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What does INRI mean over the crucifixion of Jesus, and why the Russians wrote in their own way
What does INRI mean over the crucifixion of Jesus, and why the Russians wrote in their own way
Crucifixion of Christ. Author: Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov

We often had to contemplate reproductions of paintings of world painting depicting crucifixion of Jesus Christ. And there are a lot of such canvases, written by old masters from different countries and artistic directions. However, few of us thought about the meaning of the abbreviation on the tablet above the Savior's head and why some artists depicted him alive and triumphant on the crucifix, while others - dead and frozen in the pose of a martyr.

Crucifixion - an ancient form of execution

Crucifixion is a type of execution that was very common in many countries of the world. So they executed in Japan, China, Babylonia, Greece, Palestine, Carthage. However, it was especially often resorted to in ancient Rome. And interestingly enough, it was a fairly common punishment in the Roman Empire long before the birth of Christ.

Crucifixion among the Romans. Author: Vasily Vereshchagin

- wrote in his writings professor of history Tymon Scrich.

Jesus is universal love

However, for many of us the crucifixion is associated with only one historical event - the execution of Jesus Christ, who willingly took upon himself the guilt of all people and suffered a shameful and martyr's death for it.

Iconography. Leading to the Cross

In those distant times, all dissidents were persecuted and punished mercilessly. But Jesus and his disciples, despite the mortal danger, carried faith to the people, conquered heart by heart, country by country, and not with weapons at all, but with love. This is centuries later, when the Christian religion begins to have a state basis, forced baptism will begin, the terrible times of the crusaders and the Inquisition will come.

At Calvary. (1841). Author: Steiben Karl Karlovich

Until then, the Son of God, who loves all people, the entire human race, will ascend to Calvary and be crucified, in the name of the salvation of our souls. Therefore, in each of us there is a spark of God and we all walk with it in our hearts, both believers and unbelievers. And we all thirst for love and kindness.

Yes we know

The image of the Savior in Orthodoxy and Catholicism

In Catholicism and Orthodoxy, there are not only differences in the shape of the cross (the first is four-pointed, the second is eight-pointed), but also in the very image of Jesus Christ on it. So, until the 9th century, in iconography, the Savior was portrayed on the crucifixion not only alive, but also triumphant. And starting from the 10th century, images of the dead Jesus began to appear in Western Europe.

Crucifixion of Christ. Author: Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov

On the Orthodox interpretation of the crucifixion, the image of Christ remained triumphant. On the cross he

Crucifixion (1514) Author: Albrecht Altdorfer

In the Catholic crucifixion, the image of Christ is much more realistic. It depicts Jesus dead, and sometimes with streams of blood on his face, from wounds on his arms, legs and ribs. The iconography reveals all the suffering of the tortured person and the torment that the Son of God had to experience. On his face there are traces of unbearable pain, his arms sagged under the weight of his body, which is very believably bent.

Rogier van der Weyden

On the Catholic cross, Christ is dead, in him there is no triumph of victory over death, that triumph that we see in Orthodox iconography.

Savior's Cross - what does the inscription on it mean

Crucifixion. Author: Andrea Mantegna

The cross accompanies a Christian all his life, he sees it in churches and wears it on his chest as protection. Therefore, everyone will be interested to learn about the meaning of the abbreviation on the title of crucifixion.

The inscription on the instrument of the execution of the Savior is "I.N.B.I." stands for "Jesus of Nazarene King of the Jews".Initially, this phrase was written on a tablet in Hebrew, Greek, Roman and attached to the cross on which Christ was martyred. According to the law of that time, such inscriptions were relied on to each condemned to death, so that everyone could find out about the guilt he was charged with.

Titlo INRI (Latin titulus) is a Christian relic found in 326 by Empress Helena

As you know from the Scriptures, Pontius Pilate could not find how to describe the guilt of Christ in another way, so the words "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" appeared on the tablet

Over time, this inscription was replaced by an abbreviation in iconography. In Latin, in Catholicism, this inscription has the form INRI, and in Orthodoxy - IHTSI (or ІНВІ, "Jesus Nazarene, King of the Jews").

Jesus on the cross. Author: Jusepe de Ribera

There is also another Orthodox inscription - "King of the world", in the Slavic countries - "King of glory." In addition, in Orthodox Byzantium, nails were preserved with which the Son of God was nailed to the cross. According to the biography of Jesus, it is known for sure that there are four of them, and not three as it is customary to depict on a Catholic crucifixion. Therefore, on Orthodox crosses, Christ's feet are nailed with two nails - each separately. And the image of Christ with crossed feet, nailed by one nail, first appeared in the West in the second half of the 13th century.

The crucifix has a few more abbreviations: above the middle crossbar there are inscriptions: "IC" "XC" - the name of Jesus Christ; and below it: "NIKA" - the Winner.

Crucifixion in German painting

Many painters, referring to this topic, have brought many different interpretations of this execution to the history of art. The word "crux" in translation from the Latin "cross" originally had a broader meaning, and could mean any pillar on which those sentenced to death were hung. For example, on many canvases we see the crucifixion of the Savior on a T-shaped cross.

Author: Lucas Cranach the Elder Albrecht Altdorfer. (1520)

Crucifixion of Christ in Flemish painting

Author: Hans Memling. 1491 year Author: Hans Memling Author: Robert Campen Author: Matthias Grunewald

Crucifixion in Spanish painting

As we can see, on the crucifixes of the best masters of Spanish painting, there is no background, no multi-figured compositions - only the figure of Jesus himself.

Author: El Greco Author: Francisco de Zurbaran Author: Francisco Goya Author: Diego Velazquez

"Crucifixion" by some Italian artists

Author: Giovanni Bellini Author: Paolo Veronese

Crucifixion on canvases and mosaics by Russian artists

Crucifixion of Jesus. Author: Karl Bryullov Author: Vasily Vereshchanin Author: V.A. Kotarbinsky Author: V.L. Borovikovsky Crucifixion of Christ. Author: Mikhail Nesterov Crucifixion of Christ. V.V.Belyaev. Mosaic of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ. St. Petersburg

The execution and death of Christ was accompanied by terrible natural phenomena: an earthquake, thunder and lightning, a darkened sun and a crimson moon, which we see in the works of some painters.

Author: V.A. Golynsky

Returning to the history of the terrible execution on the cross, I would like to note that the Roman emperor Constantine, having converted to Christianity, introduced a decree prohibiting execution by crucifixion in the 4th century AD. However, after 1000 years, she returned to the other side of the Earth - this is how Christians were executed in Japan. In 1597, 26 Christians were crucified in Nagasaki, and over the next century, hundreds more were executed in this way.

No less terrible was the execution through skinning of living convicts. In our next review the story of the fair trial of Cambyses.

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