Leaf from the Morgan Picture Bible, Unknown, about 1250, French. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

A Medieval Picture Book and Its Judeo-Persian Lives: The "Shah Abbas Bible" in 17th-Century Safavid Iran


Museum Lecture Hall

In 1608, Pope Clement VIII sent a 13th-century picture bible to Shah Abbas the Great. Later, marginal text in Persian and Judeo-Persian was added. Sussan Babaie, Andrew W. Mellon Lecturer in the Arts of Iran and Islam at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, recounts the story of this "Shah Abbas Bible," a unique document of cross-cultural and interfaith exchanges in the Middle Ages.

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