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This two-volume work presentsan array of miniatures that appear in the six extant Byzantine Octateuchs (the first eight books of the Old Testament) and the Vatican Joshua Roll. Each of the 1552 miniatures in thse tenth-to-thirteenth-century manuscripts is reproduced at close to actual size on 464 large-format plates. The illustrations are organized by Old Testament episode, so that the various depictions of each biblical scene can be studied and compared. An annotated catalogue describes all of the miniatures in each of the Octateuch manuscripts, from the creation of the world to the story of Ruth, and provides a full bibliography of every scene. Three analytical chapters investigate the origin of the iconography of the Octateuchs, the formation and later development of the cycle of the illustrations, and the codicology, history and style of each of the extant Byzantine manuscripts. The authors argue that the Octateuch miniatures stem from a wide variety of sources, including Christian and Jewish manuscripts paintings and literature. The text also states that thse illustrations provide a pictorial commentary on the Scripture that at times reflects unorthodox interpretations of biblical passages drawn primarily from the intellectual milieu of early Christian Syria.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691007229
ISBN-10: 0691007225
Format: Hardback
(356mm x 280mm x 37mm)
Pages: 880
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 6-Jul-1999
Country of Publication: United States

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