15 results in English
History of the Five Dynasties
Wu dai shi ji (History of the Five Dynasties) was the original title of this work by Ouyang Xiu (1007–72), statesman, historian, essayist, calligrapher, and poet of the Song dynasty. It traditionally has been called Xin Wu dai shi (The new history of the Five Dynasties) to distinguish it from another work entitled Jiu Wu dai shi (The old history of the Five Dynasties), by Xue Juzheng (912–81). This was the only authorized history compiled privately after the Tang dynasty and before the publication of Xin Yuan shi ...
Contributed by National Central Library
The Veritable Records of the Song Emperor Taizong
Chinese court officials often recorded a reigning emperor’s daily activities and words spoken in court, especially those that affected the country. These records, such as Qi ju zhu (Diaries of activity and repose) and Ri li (Daily records), were sources for the compilation of shi lu (veritable records) by a committee. Other sources consisted of materials collected from provinces, ministerial papers, and other documents. The official histories were written based on these veritable records. Such records no longer exist from before the Tang dynasty (618–907). The only ...
Contributed by National Central Library
Gospels
Dated to the tenth century, this manuscript is the oldest Armenian codex in North America and the fifth oldest among documented Armenian Gospel books. The principal colophon, on folio 2 verso, records that Sargis the priest completed the text in 415 (966). Within the framed area, the commission of the codex is described: a priest, whose name was replaced by the later owner T’oros, commissioned the work "as decoration and for the splendor of [the] holy church and for the pleasure of the congregation of Rznēr." As the codex ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Corvey Gospel Fragment
This manuscript consists of four folios from a Gospel book that was likely made at the monastery of Corvey in western Germany during the mid-to-late tenth century. Dating to the reign of Otto I, these pages are a magnificent example of early Ottonian manuscript illumination. The heavily ornamented pages, which introduce the Gospels of Luke and John, shine with gold and jewel-like colors against dyed purple grounds. These pages combine monumental classicizing square capitals on purple grounds with rich and complex interlace. This fragment contains the opening pages of Luke ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Sacramentary of Bishop Abraham
Many monasteries in Bavaria were destroyed during the devastating Hungarian invasions of Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries. In the period after the Hungarian wars, Bishop Abraham of Freising (957−94) nevertheless succeeded, despite temporary banishment, in enlarging his see, pushing ahead the mission to the Slavs, and promoting completion of the cathedral library and school in Freising. This sacramentary is the only high-quality liturgical manuscript surviving from this time, albeit in poor condition. The prominence given to Saint Corbinian identifies it as a Freising work. Obituary entries in ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Fulda Sacramentary
The Fulda Sacramentary typifies the structural changes that sacramentaries underwent in Carolingian times, when artistic embellishment was increasingly concentrated on the canon. The opening letter T (of Te igitur; “Thee, therefore,” the first prayer of the mass) of the sacramentary has been transformed on folio 12 recto into a picture of the crucified Christ, surrounded by four medallions depicting, respectively, the hand of God, Saint Mary, Saint John, and a priest in adoration. Executed at the Benedictine monastery at Corvey in the last third of the tenth century, the sacramentary ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Prayerbook of Otto III
This small prayer book was once owned by the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III (980−1002). Although it hardly stands out when compared with other luxuriously illuminated manuscripts, it was intended for the sovereign’s private devotion and is one of only two royal prayer books from the early Middle Ages to survive. It was probably commissioned after the year 984, presumably by Archbishop Willigis of Mainz, when the four-year-old Otto was committed to the care of his mother and grandmother, the empresses Theophanu and Adelaide, after his father’s ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
New Edition of the Manual of Acupuncture Points on a Bronze Figure, in Seven Juan
One of the unique features of treatments in traditional Chinese medicine is acupuncture. During the Northern and Southern Song (960−1279), the science of acupuncture and moxibustion and the meridian and collateral theory flourished. This science consequently became gradually systemized and standardized. The work Xin kan tong ren zhen jiu jing (New edition of the manual of acupuncture points on a bronze figure) was actually a chapter dealing with acupuncture, called “Zhen jing,” included in Taiping sheng hui fang (Taiping imperial prescriptions for universal relief), an official standard textbook of ...
Contributed by National Library of China
The Compendium of Faith
Muḥammad ibn Jaʻfar al-Izkiwī was a leading Muslim scholar who lived in about 900. His name, al-Izkiwī, suggests that he came from Izkī, one of the oldest cities and centers of learning in the interior of Oman. Jāmiʻ al-adyān (The compendium of faith), sometimes referred to simply as al-Jāmiʻ (The compendium) or Jāmiʻ Ibn Jaʻfar (Ibn Jaʻfar’s compendium), is his best-known work. Shown here is an 18th-century manuscript containing the first part of Jāmiʻ al-adyān. As the title suggests, the book summarizes a wide range of topics in Islamic ...
Qur'anic Verses
This calligraphic fragment includes, on the left-hand side of the bifolium, the illuminated title and verses 1−6 of the 69th chapter of the Qur'an entitled al-Haqqah (The truth). This text continues with verses 6−14 on the fragment's verso. The right side of the recto then proceeds with verses 14−19 from the same chapter. Altogether, this fragment contains the title and verses 1−19 of Surat al-Haqqah. This surah dates from the Meccan period and contains 52 verses. It is largely eschatological in nature, and verses ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Qur'anic Verses
This calligraphic fragment includes the beginning of verse 18 from the fifth chapter of the Qur'an entitled al-Ma'idah (The table). The text continues with the end of verse 18 and the beginning of verse 19 on the folio's verso. Surat al-Ma'idah describes the corruption of religions, in particular Judaism and Christianity, prior to the advent of Islam. Even if warned, the Qur'an states in 5:18 on the verso that Jews and Christians turned away from the truth and violated their covenants: “Both the Jews ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Qur'anic Verses
This calligraphic fragment includes verses 62−64 of the 24th chapter of the Qur'an entitled al-Nur (The light). The text of this surah ends on the fragment's verso, which also contains the illuminated heading and first three verses of the subsequent (25th) chapter of the Qur'an entitled al-Furqan (The criterion). Surat al-Nur describes domestic and public matters and discusses how communal life contributes to man's virtues and his spiritual journey towards God, as in verse 24:62: “Only those are believers who trust in God and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
This 17th-century scroll recounts the story of Taketori Monogatari (The tale of the bamboo cutter), famous as the earliest piece of prose fiction in the Japanese literary tradition and originally written around the 10th century. In the scroll, flowers are drawn on the paper of the main text. The main preoccupation of the story is Kaguyahime, discovered as a tiny infant inside a mysteriously glowing bamboo stem by an elderly bamboo cutter. He and his wife raise her as their daughter, and Kaguyahime quickly becomes a beautiful young woman, a ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
The Catalog
Abu al-Faraj Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn al-Nadim, also known simply as Ibn al-Nadim (935–95 AD), was an Arab author, bookseller, and calligrapher. He lived in Baghdad, and briefly in Mosul, during the middle Abbasid era and, like his father, made a living from copying manuscripts for sale. Al-Fihrist, sometimes also referred to as Kitab al-fihrist (The catalog), is an index of all books written at the time in Arabic, by both Arab and non-Arab authors. It contains ten discourses. The subjects they cover are the ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The Complete Art of Medicine
Kitāb Kāmil al-ṣināʻah al-ṭibbīyah: al-maʻrūf bi-al-Malaki (The complete art of medicine) is the only known work by Ali Ibn al-Abbas al-Majusi (died 994), also known by his Latinized name, Haly Abbas. Al-Majusi was born near Shiraz, Persia (present-day Iran), early in the 10th century. Little is known about his background, but his nickname, al- Majusi, suggests that he or his father was originally a Zoroastrian. He trained as a physician and served King Adud al-Dulwa (died 983), to whom the Kitab Kamil is dedicated. The work consists of 20 treatises ...
Contributed by Yale University Library