Identified the possible author of the inscription of the Holy Chalice of Valencia

Identified the possible author of the inscription of the Holy Chalice of Valencia

Recent research by Professor of Design at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) Gabriel Songel brings the possible author of the inscription that is arranged vertically at the base of the Holy Chalice of the Last Supper, the Jewish convert Pedro Alfonso de Huesca.

Songel explained to Efe that these researches seek to contrast the different interpretations of the inscription, providing new meanings of experts; deepen the tradition of square Kufic writing (Arabic calligraphy) in Spain, and delve into the phenomenon of the transliteration between Arabic and medieval Hebrew.

This inscription was discovered by the professor of Archeology at the University of Zaragoza Antonio Beltrán in 1960 and has been interpreted as "LiLzahira", the resplendent one.

The Holy Chalice, which has been venerated in the Cathedral of Valencia since the 15th century, has been exposed to the public for 102 years in a chapel where its Palestinian agate cup on the upper part, dating from the 1st century BC, can be seen. , according to tradition, was the one used by Jesus at the Last Supper.

One of the lines of Songel's work, whose article has already been registered as Intellectual Property, has been directed to contrast the different interpretations of the inscription, and for that it brings new meanings of experts from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

This research has led to deepen the tradition of Kufic writing in Spain, where through the funerary stelae of Alcoy (Alicante) are very early antecedents of square Kufic writing that was conceived with the abstraction of the letters to be read in different directions.

A third direction of the investigation was oriented towards the knowledge of the transliteration phenomenon between Arabic and medieval Hebrew and to verify the possibility that the inscription could be read in transliterated Arabic.

That case would be read as "Allah Isa", that is, "Jesus (is) God", as the scholar Agustín Blasco pointed out, and in previous investigations he identified, in his specular image, as a Hebrew script where he would put "Joshua Yaveh" , again "Jesus (is) God", explains the researcher.

This interpretation was the "key" to relate it to the ideograms that the Jewish convert Pedro Alfonso de Huesca had made in the first half of the 12th century in his theological reflections on the Trinity.

The graphic representations that he left in his writings, playing with the combination of letters in both Hebrew and Latin, are very close to the inscription of the Chalice, Songel notes.

"The coincidence of the patterns used and the theological and apologetic concepts, besides being a rabbinical and scientific scholar known for his Arabic translations, identify him as a possible intellectual author," he says.

The fact that this character was linked to the Aragonese court between Pedro I and Alfonso I the Battler and had access to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña coincides at the time and in the space in which it is considered that the Chalice was configured which is known today.


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