The Wise Men and just how many they were

Tradition at time calls for two or more Wise Men.

The established number nowadays is the three that were first mentioned by Pope Leon in the fifth century.

He determined this number from the three gifts given to baby Jesus: the gold, the incense and the smyrna.

The Wise Men are: Balthazar, Jasper, and Mahler. In their depictions Jasper is the old man with the beard and is almost always first to present his gift. Mahler is always young and without a beard and comes second, while Balthazar is portrayed as always very dark-skinned or black and comes third in line. 

Advertisements