I am working on a painting set in the first century which shows a military group confronting another group in the Middle East.

I am trying to find a gesture which the leader of one army would make to indicate that they are at peace with, or have peaceful intentions toward the other party.

Does anyone know of anything like that?

Specifically I am thinking of a gesture which would be understood this way in the first century, but a gesture from previous eras would probably also work.

  • 3
    Just an educated guess, but approaching with a raised, open, right hand is generally a sign of peaceful intentions; "I have no weapon ready". Also if the leader approached alone; "I'm leaving my group behind so they can't bum-rush you." Possibly the two leaders meeting halfway. Also, who are these groups? There would be Romans, Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Turks, and all sorts running around in the Middle East those days. – Schwern Apr 21 '17 at 20:15
  • @Schwern - Supposedly this is the reason road traffic traditionally has passed on the left (and for hand-shakes on greeting). That way you could demonstrate to the other party that you were not carrying a ready weapon in your right hand. – T.E.D. Apr 21 '17 at 22:03

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