The C and D Fila


Two fila, of which the upper comprises 50 roundels and the lower 34 roundels. Liber Genealogus counterparts: section 29 and section 38.

Four manuscripts compared

The graphic compares the layout of the fila in three principal manuscripts (top down), Plutei, Roda and Foigny, with a small section of a fourth manuscript, Facundus, shown at left to illustrate a broad similarity in the closure. All roundels have been keyed with standard sigla to aid comparison. Shaded lines have been added to make the flow of the fila clear. The grey lines mark the Zorobbabel synchronism.


The roundels are tagged A-Z for the Matthew series and 1-42 for the Luke series (which has more elements in scripture than the 34 adopted by the Great Stemma). The overall population of roundels in Plutei and Roda is broadly similar, though Plutei adds two extra wife roundels under T and U, while omitting roundel 6 from the lower register. The lower filum of Foigny is very different, having been repopulated to bring the diagram into conformity with the levirate-marriage hypothesis. Facundus is notable for adding a roundel (41') for Saint Anne, reflecting a cult that developed in the high medieval period.

The sigla used above for the biblical characters are:

Solomon So Nathan Na
Roboam A 1st Matata 1
Maccha A' Eman 2
Abia B 2nd Melcha 3
Ana B' Eliachim/Eliadem 4
Asa C 3rd Ioanna 5
Cazoba C' Ioseph 6
Iosaphat D 4th Iudam 7
uxor Ios. "Fache" D' Simeon 8
Ioram E 5th Levi 9
Gotholia (uxor) E' Matati 10
Iosebe filia Ioram E+ Iorim 11
Ochozias E2 Eliezer 12
Choboda E2' Ihesu 13
Gotholia (regnum) E3 Er 14
Ioas E4 Helmadan 15
Ioade E4' Cosam 16
Amessias E5 Addi 17
Iecelia E5' Melchi 18
Ozias F 6th Neri 19
Darusa F' Salatiel 20
Ioatham G 7th Zorobabel 21
uxor Ioa. "Saba" G' Rescha 22
Achaz H 8th Ana 23
Rabuti H' Iuda 24
Ezechias I 9th Iosech 25
Ebsiba I' Semei 26
Manasse J 10th Matati 27
Musaella J' Mathat 28
Amon K 11th Nagge 29
Iedadidda K' Esli 30
Iosias L 12th Naum 31
Amitaal L' Amos 32
Zecchora L'' Mathathiam 33
Nasta L''' Iosee/Ioseph 34
Ioacas/Ioas M1 13th Geenna/Iamne 35
Ioachim M2 Melchi 36
Sedechias M3 Levi 37
Iechonias N 14th Mathan 38
Salatiel O 15th Eli 39
Zorobabel P 16th Ioseph 40
Abiut Q 17th Ioachim 41
Eliachim R 18th Anna 41'
Azor S 19th Maria 42
Sadoc T 20th
Achim U 21st
Eliud V 22nd
Eleazar W 23rd
Mathan X 24th
Iacob Y 25th
Ioseph Z 26th

Prime marks indicate a wife, whereby the double and triple prime marks with L indicate a second and a third wife. The wife of Solomon at left is unmarked. The entries in red are missing in the oldest existing recensions of the Great Stemma and were probably not present in the ur-type. Such entries were edited in to the School recension at a much later date.

The major corruption in the wife positions in the upper filum (the Bumped Royal Wives error) is evident from the zigzagging progress of the letters of the alphabet marking the king-wife pairs. The schematic above allows us to make several new points.

First of all, the arcing form of the two fila as they bend inwards and close off at Christ is likely to stem from the earliest form of the diagram. The same essential pattern is preserved in Roda and Foigny, though without the curves. Facundus (a Beta manuscript) preserves the curves in a pure form. It would be odd if the editors of Plutei and Facundus, working off different models, had both spontaneously invented the curves: it is plausible to see the shape as having been there from the very beginning.

Secondly, Plutei preserves an elaborate bus bar system, where, at the right, additional connecting lines run through the centres of roundels V-Z and 36-42. In Roda, this is dramatically reduced, with the bus bar only fully preserved in the upper filum. However, close attention to the lines connecting Roda 36-42 shows the traces of a pattern— the two 45-degree angles and the line threaded through the centres of 36-42— that clearly derives from the same source as Plutei's.

Thirdly, the evidence that the Salatiel-Zorobbabel pairs (O-P at top, 20-21 at bottom, connected by grey bars) were once vertically aligned to emphasize that these are four, separate, non-identical men remains ambiguous. Only Roda manages to get the alignment precise.

Fourthly, the beginnings of the fila in Roda and Foigny are messy, but one aspect is consistent: Solomon is always shifted to the right with respect to Nathan. This not only reflects the fact that the Solomon-Christ filum is a shorter one than the Nathan-Christ filum, but also implies that the distinctive arrangement of the David section we see in Plutei must derive from the earliest recensions of the diagram.

Fifthly, the way in which M1 and M3 are positioned seems to follow no consistent pattern, which reinforces the impression that they were misplaced and have been put into some kind of holding or after-thought position, depending on where space could be found. They have been eliminated from Foigny entirely.

In counting the steps, it is necessary to grasp that the author has created a secret mirror effect. In the upper filum each roundel contains an X genuit Y label and that the father, X, is the prime person. So roundel A is clearly Rehoboam's. In the bottom filum, each roundel also contains an X genuit Y label, but this time the "tenant" of the roundel is the child, Y. Roundel 1 below is thus not for Nathan, but for Nathan's son Matata.

The definitive lists to populate the reconstruction are as follows:

1. Filum C (50)

This is based on LG section 29, and is potentially controversial, as it includes two names, Fache and Saba, which are no longer found in any Great Stemma manuscript. However there is no other evident origin for those two names if not the Great Stemma, and it seems this must be the source on which the Liber Genealogus relies. Additionally, Iosebe (Jehosheba) is re-attached to this Judaean line, consistent with 2 Kings 11:2, and not to the Samaria line, although all of the manuscripts and the Liber Genealogus have fallen into the error of treating her as Samarian. Solomon and wife are not part of this group, as they are dealt with on the David page.

  1. Roboam (A)
    • Maccha (A')
  2. Abia (B)
    • Ana (B')
  3. Asa (C)
    • Cazoba (C')
  4. Iosaphat (D)
    • uxor Ios. "Fache" (D')
  5. Ioram (E)
    • Gotholia (uxor) (E')
    • Iosebe filia Ioram (E+: her migration to the family of Ioram of Samaria is an early phenomenon which even the corresponding LG section 37 reflects)
  6. Ochozias (E2)
    • Choboda (E2')
  7. Gotholia (regnum) (E3)
  8. Ioas (E4)
    • Ioade (E4')
  9. Amessias (E5)
    • Iecelia (E5')
  10. Ozias (F)
    • Darusa (F')
  11. Ioatham (G)
    • uxor Ioa. "Saba" (G')
  12. Achaz (H)
    • Rabuti (H')
  13. Ezechias (I )
    • Ebsiba (I')
  14. Manasse (J)
    • Musaella (J')
  15. Amon (K)
    • Iedadidda (K')
  16. Iosias (L)
    • Amitaal (L')
    • Zecchora (L'')
    • Nasta (L''': she is not mentioned in the LG)
  17. Ioacas/Ioas (M1)
  18. Ioachim (M2)
  19. Sedechias (M3)
  20. Iechonias (N)
  21. Salatiel (O)
  22. Zorobabel (P)
  23. Abiut (Q)
  24. Eliachim (R)
  25. Azor (S)
  26. Sadoc (T)
  27. Achim (U )
  28. Eliud (V)
  29. Eleazar (W)
  30. Mathan (X)
  31. Iacob (Y)
  32. Ioseph (Z)
Filum D (34)

This corresponds to LG section 38. David's son Nathan is not counted part of this group, as he is dealt with on the David page. We also leave out of account a later Nathan, in the Liber Genealogus's "Levvi genuit Nathan; Natha genuit Eli," since the Great Stemma manuscripts all make the direct jump from Levi to Ioseph. To choose where the corruption lies - in the transmission of the diagram or of the LG - one must take into account that a later revisor of the LG might have had a motivation to to add Nathan and Eli after consulting the Luke text, whereas an accidental omission of Nathan and Eli from the diagram could only have happened by an extraordinary degree of negligence and inattention. The route of caution is therefore to regard the diagrams as the more stable source and the LG text as corrupt, and thus to omit Nathan and Eli from the reconstruction.

  1. Matata (1)
  2. Eman (2)
  3. Eliachim/Eliadem (4)
  4. Ioanna (5)
  5. Ioseph (6)
  6. Iudam (7)
  7. Simeon (8)
  8. Levi (9)
  9. Matati (10)
  10. Iorim (11)
  11. Eliezer (12)
  12. Ihesu (13)
  13. Er (14)
  14. Helmadan (15)
  15. Cosam (16)
  16. Addi (17)
  17. Melchi (18)
  18. Neri (19)
  19. Salatiel (20)
  20. Zorobabel (21)
  21. Rescha (22)
  22. Ana (23)
  23. Iuda (24)
  24. Iosech (25)
  25. Semei (26)
  26. Matati (27)
  27. Naum (31)
  28. Iosee/Ioseph (34)
  29. Geenna/Iamne (35)
  30. Melchi (36)
  31. Levi (37)
  32. Ioseph (40)
  33. Ioachim (41)
  34. Maria (42)

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