The gospel account of the soldiers who played a game for Christ’s tunic Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:34; Jn 19:23-24; see Ps 22:18 does not appear in ancient Christian art before the Constantinian peace, the moment that, alongside other scenes from the passion, it was introduced to recall one of the steps that marked Christ’s victorious earthly journey. The scene was represented for the first time, according to A. Ferrua Le pitture, 74-75, pls. 72-73; Ktzsche-Breitenbruch, Die neue Katacombe, 42-45, on a painting from the catacomb of the Via Dino Compagni at Rome, which is datable to the 2nd half of the 4th c. Two soldiers depicted on the sides of an instrument used for games, made up a sort of framework that maintained a rotating urn in the form of a vessel from which emerged two small discs; in the background, a building is represented, perhaps the sepulcher of Christ, with two shields on the sides. The iconographic schema, entirely similar to the one that reappears on miniatures and early medieval ivories E.T. De Wald, The Illustrations of the Utrecht Psalter, Princeton, NJ 1942, 13-14, pl. XIX; A. Goldschmidt, Die Elfenbeinskulpturen aus der Zeit der karolingischen und s¤chsischen Kaiser. VIII-IX Jahrhundert, I, Berlin 1914, 20, 66, nn. 31 and 132 a, pls.
CASTING LOTS for JESUS’ CLOTHING iconography Photo Gallery