Category:Simon of Cyrene (subject)

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Sidney Poitier as Simon of Cyrene in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965 Stevens), film

Simon of Cyrene was, according to Christian tradition, a passerby at the Crucifixion of Jesus who was complelled to carry his cross.

< Fiction : Simon of Cyrene (art) -- Simon of Cyrene (cinema) -- Simon of Cyrene (literature) -- Simon of Cyrene (music) >


Simon of Cyrene is mentioned only in Christian sources. In the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke, he is introduced as a passerby who was compelled by the Romans to carry the cross of Jesus of Nazareth on the Way to Golgotha. Mark adds that "he was coming in from the country" (a detail reported also by Luke), and was "the father of Alexander and Rufus." The character is absent in the Gospel of John.

Although the episode involving Simon of Cyrene is not unlikely, the paucity of evidence makes any historical discourse on this character virtually impossible. More fortune has Simon of Cyrene known in fictional accounts.

Simon of Cyrene, in ancient sources

Gospel of Mark

Mark 15:21 -- [21] And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 27:32 -- As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross.

Gospel of Luke

Luke 23:26 -- And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.

Simon of Cyrene, cinema

As in the Gospel narratives, Simon of Cyrene remains a marginal and obscure character in the performing arts. At the most, he offers the opportunity for a cameo to some famous actors, as William Boyd (1927), José Elías Moreno (1946, 1948), Sidney Poitier (1965), or Rudy Fernandez (1996). Only in the TV film That I May See (1951), Simon of Cyrene (featured by Raymond Burr) is among the protagonists of the story.

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