“We do not see things as they are.
We see them as we are.”

– The Talmoud



The IX monogram is an early Christian monogram formed by the combination of the letter ‘I’ or Iota for Iesous (Ιησους, Jesus in Greek) and ‘X’ or Chi for Christos (Χριστος, Christ in Greek). 

It shows similarities to the Christ monogram, the ‘Chi Rho’ symbol, which is made up of a combination of an X (Chi) and a P (Rho), which stands for Christus Rex (Christ King).
The Chi-Rho monogram is sometimes combined with the alpha and omega symbols, symbolising God’s omnipotence. In the Revelation, both God and Jesus Christ say: “I am the Alpha and the Omega”, or “the First and the Last”.

From the end of the 3rd c. AD., we find the spokes wheel or IX monogram in many early Christian cemeteries in Europe, especially on sarcophagi. Sometimes the stones with the IX monogram were reused in churches or to show travelling Christians a safe address.


3rd-4th c. AD.
Sarcophagus with IX christogram, Constantinople.
Grand Palais, France.
(Photo © Grand Palais)

4th c. AD.
Base panel of a sarcophagus with a IX Christogram, Necropolis Saint Marcel, Paris.
Carnavalet Museum, France.
(Photo © Carnavalet Museum)

4th c. AD.
Chi Rho symbol, detail of a mensa (altar stone).
Khirbet Um El’Amad, Algeria.
(Photo © Louvre museum, France)

4th c. AD.
Image IX Christogram, Ephesus, Turkey.
(Photo © unknown)

5th c. AD.
Textiles with Chi Rho Christogram, Egypt.
Louvre Museum, France.
(Photo © Louvre Museum)

5th c. AD.
Corinthian column with leaf capital
Chapel of La Gayolle, France.
(Photo © unknown)

5th-8th c. AD.
Panel of sarcophagus head decorated with an IX Christogram.
Carnavalet Museum, France.
(Photo © Carnavalet Museum)

5th-8th c. AD.
Merovingian Gold XP Christogram.
Cabinet des Medailles, France.
(Photo © Cabinet des Medailles)

5th-8th c. AD.
Cover of Merovingian sarcophagus.
Musee de Saint Germain en Laye, France.
(Photo © Musee de Saint Germain en Laye)

6th c. AD
Fragment mosaic of the apse.
Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy.
(Photo © Richard Stracke)

6th c. AD.
Tombstone with IX christogram combined with the alpha and omega,
from Vochem, Germany.
“In this grave rests in peace Rignedrudis of whom one keeps the best memory, loved by her parents and missed too much because she was so loved. She lived 16 years in this century and moved from this world on the 15th day of the Kalends of May.”
Art & History Museum, Brussels, Belgium
(Photo © Stefaan Algoet)

9th-12th c. AD.
Bronze ring with an IX Christogram.
(Photo © unknown)

5-6th c. AD.
Coptic tombstone, Egypt
Combination of the Egyptian Ankh symbol and the Christian XP and IX monogram symbols
“Eternal Life of Christ”
Is this also a reference to Charon’s boat on the Hades?

Coptic Museum, Cairo, Egypt
(Photo © unknown)

15th c. AD.
Virgo inter virgines, by the master of the Lucia legend, Bruges.
Representation of the IX Christogram on the robe of Saint Catherine, who, as the betrothed of Christ, receives the ring from the hands of the infant Jesus. The wheel also refers to her martyrdom.
Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium
(Photo © Unknown)


“There proceed from God, the heart of the world, indefinite extensions – upwards and downwards, to the left and to the right, backward and forward. Looking in these six directions, as at a constant number, he completes the creation of the world, of which he is the beginning and end.”

3rd c. AD.
Stromata of Clemens from Alexandria

Some examples of the 8-spokes monogram

4th c. AD.
8-spokes Christogram inscription,
Road in honor of the Roman emperor Arcadius, Ephesus, Turkey.
(Photo © unknown)

4th c. AD.
8-spokes Christogram and ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys) inscription, Ephesus, Turkey.
(Photo © unknown)







The classical Greeks devised a code of hand gestures. ‘Chironomia’ is the art of gestures or hand gestures to convey an unspoken meaning.
Early Christians, through the Romans, adopted these traditions from classical antiquity.

One of the most commonly used hand gestures depicted in Eastern Orthodox icons is the ‘blessed hand’.
This hand represents the name of Jesus Christ. In Greek it is spelled ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, written with the alphabet we get ΙΗCΟΥC ΧΡΙCΤΟC. The first letter and the last letter of each word is written ICXC. This is known as a Christogram and is the shortened form of Jesus Christ.
In the picture we get each letter symbolized by each finger.
The index finger is extended to make the ‘I’; the middle finger represents letter ‘C’; the thumb touches the lowered third finger to signify the ‘X’ and the little finger also signifies the letter ‘C’.

11th c. AD.
Mosaic  of Christ Pantocrator
Hosios Loukas Monastery, Boeotia, Greece
(Photo © Wikipedia)

Buddha with Prithva mudra (Hand gesture).

11th c. AD.
Mosaic of Christ Pantocrator seated between Constantine IX Monomachos and empress Zoe.
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
(Photo © Wikipedia)

© Please respect the authors’ mention and copyright.