Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient Jewish religious manuscripts found in the Qumran Caves in the Judaean Desert near the Dead Sea. Scholarly consensus dates these scrolls from the last three centuries BCE and the first century CE; the texts have great historical and linguistic significance because they include the second-oldest known surviving manuscripts of works included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism. All of the Dead Sea Scrolls collection is under the ownership of the Government of the state of Israel, housed in the Shrine of the Book on the grounds of the Israel Museum. Many thousands of written fragments have been discovered in the Dead Sea area, they represent the remnants of larger manuscripts damaged by natural causes or through human interference, with the vast majority holding only small scraps of text. However, a small number of well-preserved intact manuscripts have survived – fewer than a dozen among those from the Qumran Caves.
Researchers have assembled a collection of 981 different manuscripts – discovered in 1946/47 and in 1956 – from 11 caves. The 11 Qumran Caves lie in the immediate vicinity of the Hellenistic-period Jewish settlement at Khirbet Qumran in the eastern Judaean Desert, in the West Bank; the caves are located about one mile west of the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, whence they derive their name. Scholarly consensus dates the Qumran Caves Scrolls from the last three centuries BCE and the first century CE. Bronze coins found at the same sites form a series beginning with John Hyrcanus and continuing until the period of the First Jewish–Roman War, supporting the radiocarbon and paleographic dating of the scrolls. In the larger sense, the Dead Sea Scrolls include manuscripts from additional Judaean Desert sites, dated as early as the 8th century BCE and as late as the 11th century CE; the texts have great historical and linguistic significance because they include the second-oldest known surviving manuscripts of works included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism.
Biblical texts older than the Dead Sea Scrolls have been discovered only in two silver scroll-shaped amulets containing portions of the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers, excavated in Jerusalem at Ketef Hinnom and dated c. 600 BCE. The third-oldest surviving known piece of the Torah, the En-Gedi Scroll, consists of a portion of Leviticus found in the Ein Gedi synagogue, burnt in the 6th century CE and analyzed in 2015. Research has dated it palaeographically to the 1st or 2nd century CE, using the C14 method to sometime between the 2nd and 4th centuries CE. Most of the texts use Hebrew, with some written in Aramaic, a few in Greek. Discoveries from the Judaean Desert add Arabic texts. Most of the texts are written on parchment, some on papyrus, one on copper. Archaeologists have long associated the scrolls with the ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, although some recent interpretations have challenged this connection and argue that priests in Jerusalem, or Zadokites, or other unknown Jewish groups wrote the scrolls.
Robert Eisenman vigorously posits his theory that the non-biblical "sectarian" scrolls must be viewed in the context of a wider first-century CE “Opposition Movement,” including Essenes, Sicarii, and/or Nazoreans, the early Judeo-Christian community of Jerusalem, the Ebionites, whose leader, the brother of Jesus, was acknowledged by the entire “Opposition Movement,” and, no other than the Scrolls' Teacher of Righteousness. He thus creates a strong link between the pre-Pauline Jewish Christian community. Owing to the poor condition of some of the scrolls, scholars have not identified all of their texts; the identified texts fall into three general groups: About 40% are copies of texts from the Hebrew Scriptures. Another 30% are texts from the Second Temple Period which were not canonized in the Hebrew Bible, like the Book of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, the Book of Tobit, the Wisdom of Sirach, Psalms 152–155, etc; the remainder are sectarian manuscripts of unknown documents that shed light on the rules and beliefs of a particular group or groups within greater Judaism, like the Community Rule, the War Scroll, the Pesher on Habakkuk, The Rule of the Blessing.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a series of twelve caves around the site known as Wadi Qumran near the Dead Sea in the West Bank between 1946 and 1956 by Bedouin shepherds and a team of archeologists. The practice of storing worn-out sacred manuscripts in earthenware vessels buried in the earth or within caves is related to the ancient Jewish custom of Genizah; the initial discovery by Bedouin shepherd Muhammed edh-Dhib, his cousin Jum'a Muhammed, Khalil Musa, took place between November 1946 and February 1947. The shepherds discovered seven scrolls housed in jars in a cave near what is now known as the Qumran site. John C. Trever reconstructed the story of the scrolls from several interviews with the Bedouin. Edh-Dhib's cousin noticed the caves, but edh-Dhib himself was the first to fall into one, he retrieved a handful of scrolls, which Trever identifies as the Isaiah Scroll, Habakkuk Commentary, the Community Rule, took them b
Demotic is the ancient Egyptian script derived from northern forms of hieratic used in the Nile Delta, the stage of the Egyptian language written in this script, following Late Egyptian and preceding Coptic. The term was first used by the Greek historian Herodotus to distinguish it from hieratic and hieroglyphic scripts. By convention, the word "Demotic" is capitalized; the Demotic script was referred to by the Egyptians as sš n šꜥ.t "document writing", which the second-century scholar Clement of Alexandria called ἐπιστολογραφική "letter-writing", while early Western scholars, notably Thomas Young referred to it as "Enchorial Egyptian". The script was used for more than a thousand years, during that time a number of developmental stages occurred, it is written and read from right to left, while earlier hieroglyphs could be written from top to bottom, left to right, or right to left. Parts of the demotic Greek Magical Papyri were written with a cypher script. Early Demotic developed in Lower Egypt during the part of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty found on steles from the Serapeum at Saqqara.
It is dated between 650 and 400 BCE, as most texts written in Early Demotic are dated to the Twenty-sixth Dynasty and the subsequent rule as a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire, known as the Twenty-seventh Dynasty. After the reunification of Egypt under Psamtik I, Demotic replaced Abnormal Hieratic in Upper Egypt during the reign of Amasis II, when it became the official administrative and legal script. During this period, Demotic was used only for administrative and commercial texts, while hieroglyphs and hieratic were reserved for religious texts and literature. Middle Demotic is the stage of writing used during the Ptolemaic Kingdom. From the 4th century BC onwards, Demotic held a higher status, as may be seen from its increasing use for literary and religious texts. By the end of the 3rd century BC, Koine Greek was more important, as it was the administrative language of the country. From the beginning of Roman rule of Egypt, Demotic was progressively less used in public life. There are, however, a number of literary texts written in Late Demotic from the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, though the quantity of all Demotic texts decreased towards the end of the second century.
In contrast to the way Latin eliminated minority languages in the western part of the Empire and the expansion of Koine Greek led to the extinction of Egyptian, it did not replace Demotic entirely. After that, Demotic was only used for a few ostraca, subscriptions to Greek texts, mummy labels, graffiti; the last dated example of the Demotic script is dated to December 11, 452 and consists of a graffito on the walls of the temple of Isis at Philae. Demotic is a development of the Late Egyptian language and shares much with the Coptic phase of the Egyptian language. In the earlier stages of Demotic, such as those texts written in the Early Demotic script, it represented the spoken idiom of the time. But, as it was used for only literary and religious purposes, the written language diverged more and more from the spoken form, leading to significant diglossia between the Late Demotic texts and the spoken language of the time, similar to the use of classical Middle Egyptian during the Ptolemaic Period.
The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799. It is inscribed with three scripts: the Greek alphabet and Egyptian hieroglyphs. There are 32 lines of Demotic, the middle of the three scripts on the stone; the Demotic was deciphered before the hieroglyphs, starting with the efforts of Antoine Isaac Silvestre de Sacy. Scholars were able to translate the hieroglyphs by comparing the Greek words, which could be translated, the hieroglyphs, in addition to their existing knowledge of Coptic. Egyptologists and papyrologists who specialize in the study of the Demotic stage of Egyptian script are known as Demotists; the table below shows some derivative similarities from hieroglyphs to Demotic to the surviving Coptic alphabet. Transliteration of Ancient Egyptian Tale of Setne Khamwas and Si-Osire Betrò, Maria Carmela. Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt. New York. Pp. 34–239. ISBN 978-0-7892-0232-1. Johnson, Janet H.. Thus Wrote'Onchsheshonqy: An Introductory Grammar of Demotic. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, No. 45.
Chicago: The Oriental Institute. Demotic and Abnormal Hieratic Texts List of all Demotic texts in Trismegistos Chicago Demotic Dictionary The American Society of Papyrologists Directory of Institutions and Scholars Involved in Demotic Studies Demotic Texts on the Internet Thus Wrote'Onchsheshonqy: An Introductory Grammar of Demotic by Janet H. Johnson Demotische Grammatik by Wilhelm Spiegelberg
Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term relief is from the Latin verb relevo. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is performed when a relief is cut in from a flat surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field, leaving the unsculpted parts raised; the technique involves considerable chiselling away of the background, a time-consuming exercise. On the other hand, a relief saves forming the rear of a subject, is less fragile and more securely fixed than a sculpture in the round one of a standing figure where the ankles are a potential weak point in stone. In other materials such as metal, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mâché the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting. There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the sculpted form from the field, for which the Italian and French terms are still sometimes used in English.
The full range includes high relief, where more than 50% of the depth is shown and there may be undercut areas, mid-relief, low-relief, shallow-relief or rilievo schiacciato, where the plane is only slightly lower than the sculpted elements. There is sunk relief, restricted to Ancient Egypt. However, the distinction between high relief and low relief is the clearest and most important, these two are the only terms used to discuss most work; the definition of these terms is somewhat variable, many works combine areas in more than one of them, sometimes sliding between them in a single figure. The opposite of relief sculpture is counter-relief, intaglio, or cavo-rilievo, where the form is cut into the field or background rather than rising from it. Hyphens may or may not be used in all these terms, though they are seen in "sunk relief" and are usual in "bas-relief" and "counter-relief". Works in the technique are described as "in relief", in monumental sculpture, the work itself is "a relief".
Reliefs are common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and a variety of smaller settings, a sequence of several panels or sections of relief may represent an extended narrative. Relief is more suitable for depicting complicated subjects with many figures and active poses, such as battles, than free-standing "sculpture in the round". Most ancient architectural reliefs were painted, which helped to define forms in low relief; the subject of reliefs is for convenient reference assumed in this article to be figures, but sculpture in relief depicts decorative geometrical or foliage patterns, as in the arabesques of Islamic art, may be of any subject. Rock reliefs are those carved into solid rock in the open air; this type is found in many cultures, in particular those of the Ancient Near East and Buddhist countries. A stele is a single standing stone; the distinction between high and low relief is somewhat subjective, the two are often combined in a single work. In particular, most "high reliefs" contain sections in low relief in the background.
From the Parthenon Frieze onwards, many single figures in large monumental sculpture have heads in high relief, but their lower legs are in low relief. The projecting figures created in this way work well in reliefs that are seen from below, reflect that the heads of figures are of more interest to both artist and viewer than the legs or feet; as unfinished examples from various periods show, raised reliefs, whether high or low, were "blocked out" by marking the outline of the figure and reducing the background areas to the new background level, work no doubt performed by apprentices. A low relief or bas-relief is a projecting image with a shallow overall depth, for example used on coins, on which all images are in low relief. In the lowest reliefs the relative depth of the elements shown is distorted, if seen from the side the image makes no sense, but from the front the small variations in depth register as a three-dimensional image. Other versions distort depth much less, it is a technique which requires less work, is therefore cheaper to produce, as less of the background needs to be removed in a carving, or less modelling is required.
In the art of Ancient Egypt, Assyrian palace reliefs, other ancient Near Eastern and Asian cultures, Meso-America, a consistent low relief was used for the whole composition. These images would be painted after carving, which helped define the forms; the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, now in Berlin, has low reliefs of large animals formed from moulded bricks, glazed in colour. Plaster, which made the technique far easier, was used in Egypt and the Near East from antiquity into Islamic times and Europe from at least the Renaissance, as well as elsewhere. However, it needs good co
Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names; the modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a large and powerful military. Most European nations copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and transfer to the reserve force. Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country, seeking asylum in another country. Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or outside the military, such as Siviilipalvelus in Finland, Zivildienst in Austria and Switzerland.
Several countries conscript male soldiers not only for armed forces, but for paramilitary agencies, which are dedicated to police-like domestic only service like Internal Troops, Border Guards or non-combat rescue duties like Civil defence troops – none of, considered alternative to the military conscription. As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers enlisted to meet the demand for troops; the ability to rely on such an arrangement, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities. Many states that have abolished conscription therefore still reserve the power to resume it during wartime or times of crisis. States involved in wars or interstate rivalries are most to implement conscription, whereas democracies are less than autocracies to implement conscription. Former British colonies are less to have conscription, as they are influenced by British anticonscription norms that can be traced back to the English Civil War.
Around the reign of Hammurabi, the Babylonian Empire used. Under that system those eligible were required to serve in the royal army in time of war. During times of peace they were instead required to provide labour for other activities of the state. In return for this service, people subject to it gained the right to hold land, it is possible that this right was not to hold land per se but specific land supplied by the state. Various forms of avoiding military service are recorded. While it was outlawed by the Code of Hammurabi, the hiring of substitutes appears to have been practiced both before and after the creation of the code. Records show that Ilkum commitments could become traded. In other places, people left their towns to avoid their Ilkum service. Another option was to sell Ilkum lands and the commitments along with them. With the exception of a few exempted classes, this was forbidden by the Code of Hammurabi. In medieval Scandinavia the leiðangr, leding, lichting, expeditio or sometimes leþing, was a levy of free farmers conscripted into coastal fleets for seasonal excursions and in defence of the realm.
The bulk of the Anglo-Saxon English army, called the fyrd, was composed of part-time English soldiers drawn from the freemen of each county. In the 690s Laws of Ine, three levels of fines are imposed on different social classes for neglecting military service; some modern writers claim. These thegns were the land-holding aristocracy of the time and were required to serve with their own armour and weapons for a certain number of days each year; the historian David Sturdy has cautioned about regarding the fyrd as a precursor to a modern national army composed of all ranks of society, describing it as a "ridiculous fantasy":The persistent old belief that peasants and small farmers gathered to form a national army or fyrd is a strange delusion dreamt up by antiquarians in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries to justify universal military conscription. Medieval levy in Poland was known as the pospolite ruszenie; the system of military slaves was used in the Middle East, beginning with the creation of the corps of Turkish slave-soldiers by the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tasim in the 820s and 830s.
The Turkish troops soon came to dominate the government, establishing a pattern throughout the Islamic world of a ruling military class separated by ethnicity and religion by the mass of the population, a paradigm that found its apogee in the Mamluks of Egypt and the Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire, institutions that survived until the early 19th century. In the middle of the 14th century, Ottoman Sultan Murad I developed personal troops to be loyal to him, with a slave army called the Kapıkulu; the new force was built by taking Christian children from newly conquered lands from the far areas of his empire, in a system known as the devşirme. The captive children were forced to convert to Islam; the Sultans had the young boys trained over several years. Those who showed special promise in fighting skills were trained in advanced warrior skills, put into the sultan's personal service, turned into the Janissaries, the elite branch of the Kapıkulu. A n
The civil service is independent of government and is composed of career bureaucrats hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure survives transitions of political leadership. A civil servant or public servant is a person employed in the public sector on behalf of a government department or agency. A civil servant or public servant's first priority is to represent the interests of citizens; the extent of civil servants of a state as part of the "civil service" varies from country to country. In the United Kingdom, for instance, only Crown employees are referred to as civil servants whereas county or city employees are not. Many consider the study of service to be a part of the field of public administration. Workers in "non-departmental public bodies" may be classed as civil servants for the purpose of statistics and for their terms and conditions. Collectively a state's civil servants form its civil public service. An international civil servant or international staff member is a civilian employee, employed by an intergovernmental organization.
These international civil servants do not reside under any national legislation but are governed by internal staff regulations. All disputes related to international civil service are brought before special tribunals created by these international organizations such as, for instance, the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO. Specific referral can be made to the International Civil Service Commission of the United Nations, an independent expert body established by the United Nations General Assembly, its mandate is to regulate and coordinate the conditions of service of staff in the United Nations common system, while promoting and maintaining high standards in the international civil service. The origin of the modern meritocratic civil service can be traced back to Imperial examination founded in Imperial China; the Imperial exam based on merit was designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of scholar-bureaucrats irrespective of their family pedigree.
Appointments to the bureaucracy were based on the patronage of aristocrats. In the areas of administration the military, appointments were based on merit; this was an early form of the imperial examinations, transitioning from inheritance and patronage to merit, in which local officials would select candidates to take part in an examination of the Confucian classics. After the fall of the Han dynasty, the Chinese bureaucracy regressed into a semi-merit system known as the nine-rank system; this system was reversed during the short-lived Sui dynasty, which initiated a civil service bureaucracy recruited through written examinations and recommendation. The first civil service examination system was established by Emperor Wen of Sui. Emperor Yang of Sui established a new category of recommended candidates for the mandarinate in AD 605; the following Tang dynasty adopted the same measures for drafting officials, decreasingly relied on aristocratic recommendations and more and more on promotion based on the results of written examinations.
The structure of the examination system was extensively expanded during the reign of Wu Zetian The system reached its apogee during the Song dynasty. In theory, the Chinese civil service system provided one of the major outlets for social mobility in Chinese society, although in practice, due to the time-consuming nature of the study, the examination was only taken by sons of the landed gentry; the examination tested the candidate's memorization of the Nine Classics of Confucianism and his ability to compose poetry using fixed and traditional forms and calligraphy. In the late 19th century the system came under increasing internal dissatisfaction, it was criticized as not reflecting the candidate's ability to govern well, for giving precedence to style over content and originality of thought; the system was abolished by the Qing government in 1905 as part of the New Policies reform package. The Chinese system was admired by European commentators from the 16th century onward. In the 18th century, in response to economic changes and the growth of the British Empire, the bureaucracy of institutions such as the Office of Works and the Navy Board expanded.
Each had its own system, but in general, staff were appointed through patronage or outright purchase. By the 19th century, it became clear that these arrangements were falling short. "The origins of the British civil service are better known. During the eighteenth century a number of Englishmen wrote in praise of the Chinese examination system, some of them going so far as to urge the adoption for England of something similar; the first concrete step in this direction was taken by the British East India Company in 1806." In that year, the Honourable East India Company established a college, the East India Company College, near London to train and examine administrators of the Company's territories in India. "The proposal for establishing this college came from members of the East India Company's trading post in Canton, China." Examinations for the Indian "civil service"—a term coined by the Company—were introduced in 1829. British efforts at reform were influenced by the imperial examinations system and meritocratic system of China.
Thomas Taylor Meadows, Britain's consul in Guangzhou, China argued in his Desu
The tetragrammaton, יהוה in Hebrew and YHWH in Latin script, is the four-letter biblical name of the God of Israel. The books of the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible contain this Hebrew name. Religiously observant Jews and those who follow Talmudic Jewish traditions do not pronounce יהוה, nor do they read aloud transliterated forms such as Yahweh. Common substitutions for Hebrew forms are hakadosh baruch hu, HaShem; the letters, properly read from right to left, are: The letters. In unpointed Biblical Hebrew, most vowels are not written and the rest are written only ambiguously, as certain consonants can double as vowel markers; these are referred to as matres lectionis. Therefore, in general, it is difficult to deduce how a word is pronounced only from its spelling, the tetragrammaton is a particular example: two of its letters can serve as vowels, two are vocalic place-holders, which are not pronounced; the original consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible was, several centuries provided with vowel marks by the Masoretes to assist reading.
In places that the consonants of the text to be read differed from the consonants of the written text, they wrote the qere in the margin as a note showing what was to be read. In such a case the vowels of the qere were written on the ketiv. For a few frequent words, the marginal note was omitted: these are called qere perpetuum. One of the frequent cases was the tetragrammaton, which according to Jewish practices should not be pronounced but read as "Adonai", or, if the previous or next word was Adonai, as "Elohim"; the combination produces יְהֹוָה and יֱהֹוה non-words that would spell "Yehovah" and "Yehovih" respectively. The oldest complete or nearly complete manuscripts of the Masoretic Text with Tiberian vocalisation, such as the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex, both of the 10th or 11th century write יְהוָה, with no pointing on the first h, it could be because the o diacritic point plays no useful role in distinguishing between Adonai and Elohim and so is redundant, or it could point to the qere being Shema, Aramaic for "the Name".
The Hebrew scholar Wilhelm Gesenius suggested that the Hebrew punctuation יַהְוֶה, transliterated into English as Yahweh, might more represent the pronunciation of the tetragrammaton than the Masoretic punctuation "יְהֹוָה", from which the English name Jehovah has been derived. His proposal to read YHWH as "יַהְוֶה" was based in large part on various Greek transcriptions, such as ιαβε, dating from the first centuries CE but on the forms of theophoric names. In his Hebrew Dictionary, Gesenius supports Yahweh because of the Samaritan pronunciation Ιαβε reported by Theodoret, because the theophoric name prefixes YHW and YW, the theophoric name suffixes YHW and YH, the abbreviated form YH can be derived from the form Yahweh. Gesenius's proposal to read YHWH as יַהְוֶה is accepted as the best scholarly reconstructed vocalised Hebrew spelling of the tetragrammaton. An image on the piece of pottery found at Kuntillet Ajrud is adjacent to a Hebrew inscription "Berakhti etkhem l’YHVH Shomron ul’Asherato" dated around 800 BCE, on the walls of the second tomb on the southern slope of the Khirbet el-Qom hill, on the seal from the collections of the Harvard Semitic Museum, on ostracons from the collections of Shlomo Moussaieff, on silver rolls from Ketef Hinnom, on inscriptions in the tombs of Khirbet Beit Lei, on ostracons from Tel Arad, on the Lachish letters and on a stone from Mount Gerizim.
The Elephantine papyri, on which the jhw form appears, with the form of jhh are found on Elephantine. One time jh appears, but it was a form of jhw in which the final letter in disappeared. In eight cases, the tetragram occurs in the formula of the oath: "God's jhh". God's name appears in the Greek magical texts, the formation of, established between the second century BCE to CE, it takes the following forms: Ieoa, Iaoai, Ioa, Iaeo, Ieou, Iabas, Iabe, Iaon. God's name in the form of Ἰαῶ appears in: Diodorus Siculus, Marcus Terentius Varro according to the message of John the Lydian, Pedanius Dioscorides, Aelius Herodian, Hesychius of Alexandria. A form of the name appears on the following Egyptian inscriptions: on the list of Amenhotep III discovered in the Temple of Amon in Soleb and in its copy from the time of Ramesses II in West Amara, on the list of places in the temple of Ramesses III in Medinet Habu. Mesha Stele The oldest known inscription of the tetragrammaton dates to 840 BCE, on the Mesha Stele.
It bears the earliest certain extra-biblical reference to the Israelite God Yahweh. The most recent discovery of a tetragrammaton inscription, dating to the 6th century BCE, was found written in Hebrew on two silver scrolls recovered from Jerusalem. Magical papyri The spellings of the te
Jean Miélot Jehan, was an author, manuscript illuminator and priest, who served as secretary to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy from 1449 to Philip's death in 1467, to his son Charles the Bold. He served as chaplain to Louis of Luxembourg, Count of St. Pol from 1468, after Philip's death, he was employed in the production of de luxe illuminated manuscripts for Philip's library. He translated many works, both religious and secular, from Latin or Italian into French, as well as writing or compiling books himself, composing verse. Between his own writings and his translations he produced some twenty-two works whilst working for Philip, which were disseminated, many being given printed editions in the years after his death, influenced the development of French prose style. Little is known of his early career, he was born at Gueschard, between Abbeville and Hesdin, in what is now the Somme department, but was in Picardy, from 1435 part of the Duchy of Burgundy. He was recruited by the Duke after he translated and adapted the Speculum Humanae Salvationis into French in 1448, as well as his court salary he was made a canon of Saint Peter's in Lille in 1453, serving until his death in 1472, when he was buried in the church.
He was not resident. As a priest and as an employee of the court he would have been exempt from guild regulations, an advantage to his career, he seems to have had lodgings in the palace, which are realistically shown in a miniature in Brussels, to have run a workshop of scribes in Lille. After the Feast of the Pheasant in 1454, an enthusiasm in the Court to revive the Crusades led to commissions to translate travel books about the Middle East; because of the particular Burgundian fashion for presentation miniatures, where the author is shown presenting the book to the Duke or another patron, we have an unusually large number of portraits of Miélot for a non-royal person of the period, which show consistent facial features - he would have been well known to the artists, may well have had influence in allocating commissions to them. These are in books he wrote - in both senses of the word, as he scribed Philip's copy himself. Philip the Good was the leading bibliophile of Northern Europe, employed a number of scribes and artists, with Miélot holding a leading position among the former groups.
His translations were first produced in draft form, called a "minute", with sketches of the images and illuminated letters. If this was approved by the Duke, after being examined and read aloud at court the final de luxe manuscript for the Duke's library would be produced on fine vellum, with the sketches worked up by specialist artists. Miélot's minute for his Le Miroir de l'Humaine Salvation survives in the Bibliothèque Royale Albert I in Brussels, which includes two self-portraits of him richly dressed as a layman; the presentation portrait to La controverse de noblesse, a year shows him with a clerical tonsure. His illustrations are well composed, but not executed up to the standard of manuscripts for the court, his text, on the other hand, is in a fine Burgundian bastarda blackletter script, paleographers can recognise his hand. A fuller list, in French, with partial details of surviving manuscripts and a bibliography, is on-line at Arlima. Cicero's letter to his brother on the duties of a governor - Philip presented this to his son Charles the Rash Romuléon of Benevento da Imola, a history of Ancient Rome, surviving in six copies.
Like other works below, this addressed issues of the correct conduct of rulers of great interest to the inner court circle. Philip the Good's copy was scribed by Colard Mansion, shortly to become the first printer of books in French. Vie et miracles de Saint Joss La controverse de noblesse, a translation of De nobilitate by Buonaccorso da Montemagno, a precursor of Castiglione's Il Cortegiano, together with: Le Débat d'honneur from the Italian of Giovanni Aurispa, a version of "Comparatio Hannibalis, Scipionis et Alexandri, Lucian's Twelfth Dialogue of the Dead. Both works survive in fourteen manuscript copies, were printed together in about 1475 by Colard Mansion in Bruges. Traité sur l'Oraison Dominicale Miroir de l'âme pécheresse, a translation of the Speculum aureum animae peccatricis. Les quattres choses derrenieres, translation of Cordiale quattuor novissimorum printed in Bruges by William Caxton and Colard Mansion in about 1475. Caxton printed an English translation from Miélot's French by Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers.
Advis directif pour faire le passage doultre-mer - a traveller's guide to the Holy Land. La Vie de sainte Catherine d'Alexandrie printed; the only two illuminated copies known are Philip's and one illuminated by Simon Marmion for Margaret of York. Secret des secrets, by the Pseudo-Aristotle advice given by Aristotle to Alexander the Great a Middle-Eastern text translated into Latin. Folio 41r'Wheel of Fortune' from Epitre d'Othéa. Compilations or adaptations relying on other writers. Le Miroir de l'Humaine Salvation, one of four French versions of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis Miracles de Nostre Dame an important compilation. A version of the Epître d'Othéa by Christine de Pisan, augmented with material from the Genealogia Deorum Gentilium of Boccaccio, his commonplace book or workbook survives in the BnF, containing draft translations and drawings and initials, as well as verses