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fr_BSL_XI_10.indd (moleiro.com) (PDF)

Four Bibles

The Bible of Saint Louis is housed in Toledo, Spain and the Pierpoint Library (Ms M 204) in New York. It was commissioned by Blanche de Castile, who had it made for her son, Louis IX, King of France (1214-1270). It is one of four Bibles moralisées made in France in the thirteenth century and is considered the superior Bible. The Oxford-Paris-Londres Bible would also be a finer illuminated Bible than the Codex Vindobonensis 1179 et 2554. As listed above, our four Bibles are the Bible of Saint Louis, the Oxford-Paris-Londres Bible and two Bibles housed in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. These are the Codex Vindobonensis (1179 and 2554.) The Codex Vindobonensis 1179 (246 folios) is a larger Bible than the Codex Vindobonensis 2554 (129 folios). The Codex Vindobonensis 1179 is written in Latin but the Codex Vindobonensis 2554 is written in French. La Bible de saint Louis was made in Paris.

Ici crie Dex ciel et terre, soleil et lune et toz elemenz
Here God creates heaven and earth, the sun and moon and all the elements.

Blanche de Castile
Saint Louis

Allegories and Paradox Literature

However, all four Bibles show an anachronistic and allegorical God.

Northrop Frye discussed what he termed a “continuum of allegory”, a spectrum that ranges from what he termed the “naive allegory” of the likes of The Faerie Queene, to the more private allegories of modern paradox literature.

Allegory, Wikipedia

As I wrote on 19 February, the image I showed awakes in me a feeling I cannot describe adequately, but this discrepancy has a name: paradox literature. The name does not make a God using a compass less mysterious. However, it lifts a veil on the mine of our Medieval ancestors.

In literature, the paradox is an anomalous juxtaposition of incongruous ideas for the sake of striking exposition or unexpected insight. It functions as a method of literary composition and analysis that involves examining apparently contradictory statements and drawing conclusions either to reconcile them or to explain their presence.[1]

Paradox (literature) Wikipedia

Bibles are creation myths one looks upon as true or less true, depending on cultural factors.


Sources and Resources

Sainte Église Cathédrale Primatiale, Tolède.
Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.
John Pierpont Morgan — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)
Date: XIIIe siècle.
Format : ± 420 x 320 mm.
Trois volumes, 1 230 pages (fac simile).
4 887 scènes historiées enluminées de la Bible.
Édition unique et limitée à 987 exemplaires numérotés et certifiés par notaire.
2 volumes commentaire en couleur
(Vol. I 511 pages; Vol. II 496 pages)
The Great Architect of the Universe (2554)

Love to everyone 💕

[1]  Rescher, Nicholas. Paradoxes:Their Roots, Range, and Resolution. Open Court: Chicago, 2001.

Bible moralisée de Vienne (Ms 1179)

© Micheline Walker
22 February 2021