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The Book of Miracles

20 May 2014

The Book of Miracles is an extraordinary Renaissance manuscript, created in Augsburg in the 16th century and only recently rediscovered. Its subjects range from hailstorms and comets to sea-monsters and ‘the beast from the bottomless pit’, exquisitely illustrated in all their impossible glory. Reproduced in its entirety, with a full transcript and accompanying essays, the book offers a remarkable insight into Renaissance Europe, its art, and its beliefs.

‘…this lavish facsimile is a wonder in its own right’, writes Tim Smith-Laing in his review of the book for the forthcoming June issue of Apollo. ‘Sandwiching hallucinatory accounts of classical and contemporary celestial phenomena, prodigious births, plagues and floods, between the old Testament wonders and the sinister visions of revelation, the manuscript comprises nothing less than a picture chronicle of the world’s past, present and future, in 192 miracles.’ We reproduce a few of them here.

You could win a copy of The Book of Miracles (worth £99.99) by entering the Apollo Book Competition before midday on Friday 23 May.

73 BC Golden balls

73 BC Golden balls © TASCHEN

1496 – Tiber monster

1496 – Tiber monster © TASCHEN

The sea monster and the beast with the lamb’s horn

The sea monster and the beast with the lamb’s horn © TASCHEN

The beast from the bottomless pit

The beast from the bottomless pit © TASCHEN

1552 – Hail in Dordrecht

1552 – Hail in Dordrecht © TASCHEN

1533 – Dragons over Bohemia

1533 – Dragons over Bohemia © TASCHEN

1531 – Whale and earthquake in Lisbon

1531 – Whale and earthquake in Lisbon © TASCHEN

1506 – Comet

1506 – Comet © TASCHEN

The Book of Miracles, Till-Holder Borchert and Joshua P. Waterman (eds.), Taschen, £99.99. ISBN 9783836542852

Enter Apollo’s Book Competition before midday on Friday 23 May for a chance to win a copy

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