The J. Paul Getty Museum

Moses Defeating the Moors

Object Details


Moses Defeating the Moors






Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany (Place Created)


about 1400–1410


Tempera colors, gold, silver paint, and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. 33 (88.MP.70), fol. 66v


Leaf: 33.5 × 23.5 cm (13 3/16 × 9 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

Moses, in a pink tunic at left, commands his valiant army against the forces of the Moors, who are directed by the princess in the tower. Although the World Chroniclecontains stories drawn from the Bible and ancient history, it also incorporates purposefully fabricated historical tales such as this one. The Moors were Muslims living in medieval Spain, thousands of years after Moses' death. The story of Moses fighting the Moors was invented in the Middle Ages, no doubt a revision of Biblical history intended to provide a sacred precedent for the attempts of medieval Christians to expel the Moors from Spain. The parallel between this story of Moses and events in Europe around 1400 is further reinforced by the setting of the miniature in which Christian soldiers and their enemies are dressed in medieval armor and fight before a medieval castle.

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Historical Witness, Social Messaging

Additional works of art related to the themes and topics of the curriculum.