Jacob's Dream

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

This mosaic illustrates Genesis 28:10-15. It is not clear why what is called a ladder in the text and represented as one in other images should be pictured here as a stepped pyramid or terraced mountain. Possibly the mosaicist was influenced by the Vulgate's word cacumen, "summit," for the top of the ladder or by Vulgate Psalm 23:3, "Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord, or who shall stand in his holy place?"

This mosaic is part of the extensive series of Old Testament scenes portrayed along the two walls of the nave. To view the others follow this link.

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Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.