bombarding particle and the kind of reaction and are often different from the actual cross-sectional area of the nucleus.

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Several traditional types of crosses.

Principal symbol of Christianity, recalling the crucifixion of Jesus. There are four basic iconogaphic representations: the crux quadrata, or Greek cross, with four equal arms; the crux immissa, or Latin cross, with a base stem longer than the other arms; the crux commissa (St. Anthony's cross), resembling the Greek letter tau (T); and the crux decussataa (St. Andrew's cross), resembling the Roman numeral 10 (X). Tradition holds that the crux immissa was used for Christ's crucifixion. Coptic Christians used the ancient Egyptian ankh. Displaying the cross was not common before Constantine I abolished crucifixion in the 4th century. A crucifix shows Christ's figure on a cross and is typical of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Making the sign of the cross with the hand may be a profession of faith, prayer, dedication, or benediction.

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Spanish San Juan de la Cruz orig. Juan de Yepes y Álvarez

(born June 24, 1542, Fontiveros, Spain—died Dec. 14, 1591, Ubeda; canonized 1726; feast day December 14) Spanish mystic, poet, Doctor of the Church, and reformer of monasticism. He became a Carmelite monk at Medina del Campo and was ordained a priest in 1567. Joining St. Teresa of Ávila in her effort to restore the Carmelites to their original austerity, he cofounded the Discalced Carmelite order in 1568. He opened the first Discalced Carmelite monastery at Duruelo a year later, but reform caused friction within the order and led to his imprisonment at Toledo. He escaped in 1578 and later won high office in the order. In his great mystical poetry, including “The Dark Night of the Soul,” he traced the steps of the soul's ascent to union with God.

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officially International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent formerly International Red Cross

Humanitarian agency with national affiliates worldwide. Established for the care of victims of battle, it now aids in the general prevention and relief of human suffering. It arose out of the work of Jean-Henri Dunant, who proposed the formation of voluntary relief societies in all countries, the first of which came into being in 1864. The name Red Crescent, adopted in 1906 at the insistence of the Ottoman Empire, is used in Muslim countries. In peacetime, the Red Cross aids victims of natural disasters, maintains blood banks, and provides supplementary health care services. In wartime, it serves as an intermediary between belligerents and visits prisoner-of-war camps to provide relief supplies, deliver mail, and transmit information between prisoners and their relatives. Its operating principles are humanity, impartiality, and neutrality. Its headquarters are in Geneva. Individual national organizations run community programs and coordinate natural-disaster relief efforts. The American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton in 1881 and first chartered by Congress in 1900; it runs the world's largest blood-donor service. In 1901 Dunant received the first Nobel Prize for Peace; the Red Cross itself received the prize in 1917, 1944, and 1963.

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Spanish San Juan de la Cruz orig. Juan de Yepes y Álvarez

(born June 24, 1542, Fontiveros, Spain—died Dec. 14, 1591, Ubeda; canonized 1726; feast day December 14) Spanish mystic, poet, Doctor of the Church, and reformer of monasticism. He became a Carmelite monk at Medina del Campo and was ordained a priest in 1567. Joining St. Teresa of Ávila in her effort to restore the Carmelites to their original austerity, he cofounded the Discalced Carmelite order in 1568. He opened the first Discalced Carmelite monastery at Duruelo a year later, but reform caused friction within the order and led to his imprisonment at Toledo. He escaped in 1578 and later won high office in the order. In his great mystical poetry, including “The Dark Night of the Soul,” he traced the steps of the soul's ascent to union with God.

Learn more about John of the Cross, Saint with a free trial on Britannica.com.

This article is about the embroidery style called cross-stitch or counted cross-stitch. For specific crossed stitches used in needlework, see cross stitches

Cross-stitch is a popular form of counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches are used to form a picture. Cross-stitch is usually executed on easily countable evenweave fabric. The stitcher counts the threads in each direction so that the stitches are of uniform size and appearance. This form of cross-stitch is also called counted cross-stitch in order to distinguish it from other forms of cross-stitch. Sometimes cross-stitch is done on designs printed on the fabric (stamped cross-stitch); the stitcher simply stitches over the printed pattern.

History

Cross-stitch is one of the oldest forms of embroidery and can be found all over the world. Many folk museums show examples of clothing decorated with cross-stitch, especially from continental Europe and Asia.

Two-dimensional (unshaded) cross-stitch in floral and geometric patterns, usually worked in black and red cotton floss on linen, is characteristic of folk embroidery in Eastern and Central Europe.

In the United States, the earliest known cross-stitch sampler is currently housed at Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The sampler was created by Loara Standish, the daughter of Captain Myles Standish, circa 1653.

Multicoloured, shaded, painting-like patterns as we know them today are a recent development, deriving from similar shaded patterns of Berlin wool work of the mid-nineteenth century.

Traditionally, cross-stitch was used to embellish items like dishcloths, household linens, and doilies (only a small portion of which would actually be embroidered, such as a border). Although there are many cross-stitchers who still employ it in this fashion, especially in Europe, it is now increasingly popular to simply embroider plain pieces of canvas and hang them on the wall for decoration.

There are many cross-stitching "guilds" across the United States and Europe which offer classes, collaborate on large projects, stitch for charity, and provide other ways for local cross-stitchers to get to know one another.

Today cotton floss is the most common embroidery thread. It is a thread made of mercerized cotton, composed of six strands that are only loosely twisted together and easily separable. Other materials used are pearl cotton, Danish flower thread, silk and Rayon. Sometimes different wool threads, metallic threads or other speciality threads are used, sometimes for the whole work, sometimes for accents and embellishments.

Related stitches and forms of embroidery

Other stitches are also commonly used in cross-stitch, among them ¼, ½, and ¾ stitches and backstitches.

Cross-stitch was often used together with other stitches. It is sometimes used in crewel embroidery, especially in its more modern derivatives. It is also often used in needlepoint.

A specialized historical form of embroidery using cross-stitch is Assisi embroidery.

There are many stitches which are related to cross-stitch and were used in similar ways in earlier times. The best known are Italian cross-stitch, Celtic Cross Stitch, Irish Cross Stitch, long-armed cross-stitch, Ukrainian cross-stitch and Montenegrin stitch. Italian cross-stitch and Montenegrin stitch are reversible, meaning the work looks the same on both sides. These styles have a slightly different look than ordinary cross-stitch. Two-sided cross-stitch looks exactly like regular cross-stitch, but is also reversible. These more difficult stitches are rarely used in mainstream embroidery, but they are still used to recreate historical pieces of embroidery or by the creative and adventurous stitcher.

The double cross-stitch, also known as a Leviathan stitch or Smyrna cross stitch, combines a cross-stitch with an upright cross-stitch.

Berlin wool work and similar petit point stitchery resembles the heavily shaded, opulent styles of cross-stitch, and sometimes also used charted patterns on paper.

Cross-stitch is often combined with other popular forms of embroidery, such as Hardanger embroidery or blackwork embroidery. Cross-stitch may also be combined with other work, such as canvaswork or drawn thread work. Beadwork and other embellishments such as paillettes, charms, small buttons and speciality threads of various kinds may also be used.

Notes

References

  • Caulfield, S.F.A., and B.C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework, 1885.
  • Enthoven, Jacqueline: The Creative Stitches of Embroidery, Van Norstrand Rheinhold, 1964, ISBN 0-442-22318-8
  • Gillow, John, and Bryan Sentance: World Textiles, Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, 1999, ISBN 0-8212-2621-5
  • Reader's Digest, Complete Guide to Needlework. The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (March 1992). ISBN 0-89577-059-8

External links

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