The first and the last letter of the Greek alphabet, that, according to the classical tradition had been created by the PARCHE, have been the symbol of God and the cosmos since the Hellenistic period. In the Judeo-Christian culture, they are linked to the expression of the Old Testament where God says: “ I am the first and I am the last: besides me is no God” (Isaiah 44,6) and in Revelation of John the God says “I am Alfa and Omega,[…] One who is, who was and will be coming, the Almighty.” (Ap 1,8) the alpha and omega have been the symbols used in the funerary Christian art since the early centuries after Domini: the Christian believer symbolically recognizes in Christ that he is the beginning and the end. In addition, the letters are placed beside the representation of Christ as a judge. They are widely used in the Christian funerary epigraphy, even in the nineteenth century.
Click here to introduction at funerary symbols.
Traduzione dall'italiano a cura della classe 5 H del Liceo Scientifico “Augusto Righi” di Bologna, nell'ambito del progetto di scambio culturale con il Liceo "Europaschule" di Bornheim, Germania, maggio-ottobre 2014.