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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Corn, Ears of

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in Christian Art, is not so frequent an emblem as might be supposed. (See LOAVES). The thought seems to have gone always to the bread of life with sacramental allusion. The corn and reaper are represented in a compartment of a vault in the catacomb of Pontianus. Again, the harvest corn is opposed to the vine and cornucopia of fruit (Catacomb of Callixtus).

The more evidently religious use of the ears of corn is in various representations of the fall of man. On the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus (probably A.D. 358) Adam and Eve are carved the former bearing the corn, in token of his labor on the earth, and the latter a lamb, indicating woman's work, spinning. In a bass-relief from the catacomb of St. Agnes there are two human forms, apparently both male, standing before a sitting figure, supposed to represent the First Person of the Trinity. This may represent the offering of Cain and Abel; at all events, the corn-ears and lamb are either received or presented by the standing figures. As these figures are of no more than mature (even of youthful) appearance, the Second Person may be supposed to be intended by them.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Corn, Ears of'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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