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Hebrew Manuscripts

Hebrew manuscripts in the British museum
Frontispiece to ~Hoshen ha-Mishpat~ from BL Harley 5717, f. 79
988 Media in collectionpage 1 of 10

Decorated letter from BL Harley 7586A, f. 2

Detail of the Hebrew letter ~shin~ decorated with foliate motifs, which served as a book plate of the patron Shabbetai ben Mattatya of Rome (see Narkiss, 1984). Image taken from f. 2 of Guide of the Perplexed (... more

Preparation for Seder from BL Add 27210, f. 15

Detail of a miniature of the cleaning of the house. Image taken from f. 15 of Haggadah for Passover (the 'Golden Haggadah''). Written in Hebrew.

Preparation for Seder from BL Add 27210, f. 15

Detail of a miniature of the master of the house distributing the ~matzot~ (unleavened bread) and the ~haroset~ (sweetmeat). Image taken from f. 15 of Haggadah for Passover (the 'Golden Haggadah''). Written in Hebrew.

Preparation for Seder from BL Add 27210, f. 15

Detail of a miniature of the slaughtering of the Passover lambs and cleansing dishes (~hagalat kelim~). Image taken from f. 15 of Haggadah for Passover (the 'Golden Haggadah''). Written in Hebrew.

Dance of Miriam, Preparation for Seder from BL Add 27210, f. 15

Full-page miniature, upper right: the Dance of Miriam (Ex. 15:20), upper left: the master of the house distributing the ~matzot~ (unleavened bread) and the ~haroset~ (sweetmeat), lower right: cleaning of the ho... more

Decorated initial-word panels from BL Harley 7586B, f. 81v

Initial-word panels decorated with penwork and pen-flourishing. Image taken from f. 81v of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) in Samuel ibn Tibbon's translation. Written in Hebrew.

Decorated initial-word panels from BL Harley 7586B, f. 67v

Initial-word panels decorated with penwork and pen-flourishing. Image taken from f. 67v of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) in Samuel ibn Tibbon's translation. Written in Hebrew.

Introduction of the Mishneh Torah from BL Harley 5698, f. 12

Initial-word panel with gold letters and penwork decoration, full foliate border in the margins. Image taken from f. 12 of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 1. Written in Hebrew.

Seder from BL Or 11924, f. 153v

Painting of a couple standing at the spread Seder table, lifting the seder basket. Under the table, there is a big cat. Beneath the scene, two figures are preparing food for the Seder. Image taken from f. 153v ... more

Text pages from BL Or 1423, ff. 4v-5

Text pages with coloured letter, at the introduction to the Guide of the Perplexed. Image taken from ff. 4v-5 of The Guide of the Perplexed, Judeo-Arabic text (~Dalalat al Ha'irin~). Written in Judeo-Arabic.

Decorated table from BL Or 1423, f. 3

Index of biblical passages with geometrical decoration and coloured letters. Image taken from f. 3 of The Guide of the Perplexed, Judeo-Arabic text (~Dalalat al Ha'irin~). Written in Judeo-Arabic.

Initial-word panel with coat of arms from BL Or 14061, f. 1v

Full-page initial-word panel surrounded by foliate scrolls and floral motifs. On top of the panel, there is a coat of arms of a golden lion, at the beginning of the translator’s introduction to the Guide of the... more

Seder from BL Or 11924, f. 153v

Detail of a painting of a couple standing at the spread Seder table, lifting the seder basket. Under the table, there is a big cat. Image taken from f. 153v of Prayer book, Italian rite. Written in Hebrew, Judeo-Italian.

Decorated scribal formula from BL Or 2393, f. 329v

Decorated scribal formula at the end of Tractate Neziqim. Image taken from f. 329v of Fragment of the commentary on Seder Nashim of the Mishnah. Written in Judeo-Arabic.

Introduction of the Mishneh Torah from BL Harley 5698, ff. 11v-12

Opening with decorated initial-word panels: on f. 11v, two citations from Deuteronomy (Deut. 1:5 and 4:44), on f. 12, the beginning of Maimonides' introduction to his Mishneh Torah with a full foliate border i... more

The Book of Civil Law from BL Harley 5699, f. 355v

Decorated initial-word panel with gold and penwork, at the beginning of the thirteenth book, the Book of Civil Law (~Sefer Mishpatim~) with a full foliate border inhabited by birds. Image taken from f. 355v of ... more

Inhabited border from BL Harley 5698, f. 11v

Detail of a foliate border inhabited by animals and birds. Image taken from f. 11v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 1. Written in Hebrew.

Colophon from BL Harley 5699, f. 434v

Colophon of the scribe incorporated into a panel decorated with gold and penwork with a full foliate border inhabited by birds. Image taken from f. 434v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 2. Written in Hebrew.

Seder table from BL Add 14761, f. 17v

Historiated initial-word panel at the beginning of the Haggadah: ~Atan mi-pirqa~ (They are coming from the prayer gathering) surrounded by rich marginal decoration with foliate inhabited by animals and hybrids.... more

Seder eve from BL Or 1404, f. 8

Decorated initial-word panel at the beginning of the Haggadah. Within the panel, beneath the initial words, a family is seated at a spread Seder table, while a servant is flaying and roasting the Passover lamb... more

Seder eve from BL Or 1404, f. 7v

Full-page miniature, upper register: the slaughter and the preparation of the Passover lamb, smearing the posts of the doorway with blood (Ex. 12:22), lower register: two couples by spread Seder tables raising ... more

Opening to the Seder from BL Or 2884, f. 27v

There are two decorated initial-word panels on this page, at the benediction of the first cup of wine. The upper one is embellished with gold foliage, the lower one is with penwork decoration. The text is surro... more

Seder table from BL Add 14762, f. 6

Detail of a page: miniature of a spread Seder table surrounded by the participants. Image taken from f. 6 of Haggadah for Passover (the 'Ashkenazi Haggadah'), German rite with the commentary of Eleazar of Worms... more

Seder table from BL Or 2737, f. 91

Full-page miniature of a Seder table, in an architectural frame. Image taken from f. 91 of Haggadah for Passover (the 'Hispano-Moresque Haggadah'). Written in Hebrew.

The Book of Ritual Purity from BL Harley 5699, f. 189v

Decorated initial-word panel with gold and penwork, at the beginning of the tenth book, the Book of Ritual Purity (~Sefer Tohorah~) with a full foliate border with two hybrids and a peacock in the lower margin.... more

Inhabited border from BL Harley 5699, f. 189v

Detail of a foliate border with two hybrids and a peacock in the lower margin. Image taken from f. 189v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 2. Written in Hebrew.

Preparation for the Seder from BL Or 2884, f. 17

Full-page miniature, upper register: the master of the house distributing the ~matzot~ (unleavened bread) and the ~haroset~ (sweetmeat), lower register: father and son searching for leaven, two women cleaning t... more

Seder table from BL Or 2884, f. 18

Full-page miniature of a family sitting around a spread Seder table discussing the Haggadah. Image taken from f. 18 of Haggadah for Passover (the 'Sister Haggadah'). Written in Hebrew.

Seder table from BL Add 14761, f. 28v

Detail of a page; Historiated initial-word panel ~Ha lahma aniya~ (The Bread of Affliction), at the beginning of the text of the Haggadah. Beneath the initial words, a miniature depicting a family by the Seder ... more

Decorated initial-word panel with full border from BL Harley 5698, f. 31v

Initial-word panel with gold letters and penwork decoration, foliate full border inhabited by birds in the margins, at the beginning of ~Sefer ha-Mada~. Image taken from f. 31v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 1... more

Decorated initial-word panel with full border from BL Harley 5698, f. 11v

Initial-word panel with gold letters and penwork decoration, full foliate border in the margins. Image taken from f. 11v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 1. Written in Hebrew.

Bird from BL Harley 5709, f. 58v

Drawing of a bird holding a hairy hybrid in its peak, at ~parashat wa-yehi~ (Gen. 47:28-50:26). Image taken from f. 58v of Pentateuch with Targum Onkelos and Rashi’s commentary (ff. 1-240v), ~Haftarot~ with Ra... more

Decorated initial-word panel with full border from BL Harley 5698, f. 63v

Initial-word panel with gold letters and penwork decoration, foliate full border in the margins, at the beginning of ~Sefer Ahavah~. Image taken from f. 63v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 1. Written in Hebrew.

Carmina figurata from BL Harley 1861, f. 307

Carmina figurata: text written in geometrical forms. The last word of text in the outer margin, Avraham, is marked. Image taken from f. 307 of Pentateuch with Targum and Rashi's commentary (ff. 1-219); Five Sc... more

Decorated initial-word panel from BL Harley 1861, f. 223v

Initial-word panel with penwork decoration, at the beginning of Ruth. Image taken from f. 223v of Pentateuch with Targum and Rashi's commentary (ff. 1-219); Five Scrolls (~Hamesh megillot~; ff. 220-244v); ~Haf... more

Decorated initial-word panel with full border from BL Harley 5698, f. 13v

Initial-word panel with gold letters and penwork decoration and a gold crown, foliate full border in the margins and between the two text column, at the introduction of the Mishneh Torah. The full border is unf... more

Lion from BL Harley 5709, ff. 146v-147

Drawing of a lion and a bird in the inner margin under the Targumic text, at ~parashat be-huqqotai~ (Lev. 26:3-27:34). Image taken from ff. 146v-147 of Pentateuch with Targum Onkelos and Rashi’s commentary (ff.... more

Carmina figurata from BL Harley 1861, f. 157v

~Carmina figurata~: Rashi's commentary in the outer margin is written in the form of a fleur-de-lis. Image taken from f. 157v of Pentateuch with Targum and Rashi's commentary (ff. 1-219); Five Scrolls (~Hamesh... more

Carmina figurata from BL Harley 1861, f. 219

Main text (end of Deuteronomy and a colophon of the scribe) is written in geometrical forms; Rashi's commentary and another colophon in the outer margin are written in the form of the Hebrew word hazaq (Be stro... more

Bird from BL Harley 5709, f. 59

Drawing of a two-headed bird with spread wings framing the marginal text, at ~parashat wa-yehi~ (Gen. 47:28-50:26). Image taken from f. 59 of Pentateuch with Targum Onkelos and Rashi’s commentary (ff. 1-240v), ... more

Decorated initial-word panel from BL Harley 5698, f. 13v

Detail of a page: initial-word panel with gold letters and penwork decoration and a gold crown, at the introduction of the Mishneh Torah. Image taken from f. 13v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 1. Written in Hebrew.

Decorated initial-word panel with full border from BL Harley 5698, f. 106v

Initial-word panel with gold letters and penwork decoration, foliate full border inhabited by a rabbit in the margins, at the beginning of ~Sefer Zemanim~. Image taken from f. 106v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volu... more

Decorated initial-word panel from BL Harley 1861, f. 223v

Detail of a page: initial-word panel with penwork decoration, at the beginning of Ruth. Image taken from f. 223v of Pentateuch with Targum and Rashi's commentary (ff. 1-219); Five Scrolls (~Hamesh megillot~; f... more

Inhabited border from BL Harley 5698, f. 11v

Detail of a page: full foliate border in the margins inhabited by a lion, a peacock, a bird, and a dragon. Image taken from f. 11v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 1. Written in Hebrew.

Decorated initial-word panel from BL Harley 1861, f. 132v

Detail of a page: initial-word panel with penwork decoration and full border with pen-flourishing, at the beginning of Numbers. Image taken from f. 132v of Pentateuch with Targum and Rashi's commentary (ff. 1-2... more

Seder table from BL Add 14761, f. 28v

Historiated initial-word panel ~Ha lahma aniya~ (The Bread of Affliction), at the beginning of the text of the Haggadah. Beneath the initial words, a miniature depicting a family by the Seder table with the mas... more

Decorated initial-word panel with full border from BL Harley 5698, f. 252v

Initial-word panel with gold letters and penwork decoration, foliate full border in the margins inhabited by birds, at the beginning of ~Sefer Qedushah~. Image taken from f. 252v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume... more

Hybrid from BL Harley 5709, f. 83v

Marginal drawing of a hybrid with a bird body and a devil head, at ~parashat mishpatim~ (Ex. 21:1-24:18). Image taken from f. 83v of Pentateuch with Targum Onkelos and Rashi’s commentary (ff. 1-240v), ~Haftarot... more

Decorated initial-word panel from BL Harley 1861, f. 132v

Initial-word panel with penwork decoration and full border with pen-flourishing, at the beginning of Numbers. Image taken from f. 132v of Pentateuch with Targum and Rashi's commentary (ff. 1-219); Five Scrolls ... more

Lion from BL Harley 5709, f. 84v

A drawing of a lion in the inner margin, at ~parashat mishpatim~ (Ex. 21:1-24:18). Image taken from f. 84v of Pentateuch with Targum Onkelos and Rashi’s commentary (ff. 1-240v), ~Haftarot~ with Rashi’s commenta... more

Decorated initial word from BL Harley 1861, f. 57v

Decorated initial word ~We-elleh~ (and these) with the moon, the sun and a star, at the beginning of Exodus. Image taken from f. 57v of Pentateuch with Targum and Rashi's commentary (ff. 1-219); Five Scrolls (... more

Decorated initial-word panel with full border from BL Harley 5698, f. 197v

Initial-word panel with gold letters and penwork decoration, foliate full border in the margins, at the beginning of ~Sefer Nasim~. Image taken from f. 197v of Lisbon Mishneh Torah, volume 1. Written in Hebrew.

Decorated initial word from BL Harley 1861, f. 57v

Detail of a page: decorated initial word ~We-elleh~ (and these) with the moon, the sun and a star, at the beginning of Exodus. Image taken from f. 57v of Pentateuch with Targum and Rashi's commentary (ff. 1-219... more

Decorated initial-word panel from BL Add 14763, f. 167

Detail of a page: decorated initial-word panel and foliate scroll between the two text columns. Image taken from f. 167 of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. the Guide of the Perplexed by Maimoni... more

Foliate scroll from BL Add 14763, f. 167

Decorated initial-word panel and foliate scroll between the two text columns. Image taken from f. 167 of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. the Guide of the Perplexed by Maimonides in Samuel ibn ... more

Diagram from BL Add 14763, f. 190v

Diagram of the four main winds, in Aristotle's Meteorology. Image taken from f. 190v of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. the Guide of the Perplexed by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's Hebrew t... more

Division of the Red Sea from BL Add 14763, f. 135

Illustration of the explanation about the division of the Red Sea, at chapter 5 of Maimonides' commentary on tractate Avot of the Mishnah: 'They [the waters] were divided into many paths equal to the number of ... more

Initial words from BL Add 14763, f. 134

Initial words decorated with blue and red flourishing. Image taken from f. 134 of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. the Guide of the Perplexed by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's Hebrew transla... more

Division of the Red Sea from BL Add 14763, f. 135

Detail of a page: illustration of the explanation about the division of the Red Sea, at chapter 5 of Maimonides' commentary on tractate Avot of the Mishnah: 'They [the waters] were divided into many paths equal... more

Decorated panel and border from BL Add 14763, f. 163

Decorated panel around the initial words of Solomon ibn Gabirol's ~Keter malkhut~ (A Crown of Kingship) and partial border in the inner margin. Image taken from f. 163 of Miscellany of philosophical works inclu... more

Colophon from BL Add 14763, f. 160

Detail of a page: dcorated panel with foliate scroll at the closure of the text column framing the colophon of the scribe, Solomon, at the end of Samuel ibn Tibbon's ~Perush ha-milot ha-zarot~ (A glossary of fo... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 165v

Decorated panel around the closure of the text column, at the end of Solomon ibn Gabirol's ~Keter malkhut~ (A Crown of Kingship). Image taken from f. 165v of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. th... more

Decorated panels from BL Add 14763, f. 117

Panels decorated with foliate scrolls around the text columns, and partial border, at the end of the Guide of the Perplexed and the colophon of the scribe. Image taken from f. 117 of Miscellany of philosophical... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 160

Decorated panel with foliate scroll at the closure of the text column framing the colophon of the scribe, Solomon, at the end of Samuel ibn Tibbon's ~Perush ha-milot ha-zarot~ (A glossary of foreign terms). Ima... more

Decorated panel and border from BL Add 14763, f. 198v

Decorated panel around the initial words of the Hebrew translation of al-Farabi's ~Sefer hathalot ha-nimtzaot~ (The Book of Principles) and partial border in the inner margin. Image taken from f. 198v of Miscel... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 117v

Decorated panel and partial border, at the beginning of Maimonides' treatise on ~Pereq Heleq~ (the tenth chapter of the mishnaic tractate, Sanhedrin). Image taken from f. 117v of Miscellany of philosophical wor... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 198

Decorated panel surrounding the closure of the text column at the end of the Hebrew translation of Aristotle's Meteorology (by Samuel ibn Tibbon). Image taken from f. 198 of Miscellany of philosophical works in... more

Partial border from BL Add 14763, f. 201v

Partial border between the two text columns, at the Hebrew translation of al-Farabi's ~Sefer Hathalot ha-Nimtzaot~ (The Book of Principles). Image taken from f. 201v of Miscellany of philosophical works includi... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 76

Decorated panel framing the closure of the text column, at Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed. Image taken from f. 76 of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. the Guide of the Perplexed by Maimonide... more

Decorated panels from BL Add 14763, f. 118v

Panels decorated with foliate scrolls, at Maimonides' treatise on ~Pereq Heleq~ (the tenth chapter of the mishnaic tractate, Sanhedrin). Image taken from f. 118v of Miscellany of philosophical works including e... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 148

Decorated panel at the closure of a text column framing the end of Maimonides' ~Tehiyyat ha-metim~ (Epistle on the resurrection of the dead) and the colophon of the scribe. Image taken from f. 148 of Miscellany... more

Arcade from BL Harley 7586A, f. 63

Initial words framed by an arcade, at the beginning of the second part of the Guide. The arcade is decorated with geometrical, palmette and foliate motifs. Image taken from f. 63 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Mor... more

Penwork embellishments from BL Harley 7586A, f. 178

Penwork embellishments accompanying the initial words and spreading to the entire length of the leaf. Image taken from f. 178 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's tr... more

Penwork embellishments from BL Harley 7586A, f. 27

Penwork embellishments accompanying the initial words and spreading to the entire length of the leaf. Image taken from f. 27 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's tra... more

Inhabited panel from BL Harley 7586A, f. 5

Initial words accompanied by a panel inhabited by hybrids and a penwork embellishment, at the beginning of the Guide of the Perplexed. Image taken from f. 5 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimo... more

Decorated letter from BL Harley 7586A, f. 2

Hebrew letter ~shin~ decorated with foliate motifs, which served as a book plate of the patron Shabbetai ben Mattatya of Rome (see Narkiss, 1984). Beneath, there are three acquisition notes in Hebrew from 1340,... more

Arcade from BL Harley 7586A, f. 63

Detail of initial words framed by an arcade, at the beginning of the second part of the Guide. The arcade is decorated with geometrical, palmette and foliate motifs. Image taken from f. 63 of Guide of the Perpl... more

Inhabited panel from BL Harley 7586A, f. 5v

Panel inhabited by a hybrid, accompanying the initial words of a section. Image taken from f. 5v of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's translation (ff. 3-169v); ~Per... more

Inhabited panel from BL Harley 7586A, f. 7v

Panel inhabited by a hybrid, accompanying the initial words of a section. Image taken from f. 7v of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's translation (ff. 3-169v); ~Per... more

Arcade from BL Harley 7586A, f. 110

Initial words framed by an arcade, at the beginning of the third part of the Guide. The arcade is decorated with geometrical, palmette and foliate motifs. Image taken from f. 110 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Mor... more

Penwork embellishments from BL Harley 7586A, ff. 26v-27

Penwork embellishments spreading to the entire length of the leaves and inhabited by hybrids, at the beginning of various chapters. Image taken from ff. 26v-27 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Ma... more