Symbolism in early Christian Art

The Winged figure of Victory holding a laurel wreath was a Classical symbol of triumph, and holiness. Later, it came to represent Christ's resurrection, and more generally, victory over death.

The Tortoise hiding in his shell represented darkness and ignorance, while the cockerel, who crows at dawn, signified light and enlightment.

ICHTHUS, or fish,, was an acronym for Iesous CHristos THeou Uios Soter - Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour, in ancient Greek.

Colourful birds, such as peacocks, symbolised immortality and the glorious transformation of the soul when it arrives in Heaven.'

copyright 'Italy', Dorling Kindersley Travel Guides, London (2000ed)

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Symbolism in early Christian art
Symbolism in early Christian art

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