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 Home > Antiquities > Lamps > Late Roman / Byzantine

LRB195 - Click to enlarge

LRB195 - Click to enlarge

LRB195 - Click to enlarge

LRB195 - Click to enlarge


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Reference: LRB195

Roman lamp with Christian chi-rho monogram

Period: Late Roman

Origin: North Africa

Date: 5th century AD

Superbly crisp example of a North African Red Slipware lamp showing the Christian chi-rho monogram. The symbol is filled with dots representing jewels and partially encircled by a dogtooth border on the shoulder.

Size: Length 14.5 cm (5")

Condition: Minor ancient chip to rim of wick-hole, repaired chip to handle.

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The Greek letters chi and rho are the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ and the symbol is known as the Labarum. It was one of the earliest Christian symbols and was the sign adopted by Constantine the Great after having reputedly seen it together with the words "In this sign you shall conquer" during a dream the night before a battle.

This lamp is of special interest as the chi-rho is reversed. This is not all that uncommon on these lamps but it does make it more unusual.

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