(b. ca. 1350, Haarlem, d. 1406, Dijon)

Well of Moses: Moses (detail)

Musée Archéologique, Dijon

From the 12th century, Moses is occasionally shown with horns (e.g. Claus Sluter, Well of Moses, 1395-1403, Musée Archéologique, Dijon; Michelangelo, Tomb of Pope Julius II, 1513-16, S. Pietro in Vincoli, Rome). These are explained by a mistranslation in the Vulgate (not followed in the Authorized Version of the Bible). In the Book of Exodus (34:29), it is written that Moses shone brightly when he came down from Sinai after he had been given the Tables of Law. St Jerome translated the Hebrew verb for shine, similar to the word 'geren' (horn), by 'cornatus', horned: "Videbant faciem Moysi esse cornatum (They saw that Moses' face was horned)".