The training of elephants from court amusements and ceremonies.

Scenes of royal life were a popular subject for depiction in parabaik folding books at the Burmese court of Mandalay during the late nineteenth century. These openings show the training of hunting elephants and other mounted exercises.

A Sense of Identity Courts and courtiers Animals Elephants Manners and customs Hunting


Illuminated folio from The Canons of St. Basil.

This folio from a vellum codex contains the Coptic version in the Sahidic dialect of a collection of rules relating to church discipline ascribed to St Basil. Basil the Great (born c.300), bishop of Caesarea, was an important early theologian as well as one of the fathers of comm

A Sense of Identity Basil, Saint, Bishop of Caesarea, approximately 329-379 Religion Christianity Monasticism and religious orders Illumination of books and manuscripts


Romans 11:24 - 32 and Philippians 4:14 - Colossians 1:2 from the Letters of St. Paul.

The Chester Beatty papyrus codex of the Pauline Epistles is the earliest book of Paul’s letters in existence. The original manuscript would have consisted of 100-104 leaves, of which 86 survive, split between the Chester Beatty and the University of Michigan. The codex was formed

A Sense of Identity Saint, Paul Bible Bible. Epistles of Paul Bible. Romans Bible. Philippians Bible. Colossians Sacred books Religion Christianity


Scenes from a Noh play.

This painted scroll of Scenes from a Noh Play (Manzai no Tsutsumi emaki) dates to the Edo period and was created during the middle of the seventeenth century. Noh is a fourteenth-century form of theatre originally patronised by Japan’s samurai warrior class. It became a court en

A Sense of Identity Arts Theatre Stage Drama Japanese drama Nō plays


Illuminated opening from a Qur'an.

This Qur'an is one of the great treasures of the Chester Beatty Library. It is important on a number of counts, but especially as it is a rare example of the work of Ibn al-Bawwab (d. 1022), one of three great medieval masters of Islamic calligraphy. Ibn al-Bawwab is espe

A Sense of Identity Qur'an Islamic calligraphy Sacred books Religion Islam


Illuminated heading for Chapter 32 from a Qur'an.

Usually, an illuminated heading marks the beginning of each of the 114 chapters of the Qur'an. This one marks the start of chapter 32, which bears the title al-Sajda (The Prostration) and which deals with the mysteries of Creation, Time and the Final End.

A Sense of Identity Qur'an Creation (Islam) Islamic cosmology Sacred books Religion Islam Illumination of books and manuscripts