Arrangement 20: Princes of Edom


An unlinked array of 19 roundels. Dimensions: 3 wide by 8 tall. Liber Genealogus counterpart: sections 15 and 16.

Edom kings and dukes

The samples above are plotted, from left, from the Plutei, Roda, Foigny bible and Gerona Beatus versions. The explanatory text, the positions of which are marked as HDEd, is commonly enclosed in either an arch or in a tall box. The small additional sketch in green shows the order in which the roundels are to be read.

Edom kings and dukes, reconstructed


The reading order of the roundels is to be found by comparing the names with the source, Genesis 36: 31-43. Graphically, this section appears to have originally been consistently arranged, in three columns, which were respectively eight, six and five roundels tall.

Only the Plutei manuscript lacks the introductory text, doubtless by error of a scribe. Gerona is marred by an extra roundel, empty, at bottom right.

The group of 19 are consistently sectioned up in the same fashion, and the layout at left is likely to be nearest to the original one, most likely commencing in the second row.

It is not entirely clear what we should make of the explanatory text: "hii duces Edom in terra possessionis eorum; hic est Esau pater Edom a quo Idumei dicuntur; et hec nomina filiorum Esau in tribus suis secundum locum ipsorum in regionibus eorum; et hii reges qui regnaverunt in Edom antequam regnaret rex in Israel."

There can be little doubt that such a text, from the Vetus Latina, was a feature of the original diagram, since it has been largely taken over into the Liber Genealogus: "Hec est gens Esau in tribubus suis secundum verbum ipsorum. Et hii regis qui regnaverunt in Edom, antequam regnaret rex in Israhel." Here there appears to be one misreading: "secundum locum ipsorum" has been replaced in the LG by the meaningless "secundum verbum ipsorum".

The re-ordering of the text for the Great Stemma, chieftains first and kings second, is striking. Here is the order in the Vulgate:

It will be evident that the text, as written on the diagram, inverts the biblical order. One could conjecture that these elements may have originally been split into two or three separate callout tags, of which one might have been attached to the kings and another to the chieftains.

Next: The Judges Chronology

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