Tombstone of Beratius Nikatoras

Tombstone of Beratius Nikatoras

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Funerary plaque of Beratius Nikatoras from an underground burial chamber, the Hypogeum Campana in Rome. It dates from the 3rd century AD when Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire. The inscription, which is in a mixture of Latin and Greek, refers to Beratius Nikatoras Lazaria, his wife Julia and a child Onesime. Below the inscription are a number of discreet Christian symbols relating to salvation and resurrection. In the centre stands the figure of the Good Shepherd carrying a sheep, on the left Jonah is ejected from the whale after three days, prefiguring the resurrection of Jesus; the lion on the right probably alludes to Daniel. Above them on each side is the chi-rho monogram of Christ, and at the bottom, representing salvation, is a disguised cross in the form of an anchor.

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Keywords: 3rd century, anchor, beratius, bible, burial chamber, catacombs, chi-rho, christ, christian, daniel, funerary, good shepherd, hypogeum, jonah, legend, nikatoras, pagan, religious persecution, resurrection, rome, salvation, staurogram, symbolism, symbols, tombstone, whale

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