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The Joshua Roll

Joshua Roll

Facsimile of a 10th century Byzantine manuscript

Now believed to have been assembled in the tenth century on the basis of earlier, individual miniatures adorning volumes of the Octateuch (first eight books of the Bible: Genesis -Deuteronomy and Ruth, Joshua, and Judges), the Joshua Roll presents the illustrated text of the first twelve chapters of the biblical book of Joshua, when Joshua is most active and successful in his conquests. In addition to its value for our understanding of Byzantine art, textual interpretation, and imagination, therefore, the text has particular relevance to understanding the larger cultural reverberations of the military triumphs of the Macedonian Emperors. As the New Israel, the Byzantines could find in Joshua a vision of themselves or, at least, the way they wished to be.

Valuable in courses devoted to medieval or Byzantine art, the Joshua roll has already been used to provide as an example of the cultural achievements of the Macedonian Renaissance and as a lead-in to the period of reconquest and political consolidation that culminated in the reign of Basil II the Bulgar-slayer (976-1025). It is also a valuable witness to Greek paleography and luxury book production in the post-iconoclast era.

William North
Director of Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Assistant Professor of History

Josua-Rolle, Codex Vaticanus Pal. Graec. 431: Facsimile

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, c1983-1984

Special Collections Folio ND3358.J8 J67 1983