R O T A S
O P E R A
T E N E T
A R E P O
S A T O R
This Rotas Square is found in ancient Roman places including Cirencester and Pompeii back to 79 AD. It is a is a four-times palindrome. The words are written horizontally and vertically. They also have a backward spelling. 'rotas opera tenet arepo sator', translated as "Arepo (perhaps Plowman) the sower holds the wheels (plows) at work (or with care)". There has been consideration by many that the Rotas Squares are an early Christian sign. One may arrange the letters into a cross, with the single N as the center, as it is in the square, the letter Alpha, the words Our Father, and the letter Omega at the end both hoizontally and vertically. The letters may also be arranged into a simple prayer: 'Oro Te, Pater; oro Te , Pater; sanas' ('I pray to Thee, Father; I pray to Thee, Father; Thou healest').
Like the fish and the acrostic "ICHTHUS", this pattern is thought to have been a code for Christian houses. There were two found in Pompeii. Four were found in Duro Europia in Syria where the oldest house church has been found (ca 235). However, the Ratos Square may not have any Christian meaning, as both the theory of the "Our Father" cross and the prayer are things that have been inferred in modern times. Unlike the ICHTHUS, there is no certain evidence of a Christian meaning from acient times.
A P A T E R A P A T E R N O S T E R O O S T E R O