Item No: mcaw020792
Title: Bible du XIIIe siècle
Rare Book Department
Although this manuscript was produced in the fifteenth century, the text of this Bible is a copy of a thirteenth-century French translation of the Latin Vulgate, marking an early attempt in the Church's history to render the sacred words of the Bible into a language that more people could understand. The manuscript was illuminated by two different artists from the workshop of the Master of the Échevinage de Rouen, an illuminator named after a group of chronicles made for the municipal patrons, known as the échevins, of Rouen.
The artist of this miniature has depicted Moses with horns. This common medieval iconography relates to a misinterpretation of the Latin Vulgate text of Exodus 34:29. The Hebrew Bible states that when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the second set of commandments, his face was radiant because he had spoken to God. In Hebrew, the word for "radiant" is "karan." This is closely related to "keren," the Hebrew word for "horn." When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Latin, Exodus 34:29 described Moses' face as "horned" (cornuta).
Moses communicating with God, beginning the Book of Numbers
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Master of the Échevinage de Rouen, workshop of - Artist