Illustration of a Byzantine Naval Battle from the

Cynegetica of Pseudo-Oppian.


A larger image of a Byzantine Naval Battle from the Cynegetica of Pseudo-Oppian


A detail from the Cynegetica of Pseudo-Oppian (folio 24 r)
The picture is of a naval battle in which the crews of two ships are about to meet in hand to hand combat.
Country of Origin: Culture: Byzantine. Date/Period: 11th century.
Credit Line: Werner Forman Archive / Ms Grec 479, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice.



MINIATURIST, Greek (active 11th century)
Oppian: Cynegetica
11th century
Manuscript (Gr. Z. 479)
Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice

This manuscript contains a didactic poem on the technique of hunting with dogs, written by Oppian of Apamea in Syria. The poem is dedicated to the emperor Caracalla, so that it must have been written after 211 A.D. It consists of about 2150 lines, and is divided into four books, the last of which, seems incomplete. The text is illustrated by 150 miniatures that fall into two groups. In the main group, the scenes shown are closely linked to the text: they show hunting techniques, dogs, horses and other animals. There is also a smaller group of mythological scenes.

The picture shown here belongs to the second group: the miniature on folio 39 shows the Naumachia or naval battle, which probable derives from a chronicle.
Source: World Gallery of Art
Byzantine Cavalry & an Arab Fort from the Cynegetica of Pseudo-Oppian



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