- Illuminations (7)
- Islamic manuscripts (6)
- Arabic manuscripts (5)
- Arabic calligraphy (4)
- Koran (4)
- Codex (3)
- Calligraphy, Persian (2)
- Muḥammad, Prophet, died 632 (2)
- Poetry (2)
- Agathias, died 582 (1)
- Arthurian romances (1)
- Biography (1)
- Epic poetry (1)
- Grail (1)
- Horses (1)
- Italy--History--Gothic War, 535-555 (1)
- Javanese literature (1)
- Javanese poetry (1)
- Legends (1)
- Memory of the World (1)
- Monastic and religious life (1)
- Perceval (Legendary character) (1)
- Persian poetry (1)
- Prayers (1)
- Romance of Amīr Ḥamza (1)
- Spiritual life (1)
- Virtues (1)
- Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1170?-1220? (1)
- Ḥamzah ibn ʻAbd al-Muṭṭalib, died 625 (1)
According to Islamic belief, the Holy Qur'an was revealed by God to the Prophet Mohammad (570–632) by the Angel Gabriel over a period of 22 years. The Qur'an speaks in powerful, moving language about the reality and attributes of God, the spiritual world, God's purposes with mankind, man's relationship and responsibility to God, the coming of the Day of Judgment, and the life hereafter. It also contains rules for living, stories of earlier prophets and their communities, and vital insights and understandings concerning the meaning ...
The Life of the Prophet
Maghāzī al-Nabī (The life of the Prophet) depicts the life of the Prophet Muhammad in poetical form. The original work was composed by a famous Arabic and Persian scholar of Kashmir, Ya‘qub Ṣarfī (1521–95). The unique poetic and biographical work, transcribed in two columns on each page of manuscript, includes some supplications and eulogies for the Prophet of Islam. Each column is bordered in lines inlaid with gold. The writing of the manuscript is clear and vivid.
Wolfram von Eschenbach composed his medieval German epic poem Parzival, which consists of more than 24,000 lines, in the first decade of the 13th century. It tells the story of the juvenile fool Parzival who, having grown up in the seclusion of the forest, is ignorant of the world and causes much grief as he ventures out to become a knight. He arrives at the Castle of the Grail, but fails to pose the question to the sick King Fisher Anfortas about the source of his suffering—a question ...
Books 1–5 of the Histories
Under the influence of Italian humanism and of his book-collector tutor János Vitéz, the Archbishop of Esztergom, Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1443–1490) developed a passion for books and learning. Elected king of Hungary in 1458 at the age of 14, Matthias won great acclaim for his battles against the Ottoman Turks and his patronage of learning and science. He created the Bibliotheca Corvinian, in its day one of Europe’s finest libraries. After his death, and especially after the conquest of Buda by the Turks in 1541, the library ...
Commentary on the Comprehensive Book on the Management of Horses
The legal scholar ‘Umar ibn Raslān al-Bulqīnī was from a renowned family of Egyptian scholars of Palestinian origin. In his Muqaddima (Introduction), the great Arab historian and historiographer Ibn Khaldūn (1332–1406) praised al-Bulqīnī as the most celebrated jurist of his era, even though Al-Bulqīnī did not gain the prestigious title of Šayh al-Islām until later in life. Al-Bulqīnī's erudition and deep knowledge of Islamic tradition are reflected in this work, Qaṭr al-Sayl fi Amr al-Hayl (Commentary on the comprehensive book on the management of horses), which is an ...
Ladder of Divine Ascent
This 18th-century manuscript contains an Arabic translation of The Ladder of Divine Ascent, a famous work by Yūhannā Ra’īs Dayr Tūr Sīnā (John, abbot of the monastery at Mount Sinai), generally known in the West as Saint John Climacus (circa 579–649). This treatise on the ascetic life was popular in both the original Greek and in Arabic and Latin translations. A number of Arabic manuscripts contain the work, and an Arabic epitome exists as well. The title in Arabic translates as The Ladder of Higher Virtues that Characterize ...
This large-format illuminated Timurid copy of the Qur’an is believed to have been produced in northern India in the 15th century. The manuscript opens with a series of illuminated frontispieces. The main text is written in a large, vocalized polychrome muhaqqaq script. Marginal explanations of the readings of particular words and phrases are in thuluth and naskh scripts, and there is interlinear Persian translation in red naskh script. The fore-edge flap of the gold-tooled brown leather binding is inscribed with verses 77 through 80 from surah 56 (Sūrat al-wāqi ...
Javanese Manuscript of the Adventures of Hamza
The adventures of the early Islamic hero Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, are a favorite subject of Javanese literature in which the deeds of the hero, here called Ménak, are retold. The Javanese legends are written in poetic form and relate the stories as occurring during the lifetime of the Prophet. This manuscript, written in the Javanese and Pégon (Arabic–Javanese) alphabets, contains a number of the main episodes in the tales of Hamza. The codex offers a prime example of the art of book illumination that flourished ...
This outstanding early 14th-century manuscript is the first part of a Qur’an originally comprising 12 volumes, which, according to the colophon, was produced for the Moroccan ruler Abū Ya‘qūb Yūsuf. This text and a companion manuscript, also in the Bavarian State Library (Cod.arab 3), contain, respectively, the first and last five sixtieths of the Qur’an. The text is written in Maghrebi script on parchment, with only seven lines to a page. The well-proportioned balancing of the text area with the wide margins gives the Qur’an ...
Qur’an of Père Lachaise
This 14th-century Mameluke Qur’an, which belonged to Père Lachaise, confessor of Louis XIV, was obtained by the Jesuit order of Paris in 1693. The manuscript was confiscated when the order was dissolved in France in 1763. Gerhoh Steigenberger (1741–87), canon regular of the Upper Bavarian monastery of Polling, subsequently bought it, along with large parts of the dissolved Jesuit library. Steigenberger had been sent to Paris to acquire books and manuscripts for the monastic library. After the dissolution of the monastery in 1803, the manuscript was transferred to ...