Pillar with Inscription
On the west side of the cloister an inscription in capital letters proclaims the name of the patron of the cloister and of its decoration: Ansquitil, Cluniac Abbot of Moissac from 1085 to 1115, and also the date of the Romanesque building: 1100.
ANNO AB I[N]CARNA / TIONE AETERNI / PRI[N]CIPIS MILLESIMO / CENTESIMO FACTV[M] / EST CLAVSTRV[M] ISTVD / TEMPORE / DOM[I]NI / ANSQUITILII /ABBATIS / AMEN
V V V
M D M
R R R
F F F
“In the year eleven hundred of the Incarnation of the eternal prince was this cloister erected, in the time of Abbot Ansquitil. V.V.V. M.D.M. R.R.R. F.F.F.“ Many features of this epigraph (engraved borders, lineation, traces of red pigment in the grooves of the letters, the form itself of the letters and their combinations, and the statements contained in it) resemble those of a page in a manuscript, and in particular the colophon page of a so-called Beatus-manuscript containing a Commentary on the Book of Revelation. It was presumably in the 19th century that the relief of the Apostle Simon was relocated to the east side of this pillar; it would have originally belonged to the corner pillar of the group of columns surrounding the demolished well in the north-west corner of the cloister. Like all the other Apostles in the cloister, Simon stands under an arch, the inscription on which bears his name: S[AN]C[TV]S SIMON APOSTOLVS. He holds an open book with the text: CANANEVS (“the Canaanite“; cf.: “Simon the Canaanite”). A crosier of a high-ranking ecclesiastic adorns the north side of the pillar, perhaps that of an abbot; its delicate contour resembles the crosier on the south side.
R F F F S(AN)C(TV)S SIMON APOSTOLVS Cancel R R M D M V V V AMEN ABBATIS ANSQUITILII DOM[I]NI TEMPORE ISTVD CLAVSTRV(M) EST FACTV(M) CENTESIMO MILLESIMO PRI(N)CIPIS AETERNI TIONE / I(N)CARNA AB ANNO inscription