Images of Medieval Art and Architecture

France: Vézelay
Benedictine Abbey Church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine

Nave: Historiated Capital 
Moses Kills the Egyptian


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Subject Matter

Moses Kills the Egyptian:

Most scholars agree that this is the Old Testament scene of Moses killing the Egyptian whom Moses has seen mistreating a Hebrew. (Exodus 2:11-12)

A bearded Moses (at left) holds the hair of the Egyptian (at right head bent forward). In His right hand, Moses holds a sword with which he cuts the Egyptian's throat. On the right side of the capital, Moses hides the body in the foliage. (not visible in this image)

Porée suggests that this capital portrays the sacrifice of the daughter of Jephta (Judges 11:29-40), but Salet dismisses this, saying that the person being killed is a man.

Location within Floorplan Placement in Elevation

Salet: Number 49-

North side of nave. 
East side of fourth arcade pier. 

Standing in the centre of the nave looking north. 

Related Material

Click here to see other Vézelay capitals showing episodes from the Old Testament

Click here to see other medieval depictions of the story of Moses


Salet, p. 187. 

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Created by J. Vadnal, September, 1998