Halos in Christianity

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By luxasapel
Words 1544
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The halo was incorporated into Christian art sometime in the 4th century[citation needed] with the earliest iconic images of Christ, initially the only figure shown with one (together with his symbol, the Lamb of God). Initially the halo was regarded by many as a representation of the Logos of Christ, his divine nature, and therefore in very early (before 500) depictions of Christ before his Baptism by John he tends not to be shown with a halo, it being a matter of debate whether his Logos was innate from birth (the Orthodox view), or acquired at Baptism (the Nestorian view). At this period he is also shown as a child or youth in Baptisms, though this may be a hieratic rather than age-related representation [20]

Nativity and Transfiguration of Christ, with cross haloes; the apostles, angels and prophets have plain ones. (1025-50, Cologne).
A cruciform halo, that is to say a cross within, or extending beyond, a halo is used to represent the persons of the Holy Trinity, especially Jesus, and especially in medieval art. In Byzantine and Orthodox images, inside each of the bars of the cross in Christ's halo is one of the Greek letters Ο Ω Ν, making up ὁ ὢν — "ho ōn", literally, "the Existing One" — indicating the divinity of Jesus.[21] At least in later Orthodox images, each bar of this cross is composed of three lines, symbolising the dogmas of the Trinity, the oneness of God and the two natures of Christ. In mosaics in Santa Maria Maggiore (432-40) the juvenile Christ has a four-armed cross either on top of his head in the radius of the nimbus, or placed above the radius, but this is unusual. In the same mosaics the accompanying angels have haloes (as, in a continuation of the Imperial tradition, does King Herod), but not Mary and Joseph. Occasionally other figures have crossed haloes, such as the seven doves representing the Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit in the…...

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