Detail of the Upper Section of the Apse Mosaics in the Euphrasian Basilica: Saints Matthew, James the Less, and Jude

543-554 AD
Euphrasian Basilica, Poreč, Croatia

This mosaic is a variation on the Traditio Legis iconographic type. Saints Peter and Paul stand left and right with the keys and scroll typical of Traditio images, but instead of handing them to his apostles Christ sits on a blue sphere blessing the viewer and holding an open book. The words in the book, ego sum lux vera, mean "I am the true light," a reference to John 8:12, "I am the light of the world."

The sphere may represent the "world" of that passage or, being blue, it could represent Heaven.

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Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.