Letters to God
This pewter ingot was found in Battersea. It is one of the few pieces of evidence we have for Christianity in Roman London. It is stamped with the Greek letters .. (chi rho, the first two letters of the word 'Christ') and the Latin words SPES IN DEO, meaning 'Hope in God'.
How can we tell how old it is?
The ingot is also stamped with the name SYAGRI. Who was Syagrius? There are several candidates. He might be a 5th-century ruler of northern France, who was murdered in 487. This would make these pewter ingots Saxon, not Roman. However, Syagrius could be a 4th-century Roman Londoner, either a Christian metals dealer or a Treasury official.
Roman Christians in London
There were Christians in London during the 4th century ad. Records show that a Roman London bishop called Restitutus went to the Council of Arles in ad 314. However, apart from ten pewter ingots and one pewter bowl bearing Christian symbols, there is no other known evidence of Christianity in Roman London.
Museum number O2004