The Mystery of an Image of the Biblical Magi

The Mystery of an Image of the Biblical MagiThis image of biblical Magi (otherwise (Three) Wise Men or (Three) Kings) is located in the historical library of Armenian manuscripts in New Julfa (Isfahan, Iran).

The faces of the kings, according to Patrick Donabedian and Jean-Michel Thierry, symbolize the three life periods of humans.

“Pay attention to the inscriptions on the edges of the garments – one of them imitates Arabic letters. Besides, the word “king” is written in Armenian two times,” the experts write.

The names of the kings are marked in Armenian (from left to right): Melkon (Մելքոն, Melchior), Gaspar (Գասպար, Caspar), and Baghdasar (Բաղդասար, Patisar). It is worth noting that Baghdasar in a Christian legend is believed to have been a king of Arabia, which can explain the presence of Arabian writings.

But why the artist illustrated Gaspar (who was from India) and Melkon (who came from Persia / Iran) in Armenian clothes remains a mystery.


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