MS M.638, fol. 35r

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Spoils of War, Saul Decapitated, Trophies, A Grisly Parade

Old Testament Miniatures with Latin, Persian, and Judeo-Persian inscriptions

Paris, France
ca. 1244–1254
390 x 300 mm

Purchased by J.P. Morgan (1867–1943) in 1916

MS M.638, fol. 35r
Page description: 

Spoils of War
Following the battle, the Philistines find Saul's body on Mount Gilboa and strip it of the armor. (1 Kings 31:8)

Saul Decapitated
Having collected the king's armor, the Philistines decapitate his corpse. (1 Kings 31:9)

The Philistines place Saul's armor—including his shield, sword, and crowned helmet—on the altar of their god, Ashtoreth. (1 Kings 31:10)

A Grisly Parade
The king's head, shown crowned, is shamefully affixed to a pike and paraded throughout the Philistine lands. (1 Kings 31:9–10)


Folio 35r (Latin)

Upper left: How the victorious Philistines strip the bodies of Saul and his sons. (I Samuel 31: 8)

Upper right: How the Philistines cut off Saul’s head. (I Samuel 31: 9)

Lower left: How the Philistines put Saul’s arms in the temple of Ashtaroth, their god. (I Samuel 31: 10)

Lower right: How Saul’s head is sent into the land of the Philistines round about. (I Samuel 31:9)

Folio 35r (Persian)

Upper left margin: When King Saul was slain, they stripped him.

Upper right margin: And they cut off King Saul’s head.

Lower left margin: The idolaters brought King Saul’s garment to the temple of idols and laid it before the idol.

Lower right margin: The idolaters placed King Saul’s head atop a spear and paraded it all over the kingdom.

Folio 35r (Judeo-Persian)


Content consultant: Richard Leson

Persian translated by Sussan Babaie

Judeo-Persian translated by Vera Basch Moreen

Latin translation by Eran Lupu

After the commentary volume accompanying the Fine Art Facsimile edition by Faksimile Verlag Luzern