51 results in English
A Description of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra
This book, published in 1826 at the press of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Monastery, is a comprehensive account of the monastery and its establishment. Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, also called the Monastery of the Kiev Caves (pechera means cave; lavra indicates a monastery of status), is a large complex founded in 1051 by a monk named Anthony in caves dug out of the hillside. The monastery soon became central to Christianity in Russia and to local cultural development, supporting writers, physicians, scientists, and artists. After a fire in 1718, most of the lavra ...
Book of the Passion of Saint Margaret the Virgin, with the Life of Saint Agnes, and Prayers to Jesus Christ and to the Virgin Mary
This volume is a compilation of three manuscripts produced in Bologna at the end of the 13th century. It begins with the Passion of Saint Margaret of Antioch, in Latin. This is followed by two texts in Italian, one describing the life and devotion of Saint Agnes and one containing prayers to the Virgin Mary. Each manuscript is written in a different hand; evidence suggests that the three parts were brought together and bound at the beginning of the 14th century. The only part of the book that is illustrated ...
Apostle Lectionary
The Apostle Lectionary, written on parchment in the second half of the 13th century, is one of the important linguistic sources delimiting the early (Preslav) from the later (Athonite) redaction of this liturgical book. The lectionary contains the portions of scripture, the lessons, to be read at divine service on particular days of the church calendar. This manuscript is remarkable for the completeness of the readings from the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles, and for its detailed menologion, a monthly calendar indicating the feast days of saints that ...
Banitsa Gospel
The Banitsa Gospel, written on parchment in Church Slavonic in the late 13th century, is one of the manuscripts testifying to the end of the anonymity of Bulgarian men of letters at around this time. The colophon indicates that the scribe who made the manuscript was the priest Ioann at Saint Nicholas Church in the village of Banitsa (presumably in the Vratsa region of present-day northwestern Bulgaria). The characteristic script and the ornamental illumination, elaborated in black, red, and yellow ink, reflect a local manuscript tradition. The menologion (calendar) includes ...
Menaion for June-August with Synaxarion
This parchment manuscript of the Menaion for June–August with synaxarion (a collection of brief biographies of the saints) can be dated to the second half of the 13th century. It is important as the earliest known manuscript to include the service of Saint Ioakim Osogovski (Joachim of Osogovo), hermit and founder of the monastery known as Sarandapor. His memory, celebrated on August 16, was popular in Bulgaria and elsewhere in the Balkans during the Middle Ages and in the period of the Bulgarian National Revival of the 18th and ...
Chasoslovets
This chasoslovets (book of hours or horologion) is the first book printed by the first Bulgarian printer, Iakov (Jacob) Kraikov. It is a collection of prayers, eulogies, saints’ lives, and apocrypha that both served as a daily handbook for priests and was valued by lay readers in search of knowledge and enlightenment. Kraikov printed the book in Venice, at the largest Slavic Cyrillic printing-house for Serbs and Bulgarians in the city, which he acquired in 1566. The selection of font, typesetting, pagination, and the rich artful decoration (more than 30 ...
Zeravshan Okrug. Shrine of the Saint Daniara (Daniel) on the Outskirts of Samarkand
This photograph is from the ethnographical part of Turkestan Album, a comprehensive visual survey of Central Asia undertaken after imperial Russia assumed control of the region in the 1860s. Commissioned by General Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman (1818–82), the first governor-general of Russian Turkestan, the album is in four parts spanning six volumes: “Archaeological Part” (two volumes); “Ethnographic Part” (two volumes); “Trades Part” (one volume); and “Historical Part” (one volume). The principal compiler was Russian Orientalist Aleksandr L. Kun, who was assisted by Nikolai V. Bogaevskii. The album contains some ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Armenian Liturgical Calendar
Parzatumar (Armenian liturgical calendar) was the second book printed in Armenian, after the Urbathagirq (The book of Fridays). Both books were published by Hakob Meghapart (Jacob the Sinner), who in 1512 settled among the Armenian community in Venice and established the first Armenian press. In this copy, from the National Library of Armenia, the two works are bound together. Little is known about Hakob Meghapart, or why he styled himself “the Sinner” (or “the Sinful”). Armenia was at this time under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, and the Diaspora ...
Gospel of Saint Mark
This manuscript copy of the Gospel of Saint Mark can be dated to the 18th century. The text is copied clearly and enclosed in a double-lined frame in red. The folios are numbered with Coptic numerals. The manuscript has many marginal notes and Old Testament references in Arabic, with Coptic numerals employed for chapter and verse citations. The marginalia may have been added by Wadi’ Muftah, whose name appears on the front endpapers. The text is complete and is in excellent condition. The binding is brown leather over boards with ...
Gospel of Saint Luke
This manuscript of the Gospel of Saint Luke can be dated to the 18th century. The text is written clearly and enclosed in a double-lined frame in red. The folios are numbered with Coptic numerals. The manuscript has many marginal notes and Old Testament references in Arabic, with Coptic numerals employed for chapter and verse citations. The marginalia may have been added by Wadi’ Muftah, whose name appears on the front endpapers. The text is complete and is in excellent condition, although the last page is copied in a different ...
Gospel of Saint John
This Arabic manuscript of the Gospel of Saint John dates from the 18th century. The text is written clearly and enclosed in a double-lined frame in red. The folios are numbered with Coptic numerals. The manuscript has many marginal notes and Old Testament references in Arabic, with Coptic numerals employed for chapter and verse citations. The marginalia may have been added by Wadi’ Muftah, whose name appears on the front endpapers. The text is complete and is in excellent condition, although the last page is copied in a different hand ...
Epistles, Gospels, and Popular Readings in the Tuscan Language
This devotional book in Italian ('the language of Tuscany'), published in 1495 by Piero Pacini da Pescia (active, circa 1495-1514), is considered the greatest Florentine illustrated book of the 15th century. It contains 144 large woodcuts, all but eight original to this text, 24 small images of saints and prophets, and a series of 14 different border styles. The large number of images, along with the quality of the designs and execution, make this work a treasure of Florentine design and one of the truly important sources for the study ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Kandahar from Hazratji Tomb
This photograph of Kandahar, taken from the Hazratji Tomb, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Located north of the center of the city and surrounded by the tombs of 19th-century Afghan rulers, the tomb is a shrine to Hazratji, a famous Kandahari saint. That his tomb is seven meters long attests to his reputation for holiness. The other tombs have tall marble stones at each end and are decorated with black and white pebbles. The photograph shows the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden
Saint Birgitta (or Bridget) of Sweden (circa 1303–73) was known for her revelations, which she reportedly wrote down in Swedish and then had translated into Latin by one of her two confessors. When she took ill, she changed her usual practice, and dictated her revelations to one of the confessors, who then translated them into Latin. In the manuscript collection at the National Library of Sweden is preserved a document that offers a unique insight into the origins of Birgitta’s revelations. It consists of three leaves of paper ...
The Lectionary (Orsha Gospel)
This gospel, believed to have been created in Polotsk (present-day Belarus) in the second half of the 13th century, is one of the oldest monuments of the Cyrillic Slavonic alphabet and one of the most ancient decorated Belarusian manuscripts. It contains two multicolor miniatures with gilding portraying the evangelists Luke (folio 42 verso) and Matthew (folio 123 verso). The miniatures reflect the influence of the early Palaeologian (relating to the last Byzantine dynasty, reigned 1259–1453) Byzantine style in old Belarusian art. The images are vividly depicted in bright colors ...
Homilary
This richly illuminated 14th-century German homilary is particularly interesting for its rare bifolium of drawings bound in at the front of the book. The headgear worn by the nuns in the drawings is characteristic of Cistercensian and Premostratensian nuns in northern Germany as early as circa 1320. Evidence for dating and localization is also found in the manuscript's relationship with a second homilary in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Douce 185). Despite minor codicological differences—page layout, text-block dimensions, and ruling—it seems likely that the two ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Loftie Hours
This mid-15th-century illuminated book of hours is written entirely in Dutch on fine parchment and is remarkable for its 18 grisaille miniatures. This technique, wherein the figures are modeled primarily in a gray wash, became a favorite in the Netherlands. The hand behind the miniatures in this manuscript has been identified with one of a group of artists known as the Masters of the Delft Grisailles. The manuscript has been grouped with more than a dozen related works, including New York, Morgan Library Ms. M.349; London, Victoria and Albert ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Melk Missal
This missal, which dates to the late-12th or early 13th century, was made for the Benedictine abbey of Melk (or, possibly, Seitenstetten) in Lower Austria, as indicated by the inclusion of the patron saints of Melk, Peter and Paul, and Cholomannus (folio 212 recto). The surviving volume of a multi-volume missal, the manuscript contains only the ordinary of the mass and the "summer part," with the temporale running from Holy Saturday through the Sunday after Trinity Sunday and the sanctorale beginning with the feast of Primus and Felicianus (June 9 ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Carrow Psalter
This English manuscript was made in East Anglia in the mid-13th century for a patron with special veneration for Saint Olaf, whose life and martyrdom are prominently portrayed in the Beatus initial of Psalm 1. Known as the Carrow Psalter, because of its later use by the nunnery of Carrow near Norwich, it is more accurately described as a psalter-hours, as it contains, among other texts, the Office of the Dead and the Hours of the Virgin. The manuscript is striking for its rich variety of illuminations, including full-page cycles ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Prayer Book
This illuminated prayer book, made in the Netherlands in the early 16th century, contains Latin prayers and passages from the Gospels. Although small in scale, it is notable for its abundance of illuminations, with nearly 60 extant small miniatures. Full-color portraits embellish the prayers to the Virgin and suffrages, while the images within the Gospel narrative are rendered primarily in grisaille, a nearly entirely gray monochrome technique. The last folios include a trompe-l'oeil foliate margin and a Crucifixion that seems to be a later addition. Throughout the book, gold ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
"Imperial" Menologion
This manuscript, created in the Byzantine Empire in the second quarter of the 11th century, contains the biographies of saints whom the church commemorates in the month of January. It was originally part of a set containing volumes for each month of the year. A companion volume, with texts for March, now survives in Moscow (State Historical Museum, MS gr. 183). Each chapter in both manuscripts opens with a miniature depicting the death of a respective saint, or less often, another significant event from his or her life. Each text ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Pericope (Sections) from Saint Erentrud. Gospels for the Mass According to the Usual Rite, Preceding the Capitular Gospels
This book, which contains the “lessons,” or portions of scripture appointed to be read at divine service, was written around the year 1150, probably in Salzburg, a diocesan town situated near what is today the border between Bavaria and Austria. The manuscript was owned by the Benedictine convent of Saint Erentrud auf dem Nonnberg, which was founded by Saint Rupert in Salzburg in 711−12, and where Rupert’s niece Erentrud was the first abbess. With its 56 miniatures depicting scenes from the New Testament and the life of saints ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Legal Allegation and Decision to Examine and Approve the Miracles on Record of the Very Pious Man Father Francis Solano, Member of the Seraphic Franciscan Order
Allegatio ivris, et consilium pro examinandis et approbandis miraculis religio fissimi viri Francisci Solano Seraphici Franciscani ordinis alumni (Legal allegation and decision to examine and approve the miracles on record of the very pious man Father Francis Solano, member of the Seraphic Franciscan Order) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1612. Saint Francis Solano (1549−1610) was a Spanish-born Franciscan friar who came to South America in 1589, where he worked for 20 years as a missionary among the Indians of northwestern Argentina and Paraguay. He was canonized in 1726 ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Report of the Feasts Held in the City of Lima for the Beatification of the Blessed Father Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus
Relacion delas fiestas qve enla civdad de Lima se hizieron por la beatificacion del bienaventvrado Padre Ignacio de Loyola, fundador dela Religion dela Compañia de Ieʃus (Report of the feasts held in the city of Lima for the beatification of the blessed Father Ignatius of Loyola) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1610. Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), the Spanish nobleman who founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1540, was beatified by Pope Paul V on July 27, 1609. This publication documents the celebrations that took place ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Decree of Our Most Holy Father Pope Paul V in Favor of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
Decreto de Nvestro Sanctissimo Padre el Papa Pavlo V. en favor dela Immacvlada Concepción dela Sanctiʃsima Virgen Madre de Dios y Señora Nueʃtra (Decree of our most holy father Pope Paul V in favor of the Immaculate Conception of the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1618. This one-page decree concerns the Immaculate Conception, the doctrine promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church, which holds that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was born without sin. The first printing press in South America was established in ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Faithful and True Translation of a Brief Memoir of the Life and Miracles of the Saintly Brother Julian of Alcala
Fiel y Verdadero treslado de vn breve memorial de la vida y milagros del ʃancto Padre Fray Iulian de Alcala (Faithful and true translation of a brief memoir of the life and miracles of the saintly Brother Julian of Alcala) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1610. It is a short pamphlet, in Spanish, about the life of Brother Julian, who was born circa 1550 in Medinaceli and died in 1606 in Alcalá de Henares. He was beatified in 1825 as the Blessed Julian of Saint Augustine. The first printing ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Report of the Feasts Held in the City of Cuzco for the Beatification of the Blessed Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus
Relacion delas fiestas qve enla civdad del Cvzco se hizieron por la beatificacion del bienaventvrado Padre Ignacio de Loyola, fundador de la Compañia de Ieʃus (Report of the feasts held in the city of Cuzco for the beatification of the blessed Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1610. Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), the Spanish nobleman who founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1540, was beatified by Pope Paul V on July 27, 1609. This publication documents ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Abadal Album of Samples
The Abadal family, from Moià and later from Manresa, was one of the main producers of prints in Catalonia in the Baroque period, during the 17th and 18th centuries. Soon after it was founded, the Biblioteca de Catalunya acquired from the family a large set of xylographic materials, both woodcuts and engravings on wood. Among these materials was the sample album that the printing house placed at the disposal of customers to help them choose the items they wanted included in the prints they ordered. The album features a wide ...
Buddhist Texts, Including the Legend of Phra Malai, with Illustrations of The Ten Birth Tales
The legend of Phra Malai, a Buddhist monk of the Theravada tradition said to have attained supernatural powers through his accumulated merit and meditation, is the main text in this 19th-century Thai samut khoi (folding book) held in the Thai, Lao, and Cambodian Collections of the British Library. Phra Malai figures prominently in Thai art, religious treatises, and rituals associated with the afterlife, and the story is one of the most popular subjects of 19th-century illustrated Thai manuscripts. The earliest surviving examples of Phra Malai manuscripts date back to the ...
Contributed by The British Library
Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden
The Revelations of Saint Birgitta (or Bridget) of Sweden (circa 1303–73) is one of the most important and influential works of Swedish medieval literature. According to contemporary sources, Birgitta received her revelations in the form of visions, beginning in the 1340s and continuing until close to her death. Although her revelations related mostly to spiritual matters, they included some messages of a practical and political character, one of which was the command to found a new religious order, which resulted in the establishment of the Order of the Most ...
Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden
The Revelations of Saint Birgitta (or Bridget) of Sweden (circa 1303–73) is one of the most important and influential works of Swedish medieval literature. According to contemporary sources, Birgitta received her revelations in the form of visions, beginning in the 1340s and continuing until close to her death. Although her revelations related mostly to spiritual matters, they included some messages of a practical and political character, one of which was the command to found a new religious order, which resulted in the establishment of the Order of the Most ...
Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden
The Revelations of Saint Birgitta (or Bridget) of Sweden (circa 1303–73) is one of the most important and influential works of Swedish medieval literature. According to contemporary sources, Birgitta received her revelations in the form of visions, beginning in the 1340s and continuing until close to her death. Although her revelations related mostly to spiritual matters, they included some messages of a practical and political character, one of which was the command to found a new religious order, which resulted in the establishment of the Order of the Most ...
The Life and Miracles of Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure de Bagnoregio (circa 1217−74), the great Franciscan theologian also known as “the Seraphic Doctor,” began writing Legenda major sancti Francisci (The life and miracles of Saint Francis of Assisi) in 1260. He compiled documents and testimonies from former companions of Saint Francis who were still alive. This manuscript in small format is an anonymous translation of this work from Latin into French. The name of its recipient is unknown, but it is known that she was a private individual, most likely a lady from high society, as folio ...
Book of Hours: Images of the Life of Christ and the Saints
This manuscript, a book of hours from the late 13th century, is comprised of 87 full-page illuminations illustrating scenes from the life of Christ and the lives of saints. The book is a Cistercian church calendar in Latin. The other text to be found in the work is a short caption under each image. When it was first created, the codex included 90 illuminations. A masterpiece of gothic illumination, the manuscript shows how important religious images were for the devotions of its owner. This most likely was a wealthy lay ...
Life and Martyrdom of the Apostles, Including those of Saint Christopher, Saint Luke, and Saint Mark
This manuscript is illustrated with a complex cycle of paintings of the life and martyrdom of the Apostles and of Saint Christopher. Each text is typically accompanied by two full-page illustrations of between two and four scenes. The first picture shows the Apostle Thomas (folio 100 verso) on the way to his ship to India, standing above the wedding of a princess. This narrative cycle with illustrations of the Apostles is one of the earliest such cycles in book illumination. No comparable 12th-century collection of text and pictures of all ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
"Life of Saint Margaret" and Lives of Other Saints
Illuminated legends of saints are preserved in only a few manuscripts from the 11th century. One of the rare examples is this manuscript from the monastery of Benediktbeuern, Bavaria, which arrived in the Munich court library in 1803. The composite manuscript contains a list of martyrs and numerous lives of saints. Only the life of Saint Margaret of Antioch, on folios 63 recto−98 verso, was illuminated. The martyrdom of Margaret, the patron saint of pregnant women, was a very popular text in the Middle Ages. According to legend, the ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Gospel Book
This richly decorated Gospel book, dating from the second half of the 11th century, contains portraits of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (the portrait of John is missing), four decorated initial pages, and 84 mostly ornamental initials. Nine canon tables with the symbols of the Evangelists precede the texts of the Gospels. These concordance tables, lavishly decorated with arcades and tympana, go back to Eusebius of Caesarea (circa 260−339) and are often found in Gospel books. The place of origin of the manuscript is disputed among scholars. Most ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
The Canons of the Gospels. The Chapters of the Four Gospels. Saint Jerome's Preface to the Four Gospels. Letters by Saint Jerome and Eusebius of Caesarea
This 11th-century Gospel book, written and created in Freising, Bavaria, was presented to the collegiate church of Saint Andreas in Freising by Bishop Ellenhard (1052 or 1053−78). Originally the manuscript was lavishly decorated with 11 initials, 14 canon tables, four portraits of the Evangelists, and a full-page dedication miniature, which was later transferred to a different codex, a Gospel lectionary (also held in the Bavarian State Library, shelf mark Clm 6831). The miniature depicts Bishop Ellenhard in front of the patron saint, Saint Andreas, who is holding the book ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
A Sequence of Sermons for Sundays and Saints’ Days in Nahuatl
Fray Bernardino de Sahagún was a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico from Spain in 1529 and stayed until his death in 1590. He worked with the indigenous peoples of the area to document their cultures and religions, in large part motivated by the conviction that better understanding of their beliefs and practices would improve the efforts to convert them to Christianity. His methods have led some scholars to consider him the first ethnohistorian, and he is remembered today as much for his ethnographic and linguistic documentation of the Nahua ...
Contributed by The Newberry Library
Codex Mexicanus
Codex Mexicanus is an oblong-shaped manuscript that contains calendrical and astrological information, some of which is related to the practice of medicine. The manuscript shows signs of wear, probably because this small-format book would almost always have been carried in the pocket of its owner. The first eight pages contain a series of circles within which letters of the Latin alphabet have been inscribed, most likely designating the days of the month. Images of Catholic saints and apostles also are included. The book includes a history of the Aztecs, or ...
History of the Afghans
The History of the Afghans, published in English in 1829, is the first history of the Afghan people translated from a non-Western language to appear in a European language. The original work was composed in Persian, in 1609-11, by Neamet Ullah (active 1613-30) in the court of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569-1627). Ullah based his work on material compiled by Hybet Khan, an attendant of the Afghan General Khan Jahan Lodi. The translation is by the German philologist and Orientalist Bernhard Dorn (1805-81), who worked from a copy of the ...
The Life of Meriasek
Until recently, when Beunans Ke came to light, Beunans Meriasek was the only known saint's play in Middle Cornish. St. Meriasek was of Breton origin. The play presents his career, starting with his early education in Brittany and his arrival in Cornwall, recounting the various miracles he performed, then moves on to his return to Brittany, where he became Bishop of Vannes and eventually died a Christian death. Incorporated into the narrative are a number of individual tales, including incidents from the life of St. Sylvester and a miracle ...
Contributed by National Library of Wales