Morgan Crusader's Bible

Morgan Crusader's Bible
Shelf Mark:
MS M.638 (Morgan), Ms Nouv. Acq. Lat. 2294 (BNF), Ms Ludwig 16 83. M.A. 55 (Getty)
Alternate Names:
Crusader Bible -- Bible of Louis IX -- Maciejowsky Bible -- Shah Abbas Bible -- Biblia de los Cruzados -- Kreuzritterbibel
39 × 29.5 cm − 92 pp.
Date Description:
ca. 1250
6 painters, probably among those who executed the magnificent wall and glass paintings of the Ste. Chapelle in Paris
Story of the Old Testament in illustrations (Creation to King David)
Type of Decoration:
283 illustrations tell the story of the Old Testament from Creation to King David in great detail. These were created in Persian workshops, likely by artists who created the wall and glass paintings of the Ste. Chapelle in Paris. Even in the earliest descriptions of the manuscript, there was mention that all of the miniatures can equal wall paintings. Six painters were involved in creating these miniatures, with discernible differences in style and use of color. Original manuscript had no text. Latin text added in 1300 (Charles d'Anjou), Persian text added after 1604 (Shah Abbas). The intense colors used in the illustrations are enhanced by the use of much gold embellishment ranging in form and intensity from glittering gold leaves to soft burnished gold. The war scenes depict the conquerors in 13th century armor and garb, likely meant to illustrate the crusading ideal and in particular, an image of Louis IX in action as a Christian warrior king.
Musical Notation:
Call Number:
Special Coll. Rare Books XLarge ND 3355.5 .K73 K738 1998
Commentary Volume:
Nature of Facsimile:
full-size color reproduction of one or more portions of original manuscript.
Publication Date:
Place of Publication:
Lucerne or Munich
Faksimile Verlag
Made for Louis IX in 1250. It served as a historiated Bible for him. He was most interested in the war scenes, which also served to emphasize his crusading ideal and provide guidelines for conquering the Holy Land. In 1300, the Latin text was added, probably in Naples by Charles d'Anjou, a relative of Louis. After that the text disappeared, only to reappear 300 years later in the library of the Cardinal Bernhard Maciejowski, bishop of Cracow. Maciejowski entrusted the manuscript to a papal delegation visiting the Persian Shah Abbas in 1604 as a gift and an incentive to side with the Christian world against the Turks. The Shah had Persian captions added and removed the 3 leaves depicting Absalom's rebellion removed, something he considered dangerous for his sons to see. These survived and are kept in Paris and Malibu. The Hebrew translation was likely provided in the 17th century. Commentary in English, French and German by Weiss, Daniel H.; Voelke, William M.