Tipasa Baptismal Font and Basin, Detail
Cioffi, Paul L., 1928-2004
Once commercially important, Tipasa was built by Phoenicians on the North African shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It became a Roman colony under Emperor Claudius. An inscription verifies existence of the Christian Church at Tipasa by the year 238 C.E. Though it suffered persecution and had to stand against two Donatist bishops during the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-63), the Christian community remained faithful. During the 4th c. a young girl named Salsa was martyred by pagans. Remnants of the basilica later built in her honor and two other churches are part of the fragments that remain on the three hills that were once Tipasa. In the center of a small, square baptistery is a circular font designed for baptism by immersion, with three concentric rings of steps. The circle-in-square motif symbolizes divine life in the earthly realm.June 1983
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