Filum: Abraham to Jesse


A simple row arrangement, containing 16 roundels. Counterparts scattered in Liber Genealogus.

Filum A second part

The plots are taken from (top down) Plutei, Roda and Amiatinus. They begin at left with Abraham (A) and continue to Jesse (J), the father of David.


This is a section where the roundels did not dock to one another, but to the bar above, a visual detail which perhaps represents divine guidance. The definitive list to populate the reconstruction is as follows:

  1. Abraam (A)
    • Sarra
  2. Isaac (I)
    • Rebecca
  3. Iacob (J)
  4. Iuda (J)
  5. Fares (F)
  6. Esrom (E)
  7. Aram (A)
  8. Aminadab (A)
  9. Naason
  10. Salmon; his wife Rachab (Gamma: Reteb. LGG; Rachacab), is excluded as her original presence in the design cannot be proved; her name is given at Matthew 1:5 only.
  11. Boos
  12. Obeth
  13. Iesse
    • Ruth

This group forms the latter part of Filum A. Many of the manuscripts employ supersized roundels or illuminations for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and these overlap the top bar, but during reconstruction one notices that it is far easier to fit these three patriarchs if they are shown with standard-sized roundels.

Isaac is generally shown close to his first son Esau, but isolated from his second son Jacob, who is allocated a section of his own later in the diagram. The mother of Jacob and Esau is generally placed in an intercardinal position at Isaac's southwest.

The scribes must have had difficulty understanding the bar notation. That Plutei connects Agar to the top bar (and places Balla almost on the bar) is plainly an error, just as the Roda scribe lost focus when he connected to the bar Leah and two of her sons who are not part of the male ancestry of Jesus.

The Amiatinus scribe evidently saw a fairly clear original, but decided for his own reasons (or lack thereof) to abandon the filum notation and instead thread all the roundels on a string like beads. Amiatinus also omits Jesse's wife Ruth and rearranges the order of Jacob's wives and greatly abbreviates their offspring.

The filum clearly interlocked with certain of the sub-stemmata below it, but some of the precise alignments are difficult to reconstruct. The following plots show two of the most noticeable ones: Judah and Zilpah are always neighbours, and Aram always appears directly above the chronographic Levi roundel.

Next: The C and D Fila

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