Alexamenos Graffito

Alexamenos Graffito, circa 200 C.E., plaster, Palatine Museum, Rome.

The earliest representation of the crucifixion of Jesus is the Alexamenos graffito.  Now housed in the Palatine Museum, the graffiti was scratched into the plaster of a room in the Paedagogium on the Palatine Hill in Rome. The image seems to show a young man worshipping a crucified, donkey-headed figure. The Greek inscription approximately translates to "Alexamenos worships [his] God," indicating that the graffito was apparently meant to mock a Christian named Alexamenos. The donkey head and crucifixion would both have been considered insults.


Unauthorized writings or pictures drawn onto a wall or other public place.

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