Asa Simon Mittman, "In Those Days: Giants And The Giant Moses In The Old English Illustrated Hexateuch," Imagining the Jew: Jewishness in Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture, ed. Samantha Zacher (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2016)
The eleventh-century Old English Illustrated Hexateuch, probably produced in the second quarter of the eleventh century, in or near St. Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury, houses a wealth of imagery, including several images of giants that appear throughout the manuscript’s approximately 400 images and 156 folios. These giants form a primary point of contrast for both the Jewish protagonists within the narrative and for Anglo-Saxon readers/viewers, helping the latter in their process of identity formation. Images of Moses, the great Jewish prophet, as not only horned but also gigantic complicate what might otherwise have been a simplistic dichotomy of “us” and “them,” thereby creating a more fertile basis for contemplative viewing.