The Martyrdom of St. James the Greater

Circa 1320-70
Stained glass
Chancel, Regensburg Cathedral

The crowned man on the right is Herod Agrippa, who ordered the execution of St. James the Greater. His pointing gesture is a common device in medieval images to express the giving of a command. In the image, the saint's head has already just been severed from the neck. It is not clear why Herod has a sword and why his and the executioner's sword are striped white and black. No such detail is found in the legends.

There appears to be writing within the banderole behind Herod's hand, but it is not legible. Most likely it represented Herod's words of condemnation.

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Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.