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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52573
Doc. No:TL22527
Call number:‭3288498‬
Main Entry:Lisa J. Mahoney
Title & Author:Re -presenting the past: The London Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César in the Holy LandLisa J. Mahoney
College:The Johns Hopkins University
Date:2008
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2008
Page No:335
Abstract:This dissertation focuses on a Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César (London, British Library, MS. Add. 15268) made in the second half of the thirteenth century during the Latin occupation of the Levant. This codex has never been the subject of a comprehensive interpretive study, but has been addressed only within broader stylistic surveys of manuscripts made in the Frankish East. I offer instead a close analysis of the illuminations, uncovering the contextually specific and strategic reading they bring to this text and, at the same time, what they reveal about the appeal of the Histoire ancienne in the Holy Land. The text of this history, recounting both biblical and pagan events, was popular in both the West and the East during the thirteenth century. The London version, however, distinguishes itself from its medieval counterparts: whereas the illumination in the western codices treat the text as an epic or romance, that of the London codex presents the history as a specifically Christian record of events. This is clearly announced by the frontispiece, wherein a theologically sophisticated miniature dedicated to Creation gestures from the birth to the Second Coming of Christ and thereby establishes the parameters within which the historical events are to be understood. Indeed, this emphasis is then extended into the pictorial program through borrowings from Byzantine religious artistic traditions, employed to impart a certain sanctity to the events depicted. Moreover, heroic pagan rulers receive Byzantine attributes of power, and thus too are claimed by Christianity, as exemplary rulers with an historical link to the eastern Mediterranean. The frontispiece, which employs a border of Islamic imagery to picture the environment of its manufacture (i.e. Muslims surrounding Christians), indicates that the impetus for these and other aspects of the pictorial design is to be found only through a proper appreciation of the manuscript's Levantine context. That is, this explicitly Christianized history was a product of the particular exigencies of the Holy Land during the crusades, a place and time of religious confrontation, wherein faith increasingly determined identity. The processes and demands related to its commission are considered in this light as well.
Subject:Communication and the arts; England; Histoire ancienne jusqu'a Cesar; Holy Land; London; Art history; 0377:Art history
Added Entry:The Johns Hopkins University