Silos Beatus

Silos Beatus f. 209r, Christ upon his throne and the river of life


f. 209r, Christ upon his throne and the river of life

This illustration is a continuation of the previous one: indeed they are a pair based on Maius (ff. 222v-223r). The second part of the commentary is explained in the previous illustration. The angel speaks to John and shows him the river of life springing from the throne, and standing in the middle of the square or patio of celestial Jerusalem is a tree. Everything comes to an end and triumph shall occur for God shall enlighten his servants and reign for ever and ever (hic p[o]p[u]l[u]s d[e]i et habitabit d[eu]s / cum eis / et regnabunt in s[e]c[u]la s[e]c[u]lorum). This is the text at the top of the same band in which Christ is depicted on his throne inside an oval mandorla.

Sitting at the sides are the twenty who are to reign with God as described in the legend. The river springs from the throne in the usual way, as explained in the text: hic / flu/men / de / trono / exiens. The angel points the river out to John. Both figures are upon a mountain depicted, as usual in this codex, on the right of the scene. The long legend explaining the angel’s mission to St John was copied in the wrong order in the Silos Beatus – dit / osten/lem/s[an]c[t]am Ierus/ civita tem/gelus sancto Ihoanni/ sion de quo an/ hic mons. This suggests that the copyist was not familiar with the text and changed the order of the words, some of which are divided or in the wrong place. The text is copied correctly in the other codices: Hic mons sion de quo angelus sancto iohanni civitatem iherusalem ostendit. On the other side is the leafy tree loaded with fruit described in the text: hic lig/nun[m] / faciens fructos / duodecim / per singulos / menses.

The illustration created by Maius was also popular for its layout is repeated in Valcavado (f. 183r), Urgell (f. 187r) and Ferdinand I (f. 254r). The differences in the Silos Beatus make it quite unique and suggest it may have been inspired by a different, missing codex.

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