Friday, December 28, 2012

The Citium Medal: An Update

For years now we’ve wondered about an alleged Phoenician medal – one appealed to by various members of the pagan copycat crowd – which is said to have been found in the ancient pre-Christian ruins of Citium, and supposedly depicts a cross, a rosary, and the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world. This medal was reported to have been pictured in a work of Daniel Clarke, a mineralogist, and we wondered whether anyone knew where this medal was now, and how experts today regard it.

Well, we’re still looking for modern experts and all, but Tekton Research Assistant Punkish earned a double gold star when he dug out Clarke’s original work, which is now on Google Books. The results are quite interesting.

First, the only expert Clarke appealed to date the medal was a fellow named Robert Payne Knight. He wasn’t exactly an expert on this sort of thing – his specialty was phallic symbolism. 

Second, Clarke admits the medal wasn’t found in the ruins; it was obtained from one of the locals:

 I wouldn’t make much of this ordinarily, but fundy atheists often get in a snit because e.g., the James ossuary wasn’t dug out by a professional archaeologist. So fair is fair. Let’s have experts look at this medal the way they did the ossuary. Assuming, of course, that anyone knows where it is right now.

Third, the Christ myth crowd says they see a lamb, a rosary, and a cross. Clarke himself saw a ram, not a lamb, and in looking at this thing as depicted, I’m inclined to suppose that the cross and rosary require some imagination to be seen as well:

To me this looks more like a baby’s teething toy than a cross and a rosary; one has to ask why they’re arranged in this fashion, if that is what they are. It’d be nice to have a real expert in this sort of thing make an evaluation, rather than relying on the testimony of an art historian whose greatest claim to fame was a book on Priapus and making a stench of himself over the Elgin Marbles (which apparently ruined Knight’s reputation).

But of course that’s the rub. We’re still waiting for the mythers to tell us where this thing is now, and what modern experts say about it. 

I think we’ll be waiting for a long, long time.

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