Chi-Rho ☧ originally a Symbol of the Centurion

Jan 2018
283
Netherlands
#32
Found ... pag 38 of the text [the number 17 is the number of the inscription in the sequence].

Again ... https://archive.org/details/pt1sardispublica07ameruoft

The text is in English.
"...as XP for ekatontapxos (OGI 678 note 9; JRS xviii 1928 p. 171 no. 38)"

The source called "OGI" = Dittenberger, Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones selectae, II, 1905, https://archive.org/stream/orientisgraeciin02dittuoft#page/422/mode/2up

No. 678, from Djebel-Fateereh in Egypt, p. 423, n. 9, commentary:

"It is interpreted by Letronne and Franz as x(ilia)p(xw). To me, however, there seems to be no doubt that it rather means ekantontapxos (centurio). First, the form of the sign itself shows that P (that is, ekaton), not X, is the primary part of it; moreover, it appears to have been usual for a centurion to be put in command of the mine from the Latin inscription of the same place, which is produced by Franzius, Annius . Rufus ) (i.e. centurio) leg(ionis) XV Apollinaris . praepositus ab . Optimo . Traiano . operi . marmorum . monti . Claudiano . v(otum) . s(olvit) . l(ubenti) . a(nimo). Finally, the same abbreviation also appears elsewhere, where there is no room for doubt that it signifies ekatontapxos or ekatontapxia. Compare n. 208^2.”
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,531
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#33
The presence of the chi-ro is not matter of discussion.

"...as XP for ekatontapxos (OGI 678 note 9; JRS xviii 1928 p. 171 no. 38)"

The source called "OGI" = Dittenberger, Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones selectae, II, 1905, https://archive.org/stream/orientisgraeciin02dittuoft#page/422/mode/2up

No. 678, from Djebel-Fateereh in Egypt, p. 423, n. 9, commentary:

"It is interpreted by Letronne and Franz as x(ilia)p(xw). To me, however, there seems to be no doubt that it rather means ekantontapxos (centurio). First, the form of the sign itself shows that P (that is, ekaton), not X, is the primary part of it; moreover, it appears to have been usual for a centurion to be put in command of the mine from the Latin inscription of the same place, which is produced by Franzius, Annius . Rufus ) (i.e. centurio) leg(ionis) XV Apollinaris . praepositus ab . Optimo . Traiano . operi . marmorum . monti . Claudiano . v(otum) . s(olvit) . l(ubenti) . a(nimo). Finally, the same abbreviation also appears elsewhere, where there is no room for doubt that it signifies ekatontapxos or ekatontapxia. Compare n. 208^2.”
That's a chi-ro, no doubt. We are not debating about its presence in those inscriptions.

It was not so common, but someone used it.

This doesn't change that there are no evidences [and honestly, see what I've posted about the vexilla and the signa, I haven't found any] that such a symbol was present on the vexillum to mean the presence of a centurion. There are no examples at all.


... end, I repeat that, if Eastern legions used it for real in that way [on the vexilla] and Constantine decided to borrow the chi-ro from the Army, it would make sense ...

And to say all, it wouldn't be the only thing that Christian symbolism borrowed from other sources. Christians didn't invent the cross as symbol, just to say.
 
Last edited:
Jan 2018
283
Netherlands
#35
That's a chi-ro, no doubt. We are not debating about its presence in those inscriptions.

It was not so common, but someone used it.

This doesn't change that there are no evidences [and honestly, see what I've posted about the vexilla and the signa, I haven't found any] that such a symbol was present on the vexillum to mean the presence of a centurion. There are no examples at all.


... end, I repeat that, if Eastern legions used it for real in that way [on the vexilla] and Constantine decided to borrow the chi-ro from the Army, it would make sense ...

And to say all, it wouldn't be the only thing that Christian symbolism borrowed from other sources. Christians didn't invent the cross as symbol, just to say.
I wasn't debating. I was just citing a comment from one of your source's sources in which the abbreviation is explained. :)
 
Jan 2018
283
Netherlands
#36
... end, I repeat that, if Eastern legions used it for real in that way [on the vexilla] and Constantine decided to borrow the chi-ro from the Army, it would make sense ...
But even then you would expect that many of Eusebius' Greek-speaking contemporaries would have noticed that his story about Christ sounded doubtful, if Constantine had just copied or expanded on an existing practice. You would also expect that this would have left some traces in the sources.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,531
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#37
But even then you would expect that many of Eusebius' Greek-speaking contemporaries would have noticed that his story about Christ sounded doubtful, if Constantine had just copied or expanded on an existing practice. You would also expect that this would have left some traces in the sources.
? Here you are overestimating the usage of a symbol.

No one would have doubted about what Constantine said regarding a dream ... was the symbol he saw the written abbreviation for "centurion"? Ok, where's the problem?

And ... be careful about the chi-rho and the dream of Constantine. It's not sure he saw exactly a chi-rho. The alternative of a staurogram is absolutely acceptable.

Then ... he used a chi-rho as symbol for his legions. This is quite certain.
 
May 2011
2,649
Rural Australia
#40
Thanks very much Alpin-Luke and Slak for tracking down those three inscriptions !!!

Another class of Chi RHo symbols for centurion have the Chi above the Rho. I did not include these, but one in this class was only recently discovered. Here the Chi and the Rho are not superimposed but instead are configured with the Chi above the Rho.

It is from the "Chapel of the Centurion" at Meggido and variously dated 3rd-4th century.




A comprehensive description of the inscriptions there is covered here:
inscripties inscriptions Megiddo