A digitized copy of the Mishneh Torah

The Bodleian Library has digitized a manuscript of Moses Maimonides‘s authorised work Mishneh Torah which had been written 1168 C.E. to 1178 C.E.

Containing 14 books with almost 1,000 chapters, Maimonides drew on the Mishnah, Tosefta, Midrash and Talmud. Considered one of the greatest works on Jewish theological studies meaning the Mishneh Torah is still studied today.

The manuscript can be seen here.

Another digitized manuscript from the British Library can be read here.

Maimonides other great work is the Guide for the Perplexed, a treatise using Jewish tradition (based on the Talmud etc) and rational philosophy.

This image is a 14th century illumination of the work, while the original was written around 1186 C.E to 1190 C.E. A popular translation done in 1903 is available for download here.

Recommended reading
Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization’s Greatest Minds Joel L. Kraemer. Via Google Books.

Hebrew Scholarship and the Medieval World edited by Nicholas de Lange. Via Google Books.

Hebrew Manuscripts of the Middle Ages by Colette Sirat. Via Google Books.

Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry: From the Golden Age of Spain to Modern Times edited by Zion Zohar. Via Google Books.

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An update to an interpretive embroidery

Late last year I posted an embroidery I did based on an extant textile in the Museum of Fine Arts. The post can be read here.

The Kingdom of Lochac has an embroidery Guild called the Worshipful Company of Broderers. They have Guild competition that are judged at Kingdom events. The most recent event was goldwork. I entered my embroidery and won. I put together my documentation on the extant and reproduction and it is available for download in pdf format.

WCoBgoldworkentry PDF

I had heard from the Museum of Fine Arts about the actual date of the extant textile!

Enjoy.

Coptic dancers?

This textile is Egyptian, 5th-6th century C.E. It is made of wool, tapestry woven but the background fabric of linen has been removed. Two of the figures look like dancers.

Unfortunately there is very little information on the textile on the Cooper Hewitt website. There is a very good high definition picture available though.

A new zigzag embroidery

This textile can be found in the Textile Museum of Canada, Accession number T88.0029. It is thought to have been made the 13th and 15th century C.E. of plain woven linen embroidered in blue or black silk. The textile is 33 cm long and 17.5 cm wide.

Unfortunately the embroidery on the far right of the textile has been destroyed, so is not easily charted. There is evidence of more of the zigzags, but little of anything else. I have charted up the design. It can be downloaded in pdf format. Let me know how it goes!

tmczigzag PDF

Sasanian dancers in silver

This silver ewer was made between the 6th-7th century C.E. in Iran, or Sasanian ruled Persia. Many ewers of this time period were pear shaped, and gilt with gold. The dancers on the ewer have symbolic meaning, dancing with cups and grapes, representing the cult of Dionysus, the Roman cult which spread over the Mediterranean and Middle East. The size of the ewer is 35.5 cm by 16.9 cm by 14 cm. The item is currently in the Freer and Sackler Museum, Accession number S1987.117.

This vase is also pear shaped silver with gilt gold. There are four dancers appearing on it, one with fruit and a falcon, another with a cup and a dog by her side, the third with a staff covered in vines or ivy. Repeated is the symbolism of the Dionysian cult, but also the symbolism of the cult of Anahita. The measurements are 15.24 cm (height) by 10.8 cm (diametre) by 5.4 cm (base). It is currently in the Los Angeles Museum of Art, Acession number AC1992.152.82.

This silver bowl, gilt with gold is decorated on the outside with three dancers and three musicians.
The animal on the base is a combination of boar and The Simurgh, which is tied back to the Zoroastrian belief of Verethragna. The bowl was sold by The Saleroom in 2015.

An early period child’s tunic from Egypt

This tunic was found in Akhmim, Egypt, and was dated to 500-700 C.E. The height is 48 cm shoulder to hem and the width is 59.5 cm wrist to wrist. The size alone means that it is more than likely a child’s tunic.

The fabric is either plain woven linen or cotton, resist dyed with indigo. The tunic itself is more tailored than other tunics worn at the same time in Egypt. There are side gores attached to the hem, as well as separate attached sleeves including an underarm gore-
which points to an influence from Syria. The neck opening is like other children’s tunics of the time- round neckline with a slit along one shoulder.

The tunic is currently in the V&A Museum, Accession number 1522-1899.