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Bible Leaf, result 1 of 1
Available to everyone
between 1230 and 1270
Creation Site: Paris, Ville de Paris, Département de, Île-de-France, France
height 24 cm
Further Object Details:
vellum, single leaf: O.T., Chronicles, 2nd, XX, 30-XXIII, 13.
I. Marina Sprinkler, Medieval Portland Capstone Student, Winter 2005
II. Wilma Fitzgerald, PhD, SP - Quoted with permission from an unpublished study
I. Marina Sprinkler, Medieval Portland Capstone Student, Winter 2005:
This manuscript leaf from a Vulgate Bible from Paris, France dates to the mid 13th century. It is compact in size at 23.3 cm by 15.6 cm. There are 49 ruled lines. Each new chapter starts off with a stylized letter, but overall it is a fairly modest piece with no illumination. The letters were written in a Gothic script, characterized by angular letters tightly written together. Also, the capitals are highlighted in red, which is common in Gothic script. The capitals could have also been highlighted in blue.
The writing is very compact, with some of the words being abbreviated. For example, a common word like domini is abbreviated to dom. The calligraphers thus fit the text of three chapters on these two pages. Corrections for the calligraphy were written in the margins. Someone other than the scribe probably made these corrections, as scribes were generally not allowed to edit text. This manuscript was written on vellum, which is a type of parchment made from sheep, goat, or calves skin. The use of vellum was very common in the Middle Ages, but it was probably specifically used for this Bible to make it more compact. A well-made vellum page is thinner and finer than the other types of parchment that had been in use at this time.
The Vulgate was the Catholic church's standard version of the Bible translated into Latin from Hebrew in the 5th century by St. Jerome by order of Pope Damascus I, and officially published by the Holy See. The Vulgate was recognized as authentic in the matters of faith and morals. The name Vulgate comes for the phrase versio vulgata, meaning "the common version." It was written in an everyday Latin rather than the classical Ciceronian Latin. This was probably done for the benefit of the clergy because the common people usually could not read and did not speak Latin. The Vulgate was the forerunner for the modern Bible and it remained the only translation of the Hebrew version of the Bible for several centuries.
This particular part of the Vulgate is from the Old Testament Book of Paralipomenon, which is Greek for "things passed over." They supplement the narrative to the Book of Kings, for these stories were omitted from that section of the Bible. The Hebrew name for the Paralipomenon is Dibhere Hayyamim meaning the "act of days." This page at Portland State University contains the second half of chapter 20, chapters 21, 22, and the first half of chapter 23 from the second Book of Paralipomenon. These chapters cover Josaphat's victory over the Ammonites, Moabites, and the Syrians. It also covers Joram's wickedness, the reign and death of Ochozias, the tyranny of Athalia, the destruction of idolatry, and Joas becoming King.
Suggestions for further reading:
Avrin, Leila. Scribes, Script, and Books. Chicago: American Library Association, 1991. Bologna, Giulia. Illuminated Manuscripts: The Book Before Gutenberg. Milan: Anaya Editorials, 1988.
II. Wilma Fitzgerald, PhD, SP - Quoted with permission from an unpublished study:
Vetus Testamentum. II Paralipomenon (II Chronicles) 20, 30-23, 13. Saec. XIII. France [?]. One leaf, 234 x 160 (145 x 100) mm., two columns, 49 lines. Text block ruled in plummet. Red, blue two line initials. Chapter numbers red and blue in margins. Initials with pen worked ascenders and descenders. Initials touched in red. A few marginal and textual corrections. Headings: Li[ber] II and Pa[ralipomenon]. Dealer's note: Pirages of McMinnville, Oregon.
// [Quieuitque regnum Iosaphat et prebuit ei deus pacem per circuitum Regnauit itaque Iozaphat super Iudam et erat triginta et quinque annorum cum regnare cepisset .../... et principes turmasque circa eum omnemque populum terre gaudentem atque clangentem tubis [et diuersi generis organis continentem] //
Portland State University Library Special Collections
Rose-Wright Manuscript Collection no. 3
PSU Library catalog entry
Image reproduced with permission from Portland State University Library
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