Roman-Byzantine Crucifix

12th century
Franciscan Museum, Zadar

Typically for the period, Jesus looks fully alive. Though his hands are pierced, his side is not. The ribs are expressed as straight lines on either side of the torso. He wears an elaborate skirt, and he appears to hold his arms in a gesture of invitation, which is seconded by the Latin inscription below the arms: in me credentes ad me concurrite gentes, "Hasten to me o people who believe in me."

The Greek inscription above the left arm is obscure; its last three letters appear to be ταν. On the right, the Greek BPωCIC is the word for "food" used in three passages in John where Jesus calls himself "true food" (4:32; 6:27,55). In none of those passages is BPωCIC preceded by a word ending in -ταν.

Mary and John are depicted on the left and right ends of the crossbar.

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Photographed at the site by Claire Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.