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The Hinton St Mary Mosaic Pavement: Christ or Emperor?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2010

Susan Pearce
Affiliation:
Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, smp14@le.ac.uk

Abstract

The significance of the well-known central roundel of the mosaic from Hinton St Mary, Dorset, UK, which carries a young male head with a chi-rho monogram behind it and pomegranates on each side, has been much discussed. This paper marshals evidence which suggests that the head is not a representation of Christ, but of one of the emperors of the House of Constantine, perhaps Constantine himself. Some of the implications for the nature of fourth-century imperial culture are discussed.

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Copyright © Susan Pearce 2008. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

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