Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lost medieval bibles found at Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

Complete microfilms of two early medieval Spanish Bibles dating from the 9th and 10th century that were damaged or destroyed during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) have been found in the microfilm vault of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library in Minnesota. Before the discovery of the microfilms, scholars thought the two Bibles, known as Codex Complutensis I and Codex Complutensis II, survived only in fragments or in one or two slides.

The two manuscript Bibles, which belong to the Library of the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, are considered important examples of Mozarabic art, a style that combined Visigothic and Muslim elements and was produced by Christian communities who lived under Muslim rule after the Muslims conquered Spain in 711. The decoration of the manuscripts shows such Arabic influences as zoomorphic initials and Arabic arches.

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