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The original Greek, 'IHC' was derived from the Greek spelling of Jesus 'IHCOYC'. The letters were later translated into the latin form 'IHS'. From the fourteenth century the letters have been mistranslated as the first letters of various three letter acronyms: Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus, saviour of mankind), Iesus Habemus Socium (we have Jesus as our companion - motto of the Society of Jesus) and In Hoc Signo (by this sign you shall conquer - motto of the modern Knights Templar). IHS and IHC are properly termed the Chrismon, or Christus monogramma.
Source: Richard Taylor (1967- ), How to read a church : a guide to symbols and images in churches and cathedrals . Mahawh, NJ : HiddenSpring, 2005. pb x, 246 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. ISBN : 1587680300 (alk. paper) Image : Leo Reynolds photo, Rosary Cemetery, Norwich, Norfolk, England, UK.
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