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The Codex Barbarus Scaligeri, The Christian Topography, And The Question Of Jewish Models Of Early Christian Art

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Chapter Summary

The Christian Topography from its inception in the mid-sixth century, intended to be illustrated; and the four surviving Middle Byzantine manuscripts certainly preserve many of the essential characteristics of the original pictorial system. The depiction in the manuscripts of the Christian Topography includes all three distinctive digressions from the biblical text found in earlier and contemporary Jewish representations: the Hand symbolizing God?s voice, the ram tethered to the bush, and Isaac bound with his hands tied behind his back. The Painter?s Manual is a late example of Christian texts designed to control artists even while granting flexibility. Written guides themselves vary considerably; they include Paulinus? letters and more formal sources such as the Pictor in Carmine and other compendia of tituli; and their function is also documented in the Codex Barbarus Scaligeri, with its similarities to the illustrated manuscripts of the Christian Topography.

Keywords: biblical text; Byzantine manuscripts; Christian art; Christian Topography; Codex Barbarus Scaligeri; Jewish representations; Painter?s Manual; pictorial system



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