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Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard

Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard
Psalm: 132 & 133
Iconography: Above, Christ blesses a band of joyfully united men, while one looks on in resentment: Behold how good and how pleasant [a thing it is]: for brothers to dwell in unity. Below, the psalmist points to the scene above and to Aaron, the priest with the beard and tonsure.The tag refers to reward for fraternal harmony: Like perfume on the head: which ran down on the beard on the beard of aaron. Aaron is specifically not being blessed with ointment and looks defensive, wrapping one arm around his body and raising his other hand in dialogue with the psalmist who instructs him to observe the factions above. The picture relates to fraternal harmony described at the beginning of the psalm, but there is no depiction of the anointing oil mentioned in the tag. Moreover, the text does not mention the resentful man. St Augustine and St Jerome both related this psalm to the healthy corporate life of the monastery (AP, 260; Jerome, PL, xxvi, 1217; Augustine, PL, xxxvi, 1730 ).

133
The dancing psalmist points to the tag and raises his palm in prayer. Inside a house all servants of the lord. Who stand in the house of the lord raise their arms in praise: In the nights lift up your hands to the holy places: and bless the lord. Outside there are stars in the sky.
Art: Some pricking visible on edge of page.
Thread stitch: yes
Historical Relevance: This image deviates from both the psalm and the tag specifically to highlight the contrast between fraternal harmony and resentment. Aaron the priest is the leader of these men and he is being reminded about the blessings of harmony: he is not being anointed as the text requires. Could this refer to Geoffrey's particular situation at St Albans where his policies led to factions among the community? (see essay Initials, the Title)

133
Roger uttered part of this psalm in gratitude when he heard that Christina was still safely concealed with Alfwen and had not been abducted by her parent's agents. May the lord of sion who made heaven and earth bless you (Talbot, 1998, 97).

Quire: 19



Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard

 

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