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Alexamenos graffito

In the Palatine museum in Rome there is a collection of ancient graffiti etched on slabs of marble and limestone that once defaced the walls of palaces and public buildings across the Roman Empire. Among these is one that historians call “Alexamenos graffito”. It depicts a roughly drawn figure of a man with the head of an ass crucified on a cross. Next to the crucified figure is a smaller figure with one arm extended towards the former. Underneath the figures is a caption, written in equally crude letters, that reads “ΑΛΕ ξΑΜΕΝΟϹ ϹΕΒΕΤΕ ϑΕΟΝ”, meaning “Alexamenos worshipping his God.”


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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