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Books for Devotion: Prayer Books in Latin, Greek, Ethiopian, and Hebrew

Prayer Books in Latin, Greek, Ethiopian, and Hebrew

Prayer Books

During the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, prayer books continued to be printed in the ancient languages of the church and synagogue: Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. One of the most unusual books in the exhibition is a Latin prayer book printed in 1583 in honor of the future Duke and Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian I (1573–1651). The book recreates a richly illuminated ninth-century manuscript (preserved today at the Schatzkammer in Munich) that was made for the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles the Bald (823–877). It includes two engraved reproductions of the original prayer book’s illuminated pages as well as a portrait of young prince Maximilian kneeling in prayer before a large crucifix, in direct imitation of the manuscript’s depiction of the medieval emperor.