Sunday, 15 March 2020

graffito blasfemo

Believed to be among the earliest surviving depictions of Jesus was rediscovered in 1857 through excavation work on the Palatine Hill of Rome at a site that was the palace of Caligula prior to becoming a finishing school and it during this phase of the structure’s history some pupil presumably etched the graffiti into the wall plaster depicting a young man prostrating to a donkey-headed figure on a crucifix with the caption, apparently meant to mock a fellow student, ΑΛΕ ξΑΜΕΝΟϹ ϹΕΒΕΤΕ ϑΕΟΝ “Alexamos worships [his] god.” The standard method of execution until abolished by Constantine in the fourth century, Roman society found it incredulous that Christian would follow a figure so basely undone, conflated with the belief by contemporary Romans (around the second century) believed that Christians and other religious minorities practised onolatry—that is, donkey worship. In the next chamber, there is a seeming retort with no accompanying image but the inscription in Latin and by a different hand—presumably the victim of this ridicule: ΑΛΕξΑΜΕΝΟϹ FIDELIS—that is, Alexamenos is faithful.