Chi Ro

October 8, 2008 at 12:34 am (EF 50mm f/1.8) (, )

My wife took this great shot of my tattoo. It’s “Chi Ro”. She shot it with a 50mm f/1.8.

The Chi Rho is one of the earliest cruciform symbols used by Christians. It is formed by superimposing the first two letters of the word “Christ” in Greek, chi = ch and rho = r. Although not technically a cross, the Chi Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus as well as symbolizing his status as the Christ. The earliest evidence of the Chi Rho symbol is Constantine’s use of it on the labarum, the imperial standard, in the early 4th century CE. Lactantius, a 4th century Christian apologist, reports that on the eve of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE, Constantine had a vision of God in which he was commanded to mark his men’s shields with the Chi Rho symbol. After Constantine’s success at the Milvian bridge, the Chi Rho became the official imperial insignia. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence demonstrating that the Chi Rho was emblazoned on the helmet and shield of Constantine as well as those of all of his soldiers. Coins and medallions minted during Constantine’s reign also bore the Chi Rho. By the year 350 CE, the Chi Rho began to be used on Christian sarcophagi and frescoes.

Chi Ro Tattoo

Chi Ro Tattoo



  1. The Gentle Exit » They had a dream said,

    […] most ([1], [2]), even detractors print the legend of Constantine and forget his peer and soon to be […]

  2. whitney said,

    Sweet! I really like it. It’s simple and bold without being too much, and I can tell it has true meaning and significance to you. All things I think are very important to successful ink!

  3. Nicky said,

    Nice Tat! My husband has a nice Chi Ro on the back of his neck…it’s a little more millitant though. Bones for the ‘X’ and a sword for the ‘P’. It also has Alpha and Omega symbols on each side and is surrounded by the words: Hoc Signo Vinces”(or:’In this sign shall you conquer’).
    I’ve actually beeen surfing the net to find a bit more feminine version of the Chi Ro for myself. I think it’s an excellent way to let people know that through christ we can be conquerers and overcome all things!! Congrats to you I say for being proud of wearing a well tatooed version of a symbol that should give all Christians faith in the strength of Christ!

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