Episodes from the Book of Jonah


4th century
Floor Mosaic
Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
Aquileia, Italy

These three scenes, in the order shown, are spread across the eastern third of the basilica's main floor, among a variety of fish and other sea creatures. As a type of the baptized person, Jonah is pictured naked. The artist shows only his backside in the first two episodes but in the third he lies supine with his genitals showing, like a new Adam.

As in Jonah images of this era, the creature that swallows Jonah is the ketos of ancient Greek iconography with split tail, coiled body, and long, narrow snout.

View the first, second or third image in full resolution.
Read more about Jonah.

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