The globus cruciger (Latin) is an orb (globus) topped with a cross (cruciger), a Christian symbol of authority used throughout the Middle Ages on coins, iconography and royal regalia. It symbolises Christ's (the cross) dominion over the world (the orb), literally held in the dominion of an earthly ruler (or sometimes celestial being such as an angel). The first known use was in 423 on the reverse side of the coins of Emperor Theodosius II.
The globus cruciger was used by powerful rulers and celestial beings alike; it adorned portrayals of both emperors and archangels. It first appeared on coins in the early 5th century and remained popular throughout the Middle Ages in coins, iconography and royal regalia. Even in the modern era in England, the Sovereign's Orb symbolises both the state and Church (of England) under the protection and domain of the royal crown.
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