These panels are from a casket that illustrated Joshua’s conquest of the Promised Land and carry paraphrasings of texts from the Book of Joshua. The first narrative panel, designed to fit a lock plate, shows the capture of the city of Ai and is inscribed, “And Joshua stretched out his hand toward the city and they rose up quickly and they slew all” (Joshua 8:18–19). The second panel shows the captive king of Ai, first bent in submission before Joshua and then, at the far right, hanged on a forked stake. The inscription reads, “And they brought the King of Ai to Joshua and they hanged him” (8:23, 29). The third panel, showing emissaries from the Gibeonites approaching Joshua, has the inscription, “The Gibeonites displaying their torn clothes” (9:13). Joshua’s story was often invoked in the middle Byzantine period, when Byzantines identified themselves with God’s chosen people, likening their own military victories and defeats to those of the ancient Hebrews.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Title:Plaque with Scenes from the Story of Joshua
Geography:Made in Constantinople
Medium:Ivory, traces of polychromy, gilding; bone (border strips)
Dimensions:a: 2 1/2 x 3 9/16 x 1/4 in. (6.3 x 9 x 0.6 cm) b: 1 1/16 x 3 9/16 x 1/16 in. (2.7 x 9.1 x 0.2 cm) c: 3 5/8 x 1 x 1/16 in. (9.2 x 2.6 x 0.2 cm)
Credit Line:Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Inscription: [on the frame at upper left, above Joshua’s head]: IHCOYC (Joshua); [at upper right]: H ΓABAONHTE EΠH AΦIKNYMENOC TA HMATHA AYTωN ΔHPOΓOTA (The Gibeonites Displaying Their Torn Clothes [adapted from Joshua 9:13])
[ Georges B. Brauer, Paris (sold 1912)]; J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (1912–1913); Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913–1917)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Glory of Byzantium," March 11–July 6, 1997.
Nye, Phila Calder. "The Oblong Caskets of the Byzantine Period." American Journal of Archaeology 23, no. 4 (October–December 1919). pp. 405–6, 412, fig. 3.
Breck, Joseph. "Pre-Gothic Ivories in the Pierpont Morgan Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 15, no. 1 (January 1920). p. 14.
Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1925. pp. 46–47.
Dalton, O. M. East Christian Art: A Survey of the Monuments. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925. p. 214.
Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. pp. 46–47.
Goldschmidt, Adolph, and Kurt Weitzmann. Die Byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.-XIII. Jahrhunderts. Vol. 1. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1930. no. 3, pp. 13, 15–16, 24, fig. 3, pl. I.
Miner, Dorothy, ed. Early Christian and Byzantine Art: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 1947. p. 42.
Weitzmann, Kurt. The Joshua Roll: A Work of the Macedonian Renaissance. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1948. p. 35.
Schapiro, Meyer. "The Place of the Joshua roll in Byzantine history." Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 6th ser., 35 (March 1949). p. 173.
Ippel, Albert. "Die Josuarolle: Bestand, Gestalt und Zeit." Bonner Jahrbücher 158 (1958). pp. 153–54, pl. 44, fig. 1.
Beckwith, John. The Veroli Casket. Museum Monograph, Vol. 18. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1962. pp. 3, 5, fig. 4c.
Byzantine Art, a[n] European Art. Catalogue of the Ninth Exhibition of the Council of Europe. Athens: Zappeion Exhibition Hall, 1964. p. 152.
Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 43, p. 51.
Connor, Carolyn L. "New Perspectives on Byzantine Ivories." Gesta 30, no. 2 (1991). pp. 100–103, fig. 1–3.
Speck, Paul. "Die Rosettenkästchen: Originalarbeiten oder Versuche einer Verwendung von vorhandenem Material?." Byzantinische Zeitschrift 86–87 (1993–94). pp. 82–85.
Cutler, Anthony. The Hand of the Master: Craftsmanship, Ivory, and Society in Byzantium (9th–11th centuries). Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994. pp. 84, 147–49.
Rodley, Lyn. Byzantine Art and Architecture: An Introduction. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994. p. 175.
Kresten, Otto. "Giosuè, Rotulo di." In Enciclopedia dell'arte medievale. Vol. 6. Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1995. p. 645.
Evans, Helen C., and William D. Wixom, ed. The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843–1261. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 152c, pp. 44, 137, 153, 222, 228–29, 465.
Connor, Carolyn L. The Color of Ivory: Polychromy on Byzantine Ivories. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998. pp. 10–11, pl. II–VI.
Cutler, Anthony. "Mistaken Antiquity: Thoughts on Some Recent Commentary on the Rosette Caskets." In Aetos: Studies in Honour of Cyril Mango, edited by Ihor Ševčenko, and Irmgard Hutter. Stuttgart and Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1998. pp. 46–54.
Evans, Helen C., Melanie Holcomb, and Robert Hallman. "The Arts of Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 58, no. 4 (Spring 2001). p. 49.
Kresten, Otto. Il rotolo di Giosuè (BAV. Pal. gr. 431) e gli ottateuchi miniati bizantini: Inaugurazione del corso biennale, Anni Accademici 2008-2010, Città del Vaticano. Vatican City: Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia, Diplomatica e Archivistica, 2010. p. 34 n. 45.
Lowden, John. "Illustrated Octateuch Manuscripts: A Byzantine Phenomenon." In The Old Testament in Byzantium, edited by Robert Nelson, and Paul Magdalino. Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Symposia and Colloquia. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2010. pp. 132–33.
Williamson, Paul. Medieval Ivory Carvings: Early Christian to Romanesque. London: V & A Publications, 2010. p. 75.
Wander, Steven H. The Joshua Roll. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2012. pp. 23–24, 57, 59–60, 64–65, fig. 10.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.
The Museum's collection of medieval and Byzantine art is among the most comprehensive in the world, encompassing the art of the Mediterranean and Europe from the fall of Rome to the beginning of the Renaissance.