greek manuscripts


Jewish Antiquities

Jean Fouquet (141?-80?) was the greatest French painter of the 15th century. His genius is reflected in his illustrations of Jewish Antiquities, which Fouquet created for Jacques d’Armagnac, the Duke of Nemours. Fouquet traveled to Italy as a young man, where he learned to paint with great precision of detail and to use aerial perspective, but he continued to draw upon his native Touraine for many aspects of his art, especially forms and color. In these illustrations, his depiction of the siege of Jericho evokes a city on the banks of the Loire, while his Temple of Jerusalem resembles an altered Cathedral of Tours. Jewish Antiquitieswas written by the first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (38?-100?) and recounts the history of the Jewish people from Creation to the outbreak of the Jewish revolt against the Romans in A.D. 66. Composed in Greek and translated into Latin, the book was read by the early Christians and remained popular with both Christians and Jews. This manuscript belonged to the French king Francis I (1494-1547), who confiscated it in 1523 from Charles III, the Duke of Bourbon (1490-1527).

Byzantine Museum of Ioannina:

Manuscript of the Gospels. Silver covered wooden binding (1575). Molyvdoskepastos-Ioannina. Monastery of Koimesis Theotokou.  

On 17th March 1565, Alexander Ales (also known as Alesius and Aless), theologian and reformer, died.

Alesius played an important role linking the Reformations of Scotland, then Germany, then England. He is believed to have been planning to translate Luther’s German Bible into Scots, but it’s more likely that he intended to use the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts which Luther himself had used.
These were dangerous times in Scotland, the reformation was just kicking off Patrick Hamilton, a friend of Ales was burnt at the stake for heresy, he himself was tried in his absence and also found guilty of heresy, by this time he had fled
it is said to have been the first Scot to meet Jean Calvin, Calvin and Ales were both refugees in Germany at the time. 

He also spent time in England he was occasionally referred to as Alexander Alesius, Scotus, Doctor Theologiae, Henry VIII had broke with the church of Rome, I found a short snippet on a page about Anne Boleyn, he was visiting the English court at Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn had an argument. He couldn’t hear what it was about but it was clear to him that the King was angry. 

Six weeks later the Queen lost her head! 

After a time teaching at Cambridge he ended up back in Germany where in Leipzig he passed the remainder of his days in peace and honour, and was twice elected Rector of the University there.

Vincenzo Cartari - The Scheme of the Universe according to the Greeks and Romans, “Imagini Delli Dei Degli Antichi”, 1674.

By ascending successively through the fiery Sphere of Hades, the Spheres of Water, Earth, and Air, and the Heavens of the Moon, the Plane of Mercury is reached. Above Mercury are the Planes of Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, the latter containing the Symbols of the Zodiacal Constellations. Above the Arch of the Heavens (Saturn) is the dwelling Place of the different Powers controlling the Universe. The supreme council of the Gods is composed of Twelve Deities, six Male and six Female, which correspond to the Positive and Negative Signs of the Zodiac. The six Gods are Jupiter, Vulcan, Apollo, Mars, Neptune, and Mercury; the six Goddesses are Juno, Ceres, Vesta, Minerva, Venus, and Diana. Jupiter rides his eagle as the Symbol of his Sovereignty over the World, and Juno is seated upon a peacock, the proper Symbol of her Haughtiness and Glory.

A note on the Church and science

Here’s a letter from a certain Catholic I love:

Believe it or not, I learned all about Copernicus in school, and not ONE WORD was said about his being a Catholic priest. Just found that out this week. Turns out Nicholas Copernicus was asked by the Pope to fix the calendar, which the educated clergy knew was wrong due to incorrect astronomical calculations. Same pope who excommunicated Martin Luther. Copernicus was afraid of ridicule for his heliocentric theory, but his uncle, Bishop of Heilsberg, encouraged him. It was the Church that taught Copernicus- he went to five different universities, all founded by the Church, and excelled. One of his students presented the theory to another pope, Clement VII, who rewarded him with a rare Greek manuscript. Same pope who put his foot down with Henry VIII.

The article goes on to say:

“These were not flat-footed peasants staring at the ground to watch it move. Nor were they Lutherans, who disparaged philosophy and said that Scripture alone, in its most obvious sense, teaches men all they need to know….”

“Ridicule? What deserves ridicule is the idea the Church was ever afraid of learning. She invented the universities, preserved the works of the great pagans, and built schools in every diocese, many providing instruction gratis for the poor. She inspired and commissioned the greatest artists the world has known- Michelangelo was among thousands. Her monks turned northern Europe into a garden of grain and fruit, making agricultural, medical, architectural, and mechanical innovations for more than a millennium. Her main purpose was to lead men to God, not to teach them farming, arts, and letters, statesmanship, and astronomy, but she could hardly have done more if she had been established solely for those purposes; and no institution in history has done more.”

Lord, I’m Glad Somebody Finally Drew A Portrait of What Hypatia of Alexandria Looked Like.....A Black Woman

A post about Hypatia was one of the first posts on my wordpress blog when I started out on wordpress in January of 2015. I was frustrated cause I din’t see any artist drawings of her, only drawings of a Greek Woman European scholars have presented to the public as Hypatia. However, I discovered the drawing in the post about Hypathia when I discovered this book(pictured) below by Indian Mathemetician, Prof. C.K. Raju:

A description of the book is as follows: 

Euclid is celebrated as the father of geometry, and author of the Elements, a book once revered like the Bible, but now a school text. Strangely, Greek manuscripts do not mention Euclid, but speak anonymously of the “author of the Elements”. Did Euclid exist? Was the real author of the Elements a woman, Hypatia? Was she black? The mystery geometry of black Egypt aimed to arouse the soul, and prove equity, as in Plato’s story of Socrates and the slave boy. Early Christians had similar beliefs about the soul, but the church changed Christian doctrine to enable its priests to rule. When pagans resisted, the church retaliated violently: it smashed their temples, burnt their libraries, cursed the early beliefs about the soul, and banned philosophy. This plunged Christendom into its Dark Age, but catalysed the Islamic Golden Age. The contrast fuelled envy, and Christian priests incited the Crusades, hoping to grab Muslim wealth—but the Crusades failed beyond Spain. To convert Muslims, who accepted reason, the church now sought mathematics, connecting it to Christian doctrine by changing both. That led to a subtle religious bias in mathematics, and to its racist history. This book is for the layperson concerned that both biases are still being thrust upon schoolchildren today.

It looks like it may be an interesting book. I may order a cheap copy and check it out.

And we need to  fix this meme:

Read the TRUE story of Hypatia here.

If you’ve been following the Greek financial crisis, you’ve certainly seen that old cliché “it’s all Greek to me” in the headlines. Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer says Shakespeare probably popularized the phrase, but he didn’t actually come up with it. Its true origin is a bit of a mystery, though Zimmer says there’s a pretty good guess:

Back in the days before the printing press, medieval monks would copy old Latin manuscripts to preserve them, but the Greek alphabet threw them for a loop.

“And so if they were copying a Latin manuscript, and they came across a Greek quotation in a manuscript, they might have trouble actually trying to copy that part,” Zimmer says. “And so as a kind of a cop-out, they might just write in Latin, Graecum est, non legitur, which means, ‘This is Greek. It cannot be read.’ ”

Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

Image: Greek flags fly beside those of the European Union in Athens. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Pythagorean Theory of Colour and Music.

Antique diagram showing that the root of all Harmony is to be found in the positions of the Planets between the Earth and Sphere of fixed Stars.