Alexamenos graffito – 1st to 3rd century
One of the Earliest Depictions of Christ
Is this a depiction (albeit, a mocking one) of Jesus – perhaps even the oldest surviving image of Jesus? These questions are matters for debate about the Alexamenos graffito.
The image is carved in plaster on a wall in Rome and is dated to somewhere between the 1st and 3rd centuries. It depicts a man looking at a person with the head of a donkey that’s being crucified, and it says, “Alexamenos worshipping God.” It’s believed that this was intended to be mocking the faith of a Christian named Alexamenos.