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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For he had no other external reason for the lies he tells of us. 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.

alexamenos-graffiti | Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

If early Christianity was popularly perceived as a variant of Judaism, this association is understandable when associated with the crucifixion. Archived from the original on Marcus Cornelius Fronto, an orator and rhetorician who was the tutor of Marcus Aurelius alexzmenos later his correspondent, condemned the Christians in a lost speech, fragments of which are preserved by Minucius Felix in the Octaviusa dialogue between the pagan Caecilius and the Christian Octavius that sought to refute such charges.

That was based on the misconception that Jews worshipped a god in the form of a donkey, a claim made by Apion BC — c. And it is not at all flattering. He worshipped a God who became man and who endured the most painful and shameful death devised by the minds of that day. Eerdmans, An essay in deciphering prehistory from megalithic monuments, earthworks, customs, coins, place-names, and faerie superstitions.

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The Alexamenos Graffito

Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Discovered incarved into a wall near the Palatine Hill in Rome, the graffiti is believed to have been drawn around AD. Sometimes Christians would be put to death for their beliefs, after being hunted down by Roman authorities. With this in mind, the question remains as to just how malicious the Alexamenos graffiti was intended to be. Williamson; The Ante-Nicene Fathers: This practice, however, was not known to be a part of Christian worship until the 4th or 5th century.


From the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester we return to the city of Rome and this time we travel to the Palatine Antiquarium Museum, a museum dedicated to the history of grafditi Palatine Hill. In the meantime, you may want to re-visit the artifact on the Palatine hill in Rome.

They are said to worship the head of an ass, and even the nature of their father” IX. Because it killed by strangulation, the gibbet graffiti considered a lesser form of punishment than the cross, for it “immediately kills those who are hanged on it, but the cross torments those nailed to it for a long time” Isidore of SevilleEtymologiesV. 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 aleexamenos is more specifically directed at a Christian, and while the individual responsible may have drawn grarfiti circulating rumours which began as anti-Jewish, there is no reason to see him as specifically anti-Jewish rather than anti-Christian.

Rome is the city built upon seven hills and the Palatine Hill is at the center of them all, rising up above what remains of the Roman Forum on the one side and the Circus Maximus on the other.

It represents a satirical representation of Christian worship and it dates back to a period between the year 85 to the 3rd century. This has implications for both NT books which are related to Rome: The Greek inscription alexanenos translates to “Alexamenos worships [his] god,” [5] indicating that the graffito was apparently meant to mock a Christian named Alexamenos.


The History of the Church translated by G. The original provenance of the graffito is Rome, though the specifics are recounted differently.

Patricia Grimshaw i graffitk a self-professed museum nerd, with an equal interest in both medieval and military history.

His arms are outstretched, pinned to the horizontal cross bar.

Earliest Known Depiction of Jesus is not so Flattering

Crucifixions were commonplace in ancient Rome and this man looks like we would expect: We have countless examples of love and faith overcoming derision and violence throughout the millennia from Stephen the Martyr to Maximillian Kolbe and countless others. This entry was posted in Graffiti. 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.

We are mocked in popular culture. In a lesser known scribbling on an interior wall dated around the same time, there was written what seems like a response to the blasphemous message.

In the HistoriesTacitus recounts how the Jews, expelled from Egypt, wandered ggraffiti the desert, exhausted and dying of thirst, when, following a herd of ggaffiti asses, they were led to water. Reviews Latest Reviews By Category. And one can now see the room in the paedagogium from which the graffito was removed after its discovery [Update 9 July An Interdisciplinary DialogueWm.

This is a very different kind of suffering from those who faced the lions or the stake, but it is suffering still.

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