The sacred handclasp

Greek: dexiosis

Latin: Dextrarum Iunctio

Depictions of the sacred handshake can be found on ancient grave steles (see photo below). Other examples are the grave stele of Philoxenos with his wife, Philoumene, about 400 BC, on display in the Getty Museum and the sarcophagos relief of Gorgonius in the Cathedral of Ancona.

The sacred handshake symbol is still in use in our modern times: see below a number of variants.

Grave stele of Damasistrate, showing “dexiosis” (farewell handclasp), first half of 4th century B.C

Medium: marble   Dimension: h.1.12m

National Archeological Museum, Athens, Greece

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Variants of clasped hands on contemporary cemeteries