Jesus Followers in Pompeii: The Christianos Graffito and “Hotel of the Christians” Reconsidered


Christianos, Pompeii, Hotel of Christians, Christianos Gaffito


Since the 19th century, archaeologists and historians have debated the presence of Jews and Christians in the Roman city of Pompeii before its destruction in 79 C.E. As a reflection of the unique enthusiasm inherent in this topic, claims regarding the presence of these minority groups have been extremely polarized, ranging from the wildly sensationalistic to the rigidly minimalistic. Some scholars have postulated the existence of robust Jewish and Christian communities at Pompeii, often by pointing to highly problematic evidence to support their claims.1 In reaction against such speculation, other scholars have flatly rejected this proposal, often by dismissing evidence that could legitimately attest the presence of at least some Judeans and Jesus followers in the city and its vicinity.2 Yet, despite the important historical implications of this debate, very little has been done in recent decades to sort through the claims and polemics, properly evaluate and contextualize the extant evidence, and determine what can be reasonably reconstructed of Jewish and Christian dynamics in first-century Campania.

Original Publication Citation

Thomas A. Wayment and Matthew J. Grey, “Jesus Followers in Pompeii: The Christianos Graffito and ‘Hotel of the Christians’ Reconsidered.” Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting 2 (2015): 102–146.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL






Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor