The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 2, 2024

Columbarium Tomb Plaque with the Monogram of Christ

Columbarium Tomb Plaque with the Monogram of Christ

(Visigothic or Byzantine)
Overall: 32.4 x 20.8 cm (12 3/4 x 8 3/16 in.)


This thick clay plaque covered a burial niche that contained the remains of the deceased in a simple communal tomb complex called a columbarium. The chi-rho monogram of Christ identifies the deceased as a Christian. The monogram was seen as representing Christ’s victory over death, while the letters that flank it, alpha and omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, symbolize Christ as the beginning and end of all things.
  • John D. Rockefeller, Jr., New York.
  • The Brummer Gallery Records. Cloisters (Museum), n.d. X1099
    Gertsman, Elina and Barbara H. Rosenwein. The Middle Ages in 50 Objects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. Mentioned: p. 160-163; Reproduced: p. 161
    Sánchez Galera, José María, and Gregorio Luri Medrano. La edad de las nueces: los niños en el Imperio Romano. Madrid : Ediciones Encuentro S.A., 2021. Reproduced: p. 343, fig. 45
  • {{cite web|title=Columbarium Tomb Plaque with the Monogram of Christ|url=false|author=|year=400–800|access-date=02 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL: