The emergence from the Dark Ages is embodied in the rise to power of the Frankish King, Charlemagne in 768 (founder of the Holy Roman Empire after 800) followed by conquering southern Europe from France to Italy and much of Northern Europe. The condition for peace was acceptance of Christianity, under penalty of death. Charlemangne’s 782 Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae prescribed laws for Saxons which included being baptized. Failure to do so was punishable by death. “If any one of the race of the Saxons hereafter concealed among them shall have wished to hide himself unbaptized, and shall have scorned to come to baptism and shall have wished to remain a pagan, let him be punished by death”.
Conversion was effective and Northern Europeans, primarily Saxons, wore a small cross to affirm their Christianity. This example is over 1” height with a cross beam above the center, disk beam terminals with concentric circle motifs, and a block at the junction with saltire to each side. The saltire (St. Andrew’s cross is additionally crossed with “crutches” at each terminal as with the Jerusalem cross). Particularly well preserved with fine detail and quaint Medieval interpretation and craftsmanship. Professionally refurbished with 24karat gold overlay restored on a gilt neck chain for modern wear.