Mark S. Weiner

Posts Tagged ‘Aragon’

The Internationalism of Particularism

In Books and libraries, Europe, Spain on August 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Yesterday, I began to discuss an illuminated medieval manuscript in the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Vidal Mayor of thirteenth-century Aragon. Today, I want to share a few thoughts about why the manuscript is so interesting.

The Getty’s copy of the Vidal Mayor is in fact not the original Latin work of about 1247 but rather a translation into Navarro-Aragonese created in about 1290-1310 by the scribe Michael Lupi de Çandiu. This is a gorgeous manuscript, and I can’t resist including another one of its decorated initials here:

From Vidal Mayor

That’s James I, King of Aragon, supervising a law court, under the arch of a large N. The letter opens a manuscript page discussing trial practice, at the beginning of a section of the Vidal Mayor about legal procedure.

One of the many things I love about this manuscript is its international flavor. I know that’s a strange thing to say.

After all, we’re talking about a manuscript that most people would consider about as cosmopolitan as the manual of Supreme Court trial practice of Wisconsin. It’s a text that was translated into a language that few can read today. And it was created in a kingdom whose name most people confuse with an awesome character from Peter Jackson’s film of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (that would be Aragorn, son of Arathorn). Read the rest of this entry »