Christ Crowning Two Bishop Saints

6th century
South apse, Euphrasian Basilica, Poreč, Croatia

Christ gives two figures crowns of martyrdom. An inscription identifies the figure on the right as St. Severus. One St. Severus of Ravenna was a 4th-century bishop who died peacefully on February 1, which is now his feast day. Another St. Severus of Ravenna did die as a martyr during the persecutions of Maximian. Apparently the artist has confused the two.

At the time when the basilica was built Poreč was part of the Ostrogothic kingdom, whose capital was Ravenna. This probably explains why the church would be honoring a bishop from the other side of the Adriatic.

The bishop portrayed on the right may also be a Ravennan. The inscription has been lost, however. Some websites identify the figure as St. Ursus of Ravenna; others suggest other names. Without an inscription or attribute it is impossible to know.

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Read more about the two saints named Severus of Ravenna and the five saints named Ursus.

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