Ttituli Historiarum1 (Dittochaeon)
I. de Adam et EvaEva columba fuit tunc candida; nigra deinde facta per anguinum malesuada fraude venenum tinxit et innocuum maculis sordentibus Adam; dat nudis ficulna draco mox tegmina victor.
II. de Abel et Cain5 Fratrum sacra Deus nutu distante duorum aestimat accipiens viva et terrena refutans. rusticus invidia pastorem sternit: in Abel forma animae exprimitur, caro nostra in munere Cain.
- 1The title is doubtful. Editions before that of Bergman give Dittochaeon or Dittochaeum or, less commonly, Diptychon. The latter is a conjecture, the former has some authority; but of Bergman’s twelve MSS. five give no title, three give Tituli Historiarum, one describes the verses as Tituli, three (A B M) do not have these verses at all. The headings of the separate quatrains vary considerably in the MSS.
Lines to be Inscribed Under Scenes From Historya (Twofold Nourishment)
I. Adam and Eve
Eve was then white as a dove, but afterwards she was blackened by the venom of the serpent through his deceitful tempting, and with foul blots she stained the innocent Adam. Then the victorious serpent gives them coverings of fig-leaves for their nakedness.b
II. Abel and Cain
God’s pleasure appraises differently the offerings of two brothers, accepting the living and rejecting the products of the earth. The farmer from jealousy strikes down the shepherd. In Abel is shown forth the figure of the soul, our flesh in the offering of Cain.c
- aScenes from the Old and New Testaments depicted on the walls of a church. Paulinus of Nola (353–431) describes a church which was decorated in this way (Carmen XXVII, 511 ff.), and archaeology has revealed an example dating from before the middle of the 3rd century at Dura-Europos in Syria where the baptistery had paintings of this kind (see Rostovtzeff, Dura-Europos and its Art, pp. 130–2 and plate XXVIII).
- bGenesis iii.
- cGenesis iv.