The Tower of Babel

12th-13th century
Cathedral of the Assumption, Monreale, Sicily

Genesis 11:1-9. The inscription says filii noe hedificantes turrim conf[u]se sunt lingue eorum et vocatum est locum illu[m] babel, "The sons of Noah building the tower. Their languages are confused. And the place is called Babel." As in the Palatine Chapel mosaics the building of the tower is attributed to Noah's sons, not Adam's as Genesis 11:5 has it. Unlike the Palatine image, this one ignores the mention of baked bricks in the text and has the men using cut stone. Both images also ignore the bitumen ("pitch" or "tar") that the Vulgate says was used for building and show the men mixing mortar instead.

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