3. “Persian” Cross from the South Altar of Church of Valiapally (Varapoly)
Circa 8th-9th century CE
Kottayam, Kerala, India
Ricci 3 KP India 06 204
The Syriac inscription at the base of the cross is a quotation from the Peshitta version of Galatians 6:14:
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
The Pahlavi (Middle Persian) inscription around the arch over the cross is identical with the inscription on the small cross. A dove descends at the top of the cross and the leaves at the base are upward pointing.
The so-called “Persian” crosses are usually found inside churches and are carved from a single block of stone. They frequently have inscriptions in both Syriac and Pahlavi.