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This graffito consists of two rather crudely etched figures and an inscription below them, written in equally crude letters. There is a Greek. Image of the Palatine graffito of Alexamenos accompanying the discussion of Giulia Sacco,”Il graffito blasfemo del paedagogium nella Domus. Alexamenos Graffito. To pagans, the predawn worship of Christians and their acts of faith were a mystery, which was made no more understandable by the.

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However, as Balch points out, this does not account for the fact that Christians themselves do not need to have been venerating the image of the cross in this manner in order for caricatures to represent them as doing so.

Earliest Known Depiction of Jesus is not so Flattering

They are said to worship the head of an ass, and even the nature of their father” IX. Heikki Solin and Marja Itkonen-Kaila, eds.

How to quote this page Alexamenos Graffito Author s of this publication: To pagans, the predawn worship of Christians and their acts of faith were a mystery, which was made no more understandable by the martyred bishop of Lyons, who, when asked who was the Christian god, replied only that “If you are a fit person, you shall know.

The so called Graffitu graffito.

The Alexamenos Graffito

It is old and faded and the original design is difficult to discern, yet a careful tracing wlexamenos two roughly-drawn figures and a string of Greek characters. Thoughts on History, Religion, Archaeology, Papyrology, etc. Archived from the original on The relationship between Rome and the Christian faith was always complicated and often changing.

Views Read Edit View history. The sketch posted above, BTW, is from an old book of Christian art for which, unfortunately, I forgot to record the title or bibliographical information when I made the copy several years ago.


Indeed, Tertullian remarks “Now the Greek letter tau and our own letter T is the very form of the cross, which He predicted would be the sign on our foreheads in the true Catholic Jerusalem” Against MarcionV.

Alexakenos are mocked in popular culture. The significance of this graffito is multi-faceted. It was a picture of a man wearing a toga and the ears of the donkey with a book in hand and one leg ending in a hoof” XIV.

It reads “Alex alexa,enos faithful. He worshipped a God who became man and who endured the most painful and shameful death devised by the minds of that day.

The path through the area has been nicely landscaped with plants described by Pliny and other Roman authors. People have been leaving their marks, or making comments on their world, on walls for thousands of years.

The History of Christianity in 25 Objects: Alexamenos Graffito – Tim Challies

Such secrecy elicited lurid notions of immorality, and there were accusations of “Thyestean banquets [cannibalism] and Oedipean incest, and things we ought never to speak or think about, or even believe that such things ever happened among human beings” Eusebius, Ecclesiastical HistoryV. Facebook Twitter Google Tumblr Email.

In the image, Alexamenos is portrayed venerating an image of the crucifixa detail that Peter Maser believed to represent actual Christian practice of veneration of icons. Thank you for keeping this forum thoughtful and respectful. Origen reports in his treatise Contra Celsum that the pagan philosopher Celsus made the same claim against Christians and Jews: Our Lord is represented with the head of a donkey, tied to the cross, with the feet resting on a horizontal piece of alexamenox.


Dates ranging from the late 1st to the late 3rd century have been suggested, [16] with the beginning of the 3rd century thought to be alexamenoa most likely.

Anti-Jewish sentiment remains a possibility for the motives behind our graffiti, therefore, but the fact that the figure is portrayed crucified points to a polemic that is more specifically directed at a Christian, and while the individual responsible may have drawn on circulating rumours which began as anti-Jewish, there is no reason to see him as specifically anti-Jewish rather than anti-Christian.

The image depicts a human-like figure affixed to a cross and possessing the head of a donkey. We have countless examples of love and faith overcoming derision and violence throughout the millennia from Alexamebos the Martyr to Maximillian Kolbe and countless others. Graffiti is not a modern form of expression. Even though Pompey, upon grafiti the temple, found its sanctuary to be empty V. For the sake of such a monstrous delusion, and in support of those wonderful advisers, and those wonderful words which you address to the lion, to the amphibious creature, to the creature in the form of an ass, and to others, for the sake of those divine doorkeepers.

The Greek inscription approximately translates to “Alexamenos worships [his] god,” [5] indicating that the graffito was apparently meant to mock a Christian named Alexamenos.

This graffiti, carved into plaster, was discovered in during archeological excavations and was soon dubbed Alexamenos graffito. Tertullian, an early Christian author, also reported that Christians were accused of worshiping a donkey-headed deity.