Free Library of Philadelphia


Decorated initials, beginning the prologue and Paul's Second Epistle to the Corinthians

This Bible is a typical example of Bibles produced in Paris in the thirteenth century. The small, two-column format and impossibly small script as well as the use of thinner parchment made it possible to create portable Bibles. Prior to this point, the books of the Bible were more often grouped together and produced separately in large volumes. For example, the Gospels or the books of the Pentateuch would be copied as individual manuscripts. Paris Bibles, as these diminutive books are sometimes called, changed the way the books of the Bible were copied. This format continues to be used to this day in modern editions of the Bible.

The flourished penwork of the first initial P and the zoomorphic decoration of the second P represent typical types of minor initial decoration during this period.

Digital Scriptorium ShelfMark:

Rare Book Department