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The Florence Scroll: A 14th-Century Pictorial Pilgrimage from Egypt to the Land of Israel

Includes Scroll Facsimile                                                                                                                                                                                      Rachel Sarfati

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Hebrew edition, English forthcoming

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This book presents the exciting results of research conducted on a little-known 14th-century scroll whose illustrations and texts trace the journey of its maker, a Jewish Egyptian painter, from Cairo to Lebanon through the land of Israel and its holy sites. Eleven meters long and featuring some 130 places and landmarks, the Florence Scroll (so-called because it is housed in the National Central Library of Florence) is the second oldest extant document – after the 6th-century Madaba map – to offer a detailed and extensive portrayal of the land of Israel.


The first volume analyzes the scroll from a historical, cultural, and artistic perspective, presenting fascinating finds about such important sites as the Cave of the Patriarch, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount. A prominent, two-meter long illustration reflects a tradition – common to both Jews and Muslims in the Middle Ages – that saw the Dome of the Rock as representing Solomon’s Temple and preserving its sanctity. This illustration – and the entire scroll – reveals a cultural world in which Judaism and Islam coexisted in a close and reciprocal relationship. The book’s second volume consists of a high-quality and almost real-size facsimile of the Florence Scroll.
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