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Lenka Panušková

Die Velislav-Bibel in neuem Licht

The objective of this article is to look at several specific motifs and through their analysis contribute to furthering knowledge about the Velislav Bible. The study focuses on the figure of the Creator (folio 1r), portrayed as the Architect of the world, holding compasses in his right hand and scales in his left. The earliest surviving application of this motif was in the Anglo-Saxon Eadwi Gospel Book of 1020. In the case of medieval England, and from the start of the 13th century also France, this was a relatively frequent theme, the use of which spread in various types of manuscripts, but was mainly connected with the Biblical account of the Creation. It can thus be assumed - and not just on the basis of a stylistic analysis - that the Velislav Bible may have originated on the basis of one or perhaps two model sources of English origin dating from sometime around the 12th century. The article also makes a note of literature on the textual edition of the codex, which has not yet been mentioned in the Czech context, and which the author was informed about by Hana Hlaváčková. Alongside the scenes illustrating the opening of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis (Gn 1, 1-3) the article tries to offer an accurate interpretation of the scene of Abraham's meeting with Melchisedech (Gn 14, 17-18; fol. 15v). It also points out the possibility of the confusion of the twenty-fifth folio with the twenty-sixth, which depicts the story of Isaac's betrothal and life by Abimelek and lists Abraham's descendents, and which strays chronologically from the Biblical text, something that does not occur in either of the Pamplon bibles. We may therefore still ask whether the folios were really confused or if this "mistake" only occurred in the model source of the Velislav Bible.

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