The Martyrdom of St. James the Less

12th century (?)
Mosaic
St. Mark's Cathedral, Venice, Italy

The panel gives the essential elements of the story. As the crowd on the left listens, the saint stands on the parapet of the Temple and tells them that Christ was resurrected, ascended into Heaven, and will come again. For this, the Pharisees call for him to be pushed off the parapet. One of the crowd then beats him to death with a fuller's club. Then he is buried near the Temple.

Left to right, the inscriptions at the top read IUDEI ("Jews"), PELITUR ATERGO ("He is pushed from behind"), PERCUSSUS OBIT ("He is beaten and dies"), SEPELITUR ("He is buried"). The word over the stylized image of a city on the right is an abbreviation of "Jerusalem." Over the prostrate saint is his name in Latin, S IACOBUS.

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More of St. James the Less

Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.