According to the Book of Exodus, Moses received the Commandments from the Lord on Mount Sinai, written on stone tablets. The tablets are his attribute, as at left.
A mistranslation in the Latin Vulgate made it seem that Moses returned from his sojourn on Sinai "horned." In fact the mistranslated Hebrew word means "radiant." Starting in the 12th century we find images of him with horns. But many artists fudged the horns, replacing them with unfortunately shaped forelocks, as at left.
At left, a 15th century painting of Moses.
In the nave of Santa Maria Maggiore a series of 5th century mosaics on the Old Testament includes a number of episodes from Moses' life.
6th century mosaic in RavennaMenu