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LONDON

PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO.

NEW-STBEET SQUARE

AN INTRODUCTION

EARLY CHRISTIAN SYMBOLISM,

BEING THE DESCRIPTION OE A

SERIES OF FOURTEEN COMPOSITIONS

FRESCO-PAINTINGS, GLASSES, AND SCULPTURED SARCOPHAGI;

WITH THREE APPENDICES:

SELECTED AND ARRANGED

BY WILLIAM PALMER, M.A.

Late Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford;

AND PAINTED BY SIONOK BOSSI, OF ROME.

LONDON

LONGMAN, GREEN;, LONGMAN, AND ROBERTS.

1859

The right of translation is rcservnl.

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PREFACE.

Of the Fourteen Compositions described in the following pages, the first alone occurs as a whole in the "Catacombs" (in the Cemetery of S. Callistus): and it was this which suggested to the Author the idea of putting together other Compositions in a somewhat similar form, like triptychs, with a systematic arrangement of subjects.

The Paintings and Glasses of these fourteen Compositions exhibit to the eye the Christianity of the third century, though possibly some one or other of them may belong to the second, and several of them certainly belong to the fourth. Such as belong to the fourth, if later than the accession of Constantine but still contemporary with the tombs at which they occur, are distinguishable by the aureole round the heads of the figures, and sometimes by other signs, such as the presence of the monogram, or the presence or vicinity of dates and names of Consuls, &c. But paintings not contemporaneous, added in the fourth century, or later, near tombs which were specially honoured, after the Cemeteries had

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