Holy Three Kings

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Holy Three Kings, oak, around 1490, Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg
Adoration of the Magi, bronze plaque, 4th century ( Vatican Museums , Rome)

As the three wise men or wise men from the Orient , the Christian tradition refers to the “ magicians ” mentioned in the Christmas story of the Gospel of Matthew ( MtEU ) (in the Greek original text Μάγοι, Magoi, literally “ magician ”), who through the star of Bethlehem to Jesus were led. In the New Testament they are not referred to as “kings”, nor is there any indication of their number. This information comes from an extensive legend that did not begin until the late 3rd century. The one in the western churchCommon names Caspar , Melchior and Balthasar are first mentioned in the 6th century. On the other hand, a Syrian source from Edessa from the 7th century in Upper Mesopotamia and others speak of twelve Persian kings.

Adoration of the Magi, capital on display in the chapter house of the Saint-Lazare d'Autun cathedral , 12th century
Giotto di Bondone : Adorazione dei Magi , fresco in the Cappella degli Scrovegni (Padua) depicting a comet , around 1305
Sandro Botticelli : Adoration of the Magi , tempera on wood, around 1475 ( Galleria degli Uffizi , Florence)
Picture of the three kings by the master of Meßkirch , around 1538

In the Catholic Church the "three kings" are venerated as saints . Their feast is the feast of the apparition of the Lord (Epiphany) on January 6th. Even in the Protestant churches is to Epiphany of the ways intended. In the Orthodox churches , on the other hand, it is celebrated together with Christmas on December 25th of the Julian calendar.

Exegesis and Biblical References

The second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew ( MtEU ) reports in the context of the narrative of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem about the veneration of the newborn by Μάγοι ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν ( Greek , Mágoi apὸ anatolôn , “magician from the east”). It says: “When Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea in the time of King Herod, magicians from the east came to Jerusalem and asked: 'Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw his star rise and have come to pay homage to him. '"

The term Magos (.. Gr Sing μάγος, plural μάγοι;. From Old Persian Magus ) was in Greek general for a magician used and astrologers, but especially for the Zoroastrian priestly caste , which was originally on the Median priestly tribe of skimmed declined, among other things, is mentioned in Herodotus , Strabo and Philo of Alexandria . In the Iranian Arsacid Empire (approx. 250 BC to 224 AD) all Zoroastrian priests were then referred to as magicians ( moġ ); they enjoyed the reputation of being particularly good fortune tellers and magicians among the Greeks and Romans. Therefore, Persian or Chaldean astrologers could be meant in the biblical text . In older research, it was partly suggested that these magicians may have been influenced by the Jewish community in Babylon . According to the general view of theological exegesis, they represent the world of the Gentiles and are looking for the newborn "King of the Jews" ( Mt 2.2  EU ), a term that in Matthew is only used by Gentiles (cf. Mt  EU ); Instead, the Jews only use the term “King of Israel” in the Gospel of Matthew ( Mt 27:42  EU ).

According to Matthew, the magicians observed the rise of a star that heralds the birth of a king ( Mt 2.2  EU ). Here is a personal star in the sense of a celestial phenomenon observed by you . Associations with the star can be found both in the horizon of understanding of the pagan ancient environment ( Virgil's Aeneid 2,694) and in the Jewish environment (cf. the Balaam word about a rising star in Israel Num 24.17  EU or possibly the wandering pillar of fire in Ex 13.21  EU ). Whether the story was based on an actual phenomenon in the starry sky at the turn of the ages (a certain planetary constellation , a supernova or a comet would be conceivable ) is controversial among astronomers and, in the opinion of many theologians, "ignores the primarily symbolic content of the star as a question".

In verses 3–8 the magicians first come to Jerusalem, as the capital of the nearby birthplace of a king of the Jews. Here the reaction of the political and religious aristocracy to the birth of the Messiah is described: “they were frightened” (v.3). In v.8 King Herod even instructs them to return and reveal the exact whereabouts of the child - a preparation for the story of the child murder in Bethlehem ( Mt 2, 16-18  EU ). In the introduction to the Gospel, Matthew already points out the central motif of the rejection of the Messiah by his own people.

In verse 9, the wise men again follow the star, which is only now described as a pioneering wandering star. He goes ahead of them to Bethlehem and stops there. In contrast to the Gospel of Luke (“crib” without any statement about the building, Lk 2.7  EU ) it is an ordinary “house” with Matthew (V.11). Verses 10–11 are designed as a contrast to the horror of the people in Jerusalem: The magicians are overjoyed - “they were very happy with great joy” - and offer their gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh (verse 11). This verse refers to several Old Testament passages:

The pilgrimage to Zion in Psalm 72.10–15 EU :

10 The kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring gifts, the kings of Saba and Seba come with gifts. 11 All kings must worship him, all peoples serve him. […] 15 May he live, and gold from Saba shall be given to him! "

In the book of Isaiah 60.6 EU :

"All come from Saba, bring frankincense and gold and proclaim the glorious deeds of the Lord."

And in the Song of Songs 3,6 EU :

"Who is she who comes up from the steppe in pillars of smoke, clouded with myrrh and frankincense, from all the fragrances of the traders?"

In addition, Matthew serves each gift individually as a testimony to the messiahship of Jesus: gold as the appropriate gift for the newborn king; Myrrh, a medicinal plant with which medicine is prepared, on the one hand as a gift for the doctor and healer sent by God ("Savior"), on the other hand with reference to Ex 30,22-33  EU as well as the incense assigned to the area of ​​the temple as a gift for the future high priest of Israel.

Another reference to myrrh is the Gospel of John 19.39 EU , where it says that Nicodemus brought about 100 pounds of myrrh mixed with aloe to Jesus' burial. The view that the king's myrrh belongs in this context comes across very early on. In a text attributed to Beda Venerabilis , the model of which was perhaps a Greek painter's manual, one reads: “Balthasar […] per myrrham filium hominis moriturum professus est” (“Balthasar indicated the future death of the Son of Man through myrrh”). In this sense Friedrich Spee wrote around 1623: "The Myrrh 'pointed to his humanity". The myrrh is then not a sign for the healer, but a sign for the mortal person who is embalmed with myrrh and laid in the grave. This idea also expresses the antiphon to the Benedictus of the lauds of January 7th. There the three wise men bring "gold to the great king, frankincense to the true God and myrrh for his burial". The same thought can be found in the song text “A star has risen” by Guido Maria Dreves : The wise men brought “incense to the heir of God, the king's child gold, and myrrh to him who wants to die for us on the cross”.

Matthew 2,12  EU also ensures that the wise do not become accomplices of Herod and betray Jesus. With this they disappear from the Gospel of Matthew, "there is no further interest in them".

Traditions about number, name, age and origin

In late ancient Greek literature, magoi was usually the name for the Zoroastrian priests of Persia. Due to the references to Ps 72,10  EU and Isa 60  EU , where kings bring the gifts, the “magicians” were soon interpreted as kings in Christian tradition. The church writer Tertullian wrote about the wise men at the beginning of the 3rd century, referring to these passages in the Bible, that they appeared almost like kings. They finally became kings with Caesarius of Arles or Isidore of Seville . In contrast, she sees the Legenda aurea as an astrologer, philosopher and magician .

SCS Balthassar, SCS Melchior, SCS Caspar with Phrygian caps , 6th century mosaic (Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo , Ravenna). The costume is similar to that of Sassanid priests.

The number of sages fluctuated in the first few centuries. Origen (185-254) was the first to name the triad of magicians. On the wall paintings of the Domitilla catacombs in Rome four instead of the usual three magicians are shown, in another catacomb (probably for symmetrical reasons) only two kings with Phrygian caps are shown. In the edification literature of the 19th and 20th centuries there are occasional legends in which " the fourth king " arrives too late in Bethlehem for the crib, but just in time for the cross on Golgotha , such as in the case of the American theologian and writer Henry van Dyke in 1895 and the German-speaking novelist Edzard Schaper 1961. The French writer Michel Tournier also processed the legend of the late king in his novel Kaspar, Melchior and Balthasar .

According to the Syrian writer Jakob von Edessa (633-708) and other later Syrian sources of varying quality, there were twelve Persian kings (Zarvandades, Hormisdas, Gusnasaphus, Arsaces, Zarvandades, Orrhoes, Artaxestes, Estunabudanes, Maruchus, Assuerus, Sardalachus) and., Merodalachus the number three goes back only to the three gifts ( gold , frankincense and myrrh ): “The magicians about which your brotherhood asked, who came to Jerusalem from the east when Christ was born, were from the land of Persia and from the Sons of Elam's son Shem was their genealogy. And there were not just three, as the painters paint them with colors for the people, because they heard of the triad of gifts, gold, myrrh and frankincense, but 12, as the more precise written accounts convey. But there were the princes who had come and well-known and famous men from the land of Persia. With them was a great people, a great camp of more than 1000 men, so that the whole of Jerusalem was in dismay when they came there and appeared in front of it. " These partly Parthian princely names from Persia are listed in these lists within Syrian tradition with their fathers.

In late antiquity , the wise men were often depicted as Persian magicians in visual art. In a now lost mosaic from the 6th century in the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem , they were depicted with Persian or Syrian headgear. In contrast to other churches, this basilica was not destroyed by the Sassanid Persians in 614, perhaps also because they recognized compatriots on the mosaic. In the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna there is also a mosaic depicting the three wise men with Phrygian hats, as they were worn by the Zoroastrian Persians at that time.

El Greco : The Adoration of the Magi , 1568 ( Museo Soumaya , Mexico City)

Marco Polo reports that on his trip through Persia he visited the tombs of the Three Kings in the city of Sava .

Variations by Caspar , Melchior and Balthasar appear as names in the Latin tradition from the beginning of the 6th century . The names come from different languages: Caspar possibly an old Iranian word formation Ganzabara- "treasure- bearer " to Caspar, Melchior probably the Hebrew malkī 'ōr (מלכי אור) "my king is light", Balthasar as a rendering of Bēl-šar-uṣur , a neo-Babylonian name the meaning “Baal / Lord protect the king”. The Armenians call them Kagba and Badadilma ; among the Ethiopians they are called Tanisuram, Mika, Sisisba and Awnison, Libtar, Kasad.

In art they are often portrayed as young people, grown men and old men. So wrote the Venerable Bede (or his successor) to 730 after an earlier Greek original: The first said to have been Melchior, an old man with white beard, the second Caspar, a beardless youth, the third Balthasar, with a dark beard ( Tertius, fuscus, integre barbatus, Balthasar nomine ). The Latin word fuscus ("dark, blackish") clearly refers to the beard and not to the skin color, as is still often claimed today. Beda continues: "But all their clothes are like those of the Syrians" (Omnia autem vestimenta eorum Syriaca sunt) . The number three probably also stands for the three ages of humans.

In the mystery plays for the feast of the Epiphany in the Middle Ages, the legend of the Epiphany is further developed, especially with regard to its origin: In a German mystery play from the 14th century, Melchior is King of Arabia, Balthasar of Saba and Caspar of Chaldea . In French mystery games (e.g. Rouen, Compiègne) from the 11th century onwards, this assignment of the three kings to the then known three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa found literary expression.

Beda Venerabilis already knew the reference of the three wise men to the continents in the 7th century, when, in his interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew, it was stated: “In the mystical sense of writing the three magicians denote the three parts of the world - Asia, Africa and Europe - or but also the human race, which began with the three sons of Noah . ”Mostly the youngest King Caspar, in other sources also Melchior and, more rarely, Balthasar, are regarded as the representative of Africa.

Martin Luther rejected the notion of three kings (instead of an unknown number of magicians or wise men), which cannot be derived from the Bible, which is why the term “ wise men from the Orient” predominates in Protestantism .


The origin and history of the relics of the Magi have only been handed down in legend until the 12th century. After that, St. Helena , the mother of Emperor Constantine , found the bones of the kings on a pilgrimage in Palestine around the year 326 and took them with them. According to a legend from the 12th century, Bishop Eustorgius of Milan († around 350) is said to have received the relics as a gift from the emperor a few years later and to have personally brought them to his bishopric in Milan. In the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio in Milan, consecrated to this bishop, the relics of the Three Kings can be historically documented for the first time. In 1158, in view of the first siege of Milan by Friedrich Barbarossa, they were moved from the basilica outside the city walls to the bell tower of the San Giorgio al Palazzo church in the city.

Cappella dei Magi in the Basilica di Sant'Eustorgio in Milan

After the conquest of Milan (1162), the imperial chancellor and Archbishop of Cologne Rainald von Dassel received the remains in 1164 as a gift from Emperor Barbarossa. It also expressed a political intention. The bones of the “first Christian kings”, so to speak, were intended to give the empire of Barbarossa a sacred justification without being dependent on the Pope. On July 23, 1164, the relics reached Cologne, where they are venerated to this day in the Shrine of the Three Kings from around 1200 . The large number of pilgrims to the shrine was the reason to start building the Cologne Cathedral in place of the smaller Hildebold Cathedral in 1248 . In 1903 some of the relics were returned to the Sant'Eustorgio Basilica in Milan.

In the Cappella dei Magi of the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio there is still the monumental gable sarcophagus from the late Roman period, in which the relics are said to have been brought to Milan and from which they were removed in 1164. It shows the star of Bethlehem on the roof and below the Latin inscription "SEPULCRUM TRIUM MAGORUM" (Tomb of the three wise men).



In many areas of Germany the term “Dreikönigsfest” or “Dreikönigstag” is the predominantly used name for January 6th .

The actual name of this festival, however, is the appearance of the Lord . On this day the Church celebrates the manifestation of the divinity of Jesus in adoration by the magicians, at his baptism in the Jordan and through the miracle of the transformation of water into wine that he performed at the wedding in Cana .

In the Protestant churches the following Sundays are counted as Sundays after Epiphany ; The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the baptism of the Lord on the Sunday after the apparition of the Lord , with which the Christmas festival cycle ends. Only in reading year C according to the reading order of the Catholic Church is the gospel of the wedding at Cana originally associated with the festival read on the Sunday after the baptism of the Lord.

When the churches of the East adopted the Roman custom of celebrating the birth of Jesus no longer on January 5th or 6th, but on the feast day of the Roman Sol Invictus , December 25th, they, unlike the Latin church, related the Arrival of the wise men in Christmas , as the Kontakion expresses: "The angels sing praises with the shepherds and the wise men wander with the star". On January 6th, the feast of the baptism of the Lord in the Jordan remained as the feast of theophany .

On January 6th as a public holiday, see the corresponding section in the article Apparition of the Lord or the annual overviews for Germany , Austria and Switzerland .

regional customs

Giving presents and moving

In Italy, on the night of January 6th, children wait for the gifts that the witch Befana brings them. The name of this legendary figure is derived from the festival of Epiphany on January 6th. Today there are also fair-like events with offers for the children, for example in Rome on Piazza Navona .

In Spain and the Canary Islands , Christmas presents take place on Epiphany. On this occasion, the so-called Cabalgatas de Reyes Magos take place, festive processions at which three locals disguised as kings throw sweets into the crowd as a highlight. The only known Epiphany procession in Germany takes place in Dinkelsbühl . Three Kings relics from the Three Kings Chapel on the city wall are carried to St. Georg Minster .

In France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Mexico, Liechtenstein, in large parts of Switzerland and in small parts of Austria, a pastry called Dreikönigskuchen (French Galette des Rois , Spanish Roscón de Reyes , in Argentina and Mexico Rosca de Reyes ). See also the bean king .

Epiphany singing

The tradition of Dreikönigsingens, also known as star singing, goes back to medieval myths that were used in the past to earn extra income and a spare penny in the cold season. The custom was revived in the middle of the 20th century and is mainly practiced in Catholic communities in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and South Tyrol.

Blessing from the carol singers at Marienberg Monastery, South Tyrol

The carolers sing a song to the people they let in and say a prayer or recite poems. Then write C + M + B with consecrated chalk , connected with the respective year, on the front doors or the door beams ( house blessing ). In the middle of the 20th century, “Christ mansionem benedicat” (“Christ bless (this) house!”) As a Christian blessing was derived from these first letters of the names Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Today, as a rule, money is collected for child-related projects within the framework of global development cooperation .

Other customs

To this day, so-called Dreikönigswasser is consecrated in the church in rural areas, such as the Allgäu, in memory of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan , which was also celebrated liturgically on January 6th. It was originally taken from a flowing body of water in a vessel intended only for this purpose, blessed in the church and taken home; among other things, it should provide protection against storms. This custom was already known in the 4th century and is celebrated in the Orthodox churches as the Great Water Consecration. In the extraordinary liturgy of the Roman rite , the consecration of the waters of the Three Kings has also been preserved.

The three kings salt is also partially dedicated. In addition, smoking out one's own house to protect against demons is common at Epiphany. The Epiphany marks the end of the so-called Rauhnächte . Epiphany slips were blessed slips of paper on Epiphany, which were described with C + M + B , prayers and often with other blessings and sayings.


The adoration of the kings and their procession to Bethlehem are traditional motifs in Christian visual arts. Their representation is often part of the Christmas crib and in many countries also a motif for postage stamps . See for example Christmas stamps from the Deutsche Bundespost and Christmas stamps from the Deutsche Bundespost Berlin .

Since the 12th century, one of the three kings has occasionally been shown in the visual arts as a representative of Africa with dark skin, and then since the Renaissance . In Renaissance painting, this assignment began before the turn of the 16th century and is often found in the 16th century. One of the first worship images with an African king in the Italian Renaissance is by Andrea Mantegna (1462 and again 1495 to 1505), in The Northern Renaissance such as the Epiphany altars show by Hans Memling of 1470 and 1479 and the Adoration of the Magi Albrecht Dürer from in 1504 this “geographical” assignment. As early as 1445, Stefan Lochner painted a dark-skinned companion in his three -king altar in Cologne in the wake of the kings.


  • Alfred Becker: Frank's Casket. To the pictures and inscriptions of the rune box by Auzon (=  language and literature . No. 5 ). Carl, Regensburg 1973, ISBN 3-418-00205-6 , pp. 125–142 ("On the Iconography of Magician Pictures", "Representations and Inscriptions").
  • Manfred Becker-Huberti : The Three Kings. Stories, legends and customs . Greven, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-7743-0356-8 .
  • Franco Cardini : The Three Kings in the Palazzo Medici . Schnell and Steiner, Regensburg 2006, ISBN 3-7954-1689-2 .
  • Konradin Ferrari d'Occhieppo : The star of Bethlehem from an astronomical point of view. Legend or fact? (=  Biblical archeology and contemporary history . No. 3 ). 4th edition. Brunnen-Verlag, Giessen u. a. 2003, ISBN 3-7655-9803-8 .
  • Walter Grundmann : The Gospel according to Matthew . Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Berlin 1968, p. 73-81 .
  • Hans Hofmann: The Three Kings. For the veneration of saints in ecclesiastical, social and political life of the Middle Ages (=  Rheinisches Archiv . No. 94 ). Röhrscheid, Bonn 1975, ISBN 3-7928-0376-3 (dissertation University of Göttingen 1972).
  • Thomas Holtmann: The magicians from the east and the star: Mt. 2,1-12 in the context of early Christian traditions (= Marburg theological studies , vol. 87), Elwert, Marburg 2005, ISBN 978-3-374-02553-4 / ISBN 3-7708-1275-1 (Dissertation University of Marburg 2003).
  • Rolf Lauer: The Shrine of the Three Wise Men (=  masterpieces of Cologne Cathedral . No. 9 ). Schnell and Steiner, Regensburg 2004, ISBN 3-7954-1657-4 .
  • Martin Papirowski : The Three Kings - The Origin of the Cologne Cathedral / The Three Magi . with prefaces by Peter Pauls (editor-in-chief KStA), Dr. Klaus Krämer (prelate) and Michael Hauck (master builder). Du-Mont Buchverlag, Cologne 2013, ISBN 978-3-8321-9452-9 (bilingual, with DVD).
  • Schweizerisches Idiotikon Volume III Columns 331–334: Article Drei Chüng (e) , with a lot of information on the older Epiphany custom in Switzerland.
  • Felix Timmermans : The Triptych of the Three Kings (=  Island Library . No. 362 ). Insel-Verlag, Leipzig 1924 (reprint: Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2008, ISBN 978-3-458-08362-7 ).
  • Stephan Waetzoldt : Three Kings. Series = Real Lexicon on German Art History . Vol. IV (1955), col. 476-501; in: RDK Labor, URL: < http://www.rdklabor.de/w/?oldid=93043 >.

Web links

Commons : Holy Three Kings  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Germanisches Nationalmuseum : Online object catalog Hl. Drei Könige
  2. Alfred Jeremias: Babylonian in the New Testament . JC Hinrichs, Leipzig 1905, p. 51, n.1 .
  3. Eberhard Nestle: Some about the number and names of the wise men from the Orient. In: Margenalien und materials (Tübingen 1893), pp. 67–88.
  4. In churches that follow the Julian calendar , this date currently falls on January 7th of the Gregorian calendar .
  5. ^ Theodor Zahn: The Gospel of Matthew (= Commentary on the New Testament , Volume 1). A. Deichert, Leipzig and Erlangen 4 1922; Reprint Brockhaus, Wuppertal 1984, ISBN 3-417-29211-5 , p. 93 f. Ludwig Neidhart: "When the time was fulfilled ..." , in: Brücke zum Menschen , No. 133 (1998), p. 41.
  6. a b c Martin Stowasser, commentary on Mt 2,1-12 on perikopen.de , p. 3
  7. a b Martin Stowasser, commentary on Mt 2,1-12 on perikopen.de , p. 5
  8. Manfred Becker-Huberti: The symbolism: gold, incense, myrrh ; Article on the website "Holy Three Kings"
  9. ^ Hugo Kehrer: The Three Kings in Literature and Art; Vol. 1, 1908, p. 66 .
  10. Gotteslob, Catholic prayer and hymn book for the Archdiocese of Cologne , No. 846, verse 5; Katholische Bibelanstalt GmbH, Stuttgart 1975
  11. Praise to God. Catholic prayer and hymn book. Edition for the Diocese of Passau , No. 783. Stuttgart 2013
  12. Annemarie Brückner: Three Kings . In: Walter Kasper (Ed.): Lexicon for Theology and Church . 3. Edition. tape 3 . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1995, Sp. 365 .
  13. for: Sanctus Balthassar , " Heiliger Balthasar" etc.
  14. Eberhard Nestle: Some about the number and names of the wise men from the Orient. In: Margenalien und materials (Tübingen 1893), pp. 71–72.
  15. Eberhard Nestle: Some about the number and names of the wise men from the Orient. In: Margenalien und materials (Tübingen 1893), pp. 67–71.
  16. ^ J. Marquart: The names of the magicians. Studies on the history of Iran II. In: Philogos. Zeitschrift für das Classiche Altertum , Supplementary Volume X.1, 1905, pp. 1-19.
  17. Umberto Eco : The History of the Legendary Countries and Cities. Hanser, Munich 2013, pp. 54 and 61.
  18. Excerpta Latina Barbari , p. 51 (B).
  19. Walter Hinz: Old Iranian language of the Überleiferung . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1975, p. 102.
  20. Knut L. Tallqvist: Neo-Babylonian name book . Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennice XXXII.2. Helsinki 1905, p. 42.
  21. ^ Hugo Kehrer: The Three Kings in Literature and Art , Vol. 1; 1908, 1976 2 ; Pp. 66-67 . An old Greek document translated into Latin: “Magi sunt qui munera Domino dederunt: primus fuisse dicitur Melchior, senex et canus, barba prolixa et capillis, tunica hyacinthina, sagoque mileno, et calceamentis hyacinthino et albo mixto opere, pro mitrario variae compositionis indutus; aurum obtulit regi domino. Secundum, nomine Caspar, juvenis imberbis, rubicundus, mylenica tunica, sago rubeo, calceamentis hyacinthinis vestitus; thure quasi Deo oblatione digna, Deum honorabat. Tertius, fuscus, integre barbatus, Balthasar nomine, habens tunicam rubeam, albo vario, calceamentis milenicis amictus, per mirraham filium hominis moriturum professus est. Omnia autem vestimenta eorum Syriaca sunt. "( Patrologia Latina , XCIV, 541 (D), Collectanea et Flores)
  22. ^ Hugo Kehrer: The Three Kings in Literature and Art , Vol. 1; 1908, 1976 2 ; P. 60 .
  23. ^ Hugo Kehrer: The Three Kings in Literature and Art , Vol. 1; 1908, 1976 2 ; P. 63 .
  24. "Mystice autem tres Magi tres partes mundi significant, Asiam, Africam, Europam, sive humanum genus, quod a tribus filiis Noe seminarium sumpsit." Cf. In Matthaei evangelium expositio , PL 92 , Sp. 13 A = Z. 12– 15th
  25. ^ Interpretation of the Epistles and Gospels from Aduent to Easter. Corrected elsewhere by Martinum Luther. On top of it a new register . Wittenberg 1530: “Interpretation of the Euangelij on the holy day of the three kings CLXXXV .: [...] These wise men are commonly called the three kings / maybe after the number of three victims / so we leave that with the single ones / because there is not much power in it is located / But it is not known / whether you were two / three or how much you were "( page CLXXXVr )" The Euangelist here calls Magos / we are called in German the prophets [...] That is why these magi or wise men are not kings / but people who have been trained and experienced ynn such natural art. "( page CLXXXVv )
  26. Ekkart Sauser:  Eustorgios I .: hl. Bishop of Milan ( Memento of August 9, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 17, Bautz, Herzberg 2000, ISBN 3-88309-080-8 , Sp. 356.
  27. Andreas Fasel: Cologne Cathedral: The riddle about the stolen three kings . July 13, 2014 ( welt.de [accessed November 30, 2019]).
  28. ^ Heinrich Joseph Floß : Dreikönigenbuch. The transfer of the hh. Epiphany from Milan to Cologne . S. 30 ff . ( limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed January 27, 2011]).
  29. ^ Hans Hofmann: The return of parts of the Epiphany relics from Cologne to Milan 1903-1904 ; in: Yearbook of the Cologne History Association 46 (1975), pp. 51–72 (with many documents); here p. 67, list of fragments, in the Latin original: “Ex reliquiis desumptae sunt una tibia cum fibula illius sanctorum trium corporum, quod provectioris erat aetatis, una fibula, quae erat corporis aetatis mediae, et una vertebra colli, quae erat corporis aetatis iunioris. Quae reliquiae traditae sunt e.mo domino Antonio cardinali Fischer, archiepiscopo Coloniensi, pro basilica Eustorgiana Mediolanensi. […] Pro vera copia. Coloniae, the 28th mensis Augusti 1903. Antonius cardinalis Fischer, archiepiscopus “; the copy of the original document is in: Milan, Archivio Arcivescovile, Sacri Riti, Sez. VII, cart. 24.
  30. The first celebration on this date in Constantinople was celebrated by St. John Chrysostom .
  31. Max Adler: The Cabalgata de Reyes Magos in Spain . The Strandgazette , January 3, 2015, accessed on January 10, 2016.
  32. The Three Wise Men and the CMB benediction mark . ( Memento of the original from November 28, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Missio Switzerland-Liechtenstein, 2011, (PDF; 19 kB)  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.missio.ch
  33. ^ Manfred Becker-Huberti : Celebrations - festivals - seasons: living customs throughout the year; History and stories, songs and legends. Special edition . Herder, Freiburg 2001, ISBN 3-451-27702-6 , p. 170 f.
  34. ^ Berthold Büchele: Christmas in the Allgäu . Sutton, Erfurt, 2014, ISBN 978-3-95400-384-6 , p. 168.
  35. ^ Stephan Waetzoldt, Drei Könige, in: Reallexikon zur Deutschen Kunstgeschichte, Vol. IV (1955), Col. 476–501; in: RDK Labor, URL: < http://www.rdklabor.de/w/?oldid=93043 >