Isaiah Sawn in Half in an Initial C

Circa 1240-50
Manuscript illumination
MS. Ludwig VIII 2 (83.MK.93)
The J. Paul Getty Museum

In an old legend the Jewish leaders had the prophet Isaiah sawn in half. Here a pair of servants carry out the order using a bucksaw.

The text below the image is from Isaiah 12:1-2, Confitebor tibi Domine quoniam iratus es michi conversus est furor tuus et consolatus es me Ecce deus salvator meus fiducialiter agam et non [timebo], "I will give thanks to thee, O Lord, for thou wast angry with me: thy wrath is turned away, and thou hast comforted me. Behold, God is my saviour, I will deal confidently, and will not [fear]." In the image we see the prophet's stolid fearlessness even as the blade of the saw begins to slice through his skull.

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