The Greek scholar and historian Eusebius of Caesarea (d. c. 340) prepared a world chronicle of history from Abraham to the Emperor Constantine (d. 337). Eusebius’s work was translated into Latin by St Jerome (d. 420). The volume contains other works of history, ancient as well as contemporary, including the work of Sigebert de Gembloux (d. 1112) and the so-called Continuatio Belvacensis (the Beauvais continuation), which records events to 1162. This version of the Continuation includes the election of Prince Henry of France (d. 1175), the younger brother of Louis VII (r. 1137–80), as bishop of Beauvais in 1149.
Prince Henry, later archbishop of Reims (r. 1161–75), was a great bibliophile, and many of his books still survive. Given its textual features, it is possible that this elegant copy may have been one of them, and may have been made in the important cultural centre of Troyes, seat of the counts of Champagne. The book later came into the possession of the royal monastic foundation of St Victor of Paris, of which Henry was a benefactor.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Charlotte Denoël
- Art and illumination, Making manuscripts, Christian religion and belief
Drawings and painted decoration in manuscripts ornamented the text as well as illustrated or commented on it. Charlotte Denoël outlines the history of manuscript art in early medieval France.