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The Books of Kings, Old Testament, Byzantine, mid-11th century
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana MS. gr. 333

Folio 32r, David cuts off a piece of King Saul's cloak, as he sleeps.

Folio 36v.

Manuscript -
1) sec. XI
2) 1r-143v: Biblia. V.T. Samuelis I-II. Greco.    Biblia. V.T. Regum I-II. Greco.
Source: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

The illustrated Vatican Book of Kings (Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, is a unique manuscript, which contains the Old Testament text of the four books that in the Eastern Church are referred to as the Books of the Kings or Kingdoms and in the Latin West as the two Books of Samuel and the two Books of Kings. They follow directly after the Book of Ruth, which is the last book of the Octateuchs. The four books of Kings are strictly narrative. They tell the story of Israel from the time of the birth of the prophet Samuel until the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and the departure of the Israelites to their exile in Babylon.
    The manuscript does not have a colophon or other inscriptions to help determine the date of its production, however it has been given a date to approximately the middle of 11th century according to its stylistic, palaeographic and compositional evidence.
    From the first book of Samuel, which sets the stage with a theological assessment of kingship, it becomes evident that kingship is the focus of these texts. The stories cover the birth and feats of the prophet Samuel in connection with the events associated with the kings Saul and David and in the third book after David's death with briefly the story of king Solomon. In other words the major sections of the narrative have as their Focus the life of David, the prophet and king, and numerous events relating to his kingship until his death.
Source: "The Vatican Book of Kings (*Vat. gr. 333)" by Ioli Kalavrezou in A Companion to Byzantine Illustrated Manuscripts

Images at

See also the Byzantine Bone Casket with Warriors and Mythological Figures, 10th-11th Centuries. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 17.190.237
Other Byzantine Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
11th century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

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