LEE M. JEFFERSON
CONJURING SERPENTS. Santa Sabina Church at the Aventine, in Rome, boasts one of the earliest Christian doors with carved images. Created in 432 C.E., the wood panel pictured here presents Moses or Aaron with the staff before an Egyptian (Exodus 7:8-12). Unlike Jesus, Moses is described in the Bible as using a staff to perform miracles. Such episodes must have played a role in early Christian iconography of miracle-working Jesus.