IN THE STUDIUM BIBLICUM FRANCISCANUM MUSEUM
AND BIBLICAL EXEGESIS
J. H. Charlesworth
The Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Museum houses seven examples of
anguine iconography. The purpose of this paper is to publish an editio prin-
ceps of the anguine collection, which once belonged to the Franciscan Fa-
ther Godfrey Kloetzli (1916-1992),1 and attempt to place them within the
sequence of anguine iconography found in ancient Palestine. Finally, I will
select some aside regarding the importance of these and similar realia for
exegesis and hermeneutics. It is an honor to be asked to submit this study
in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Studium Biblicum Fran-
ciscanum that sits on the northern edge of the Via Dolorosa in the Old City
1. Composition, Size, and Color. The first anguine object found in the SBF
Museum is made of bronze (see illustration no. 1).3 It is 5 cm wide, 3.4 cm
high, and 1.1 cm thick (including the raised serpent).4 The serpent itself is
5 cm thick, except for the tail that is slightly thinner, and about 4.8 cm long.
The upper right corner of the object is missing and broken off. The object
is now dark green in color.
Provenience and Date. There is no archaeological report that will help
us obtain the necessary data for dating. The object was purchased in Israel.
1. He also bequeathed to the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Museum the items published
in S. Amorai-Stark, Engraved Gems and Seals from Two Collections in Jerusalem, Jerusa-
lem 1993, see esp. p. 11.
2. I am grateful to Dr. M. Piccirillo for allowing me to hold and study the anguine icono-
graphy in the SBF Museum. I also wish to express appreciation to Dr. F. Manns for the
invitation to contribute to this special issue.
3. J.P. Charlesworth is largely responsible for the photographs. We took them together dur-
ing the fall of 1998. I am grateful to her for her skills and assistance.
4. All my measurements are based on the greatest distance.
LA 49 (1999) 431-442; Pls. 5-6
J. H. CHARLESW