Interpretation of Hebrew Names, Parisian Bible leaf, c 1250.

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Exacting gothic minuscule script - "Pocket Bible" leaf.

Early Bibles often incorporated a wide variety of aids and addenda, such as calendars and tables of lections, biblical summaries and devotional treatises, to facilitate prayer, preaching and study. 

Guiding readers through the long and complex text of the Bible, none was as popular as the “Interpretations of Hebrew Names in alphabetical order”.   It was usually found at the end of the Bible after the Apocalypse.

When Jerome translated the Bible into Latin, he was well aware of the importance of names. The Vulgate transliterated many of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek proper names of the Bible.

The text comprises a long alphabetical list of Latinised Hebrew words, followed by their meanings, translations or explanations. For the most part they are names of characters in the Old Testament such as David, Jethro, Ruth, Obadiah, Naomi, etc. as well as places like Hebron and Jericho, but the list also included frequently used words.

Recto: Latin text written in black ink on fine vellum in an extremely precise gothic minuscule script in two columns of 46 lines. Ruled in red. Decorations of alternating red and blue one-line initial A’s, cadels on the letters of the top lines.

Verso:   As Recto.

Origin:  Northern France, probably Paris.

Date: c. 1250.

Content:  Hebrew Names from Asarel  “carcer dei” (prison of God) to Asaroddon “uictor” (victor).

Condition: Excellent condition.  The script shows no ink loss and the vellum remains clean and unblemished apart from light browning around the edges.  Full margins, vibrant colours..  Archivally mounted.

Size:  Leaf: approx. 115x75 mm.  Please note that shipping is invoiced separately.

Provenance:  From a fragmentary bible, quires and leaves of which began surfacing in Europe in 2006.  Leaves from the manuscript have been in two sales (Sotheby’s 6 July 2006 lot 12(a);  Sotheby’s 4 December 2007 lot 6).  This leaf came from neither of these groups.

Item No: MBI045

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