Initial A with the Battle of the Maccabees

Date: ca. 1360–70

Geography: Made in probably Bologna, Italy

Culture: Italian

Medium: Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment

Dimensions: 8 1/16 x 5 15/16 in. (20.4 x 15.1 cm)

Classification: Manuscripts and Illuminations

Credit Line: Gift of Bashford Dean, 1923

Accession Number: 23.21.4


Medieval Christians considered the Maccabees, who reestablished the Temple in Jerusalem for Jewish worship, as prototypes of the Christian Crusaders who fought to regain the holy city from Muslim control. This page illustrates a text from the Second Book of Maccabees, which would have been sung during worship in a monastery.