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Instruments of the Passion

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The Instruments of the Passion are the objects used in the *Crucifixion of *Christ as well as symbolic emblems for events related to his *Arrest and *Trials. They include the crown of thorns, nails, sponge, lance, scourge, and pillar or column where Christ was scourged, as well as a hammer, rope, pincers, the cock which crowed at Saint *Peter’s denial of Christ, the dice cast by the soldiers for the robe of Christ, *Pontius Pilate’s basin and towel, the head of *Judas and his thirty pieces of silver, disembodied spitting heads and the hands which struck Christ, and the veil of Saint *Veronica.


Many of the Instruments of the Passion may be found in illustrations of the Crucifixion itself, while others are present in narrative episodes leading up to the *death of Christ. Extracted from their narrative context, the Instruments of the Passion may be found as independent devotional images, popular in late medieval art or in depictions of the *Man of Sorrows and *Mass of Saint Gregory.

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