Riporto la notizia e, di seguito, qualche commento anche se gli elementi pagani nell’iscrizione non sono per nulla sorprendenti, visto che il cristianesimo si è innestato sul paganesimo romano e ne ha assorbito anche diversi elementi:


  1. Researchers have identified what is believed to be the world's earliest surviving Christian inscription, shedding light on an ancient sect that followed the teachings of a second-century philosopher named Valentinus.


Ancora qualche dettaglio:


  1. Snyder, who detailed the finding in the most recent issue of the Journal of Early Christian Studies, believes it to be a funeral epigram, incorporating both Christian and pagan elements. His work caps 50 years of research done by multiple scholars, much of it in Italian. The inscription is in the collection of the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

  2. "Assuming that Professor Snyder is right, it's clearly the earliest identifiable Christian inscription," said Paul McKechnie, a professor of ancient history at Macquarie University in Australia, who has also studied the inscription.

  3. As translated by Snyder, the inscription reads:

  4. To my bath, the brothers of the bridal chamber carry the torches,
    [here] in our halls, they hunger for the [true] banquets,
    even while praising the Father and glorifying the Son.
    There [with the Father and the Son] is the only spring and source of truth.

  5. Details on the provenance of the inscription are sketchy. It was first published in 1953 by Luigi Moretti in the "Bullettino della commissione archeologica comunale di Roma," an Italian archaeological journal published annually.


Inoltre:


  1. The author of the inscription likely followed the teachings of a man named Valentinus, an early Christian teacher who would eventually be declared a heretic, Snyder said. The presence of the inscription suggests that a community of his followers may have lived on the Via Latina during the second century.


Ora, il punto è un altro. La datazione epigrafica è certamente importante, ma ciò che è meno semplice è stabilire quello che è cristiano. Ci sono iscrizioni giudaiche del sec. I d.C. che potrebbero essere considerate cristiane o, perlomeno, protocristiane. Per approfondire l’argomento, l’articolo è qui e il commento giornalistico qui.