|The Pharisee and Publican in Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy|
Both the mosaic of the Separation of the Sheep and Goats parable (discussed in the previous post) and the mosaic of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:10-14) are found in the nave of the church in the upper level of the north wall. These two mosaics make up part of thirteen mosaics that depict events of Jesus' life. The Sheep and Goats is fourth, and the Pharisee and the Publican is sixth (they are separated by a mosaic depicting the story of the Widow's Mite).
|Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, north wall of the nave|
|Trial before the Sanhedrin|
In addition, note a similar person who appears in the mosaic of the Way to the Cross, also on the south upper wall of the nave of the church (again, he is on the far left):
|The Way of the Cross|
Stracke thus offers the possibility that the man on the left in the Pharisee and the Publican mosaic could be the Pharisee who possibly reappears in these two later mosaics as one of Jesus' accusers. This interpretation is possible; the iconography of the other figures is fairly stable (although there is a small amount of variation in the Jesus' face though out the images), although I still lean to the interpretation (as noted above) that the Pharisee is on the left. Pictures, like texts, can be polyvalent.
I send this post as I get ready for our college's convocation this evening. Jim Wagner, the president of Emory University, is giving the address. My first two classes of the semester are tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to meeting with them! Both classes are taught in our "Ways of Inquiry" approach.