39 results in English
City of God
Saint Augustine of Hippo (354–430) is generally considered one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time. He was born in Thagaste (present-day Souq Ahras, Algeria) in Roman-ruled Africa, the son of a pagan father and a Christian mother (Saint Monica). After studying in Carthage and teaching rhetoric in his native city, he moved to Rome in 383 and to Milan in 384. Under the influence of his mother and Ambrose, bishop of Milan, he converted to Christianity in 387. He was ordained a priest in 391 and rose ...
Letters, Essays, and Sermons by Saint Gregory Nazianzus
This 18th-century manuscript is a collection of letters, essays, and sermons by Saint Gregory Nazianzus (died circa 389). The manuscript is thought to be the first Arabic translation from the original Greek and has not yet been edited or published. It is the second volume of a two-volume work. Gregory of Nazianzus, also known as Gregory the Theologian, is recognized as a Father of the Church in both the Eastern and Western traditions. He was born in Cappadocia (eastern Anatolia), where he spent much of his life. He was a ...
City of God
This codex of Saint Augustine’s De civitate dei (City of God) is from the Plutei Collection of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence. The volume is bound in red morocco leather with the Medici coat of arms at the center and on each corner of the front cover. It has an illuminated page (recto of folio 11) and a number of illuminated initial capital letters (e.g., recto of folio 31). Saint Augustine of Hippo (354–430) wrote more than 100 works, of which his Confessiones (Confessions) and De ...
Discourse on Universal History
This work is a translation into Arabic of Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet’s history of the world, Discours sur l’histoire universelle (Discourse on universal history), in which the author argues for the divine right of kings. Bossuet’s book, originally published in 1681, is regarded as a classic statement defining the monarch as the embodiment of the state. Bossuet wrote the book for the benefit of the crown prince of France and based his argument on an interpretation of Biblical history. The work was translated by ‘Abd Allah al-Bustāni. It was ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Duke Albrecht's Table of Christian Faith (Winter Part)
This manuscript is a document of the first importance in the history of Dutch manuscript illumination and contains an important medieval Dutch devotional text. The Tafel van den Kersten ghelove (Table of Christian faith) is a compendium of Christian knowledge written by a learned Dominican, Dirc van Delf. The text is in two parts, one for winter, another for summer. This manuscript is of the winter part and is incomplete, omitting the prologue and chapters 13, 14, and 35−57; chapters 23−24 are in inverse order. The arms of ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Collection of Sermons, Treatises, Liturgical Formulae and Canons. Slavic Liturgical Formulae (Freising Monuments)
This manuscript, assembled in Freising, Bavaria, at the behest of Bishop Abraham (died 994), is famous for three texts, the so-called Freising manuscripts (also Freising folia, fragments, or monuments). These are the first continuous texts in a Slavic language written in Latin script and the oldest documents in Slovene. They contain a confessional formula (folio 78 recto), a sermon on sin and repentance (folios 158 verso−161 recto), formulae for abjuration and confession, and a penitential prayer (folios 160 verso−161 recto). The second and most important literary text is ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Dialogue in Praise of the Holy Cross
Dialogus de laudibus sanctae crucis (Dialogue in praise of the Holy Cross), written between 1170 and 1180, and once owned by the Benedictine monastery of Saint Emmeram in Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg), Bavaria, contains a text in praise of the Cross, which has come down only in this manuscript. The text, written by an unidentified author, is in the form of a didactic dialogue between “Magister” and “Discipulus,” the teacher and a pupil. It relates the history of salvation to the Holy Cross in the so-called typological exegetical tradition. The text ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
The Six Books of the Hexaemeron (The Six Days) by Ambrose
In his Hexaemeron, Saint Ambrose treats the six days of creation. In this manuscript, written in the Benedictine monastery of Saint Emmeram in Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg), Bavaria, the six days are illustrated with full-page pen drawings; another representation of the creator resting on the seventh day concludes the cycle. Representations of the Hexaemeron appear from the late 11th century onwards as a new subject of Romanesque illumination, above all in Bibles or in liturgical works, such as choir books and missals. The Ratisbon school of illumination, responsible for this work ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Catholic Indian Creed, in Which the Mysteries of the Faith, Which are Contained in the Three Catholic Creeds, the Apostles’, Nicene, and the Athanasian, are Manifested
Symbolo catholico indiano, en el qval se declaran los myʃterios dela fé, contenidos enlos tres symbolos catholicos, apoʃtolico, Niceno y de S. Athanaʃio (Catholic Indian creed, in which the mysteries of the faith, which are contained in the three Catholic creeds, the Apostles’, Nicene, and the Athanasian, are manifested) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1598. The book contains the texts of the three most important creeds in the Christian church, the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, in the languages of Quechua and Aymara, along ...
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
Catechism in the Spanish Language and Quechua: Ordered by Authority of the Provincial Council of Lima in the Year 1583
Catecismo en la lengva Española y qvichva: Ordenado por auεtoridad del Concilio Prouincial de Lima el año de 1583 (Catechism in the Spanish language and Quechua: Ordered by authority of the provincial council of Lima in the year 1583) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1613. The council had recommended the preparation of pedagogical materials, including catechisms, in Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara to instruct the indigenous people of Peru in the Christian faith. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima by Antonio Ricardo (circa 1540−1606 ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Book of the Life and Miracles of our Lord Jesus Christ in Two Languages, Aymara and Romance, Translated from the Book Compiled by Alonso de Villegas
Libro dela vida y milagros de Nvestro Señor Ieʃu Chriʃto en dos lenguas, aymara, y romance, traducido de el que recopilo el licenciado Alonso de Villegas (Book of the life and miracles of our Lord Jesus Christ in two languages, Aymara and Romance [i.e., Spanish], translated from the book compiled by Alonso de Villegas) was published in Juli, Peru, in 1612. The book is an extended life of Christ, in 51 chapters, printed in two columns, with Aymara on the left, and Spanish on the right side of the ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Catechism, that is: A Brief Overview and an Exposition of the Foremost Articles of Faith and the Christian Religion, Which Catechumens, and Especially Children in Schools, Learn Initially. D. Martin Luther
Katechysmus, To geʃt: Kratičke obʃazenij a wyklad přednich Cžlankůw Wyrij a Náboženʃtwij Křestianského čemuž ʃe Lidé Křestianʃʃtij a zwlaʃʃte Dijtky w Sʃkolách počátečné wyvčugij (Catechism, that is: a brief overview and an exposition of the foremost articles of faith and the Christian religion, which catechumens, and especially children in schools, learn initially), published in 1581, is the first work printed in the territory of Slovakia in the Slovak language. It is the famous “small catechism” by Martin Luther (1483−1546), the great leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany. The ...
Contributed by Slovak National Library
Dismantling the Essences of “The Most Wondrous of Existences”
This 40-page manuscript, Tahdim al-Arkan min Laysa fi-al-Imkan Abda’ mima Kan (Dismantling the essences of “The most wondrous of existences”), by Ibrāhīm ibn ʻOmar al-Biqāʻī (1406 or 1407−80) concerns a philosophical dispute in the Islamic world over the possibility of the Creator fashioning a more perfect world than the one that exists. This issue had been raised by the renowned philosopher-theologian al-Ghazzali (1058−1111), who answered in the affirmative. In this text, al-Biqāʻī refutes al-Ghazzali, stating that “it is impossible for God’s creation to be more perfect than ...
Fatwa on the Millennium
Kashf ‘an mujawazat hadha al-ummah al-alf (Fatwa on the millennium) is a portion of a more comprehensive genealogical work, Lubb al-Lulab fi Tahrir al-Ansab (The essence of constructing genealogies). It treats the Last Days in Sunni eschatology. The fatwa (legal opinion) was stimulated by a question brought to the author, al-Suyuti (1445−1505), regarding the resurrection of the Prophet Muhammad within a thousand years of his death. Al-Suyuti states that many people are interested in the question of the millennium. He dismisses this belief, saying that it ...
On Time; On Divine Ideas; On Matter and Form; Reply on the Universals; On Universals
This codex contains four philosophical treatises by the English theologian and reformer John Wycliffe (also seen as John Wyclif,) (circa 1330−84). The works are The works are De tempore (also called De individuatio temporis) (On time); De ydeis [De ideis] (On divine ideas); De materia et forma (On matter and form); and De universalibus (On universals); as well as a work by an unidentified author entitled Replicacio de universalibus (Reply on the universals). According to the colophon, the manuscript was written by Jan Hus, an early proponent of ecclesiastical ...
Poems by Prudentius
According to inventory records, this manuscript must have been part of the library of the Abbey of Saint Emmeram before 993. It contains the complete works of Prudentius (born 348), which enjoyed great popularity in the Middle Ages but which today are preserved in their entirety in only 30 manuscripts. The manuscript is written in a Carolingian minuscule in several hands and features 11 pen-drawn initials executed by two illustrators in brick-red color, two of them showing zoomorphic elements. The initial A in “Ales diei nuntius” (The winged herald of ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Elements of Christian Teaching, or a Short Sacred History and a Short Christian Catechism
Ioann Veniaminov (1797-1879) was a Russian Orthodox priest who in 1823 volunteered to go to Alaska as a missionary. Settling with his wife and family in Unalaska, he built a church and school and began his lifelong task of studying the native languages of the region. With the help of the Aleut chief Ivan Pan'kov, Veniaminov invented an alphabet for the Unangan (Aleut) language which he used to translate religious and educational material from Russian. This book, from the collections of the National Library of Russia, was first translated ...
Great Miracle of the Apparition of the Queen of Heaven, Saint Mary Our Beloved Mother of Guadalupe, Near the Great City of Mexico in the Place called Tepeyácac
Known also as Nican mopohua (Here it is said), this document is the report in Nahuatl of the history of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe, on the hilltop of Tepeyac, to the humble Indian Juan Diego, between December 9 and 12, 1531. It is considered the central document of the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is part of the fundamental identity of Mexicans. Luis Lasso de la Vega, its author, was the vicar of the shrine to the Virgin. The report may be based upon a ...
Introduction to the Definition of Logic and its Composition
This 18th-century manuscript in Garshuni (Arabic written in Syriac letters) contains two works and part of another. The manuscript is without foliation, but before what would now be folio 11v, some folios are missing, so that the first work, part of a Christian polemical text, is cut short and a new work begins: Isagoge, or Introduction to Logic (Al-muqaddima fī ta’rīf al-manṭiq wa-ajzā’ihi). A Porphyrian tree diagram is on folio 29v and there are several other diagrams as well (for example, 53v, 56r–57v). According to the colophon ...
Heliand
The Heliand is an epic poem in Old Saxon that was first written down in around 830–840. The poem, whose title means “savior,” recounts the life of Jesus in the alliterative verse style of a Germanic saga. At about 6,000 lines, the Heliand is the largest known work written in Old Saxon, the precursor of modern Low German. The name of the poet is unknown, but some information about him and the origins of the poem can be gleaned from a Latin preface printed by Matthias Flacius Illyricus ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Brief Interpretation of the Holy Church, and How Many Holy Vessels and Vestments are Kept There, and of the Everyday Services, of the Divine Liturgy, and of the Holy Church Mysteries
Brief Interpretation of the Holy Church, and How Many Holy Vessels and Vestments Are Kept There, and of the Everyday Services, of the Divine Liturgy, and of the Holy Church Mysteries is a Bulgarian translation of a liturgical work originally written in Greek. Shown here is the second edition. In 1837, when the first edition of this work was published, very few Bulgarian books existed for educational or even religious purposes. The Greek original is by the Hellenistic educator, Demetrios Nikolaos Darvares (1757–1853); the translation is by Raino Popovich ...
Pandect
This text is an Arabic translation of a Christian work originally written in Greek in the 11th century, known as the Pandect (or Pandektes) of Nikon of the Black Mountain. The Greek title of the book means The Universal (Book). The Arabic title, Al-Ḥāwī, has almost the same meaning: The Comprehensive Book. The text is divided into 63 sections and offers an exposition of Christian doctrine and life based on excerpts from the Bible, the church fathers, and church canons. The work was popular among Arabic-speaking Christians, as evidenced by ...
Five Doctrinal Works
This 17th-century manuscript is a collection of five doctrinal works translated into Arabic from Greek. Three of the works are by John of Damascus (died circa 750): On the Orthodox Faith, Dialectics, and Against the Heretics. John of Damascus was often read in both Greek and Arabic (he himself was bilingual, although he wrote only in Greek). The other two texts are by the monk, Paul of Antioch, Bishop of Sidon in the 13th century. They are a letter entitled That the Creator is One and that Christians are not ...
The Rubrics of the First Book of Lactantius Firmianus's On the Divine Institutes Against the Pagans Begin …
This very rare work by Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius is one of the first books printed in Italy and the first dated Italian imprint. It was produced by the German typographers Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz, who established a printing press in 1465 at the Benedictine abbey of Subiaco, near Rome. According to the colophon, the book was completed “In the year of Our Lord 1465, in the second year of the papacy of Paul II, the thirteenth indiction and the last day but two of the month of October ...
Savior in the Dungeon. A Carved Figure in the Assumption Church in the City of Cherndyn
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
Contributed by Library of Congress
Plashchanitsa (Shroud with the Image of Christ) Gift from Count Stroganov. In the Vestry of the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin. Rostov Velikii
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
Contributed by Library of Congress
Plashchanitsa (Shroud with the Image of Christ) from 1631. Dates to the Time of Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich. In the Vestry of the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin. Rostov Velikii
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
Contributed by Library of Congress
Canons of the Councils
This volume contains the canons (decisions on ecclesiastical matters), translated from Greek into Arabic, of the seven great Church councils and extracts from six local or provincial councils. The seven great ecumenical councils were: Nicea (which took place in 325), Constantinople I (381), Ephesus (431), Chalcedon (451), Constantinople II (553), Constantinople III (680), and Nicea II (787). This collection of canons was compiled and arranged by Yūḥannā Ibn Zinda in 1690. The manuscript is dated 1851 by two copyists and is said to have belonged to the library of the ...
Book of the Conversation of Wisdom, and Other Works
The major part of this 18th-century manuscript is taken up by the text of Ktaba da-swad sofia (Book of the conversation of wisdom), a philosophical work by the famous Syriac Orthodox bishop and author, Gregory Bar ‘Ebraya (also seen as Bar Hebraeus, 1226–86). Of special interest is the fact that the work was copied here not only in Syriac, but also in Garshuni (Arabic written in Syriac script) in a parallel column on each page. The manuscript contains numerous marginal and interlinear annotations in both Garshuni and Arabic. After ...
Collection of Canons
This Armenian manuscript is a collection of canons (regulations or dogma as laid down by a church council). It is dated 1710 and exhibits the script known as nōtrgir (late minuscule). Each page has a clear border and 25 straight lines in one column. The manuscript is in good condition throughout, but some evidence of text repair can be seen on page 261. There are very many page decorations, human representations, and birds. Nōtrgir, a later minuscule script dominant in Armenian from the 17th century, differs from Armenian uncial ...
Book of Theology
Shem’un al-Turani was born in 1670 near Tur Abdin in present-day Turkey. He studied in Tur Abdin and became a monk at the age of twenty. He was appointed maphrian—historically the prelate second to the patriarch in the hierarchy of the Syriac Orthodox Church—in 1710 and took the name Basileios. Maphrian Basileios Shem’un was martyred in 1740. He wrote in verse and prose, and his works are considered important both because he was one of the most-renowned Syriac writers, and because very little of the great ...
The Weapon of Religion and the Shield of Certainty
Shem’un al-Turani was born in 1670 near Tur Abdin in present-day Turkey. He studied in Tur Abdin and became a monk at the age of twenty. He was appointed maphrian—historically the prelate second to the patriarch in the hierarchy of the Syriac Orthodox Church—in 1710 and took the name Basileios. Maphrian Basileios Shem’un was martyred in 1740. Kitāb silāḥ al-dīn wa-turs al-yaqīn (The weapon of religion and the shield of certainty) contains his polemical treatise in support of Syriac Orthodox doctrine and practice and against ...
Selections from the Book of the Holy Hierotheos with Commentary
This manuscript contains commentary on the Ktābā d-Irotē’os (Book of the holy Hierotheos), an early sixth-century theological epic on the hidden mysteries of the Divine, which is attributed to Stephen Bar Sudayli. The commentary is by Gregory Bar ‘Ebraya (also seen as Bar Hebraeus, 1226–86), who was a Syriac Orthodox bishop and a Syrian mystic. Both Bar Sudayli and his book were liable to suspicion in the Orthodox Church. This was because of the work’s associations with Origenism and with Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (both linked to attempts ...
Book of the Dove
Gregory Bar ‘Ebraya (also seen as Bar Hebraeus, 1226–86) was a Syriac Orthodox bishop and major author in the later Syriac tradition. He wrote prolifically, mostly in Syriac but also in Arabic, on philosophy, theology, spirituality, and history. His works also included commentaries on scripture, devotions, moral treatises, logic, the sciences, poetry, and humorous stories. This manuscript, dated 1360, is an important early witness to his writings. It contains his Ktābā d-yawnā (Book of the dove), which represents Bar Hebraeus’s instructions on how to start and then continue ...
Christian Doctrine, in Spanish and Tagalog
Published in Manila in 1593, this catechism in Spanish and Tagalog is the first book printed in the Philippines. It is also the first book printed in a Philippine language and the first, and only, 16th-century source showing an explicit and distinctly Philippine abecedarium (alphabet). The book is illustrated with a woodcut frontispiece of St. Dominic and initial letters in both Spanish and Tagalog. Part of the rare book collections of the Library of Congress, it is the only known copy in existence.
Contributed by Library of Congress
Paupers' Bible
The name commonly given to this work, Biblia pauperum (Paupers' Bible), does not reflect the true importance of this outstanding manuscript, which might be said to contain the summa of the religious knowledge of its time. The work was commissioned, together with another remarkable manuscript of the Rule of Saint Benedict, by Abbot Petrus I of the Benedictine Abbey of Metten in Bavaria and was completed in 1414–15. To carry out his demanding program of manuscript creation, the abbot engaged artists of note, who were well versed in the ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Theological Miscellany, Circa 764-83
This miscellany manuscript was written in the time of Bishop Arbeo (circa 764–83) in the Bavarian diocesan town of Freising. It is remarkable especially for its script, a form of Anglo-Saxon minuscule, and its typically insular decoration: initials are adorned with animals and interlace patterns and surrounded by red dots. These insular features must be attributed to an English scribe active in the Freising scriptorium at that time, which is remarkable because Freising lay outside the area where the influence of English missionaries was strong in the eighth century ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
The Qurʼan in the Earliest Printed Version, with the Life and Teachings of Muhammad and Other Works
This volume contains the first-ever printing of the Qurʼan, presented in the 12th-century Latin translation by the English scholar Robert of Ketton. This translation was commissioned by Abbot Peter the Venerable of the monastery of Cluny in France, who was also responsible for monasteries in Spain. Islam was still a strong presence in Spain in the 1300s, although Muslim control of the Iberian Peninsula was waning. When this edition was printed 400 years later, Islam was again a pressing concern for Christian authorities: in 1529 the Ottoman Turkish sultan, Suleiman ...