Skip to content

French Biblical Text from Acre

Summary
Two bibles survive from the scriptorium in Acre, one called the Arsenal Bible and the other, known by its manuscript shelf number, the Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. Nouv. Acq. Fr. 1404. Each of these texts contains selections from an Old French translation of the Old Testament, possibly from one shared source. The Arsenal Bible, which holds an extensive illumination program focusing on the acts of kingship, may have been commissioned for King Louis IX of France while he held residence in Acre from 1250 to 1254. The manuscript of the Bibliothèque Nationale may have been commissioned by a Templar, and was painted in part by the artist known as the Hospitaller Master who worked in Paris and Acre in the last decades in of the thirteenth century. See below for an image from the Bibliothèque Nationale manuscript.

MSS
Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, MS. 5211 (Vellum, 1250-4)
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS. Nouv. Acq. Fr. 1404 (Vellum, 1280-1)

Edition
Nobel, Pierre (ed). La bible d'Acre: genèse et exode: édition critique d'apres les manuscrits de BNF nouv. acq. fr. 1404 et Arsenal 5211. Besançon, France: Presses universitaires de Franche-Comté, 2006.

Secondary Literature
Buchtal, Hugo. Miniature Painting in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. London: Pindar Press, 1986.

Nobel, Pierre, (ed). "Écrire dans le royaume franc: la scripta de deux manuscrits copiés a Acre au XIII siècles." In Variations linguistiques: koinè, dialectes, français régionaux.  Besançon, France: Presses universitaires de Franch-Comté, 2003. 33-52.