Rehoboam Takes Counsel

5th century, with medieval and modern restorations
Nave, Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

This panel is part of the extensive series of Old Testament scenes portrayed in mosaics along the two walls of the nave. It pictures the events in 1 Kings 12:1-17, in which the Davidic kingdom comes to be divided. In the center King Rehoboam, heir of Solomon, asks his counselors how he should deal with the protests of Jeroboam and his men. On the left the old counselors advise gentle diplomacy, but on the right the young men advise the king to tell Jeroboam, "my father put a heavy yoke upon you, but I will add to your yoke: my father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions." Rehoboam listens to the young counselors and loses most of his kingdom.

In the left background the artist has pictured the beating that Rehoboam will threaten. It is not clear what is being pictured in the right background.

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To view the other panels in this sequence, please follow this link.

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