The Crusader's Bible

Heavens to Betsy, where have I been.

A recent project had me thinking about the Crusader's Bible, also known as the Morgan Bible for its current owner, a famous manuscript depicting Old Testament battles made in the mid-13th century. Like most medieval European art, the biblical stories are illustrated with European images, with castles and knights and fair ladies. Latin captions were added at some point, since the book was mostly paintings.

The book was given to Shah 'Abbas I as a diplomatic gift in 1608. Shah 'Abbas I admired the images, illustrating stories Muslims and Christians had in common,  and had Persian captions added. Later, more captions were added in Judeo-Persian.

The Wikipedia article , while very short, sums it up nicely:

"Thus the book consists of paintings of events from Hebrew scripture, set in the scenery and customs of thirteenth-century France, depicted from a Christian perspective, and surrounded by text in three scripts and five languages (Latin, Persian, Arabic, Judeo-Persian, and Hebrew)."

You can see the full history here:

http://www.themorgan.org/collection/crusader-bible/provenance

And all of the pages, in high definition, here:

http://www.themorgan.org/collection/Crusader-Bible/thumbs