Since most people could not read, the use of symbols was very important to communicate the teachings and identity of the early Christian church. Some of these symbols were Christian inventions; some were influenced by symbolism from other religions. Here are some objects showing early Christian imagery from around the Mediterranean world and one from England.
Coin of Emperor ConstantineSee more See more: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/gold-medallion-showing-constantine-the-great-at-prayer/3AEVCVZ6bG5TfQ
Necklace from IstanbulSee more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_mla/e/element_of_a_necklace.aspx
Depiction of the crucifixionSee more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_mla/p/panel_from_an_ivory_casket_th.aspx
Stone frieze with an eagle or dove and a Coptic crossSee more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aes/s/sandstone_frieze.aspx
Painting showing saintsSee more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aes/w/wall_painting_of_the_martyrdom.aspx
Buckle with Christian symbol of a fishSee more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=95555&partId=1&searchText=buckle+fish&page=1
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