By Joan Goodnick Westenholz
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Extra resources for Images of Inspiration: The Old Testament in Early Christian Art
378. 4 BOWL DEPICTING ADAM, EVE, THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE AND THE TREE OF LIFE Glass Cologne Fourth century Height: 6 cm; diameter: 20 cm Romisch-Germanisches Museum, Cologne, RGM N 340 The incised scene on this bow l depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve stands to the left of t he Tree of Knowledge, which, together with the Tree of Life, represented to the left of Adam, frames the picture. The snake coils around the Tree. Eve raises her right hand towards the tree in front of her, shields her pudenda with her left hand, and turns her head in the direction of Adam, who stands behind her, and also gestures towards_the tree with his right hand.
522. References: Du Mesnil Du Buisson, 1970: 108-111; Grabar, 1968: 114-116 (on symbolism); Grabar, 1966: 9-16 (on bird and cage). The nozzle of the lamp is framed by a ladder motif, THE SACRIFICE OF ISAAC In Jewish thought. this story conveys the supreme example of self-sacrifice in obedience to God's will, and is the symbol of Jewish martyrdom throughout the ages. In Hebrew, the story is know as the akedah or the 'binding' of Isaac. This scene was among the most frequent in early Christian art, and continued to be used after most other Old Testament scenes had been dropped from the Christian repertoire of images.
Later Unpublished theologians, both Jewish and Christian, linked this References: Hayes, 1972: 172; Sagui and Tortorici, transgression to sexuality, symbolized by Eve, 1987: 174, no. 156. although in the account in Genesis the Fall is not sexual in nature and the link between sin and sex is never made. 5 cm Private collection iconography. However, the iconography is not rigid, 9 OIL LAMP, DECORATED WITH ADAM (OR EVE) AND THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE and there are examples of scenes showing Eve on the left of the Tree, including a tile found at Henchir Naja south of Kairouan in Tunisia, North Africa, and Red slip ware Carthage, North Africa an early fifth-century silver flagon from Traprain Law, East Lothian, Scotland.