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  (XI) Obj. ID: 26156 Vienna Astronomical Epistle,, North Africa, 17th-18th century. // Unknown edit  
Category: Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts


2 Name/Title Vienna Astronomical Epistle | Unknown
3a Object Epistle (ras'alah) on astronomy based on al-Maqrizi
3b Object Detail
4a Artist/ Maker Unknown (Unknown)
5 Date 17th-18th century
5a Activity Dates
5b Reconstruction Dates
6 Period Unknown
6a Period Detail
7 Origin North Africa
| ?
8 Community Unknown |
9 Collection Austria | Vienna | Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB)
| Cod.hebr.213 (Schwartz, none)
10 Location Austria | Wien (Bundesland) | Wien (Vienna) | Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB)
|
11 Site Unknown
12 School/Style Unknown|
13 Iconographical Subject Unknown |
14 Category
17 Photographer Unknown
18 Photograph Date
19 Negative/ Photo. No.
20 Remarks
20 Description

Link to ONB's Database 


More Details...
 
21 Ornamentation
22 Custom
23 Contents
This astronomical epistle is composed of sections taken from the comprehensive book Mawa'iz wa al-'i'tibar bi dhikr al-khtitat wa al-'athar, known as al-khtitat, about the planning of Cairo and its monuments by al-Maqrizi (1364 – 1442). It is writhen in Arabic in Hebrew characters (Judeo-Arabic script). The text opens with the Basmalla blessing – "In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate" (Bism allah al-Rrahman al-Rrahim) written within a decorated panel at the opening page of the Epistle.

First section (fol. 3v – ???) relating to the stars and the 12 signs, the relation between the stars and the seasons of the year.

Second section (fol. ??? – 12v) relating to the shape of the earth and its geographical areas and measurements of the earth ((מאמר צורת הארץ ומצב האזורים הגאוגראפיים בה.

Third section (fol.13-24v) relating to the days and nights according to the four seasons. Includes hourly calculations of the length of the day and the night. The title reads "All about the knowledge of the night and day in their order according to the four seasons" (translation to Hebrew: הכל על ידיעת הלילה והיום בסדר לפי ארבעת העונות)

Fourth section (fol. 25-34) relating to the 7 major and 7 minor holidays of the Coptics in Egypt. The title reads "All in the mention of the Christian Coptic holidays in the land of Egypt" (הכל באזכרת חגי הקופטים הנוצריים בארץ מצרים)
24 Codicology

 

Material

Paper, 36 leaves (text begins on fol. 3v). No fly leaves.

 

Measurements

Full page: (202-205) x (132-134)mm

Text space: 145x75mm

 

 

Scribes

Single scribe

 

Script

Hebrew and Arabic in Hebrew characters of semi-cursive oriental script in black ink in one text column.

 

Number of lines

Main text written

21 lines in 1 columns

 

 

Ruling

Ruling in stylus, 21 horizontal lines (e.g. fols. 1-3, 34-36)

 

Pricking

No pricking noticeable except for one hole in the top margin (which does not correspond to any of the ruling), which held the bifolia gatherings of the quires in place probably on a board for writing purposes before sewing them together.

 

Quires

6 quires of 8 leaves each, except for I2+1 (fol. 3 is a single leaf), II6+1 (fol. 10 is a single leaf) and VI2

 

Catchwords

Catchwords for the page, written horizontally on the lower left-hand corner below the frame of every verso.

 

Hebrew numeration

None.

 

Blank leaves

Fols. 1-3r (contain later frames with Arabic writing inside) and 34v-36v are blank.

24a Scribes
24b Script
24c Number of Lines
24d Ruling
24e Pricking
24f Quires
24g Catchwords
24h Hebrew Numeration
24i Blank Leaves

25 Material/Technique
Paper
25a Material Structure
25b Material Decoration
25c Material Bonding
25d Material Inscription
25e Material Additions
25f Material Cloth
25g Material Lining
25h Tesserae Arrangement
25i Density
25j Colors
25k Construction Material

26 Measurements
26a Height
26b Length
26c Width
26d Depth
26e Circumference
26f Thickness
26g Diameter
26h Weight
26i Axis
26j Panel Measurements
27 Direction/Location
27a Façade (main)
27b Entrances
27c Location of Torah Ark
27d Location of Apse
27e Location of Niche
27f Location of Reader's Desk
27g Location of Platform
27h Temp: Architecture Axis
27i< Arrangement of Seats
27j Location of Women's Section
27k Direction Prayer
27l Direction Toward Jerusalem

28 Coin
28a Coin Series
28b Coin Ruler
28c Coin Year
28d Denomination

29 Signature
30 Colophon
31 Scribal Notes
32 Watermark
33 Hallmark
33a Group
33b Subgroup
33c Hallmark Identification
33d Hallmark Group Classification
33e Hallmark Reference
34 Trade Mark
35 Binding

Early 20th century marbled blue-orange-red cardboards with brown leather spine and edges. Closes as an envelope from lower cover to front.  White paste down on lower cover.

 

36 Decoration Program
  1. Decorated initial-words pen work panel (fol. 3v) at the opening the first text page of the manuscript. The panel inscribed with the Basmalla written in dark green Hebrew characters emulating the Arabic script, framed by spared-ground acanthus scroll on green ground. The panel is surmounted by a foliate ansae shaped as an interlaced rounded gable.
  2. Rubricated initial-words to the opening of sections. Red dots at the end of sentences.
  3. Two green fillets framing each page of the text.

 

36 Summary and Remarks

The Arabic Vienna Astronomical Epistle is composed of sections taken from the comprehensive book Mawaiz wa al-'i'tibar bi dhikr al-khtitat wa al-'athar, known as al-khtitat, about the planning of Cairo and its monuments written by the well-known Egyptian historian Taqi al-Din Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibn 'Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad al-Maqrizi (born and died in Cairo 1364–1442), more commonly known as al-Maqrizi or Makrizi.

The Arabic text of the Vienna Epistle is written in Hebrew Oriental semi-cursive characters (Judeo-Arabic script). The manuscript was copied on paper in the 17th-18th century by a single scribe. The manuscript is simply decorated with a panel of the Basmalla framed by a spared-ground acanthus scroll on green ground. The Basmalla formula appears at the opening of written text, holy or secular, in particular in the Holy Quran, in each of the114 chapters (suras).  

Above our Basmalla panel is a foliate ansae shaped as an interlaced rounded gable. This type of decoration, which originated in the Roman tabula-ansae (i.e. the square panel with triangular "ear" on one or both sides framing dedication inscriptions, see Herzfeld, islamichen Epigraphik), is known from many Muslim manuscripts, and again mostly from the Qur'ans as a marginal foliate palmette-ansae decorating the sura headings, or as the palemtte-ansae attached to the outer side of decorated full-page panels placed in pairs of two facing frontispieces and finispieces in the Qur'an. In some cases the palmette-ansae also surmounts the panel as, for example, in the Qur'an copied in Maghribi script in 1729-1730 inMorocco for a prince of the family of the Sharifi Sultans (Cairo, National Library, 25). In the two facing carpet-pages (fols. 261v-262) of this magnificent Qur'an the central panel is decorated above on each side by a shaped ansea of interlaced motifs similar to the gabled-ansea decorating the panel in our manuscript. Despite the fact that our manuscript is a more simple design and is executed only in green pen-work, the similarity in the design of the decoration between the two manuscripts is clear.

Another undecorated Arabic manuscript Hebrew characters housed in the Viennacollection is Cod. Hebr. 212, which is written in a similar script to our Vienna Astronomical Epistle although further research needs to determine if these were indeed copied by the same scribe. Both manuscripts were described in Steinschneider's Catalogue … Bezian, numbers 54 and 55.

 

38 Suggested Reconstruction
39 History/Provenance
On the inner side of the front cover is an inscription in pencil in English: "Astronomy 7" and an inscription in pen: "A … work about Astronomy (the rest was erased by a pen line through the words). Another inscription near it: "An astronomical work in Arabic Hebrew characters".
Fol. 1: An old signature in pencil: 7, 9.
Fol. 1: titles of the work in Arabic
According to Mϋller, the manuscript was bought on 24.2.1872 from Hirsch Leipshitz for 7 Florins.
40 Main Surveys & Excavations
41 Condition
Good
42 Biography
43 Bibliography
Herzfeld, islamichen Epigraphik
Herzfeld, "Die Tabula Ansata in der islamichen Epigraphik und Ornamentik", Der Islam 6 (1915), pp. 189-199.

M. Lings, Y. H. Safadi, The Qur'an: A British Library Exhibition, 1976, plate VIII, page 40.

F. Mϋller, Die hebräischen Handschriften der k.k. Hofbibliothek, (Addendum to the printed Catalogue of Krafft and Goldenthal), fol. 43v

M. Steinschneider, Catalogue … Bezian
43a Short Name
43b Full Name
43c Volume
43d Page

44 Type
45 Temp: Batch Number
|
46 Temp: Aleph Number
47 Temp: Sys. Number / Doc. Name
26156
48 Temp: Addenda
OVRPO=ntl%3Atrue%2Cntl_localname%3Atrue%2Csubject%3A%2Csubject_detail%3A%2Cobject%3Atrue%2Cobject_detail%3A%2Cmaker_profession%3Atrue%2Cmaker_name%3Atrue%2Cmaker_detail%3Atrue%2Cdate%3Atrue%2Cperiod%3Atrue%2Cperiod_detail%3Atrue%2Cphotographer%3A%2Cphoto_date%3A%2Cphotographer_copyright%3A%2Corigin%3Atrue%2Corigin_detail%3Atrue%2Chistorical_origin%3Atrue%2Cschool%3Atrue%2Cschool_detail%3Atrue%2Ccommunity%3Atrue%2Ccommunity_detail%3Atrue%2Ccollection%3Atrue%2Ccollection_detail%3Atrue%2Ccopyright%3Atrue%2Csite%3Atrue%2Csite_detail%3Atrue%2Clocation%3Atrue%2Clocation_detail%3Atrue%2Cdescription%3A%2C&

Registrar
Function: Name: Date:
49 Documenter Karl-Georg Pfändtner Aliza Cohen-Mushlin 2003-2004 49a
50 Researcher Estherlee Kanon Yaffa Levy August, 2005 2009 50a
51 Architectural Drawings 51a
52 Computer Reconstruction 52a
53 Section Head Michal Sternthal 2009 53a
54 Editor 54a
55 Donor 55a

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Object's images (1 image(s))

     

(XXII) ID: 261244 Vienna Astronomical Epistle, , North Africa, 17th-18th century edit
Category: Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
ID: 261244 Vienna Astronomical Epistle, , North Africa, 17th-18th century edit  
Category: Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts

General Document


2 Name/Title Vienna Astronomical Epistle | Unknown
3a Object Epistle (ras'alah) on astronomy based on al-Maqrizi
3b Object Detail
4a Artist/ Maker Unknown (Unknown)
5 Date 17th-18th century
6 Period Unknown
7 Origin North Africa
| ?
8 Community Unknown |
9 Collection Austria | Vienna | Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB)
| Cod.hebr.213 (Schwartz, none)
10 Location Austria | Wien (Bundesland) | Wien (Vienna) | Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB)
|
11 Site Unknown
12 School/Style Unknown|
13 Iconographical Subject Unknown |
14 Category
17 Photographer Unknown
18 Photograph Date
19 Negative/ Photo. No.
19a Scan No. M001121
20 Description
21 Ornamentation
 
21 Ornamentation
22 Custom
23 Contents
24 Codicology
24a Scribes
24b Script
24c Number of Lines
24d Ruling
24e Pricking
24f Quires
24g Catchwords
24h Hebrew Numeration
24i Blank Leaves

25 Material/Technique
25a Material Structure
25b Material Decoration
25c Material Bonding
25d Material Inscription
25e Material Additions
25f Material Cloth
25g Material Lining
25h Tesserae Arrangement
25i Density
25j Colors

26 Measurements
26a Height
26b Length
26c Width
26d Depth
26e Circumference
26f Thickness
26g Diameter
26h Weight
26i Axis
26j Panel Measurements
27 Direction/Location
27a Façade (main)
27b Entrances
27c Location of Torah Ark
27d Location of Apse
27e Location of Niche
27f Location of Reader's Desk
27g Location of Platform
27h Temp: Architecture Axis
27i< Arrangement of Seats
27j Location of Women's Section
27k Direction Prayer
27l Direction Toward Jerusalem

28 Coin
28a Coin Series
28b Coin Ruler
28c Coin Year
28d Denomination

29 Signature
30 Colophon
31 Scribal Notes
32 Watermark
33 Hallmark
33a Group
33b Subgroup
33c Hallmark Identification
33d Hallmark Group Classification
33e Hallmark Reference
34 Trade Mark
35 Binding
36 Decoration Program
36 Summary and Remarks
38 Suggested Reconstruction
39 History/Provenance
40 Main Surveys & Excavations
41 Condition
42 Biography
43 Bibliography
43a Short Name
43b Full Name
43c Volume
43d Page

44 Type
45 Temp: Batch Number
|
46 Temp: Aleph Number
47 Temp: Sys. Number / Doc. Name
261244
48 Temp: Addenda

Registrar
Function: Name: Date:
49 Documenter 49a
50 Researcher 50a
51 Architectural Drawings 51a
52 Computer Reconstruction 52a
53 Section Head 53a
54 Editor 54a
55 Donor 55a



     

 

 

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