Nov 12, 2009

Monogram of Christ (Chrismon)

Monogram of Christ (Chrismon)


Gold sheet, gold wire, and garnets

Overall: 14.8 x 12.1 x 0.7 cm (5 13/16 x 4 3/4 x 1/4 in.)

Weight: 94 g (3.32 oz.)

Gift of Lillian M. Kern 1965.551


Did you know?

This image combines chi (X) and rho (P), the first two letters of Christ's name in Greek. The materials also had symbolic meaning, from the kingly gold to the deep, blood red of the garnets evoking his sacrifice.


The superimposed Greek letters chi and rho, the first two letters of Christ’s name, was a popular early Christian symbol. The monogram of Christ, or chrismon, is also a powerful symbol of imperial victory: it appeared to Emperor Constantine the Great before his battle against Maxentius in ad 312, promising victory in the name of Christ. Made of gold sheet and decorated with three garnets, it may have formed the center of a golden wreath, serving as a protective device and an emblem of Christian triumph.

See also
MED - Byzantine
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email