The Psalter of Basil II, 11th century

Marcian Library in Venice (Cod. Marc. gr. 17. f3r)

The Portrait Illumination of Basil II



A larger image of The Portrait Illumination of Basil II in his Psalter, Marcian Library in Venice (Cod. Marc. gr. 17. f3r)



Referenced on p23 MAA-89 Byzantine Armies 886-1118 by Ian Heath & Angus McBride:
A portrait of c. 1017 of Basil II (976-1025), called Bulgaroctonos or 'Killer of Bulgars'. A superb soldier, contemporaries reported that at the very sight of his banner the enemy used to flee, screaming, 'Run! Run! It is the Emperor!' It was he who totally subjugated Bulgaria, in addition scoring victories over Armenians, Georgians, Arabs and Normans. Had he lived another ten years he would have reconquered probably the Empire's long-lost Italian and Egyptian provinces too. His own reign followed on from those of two other brilliant generals, the Emperors Nikephoros II Phokas (whose stupendous victories over the Arabs won him, from their own lips, the title of 'The White Death'), and John I Tzimisces, who but for his premature death in 976 would have reconquered completely the Holy Land, lost to the Arabs as long ago as 634. Not without reason has the era 963-1025 been christened by some as Byzantium's 'Age of Conquest'.

A note on the portrait illumination of Basil II in his psalter, by Paul Stephenson



BYZANTINE EMPEROR IN PARADE ARMOUR in Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066 by Ian Heath, based on the Portrait Illumination of Basil II in his Psalter
See also A Byzantine Casket, 10th-11th century, Musée National du Moyen Âge, Paris, France
A Byzantine Ivory Casket, early 11th century, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England
Other Byzantine Costume & Soldiers
Illustrations of 11th century Costume & Soldiers




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