Alexamenos Worships His God

There’s a famous blasphemous piece of graffiti from an ancient Roman boys’ school on the Palatine Hill. It shows Alexamenos, apparently an early Christian, worshipping the crucified Christ — except that Christ is shown with a horse’s head. (In the next room, btw, there’s another piece of ancient graffiti saying that Alexamenos is faithful.)

I think I’ve figured out the point of the joke.

“Mannulus” is the Latin word for a small breed of cob horses or ponies from Gaul, suitable for drawing coaches.

Emmanuel is Alexamenos’ god.

1 Comment

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One response to “Alexamenos Worships His God

  1. Montague

    I just about squealed in joy! This is brilliant.

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