© Hildesheim, St Godehard |
Luke 4:3-4; Matthew 4:3-4
Christ and the devil stand under a palm tree. The devil holds the stones,
asking Christ to turn them into bread. Christ replies, raising his forefinger
‘It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every
word of God’. The devil has wings, a beak and clawed feet.
Christ rather pointlessly clutches a rectangular fold in his gown. The
model must logically have held a book, as in London, British Library,
Anglo-Saxon illustrations do not show all three temptations, but the complete
sequence is shown in the initials of the Odbert Psalter (Boulogne, MS
20), a manuscript otherwise influenced by Anglo-Saxon art. In the Odbert
Psalter a tree also divides Christ and the devil in this episode.
The devil with wings, beak and claws is found in the Anglo-Saxon British
Library, MS Cotton Tiberius C. VI. The winged devil also has Byzantine
ancestry, being found in the Chludoff Psalter and Monreale mosaics (AP,
This image, the first of a new quire, is placed lopsided on the page.
First page of quire 3.
Thread or stitch holes for protective curtain