This is one of the 13 mosaics of the life of Christ along the
upper band of the left wall of the nave. It follows Matthew
8:28-34, Mark 5:1-20, and Luke 8:26-39. In details, it is closest
to Mark and furthest from Matthew.
In Mark and Luke there is one Gerasene§
demoniac and he lives "among the tombs" near a hillside with a
steep cliff that drops to the sea. The mosaic follows this
geography economically, framing the demoniac against a cave in a
hill with one side steeper than the other.
In all three accounts the demons possessing the man ask Jesus to
send them into a nearby herd of swine. The swine then run off the
cliff into the sea.* Aiming as always
for an eloquent simplicity, the artist uses just three swine for
Luke's "many" and Mark's "about two thousand."
See also a view of the entire left wall with commentary on the iconography of Jesus and the apostles in these mosaics.
More of the Miracles of Jesus
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