The Sator square or Sator Arepo is a Christian enigma beyond words.
The earliest known appearance of the square was found in the ruins of Pompeii and is thought to be a hidden way for early Christians to signal their presence to each without fear of exposing themselves to persecution.
The square itself is a palindrome which features the words “SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS” written in such a way that it may be read top to bottom, bottom to top, left to right and right to left.
S A T O R
A R E P O
T E N E T
O P E R A
R O T A S
Some scholars believe that translated, they create a sentence that reads:
“The sower holds the works and wheels by means of water.”
Additionally, around the central letter “N”, a cross can be made by rearranging the letters that read both vertically and horizontally “Pater Noster.”( fig 1 ) Which translates to “Our Father,” the first words of the Lord’s Prayer. Additionally, each line is surrounded with an “A” and “O” which would represent the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.
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The earliest known instance of the Sator Square is in the ruins of Pompeii. Which dates to 79 A.D. Other instances have been found at Corinium (modern Cirencester in England) and Dura-Europos (in modern Syria). The Corinium example is actually a Rotas Square because it reads ROTAS OPERA TENET AREPO SATOR.
Other instances of the Sator Square have been found:
- On the wall of the Duomo of Siena, Tuscany Italy
- An example of the Sator Square was found in Manchester dating to the 2nd century and is considered by some authorities to be one of the earliest pieces of evidence of Christianity in Britain.
- On the grounds of Rivington Church, the stone is one of a group thought to have come from a local private chapel in Anderton, Lancashire.
- In a wall of the old district of Oppède, in France’s Luberon.
- In the museum at Conimbriga (near Coimbra in Portugal).
- The Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter ad Oratorium, near Capistrano, in Abruzzo, Italy, has a marble square inscription of the Sator Square.
- The Valvisciolo Abbey, in central Italy, has the letters forming five concentrical rings, each one divided into five sectors.
- There is one known occurrence of the phrase on the runestone Nä Fv1979;234 from Närke, Sweden, dated to the 14th century.
- It also occurs in two inscriptions from Gotland (G 145 M and G 149 M), in both of which the whole palindrome is written.
- The ‘Prayer of the Virgin in Bartos‘ says that Christ was crucified with five nails, which were named Sator, Arepo, Tenet, Opera and Rotas.
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The Sator-Rotas Square Magical Properties
Some believe that the Sator Square has numerous magical properties and is a powerful charm to protect the bearer from evil spirits. It banishes evil from your home and brings strong blessings to the bearer. Carried, the charm will protect from disease and misfortune as well as bring you strength and power. Where this charm hangs on the wall, no evil can enter.