9th & 10th Centuries

Josua-Rolle, Codex Vaticanus, "the Joshua Roll"

Josua-Rolle, Codex Vaticanus Pal. Graec. 431: Facsimile . Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt Graz 1983 1 scroll: chiefly col. ill.; 31 x ca. 1000 cm. + 1 commentary volume (88 p.: 33 cm.; facsim. scroll (attached to two wooden rollers) Facsim. of the incompletely preserved 10th (?) cent. scroll of pictorial representations, accompanied by ms. Greek captions and selections from the Septuagint text, of scenes from the Old Testament book of Joshua, known as the Joshua roll. Commentary vol. (1984) by Otto Mazal includes bibliography.; Scroll and commentary volume are No.22 of an edition of 700.; JU.; Bible. O.T. Joshua Illustrations.; Bible; Codices e Vaticanis selecti; v.43.; Codices selecti phototypice impressi ; v.77-77. ND3358 .J8 M3 1983 Special Coll.

The Joshua Roll is one of the magnificent surviving manuscripts of the Imperial Court School of Byzantium and represents the so-called Macedonian Renaissance. Its cycle if illustrations resemble a frieze, executed in grisaille painting. It is now kept in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome. Both drawings and paintings contained in the book are the work of different hands, and the coloring was probably added at a later stage. The text is a mixture of Greek majuscule and minuscule forms, containing extracts from relevant Bible scenes. Nothing is really known about the origin of the roll, but the codex was likely intended to glorify the military success of the Byzantine people in the Holy Land as they reasserted themselves against the Arabs. The Greek Bible texts included here correspond to the Septuagint. 

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