1. houghtonlib:

    Catholic Church. Book of Hours and Missal : manuscript, [between 1485 and 1490].

    MS Typ 443.1

    Houghton Library, Harvard University


  2. jeannepompadour:

    Illuminations from the “Hours of Mary of Burgundy” made in Flanders, c. 1477


  3. muspeccoll:

    Manuscript Monday: Ever wonder what books looked like 1,000 years ago?

    Here’s one example.  This is a fragment of a Latin sacramentary dating from around the year 1000-1015.  University of Missouri Libraries, Special Collections, Archives and Rare Books, Fragmenta Manuscripta Collection #003. 

    More information and high-res images at the Digital Scriptorium.


  4. johanoosterman:

    Black manuscripts - actually on parchment that was painted black - are amongst the rarest manuscripts we have. At the end of the fifteenth century at the court of Burgundy they were popular for a while. Well known is the black hours in the Morgan Library, but barely known is the black manuscript in Brussels (KB 9085) with dance melodies. On a black ground the notes were drawn in silver while the text was written in gold. Underneath the golden text, silvery letters indicate the dance steps.


  5. blancefleur:

    Bas-de-page miniature of the sufferings of the Carthaginians from wintry weather, with Hannibal and his elephants crossing the Alps, with the winds directing heavy blizzards of snow onto Hannibal and his troops.

    From Royal 20 D I made in Naples (Italy), 2nd quarter 14th century.


  6. victusinveritas:

    Late Medieval maps and charts.


  7. innerbohemienne:

    The Codex Gigas

    The Codex Gigas (or ‘Giant Book”) is also known as “The Devil’s Bible.” A curious illustration of Lucifer gives the tome its nickname.

    The 13th-century manuscript is thought to have been created solely by a Herman the Recluse, a monk of the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice near Chrudim in Czech Republic. The calligraphy style is amazingly uniform throughout, believed to have taken 25 to 30 years  of work. There are no notable mistakes or omissions.  Pigment analysis revealed the ink to be consistent throughout. The book is enormous - it  measures 36.2” tall, 19.3” wide, and 8.6” thick; it weighs approximately 165 pounds. There are 310 vellum  leaves (620 pages).  The leaves are bound in a wooden folder covered with leather and ornate metal.

    The manuscript is elaborately illuminated in red, blue, yellow, green and gold.  The entire document is written in Latin, and also contains Hebrew, Greek, and Slavic Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets. The first part of the text includes the Vulgate version of the Bible.  Between the Old and New Testaments are Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews and De bello iudaico, as well as Isidore of Seville's encyclopedia Etymologiae and medical works of Hippocrates, Theophilus, Philaretus, and Constantinus.  Following a blank page, the New Testament commences.

    Beginning the second part is a depiction of the devil.  Directly opposite is a full picture of the kingdom of heaven, juxtaposing the “good versus evil.”  The second half, following the picture of the devil, is Cosmas of Prague's Chronicle of Bohemia.  A list of brothers in the Podlažice monastery and a calendar with necrologium, magic formulae and other local records round out the codex.  Record entries end in the year 1229CE.

    In 1648 at the end of the Thirty Years’ War, the Swedish army invaded Prague and the Codex was stolen as plunder.  It is now held at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm.  For more information, check out this short National Geographic documentary and/or flip through this digital copy.

    ( Wikipedia entry, et. al)

    Several short National Geographic videos ~

    One Helluva Book

    Who Wrote The Devil’s Bible?

    Super-human Scribe

    The Devil’s Bible - Part 1.flv  (9:59) (derived from full video bleow)

    The Devil’s Bible - Part 2.flv  (9:59) (derived from full video below)

    ** If you have the least amount of intellectual curiosity or interest in history, the short vids above will only whet your appetite: might as well grab a cold drink & some popcorn, then settle in to watch the whole thing ~

    NatGeo : The Devil’s Bible - Full video  (44:58)

    (Source: bhilluminated.wordpress.com)


  8. jothelibrarian:

    Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is another lovely illustration in grisaille, shades of grey, but highlighted with blues and gilding. Really lovely!

    Image source: SCA 40. Creative Commons licensed by medievalfragments via Flickr.


  9. snegel:

    The Romance of Alexander. 14th century. MS Bodley 264 (bodley30.bodley.ox.ac.uk)

    A game played by both men and women.


  10. norma-bara:

    The Codex Gigas (Giant Book), also known as the Devil’s Bible, is the largest extant medieval manuscript in the world. According to the Codex legend, the single scribe was a monk who breached his monastic code and was sentenced to be walled up alive with no chance of escape. There was only one way the monk could avoid his excruciating death, he promised to create a beautiful, and fascinating book to glorify the monastery forever; a book that would include all human knowledge. There was one catch, he was given only twenty-four hours to complete the task in and if the monk would complete the task, then be free to live.

    Read about Codex Gigas: