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During the first two centuries of Christianity, the cross was rare in Christian iconography, as it depicts a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution and Christians were reluctant to use it.
The cross as a Christian symbol or "seal" came into use at least as early as the second century (see "Apost. 17; Epistle of Barnabas, xi.-xii.; Justin, "Apologia," i. cum Tryph." 85-97); and the marking of a cross upon the forehead and the chest was regarded as a talisman against the powers of demons (Tertullian, "De Corona," iii.; Cyprian, "Testimonies," xi. Christians used to swear by the power of the cross Catholics, Orthodox Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, members of the major branches of Christianity with other adherents as Lutheranism, some Anglicans, and others often make the Sign of the Cross upon themselves.
This was already a common Christian practice in the time of Tertullian.
The cross then came into use in various forms on many objects: fibulas, cinctures, earthenware fragments, and on the bottom of drinking vessels.
De Mortillet believed that such use of the sign was not merely ornamental, but rather a symbol of consecration, especially in the case of objects pertaining to burial.
It is supposed to have been used not just for its ornamental value, but also with religious significance.