This paper is an attempt to offer a preliminary study of a Christian tradition of allegorizing the zodiac which is found in certain literary texts and artistic representations. What prompted the investigation from the artistic point of view was an examination of the twelfth-century baptismal font in the church of St Peter at Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, which is decorated with a mixture of selected signs of the zodiac and scriptural images (plate i). It raises the question of how early was the tradition in which the zodiac was linked with baptism in Christian thought, and what other connections there might be. So the question I should like briefly to illustrate here is the connection between Christian decorations which feature the zodiac, particularly in the medieval period, and an allegorical tradition which goes back to the early Church.
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