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Jerusalem from BL Eg 1070, f. 5


Jerusalem from BL Eg 1070, f. 5



Full-page miniature of Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock Image taken from f. 5 of Book of Hours, Use of Paris ('The Hours of René d'Anjou'). Written in Latin, calendar and rubrics in French.

The Egerton Manuscript Collection is named after its founder, Sir Thomas Egerton (1540-1617), 1st Viscount Brackley, was a lawyer, statesman, and patron of the arts during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I of England. He served as Lord Keeper of the Great Seal and later as Lord Chancellor of England, holding high positions in the legal and political realms.

Sir Thomas Egerton acquired a substantial number of historical and literary manuscripts. In 1617, shortly before his death, Sir Thomas Egerton bequeathed his collection of manuscripts to the British Museum, which was the precursor to the British Library.

William of Tyre has always been considered one of the greatest medieval writers. An archbishop of Tyre, he grew up in Jerusalem at the height of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which had been established in 1099 after the First Crusade, and spent twenty years studying the liberal arts and canon law in the universities of Europe. in In 1165, King Amalric made him an ambassador to the Byzantine Empire. After Amalric's death, William became chancellor and archbishop of Tyre, two of the highest offices in the kingdom, and in 1179 he led the eastern delegation to the Third Council of the Lateran. William wrote an account of the Lateran Council and a history of the Islamic states from the time of Muhammad. Neither work survives. He is famous today as the author of a history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. William composed his chronicle in excellent Latin for his time, with numerous quotations from classical literature. The chronicle is sometimes given the title Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum ("History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea") or Historia Ierosolimitana ("History of Jerusalem"), or the Historia for short. It was translated into French soon after his death, and thereafter into numerous other languages. He is considered the greatest chronicler of the crusades, and one of the best authors of the Middle Ages.



1405 - 1410


British Library

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