And with this form you consecrate the images of your emperors when they die, and you name them gods by inscriptions.
Your victorious trophies not only imitate the appearance of a simple cross, but also that of a man affixed to it.
He had them hanged 'on the very trees of their temple, in the shadow of which they had committed their crimes, as though on consecrated crosses.'
You put Christians on crosses and stakes: what image is not formed from the clay in the first instance, set on cross and stake? The body of your god is first consecrated on the gibbet.
We have shown before that your deities are derived from shapes modelled from the cross. But you also worship victories, for in your trophies the cross is the heart of the trophy.
C. The Funerary Tropaeum of Julius Caesar.
The first historian I shall quote is Cassius Dio, who lived about 155 or 163/164 to 229+ CE.
And Antony aroused them [the people] still more by bringing the body most inconsiderately into the Forum, exposing it all covered with blood as it was and with gaping wounds, and then delivering over it a speech, which was very ornate and brilliant, to be sure, but out of place on that occasion.
Cassius Dio Roman History 44.35.4
Cassius Dio thought Mark Anthony, when he solemnized Julius Caesar's funeral, has actually exposed the body to public view. This is probably mistaken, for Caesar was cremated and bodies are typically lain flat for the purpose. It would be difficult for people to see an exposed body if it was laying flat. Exposing it to public view in front of a crowd would probably entail making a simulacrum of it and raising the effigy on high.
To verify this we must refer to earlier historians who described Julius Caesar's funeral and how his image appeared before the public.
The earliest to report on Caesar's death is Nicolaus Damascenus, who lived from 64 BCE to 14/15 CE.
A little later, three slaves, who were nearby, placed the body on a litter and carried it home through the Forum, showing where the covering was drawn back on each side, the hands hanging limp and the wounds on the face. Then no-one refrained from tears, seeing him who had lately been honoured as a god. Much weeping and lamentation accompanied them from either side, from mourners on the roofs, in the streets, and in the vestibules. When they approached his house, a far greater wailing met their ears, for his wife rushed out with a number of women and servants, calling on her husband and bewailing her lot that she had in vain counseled him not to go out that day. But he had met with a fate far worse than she had ever expected.
Nicolaus Damascenus, Bios Kaisaros = Life of Augustus, tr. C. M. Hall, FGrH F 130 (26) [fin]
What we learn from here is that when Caesar was assasinated, he fell right where he was murdered, possibly with (1) both his arms unfurled to his side and laying on the floor, because when his slaves were porting the body home, (2) both hands were hanging out the sides.
Next to report is the historian Appian, Bellae Civile (95 - 165 CE), 2.146-147 Julius Caesar's Funeral 17 March 44 BCE
 Having spoken thus, he [Mark Anthony] gathered up his garments like one inspired, girded himself so he might have the free use of his hands, took his position in front of his bier...
...Carried away by extreme passion he uncovered the body of Caesar, lifted his robe on the point of a spear and shook it aloft, pierced with dagger-thrusts and red with the dictator's blood.
Whereupon the people, like a chorus, mourned with him in the most lugubrious manner, and from sorrow become again filled with anger.
Somewhere from the midst of those lamentations Caesar himself was supposed to speak, recounting the benefits he had conferred upon his enemies by name, and speaking of the murderers themselves, exclaiming, as it were, "Oh that I should have spared these men to slay me!" The people could endure it no more.
 While they were in this temper and were already near to violence, somebody raised above the bier an image of Caesar himself made of wax. The body itself, as it lay on its back on the couch, could not be seen. The image was turned round and round by a mechanical device, showing the twenty-three stab wounds in all parts of the body and on the face, which gave him a shocking appearance. The people could no longer bear the pitiful sight presented to them. They groaned, and, girding themselves, they burned the senate-chamber where Cæsar was slain, and ran hither and thither searching for the murderers, who had fled some time previously.
The next historian to report on this is Suetonius (69/75 - 130+ CE).
All the conspirators made off, and he lay there lifeless for some time, and finally three common slaves put him on a litter and carried him home, with one arm hanging down.
When the funeral was announced, a pyre was erected in the Campus Martius near the tomb of Julia, and on the rostra a gilded shrine was placed, made after the model of the temple of Venus Genetrix; within was a couch of ivory with coverlets of purple and gold, and at its head a pillar [tropaeum = votive cross] hung with the robe in which he was slain. Since it was clear that the day would not be long enough for those who offered gifts, they were directed to bring them to the Campus by whatsoever streets of the city they wished, regardless of any order of precedence.
What Suetonius reports here is that when Julius Caesar's corpse was being ferried home to his wife, (2) one arm was hanging out. Then on the day of the funeral (8) a simulacrum of the Temple of Venus was parked on the Rostra. The funeral couch with the body on it was inside, surrounded or fenced in by columns made from logs: i.e., poles [being fenced in with poles = σταυρούμενος], and (7) there was a cruciform tropaeum already erected (3) with Caesar's robe on it.
So, to sum up, we have:
- After he was killed, Julius Caesar was found laying on the ground, possibly with both arms out to the side.
- Both hands were hanging out the sides (Nicolaus Damascenus); one arm was hanging out (Suetonius).
- Mark Anthony removed the blood-stained toga of Julius Caesar from his body at his funeral (Appian). Caesar's robe was on the tropaeum (Suetonius).
- He raises the blood-stained and dagger-torn garment aloft.
- The masses attending the funeral saw it all and moaned with grief and became very, very, angry.
- An actor playing Caesar and wearing his wax mask exclaims, "Oh that I should have spared these men to slay me!"
- Someone exalts a wax image of the body of Julius Caesar on a mechanical device so everybody can see it (Appian). A cruciform tropaeum was already erected (Suetonius).
- The real body was lying on its couch and nobody could see the body (Appian). A simulacrum of the Temple of Venus was parked on the Rostra, and the funeral couch with the body on it was inside (Suetonius).
- The wax image was given a shocking appearance so the twenty-three stab wounds all over his body and on his face could be plainly seen.
- The masses found this intolerable.
We have some contradictions here, but they are minor and quibbling. They concern the number of hands hanging out of Caesar's sedan when his body was being borne home, where the robe was, when the display device was lifted.
The hands -- unless rigor mortis had set in or the body cast was made while the body was no longer in rigor mortis, it doesn't matter. Otherwise both hands would be hanging out.
Where the robe was probably depended on when the wax image was raised. It is probable that the wax image was already aloft on the cross (tropaeum) with the toga on it because there could very well not have been enough room to keep the image on the ground away from the crowds.
So there you have it. For at least part of the funeral or its whole duration, there was a mannekin of Julius Caesar displayed on a cruciform tropaeum or a cross and when Mark Anthony removed the toga from where it was, the people could see an intolerable display of the likeness of Caesar's wounded body.
So there you have it, the first crucifix.
D. Original Greek and Latin Sources.
Cassius Dio, Histoire Romaine 44.35.4 (site in bilingual French and Greek)
Καὶ αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἀντώνιος ἐπιπαρώξυνε, τόν τε νεκρὸν ἐς τὴν ἀγορὰν ἀνοητότατα κομίσας, καὶ προθέμενος ᾑματωμένον τε, ὥσπερ εἶχε, καὶ τραύματα ἐκφαίνοντα, καί τινα καὶ λόγον ἐπ´ αὐτῷ, ἄλλως μὲν περικαλλῆ καὶ λαμπρόν, οὐ μέντοι καὶ συμφέροντα τοῖς τότε παροῦσιν, εἰπών.
Nicolaus Damascenus, Bios Kaisaros, FGrH, ed. F. Jacoby, 26.97 [scroll 9/10ths of the way down at the link]
οἰκέται δὲ δὴ τρεῖς, οἵπερ ἦσαν πλησίον, ὀλίγον ὕστερον ἐνθέμενοι τὸν νεκρὸν εἰς φορεῖον οἴκαδε ἐκόμιζον διὰ τῆς ἀγορᾶς ὁρώμενον, ἔνθεν καὶ ἔνθεν ἀνεσταλμένων τῶν παρακαλυμμάτων, αἰωρουμένας τὰς χεῖρας καὶ τὰς ἐπὶ τοῦ προσώπου πληγάς. ἔνθα οὐδεὶς ἄδακρυς ἦν ὁρῶν τὸν πάλαι ἴσα καὶ θεὸν τιμώμενον· οἰμωγῇ τε πολλῇ καὶ στόνῳ συμπαρεπέμπετο ἔνθεν καὶ ἔνθεν ὀλοφυρομένων ἀπό τε τῶν τεγῶν καθ' οὓς ἂν γένοιτο καὶ ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς καὶ προθύροις. καὶ ἐπειδὴ πλησίον τῆς οἰκίας ἐγένετο, πολὺ δὴ μείζων ὑπήντα κωκυτός· ἐξεπεπηδήκει γὰρ ἡ γυνὴ μετὰ πολλοῦ ὄχλου γυναικῶν τε καὶ οἰκετῶν, ἀνακαλουμένη τὸν ἄνδρα καὶ ἑαυτὴν ὀδυρομένη, ὅτι μάτην προύλεγε μὴ ἐξιέναι τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην. τῷ δ' ἤδη μοῖρα ἐφειστήκει πολὺ κρείττων ἢ κατὰ τὴν αὐτῆς ἐλπίδα.
Appian, Bellae Civilae, 2.146
 τοιάδε εἰπὼν τὴν ἐσθῆτα οἷά τις ἔνθους ἀνεσύρατο, καὶ περιζωσάμενος ἐς τὸ τῶν χειρῶν εὔκολον, τὸ λέχος ὡς ἐπὶ σκηνῆς περιέστη κατακύπτων τε ἐς αὐτὸ καὶ ἀνίσχων,…
εὐφορώτατα δὲ ἐς τὸ πάθος ἐκφερόμενος τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Καίσαρος ἐγύμνου καὶ τὴν ἐσθῆτα ἐπὶ κοντοῦ φερομένην ἀνέσειε, λελακισμένην ὑπὸ τῶν πληγῶν καὶ πεφυρμένην αἵματι αὐτοκράτορος.
ἐφ᾽ οἷς ὁ δῆμος οἷα χορὸς αὐτῷ πενθιμώτατα συνωδύρετο καὶ ἐκ τοῦ πάθους αὖθις ὀργῆς ἐνεπίμπλατο.
ὡς δ᾽ ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις ἕτεροι θρῆνοι μετὰ ᾠδῆς κατὰ πάτριον ἔθος ὑπὸ χορῶν ἐς αὐτὸν ᾔδοντο καὶ τὰ ἔργα αὖθις αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ πάθος κατέλεγον καί που τῶν θρήνων αὐτὸς ὁ Καῖσαρ ἐδόκει λέγειν, ὅσους εὖ ποιήσειε τῶν ἐχθρῶν ἐξ ὀνόματος, καὶ περὶ τῶν σφαγέων αὐτῶν ἐπέλεγεν ὥσπερ ἐν θαύματι: ‘ἐμὲ δὲ καὶ τούσδε περισῶσαι τοὺς κτενοῦντάς με,’ οὐκ ἔφερεν ἔτι ὁ δῆμος,
Appian, Bellae Civilae, 2.147
 ὧδε δὲ αὐτοῖς ἔχουσιν ἤδη καὶ χειρῶν ἐγγὺς οὖσιν ἀνέσχε τις ὑπὲρ τὸ λέχος ἀνδρείκελον αὐτοῦ Καίσαρος ἐκ κηροῦ πεποιημένον: τὸ μὲν γὰρ σῶμα, ὡς ὕπτιον ἐπὶ λέχους, οὐχ ἑωρᾶτο. τὸ δὲ ἀνδρείκελον ἐκ μηχανῆς ἐπεστρέφετο πάντῃ, καὶ σφαγαὶ τρεῖς καὶ εἴκοσιν ὤφθησαν ἀνά τε τὸ σῶμα πᾶν καὶ ἀνὰ τὸ πρόσωπον θηριωδῶς ἐς αὐτὸν γενόμεναι. τήνδε οὖν τὴν ὄψιν ὁ δῆμος οἰκτίστην σφίσι φανεῖσαν οὐκέτι ἐνεγκὼν ἀνῴμωξάν τε καὶ διαζωσάμενοι τὸ βουλευτήριον, ἔνθα ὁ Καῖσαρ ἀνῄρητο, κατέφλεξαν καὶ τοὺς ἀνδροφόνους ἐκφυγόντας πρὸ πολλοῦ περιθέοντες ἐζήτουν,
Suetonius, Vita XII Caesarum, Divus Iulius, 82.3
Exanimis diffugientibus cunctis aliquamdiu iacuit, donec lecticae impositum, dependente brachio, tres servoli domum rettulerunt.
Suetonius, Vita XII Caesarum, Divus Iulius, 84.1
Part 6: From Wax Image to Exposed Body.
Funere indicto rogus extructus est in Martio campo iuxta Iuliae tumulum et pro rostris aurata aedes ad simulacrum templi Veneris Genetricis collocata; intraque lectus eburneus auro ac purpura stratus et ad caput tropaeum cum veste, in qua fuerat occisus. Praeferentibus munera, quia suffecturus dies non videbatur, praeceptum, ut omisso ordine, quibus quisque vellet itineribus urbis, portaret in Campum.
Crucifixion – The Bodily Support - Part 2 - Archaeological Evidence.
Crucifixion - The Bodily Support - Part 3 - Manuscript Evidence and its Similarities to the Imagery of the Caesar Cult.
Crucifixion – The Bodily Support - Part 4 - Physics of Crucifixion.