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Detailed record for Additional 15268

Title Histoire universelle (Histoire ancienne jusqu'à Cesar)
Origin Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (Acre)
Date Last quarter of the 13th century, before 1291
Language French
Script Gothic
Decoration 3 full-page (ff. 1v, 7v, 105v) and 39 half-page framed miniatures in colours on gold grounds. Puzzle initials with pen-flourishing in red and blue. Initials in blue with pen-flourishing in red or in red with pen-flourishing in blue. Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 370 x 250 (260 x 165), written in two columns
Official foliation ff. 314 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 2 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Brown leather with gold tooling; made by Charles Lewis of St James's, according to the sale catalogue.
Provenance Made before the fall of Acre in 1291, perhaps for Henry II de Lusignan as a gift for his coronation in 1286 (see Buchthal (1957)).
Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (b.1801, d.1843), his armorial bookplate on the inside upper binding; his sale, part II, at Messrs Evans 31 July 1844, lot 215; bought by the British Museum for £30.
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts. The Histoire Universelle was a popular and widely circulated world chronicle covering the period from Creation to the rise of Julius Caesar. It was compiled in the early 13th century. This manuscript contains the first redaction of the text, sections I - X (see Jung (1996), pp. 337-40).
This is the finest of three comparatively early copies made in the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem, probably in the scriptorium of St-Jean-d'Acre. Made before the fall of Acre in 1291.
Select bibliography Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1841-1845 (London: British Museum, 1850), p. 121.

Fritz Saxl and Hans Meier, Verzeichnis astrologischer und mythologischer illustrierter Handschriften des lateinischen Mittelalters. III. Handschriften in englischen Bibliotheken (Catalogue of Astrological and Mythological Illuminated Manuscripts of the Latin Middle Ages. III. Manuscripts in English Libraries), (London, 1953), I, pp. 27-29.

Hugo Buchthal and Francis Wormald, Miniature Painting in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1957), pp. 72, 79-87, cat. no. 18, pp. 150-51.

Jaroslav Folda, Crusader Manuscript Illumination at Saint-Jean d'Acre, 1275-1291 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), pp. 77-82 and passim.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Manuscript (Oxford: Phaidon, 1979), pl. 33.

Il Medio Oriente e l'Occidente nell'arte del XIII secolo, ed. by Hans Belting. (Bologna: CLUEB, 1982), pl. 149.

David J. A. Ross, Studies in the Alexander Romance (London: Pindar, 1985), pp. 175-78.

John Lowden, Illuminated Prophet Books: A Study of Byzantine Manuscripts of the Major and Minor Prophets (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1988), p. 35.

David J. A. Ross, Alexander Historiatus: A Guide to medieval illustrated Alexander Literature, 2nd edn, Athenäum Monografien, Altertumswissenschaft, Beiträge zur Klassischen Philologie, ed. by Ernst Heitsch and others, 186 (Frankfurt: Athenäum, 1988), p. 18.

Doris Oltrogge, Die Illustrationszyklen zur 'Histoire ancienne jusqu'a César', European University Studies, 28 (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1989), pp 141-42, 261-66.

The Mythical Quest: In Search of Adventure, Romance and Enlightenment, intro. by Penelope Lively (London: British Library, 1996), pl. on p. 43.

Barbara Zeitler, 'Sinful Sons, Falsifiers of the Christian Faith: The Depiction of Muslims in a 'Crusader' Manuscript', Mediterranean Historical Review,12 (1997), pp. 25-50.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Page: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Painting in the British Library (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997, no. 72.

Marc-René Jung, La Légende de Troie en France au moyen age (Basel & Tubingen: Francke Verlag, 1996), pp. 337-40, 342, 354, 355.

Histoire Ancienne jusqu'a César (Estoires Roger), ed. by Marijke de Visser-van Terwisga, 2 vols (Orleans: Paradigme, 1999), vol 1 [an edition of the text], vol 2, pp. 12, 13, 15, 18, n. 10.

Alixe Bovey, Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2002), p. 19.

Bianca Kuhnel, 'The Perception of History in Thirteenth-Century Crusader Art' in Crusader France and the Holy Land: Frankish Culture at the End of the Crusades, ed. by Daniel H. Weiss and Lisa Mahoney (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2004), pp. 161-86 (p. 162).

Margaret Scott, Medieval Dress & Fashion (London: British Library, 2007), pl. 43.

Joe Flatman, Ships and Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2009), pl. 21.

Lisa Mahoney, 'The "Histoire ancienne" and Dialectical Identity in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem', Gesta, 49.1 (2010), 31-51 (pp. 31, 41, fig. 11).

L'histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, ou, Histoires pour Roger, châtelain de Lille de Wauchier de Denain; L'Histoire de la Macédoine et d'Alexandre le Grand, ed. by Catherine Gaullier-Bougassas (Turnhout, Brepols, 2012), [an edition of the text].


Images
* * *
 
King Ninus of Assyria

f. 16
King Ninus of Assyria
Joseph and his brothers.

f. 48
Joseph and his brothers.
Oedipus hanging by his feet from a tree

f. 75v
Oedipus hanging by his feet from a tree
 
Tydeus and Polynices

f. 81v
Tydeus and Polynices
Two women fighting Theseus and Hercules

f. 103
Two women fighting Theseus and Hercules
Theseus attacking Crete

f.136v
Theseus attacking Crete
 
Rome

f.156
Rome
Pyrrus's army with elephants

f. 226
Pyrrus's army with elephants
Pyrrus's army with elephants

f. 226
Pyrrus's army with elephants
 
Pax Romana

f. 242v
Pax Romana
Pax Romana

f. 242v
Pax Romana
King Jugurtha and King Boctus

f. 292
King Jugurtha and King Boctus
 
King Jugurtha and King Boctus

f. 292
King Jugurtha and King Boctus

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