The Symbol in Ancient Ephesus of Fish and Games
Throughout Ephesus and other Greco-Roman cities, a board game called tabla is often scratched into the marble pavement. Sometimes this game board is described as a Christian symbol related to Ichthus, the Greek word for fish. ICHTHUS also serves as an acronym for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.” The story goes that the Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ are hidden in the eight-point circle, and Christians secretly used the circle to identify themselves to others. This oft-repeated tradition has no basis in historical reality. Although the fish was an important symbol in early Christianity, there is no evidence that the tabla game board was ever used as a means to connect early Christians with one another.