Lindisfarne Gospels 5
In this poster the cross sign does double duty representing both death and sacrifice and romantic union, all at once. The wording reads, 'hope and despair', 'tragedy and love', 'Romeo and Juliet'.
The ampersand represents parataxis and not hypotaxis; romantic union is the antithesis of subordination. There is no hierarchy in the ampersand. Two are joined beside each other as equals.
These two symbols, the cross and the ampersand feature as important elements in the manuscript of the Lindisfarne Gospels. The ampersand, appearing in the Latin text, is the abbreviation for 'et' and in the Old English text it is the Tironian et sign.
Here are three distinctive shapes of the Tironian et sign. This sign is part of a shorthand system supposedly developed by Tiro, a slave and clerk of Cicero, called Tironian Notes. It found its way into the repertoire of scribes throughout Europe. (Incidentally my German hasn't improved all that much since I wrote that post but it is still true that you can only read in depth about ancient shorthand in German. English is not the repository of all knowledge - yet!)
PS Manuscript copiers must have had at their disposal a certain amount of red ink. Red ink is a common feature in manuscripts from at least the 7th century to the 15th century. Not that I like a red letter Bible - I don't - but sometimes it is worth knowing when an element can be attributed to medieval practise as well as modernity.