Illustration from the Ripoll Bible (Farfa Bible).
Folio 82r register 2, Pharaoh's army crossing the Sea of Reeds



The Ripoll Bible, Catalan, 11th century (Vatican Library, cod. lat. 5729)
Source: Vatican Library, cod. lat. 5729



Referenced on pp129-130, Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle.
322A-M Farfa Bible, Catalonia, 11th century
(Vatican Library, Cod. Lat. 5729, Rome, Italy)

A - Pharaoh's Guard, f.6v; B - Defeat of the Amalekites, f.94v; C-D - Pharaoh's army, f.82; E - Army of Nebuchadnezzar, f.227; F - Holofernes, f.327; G-K [L] - Battle of Bethhoron, f.342; L-M - Battle against Nicanor [Ruler & guards], f.235 [352]. The Farfa Bible, though in much the same style as the Roda Bible, is stylistically freer and includes more obvious references to Muslim or specifically North African costume. It may, in fact, be a slightly later manuscript, the clearer Islamic elements resulting from the Murābiṭ invasion of al-Andalus in the late 11th century. It is worth noting that all 'wicked' figures are dressed to some degree in the more obviously Islamic costume. Pharaoh's guard (A) has his sword slung in a manner not unlike that of southern France, while the defeated Amalekites (B) and Holofernes, captain of the army of Assur, are European in their equipment to the extent of even having unlaced mail ventails. Only Holofernes' mace-like weapon sets him apart. His slightly forward-angled conical helmet is a bit of an enigma, further suggesting a late 11th or even early 12th century date for the manuscript. On the other hand the Roda Bible could indicate that this form originated in the Mediterranean area, in Spain, Provence, Italy or even al-Andalus. Elsewhere in the Farfa Bible turbaned figures are associated with men wearing very tall hats, helmets or headcloths (E and H). These may be garbled versions of the face-covering fashions of the original Saharan Murābiṭîn.


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