Book of Dynasties

Vitr. 21-23] (28.i.11/28.i.10/28.i.12) - Real Biblioteca del Monasterio (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)

Alternate Titles:

Historia genealógica y heráldica de los emperadores, reyes y nobles de europa

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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Historia genealógica y heráldica de los emperadores, reyes y nobles de europa

Type
Extent / Format

386 pages (Vol. I)
436 pages (Vol. II)
404 pages (Vol. III) / N/A

Origin
Date
1547-1548
Style
Genre
Language
Illustrations

227 miniatures

Short description

The three volumes of the Historia genealógica y heráldica de los emperadores, reyes y nobles de Europa are a true treasure of heraldry and history of Europe’s ruling dynasties. Originating in the middle of the 16th century and stored today in the famous library of El Escorial, the manuscript is dedicated to King Philipp II. In three volumes with rich and artistic furnishings, the lineage and origin of various powers is gone into, as well as their possessions and in particular their heraldry. In the exuberant splendor of the Renaissance, the numerous miniature pages accompanying the informative and clear pages of text are richly adorned. A truly wonderful glimpse into the history of the powers of Europe!

Facsimile editions available

Description

Book of Dynasties

The three volumes of the Historia genealógica y heráldica de los emperadores, reyes y nobles de Europa are a true treasure of heraldry and history of Europe’s ruling dynasties. Originating in the middle of the 16th century and stored today in the famous library of El Escorial, the manuscript is dedicated to King Philipp II. In three volumes with rich and artistic furnishings, the lineage and origin of various powers is gone into, as well as their possessions and in particular their heraldry. In the exuberant splendor of the Renaissance, the numerous miniature pages accompanying the informative and clear pages of text are richly adorned. A truly wonderful glimpse into the history of the powers of Europe!

A Historical Work from Royal Property

In the famous monastic library of El Escorial, which was built by Philipp II, who dedicated it to Saint Lawrence, the three volumes of the splendid work are stored today. Impressive in both format as well as scope, the manuscript contains exciting historical records in Latin and German. The work is dated 1547-48 and is dedicated to Philipp II.

The Origins of Power

The first volume with the title Historia originis et succesionis regnorum et imperiorum a Noe ad Carolum V presents 227 impressive miniatures on a total of 386 pages. With a focus on Spain, various rulers and realms are presented. The rule of Emperor Charles V is deduced through a historical process that – as the title indicates – begins already with Noah. The volume collects a historical summary of various rulers and powers in Christian Europe, e.g. the Holy Roman Emperors up to Ferdinand I of Austria.

The Most Powerful Kingdoms

The second volume of the series has the title Historia originis et nobilitatis Hispaniae et Germaniae and collects 137 miniatures on 436 pages. In terms of content, this volume concerns itself with the origin, lineage, and line of succession on the basis of topography. In doing so, various dynasties and their possessions were taken as a starting point, rulers of various lesser and greater powers were enumerated, sometimes going back to mythological origins. Naturally, the Kingdom of Spain is at the beginning with its expansion across southern Europe and even to South America**.

Splendid Knight with Historic Coats of Arms

The third volume of the manuscript with the title Historia nobilitates et torneamentorum comprises 404 pages with 31 miniatures. This codex is concerned with the theme of the nobility and is thereby bound with moral and political rules, but also the origin of heraldic devices is presented. Additionally, the volume concerns itself with the exciting tradition of the knight tournament, e.g. the aspects of the heraldry-adorned armor of the knights.

Portraits of Great Rulers

The high-quality miniatures in all three volumes present gorgeous portraits – in groups at times, individually at others – countless coats of arms, and additional heraldic devices and thematically appropriate scenes. Thus one finds a representation of a tournament on a double-page: a throng of armored knights on splendid steeds surrounded by aristocratic onlookers. The miniature gives a wonderfully vivid, bright picture of courtly life. The three volumes of the manuscript – each on its own and all three together – present a marvelous glimpse into the world and history of the European dynasties up to the mid-16th century!

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