The Morgan Crusader Bible of Louis IX
or Maciejowski Bible
or The Bible of Shah Abbas

Ms Morgan 638, folio 23v

Detail of upper register


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Saul Victorious:
Saul and his army devastate the Ammonites. Nahash attempts to flee the battlefield, but Saul, crowned and wearing an orange tunic, cleaves his enemy's skull with his sword. The Ammonites are assailed from all sides. From atop the battlements, an archer takes aim at the only unwounded Ammonite. An enormous catapult, pulled completely taut, will send a boulder crushing through the Ammonite ranks. Another contingent of Israelites emerges from the city gates and deals fatal blows with sword and club; an Ammonite in a blue tunic is violently unhorsed by a soldier wielding a battle ax. (1 Samuel 11:11)

A Proven Leader:
The Israelite victory is celebrated with Saul's public anointing and coronation. The king's throne in this illustration is identical to the sella curulis—the folding coronation chair of French kings housed in the royal abbey of Saint Denis. To the right, Samuel offers sacrifices to the Lord, who gazes upon his loyal servant from the heavens. (1 Samuel 11:14–15)

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